Sunday, July 8, 2012

McCormick Grill Mates Grill Ambassadors Party (Crowdtap)

Thanks McCormick Grill Mates!
Its been a busy summer here on the farm, but we recently took time out to host a get-together showcasing McCormick Grill Mates.  We love to entertain, and we love to grill out, so hosting this party was perfect.  As a member of Crowdtap and a McCormick Grill Ambassador, I received a party pack of McCormick Grill Mates products to sample with my guests.  The party pack included Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning, Molasses Bacon Seasoning, Spiced Brandy & Herb Marinade, Slow & Low Memphis Pit BBQ Rub, and Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ Sauce, and an official McCormick Grill Mates chef apron.  

Our Grill Master!
Hubby is the "grill master" at our house, and he enjoyed experimenting with the seasonings as he cooked steaks for our 10 guests and the two of us.  Although we would have loved to eat outside, the outdoor temperature was a blazing 105-107 with wind gusts of 25-30mph. (This is normal for Oklahoma in June and July.)  So, we grilled outside, and ate inside.

Time to eat!
Getting ready to dig in!
Our menu consisted of grilled steaks, baked potatoes, baked beans, fresh fried okra and a cool tossed salad.  The steaks were fantastic!  We seasoned them with the various products we received as part of the McCormick Grill Mates package.  Some of the guests even seasoned their baked potatoes with the Montreal Steak seasoning or the Molasses Bacon seasoning.  The big hit of the seasonings was the Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ sauce.  I was really wanting to save it to use on ribs later on, but someone found it, and tried it, and pretty soon, everyone was giving it a try.  

As we discussed the seasonings, we agreed that  the Molasses Bacon was sweet and smoky, but surprised that it had a little bit of "fire" in the flavor.  None of us expected that - rather we expected a sweet taste, but we still liked the seasoning.  Montreal Steak seasoning is a family favorite at our house, and we were all familiar with its flavor of pepper, garlic and spice. 

I've always said that a good steak needs no sauce to hide its flavor, and a bad steak needs sauce to compensate for lack of flavor.  Well, by the time our dinner was over, the whole bottle of Brown Sugar Bourbon sauce was gone!  The party-people enjoyed dipping steak in the sauce and now my mission is to find a store that carries this stuff and stock up!(Hmm...does that sound as though our steaks lacked flavor?  NO!  They were delicious, but everyone was anxious to try the new BBQ sauce, and everyone agreed it was even better than the "local favorite" which is manufactured in our home town.)
I also received a packet of Memphis Pit BBQ Rub and a packet of Spiced Brandy & Herb Marinade.  When we fire up the smoker in a few days, we'll use the rub on a rack of ribs, and next time we grill chicken, we'll use the marinade.  I bet they are every bit as good as the other Grill Mates products we used for this dinner.

For more information and recipes from McCormick's Grill Mates, be sure to visit their website and Facebook page.  And don't forget to check out Crowdtap!

Thank you to Crowdtap and McCormick's for choosing me to host a party - it was a great experience and I can't wait for the next hosting opportunity to come along!

I am a member of Crowdtap and McCormick Grill Ambassadors. I received products and promotional items in in return for hosting this event in my home.  As always, the opinions shared are my own.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Verizon VIP "Feed Your APP-etite" Party (Crowdtap)

As a member of Crowdtap, I'm occasionally offered the opportunity to apply to host a party promoting one brand or another.  I've applied for every party that came along for the past few months, but was never chosen.  This spring, I applied to host a Verizon VIP "Feed Your App-etite" Party and  I was chosen!  YIPPEE!

Swag provided by Verizon Insider

Problems in shipping of the Verizon promo kits caused me to reschedule my party a couple of times, but we finally were able to host last Friday evening.  I wanted to give my guests some goodies to take home, so I visited our Verizon store and they provided pens, phone stands, coozies and magnets.  My promo kit included 4 bracelets, 2 water bottles and a shopping bag, and I planned to use the water bottles and shopping bag as prizes.

As party time approached, we set up and decorated our patio in bright red, arranged the food and goodies on the table, and prepared to fire up the grill.  Then the hot Oklahoma wind paid us a visit.  Having a plan B is always important...and we moved our party indoors to enjoy the comfort of air conditioning.

Ready to eat!  

Our menu consisted of grilled steaks, baked potatoes, baked beans, fresh fried okra and a cool tossed salad.  The steaks were fantastic!  Our dessert was cupcakes decorated with Verizon flags.  I scattered the Verizon goodies randomly on the table for my guests.

As we ate, we discussed our favorite apps.  Of those attending our party, one person had a Blackberry and AT&T, one had an iPhone and AT&T, and the rest were Verizon customers with Motorola and HTC phones.  I was surprised that most people prefer the game apps over any other apps, and Angry Birds was the favorite.  So, after we ate, we had an Angry Bird race.  The person who completed level 1 in the shortest time won the Verizon shopping bag and two runner-ups got the Verizon collapsible water bottles.  I tried to get photos, but I barely had time to be a good hostess, much less take photos and tweet.

Winner of the Angry Birds competition!

Favorite apps were (in no particular order):  flashlight, Angry Birds, Instagram, various barcode scanners (ShopSavvy, ScanLife, Red Laser), TuneIn Radio, and social media (Twitter and Face Book).  One person enjoys the Amazon Kindle app.  When given the opportunity to download an app that cost money, no one could think of any they wanted that they could not either get free, or find a similar app that was free.

Everyone really enjoyed the freebies provided by our Verizon store.  The favorite freebie of all were the phone stands!
Phone stands were a big hit!

Those of us on Verizon also discussed the new Verizon Share Everything plan, and it appears none of us will be saving any money.  Our bills will remain about the same, but the money will be redistributed to different areas, and we will lose our unlimited data.

We had a great time, even though our "outdoor" cookout and party turned into a "come into the house where it is cool and not windy" party.  Thank you to Verizon Insiders and Crowdtap for sponsoring our get-together.

I am a member of Crowdtap and Verizon Insiders. I received promotional items and financial compensation in return for hosting this event in my home.  As always, the opinions shared are my own.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Have you tried new and improved PAM? (smiley360 mission)

I recently joined Smiley360, which is the world's first social media powered community designed to bring you new things to try and share.  I was offered a "mission" (which is an opportunity for Smiley to send you something to try out) to try the new and improved PAM cooking spray.  To sweeten the deal, they included a 9x13 Pyrex pan, coupons for a free can of PAM and a free can of Hunts tomatoes, a spatula, and a recipe booklet.  I chose to accept the mission and try the products.

While looking through the recipe booklet, I decided I would make the King Ranch Chicken.  So, I purchased the ingredients I didn't already have (yes I was lazy and purchased rotisserie chicken!) and assembled them into a delicious casserole for our dinner.

I was skeptical that the PAM would not do any better than the (store brand) cooking spray I have been using.  I thought all cooking sprays left an ooey--gooey sticky mess on the pans after baking.  Guess what!  I was WRONG! (In cases like this, I'm happy to be wrong!)   My first clue that "this is a good thing" was when I dipped out my portion of casserole to put on my plate. It came out of the pan cleanly and didn't leave bits behind.

Wanting to see if the PAM worked well with dried on food,  I left the empty pan sitting on the counter overnight, and washed it the next morning.  I'm happy to report that the pan came clean easily and quickly.  There was no ooey-gooey sticky mess on the sides or handles of the pan from baked-on spray.

As you can see, the Pyrex came out of the sink as shiny and clean as new.  I'm sold on the new and improved PAM.  I'm also sold on Smiley360.  Why don't you sign up and accept a few missions of your own?  AND - If you'd like to see for yourself how great the new and improved PAM works,  here's a coupon  for 50 cents off your next purchase.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned Pam kit (coupons, pan, spatula, recipes)  for free from Smiley360 in exchange for my honest opinion and review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Maximum Security #imabzzagent

 Trend Micro   Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Maximum Security gives you the tools to help protect your digital life.  As a BzzAgent, I was given a copy of Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Maximum Security to install on up to three of my computers.  I've used several different brands of computer security programs in the past, from Norton and McAffee, which I paid for, to Avast and AVG, which were free.  Of all the programs I have used, I am most impressed with the Trend Micro Titanium.  After using it for a month, I am happy to report that it is the best security program I have ever used.

Trend Micro Titanium Maximum SecurityOther programs have slowed my computer to a crawl, but the Trend Micro Titanium did not.  It was simple to install, easy to customize, and runs seamlessly in the background while I go about my business.   Not once did it slow my computer.  However, a quick check of the program dashboard shows that 468 web threats have been blocked from accessing my computer during the past month.  I am impressed.  It's quietly doing its job, and keeping my computer safe.  What more could you ask for?

Your Online World - protected

So how can Titanium™ Maximum Security help protect your digital life? Here's the scoop.
  • Your devices: Titanium™ Maximum Security protects your PC, Mac and even your mobile devices
  • Your privacy: Titanium™ Maximum Security protects against malware, spyware, spam and other threats that allow cybercriminals to steal your private information like passwords, credit card numbers or even home addresses
  • Your family: Titanium™ Maximum Security provides customizable tools to help you keep your kids safe online
  • Your data: Titanium™ Maximum Security protects and defends your data with tools like the Trend Micro Vault, Secure Erase file shredder and SafeSync secure online storage
  • Your social network: Titanium™ Maximum Security automatically shows you what links are safe and malicious on Facebook, Twitter and Myspace
Why don't you visit to learn more about Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Maximum Security and see for yourself what a great program this is.  If you choose to order a license on the Trend site, be sure and use the discount code "BZZ30" to save $30 off the cost of an annual subscription.  Or download and print a Best Buy coupon if you would rather shop at there.  Either way, don't let this opportunity slip by!  I highly recommend this security program!

As a BzzAgent, I was provided a one year subscription to Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security in return for my using the product and sharing my honest opinion about the program.  No other compensation was given.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thanks Mail Carrier has great giveaways!

I love entering giveaways, and Thanks Mail Carrier has some of the best giveaways around. I'm entered in three of their current giveaways:

Final Touch Fabric Softener

Thanks Mail Carrier is partnering with Clean It Supply to give away a case of Final Touch Fabric Softener, valued at $25.  The fine folks at Thanks Mail Carrier report that Clean It Supply has an extensive line of products to keep our house clean and running smoothly... without breaking the bank. Everything from laundry products to cleaning supplies (and everything in between) can be found in one place and delivered in bulk right to your front door for less.  Click here to enter this giveaway, which closes on October 7.

Thanks Mail Carrier and Hellman's Chicken Challenge are giving away a $25 Visa Pre-paid Gift Card to one lucky reader.

Visa gift card giveawayAccording to Thanks Mail Carrier Hellmann's is on a mission to help break us (and you!) out of our dinner menu repetitiveness with the kickoff of the Hellman's Chicken Challenge.  Plus, right on, you can enter into a weekly sweepstakes for a chance to win one of four $250 grocery gift cards... or, if more than 10,000 entries are received that week, the value of the grocery gift cards will double to $500. That could sure buy a whole lot of groceries... so go cast your vote and then enjoy your tasty meal!  Hurry on over and enter.  Entries close for this giveaway on October 13.

I have never owned a pot especially for making pasta, so when I saw that Thanks Mail Carrier and Bialetti were giving away a Bialetti Pasta Pot, I knew I just had to enter!  It would be so convenient to have a pot with a strainer right in the lid.

Bialetti Pasta Pot

Thanks Mail Carrier states that the Pasta Pot is  available in three great colors - Purple Passion, Orange Spice and Blue Cheer, the size is 5 quarts and retail value is $35.  Click here to enter.  Entries end for this giveaway on October 20.

Be sure and visit Thanks Mail Carrier to check out all the other giveaways they are hosting.  They are currently hosting 17 giveaways, so you're sure to see something you'd love to win!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Three Giveaways Worth Entering

I love to enter giveaways and I love to make lists, so today I want to share my list of three giveaways that you should consider entering:

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Dawn's Great Finds is hosting a giveaway for a $50 gift card to Mixed Bag Designs.  These bags would make great gifts for Christmas and the sizes and types of bags available is just amazing.  Don't take my word for how great the bags are, just click Mixed Bag Designs to see for yourself.  The giveaway ends on 10/2/11 at midnight.


The Dirty tShirt is partnering with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! to give away a coupon for a free tub of  I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!, a bright yellow Dualit Toaster and a Tiffany & Co. Butter Spreader.  Wow!  Who wouldn't want to win this!  I know I do!  The giveaway ends on 9/30/11 at midnight.

Mom and More is hosting a giveaway with Dremmel for a Dremmel Multi-Max.  My husband would love to have this and I'd love to win it for him.  This little tool can do it all, and comes with attachments, batteries and a case to carry it all in.  The giveaway ends on 10/5/11.

Hurry on over and visit these blogs to enter for your chance to win.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What's on your Wish List?

Recently my husband asked me what was on my wish list.  At that moment, we were sitting on the couch, each reading a book.  I replied that I wish I had a Kindle.

If I had a Kindle, I would have access to a million books.  Both my son and his wife have Kindles, and my daughter has a Nook.  They are always talking about the books they have read and how convenient it is to use their electronic readers.  My grandchildren have books downloaded on their parents readers and enjoy them as well.  But me?  Well, I've lagged  behind in the e-book reader category.

Did you know that the Kindle 3G has:
  •  All-New, High-Contrast E Ink Screen – 50% better contrast with latest E Ink Pearl technology
  • Read in Bright Sunlight – No glare
  • New and Improved Fonts – New crisper, darker fonts
  • New Sleek Design – 21% smaller body while keeping the same 6" size reading area
  • 17% Lighter – Only 8.7 ounces, weighs less than a paperback
  • Battery Life of Two Months – A single charge lasts up to two months with wireless off
  • Double the Storage – Up to 3,500 books
  • Books in 60 Seconds – Download books anytime, anywhere
  • Free 3G Wireless – No monthly payments, no annual contracts
  • Built-In Wi-Fi – In addition to the 3G wireless, you can connect to Wi-Fi hotspots
  • 20% Faster Page Turns – Seamless reading
  • Enhanced PDF Reader – With dictionary lookup, notes, and highlights 
 You can read this information and more on Amazon.  I'm a BzzAgent and would absolutely LOVE to receive a Kindle as a part of their upcoming campaign.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Praying for rain ...

The thermometer on our patio says 110 again...
 We are still suffering from triple digit temperatures daily, and the weather man is predicting more of the same, with no rain in sight.  The newspaper reported today that this summer will go on record as the hottest in Oklahoma history, and that agriculture drought damage nears $2 billion.  Please join us as we pray for rain and an end to this terrible drought.

What's left of our pond.  It used to cover several acres and was very deep.

Thank You's:  First and foremost, I want to thank Sally at In My Opinion for choosing my entry to win the Sand Gone giveaway.  I'm looking forward to sharing the product with my kids when they make their annual trip to the beach next summer. THANK YOU!

Giveaways entered:  Some of the giveaways I enter give extra entries if you "blog" about their giveaway.  Its another way to get the word out for their giveaway, and for you to find out about great giveaways you may have missed.

Two Classy Chics: Bamboo Towel Giveaway (2 winners) (ends September 12)  Enter to win a 3pc set of Bamboo Towels from Bamboo Forever.  I had no idea that towels could be made from bamboo.  Be sure to visit Two Classy Chics and Bamboo Forever to learn about these amazing towels.

The Dirty t Shirt: Microsoft Office 2010 giveaway (ends September 13)  Enter to win a license to download Microsoft Office 2010.  Words cannot express how badly I would love to win this!

Thanks Mail Carrier:  Niagara Spray Starch Giveaway (ends September 19) Enter to win a case of 6 bottles of non-aerosol Niagara Spray Starch from CleanItSupply.comClean It Supply sells any kind of cleaning supply you can imagine, from home to industrial strength.  If you can't find a particular cleaning supply here, you probably won't be able to find it anywhere.
In my mailbox:  My mailbox has been pretty empty lately, but yesterday I received a treat.  I'm a BzzAgent, and my first Bzz Campaign is John Grisham's book "The Confession."  As a BzzAgent, I am to read the book and share my thoughts on it.  I'll be reading the book this weekend, so be sure to watch for my post about it.
John Grisham
 I'm also participating in the BzzAgent Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security campaign.  I received a one year subscription to Trend Titanium Maximum Security to download to my computer.  This is an all-in-one program to "protect my digital life."  I'm still evaluating the program and will let you know what I think about it soon.

What is a BzzAgent?  Bzz Agents are sent products from top brands and we try them out.  Then we share our opinion of the product every way we can - by word of mouth, social media, blogs, you name it.  The program is totally free and we get to keep the products sent to us.

Disclosure:  I was sent a John Grisham book and a download of Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security free of charge, in return for sharing my honest opinion about the product.  No other compensation was provided.


Saturday, August 13, 2011


This has certainly been a summer to remember.  Our area has been in an extreme drought since last October, and we have been trapped under the "heat dome" all summer.  We've endured temperatures of 100 degrees or more for over 50 days, and most days, my trusty thermometer has registered 110 degrees.

As farmers, our livelihood is directly affected by the amount of rain we receive and the temperature.  Too much heat and not enough rain, and soon our ponds and pastures dry up.  So many in our area have had to sell their cattle herds because the cattle have nothing to eat or drink.  We're holding on, trying to make it until the drought is over.  But if it doesn't rain soon...and I mean SOON, we will be joining the other farmers and ranchers at the local sale barn and dispersing our herd.

Giveaways Entered:  Do you enter bloggy giveaways?  I love entering giveaways hosted by the blogs I follow.  Here are some of the giveaways I've entered this week:

She Scribes "Sugar Free Ring Pops" giveaway (ends 8-14)  Enter to win 5 bags of Sugar Free Ring Pops.  The Wonderkids would love to find these in the "candy" drawer at our house. 

Go Yay "Pami Pocket" giveaway (ends 8-17)  Do you hate to carry a purse and wish you had a bag just large enough for your cell phone and a credit card or some money?  The Pami Pocket is just what you need.

Mom and More "Connect 4 Launchers" giveaway (ends 8-17)  When the kids were young, we played Connect 4.  Now there is a new and updated version:  Connect 4 Launchers.  This game is perfect for family game night.

She Scribes "Fiber One Cereal" giveaway (ends 8-18) Enter to win a box of cereal, a pedometer and an arm band for your cell phone or iPod.  The pedometer and arm band sure would come in handy when the weather cools down and I start walking for exercise again.

She Scribes "Smuckers Uncrustables Unstopables" giveaway (ends 8-21) Enter to win a Smuckers Survival Kit consisting of a lunch bag, 5 coupons for free Uncrustables sandwiches, sandwich holders, "Fifty Plates from Fifty States" car game, Moleskin Journal, and a 2GB memory card.  Value $130.

She Scribes "Ladybug Girl" giveaway (ends 8-22) Enter to win books from the Ladybug Girl series.  These would be perfect for my granddaughter.  She's a beginning reader.

In My Opinion "Sand Gone" giveaway (ends 8-22)  Enter to win Sand Gone body powder, to remove sand from your skin when you are at the beach or lake.  My kids go to the beach each summer and the number one complaint they have is the sand sticking to their skin.  This product would solve that problem.

In My Opinion..."Carmex Prize Pack" giveaway (ends 8-25) Enter to win a prize pack from Carmex consisting of a picnic blanket and two tubes of Carmex lip balm.  I have loved Carmex for years!  It's a wonderful product.

Life is a Sandcastle "Kix Cereal" giveaway (ends 9-1) Enter to win 6 boxes of Kix cereal.  Plenty of boxes to keep and boxes to share. 

Be sure to visit these blog giveaways and enter!  Thank you to the bloggers for hosting these great giveaways!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Samples, Samples, Samples!

I am so happy!  We have a new roof on our house!  The high winds we've experienced this spring caused a lot of damage to our roof, and our insurance adjuster decided it should be replaced.  The roofers arrived early one morning last week, removed the old shingles and repaired some damage, then started installing new shingles.  By 6:30pm, they had completed the roof, cleaned up any nails and trash in our yard, reset our satellite dish and headed on their way.  Unless you have dealt with a damaged roof, you can't imagine how good it makes you feel to know that you have a new roof over your head.

Can you believe that Mother's Day is next Sunday and school year will end in  a couple of weeks?  It seems as though Christmas was just a few days ago!  When did time start flying by so quickly?

In my mailbox:
I've received several wonderful surprises in the mail during the past few days.  Today I received a box labeled "Estee Lauder."  Some people might take Estee Lauder products for granted, but not me.  Having something from Estee Lauder is indeed a treat!  In the box was a full size bottle of "Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator" and a note from O, the Oprah Magazine.  I'm to test the product and then let them know how I like it.  NO PROBLEM!  Glad to oblige!

Are you a member of the ALL YOU Reality Checkers? I am and I've just received a pair of Sally Hansen tweezers to test.  You can sign up to become an ALL YOU Reality Checker too.  While you are at it, be sure to look around the website.  You can find helpful tips, valuable coupons, recipes, giveaways and more.  One of the best things about ALL YOU is their daily free samples, and you do not have to be a Reality Checker to get these.  Click this link and look for the pink circle that says Daily Free Samples in the left column.  This will take you to the current free sample.  Be sure to enter your email address to receive an alert in your email each day. 

EOS sponsored a giveaway for their Everyday Hand Lotion, and I received a bottle and some coupons.  This is the third product I've tried from EOS, and each one has been WONDERFUL!  I love their lip balm and shaving cream, and I love the lotion.  THANK YOU EOS for choosing me!

Several other samples have arrived in my mailbox:  a Dove body wash and deodorant for hubby, a can of juice from Ocean Spray, and a Kirkland shampoo and conditioner sample from Costco.

Did you sign up for the USPS Sample Showcase?  My box came last week and inside I found samples of Coffee-mate, GUM Soft-Picks, Secret Clinical deodorant, Wisk and Nonni's Biscotti.  Also, coupons for Starbucks coffee and the GUM Soft-Picks.  When you sign up for the Sample Showcase, be sure to check out the free samples.  Look for a tab at the top of the page that says "Samples."  The tab will take you to a page just FULL of samples for you to sign up for.

Where do you get your free samples?  Do you know of a website you'd like to share?