***Christmas at Home: A Celebration!!!*** Blogmania 2010 is Here!

On September 15, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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The day we have all been waiting for has finally arrived!  Get out your comfiest computer chair, some snuggly jams and a BIG glass of iced tea or your favorite coffee mug.  The next 48 hours are going to be unbelievable!  At the final countdown, there are 168 blogs with nearly $40,000 in giveaways!  Here […]

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The day we have all been waiting for has finally arrived!  Get out your comfiest computer chair, some snuggly jams and a BIG glass of iced tea or your favorite coffee mug.  The next 48 hours are going to be unbelievable!  At the final countdown, there are 168 blogs with nearly $40,000 in giveaways!  Here at Busy-at-Home, alone, you can win nearly $1500 in giveaways!  We have the most amazing sponsors offering all of you some tremendous prizes!  I’m going to remind you of each sponsor and prize, give you our Blogmania Giveaway Rules and then you can submit one, single, required entry to be entered into ALL of our fabulous giveaway drawings!  After that, I will link you to every participating blog, so that you can enter giveaways to your heart’s content!  I’m SO excited for all of you!  I can’t wait to send the emails that say, “You’re a Winner!”

Our Busy-at-Home Blogmania Sponsor & Prize List

  1. Gift Package #1 that includes:
    • Aunt Joy’s………………………………..Handmade Personalized Christmas Stocking in the Tall Tree Design (app. value $30)
    • Gimmee Jimmy’s Cookies……………20 cookie assortment box (app. value $25)
  2. Gift Package #2 that includes:
    • Aunt Joy’s……………………………….A second Handmade Personalized Christmas Stocking in the Tall Tree Design (app. value $30)
    • The Two Savvy Sisters……………….Printable Party Collection of your Choice from their Etsy shop (app. value $25)
  3. Gift Package #3 that includes:
    • Balsam Hill……………………………………….36″ lighted Noble Fir Christmas Wreath (app. value $130)
  4. Gift Package #4 that includes:
    • Bodycology………………………………………Brown Sugar Vanilla Christmas Gift Basket Set. (app. value $50)..
  5. Gift Package #5 that includes:
  6. Gift Package #6 that includes:
    • Cake Pan Lady…………………………………..Custom engraved 9×13 Cake Pan in your choice of colors & design (app. value $33)
  7. Gift Package #7 that includes:
    • Hard Candy………………………………………Fabulous makeup gift basket & makeup bag (app. value $50)
  8. Gift Package #8 that includes:
    • Keurig……………………………………………..Keurig Special Edition Brewer & 4 Assorted Boxes of K-Cups (app. value $200) (…
  9. Gift Package #9 that includes:
    • Lenox……………………………………………..8 Place Settings of “Winter Song”, their 2010 Christmas china pattern (app. value $688)
  10. Gift Package #10 that includes:
    • Lil’s Garden Shop……………………..Stick Horse Head of your Choice from Lil’s Etsy shop (app. value $24)
    • Lollipop Patch Kids…………………..His & Hers Christmas-themed Shirt Saver Bibs from their Etsy shop (app. value $12)
    • Poppin’ Dot’s Boutique………………Pillowcase Dress of your choice from their Etsy shop (app. value $9)
  11. Gift Package #11 that includes:
    • Scentsy…………………………………………..$50 gift certificate
  12. Gift Package #12 that includes:
    • stella & dot………………………………………$100 gift certificate

Giveaway Rules:

  • You must be 18 or older and a U.S. resident to enter.
  • One entry per day Sept 15 and one entry per day Sept 16.  Duplicate daily entries will be deleted.
  • Winners will be selected by random drawing at random.org, when our Blogmania Giveaway concludes at midnight (CST), Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010.
  • Winners will be notified by email on September 17 and have 48 hours to submit shipping info.  Winners who have not responded to the email by 6 pm (CST), Sept. 19, 2010, will be disqualified and a new winner will be selected at random.org.

Blogmania September 16, 2010 Entry Form:

To be registered in each of the drawings listed above, you only need to register one time. One entry puts you into the drawings for all 12 gift packages.

You MUST CLICK HERE and Follow Busy-at-Home on Twitter and submit the comment form below, letting me know you have done it.  That’s it!  Super simple!

(I realize some of you may not have a Twitter account [ummm...why? - lol], so, if you don’t you may alternatively follow Busy-at-Home on Google Friend’s Connect.  Again, just indicate which you have done on the form below.)

Easy, easy!  Have fun!  I can’t wait until midnight!

Thanks so much for entering.  The entries are now closed and the Entry Form disabled while we draw for the winners!  Have a great night and watch for the winner list announcement, tomorrow!

Other Participating Blogmania Blogs! 48 Hours to Win BIG!!!

Busy-at-Home does not endorse or police the content of any website other than its own.  I do want to encourage you to be vigilant as you leave our website to visit other blogs.  All the blogs listed below are registered participants in Blogmania 2010, and most I would consider friends and I actually frequent their blogs, myself.  That being said, I do not own this list and so am not able to edit the list or remove blogs that I would not visit myself.  I have visited each site, prior to posting this list, and while none would be qualified as explicitly obscene, there are several that in my estimation, are NOT family-friendly.  So, I urge you to use good judgment as you visit these sites.  I want you to have a great time and win prizes that are relevant to you and your family, but I also feel an obligation to ask you to use caution as you leave Busy-at-Home.

Blogmania 2010 Begins at 12:01 am, Sept 15!!! – FINAL BONUS!!!

On September 14, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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It’s time!  It’s here!  At midnight on September 16 (CST), it will all be over and some of you will be the winners of the over $1500 in prizes being sponsored here at Busy-at-Home for our Christmas at Home: A Celebration event!!!!   That means today, September 14, is the last day to complete any Bonus […]

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It's arrived! The Winter Song china from Lenox is here!

It’s time!  It’s here!  At midnight on September 16 (CST), it will all be over and some of you will be the winners of the over $1500 in prizes being sponsored here at Busy-at-Home for our Christmas at Home: A Celebration event!!!!   That means today, September 14, is the last day to complete any Bonus entries.  At midnight tonight, those are all going away and being replaced by the official Blogmania entry page, which can only be submitted one time on the 15th and one time on the 16th.

Dinner plate detail.

Salad plate detail. Aren't they gorgeous!!???!!!

To inspire you to catch up on your bonuses and remind you how awesome our Busy at Home sponsors are, I want to share the pictures of the new Winter Song china from Lenox that arrived here, a couple of days ago.  It is even more beautiful than the stock pictures I shared with you in my earlier Lenox review.  The place setting includes a dinner plate, salad plate, mug and and a bowl.  It will make a gorgeous Christmas table, but I also love the idea that this pattern translates to use all winter long with its lovely winter scenes.  The branches, berries, greenery and pinecones twining around and across the pieces are perfect table complements throughout the whole season and you will fall in love with the hand-painted birds perched delicately on the salad plate.  I know I have.  You are going to get to see it many times, in pictures of delicious food, for my upcoming recipe posts!

Attention to the most beautiful detail - even INSIDE the bowl!

Beautiful bowl!

I have one last Blogmania Bonus Entry for you, in honor of receiving this beautiful place setting to review.

1. “Like” Lenox on Facebook.

2. Paste this message on the Lenox Facebook wall.  “The new Winter Song holiday pattern is absolutely gorgeous!  I’m entered to win it at Busy-at-Home http://busy-at-home.com/blog/blogmania-2010-begins-at-1201-am-sept-15-final-bonus/.  Thanks for being a Blogmania 2010 sponsor!

3.  BONUS ENTRIES HAVE NOW EXPIRED.  Don’t miss the main event!  Enter now at our main Blogmania entry page!

INSIDE the mug! I love the attention to detail!

Tall, gorgeous mug! (Very weird lighting on my counter in this one, but the mug looks great!)

Remember, you only have until midnight, tonight, September 14 to complete your Bonuses.  You must be 18 or older and a resident of the United States to win.  Winners will be selected by random drawing from all qualified entries, using random.org and will be notified on September 17, 2010.

Hard Candy Make-up: Review & Giveaway

On August 17, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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I have had great fun with all my daughters, (ages 8, 17, 24 & 26), trying out make-up from Hard Candy.  I wasn’t familiar with the company previously, but one of my older daughters was.  To be honest, once I saw the website, I had made up my mind this is “teenager” make-up.  I couldn’t […]

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Beautiful gift basket of Hard Candy make-up.

I have had great fun with all my daughters, (ages 8, 17, 24 & 26), trying out make-up from Hard Candy.  I wasn’t familiar with the company previously, but one of my older daughters was.  To be honest, once I saw the website, I had made up my mind this is “teenager” make-up.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I love learning new things and I enjoy trying new products.  With the make-up I received for this review, I got to do both.

Our eight-year-old, sporting her new ring, and doing her own nails with Hard Candy's Lava (Sparkle) nail polish.

We received a beautiful gift basket of goodies to try and my eight-year-old’s eyes landed first on the sparkly red nail polish.  The bottle sported a red, heart shaped ring which immediately found a new home on her finger and we had to crack the nail polish open ASAP.  The bottle and even the brush were sized well, so that even her little hands had no problem controlling where the polish went.  It was easy to do smooth, thin coats with this nail polish.  It dried quickly and did not have the gummy, tacky feel that you can experience with some other brands.  It was a definite hit!

My absolute favorite item from the whole gift basket was the Ginormous Lash Volumizing Mascara.  I have a love-hate relationship with mascara.  In high-school, I had extremely long lashes and glasses.  I finally learned to use the lash curler everyday before putting on mascara, so I didn’t end up with mascara specks all over my glasses.  As I have gotten older, my lashes are still long (no more glasses :) ), but they have definitely thinned out.  I tend to avoid volumizing mascaras, though, because they leave such clumpy, stuck-together globs of lashes instead of highlighting the individual lashes.  I am pleased to announce that Hard Candy’s Ginormous Mascara is a refreshing exception to that general observation.  I have used it almost daily since receiving and am really loving it.  I received the shade Blackout, but it is available in six other shades, as well.

I learned some new tricks, using Hard Candy make-up, too.  I had heard of bronzers and been mildly curious, but never purchased any of my own.  The review basket contained Hard Candy’s So Baked Bronzer in the shade Tropics.  I really like how I could use the bronzer to add a little bit of color and contour to my face without wearing a ton of make-up.  It gave an almost “tanned” appearance without needing to spend time in the sun.  I will definitely keep using bronzer, now that I have tried it.

We also received Hard Candy’s Meteor Eyes, Baked Meteor Eye Shadow in Space Cadet Green.  Green is definitely not my first choice when it comes to selecting colors and actually, for eye shadow, I tend to stay fairly earthy and natural in the tones I select.  The Meteor Eyes eye shadows also contain glittery sparkles, which my eight-year-old is in heaven about, but is definitely outside my “mom” comfort zone.  What I DID do is use a wet narrow-tipped angle brush dipped into the shadow to apply a thin line of color along the lash line and enjoyed it as a liner.  The other thing I noted about the eye shadow was that it goes on very smoothly and was easy to blend.  I can see how the shadow could be very versatile to use, trying out different make-up techniques.  The Baked Meteor shadows come in six other shades, too.  Hard Candy also makes several other varieties of eye shadow and includes many softer, more sheer and neutral shades that appealed to my color preferences, so they really do have something for everyone.

Hard Candy’s Take Me Out Liner eye liner pencil, in Soy, was included in our basket.  It is soft and creamy and goes on very easily.  I really like how easy this liner was to apply.  It didn’t hold up too well to the extreme high heat and humidity that we have been experiencing here the last couple of weeks, but I’m guessing no eye liner could do that very easily.  With a dozen shades to choose from, there is no doubt in my mind that you would find one that fits your look and mood well, when selecting one of these soft, pencil liners from Hard Candy.

Another favorite, from our gift basket, was the Plumping Serum lip gloss.  The shade I received was Material Girl, which on first glance looked like it would be very dark, however it is literally one of my favorite items.  I don’t know that I noticed my lips being any fuller, though that was not something I was specifically looking for.  I did note, however, a slight tingling sensation when applying the gloss.  The color is very sheer, almost a natural plum/pink and very pretty.  It adds the perfect finish and polish to the makeup routine.    I love the color, true; but I am really excited about the texture!  None of that sticky, tacky feeling commonly associated with lip gloss was apparent.  It’s just smooth and has a little touch of shine over the color.  I also appreciated that the color didn’t seem to wear off to quickly and didn’t need to be reapplied as often.

Hard Candy also included a cute makeup bag in the gift basket, which has helped to keep everything organized and handy.  I was happy to find that these products are appropriate for such a wide age-range and that they are easy to find and as affordable as other brands.  You can pick up many of the Hard Candy products at your local Wal-Mart or order them from Wal-Mart, right online.

As you’re getting ready for all the special events over the Christmas season, I want to encourage you to take a look at the Hard Candy products and see how they will be able to help you complete your look.  These products would be a great treat under the Christmas tree for any fashion-conscious consumers on your shopping list, too.

The Giveaway!!!

Hard Candy is one of our outstanding sponsors for the Blogmania Giveaway Event on September 15 & 16.  One lucky Busy-at-Home reader will receive their own gift basket of Hard Candy Makeup!  To receive a Bonus Entry in our Blogmania giveaways and a chance to win the Hard Candy Make-up Gift Basket, do the following:

  1. “Like” Hard Candy on Facebook.  (If you already do, just post the comment.)
  2. Post this comment thanking them for participating in Blogmania 2010!                I’m visiting from Busy-at-Home http://busy-at-home.com/blog/hard-candy-make-up-review-giveaway/.  Thanks for being a Blogmania 2010 sponsor!”
  3. BONUS ENTRIES HAVE NOW EXPIRED.  Don’t miss the main event!  Enter now at our main Blogmania entry page!

Need more info about the over $1500 in Giveaway prizes available here at Busy-at-Home for Blogmania 2010? Did you know we will be linking to the over 150 other blogs, participating in the event, with prizes totaling nearly $40,000? Read all about it here and save Sept 15 & 16 for a day of Blogmania Giveaway fun!



I received the Gift Basket of Hard Candy Make-up in order to complete this review. The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and no payment was received to write the review.

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stella & dot Jewelry Review & Giveaway PLUS a Blogmania Bonus!

On August 12, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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A snazzy, new pair of shoes; a fabulous, new hair color; a beautiful new outfit with a perfect fit — they all make us walk a little taller, smile a little wider –  feel happy inside  .  Jewelry can have that same affect.  It can take a great outfit and make it over-the-top sensational!  I […]

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The beautiful Kelly Necklace and Pearl Drop Earrings

A snazzy, new pair of shoes; a fabulous, new hair color; a beautiful new outfit with a perfect fit — they all make us walk a little taller, smile a little wider –  feel happy inside  :) .  Jewelry can have that same affect.  It can take a great outfit and make it over-the-top sensational!  I recently had the chance to polish a few of my own outfits with some products from stella & dot.  Independent consultant and stella & dot Stylist, Sandy Cathers, sent me the lovely Kelly Necklace and Pearl Drop Earrings to review.  Sandy is also one of our top-notch Blogmania sponsors!  Wait until you hear what she has sponsored for the Blogmania giveaway event!

I never considered myself a “pearls” kind of girl.  I just assumed they were too formal for my usual style.  What I have learned, and absolutely love, since trying the Kelly Necklace and Pearl Drop Earrings, is that the right jewelry can totally define  and even re-purpose an outfit, taking it to a level it couldn’t have reached on it’s own.

The Kelly Necklace is three strands of hand-knotted glass pearls.  It’s about 19″ long and has a fold-over clasp, which makes it very easy to fasten and unfasten.  Before I was finished playing dress-up with my new jewelry, I was longing for the perfect little black dress to try it out with (perhaps a shopping trip is in order :) ); but I still got a chance to use it with some things right from my closet and I’ve included the pictures for you, below.  The black, hand-painted enamel flower helps to take this pretty necklace into that black and white “formal” look when paired with your best “going-out” clothes, but what I really liked was that it could also be that touch of whimsy that made this necklace perfect with a pair of jeans, a button-down, cami or tee and a jacket.  Dressing casual never looked so good, or so put together!

I have never worn a lot of jewelry, but I am learning so much about the right way to do it and the creative ways to use it to change up my every day clothes.  The stella & dot look book gives tons of ideas and tips for mixing and matching pieces, building a wardrobe of basics that can be paired with almost everything and they don’t just “tell” you about it.  There are pictures!  That’s exactly the kind of help I need.  I’ve also learned that I have procrastinated too long on updating my wardrobe; and I definitely need to make some purposeful and fun additions to my closet for fall.  Now, that I know how to accessorize and make them super-polished, I’m much more motivated to get started!

Kelly Necklace with lace cami and red sueded leather jacket

I would love to be able to meet Sandy, in person, and host a Trunk Show with her.  I know it would be such a fun party!  But, even if you don’t live nearby, Sandy is a genius at helping you to host a Trunk Show and earn some fabulous jewelry free or at a discount with an online party!  She can also let you in on the secret of how to build your own business promoting the stella & dot jewelry you love.  What a great concept!  You get to wear all the jewelry you love, write it off as a business expense, and put cash into your family’s budget while you do it!

Kelly Necklace with same lace cami and black cardigan

You really MUST visit Sandy’s online stella & dot store to see all the wonderful ways to accessorize your wardrobe.  As a matter of fact, you should be picking out your favorites, because I have some fabulous news!  Sandy is graciously sponsoring a giveaway in the Blogmania giveaway event Sept. 15 & 16.  One of our Busy-at-Home readers will receive a $100 stella & dot gift certificate to pick out anything they love from the product line!  It’s so incredibly generous and I couldn’t be more excited for you to have a chance to win.  To get things rolling, here’s a Bonus Entry for our Blogmania drawing.  All you need to do is show Sandy a little Facebook love.

Visit Sandy’s stella & dot store and find your favorite piece of jewelry.

“Like” Sandy on Facebook and copy this note onto her wallI’m visiting from Busy-at-Home http://busy-at-home.com/blog/stella-dot-jewelry-review-giveaway-plus-a-blogmania-bonus/.  I would love to have the <—insert name of your favorite jewelry piece here—> from stella & dot!  Thanks for being a Blogmania 2010 sponsor!

BONUS ENTRIES HAVE NOW EXPIRED.  Don’t miss the main event!  Enter now at our main Blogmania entry page!


Need more info about the over $1500 in Giveaway prizes available here at Busy-at-Home for Blogmania 2010? Did you know we will be linking to the over 150 other blogs, participating in the event, with prizes totaling nearly $40,000? Read all about it here and save Sept 15 & 16 for a day of Blogmania Giveaway fun!


I received the Kelly Necklace and Pearl Drop earrings in order to complete this review. The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and no payment was received to write the review.

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Coffee, Tea or… A Keurig Review & Giveaway PLUS a Blogmania Bonus!

On August 10, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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K-Cup loaded in the brewer As the only non-coffee drinker in my household, you would think I would be less excited about the Keurig Special Edition Brewer sitting on my kitchen counter, this morning, but I can’t wait for all of you to see it!  I wish you could all come by and have a […]

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K-Cup loaded in the brewer

As the only non-coffee drinker in my household, you would think I would be less excited about the Keurig Special Edition Brewer sitting on my kitchen counter, this morning, but I can’t wait for all of you to see it!  I wish you could all come by and have a cup of your favorite coffee, tea or cocoa.  We could sit around the kitchen table and visit while we each had our own custom-made beverages.

Freshly brewed coffee being made. It smells wonderful!

When I think coffee brewer, I think of hot liquid and a welcoming coffee aroma.  While the Keurig certainly does produce both, it does SO much more than that.  It will totally change the way you think about making coffee.  First of all, the vast array of available flavors is almost overwhelming!  There are so many wonderful varieties to choose from.  My family has been enjoying Wolfgang Puck’s Breakfast Blend coffee.  It’s more mild and one of my husband’s favorites.  My son-in-law and brother-in-law like more bold flavors in their coffee and have enjoyed trying Emeril Lagasse’s Big Easy Bold Coffee, as well as the Black Tiger Coffee and Jet Fuel, both by Coffee People.  Green Mountain’s Flavored coffee variety pack with Hazelnut Dark Roast Extra Bold, Carmel Vanilla Cream, Wild Mountain Blueberry and French Vanilla flavors has also been a favorite.  This barely scratches the surface of the multitude of hot coffee flavors that are available.

Some of the K-Cup flavors we have been reviewing.

But what makes this brewer so completely unique is that it doesn’t stop at making just hot coffee.  We were fortunate enough to also receive a yummy French Vanilla Iced Coffee to try and have since learned that any of the flavors available can be brewed over ice.  Not a coffee drinker?  Well, you’re in my club and I can tell you I still put plenty of miles on the Keurig Special Edition Brewer.  I have enjoyed freshly brewed iced tea by the glass, multiple times a day, since we received this little gem.  I absolutely love it!  I can make hot tea, too and the kids have been drinking cocoa and white hot chocolate like there is no tomorrow, even in this ridiculous heat!  This really is a machine that can accommodate every member of your family.  The tea and cocoa varieties are as plentiful as coffee.  Celestial Seasonings makes several varieties of herbal teas for the Keurig and we got to try them in their variety box that contains Green Tea,  English Breakfast Tea, Lemon Zinger Herbal Tea and Sleepytime Herbal Tea.  I’m looking forward to trying an Earl Grey, as that is always one of my favorite wintertime teas.  There are so many more flavors to choose from than I could ever list here.  You really MUST go to the Keurig website and browse through what’s available.  You just won’t believe the options!

Loading an English Breakfast Blend Tea K-Cup

Iced Tea Brewing right over the ice

Beautiful, freshly brewed, delicious iced tea!

Since, I’m not a sugar-in-my-drinks kind of person,  and it has been 9288 degrees here :) , every day for a week, now, I have been loving the option of brewing tea over ice.  The English Breakfast Tea is amazing that way.  There are tons of iced tea varieties available, too.  We got to try the Half and Half Perfect Iced Tea, which is half tea and half lemonade.  We also sampled the Southern Sweet Perfect Iced Tea.  I have a list of others I plan on trying, too.  How about Tropical Breeze White Iced Tea, Sweet Berry Lime Green Iced Tea or Sweet Raspberry Perfect Iced Tea?  Oh my goodness, I almost forgot to tell you about one of the most delicious teas of all.  I had to come back here and edit this paragraph, because you have to know.  It’s the Chai Latte by Cafe Escapes.  Can I just say, “Aaaaaaagggghhhhhh.”  It is every warm, wonderful Thanksgiving memory you have ever experienced all rolled up in a cup!  Smooth, cinnamony, spicy, delish!!!

So far, we have tried Timothy’s White Hot Chocolate and the Hot Cocoa (Milk Chocolate) by Green Mountain.  Both have been a hit with adults and kids, alike.  In addition, there are two more Hot Chocolate varieties from Cafe Express and one from Ghiardelli.

Okay, so there are definitely a lot of flavors and varieties of beverages to choose from when you own a Keurig brewer, but let me give you a list of everything I love about this machine and why I believe it is such an amazing value.

  1. It is SIMPLE to use.  Once the water reservoir was filled, my eight-year-old mastered this machine in a matter of seconds.  Just fill the water reservoir, insert a K-cup, close the K-cup holder lid and select the button specific water amount for the strength you want for your beverage.  Less than 30 seconds later, be sipping your custom drink!
  2. Yes, that’s right!  I said select the water amount used to brew your beverage.  There are THREE options: 6 oz, 8 oz or 12 oz.  So, you can brew according to your mug or glass size and according to the strength you prefer.  Awesome!
  3. The footprint on my counter is small.  About one square foot or less, I would say.  I haven’t actually measured, but it’s not much.
  4. It’s modern and stylish looking.  Most of you know I don’t keep appliances on my counter.  I hate clutter on my countertops and everything is stored in a cabinet or cubby until I need it, but as much use as this Keurig brewer is getting and as good as it looks, it has a place of honor on my counter.

    English Breakfast Tea over Ice in a Standard Iced Tea Glass

    This goblet was a little too tall. I removed the drip tray, brewed the tea and then slid the drip tray right back into place. Perfect!

  5. I have used all different sizes, shapes and types of cups and mugs in this machine, with the same great results.  Ceramic mugs, glass drinking glasses and goblets and even plastic drinking glasses.  The goblet I used for making a glass of tea was a hair’s width too tall and so I removed the drip tray and set the glass on the base of the brewer, where it fit beautifully.  I brewed the tea, replaced the drip tray and it was back to business as usual.
  6. It is SO fun to be able to offer guests a choice from such a wide selection of delicious varieties.  You will literally be able to offer something for every taste, perfectly brewed and instantly fresh!
  7. The machine comes with a one-year warranty and when I went online to register it, I received a coupon code for two free boxes of K-Cups with the purchase of two.
  8. The drinks are always up-to-the-minute fresh.  No more stale coffee left in the pot from this morning or the end of a pitcher of iced tea made yesterday afternoon.  The freshest most delicious taste is at your fingertips all the time!
  9. It’s FAST!!!  I need to time this, but I am certain that it takes 15 seconds or less for the drink to actually brew.  It’s simply amazing to watch.
  10. While this might not be as economical as brewing a plain old pot of coffee at home, I am convinced that anyone who is in the daily habit of purchasing a cup of coffee or specialty coffee drinks will save tons of money with this machine and K-Cups.  Depending on the variety you are drinking and where you purchase them, the K-Cups we have been using are around 50¢- 70¢ each.  Compare that to coffee out, which will be several dollars for a single cup.  Plus, you get the variety and freshness right in your own home.

Keurig generously provided us their Special Edition Brewer and all the wonderful K-Cups, so that we could complete this review.  They are also sponsoring a giveaway in our Blogmania 2010 giveaway event.  One lucky Busy-at-Home reader will win a Keurig Special Edition Brewer and four assorted boxes of K-Cups.  That’s almost a $200 value!  Keurig has been such an amazing sponsor and their product quality and service have been great.  I’m offering one Bonus Entry in our Blogmania drawings to readers who complete the following requirements.

Visit the Keurig website and select a variety of K-Cups that you would like to try.  Then go to the Keurig Facebook page to copy and paste this note.

I’m visiting from Busy-at-Home  http://busy-at-home.com/blog/coffee-tea-or-a-keurig-review-giveaway-plus-a-blogmania-bonus/ .  I would love to try the  <—–Put your flavor choice, here——>K-Cups. Thanks for being a Blogmania 2010 sponsor!

BONUS ENTRIES HAVE NOW EXPIRED.  Don’t miss the main event!  Enter now at our main Blogmania entry page!

Need more info about the over $1500 in Giveaway prizes available here at Busy-at-Home for Blogmania 2010? Did you know we will be linking to the over 150 other blogs, participating in the event, with prizes totaling nearly $40,000? Read all about it here and save Sept 15 & 16 for a day of Blogmania Giveaway fun!

I received the Keurig Special Edition Brewer and assorted K-Cups in order to complete this review. The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and no payment was received to write the review.

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Blogmania Bonus Entry Update! Do You Have all 20? Enter to win $1500+ in Prizes!

On August 5, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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Have you filled out all the bonus entries available to you, so far, in our Blogmania 2010 giveaway event?  On September 15 & 16 you will have the opportunity to participate in giveaways totaling nearly $40,000, and now have over $1500, (with a couple more on the way),  in sponsored giveaway prizes being offered, right […]

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Have you filled out all the bonus entries available to you, so far, in our Blogmania 2010 giveaway event?  On September 15 & 16 you will have the opportunity to participate in giveaways totaling nearly $40,000, and now have over $1500, (with a couple more on the way),  in sponsored giveaway prizes being offered, right here at Busy-at-Home! Our theme is “Christmas at Home: A Celebration!” and you can’t believe the prizes we have lined up for you!

If you’ve missed the scoop, so far, you are going to be so excited!  On the 15th of September, my Blogmania Event page will go live!  It will host the links to the over 150 other blogs participating, so you can enter all their fabulous giveaways, too.  It will alos host the form that lets you enter to win over $1500 in prizes, right here at Busy-at-Home.  You will only fill out one entry form and be entered in EVERY giveaway we have listed!!!  So simple and easy, so you can move right on to the next blog and their giveaways.

But because you are the world’s best readers & supporters; and I want you to have every opportunity to win our extraordinary Christmas at Home: A Celebration Giveaways, I am offering opportunities for you to accumulate bonus entries, before the main event.  You can enter each of them one time and multiply your chances to be a Busy-at-Home, Blogmania event, giveaway winner!

You will only be allowed one entry on the 15th and one on the 16th.  Check this list that offers you twenty extra entries, so far, and make sure you have registered for all of them.  I can’t wait to give away all these fabulous prizes that will make your Christmas at Home an Amazing Celebration!!!

You must be 18 or older and a US resident to enter.  Bonus entry deadline is midnight Sept. 14.  Bonus Entries will not be available during the two-day Blogmania event, Sept. 15 & 16.  Drawings will be held and winners notified on September 17, 2010.  So, hurry!  Click through, now and add up your entries for a tremendous win in September!

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What’s Your Favorite?

On August 5, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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When it comes to Christmas trees, I have very specific requirements.  Just ask my family.  – lol  -  A real tree simply isn’t practical for us, but I want an artificial tree that looks as close to real as I can possibly find.  Balsam Hill has so many gorgeous trees, but they have one series […]

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When it comes to Christmas trees, I have very specific requirements.  Just ask my family.  – lol  -  A real tree simply isn’t practical for us, but I want an artificial tree that looks as close to real as I can possibly find.  Balsam Hill has so many gorgeous trees, but they have one series that especially appeals to me.  True Needle technology is exclusive to Balsam Hill.  They say, “True Needle foliage is created with injection-molded PE plastic and several different colors of pigment to mimic the structure, texture and color of natural evergreen needles. Trees which feature True Needle foliage are amongst the most realistic and luxurious artificial Christmas trees available.”  I really like the look of all the trees in this series, but my favorite would have to be the Vermont White Spruce.  And I would order it with no lights.  I like to do my own lights, because I want them “just so”.  My kids say I have a problem.  :)

So, tell me…which is the most beautiful Christmas tree at Balsam Hill?  Which one would fit best in your house and with your current decor?  If you could pick any tree from the website?  Which would it be?

Pick out a tree and then paste this message on Balsam Hill’s Facebook wall:

I’m visiting from Busy-at-Home.  http://busy-at-home.com/blog/whats-your-favorite/   My favorite Balsam Hill Christmas Tree is<—-insert name of tree here——->. Thanks for being a Blogmania 2010 sponsor!

Come back here and fill out a Blogmania BONUS ENTRY FORM using Bonus Code BAH2.

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Ridem’ Cowboy! A Lil’s Garden Review & Giveaway PLUS Bonus!

On August 5, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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What is it about a stick-horse that evokes such warm, happy, nostalgic thoughts?  I just love them!  They are the simplest toy and inspire loads of imagination and creativity, which is something I look for in the best playthings.  Believe it or not, in the right setting, I think they would also add perfect accents […]

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What is it about a stick-horse that evokes such warm, happy, nostalgic thoughts?  I just love them!  They are the simplest toy and inspire loads of imagination and creativity, which is something I look for in the best playthings.  Believe it or not, in the right setting, I think they would also add perfect accents to your decor; especially if you were buying them custom-made from Lil, over at Lil’s Garden.  Her Etsy shop is on my list of favorites.

Lil designed her own pattern and makes the most adorable stick horse heads I have ever seen anywhere.  They’re available in the traditional browns, grays, black and tan, of course; but Lil truly understands a child’s creative bent and she makes horses in some very non-traditional colors and patterns, too.  They’re so beautifully whimsical! You can find ponies with giraffe spots or zebra stripes, calico prints and even polka-dots.  No color is off-limits and all of them are marvelous!

Lil sent a sweet Pretty in Pink stick horse head for me to review.  I picked her especially for my granddaughters who I know will spend hours of creative play riding her through some distant princess kingdom.  When the stick-horse head arrived I was thrilled with the quality construction and materials.  I have no doubt it will withstand rigorous play sessions with ease.  The head came without a stick, as that just makes so much more sense for shipping purposes.  The shipping box included simple instructions and a zip tie for mounting the head on a dowel or broomstick.  I purchased a 36-inch long, 1-inch wooden dowel in the craft department at Wal-Mart; and, with Lil’s simple instructions, had the stick horse ready for its first gallop in less than five minutes!

Not only do I anticipate that Pretty in Pink will become a treasured and favorite toy at Grandma’s, I suspect we will be adding to the stable.  I really just love the way these pretty ponies look and it seems only natural that each grandchild should have one!  Don’t you think?

Visit Lil’s Garden and pick out a stick-horse for each of your favorite little people or maybe even for yourself!  If you don’t see the perfect color or pattern for your needs, just send a note to Lil and she will custom-design an equine beauty, just for you!  Lil’s Garden has graciously sponsored a giveaway for our Blogmania “Christmas at Home: A Celebration!” giveaway event.  (Can”t you just picture the excitement of finding one of these sweet horses under the tree on Christmas morning?)  The winner will be able to pick the stick horse head of their choice from  Lil’s Garden shop!

You can definitely stop by on Sept 15 and 16 for our huge Blogmania Giveaway event (and I hope you do).  We already have over $1500 in prizes for you to win, right here, at Busy-at-Home!  And on Sept 15, my list of links to the other Blogmania hosts will go LIVE, pointing you to nearly $40,000 in other giveaways going on for that same 48 hours!  Plan to spend a few hours on the Internet!  You aren’t going to want to miss this chance to win some fantastic items that can take a big bite out of your Christmas shopping expenses and help you find some amazing merchants and shops you didn’t know were here.

And to increase your chances of being a winner here at Busy-at-Home, I’ve been making tons of Bonus Entries available.  Our review for Lil’s Garden and her adorable stick-horses is no exception.  To receive your Bonus Entry, today, just visit Lil’s Garden and pick out your favorite whimsical steed.  Then send Lil a note on her Facebook account (Be sure you “like” her, first!).  Just cut and paste the one, below, if you like.

BONUS ENTRIES HAVE NOW EXPIRED.  Don’t miss the main event!  Enter now at our main Blogmania entry page!

I’m visiting from Busy-at-Home  http://www.busy-at-home.com/blog/http://busy-at-home.com/blog/ridem-cowboy-a-lils-garden-review-giveaway-plus-bonus/.  I love the stick horses at Lil’s Garden.  My favorite is—–fill in the name of your favorite here—–.  Thanks for being a Blogmania sponsor!

Need more info about the over $1500 in Giveaway prizes available here at Busy-at-Home for Blogmania 2010? Did you know we will be linking to the over 150 other blogs, participating in the event, with prizes totaling nearly $40,000? Read all about it here and save Sept 15 & 16 for a day of Blogmania Giveaway fun!

I received the Pretty in Pink Horse Head in order to complete this review. The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and no payment was received to write the review.

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Gimmee Jimmy’s Cookies: Blogmania Review & Giveaway PLUS a Blogmania Bonus Entry

On August 4, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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There are two distinctive camps in the cookie world — the soft & chewy camp and the crisp & crunchy camp.  There seems to be no way to meld these opposing snackers, as they stand staunch in their views and opinions on cookiness; so I won’t attempt to bridge that gap.   However, for you crispy, […]

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The sturdy box of Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies, beckoning, "Open me! Eat cookies!"

There are two distinctive camps in the cookie world — the soft & chewy camp and the crisp & crunchy camp.  There seems to be no way to meld these opposing snackers, as they stand staunch in their views and opinions on cookiness; so I won’t attempt to bridge that gap.   However, for you crispy, crunchy, delicious cookie fans, I HAVE found the perfect place to buy your cookies and eat them, too!  It’s Gimmee Jimmy’s Cookies!

Carefully wrapped and packaged for safe shipping.

We received a box with 20 of Gimme Jimmy’s famous, gourmet kosher cookies to review, here at home.  I know, tough job, right?  Well, someone had to do it!  Those are the kind of days where you just want to hug your UPS man.  :)  The box came carefully packaged — not one broken cookie in the box.  We received five each of Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chunk and the M & M Chocolate Chip.  Jimmy’s also offers Double Chocolate Walnut, Cranberry Pecan and Heath Bar Crunch Cookies.

Our Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies ready to be served. :)

This popular New Jersey Bakery offers more than just cookies to satisfy your sweet tooth.  They can make custom cakes if you live in the area and if you don’t, you can still have some great desserts shipped right to your home.  Do you ever have a craving for Baklava, Biscotti or Filled Cupcakes?  What about Gourmet Muffins?  Gimmee Jimmy’s Cookies even has a selection of Gluten-Free products to accommodate special diets.  Visit their website to place an order for tempting treats you don’t have to bake yourself!

Gimmee Jimmy’s Cookies is generously sponsoring a giveaway in our Blogmania “Christmas at Home: A Celebration!” giveaway event.  Who doesn’t need lots of delicious cookies at Christmastime?  And for that hard-to-buy-for person on your Christmas list, what better way to put a smile on their face than a box of gourmet cookies or cupcakes or muffins?  One lucky Busy-at-Home reader will receive the same 20-Cookie Sampler Box that we were able to review!

As a special BONUS ENTRY, in honor of the Gimmee Jimmy’s Cookies review, our readers can receive an extra entry in our Blogmania “Christmas at Home: A Celebration!” giveaway event by Following Gimmee Jimmy’s Cookies on Twitter and Tweeting this Message:  Win delicious gourmet cookies from Gimmee Jimmy’s Cookies, @GJCookies is a @busyathome @Blogmania2010 giveaway sponsor! http://ow.ly/2l9GA!

BONUS ENTRIES HAVE NOW EXPIRED.  Don’t miss the main event!  Enter now at our main Blogmania entry page!

Remember that each time you enter the “Christmas at Home: A Celebration” giveaway, you are entering to win EVERY giveaway prize we will draw for on Sept 16, not just that sponsor’s prize.  If you manage to submit 30 bonus entries, you’ll be entered in every drawing, for every prize, 30 times!

Need more info about the over $1500 in Giveaway prizes available here at Busy-at-Home for Blogmania 2010? Did you know we will be linking to the over 150 other blogs, participating in the event, with prizes totaling nearly $40,000? Read all about it here and save Sept 15 & 16 for a day of Blogmania Giveaway fun!


I received the a box of 20 assorted Gimmee Jimmy’s cookies in order to complete this review. The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and no payment was received to write the review.

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Well-Dressed Men Wear Argyle! A Lollipop Patch Kids Review & Giveaway, Plus a Blogmania Bonus for Readers!

On August 3, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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Ready and waiting for lunch. I’m probably one of the most blessed women I know.  Seriously!  I have an awesome husband, five kids, ages 8, 14, 17, 24 & 26.  I have a son-in-law and soon-to-be son-in-law who are every mom’s dream for their daughters, and ice that whole cake with 3 adorable grandbabies!  God […]

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Ready and waiting for lunch.

I’m probably one of the most blessed women I know.  Seriously!  I have an awesome husband, five kids, ages 8, 14, 17, 24 & 26.  I have a son-in-law and soon-to-be son-in-law who are every mom’s dream for their daughters, and ice that whole cake with 3 adorable grandbabies!  God is good!  My favorite part of the week is when they are all “home”, gathered around the table for a visit and a meal.  Usually on Sundays, we can round up the largest part of the gang; and when it’s a birthday or a holiday they ALL gather around to celebrate and share the fun.

Last Sunday, we got a chance to include a review of these adorable Shirt-Saver Bibs, from Lollipop Patch Kids, in our family get-together.  Our grandson, just turned one in July and he was my perfect tester for these thick, durable custom bibs!

CLEARLY, she said lunch was READY, but this tray is still empty!    (At least I LOOK good in my cool Lollipop Patch Kids bib.) :)

His church clothes were perfectly protected under his fashionable, argyle-print bib.  As a matter of fact, his biggest concern was that Grandma needed to get lunch on the table faster!

Generously, Lollipop Patch Kids sent two bibs for our review – a his & hers set.  I didn’t break out the pretty purple flowered print for the granddaughter’s yet, but you can see it is absolutely precious.  The bibs have a thick terry-cloth lining making them incredibly soft and absorbent.  The fronts are customized in fashionable prints and the closure is with a snap.  I was SO excited to see that!  Velcro is too easy for the baby to open on their own.  The snap closure held the bib

I know! It’s crazy! She keep’s saying “food”. Do YOU see any food?

comfortably in place, even with a little bit of baby tugging at the end of the meal.

You really need to check out the Lollipop Patch Kids shop on Etsy.  The bibs come in so many different designs, plus you’ll find burp cloths, sweet fabric growth charts and more.  Bookmark the shop because you’ll want to go back again and again.  I know I definitely need more of these bibs!  (I’m expecting a lot more grandkids!) ;)

Lollipop Patch Kids is providing two Shirt-Saver bibs for a lucky reader in our Blogmania “Christmas at Home: A Celebration!” giveaway.  If I’m not mistaken, I believe they are even being done in Christmas prints — a perfectly fashionable way to keep little ones and their holiday clothes, looking their best!

In honor of this fun review, I have an extra Blogmania BONUS ENTRY for you!

Purple Flower-Print Bib
  1. Click over to Lollipop Patch Kids.  Pick out your favorite item and then go to the Lollipop Patch Kids Facebook Wall and “like” them. Copy and paste this message on their wall:

    I’m here from Busy-at-Home http://busy-at-home.com/blog/well-dressed-men-wear-argyle-a-lollipop-patch-kids-review-giveaway-plus-a-blogmania-bonus-for-readers/.  I love <—–insert your favorite item here—–> from your Etsy shop!  I can’t wait for Blogmania!

BONUS ENTRIES HAVE NOW EXPIRED.  Don’t miss the main event!  Enter now at our main Blogmania entry page!

    I received two bibs in order to complete this review. The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and no payment was received to write the review.

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