Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pary ideas anyone?

Guess what I did today? I spoke in church! If you're a member of the LDS faith, you know how many people make an appearance on Sundays ... in our ward, close to 300. (We just split, so there's not as many as there would have been a few months ago!) I was holy COW nervous, but I got through it like a pro. But the only thing keeping me from throwing up on the stand, was watching my brave, brave kids standing there bearing their testimonies, and speaking with zero fear. I mean, the boogie man himself would have been impressed at the fear-free aura they exuded. (ahh, to be a kid) But alls well that ended well, we got through it like champs, but what's even funnier is that after we were finished, I didn't feel that rush of relief I expected too, I felt ... nothing. I could do it again next week if I had too!
Huh, me who is afraid of public speaking and avoids it like the plague, getting up again next week? Crazy!

Well, I have another birthday party coming up. Only this time I have to come up with some games, instead of taking them to some entertainment facility, because my daughter (who will be turning 7,) seven! She was just in diapers yesterday! Has decided she wants a "home party", with her best friend sleeping over (naturally) and I'm fresh out of ideas. So if you have any games that you pull out and dust off around birthday party time, please let me know. I have my few tired & true games, but most of them aren't known in this country (they're all from New Zealand, when I was growing up) so I need to gear up & throw some curve balls into my arsenal of games. Any help is appreciated, because I'm all out of ideas, and as my smart mouth precocious daughter made clear "please don't screw my party up Mom" Ahh, the love! Of course normally I would respond with a "What was that? Do you want this party or not young lady?" I saw the real fear and anxiety in her eyes.
She's past that age where I can cover my bluffs and mistakes up with kisses & hugs, and that makes me sad. She's had a mini-adult moment, she doesn't want her friends to laugh at a so-so party, she wants to be "in", "popular" all that jazz. Man, I'm getting too old for this!
So let me know if you have any great game ideas to help me save the day.

This is the birthday girl at 3. Any younger pictures would probably make me cry, she was so little! Of course, she's still a waif of a mouse, she had failure to thrive, so she's always been small, and now weighs at 6 (6 and 3/4, as she would say) 35 pounds. Isn't she a doll?

Also, one more thing, if you have my button, and I don't have yours - let me know! I know I was meant to have a few more up, but can't remember whose button I'm supposed to have! Annnnd .. my new blog face-lift should be ready soon. I am SO EXCITED! :D

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gerbo Designs - Valentine day Card GIVEAWAY!

This giveaway is now CLOSED. Congratulations to :Marquel who said...

Daily tweet on 2/5!**************

*Tweet #2

With Valentines Day approaching, I decided I wanted to bring together a few 'V-day' related giveaways & bunch them together under the heading "Be My Valentine".
It's a fun way of gaining extra entries, to any giveaway sporting the banner. There will be a few different ways of entering these giveaways, just for the fun of it! (Fun questions for extra entries, what could be better, right?)
So without any further ado, the first giveaway!

I recently had the pleasure of finding this company  and the owner, Sally Gerbo, graciously allowed me to review her products. She is the designer, owner & operator behind her store, and has immense talent and ability.
She sells everything from invitations, announcements and basically anything you could need, or think up, she will work with you to achieve your vision.

 I was lucky enough to be able to review her "Bird Calendar", which for me, was a definite bonus, as I love retro anything, especially birds, & the way this was designed was remarkable!
Each month features a different bird themed picture, all very classic and well put together. My favorite was April's theme.
What I immediately liked about Sallys style was you can place these calendars anywhere, they're most likely going to fit right into your decor. I have a "paris" themed kitchen, with rich colors, and my Bird calendar was right at home and held it's own, which I was pleased as I did not expect it to be able to do so, so well! (I thought it would have to be an "office" piece) but it went with everything!
To finish it all off, there is a ribbon adorning the top to hang it from, although you can also order the spiral bound instead. These would make great presents for any time of the year, and for anyone. I have several friends who would appreciate this, as well as my mother-in-law, or my childrens' teachers. They are that versatile,  I've definitely become a huge fan of Sallys store & what she has to offer.

Another interesting detail with my new Bird calendar was there are NO days. Which is perfect for those of us who love to keep things that can be used more than once.

"Keep a list in a special spot of all your loved ones birthdays and special events. Always up-to-date and never expired, each month
lists the numbered days without an associated year. Over time, your calendar becomes a precious historical record and family keepsake
to pass down to the next generation.

I asked Sally a few questions about herself, and I especially loved what she had to say about raising her children & working at home and being able to achieve it.

What got you interested in Graphic Design & starting a business with it?

I have always been passionate about communicating information creatively. When I was younger I worked on family newsletters with the
clipart program we had. Invitations were always the most obvious vehicle for my interest, but after college, I worked for a non-profit
company that exposed me to professional graphic design as well. It became more than a hobby and I’ve worked on learning and designing
ever since.
I always had a dream to work from home while raising children, and when I was pregnant with our first son, I was laid off from my job in marketing. My husband and decided that was the push I needed to expand my freelance hobby to a business. I’m going on 3 years now and loving the challenge!

Do you have a project that was a favorite for you to work on?
There have been so many projects that are inspiring! But I love to design invitations! Whether it’s a child’s birthday or shower, or a big party,
 I like that you can set the tone for the entire event with an invitation! I also enjoy infinite possibilities in design!

How long does it take you to think up a design?
It really depends on the project… if it’s my event, I usually have an idea right off the bat, When  I’m working for a client, their ideas set a
tone and then we work together to come up with the perfect communication for their event!

What design (in your portfolio, site or store, do you consider your best work?

I don’t know if I can pick just one! I am thrilled with the birthday calendars, especially the Birds! I’m offering it now with both a sweet
looped ribbon and spiral binding. The art for the calendar evolved in a really flowing, fun way and I’m proud of it! I also love the invitations!I particularly like to incorporate pictures of people into the design in creative ways! This gives the design a one-of-a-kind personalization. It’s also fun to incorporate invitation information into the image of something else, maybe unexpected, such as the poster, ticket or a coaster.

What I, personally,  loved most dealing with Sally at Gerbo Designs, was how much Sally can do for you. The customization, her designs and the selection of what you can purchase is incredible! And most of all, Sally herself, has been easy, responsive, and quick to ship her products.
I received my calendar almost immediately after she had sent it, that kind of personal, one-on-one care is hard to find nowadays, and I appreciate the time she took to involve herself with the customer care side of things.
And if that wasn't enough to impress you - 

Sally also donates her time & design to several non-profit organizations. The Center For Human Services is a non-profit, which provides
advocacy and services for youth and families to build a strong community.
Stanislaus Literacy Center, a non-profit organization that teaches adults and their families basic education skills – helps parents become their child’s first and best teacher and prepares a more productive workforce.

There is nothing this company cannot do for you!And with Valentines Day coming up, who better to design your cards for you? She has a selection of her beautifully designed Valentines Day cards in her Gerbo Designs store & today she has generously offered one lucky reader her "You're a Staple for Me!" set of 10 Valentines Day cards, that come complete with envelopes!

The first picture is closer to the actual 'color' of the cards, the 2nd picture is the card enhanced, in order to show the complete graphic design, without the flash reflecting off the cardstock. The color is more a pink/tan, which is gorgeous, with cream/white writing.

The "You're a Staple For Me" Valentines cards have rounded edges, giving them an even more personalized look, perfect to pass around to your friends & family.
They come wrapped with a bow, and are of the highest quality, which is what Gerbo Designs is basically all about.
(When I first saw these, I knew my husband would love them! We're both huge "Office Space" fans, and I could not resist the 'staple for me' reminder of the Swingline Stapler, that Milton coveted so much, lol!)
This product was graciously offered by Gerbo Designs owner, operator & face behind the scenes, Sally Gerbo, wife to one, mom of two. 

Gerbo Designs can be reached at any of the following locations:
Facebook fanpage: Sally Gerbo, Custom Graphic Design 

Mandatory entry:
In order to complete the mandatory entry for the pack of 10 Valentines Days cards, you must visit Gerbo Designs, and pick your favorite item or design that Sally creates, & leave your comment here.

Extra entries:

+1 Follow this blog via Google Friend Connect
+1 Become a Facebook Fan of Gerbo Designs & let her know that you're visiting from "20 to Life"
+1 What actor is your favorite Valentine?
+2 Heart Gerbo Designs on etsy
+1 Twitter follow me
+1 Tweet daily (up to 5x) about this giveaway.

WIN set of 10 professionally designed Valentines Day cards from GERBO DESIGNS & 20 to Life- -4 that someone special!

+2 Enter Half Crazy Mommies "Calabasas Candy Co." giveaway!
+3 Blog about this giveaway & link back to this site AND Gerbo Designs store, or website.
+1 Who is "TomKat's" offspring Valentine? (Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes)
+10 Purchase any of Sally's wonderful creations from Gerbo Designs (will need to be validated)
+1 Enter any of my other giveaways
This giveaway will run from 1/30 until midnight 2/7.
Winner will be drawn via & will have 48 hours to contact me or another winner will be drawn.

**I did not receive any monies nor compensation, other than the "Bird Calendar" for review purposes only! All opinions, recommendations & statements made are purely my own**
  Good Luck! 

**As a post note, please do not leave comments for me in the 'Giveaway' posts. does not differentiate between comment-love & giveaway entries, so in all fairness to the participants of any giveaway hosted on this blog, please leave comments in my posts that are anything but giveaways. And as I like to talk - there are plenty of those :D

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Twilight - What have you done to my wife?

There may be an elite few of you, who have wondered where have I been?
Well, there's a long story, but the short n sweet version is - manual labor. AKA working. The last few days I've been working with a friend of mine who owns a cleaning company, & as she needed help - and I don't mind extra money, I was happy too!
Of course - that left little time for family, sleeping and blogging, so as much as I love doing this - it was the most expendable.
But - I still have some absolutely fabulous (did anyone else beside me used to watch that show? With French & Saunders?) giveaways coming up - and I mean some really GREAT companies have signed on board to  bring to you some amazing products - so stick around for that!
I'm also doing a "Be My Valentine" set of giveaways, so that will be coming up shortly.

So, this morning I woke up - and guess what I woke up too?

Fog! Can you believe that! It was so thick, I could barely see across the street form my entryway (shown in the photos) My kids asked me if there was a 'no school' day, when I asked them why they thought that, my 6 year old gave me a look, well beyond her years and imperiously said "The fog Mom?"
Even crossing our backyard to get to the busstop, I lost sight of them quickly, and it's been raining here for over a week, so every now and then I could hear "Don't leave me you guys! Where are you? Wait for me! I slipped in the mud - GROSS!"
It left me with a very fond "mom" moment that I'll never forget. Something as simple as that just makes me grateful that I am a mother to 5 wonderful, amazing, super fantastic kids, as I'm sure every mother feels when odd, seemingly nothing moments, become heartwarming.
I'd like to hear of anyone that's had one of those "to-anyone-else-it-would-seem-mundane-but-to-me-it-made-my-day" times in your life as a mom.

I wanted to quickly add a shout-out to "Jess", who won the Krishala Burchill Painting giveaway. A nice new stunning piece of artwork for her home, I'm so excited. She emailed me and told me she really really wanted to win this, so I'm happy for her! Congratulations to Jess! :D (And don't forget to enter the other giveaways I have coming up, because there are some awesome ones, that I don't want to reveal just yet ...

Also - one last thing, then I'm outta here to work on some cool 'V-Day' things to bring you, I won another giveaway (and yes, as I sit here typing, I am wearing a big cheesy grin) from 'Newly Wed, Newly Bred' (her button is on my list of Blogworthy blogs that you should check out. Anyway, it was for a ... (builds suspense) ... BLOG MAKEOVER!
So even though I taught myself some things to do concerning blogs, I now have a professional who is going to design a whole new look for me! So expect that to be appearing very soon, and I am floored! I canNOT wait! The blog designer is called "Strogirl's Blog Designs" and she has some great graphic designs gonig on over at her blog site, I highly recommend a look-see.

OH! I lied, just one more thing...
My husband came home from work today with this hilarious clip from YouTube - so if you're a Twilight fan/follower/stalker you have to watch this!!

I laughed so hard! "...refuses to sleep, reads her books all night..." LOL!
Also, as an interesting tidbit - if you look in the background of this clip - it's filmed IN MY HOME TOWN!! I live right where they filmed it, on main street (the town, not main street)- how COOL is that :D

Monday, January 25, 2010

Viewpoints & great opportunities

Thanks to an amazing site that I'm currently a member of - Viewpoints I have been given the opportunity to review for ONE WHOLE MONTH - Norton Anti-virus 2010!
This site is a great way to post your point of view, and people actually read! They want to know what you think! How were those diapers from Wal Mart? Did the Target brand last your child long enough - or was it poor quality? You leave your opinions and reviews on different products, everything from Local Places, to a movie you saw. To a new toy, electronic or otherwise. And the best part is - you don't have to feel like the company brand is peering over you shoulder frowning if you find a certain item to be so, so. (Like my experience with Hasbro?)
This site wants your opinions!! This is also a great way to begin your career as a Mom blogger, by writing reviews about things you use everyday, and helping someone else avoid a mistake you made, or help someone get a great find that wasn't very well known until you stumbled across it.
This is definitely a site that has helped me in the past, will continue to help me in the future, and perhaps you should go check it out and see what it's all about. On top of all that - they have awesome opportunities, like the one I was approved for - testing out a Norton Anti-virus. The catch with it is, they want me to write what I think! How easy is that - I usually can't help telloing someone what I think about this or that - and they are ASKING me too! mwahah. Can do ;)

I also missed posting my Wordless Wednesday - so here's a belated picture of my youngest, looking all cosy, reading her bedtime story while we were roughing it camping (in a lovely cabin on the outskirts of town) up in Marysvale for the annual month of October hunt.

Also - I'd love for you guys to enter the giveaways, one of which ends TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT! (Krishala's original art piece, so hurry and enter that one!) And as no one has yet entered the "Baby's First Phone Call," that one could mean a very easy win for someone - and it's a totally fantastic product!

$50.00 Gift Certificate to Baby's First Phone Call ! (4 winners)

This giveaway is now closed.
Congratulations to #6,3,5,6 {Desiree, Jennifer, Amber, Anonymous}
When I first heard about "Baby's First Phone Call", I had no idea what it was. I figured it was a small toy phone for babies, or an abstract piece of art, but the reality is much more convenient!
It's a company that has figured out a way to make the birth of your child that much easier for you, and while it's not a wonderful new drug that's all-natural & takes all your pain away while allowing  you to give birth in under a minute, it is a wonderful new way to contact your loved ones after the" Big Event".

How it works:

Before your new bundle of joy arrives - and you still have more than a second to yourself, you set up a (secure) account with Baby's First Phone Call. You list the numbers of anyone & everyone you want to contact. From your second cousin twice removed, to your sister who lives in another state. You list as many numbers as you need, (depending on the package you purchase) up to unlimited numbers.
Once the big day arrives, you make a single phonecall and leave a message letting everyone know whatever details you'd like them too. Name, weight, height, looks-like, how everyone is doing, if you want visitors at the hospital or not - whatever you want to let everyone know, there is no limit to the length of the message.
The company then takes over and calls the numbers you had previously listed to be notified.
If no one is home to answer, a message will be left on their machine. As an added bonus - your friends & family have the opportunity to leave you a message of congratulations, for you to listen to at your convenience! Easy, simple and no fuss - exactly what you need at a time like that! No one is "the last to know", or even worse - "forgotten"
(I wish this had been available when I had my kids, it would have saved me some apologetic phone calls!)

Baby's First Phone Call has offered to give four (4) of my readers $50.00 Gift Certificates to use for their new arrival, or as a gift for someone who is expecting!

Win it!

Mandatory entry:

To be eligible to win, you must visit Baby's First Phone Call & leave a comment stating which package would work best for you, or your expectant friend!

Extra entries

+1  Follow "20 to Life" with Google Friend Connect
+1  Become a Facebook fan of Baby's First Phone Call
+1  Twitter follow me
+1  Twitter follow Baby's First Phone Call
+1  Tweet about this giveaway up to 5x daily

Win! 20 to Life blog & BabysFirstPhoneCall $50 GC 2 make ur life easier when the bun in ur oven's done! @FirstPhoneCall

+3  Blog about this giveaway with links to the giveaway and Baby's First Phone Call
+1  Enter any of my other giveaways (one entry for each)

This giveaway will run from 1/25 until midnight 2/3.
Winner will be picked via and will have 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be drawn
Please note that in order for "extra" entries to count, you must complete the mandatory entry first. Winning entries are verified, & if it has not met the requirements it will be discarded and an alternate winner drawn.

 **I did not receive any monies nor compensation. All opinions, recommendations & statements made are purely my own**

Good Luck!

-[- I also would like to add that if you have a comment that is not related to the afore mentioned  giveaway, please do not leave it here. does not differentiate between a giveaway comment & random comments left for me, so the numbers will not be accurate if this occurs. I will delete your comment if it is in the wrong place out of fairness to the participating entrants. I try and respond to every comment left for me - and love getting them, so please post them in a non-giveaway post (I like to ramble, so I have plenty for you to choose from) Thank you! -]-

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Current Giveaways!

This page is currently under construction to make it easier for my readers. However, since you've found you're way here, you obviously want to contact me (great!) I can be found at the following sites:



If this is a PR request, feel free to email me at the above address or I can also be reached at 

I'm a happy blogger, married with five wonderful kids, I'm a SAHM & my hubby brings home the bacon. I'm originally from New Zealand, but the States (particularly Utah) are my home now. My husband was born & raised in this amazing country, so this is where we'll raise our little patriots.
I'm Maori and love to find other polynesian bloggers -so hit me up with some comment love if you are one ... yanno what? Hit me up with some comment love even if you're not, I'm a comment HOG!

Please also note that my kolobstar gmail is not for the purpose of contacting me in relation to a blog comment, question or otherwise. 

 If you have a question, comment or just want to talk, please contact me at either of the afor mentioned sites, other than kolobstar.

Thank you for your paitence while I work on this site, and if you're requesting a button, or any other blog or graphic request, please keep in mind that I'm only beginning, and right now I'm only doing buttons or backgrounds, or banners. Headers require a lot more involvement, and running a blog, while still giving it a facelift, trying to respond to pr  requests AND answer comments left for me all while raising 5 kids .... I need an extra set of arms. So please be paitent.
Thank you for stopping by 20 To Life!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Country Bob's All Purpose sauce GIVEAWAY

 This giveaway is now CLOSED. Congratulations to Heather, who said "I follow Country Bob's on Twitter as hybroanglid."

My husband is one of those guys who lives for the month of October (hunting season), eyes the dropping price of bullets and devoutely will watch any hunting program that's on. But most of all he loves loves loves to hunt, butcher and cook his own meat.
I, personally, cannot stand the sight of all that blood, so I tend to make myself scarce in the kitchen around this time. And when it comes to the perfect condiment to compliment his meat, he is by no means imparticular! For this review, I wanted the opinion of someone who has tried a variety of different sauces, and cares a great deal about what compliments his hard-won meat.
So I asked my wonderful husband  some questions about Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce & got his opinion on everything from the package, to the last bite. (This is how it went, word for word.)

What did you think of the bottle? Appealing? Did it jump out at you?   

The bottle? What? I don't care what it looks like.
Fair enough. How did you use the sauce on the elk?
(perks up) Well, I used a steak piece of meat. It had no fat on it - can you believe I cut it so close that I had no fat? It's an art-
(clears throat) I need to know about the sauce.
Well I was giving you background... Ok, so the meat was medium-rare. It smelt SO good, I took the sauce (yeah I guess the bottle looks good) and put a dollop on the side. I didn't want it to overpower the meat. I cut some meat off and dipped it lightly into the sauce...
And ... it was really good. It had an aroma to it that I liked, but the taste really went well with the meat. It wasn't too tangy - yanno, like how A1 can get? It really tasted good, my taste buds were even watering, and I put a bunch more on my plate right away, and every bite I scooped some sauce onto my  elk, it was that good. Do we get more of it? I think we should have some in our pantry, it's worth it."

Now, I have to point out, my husband is the kind of person who either likes something, or doesn't. But if it has his "seal of approval", then it's definitely a keeper. "Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce" is a keeper! My experience of it was slightly more involved. The bottle is plastic, which I liked right away (how many of us have kids that go through the fridge and you find them just as something glass hits the floor?)
I taste-tested it in a ham sandwich - perfect!, tried it on steak - again, perfect, I also mixed some in with hamburger and made a sort of  a 'spagghetti & meatballs' kind of thing - and again - perfect!
Country Bob's has done it - they have found an amazing mixture of ingredients to pull out an amazing sauce, one that will go with just about anything you can think of! As stated right on their site:

"It was 1968 when Country Bob Edson perfected his steak sauce recipe and he called it an All Purpose Sauce because it was more than just a steak sauce."

 Now what I especially liked about this unique company, is they are humble about their success. Country Bob had been making & passiong his sauce to friends and family for years before becoming a fully automated company. But here is what they have to say about all their success:

It would be nice if we could claim responsibility for the success of the company, however, credit must be given where credit is due. Proverbs 16:3 says, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." We have placed true ownership of Country Bob, Inc. in the hands of God. "Christ is our CEO" and  He is an Awesome Boss!

I don't think they could have put it any better!

Mandatory entry:

Country Bob's has generously offered two (2) of my readers some of the tasty "All Purpose Sauce" that I received. All you need to do is head over to Country Bob's, take a look around his site and tell me the name of a recipe that you think sounds delicious!

Extra entries:

+1 Follow this blog via Google Friend Connect
+1 Become a Facebook Fan of Country Bob's & let them know "20 to Life" sent me
+1 Twitter follow me
+1 Twitter follow Country Bob's
+2 Enter Half Crazy Mommies "Divine Designs" giveaway
+3 Blog about this giveaway & link back to this site AND Country Bob's
+10 Make a purchase from Country Bob's (needs to be validated)

This giveaway will run from 1/23 until midnight 1/30.
Winner will be drawn via & will have 48 hours to contact me or another winner will be drawn.
 I did not receive any monies nor compensation for writing this post, other than 2 bottles of sauce to try for review purposes. Any opinions, recommendations or statements are purely my own!

Good Luck!


Soda Stream love from The Mommy-Files

Before I get to today's post, the newest giveaway will be posted later on tonight and it's a tasty one, so be sure and get your entries in!
Well, the potty training thing is still going. No one has pulled their hair out yet, but A has gone from "Puh-tee Momma, Puh-tee" to eying me warily and hiding in some corner while doing her business. Then she runs to find me and says "Ew, ca-ca." while handing me a diaper.
My husband says to 'look on the bright side. She saves you the trip of getting a diaper', well I think I'd sacrifice that walk of ten feet to just get her to go!
We also got her Elefun to work, and if you're new to this blog, you won't know of the blood, sweat and tears that went into getting that little piece of joy. (We're talking nasty emails to reps. of Hasbro, exchanges in the dead of night, all sorts!) I figured, since it works, maybe I could somehow incorporate that into her "potty" routine. Heck - at this point I'm ready to bribe my daughter to go - isn't that what parenting is made up of anyways?
On a change the subject brighter note, I may be encouraging my son to go drag, lol. I'm kidding of course, the politically correct term is "gender confused". Take a look ...

I personally think he makes a really cute girl.
One last thing, and as this was the title of this post, I'd probably better get to it. I follow this cute blog called "The Mommy-Files" and how I found it was quite interesting. I had entered a Soda Stream giveaway at Pat's blog, Here and There (I wasn't the lucky winner) but it got me thinking. I had a soda stream as a kid, and really wanted one for my kids to enjoy, so I started a search of "blogs giveaway Soda Stream" and the only real gem, at that time, was "The Mommy-Files". I checked around her blog, I liked what I saw, followed her blog (of course entered the "Soda Stream" giveaway) and all that I could to make her a regular 'blog read'. (She's a great read, her button is to the right, so go check her blog out, if you're not already a follower) Annnnyway - long story short - I WON THE GIVEAWAY!
Yep, so I'm feeling pretty darn happy today, and giving a shout-out to a great blog, with great giveaways (other than mine, lol.)
Also, thank you to all the people leaving some great name choices, my sister in law will have quite the selection, and again - if she chooses the name you listed, I'll be sending you something (after getting your details) so eye out for that. Remember the giveaway listed for tonight - have a GREAT weekend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Help wanted

There is a blog out there that I just love, called 5 Minutes for Mom it's run by twins, Janice and Susan and they have everything from giveaways to stores they they own separately. I think these ladies are just fantastic, they always seem to be doing something for someone else, or promoting a great cause, anything they can do in a selfless way - they do.
Well a few weeks back they posted about a childrens drawing contest courtesy of Yoplait.
The contest was for kids to draw a picture of themselves and what makes them "Strong and Happy".
Well, my daughter entered this, she has a complex that SHE can do anything (which I just love) and her theme was the fact that boys aren't always stronger than girls! She has womens lib ingrained in her DNA.
Well the great news that I'm posting about today is - she made it to the top 15 finalists! I'm so excited for her, she's the kind of girl who, when given a gift, will jump up and down and just love all over you. She appreciates anyone giving her a second thought. It's amazing that an 8 year old can be so beyond her years.
I believe (and yes, I'm biased) she deserves to win!
What I'd like to ask of all you fabulous readers, and wonderful Moms, is to please go to this site, and vote for her drawing. She would appreciate it, and I do too. The winning picture receives $1000.00!! If she were to win, that money goes straight to her savings, and will pay for her gymnastics lessons, which is something she wants SO desperately, but due to our finances, we can't afford to send her to take them!
If you can spare the time, go to this site  
Leave a comment saying you vote for Number #1 - Strong and Happy, and that's it!
She did such  great job, and I'd love for everyone to show her some support and let her know how fantastic her art work (and her convictions) are. I think its so important for girls these days to be independent, strong and able - and the fact that my 8 year old already has that mind frame makes me a very proud Mom!
A bug thanks goes out to Yoplait as well, for thinking up a super unique idea to get kids thinking about how much they can contribute just by being them!
If you feel like it, you can leave some comment love here letting me know what you thought, so I can send you some loving thoughts for helping my daughter, thank you.
Also - I want to add here, some more giveaways are coming up - some more AWESOME giveaways at that, so stick around and make sure you enter those bad boys.
And to all those kids who entered - how amazingly cute, they came up with some originl ideas, and it's so fantastic the way their wee minds work!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Baby names - Apply here!

Today I have a lot of catching up to do, seen as I haven't posted in a while. Just to let you know, (other than giveaways I have planned for before then, I have an excellent company lined up known as Belly Charms, who are going to host a giveaway with me, and I'm SO excited about that one. (This will be around the middle of Febuary)
A lot has gone on this week, Haiti, Haiti relief funds, my first giveaway ... well - maybe I shouldn't put my news next to something so catostrophic, there's almost no words for the sorrow the people of Haiti must be feeling.
I've seen alot of other blogger posting great links for fund donation and thought that was great.

Today, I have a question for all you great moms, dads and readers out there. I need some baby names. Not for me (omgosh, NOT for me!) my sister in law is in need of some names for a baby girl. They tend to go for the more classical names, like Sarah or Jayne, Jessica or Emma. (These are not actually the names of her girls, for privacy reasons, I'd rather not divulge that information)
So let's hear it! - any names you like, any names you know, any names you wish you could have been called - all of them, I want them! I'll then pass them along to her, and IF she does pick one of your names (and if there's one or more comment for the same name, I will include everyone that posted) I'll be sending you a small 'thank you' gift , (for which I'll need your shipping info.)

Now back to other things, I have a "cleaning" tip, for everyone out there who suffers from this problem (and if you live in Utah area, then you're one of them):
                     How do you get rid of HARD WATER stains in the bathroom/laundry room etc. ??

The answer isn't Lime Away, which I personally dislike as it is. The smell makes my eyes burn, as well as my nostril hairs. That, to me, indicates that it's not "good", just "deadly". So here it is, now and then I work with a friend of mine or her mother, both of whom own seperate cleaning business'. They get to do some really high-end homes - absolutely beautifully decorated, all that jazz. (One home had maps placed at strategic locations, so you would know where you were and how to get where you wanted too. MAPS!!) Well, yesterday I went and helped my friend clean a beautiful home, and it had horrendous hard water stains. The fantastic acid she buys - nada. The soft scrub (a personal fav.) zip. She then tells me four words that changed my life.
That's right ladies (& gentlemen), the magic marker soaked in a bucket of warm water with cleaner in it. Wipes it right off! You can also use this bad boy on shelves in your pantry, walls, porcelin, anywhere it tells you it's safe to use a Magic Marker - you can use it on that.

I know, you're very welcome, ;) if you have any tips you want to share, feel free to add them here.

Another side note - I'll be posting an upcoming review/giveaway for some Country Bob's Sauce in the very near future - and I tell you what, you WILL become a believer after tasting that sauce, lol. It's that good!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Krishala Burchill Collection" original painting of your choice GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is now closed.
Congratulations to : number 30, "Jess"

Ever since we purchased our home 6 months ago, I have changed & re-arranged things, more times than I care to remember! I've had friends come over and shake their head when they see furniture in a different place, the dining table moved to the second dining room again, the kids' room's in chaos because I'm sliding furniture around!

But one thing I've always wanted, and known I wouldn't touch once it was in place, was a fantastic painting. Something eye catching, bold, something that makes a statement - the problem was, I have such specific (picky) tastes in decor that it would be almost impossible to find such a gem ... well I found it.

Recently I was contacted by a Switzerland based artist, "Krishala Burchill"
Krish graciously offered to do a giveaway with me & I of course, was thrilled! She currently owns and operates 3 online stores, Acacias Gallery, SW19 and Jalousie. All 3 are unique in their own way - Acacias Gallery & SW19 both display her art, which she has described as "abstract impressions captured in an emotive way on canvas"

She centers her craft on a certain theme, city life, eroticism, pop art etc. and what she creates is inspired!
Krishala answered a few questions about herself ...

My inspiration comes from a mix of both my passion for the arts, community trends, and my life experiences. When combined, these elements compliment one another gracefully, and portray a vision that is both complimentary to universally accepted themes, and contemporary imagery (Wow, right?)

.My love of the arts stems from deep within my essence of being. When utilizing the arts to create visions that represent emotion, I feel that I am contributing great value to the creative world. It is my firm conviction that art can be extremely useful in telling stories, relaying messages, and depicting emotion. My art allows me to subtly tell a story, while simultaneously igniting a spark of vision and inspiration for my fans and customers.

Martin Smith is one example of an artist who I admire. His ability to communicate silent words with captive audiences around the globe is extremely inspiring and touching. By utilizing creative imagery, indepth color schemes, and an array of carefully chosen and delicately laced contrasts, this artist consistently manages to invigorate viewers globally, and simultaneously provide them with the ability to derive self-chosen conclusions, and unique opinions of their own rights.

I could perhaps leave home without my purse, wallet, or even my keys. With that being said, the one thing I could never leave home without is my semblance of vision, which guides the inspirational core behind all of my art work. I frequently find that I find great inspiration for my art work within my everyday functioning and routine. Some days, I may find that a person inspires me; others, a majestic flash of a beautiful moment whispers to my spirit and creates the spark that lights a candle of passion within. Even when simply running out to the store, taking a walk in the park, or interacting with children, I constantly remind myself to maintain an open spirit, and eyes that are open to receiving the self-contained blessings and hidden whispers within each and every experience and day.
Spoken like a true artist!


Jolousie is the store where she places her creations on t.shirts, so you're able to not only be fashionable, but they make you a one-of-a-kind, and I personally seek out things that make me stand out in a crowd.
As for Acacias Gallery and SW19, I browsed for hours - literally.
Krishala is a native to London, born and raised, but currenty resides in Switzerand with her family and for one of my lucky readers she has offered to let you chose one of her paintings!. I'm so excited, if I wasn't the host, I'd be doing all I could to enter this!
Her paintings retail from around $50 to $60 dollars plus (American) and I consider that to be an absolute steal!

The winner will choose one (1) painting out of two (2) to pick from. Both are amazing.

The first is a piece called "Home, Sweet Home" and this is one of my personal favorites. I know several places in my home where it would fit perfectly.

The second is called "Shepherds Delight". This one reminds me driving through Utah during sundown. It's beautiful!


Mandatory entry:

To be eligible to win either one (1) of these two (2) paintings, you must go to any of Krishalas' stores (Acacias Gallery, SW19, Joulousie) and leave me a comment here telling me which painting or shirt you found that you would LOVE to have.
Don't forget to leave your email address in your comment, unless I'm able to get in touch with you by clicking on your profile.

Extra entries:

These can only be done if you have completed the mandatory entry. Any entries submitted without having met the proper criteria will be subsequently deleted.
(Each entry is worth one, unless otherwise stated, & please leave a seperate comment for each)

+1- Follow "20 to Life" with Google friend connect

+1-Subscribe to "20 to Life" by email (must be verified)

+1-Twitter follow Krishala

+1-Twitter follow me

+1-Tweet this (up to 5 times daily)

"WIN! an original Krishala Burchill piece of your choice by entering '20 to Life's' giveaway!  @Malisce @KrishSW19 Pls RT!"

+3-'Heart' any of Krishalas stores on Etsy

+1-for entering Katie, over at Half Crazy Mommie's "Zoodles" giveaway
[this giveaway should be posted by the end of Tues. 19th]

Giveaway ends Tuesday 26, 2009 at 12:00am
Winner will be drawn via
Winning entrant will have their entry checked, and have 48 hours to respond or giveaway will be re-drawn.

Good Luck!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Music Monday - "Betty Davis Eyes"

Well, last night was a bust. I managed to sleep for a good 30 seconds this morning, and luckily I fell asleep right as my 2year old started babbling her morning routine of baby talk, disgust at her full diaper, demands for "Tup, tup tup" (cup) & she gets louder & louder until someone takes her baby gate off. (A necessity since she fell out of her crib and  hat was the end of the crib, now she's in a daybed, & wanders around the house of her own free will, which made me nervous)
I appreciate all the kind advice though, a friend & I were discussing the blogging world, & she mentioned how nice it was when other Moms commented with helpful advice, she said it was "nice to know someone cared". I feel like that exactly. So *loves* to all of you, really.
Also - before I get to the meaning of the blog title name, I'm doing a giveaway starting tomorrow for a "Krishala Burchill" original piece, & I'm very excited! I can't paint to save my life, but this switzerland native has an amazing collection!
Ok, so those of you who are wondering what "Music Monday" is, I was scrolling through the blogs I read, and as there's so many, I do some on this day, others on that, well at 'Super Mommy to the Rescues' she had a Taylor Swift music video up & as I am almost obsessed with music, I quickly took note.
It started (I think it started here) with Lady Java's Lounge & all you do is link a music video of whatever you feel like.
Add that to your McLinky etc. etc. and voila! I love music, so this was a good fit for me.
So without further ado ...

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

I picked this for 2 reasons. Gwenyth Paltrow sings this beautifully - Kim Carnes (the original singer) has such a unique voice, but Gwenyth pulls it off nicely. The second reason is I canNOT get this bloody song out of my head!

My signature isn't finished yet so -
*frills & pretty things* Thanks! Joe, xxx *frills & pretty things*


I need anyones, & everyones advice (again) - this time it's with Insomnia. Currently the time is 3:44am, I can't sleep, my entire body feels like I went hiking for the day, decided to run all the way home, & then went for a 3 hour swim. I ache all over, & the worst part? My mind feels bright eyed & bushy tailed (whoever invented that expression had to be imagining a squirrel. Yanno how they look when their tail is twitching, their ears flicking & eyes roaming over every little thing that moves - in other words, alert times 5)
I'm about at the end of my rope. I get cranky when I'm like this - but to be fair, I'm not a basket of roses at the best of times, but with no sleep, I'm pure evil.
And the worst part is, I'm worried my poor, defenseless children will bear the brunt of my bad temper tomorrow, or any other day until I can sleep. So, can anyone help a girl out?
I've tried everything, from baths to cloves (seriously), warm milk, oils, vigorous workouts near bedtime, I basically want anything anyone can hand me that's not a prescription.
Don't get me wrong - in the proper form, I see nothing wrong with prescription medication (followed as directed) but I've tried Ambien, and honestly I HATE them. With an unbridled passion usually reserved for dictator speeches. I C-A-N-N-O-T stand the stuff, I once called my mother in law & rambled on and on for days - & remembered nothing the next day. It was always like that - I would remember nothing.
So if you have any suggestions, I'm game. I mean, I'll probably go as far as physical danger at this point. Old wives tales from the 1500's are welcome too. That's how serious I am.

Also -  *HAPPY MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY*, of course, most of us have our children home today, but here's another question - do your kids know much about Dr. King? To be honest - we studied Dr. King in New Zealand for about 5 minutes, so my knowledge of him is very, very limited. So do your kids know about his heroism? Just curious ...

Ok ladies, I'm off to watch a movie till my kids get up :(

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ok, so I couldn't wait til Monday...

I was waaay to excited to wait until Monday before posting my "piece de resistance", & although it's not entirely done, & needs a bit of tweaking, consider this my Blog Coming Out post, if you will.
A lot of man hours have gone into this puppy, so I'm hoping she gives back as much as she took.
I'm also considering adding a tab on my "fetal stages" menu bar about blog design. Free buttons you can link to your site and all that good stuff. But to build that up to an eclectic selection will be a slow process but worth it.
I'm also putting serious consideration into another new venture from which some have never returned .... potty training. It's overdue, & lets face it. Nobody enjoys changing those nasty surprises, so it has to be done. And you'd think after 4 kids, I'd be a pro with my 5th, but truthfully, I'm nervous. This means she's not really a full 'toddler' anymore. My apron strings are loosened a little, & I hate the thought of that. I bet I'm one of those grandmothers who smothers their grandchildren with goodies trying to capture a small part of what I won't have at that stage. I hope not! But in all honesty - don't bet on me not too. :/

Also, as a side note - I won another giveaway!! I tell you what, this giveaway business has sure been lucrative for me, this makes number 8 or so!
This one was from Jessica over at Piece of Me blog, which has a layout that I really like, her button is to the right so go check out her fantastic giveaways as well.

Well, it's late (again) my husband has given up on even seeing me before he falls asleep these days, I NEED TO FINISH MY BLOG! But paitence is a virtue, or so they say.
My twitter link isn't up, & a few people have asked me about that, so my twit name is Malice, so feel free to follow me - I have cool tweets about other giveaways (soon, MY own!!) & pieces of random, useless information - but it's all decadent so worth a read ;)
Thanks for bearing with me during this construction phase, I'll have all my bells & whistes back soon enough, & we can 'ooh & ahh' together.

Also - if you feel so inclined - let me know ...
1: Why do you blog?
2: Have you met a 'Blog Snob'?
3: Favorite blog? (other than this one of course!)
4: If you had a chance to go visit the troops in Iraq - would you go?

Well, that's all folks - til next time.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My very 1st Blog Design AS A NOVICE!

Ok - I am so tired of looking at a half finished blog! My precious buttons are gone, my links to AWESOME sites, everything my blog was is in hiatus .... UNTIL MONDAY!!
(Say it with me ... *WHEW!*)
Firsty - a huge thank you to "2 Kids & a Cat", for her amazing tip (which was seriously, all I needed to get everything I'd made via Photoshop into a workable code, so much love to her - also, she's starting out as well, so those of you who are so inclined, wander over & check her site out) <--- oh yeah, and my site meter is gone :(
Anyway, then wonderful Jess over at So Stylized, offered her services, which I was quick to accept, as she has some amazing designs going on at her site (again, check her out), so by Monday - I'll be finnnnished! So, my big unveiling will happen Monday - along with my first review, AND - I have some giveaways coming up - that you are going to love!
AND - as an added bonus - because I have so few followers, the chances of winning just went through the roof! (Which is why you should pay special attention to the 'Tweet' & 'Blog' options, as they are worth much more than 1 entry!)
AND (I know ... they just keep coming) I'm teaming up with Half Crazy Mommie, for extra entries, as she is doing some great giveaways as well, I'd go check her out.
I'm very excited for the coming month (or what's left of it I guess) new blog, new reviews/giveaways, new venture ... what could be more time consuming, & helpful than that?

Til then - xx

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blog Designers!

I am amazed at each & everyone of you who can code, and DO THIS FOR A LIVING!
I only have the trial version of Photoshop (that much money - you better believe I'm gonna try it out first!)
Well, ths is kind of my header - still not finished - and the longer I stare at it, the more I don't like it anymore, but so much time has gone into it, that I keep going so I won't lose al that time - whilst in the process, I'm wasting even more time! Because I know I'm going to say "screw it", probably tomorrow sometime, and start all over - but.. such is life.
Wish me better luck & no Carpel Tunnel ! xx

Bear with me!

If you've stopped by & you're wondering if you hit the wrong blog - rest assured, you didn't. I decided to code my own blog page/header etc. & as I'm writing this, it's 3:36 IN THE AM!!
So today (other than stopping by Katie from Half Crazy Mommie blog, to check in on her after her surgery) I will be working on this today - so hopefully by tomorrow I'll have it up & running. TOUCH WOOD!!!
If my colors don't match & everything looks bloody awful, it will be right as rain by tonight ... or at least tomorrow ... as a side note, if you know any code - html, css, anything to make this painfully slow process faster - let me know!
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This is C & I on our wedding day (about 1 mth. after I landed in America!) for those who are curious - we are sealed, but we had to get married within 3 months of me coming to the States, & as I hadn't yet been a member (LDS church) for a year, we had to have a civil ceremony (at the ward house he grew up in :D Then we were sealed about 8 months later. Just, fyi  ^.-
Holy cow I miss being so LITTLE!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ever have one of those days ...

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you have a million things to accomplish, a set amount of time in which to do it, so you're running around (or sitting in place surrounded by papers & goggleing things, as the case may be) & you just feel like you're getting absolutely nothing done?
Tonight is one of those times for me. I'm trying to set my blog up in readiness for some impending giveaways and reviews, I'm trying to set my email in order so its more "me" accessible and I literally feel like I've done nothing. Like a chicken with it's head cut off!
I finally decided to take a break, not think about anything I have to do, and just calm down! Thus far, it hasn't worked ... but I'll get there. I'll be up all night most likely, but I'll get there!
Also - there are some super fantastic giveaways coming up so make sure you're followed already, as that's an extra entry :D
And please bear with me if my blog says some funny things when you try and view it - that's probably me ... screwing it up and wasting my time. But it's ticked me off so much that I WILL finish this!
See you all tomorrow ...

Great companies, great bloggers

I received some winnings in the mail today, & it caused me to reflect on how many companies are starting (or, maybe because I'm starting so late in the game, they've been noticing for a while) to recognize the power in numbers that come from the "Blogger" community. I know I've been at this for maybe 2 months, & the welcome has been astounding! So many Moms & other bloggers going out of their way to hand down tips, advice & friendly welcomes & recommendations, it's truly been inspirational. I also looked up Anissa today (from Hope for Peyton) & was touched to see how many bloggers reached out with their prayers & thoughts for her & her family when this awful tragedy occurred. It does make one feel part of something.

I decided to quickly post some of the pics I have from the giveaways I won. So starting with the IDog - which is so, SO cool, this was from Amy at Resourceful Mommy, now she has a great site & I'm thinking she's also the queen of Twitter parties, which I have yet to figure out! So thank you to her for this great prize, & to the Idog soft speaker makers!

Next is the Baby Emi anklet I won from  Dwana at A Bittersweet Existence, this giveaway is beautiful! I canNOT wait for summer! My daughter threw a fit when I told her she couldn't wear it until then, so I'll be dealing with that all night now *groan*

Then! (yup, there's more! As Susan, from 5 Minutes for Mom once said "I should buy some lottery tickets" :D) I also got the cute "Buddy Top" (I picked Chip, the chick) thanks to a giveaway hosted by The Blogger Mommies (they have a store also, which is where this darling hat came from) And if you adopt all 8, you also receive a 'special collector hat', & they're so darn cute, I may just be doing that! And "A" fell in love with Chip (whose little card says "He's a chick that believes in himself", so they also come with little motivational sayings, which I thought was adorable.

And last, but definitely not least, I won TWO giveaways at the SAME TIME on Pats site Here and There, which has some great travelling tips, so you should go by & check her site out.
I won a softlips, (I already posted those pics when I got them - my kids ran off with 2 of the lip glosses!!) I also won a Yo Yo Lip Gloss giveaway, & these are cute little 'mini' lip glosses.(Which my girls haven't seen yet, so I may even get to keep some of them!)

Well, that about wraps up my shout outs to these awesome blogs, and the great companies that decided to do giveaways & get their name out there.
Also - for those who don;t know, I'm hosting a giveaway (my first! Let's hope I don't screw that up, lol) for Belly Charms, a seriously amazing store that you can find here they do jewelery for Mom-to-Be's (belly buttons rings, that are flexible, for when you have a bun in the oven ... or several, as the case may be) and lots of personalized jewelery for Moms - where you can have pretty much anything put on it, team colors, names, letters, what ever you can think up can probably be done for you! So that's mid-February sometime, he owner of this fabulous store recently endured a move, so when she's settled, she was kind enough to offer to do a giveaway for me!
Til then ...

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