Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mobile Mommy

As a mom I have to stay connected. My phone is a lifeline to the world and I need it to to be my personal assistant. I keep my calender, phone numbers, email addresses, you name it I keep it on my cell phone. I know that I am not alone. So, I am constantly on the lookout for the next best thing in mobile phone technology.

MomCentral alerted me to some great news for all of you PC users out there. Windows Mobile phones are now available. What is that? Well, these phones enable you to easily integrate your PC and telephone. Want that great music on your PC downloaded to your phone? No problem. Great pictures? You are covered. Easy email access, a camera, your calender -check, check and check. These great phones have everything you need to keep a busy Mom on track. Take a look at this beauty. This Samsung touch smart phone is just one of many Windows Mobile phones. Take a visit to the website and see everything they have to offer.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Do You Love Your Veggies Mom?

If you are a veggie lover? Are you interested in growing your own vegetables and working with your community? Then you are the perfect entrant for the Hidden Valley Salad Dressings 'Love Your Veggies" Mom Retreat!

10 Lucky moms that are true vegetable advocates will be chosen to attend the Mom Retreat. The winners will be selected based on their commitment to eat well for themselves, their family and the community and having an interest in engaging kids in ways to increase vegetable consumption.

The prize is fabulous!
2 days of classes, cooking demonstrations, and tastings
Personal instruction from Chef Smit
Round trip airfare and hotel accomodations for 3 days and two nights in Chicago, IL.
Dinner at Chef Smiths restaurant, Table Fifty-Two
Meeting the children of Chef Smiths foundation, Common Threads
A Spa Visit
$5000 prize money to start or maintain a community vegetable garden.

Do you want to enter? Visit Love Your Veggies. Thank you Mom Central for this valuable information!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

HP Magic Giveaway entry for Living In Theory - How I Make a Diffference

In both my private and professional life, making a difference has been a driving force, from my work with AmeriCorps helping “at risk” youth obtain conflict resolution and peer mediation skills - to the work I have done in support of formerly incarcerated individuals obtaining higher education and everything in between, making a difference has been the most satisfying element of my life.

My personal commitment to service is reflected in my participation in community service ranging from participation in fundraising for the Revlon Run/Walk for Women’s cancers to serving as a mentor for young people in the Directions for Our Youth program. As a senior at Spelman College I received a community service award for my involvement in Big Brothers/Big Sisters Atlanta, tutoring children in the Gyamatata dance program, and the development and implementation of Chrysalis, a rites of passage program for girls. During my graduate study I was a member of the Speakers Bureau at the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington D.C. and spoke with community groups about HIV/AIDS prevention. I have been a volunteer women’s workshop facilitator at GMHC, one of the largest HIV/AIDS service organizations in New York City. I've also been a member of the Speakers Bureau for the Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

During my service with AmeriCorps, I coordinator of the program at Morehouse College and managed Project Safety Net at two area middle schools. Project Safety Net incorporated conflict resolution classes into the curriculum to assist children in making positive choices when confronted with conflict.

Upon completing my Masters degree, I obtained an International Training in Women and Development Fellowship and volunteered as the National Program Assistant with the National Office of the Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa (PPASA) in Johannesburg, South Africa. In this position I evaluated their Community Based Distribution (of Condoms) and Adolescent reproductive health programs.

As the Director of Policy for the New York AIDS Coalition, a coalition of over 100 HIV/AIDS service organizations - I advocated government officials on the city, state, and federal level for increased funding for HIV/AIDS in New York. In this capacity I conducted legislative briefings, provided testimony at governmental hearings, monitored legislation regarding HIV/AIDS on all levels of government, and presented workshops at national conferences.

I have held leadership roles in various coalitions including the New York City HIV/AIDS Communities of Color, the Harm Reduction Taskforce, and the New York City HIV Women’s Collaborative. As a result of my advocacy work, in 2003 I received a citation from the New York City Council.

While a policy analyst at the HIV Law Project I managed the volunteer peer educators program, coordinated the LawTAP advocacy training program for women with HIV/AIDS, and engaged in community organizing activities and worked with a number of collaborative efforts on New York City policy issues regarding people infected/affected by HIV/AIDS.

As a consultant, I have been the interim Executive Director for the Student Sponsorship Program, a non-profit organization based in South Africa that provides access to private school education, mentoring, and scholarships for academically gifted previously disadvantaged children. I've also work with the non-profit College and Community Fellowship assisting formerly incarcerated women attain higher education and leadership skills.

Currently, I am the State Director for The Reach Out and Read Program, an early literacy program that "prescribes a book" at every pediatric well-child visit for children from 0 -5 years of age. As the mother of a toddler this work is extremely fulfilling for me. It enables me to positively impact the lives of children and spend more time with my son.

During my five months as a blogger I've challenge my readers to make a difference. I participated in the Donors Choose Bloggers Challenge, asked people to get out and vote, raised awareness about World AIDS Day, Breast Cancer, and Poverty. Making a difference is ingrained in me and I am compelled to encourage others.

My husband and I are both entrepreneurs and if I win I will be keeping the HP Mini so that I can continue to work and build my business while keeping up with my busy toddler around the house. My husband is a youth empowerment motivational speaker and travels extensively. I am not sure how he has been able to manage for the past 3 years without a laptop but with a new baby and a new home in the same year our priorities have been elsewhere.

I will donate the majority of the equipment to the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children. This mission of this shelter is
"to ease the burden of homelessness for women and children by providing basic and daily necessities while respecting their human dignity. Each year, the professional counselors, staff, and volunteers have helped over 6,000 women and children move towards more independent and productive lifestyles. Services include providing food, clothing, toiletries, diapers/formula, laundry/shower facilities, phones, job counseling, self-esteem classes, and child immunizations."

The shelter serves as the community service project for my mother's group and twice a year we donate clothing and toiletries for the women and children. I cannot think of a greater gift then providing the shelter with additional computers to help women find jobs and obtain training to ready them for the workforce. The entertainment package can be used for the children.

I am sure that this post is much longer than most but I wanted to make it clear that my life has been about service and I truly believe in the work of the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children. I would love to spread some HP Magic their way.

Thank you Sugar at Living in Theory for the opportunity!

Monday, December 15, 2008

HP Magic Giveaway

There are 50 bloggers that have been given the opportunity to spread some holiday cheer this season by giving away $6000 worth of HP products. Included in this booty are several computers and I for one would love to be a winner. One of the caveats of the contest on Stop, Drop and Blog is that we have to share the booty with others. Of course this is easy and a no-brainer for me.

New computer equipment for my husband and I would be wonderful. We both run home-based businesses and really need laptops. I can use a HP Mini 1000 around the house to keep up with things as I watch my busy toddler. My husband truly needs a laptop - in his line of work empowering young people through motivational speaking he is on the road usually 3 times a week (at least). I truly do not know how he has made it this long without a laptop but since we have been blessed with a new home and a new baby all in the same year it is not hard to understand how the laptop has fallen down on our priority list.

The rest of the booty which includes a fabulous touchscreen PC would be donated to the Atlanta Women's Day Shelter. Woman that are homeless have a safe haven for themselves and their children as they search for jobs, gain skills and acquire clothing at this not-for-profit facility. The *magic* of this contest is in giving to such a wonderful program and providing needed computer and entertainment equipment for the women and their children to use.

You too can enter the giveway here. I am hoping for some holiday luck this season!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Like to Move It!

gloria hippo Pictures, Images and PhotosHello! You may know me, I am Gloria aka Renée. Yes, that is me and I am sure you have seen me busy busting some moves. Need a reminder? Check me out twisting my hips and shaking the Earth in my video. My best moves can be seen around 1:34 but I am sure that you will enjoy the whole thing.

Clearly being a "big" girl I have no problem "moving it" but it is time for change. In my former life I was an aerobics instructor and generally stayed in shape. I was fit for my wedding, pregnant 2 months later but unfortunately lost the baby and a fallopian tube. I admit I was depressed and turned to food for comfort but became overjoyed when I became pregnant 5 months later. With a new attitude I started belly dancing, yoga, aerobics and water aerobics to stay in shape. Clearly very enthusiastic about fitness! As luck would have it, ending up on bedrest kept me off my feet and my exercise routine went out the window.

Fortunately the rest was just what I needed, my blessing arrived and all was well. Nursing helped me shed some pounds and I felt great. I started exercising earlier this year but after a medical problem stopped and haven't been back to the gym since April. My schedule as a work at home mom can get hectic and the gym just doesn't make the cut AND I am still paying fees!

After reading success stories of people losing 30+ pounds using the Wii and Wii Fit I know this is the way to go. With the Wii I can do all of my old fitness routines - step, running, and strength training. As a child I *was* the Hula champion (and it is very clear from the video that I still have my moves -bellydancing kept my hips in rotation), so I look forward to adding that to the mix. The idea of getting fit and having fun, in the comfort of my own home, on my own schedule is incredible!

All of the hard (and fun) work with the Wii will pay off because it will prepare me for the best role - a physically fit and healthy mother for my toddler. I can't think of a greater role for me to play!

I hope that my desire and need for a Wii and Wii Fit are evident - Mile High Mommas and Los Angelista are is having contests that I hope to win. Wish me luck! If I win I will post a picture of the real me moving it! An after photo of course, I have already graced you by moving in all of my rotundness.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Loking for a Special Christmast Gift?

Martha Stewart has teamed up with M&M's brand to create some crafty gifts for Christmas. Personalize M&M's in your special way. Did you know that you can now upload photos to your M&M's? You can also add your favorite holiday greeting. Once you've done perhaps try your hand at making an ornament featuring your M&Ms as the star. Or you can make pretty gift bags to give to family and friends. Check out all of Martha's great ideas at

Be sure to visit right away so that you can make the special gifts in time for the holidays.

I will be placing my order today!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Avon Winner!

Congratulations to entrant #14 Valerie! She is the winner of the Avon pampering package. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Turbo Tax's America's Cutest Last-Minute Tax Deduction Contest

TurboTax®’s second annual nationwide search for America’s Cutest Last-Minute Tax Deduction has launched!

Parents or legal guardians can go to and submit a photo of their newest “last-minute” tax deduction. One lucky baby, born between Dec. 1-31, 2008, will win a United States savings bond worth $5,000 (up to $10,000 upon maturity). In addition to the possible tax credits and deductions a new child may bring, who would have thought a December baby could be worth so much?

Meet Last Year’s Winner: Last year, Baby Owen won the honor of being voted America’s Cutest Last-Minute Tax Deduction. To see an update on Owen, check out the TurboTax video.

If your little tax-deduction does not qualify for the contest here are a few tips that will help you during tax season:

  • Any new baby in 2008 could deliver a $1,000 child tax credit. This is a gift that keeps on giving until they turn 17.
  • Be sure to file a new W-4 form with your employer to claim an additional withholding "allowance which may help boost your take-home pay.
  • There's also a tax credit, worth as much $11,650 in 2008, to help offset the cost of adopting a child.

Tis' the Season and I have a giveaway!

I have 3 cute onesies to giveaway. If you or someone you know has a baby the can fit size 6 months all you have to do is leave a comment.

If you want additional entries subscribe to my feed, post my button on your sidebar or tweet this giveaway. This contest is open until December 11th at 6:00pm. It is open to U.S. addresses only. Good Luck!

Flirty Girl! Yes, you!

The Family Review Network gave me the opportunity to try out the Flirty Girl Fitness DVDs. Ladies, pull out your inner diva (okay, your inner stripper) and get ready to dance! Yes, I said prepare your stripper moves. The Flirty Girl concept is based on taking the Stripper Moves out of the club and into your home for fitness and fun.

The whole set-up was too cute. I was sent a boa, keychain, box (to hold my DVDs) and two sets of DVDs. My first move was to whip out the boa to do a little pre-DVD flirty. Unfortunately that didn't go over too well. My husband was on his way to a meeting and my boa had seen better days. Feathers were flying everywhere and it was clear that Ms. Boa was going to have to stay on the shelf - I could only imagine the mess after a workout!

But that little mishap did not deter me. The real test was the workout. I pulled out the dancing portions to try and do some moves. I actually had a great time. The DVDs were reminiscent of dance classes and since I enjoy dancing I thought that was a nice touch. The tutorial before actually executing the dance should be helpful for everyone. I believe that it will take a few sessions of the review before actually perfecting the workout but with all of the repetitions you will get it eventually. If you are not a dancer you may get a little frustrated but this is not a DVD that you are just going to pick up and be ready to do all the moves like a professional and that is part of the fun.

The real value in my opinion lies in the floor work. I really enjoyed the toning exercises and can completely see how many women have experienced success with this workout. One of the other outstanding things about this package is the meal planning. You are given 10 days of meal plans to implement with the workout. This was great and I found the recipes very helpful, I am always on the lookout for new recipes especially for breakfast. This was really a bonus for me!

Overall, if you are looking for a fun workout that will make you smile and get you moving, I think Flirty Girl is a good choice.

Baby Einstein

Baby Einstein is a Mom owned company that is celebrating it's ten-year anniversary. I am sure that all of you have heard about Baby Einstein. In my opinion it is one of the leaders in baby centered products. Although prior to this review opportunity I did not try out Baby Einstein, I clearly understand why mothers trust this brand.

Mom Central and Baby Einstein sent me a copy of the 10th Anniversary Baby Mozart DVD, the Baby Einstein Touch and Feel board book and the Lullaby Classics CD. I have to admit I was a little skeptical about Mekhi and the DVD because I've always believed the products were targeted at younger viewers.

I was pleasantly surprised that by using the DVD to spend quality time together Mekhi indeed had a great experience. He quickly pointed out objects that he identified and named them. I helped him along if there were things that he was not familiar with.

We both enjoyed the DVD very much, and the Board Book is certainly a big hit in our household. Mekhi loves to read and he really enjoys farm animals so the book was perfect. I use the DVD when I want Mekhi to have quiet time and it seems to have a calming effect on him.

Overall I think that utilizing the Baby Einstein products during the holiday season (really anytime) are a great way to bond with your child and I highly recommend them.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reading is Fundamental!

I am a staunch advocate of early learning and reading. I have been reading to Mekhi since he was 3 months old and I encourage all parents to start reading with their child early. So of course when MotherTalk gave me the opportunity to review James Patterson's new site Read Kiddo Read I said yes immediately!

James Patterson is a well known author of many books including my personal favs - Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider. His site Read Kiddo Read is a great resource for parents looking to enhance their child's library. He recommends books by age and also provides links for places to obtain the book. I think my favorite aspect of the site is the ability to search for the book at your local library! Love that!

Here is a link to a brief video of James Patterson discussing his newest book Cross Country and Read Kiddo Read with Al Roker - I love both of these men and think you will enjoy watching.

Read Kiddo Read is a resource that I absolutely recommend when you are looking for books for your child. I personally am always on the look out for new books for Mekhi and I am happy that James Patterson has put together this site.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Month of Meals

I have mentioned on more than one occasion that I am not a domestic diva. I look for shorcuts to do everything. When the Family Review Network asked if I wanted to review A Month of Meals I immediately said yes. Lately I have been trying my hand at meal planning and this e-book is a great go-to resource for me. The book is more than just a listing of recipes. She includes the shopping list (a huge timesaver for me), nutrition information, and even makes room for substitutions. I cannot speak highly enough about this book.

One of the main premises of A Month of Meals is that by meal planning you will save money. I know that this is true. Planning out my meals and shopping "only" for the things I need has limited my visits to the grocery store and kept more money in my pocket. By combing A Month of Meals with coupons and you will really see the savings add up! Given the current economy I know that we could all use some help in this department.

If you want great meals, a shopping list, tips and tricks for saving money I suggest that you try out A Month of Meals!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Winner of Wieman and Libman Giveaway!

Congratulations to Carolyn G! Entrant #39

Carolyn G said...OMG I love those granite wipes. I didn't even know they made anything liek that. I have granite in the kitchen and both bathrooms and could really use them.
Congratulations Carolyn!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-12-06 17:21:11 UTC

Friday, December 5, 2008

Mom Central Gift Guide - Giveaways

Mom Central has compiled a fabulous Gift Guide to meet all of your shopping needs. As a bonus there are daily prizes! To enter all you have to do is register on Mom Central, log-in, and leave a comment on the post. In addition, if you use Twitter you can tweet and get an extra entry! By sending an email to friends about the giveaway, you can earn another entry! I love Mom Central and if you are not already a member you should be! It is a great place for resources for Moms. Good Luck!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pampering Anyone? Avon Products Giveaway!

I know that there are times when taking care of yourself is the last thing on your agenda. If you are a busy mom or even a college student life sometimes gets in the way of taking care of yourself. Well this holiday season I am moving at the speed of light but I have committed to taking a time out on a daily basis.

Lucky for me MomSelect and Avon have partnered to help me take these time outs. I have been sent lovely samples from the Avon Holiday Collection. To keep my feet nice and smooth during the cold months of winter I tried out the Winter Spice line. The foot soak, scrub and cream smell so good and are perfect for my at home pedicure sessions.

Foot Works Winter Spice Foot Soak

Foot Works Winter Spice Foot Scrub

Foot Works Winter Spice Moisturizing Creme

The cold days of winter can also wreak havoc on my hands. The holiday hand creams come to the rescue! These convenient purse sized tubes keep my hands moisturized wherever I go. I love them.

Holiday Hand Cream

Finally, the winter delights lip balms are quickly becoming my best friend. My lips really dry out during the winter but these lip balms make a huge difference. They smell good enough to eat and also make the perfect stocking stuffer.

Winter Delights Lip Balm

Avon products are so reasonably priced once you visit you will wonder why you haven't been shopping there. Try it for your holiday shopping. By entering the code JINGLE30 you will be entitled to free standard shipping with a $30 order when they shop with an eRepresentative. This offer expires on January 1, 2009!

Do you like the way these products sound? Great! You have a chance to win the whole shebang! You get your first entry by writing about what you do to pamper yourself. You can get bonus entries by:

1. Subscribe to Cutie Booty Reviews - get updates so that you don't miss a giveaway!

Updates by email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

2. Place my button on your sidebar
3. Use twitter to "tweet" about this giveaway - link back here and leave your id in the comment.
4. Blog about this contest.

So there you have it! Five ways to enter. For each method please leave a separate comment! This contest is open until December 10th - I need to contact the winner by email please be sure to include your addy in your comment if you are not on blogger. This contest is open to U.S. only. The winner has 72 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Spreading Holiday Cheer! $200 Target Gift Card

Tomorrow is The Secret is in the Sauce Holiday Party. A prize is being given every hour and the grand prize is a $200 Target gift card! Whoo Hoo! SITS is a comment support group that features a different blog on a daily basis. SITSa's visit and comment on the blog of the day. And whenever we see this button we comment too. If you love comments and reading blogs you need to join SITS right now!

DVD Review: Fly Me to The Moon

Fly Me to the Moon is the first animated movie created for 3D. It is the story of Nate, a young fly and two of his friends I.Q. and Scooter. They are looking for adventure and decide to accompany the astronauts on Apollo 11. They did not know that they would be traveling to the moon but are soon caught up in the wild adventures of space travel. The movie is filled with action, intrigue and history.

This film is fun for the entire family. Mekhi and I enjoyed spending quality time together watching the film. Since Mekhi is so young we did not use the 3D glasses and I really appreciated having the option to watch the film in 2-D or 3-D. The animation and the colors were spectacular. The voices of Kelly Ripa, Nicollette Sheridan (Desperate Housewives) and Christopher Llyod (Back to the Future) really added to the viewing experience.

If you are looking for a great gift for the whole family, this film will be a hit. It is available on December 2nd and is retail priced at $25.99. The purchase price includes 2 pairs of 3-D glasses.