Thursday, December 31, 2009

General Mills Cereals, Rocks in My New Year As A Food Option!

We are a cereal household so I was so happy to be selected to participate in a My Blog Spark Campaign for

My husband eats Wheaties cereal every morning. We need to buy stock in it because I buy at least a box a week.

I learned from General Mills website that not only is cereal lower in calories and fat than most other breakfast choices, cereal is also: Benefits of Cereal
  • rich in nutrients
  • a leading source of whole grain
    in children's diets
One study of 16,000 adults revealed those who skipped breakfast tended to weigh more than those who ate breakfast.

Eating cereal could mean that you:
  • consume less fat at breakfast
  • reduce calorie intake

Cereal is an easy way for kids to start their morning out great. Really, is there even a reason for kids to miss out on breakfast! Children who eat cereal frequently are less likely to be overweight, and they consume less fat and cholesterol than infrequent cereal eaters.

There are other benefits for children who eat breakfast.

A 1998 study showed that – compared to children who skip breakfast – those who ate breakfast:
  • performed better at school
  • recorded higher test scores
  • reduced absenteeism and tardiness

Just eating cereal every other day gives kids higher nutrient intakes in general compared to kids who don't eat cereal. That benefit extends to kids who eat presweetened cereal.

Beside the added benefits of cereal, General Mills is a great company who have helped so many organizations this year. General Mills donated a record $91 million in contributions across the U.S. and abroad in fiscal 2009 to ease hunger, advance nutrition wellness, and support K-12 education. To read more about the organization and who they helped this year, head over here.

You can visit General Mills site HERE to find more information about their cereals.
With so many choices of cereal you will never be bored! Invest in a bowl you love and grab some cereal. It will do your body good.

You can go here to get a $1 off coupon for their awesome cereals!

Disclaimer: General Mills provided me with 4 cereal coupons through MyBlogSpark to write this review.

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

Ok, I am finally coming back from the dead and need to catch up on so many things. Winners who have won already; there are still two things I need to mail out from my house. You will be getting them in the New Year.

So without further ado I bring you the last batch of winners for 2009.

Nicholas Sparks Dear John audio book winners are:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
4 - Doreen R
13 - Lorie S
21 - Marci
Timestamp: 2009-12-31 17:35:21 UTC

The winner of the Johnny Cash CD is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
27 - Clarissa
Timestamp: 2009-12-31 17:41:26 UTC

The winner of the Phil Spector Christmas CD is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
11 - Patti H 
Timestamp: 2009-12-31 17:46:12 UTC

The Winner of the Children's Books is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
9 - Renee (Yeloe) 
Timestamp: 2009-12-31 17:50:39 UTC

The Winner of the Miles Davis CD is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
39 - Susan C 
Timestamp: 2009-12-31 17:54:22 UTC

Congratulations to everyone who won. 

All winners were sent an email to let them know they have won. If you don't receive one, please contact me directly. You have 48 hours to mail your address or another winner will be selected.

Fed Ex Branches Out

My Fed Ex guy and I are on a first name basis. As a blogger who reviews products I receive packages at least 4 times a week.

We have all come to count on Fed Ex to get our packages to their destination now, Fed Ex has a blog called Out of Office!

FedEx Office launched the Out of Office blog to help get you started with everything from for invitations and place cards to tips on how to turn your child’s artwork into a notebook, large poster, or thank you notes.

The “Out of Office” Blog is intended to facilitate ideas, creative thinking, and respectful dialogue around projects in one of several categories, including:
  • Excellent Events features projects and tips for planning creative and stylish events – such as dinner parties, garage sales and birthday celebrations.
  • Holiday Hints highlights our twist on holiday-specific ideas, including personal gifts, decorations, and more.
  • Home Helper provides unique tips and tricks to decorate or organize your home.
  • Parent Projects give proud moms, dads, grandparents and more creative ways to repurpose children’s artwork, crafts and other mementos into lasting home d├ęcor and memorabilia.
  • Watercooler Wisdom offers you tips to incorporate style and organization into your work environment.
  • Business Builder highlights unexpected solutions for challenges faced by businesses large and small.
  • Templates & Tools houses downloadable templates and idea instructions for some of our projects.

While the blog is fairly new, there are tons of interesting and creative ideas such as this one about reusing your child's artwork. My kids come home with so many cute, fun things they make in school. Some I store in a portfolio I have for each, some I put away with holiday decorations to bring out the next year, and some I toss. However, I am always looking for a new way to save their artwork and will be using this one for years to come.

There is also a fabulous idea on how to use your left over holiday paper all year long. I will be using this too!!

You can subscribe to the blog and follow them on Twitter.

I've subscribed and while I haven't left a comment yet, I plan on it! Hope to see you there. Enjoy!

 “I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of FedEx Office. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Winners

The Winner of the Dolly Parton Box Set is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
21 - etirv
Timestamp: 2009-12-27 15:53:56 UTC

The Winner of the Hall and Oates CD Giveaway is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
11 - Benita G 
Timestamp: 2009-12-27 16:04:23 UTC

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Book Review - Beyond Blue by Therese Borchard

When I received Beyond Blue by Therese J. Borchard in the mail I was feeling the polar opposite of what the book was about. I have a wonderful husband, healthy children, good friends and a positive outlook on life however, I know a lot of people like a Therese.

Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes - is part memoir/part self-help. It describes Borchard's experience of living with manic depression as well as providing cutting-edge research and information on dealing with mood disorders. By exposing her vulnerability, she endears herself immediately to the reader and then reduces even the most depressed to laughter as she provides a companion on the journey to recovery and the knowledge that the reader is not alone.

Comprised of four sections and twenty-one chapters, BEYOND BLUE covers a wide range of topics from codependency to addiction, poor body image to postpartum depression, from alternative medicine to psychopharmacology, managing anxiety to applying lessons from therapy. Because of her laser wit and Erma Bombeck sense of humor, every chapter is entertaining as well as serious.

In A Nutshell: Therese is a good writer; the book is witty and full of guidance from someone who knows depression first hand. This is the kind of book that will speak to people. Therese is not only an author and the book is not just another book about depression.  

Here is how Therese describes herself:

That would be me.
Hi. I’m Therese. I’m a manic depressive, alcoholic, and adult child of an alcoholic; a codependent, boundaries violator, and stage-four people pleaser; an information hoarder or clutter magnet, Internet abuser, and obsessive-compulsive or ritual-performing weirdo; a sugar addict, caffeine junkie, reformed binge smoker, and exercise fanatic; a hormonally-imbalanced female, PMS-prone time bomb, and sexually dysfunctional or neutered creature; a workaholic, HSP (highly-sensitive person), and, of course, I’m Catholic. Which could possibly explain some of the above.

The book comes out January 2010!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas To All My Readers

Dear Readers,

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May all your wishes come true this holiday season. Whether you are waiting for someone to come home, heading out to spend time with loved ones, enjoying your first Christmas with a new baby, in a new home, or with your new pet, however you intend to spend the day; I hope it is the very best holiday ever.

If you are alone, my thoughts are with you too! Christmas can be a time of joy for so many, but also a very lonely time for others, believe me, I have had my own horrific Christmas. Everyone, everywhere is special and important. May those who suffer this holiday season, find peace and comfort.

Merry Christmas, Kwanza, Ramadon, Hanukkah, Krismas, Omisoka, and Fesivus to each and every one of you.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winners From Your Sick Host

Hello Dear Readers,

I am sorry to have been away for so long. The last seven days haven't been kind to me. After finally dragging my sick ass to the doctor yesterday, I am on some meds and a warning! I was two days away from the hospital!!! Bronchitis, early pneumonia!!! I managed to take Handsome to the doctor on Saturday for an ear infection even though I was sick since Thursday. Well, actually I have been sick since October, every time I started feeling better, I was blessed with a sick kid, making me sick yet again.

It has been days since my husband and I have been able to kiss hello or goodbye. I give him a fast kiss on his outstretched neck. He cannot get sick!

This is the longest amount of time I have been in bed ever. Even after my cesareans I was up and around that very day.

Since I am working on only about 40% breath right now, I cannot promise that any winner will be receiving anything from me until the New Year but here we go with the winners...

The Winner of the $25.00 gift certificate from Apericots is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
17 - Whitney
Timestamp: 2009-12-23 18:47:55 UTC

The Winners of the Lovely Bones Audio book CD Set are:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
22 - Jaime P
8 - Marjorie
25 - Daniel M
Timestamp: 2009-12-23 18:55:17 UTC

The Winner of the Romance and a Soak is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
61 - Amanda
Timestamp: 2009-12-23 19:00:53 UTC

The winner of the AC/DC CD (BTW, I love how many AC/DC fans are out there. I was floored with the amount of entries in this one. You go Rock N Rollers!!!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
215 - Rose A 
Timestamp: 2009-12-23 19:10:10 UTC

The lucky winner of the Chenile Slipper socks is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
12 - Sylvia 
Timestamp: 2009-12-23 19:19:52 UTC

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Self Portrait Dec 19, 2009

Hey, in case anyone wants to play along!

I have been fighting a really bad cold, cough, fever, chills, stomach thing and sick baby boy.

Please feel free to link up; I will hopefully get linked up tomorrow.

Were You A Winner?

The Winner of the $25.00 AMEX Card giveaway is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
91 - Cindy Dyer
Timestamp: 2009-12-20 00:07:16 UTC

The winner of the Autographed New Beginnings Book is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
3 - Karenk
Timestamp: 2009-12-20 00:13:52 UTC

The winner of the Curious George CD giveaway is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
3 - Elizabeth
Timestamp: 2009-12-20 00:20:11 UTC

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Baby Girl's First "Boy" Friend

Now, I am in no way suggesting that she has a boyfriend at 4. Thankfully she has no idea what that even means. I am simply stating that she has a friend who happens to be a boy. The reason I am writing this down is because this morning she was creating yet another work of art (she loves drawing and giving little presents). So, I assumed it was another picture for Daddy or me. I was wrong. This picture she informed me when she was done, was for "Mitchell". Mitchell and Goddess have been friends since school started. She has always talked about Mitchell. In fact the first time she sat in the naughty chair was because she was having so much fun with Mitchell that she started throwing toys around with him.  Ummmm still my mommy heart.

She rolled the picture up which happened to be a drawing of her and "Mitchell standing on a mountain". Then she got a sandwich baggie, put the picture in there with some tinsel that had fallen off the tree. Awww..her first little present.

She carried it to school and I just had to watch what would happen. I mean, this experience could sit with her the rest of her life (give me a break, I'm a helicopter mom and what? It could. Don't judge me). It was her first gift to a boy and I wanted to see it unfold. She walked through the little circle of boys who were sitting on the floor, held out her gift and said simply, "here". Then she stood patiently while he tried to open the baggie (he is only 4). He said, "thanks" and finally tore it open.

I looked at her face to see what she was thinking about the tearing but she seemed ok. I walked over to tell her good-bye. She didn't look up at me, she simply said "bye mom". Leaving, I had a glimpse of where I will stand when she finally does have a "boyfriend."

When I went to pick her up, Mitchell's dad was there. While we were waiting I told him about the gift. We did a few "Awwww's" together and waited for them to come out. I overheard Mitchell telling his father that "Goddess had made that for him." The dad asked if he said thank you and he said yes.

As we were leaving the school, Goddess turned to me beaming and said, "Mommy, Mitchell kissed the picture I gave him."

So, there it is, in all its innocent glory. The first "boy" that happens to be a "friend" gift. Hopefully, this will be the last for a very long time.


The Pebble, MP3 Digital Audio Player Giveaway

On the 24th Day of Christmas, 
Maria's Space Gave to Me, 
A 1 Gig, Digital Player I Can Wear

This Digital Player is called the Pebble! It is black and holds about 13 hours of music. It can be worn like a necklace and comes with headphones.

To see a video of this really cute piece of musical jewelry go here

This is a great idea for a holiday gift or Christmas stocking stuffer. The price is reasonable and the Samsung Pebble comes in so many awesome colors.

  • 1 GB capacity stores up to 13 hours of music (MP3 files @ 128kbps)
  • Play up to 13 hours of audio on a single charge
  • Concealed LED along the bottom edge of the MP3 player flashes various colors and patterns based on the playback mode you select
  • Supports MP3, WMA, and Ogg audio formats
  • 1-year parts and labor warranty
  • Included in the package is the  Samsung S2 1 GB Slim Portable Media Player (Black), lanyard earphones, USB adapter, installation CD, user's manual.  
  • To see all the features of this little cutie, go here.
To Enter: Tell me the first thing you will download onto your Pebble if you won.
Contest Ends: January 3, 2010
US Only

For Extra Entries:

*Blog about this, and leave me the link for 3 extra entries
*Follow my blog
*Subscribe to Chotskies
*Follow me on Twitter, leave your twitter name
*Enter another giveaway on my blog and let me know which one.
*Comment on a non-giveaway post and tell me which one.
*Tweet this giveaway and leave your link

*Become a fan of Maria's Space on Facebook
*Add me to your blog roll and leave the link
*Add my main button to your side bar

*Add my holiday button to your side bar

The Giveaway is open only to U.S. residents and will run until Jan 2, 2010 at midnight. I will choose the winner using The Winner will receive an email letting them know to forward me their mailing address. Winners have 48 hours to claim prize.

This is an unsolicited giveaway. I was not asked by anyone to write about the Pebble. I am simply offering 1 to my readers because I love them.

Winner List

The Nancy Appetizer Giveaway is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
38 - Amanda
Timestamp: 2009-12-17 17:54:49 UTC

The Winner of the Stonyfield Baby Giveaway is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
6 - Amy J
Timestamp: 2009-12-17 18:00:43 UTC

The winner of the Golden Moon Tea Giveaway is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
22 - Ben Herman
Timestamp: 2009-12-17 18:05:07 UTC
Thank you to everyone who entered.

Emails were sent to winners, if you have not received one, please contact me directly. You will have 48 hours to contact me before another winner is selected.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Have The Book To Start Your New Year With!

The beginning of the week I mentioned that I was reviewing this book and really wanted to get it up so that maybe you could add it to your Christmas/holiday list before everyone is done with their shopping.

The Happiness Project by best-selling writer Gretchen Rubin is an amazing read. You will feel compelled to live your best life or at least start the journey that will lead to total life happiness.

Gretchen is like most of us, she is a mom, married to the love of her life, has a great career, great relationships with her family and friends but felt that she wasn't living the happiest life she was entitled to. So she gave herself a time line, and began The Happiness Project. Decideding on 12 Personal Commandments and tackling a few keypoints each month, the Happiness Project will show us the way to personal happiness.
What I appreciate about The Happiness Project is that Gretchen DECIDED to get happy and found a way to do it.

The book reads like a novel, it isn't just a self help book, all choppy and full of bold headlines. This is Gretchen's story on how she became happier. I always felt that you can MAKE yourself happy if you choose to. This is a very inspiring book and I am taking the Challenge in 2010.

You too, can take the Happiness Challenge starting in 2010. What a great way to really do something good for yourself. And as we know, if we do something good for ourselves, we do something good for everyone we touch in our lives. It's a win-win.

Check out the Happiness Project Toolbox for lists, inspirations, and more.

To help you get started with your happiness project, answer the following questions:
1. What makes you feel good? What activities do you find fun, satisfying, or energizing?
2. What makes you feel bad? What are sources of anger, irritation, boredom, frustration, or anxiety in your life?
3. Is there any way in which you don't feel right about your life? Do you wish you could change jobs, cities, family situation, or other circumstances? Are you living up to your expectations for yourself? Does your life reflect your values?
4. Do you have sources of an atmosphere of growth? In what areas of your life do you find progress, learning, challenge, improvement, and increased mastery?

Join in! Promise yourself to make 2010 a HAPPIER year.

Each month, Gretchen will propose an area of life to tackle in your happiness project, and suggest simple, manageable resolutions to help you boost your happiness.

Sign up now! Studies show that taking an action, like signing a pledge, will help you hold yourself accountable for your resolutions.
  • January--Body
  • February--Love
  • March--Work
  • April--Money
  • May--Mindfulness
  • June--Order
  • July--Spirit
  • August--Fun
  • September--Parenthood
  • October--Friends
  • November--Attitude
  • December--Boot Camp Perfect
These categories are just suggestions. The important thing is to get started. Whenever you read this, and wherever you are, you are in the right place to begin.

More? Well, Gretchen will be promoting the book on a tour next year starting in New York. Check the locations here.

To follow Gretchen on Facebook, go here.

Browse the book here for sample pages.

To pre-order the book go here.

ABC Wednesday "V"

We are at the end of ABC Wednesday, round 5.

The letter is "V"

The picture is Violence
Ok, well it was not really too violent but he threw a snowball at me and it got all over my very expensive Canon 50D lens dammit.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Book Review - The Second Half Adventure by Kay Marshall Strom

Looking for something different for your New Year?

Empty Nest Syndrome?

Retirement not for you?

Looking for something more?

Want to Experience Life?

Take a chance on The Second-Half Adventure: Don't Just Retire-Use Your Time, Skills, and Resources to Change the World
by Kay Marshall Strom.

There is a new face on missionaries. The face is a little more lined, sometimes a little less hair, or maybe a sprout of gray but this face always has a smile.

I had no idea before reading this book how many people are taking their lives in a completely different direction than they had originally intended.

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: October 2009
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Format: Paperback, 208pp
  • Sales Rank: 245,894


A social worker from New England . . . a Texas airline pilot . . . a homemaker from California . . . a lawyer who has lived everywhere . . . a quilter in Oregon. What do they have in common? All are on the adventure of their lives.

Like many others among the 77 million baby boomers, these men and women don't want to retire from contributing when they retire from their careers. So they are using their time, skills, and resources to make a difference. Written in conjunction with Finishers Project, an umbrella organization that encompasses more than 100 mission organizations, this book will help baby boomers discover a second-half adventure that fits them and counts for eternity.

It's true, why would a bunch of healthy, fit, educated, thinking, striving, individuals simply sit on a couch, watching TV and doing puzzles when they could really make an impact for the better of mankind. This is not your grandparents retirement.

After reading this, I am sure, that if God gives me the breath and the strength to do his work after my children are grown, I will remember this book and take the path that my heart leads me to.

Holiday Book Idea For Girls

Have you ever read a book that you just wanted to shout about from the roof top? Well, this is the one.

Secrets Girls Keep, What Girls Hide (and why) and How to Break the Stress of Silence by Carrie Silver Stock is a book every girl over the age of 12 should have. Side note: depending on the girl, maybe even younger.

I wish this book was around when I was a child. From page 1, I felt this book spoke to even the 43 year old me.

We all know how hard it is to be a teenager. Come on, I'm 43 and I remember. It wasn't that long ago. Whether you felt awkward, silly, ugly, numb, or whatever your inner feelings were you put on a happy face or you withdrew. This book validates you! Gives you the permission to be who you are!

Chock full of advice from dating, to making friends, handling family drama, cyber space, emotions, lack of confidence and more, this is a book that you should consider for every young girl in your life.

Parents of girls 11 and up, I think this could very well become your bible.

Carrie Silver-Stock is a social worker who founded I admire about her is that she saw the problem and came up with a necessary, teenage friendly, hip way to talk to girls(from Carrie wants to start a movement and revolution for girls to not only stop putting each other down, but to design a safe place they can get new ideas and support for some of their toughest problems.  The mission is simple: to create a place founded on friends, dreams, and action where girls will empower one another to build their best lives.  Girls will learn how to be leaders and take action in their own lives and in the world. 

Isn't it true? Girls putting down girls or worse beating each other up. We've seen it on the news. It's happening. Girls are girls worst enemies and there is absolutely no reason for it. Jealousy, cattiness, immaturity, whatever it is that makes girls want to compete rather than collabrate needs to stop and this is a great way to get your girls on the right track early. 

Q and A with Carrie
Sample Media Questions for Carrie Silver-Stock , author of
Secrets Girls Keep: What Girls Hide (&; Why) and How to Break the Stress of Silence

1.      What inspired you to write Secrets Girls Keep?
I wrote Secrets Girls Keep because after working with young people for over 15 years I continued to see girls struggle, much of the same way that I did as a teen girl.  I didn’t feel this was right and I wanted to do something to help teen girls deal with their biggest challenges, from issues with self esteem, to dating, friends, family, etc...  I felt it was really important that we let girls know they aren’t alone and give them an avenue to speak to each other and make sure their voices were heard. 
2.      What secrets are girls keeping?
Girls keep many secrets, from the superficial to very dangerous.  I’m more concerned with the secrets girls keep that potentially put them in harms way.  These are secrets about their  sexuality, teen pregnancy, depression, eating disorders, drug/alcohol use, cutting, and more.   
3.      What is the cult of secrecy and why are girls hiding?
Secrets are a part of our society and even part of growing up between girls.  It’s so often the secrets that cement friendships between girls.  However, there are some secrets that even friends stop sharing.  Girls hide for many reasons.  It might be because they are scared of being less than perfect, they are embarrassed, they are worried about getting in trouble, or they think they are the only ones feeling a certain way.
4.      What do teen girls need in their lives to keep from hiding and feel secure?
If teen girls are going to stop hiding and feel more secure, girls need to know they are not alone.  They also need places they can feel secure (ideally at home, school, and with their friends). We need to start sharing our secrets and stories about what we’ve dealt with and how we’ve overcome it.  Girls need to know it’s okay to make mistakes.  We need to work against ending the fierce negative competition that exists between girls and work towards respect.
5.      How can girls start to break the stress of silence?
Girls can start to break the stress of silence one step at a time.  If they are too scared to talk to anyone about something they are dealing with then they might start by reading stories of other girls.  But, it’s important they look for a trusted adult or friend they can open up too.  If this is still too scary, they might build on that trusted relationship by talking about things that aren’t as scary.
6.      How can parents help their girls do this?
Parents can help girls break the stress of silence in many ways.
-Parents can listen to their daughters, both by what they are saying, and by watching their actions.  It’s important to keep communication lines open as best as possible.  This is a challenge because starting in middle school parents might feel a shift where friends seem to be more important than parents.
-Let your daughter know it’s okay not be perfect.  Our society encourages girls to be ‘good girls’ from an early age.  Of course we want our children to succeed and do well, but I believe we put too much emphasis on being perfect and sometimes this creates too much pressure.  If girls know it’s okay to goof up, they might be more willing to talk about their mistakes.    
-Watch for signs of change in your daughter.  This could be a change in friends, sleeping habits, or eating habits.  If there is something different, this can be a clue you need to pay more attention.  If you think your daughter is having a problem and she denies it, but your gut is still telling you differently, don’t ignore that feeling.  Watch her closely.  She might be too scared to tell you everything that is going on.  
-If you find out your daughter is having a serious challenge, don’t feel like you both have to handle this on your own.  Don’t be afraid to get professional help.

This book is something Mothers and Daughters SHOULD read together. What a great idea for a reading group.

I have ordered 4 copies for some of the girls on my shoppping list this year.

If you order now, there is a fantastic special offer included. Go here to place your order and receive.

Here’s What You’ll Get When you Buy the Book

  • FREE downloadable 11 page Discussion Guide and Companion to Secrets Girls Keep
  • FREE downloadable 8×10 Girls With Dreams Manifesto Poster
  • FREE 20% off Coupon towards purchase at Artistic (A Teen Boutique)
  • FREE Teen Room Makeover Tips by Kim Gellman at Artistic Sensations
  • FREE Parenting Tips by Dr. Tim Jordan, M.D. and Coupon towards Camp Weloki
  • FREE Ebook How to Communicate with Teens and Tweens 101 by Vanessa Van Petten

There is no time like the present to help your girls be the best they can be. Head over to Girls with Dreams and see why I believe this to be the new parents of girls bible. Secrets Girls Keep by Carrie Silver-Stock should be on every girls book shelf.

Day 8 of 12 for Sony Music Legancy Recording Giveaway

Thanks to Sony Music's Legacy Recordings, we are celebrating day 8 out of 12 days of Music.  I have been having so much fun with this campaign and today we have Yo-Yo Ma.

This is my very first experience with Yo-Yo Ma.  I think it is wonderful that Sony Music has such a diverse genre of music for this giveaway. What a great opportunity to learn about other types of music and be introduced to an artist that may have never been on your radar.

Yo-Yo Ma's holiday CD "Songs Of Joy And Peace" is nominated for a Grammy award in the category of "Best Classical Crossover Album"- the album's producer, Steve Epstein, has also been nominated for a Grammy award in the category of "Best Producer, Classical".

Day 8 -  Yo-Yo Ma: Songs of Joy & Peace
Joined by friends James Taylor, Diana Krall, Alison Krauss, Chris Botti, Renee Fleming and others, this inspiring album includes 22 songs from The Wexford Carol to Here Comes the Sun.

To Enter: Let me know who will receive this CD if you win.

For Extra Entries:
*Blog about this, and leave me the link for 3 extra entries
*Follow my blog
*Subscribe to Chotskies
*Follow me on Twitter, leave your twitter name
*Enter another giveaway on my blog and let me know which one.
*Comment on a non-giveaway post and tell me which one.
*Tweet this giveaway and leave your link
*Become a fan of Maria's Space on Facebook
*Add me to your blog roll and leave the link
*Add my main button to your side bar

*Add my holiday button to your side bar

The Giveaway is open only to U.S. residents and will run until Dec 31, 2009 at midnight. I will choose the winner using The Winner will receive an email letting them know to forward me their mailing address. Winners have 48 hours to claim prize.

Sharing Starts Early - Goddess and Daddy

Ok, so it isn't too far back but back in August 6, 2006 my baby girl was almost 1.5 years old. Yes, I know she looks about the size of a 9 month old but I rest assure you, the pixie was older.

In this shot she is eating cheese doodles which is something I would have never let my first born do at such a young age. This was a different kid. She was sharing the bag with her daddy. One for you, one for me kind of thing. I thought it was so cute and had to grab the shot.
August 6, 2006 (3)

It's All About The Hat

This weeks Ruby Tuesday comes in the form of my son's beloved Mario Kart Hat. He loves this hat.
Head over to Mary's Ruby Tuesday to spot the red.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Share Your Music With Friends Giveaway

On the 22nd Day of Christmas, 
Maria's Space Gave to Me, 
A Way To Share My Music with my Friends

With all these awesome CD's coming at ya, my next giveaway is a great way for you to share your music with up to 5 people.

Belkin RockStar 5-Way 3.5-mm Headphone Splitter hooks up to your Ipod and your friends hook up too. Pretty cool no? The Belkin RockStar is a perfect way to share and mix your music with friends. The Belkin "hub" connects to a combination of MP3 players and headphones. You can attach your headphones and hear your friend's playlist, Or, add another iPod to mix songs and listen together. RockStar makes it fun to create your own unique and personal music experience.

* Five jacks for attaching headphones or iPod devices
* One hard-wired connection for your MP3 player
* Mixing and fade-ins controlled by the standard controls of each MP3 player
* Also works with all MP3 and portable DVD players
* Share your music with up to five friends

Enter To Win: Fill out the form below before Dec 31, 2009 by telling me who would love this gift.

For Extra Entries:
*Blog about this, and leave me the link for 3 extra entries
*Follow my blog
*Subscribe to Chotskies
*Follow me on Twitter, leave your twitter name
*Tweet this giveaway and leave your link
*Become a fan of Maria's Space on Facebook
*Add me to your blog roll and leave the link
*Add my main button to your side bar
*Add my main button to your side bar

*Add my holiday button to your side bar

The Giveaway is open only to U.S. residents and will run until Dec 31, 2009 at midnight. I will choose the winner using The Winner will receive an email letting them know to forward me their mailing address. Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or another winner will be selected.

Attention KMart Shoppers

Below are the teasers for this weekend December 19th and 20th:

·         Boys/Girls Licensed Hoodies $8 (reg. $18.99)
·         Essential Home 10 pc Sets $29.99 (reg. $49.99)
·         Rollercade $49.99 (reg. $79.99)

Don’t forget to follow @KmartDealsnNews and use the #KmartBLS hashtag for a chance to win every day!  For more info & rules: luck!

Happy Holidays and happy shopping!!

A Big Thank You To All My Sponsors This Year

Here is a list of everyone who contributed to my 25 Days of Christmas this Year.

Without my sponsors these giveaways would have never been possible.

Thank you to each and every one of you.

Hachette Book Group

Fresh Organic Baby

Glade Holiday Candles


Mom Central

Golden Moon Tea


Mom Select

Stonyfield Yogurt

Author, Anne Marie Busch

Wholesale Keychains


Family Review Network

Sony Music

Patient Style

The Simple Woman's Daybook

December 14th

FOR TODAY... Maria's Daybook

Outside my window... cold, snow, icy, gray but expected to be high 40's today.

I am thinking... Hours this week have to be used wisely as the kids last day before the New Year is Friday.

I am thankful for... being done with my shopping, good friends, and my health.

I am wearing... Grey jeans, white long sleeve shirt and a gray accent shirt.

I am remembering... Watching New Moon with my girlfriend yesterday and how badly I want to see it again. We had the theater to ourselves until 5 minutes before it started when 6 other people showed up. Although we drove through an ice storm to get there, it was our first time "out" without kids in the 4 years that we know each other. We knew if we didn't see it now, we would be waiting for the DVD. You can barely see me standing on the steps surrounded by empty seating.

I am going... to spend some hours wrapping today.

I am currently reading... The Happiness Project. Check for my review soon.

I am be done with all Christmas errands this week.

On my mind... getting my 25 Days of Christmas finished


Noticing that...Everyone seems a bit occupied these days. No one is slowing down to enjoy and really see life.

Pondering these words..."you are the best Mommy in the whole world." Isn't this what every mom wants to hear?

From the kitchen... some holiday baking will be underway this week.

Around the house... presents hidden in too many places, hope I remember them all.

One of my favorite things~missing my kids when I don't see them for an hour.

From my picture journal...

The view from my deck the other night