Friday, May 8, 2009

Mom Dot 31 Bloggers in 31 Days- Tessuta Giveaway!

Welcome to Day 8 of the Mom Dot 31 Bloggers in 31 Days Blog Giveaway.

In honor of Trisha of Mom Dot's 31st birthday (May 31st, btw), Mom Dot has rounded up 31 of the participants and we've rounded up some birthday goodies. Instead of giving them to Trisha, we're giving them out to YOU! Not that Trisha doesn't deserve the gifts-she runs an awesome site with great resources for bloggers. If you haven't visited her site yet, make it a point to do it NOW!

Last month, I told you all about my new Game Day Bag from Tessuta. Since I wrote that, my bag has made trips to Disney, Sea World and worked the Census with me. It is the perfect size for those things you don't want to leave behind when you go out. In addition, thanks to the adjustable strap, it won't annoy you by getting in the way.

Tessuta joined in the celebration by offering a Game Day bag for you to win! Just in time for summer amusement park going, ball games, picnics and all those fun activities where you don't want to be bogged down by a big bag. Even better, you can show the world who you're rooting for with a beautifully made, sturdy woven bag.

To Enter:
1. Go to Tessuta'swebsite, take a look around, the come back and comment what items appeal to you and/or which Game Day bag you'd like to own.

Extra entries:
2. Subscribe to New Sue Review.
3. Subscribe to Suzanne Calling.
4. Vist MomDot and comment on a post there. (2 entries)
5. Grab the Suzanne Calling button and post it on your blog. (5 entries)
6. Display a MomDot 31 Bloggers in 31 Days Blog Party button on your blog, (5 entries)

Contest will run until Friday, May 22 at 12 noon. Winner will be notified by email and has 72 hours to accept the prize. Winner will be selected by from all eligible entries.

Thank you, Tessuta, for helping MomDot celebrate Trisha's birthday!


Sorry for the delay in picking the winner. I didn't want to give anyone this nasty, nasty cold we're dealing with right now.

Our trusty has chosen a winner!

True Random Number Generator Min:1 Max: 19 Result: 5 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Lucky number 5 is Carolyn G

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dole "Make Me A Chef" Contest and Giveaway

Do you like Dole's canned fruit products? Who doesn't? Tropical fruit, Mandarin Oranges, Peaches and the most important one-Pineapples!

In my house, we've always got cans of pineapples and mandarin oranges in the pantry. They're great for snacks for Chef Jr and to have for the many recipes that I have that call for fruit, like stir fries, salads and cakes.

So when I heard about Dole's "Make Me a Chef" Contest, I had to share the news (and go enter-let's be honest, here!). You can win a trip to Los Angeles in June to cook with Ben Ford at Ford's Filling Station
and share the meal with three of your friends. In addition, there are eight weekly giveaways of $100 in Dole products and two giveaways of $500 Visa Gift Cards.

To enter, visit the Make Me a Chef contest website, and write a 200 word essay about how DOLE Canned Fruit is a staple in your pantry. How easy is that? You can enter a daily essay until May 8th, if you choose! In addition, refer your friends and for each one you name (up to 5 daily), you get another entry.

This past week's What's For Dinner Wednesday at Suzanne Calling featured one of my favorite meals that's made with DOLE pineapple, the WDW Galley Salad. Then, Thursday, I put the recipe up over at MomDot.

Doesn't that look great? It was my favorite meal to enjoy in the Magic Kingdom. They don't serve it anymore, but you can still enjoy it, because I'm giving you the recipe:
WDW Galley Salad
Magic Kingdom’s Galley Salad

*2 cups Romaine Lettuce
*1/2 cup Pineapple Tidbits
*1/4 cup Pecans
*1/2 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
*1/2 cup chicken, cubed
*Balsamic Vinagrette

Place first five ingredients in a large bowl, drizzle dressing on top and toss. Serves two.

DOLE has graciously offered New Sue Review readers a chance to fill their pantries with $25 in DOLE canned fruit products. To enter, you can do the following:

REQUIRED ENTRY: Visit the "DOLE-Make Me A Chef" website and tell me about the Ben Ford recipe you'd most like to try.


1. Subscribe to New Sue Review with the follow button.

2. FIVE extra entries, for each time you head to the DOLE Make Me A Chef site from that link and enter the contest. Come back here after you do, and post a portion of your entry essay. You just have to do that in your first entry, but reference it in the next four comments.

The contest for the coupons will end at MIDNIGHT Eastern time on May 3rd. Winner will be notified by email and has 72 hours to claim their prize from the time stamped on the email.

What are you waiting for? Go head to the website and enter so you can WIN!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny by Lucy Adams

Today, I have the pleasure of sharing my recent interview of Lucy Adams, syndicated columnist and author of "If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny."
I recently had the pleasure of reading this book. ANY parent can relate to the funny stories Lucy shares. From children walking through interesting showers, tales of dining out that sound all too familiar, and musings about just how much paint is left in that spray can is directly proportional to whether it is being sprayed on an appropriate surface, Lucy has a gift of finding the funny in the every day!

Lucy took time out of her busy schedule. Four kids, teaching, writing-it makes me tired thinking about it, so I asked her about that and other things on my mind. Here's what she had to say-

1. Wife, mother of FOUR (bless you!), syndicated columnist and teacher. Where did you find the time to write the book?

For months on months, my husband supported me by giving me one free night a week. When I got home from work on those days, I went straight to my computer and started typing. He took care of everything else - dinner, getting kids to their activities, homework help, etc. Those blocks of undisturbed time in which to focus were priceless.

2. I noticed that each story in the book is two pages? Designed for busy moms or happy accident?

Most of the stories in the book originally appeared in my weekly newspaper column, which is about 600 words in length. That happens to also equal about two pages in book format. Two pages is about all a busy mom can read before someone comes knocking on the bathroom door asking if she's seen his dooma-flitchie and could she help him find it if she hasn't. And, yes, he believes it is an emergency.

Not design. Not accident. Definitely fate.

3. In reading the stories, I get the sense that each of your sons is wise beyond his years. Did they get that wit from you, your husband, or both?

My children come by their quick wit from my husband and myself. We seldom miss an opportunity to find humor in a situation or turn a play on words. Our home is a safe place to practice humor. They know we'll take it well, and they are usually rewarded with a laugh.

4. There were quite a few laugh out loud stories in the book. Your 7 year old (Mr. Outside the Box) and the plans to temporarily liberate the quarters from the video game to be able to play was priceless. The amount of spray paint in the can story also had me nodding knowingly. When life happens, are you there thinking "this will make a good story", or does that come later?

Usually, the story comes later, when I've had a chance to gain some perspective on the event. Most of the time, in the course of life's ups and downs, I find myself figuring out how to survive from one moment to the next, not composing a story. But, I do have paper and pen with me at all times and when something strikes me as humorous, odd, peculiar, or off-center, or even disconcertingly familiar, I write it down for future use.

5. Are your kids willing to rat each other out for the purpose of Mom writing it down, or does the child who provide writing fodder beg for you not to commit it to print?
My two older boys and my daughter don't give their own behavior or each other's much thought in terms of whether or not I might write about them. It's more about who wronged who and how can they spin it in order to have me render severe justice to the offending sibling. My youngest son, Mr. Outside-the-Box (he's 9 now), on the other hand, is another case. I recently had to sit him down and make it very, very clear that I do not want him to do things just to see if I will write about him in the newspaper. Any gray hair I have is due to him.

Generally, my kids can't predict what I'll write about, anyway. So much happens in a week, heck, in a single day, that there's a hundred options for one story. And often, what someone else thinks would make a good column is not at all what I would choose to write.

6. Do you find you can barter and get them to do something to avoid being written about? With mine, if I take pictures of their messy rooms and threaten to put them on the blog, they clean. However, a book and column are permanent!

That might work with my 13 year-old son, but the others rather enjoy the attention. I think even the 13 year-old only half-heartedly protests. They like flipping through If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny and reading snapshots from their lives. It sort of makes up for their incomplete baby books. I picture them taking it to their therapists someday as indisputable evidence that I warped them.

7. For the longest time, I couldn't get a good professional picture with two kids. Have you been successful with four?

There's a story in If Mama Don't Laugh ("Picture Day!," p. 4) about just that very thing. I took Say-Some-Evil, See-Some-Evil, Do-Some-Evil, and Tattle-Some-Evil to the photographer's studio and, well . . . I'll let you read for yourself how that turned out.

8. And totally out of left field- If you could change anything about your life, what would it be?

It's so odd that you should ask this question. I was just talking to my husband about this last night. (It wasn't him I was trying to change. I like him most of the time just the way he is, and the times that I don't like him, I forgive him.)

Since I think it is impossible to change the busyness in my life, I won't say that. The one thing I would change is how I earn my money. I would be a full-time writer. But, I couldn't change that without starting a chain reaction of events that would affect my entire family, not just me. So for now, I'll keep writing during those slivers of "between time" that I manage to find here and there.

Thank you, Lucy, for stopping by New Sue Review on the If Mama Don't Laugh Blog Tour. I am glad for the opportunity to read the book (and revisit my favorites) and share my conversation with you with everyone.

If those taxes have got you in a funk, I suggest visiting Lucy's blog. Better yet, visit Amazon to buy yourself a copy of "If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny" and read a few excerpts-you'll be laughing in no time.
And the winner of the "If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny" Hat is:
Rock City!
True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 5 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

RockCity said...

Whenever my daughter announces she has to go potty!
April 11, 2009 6:53 AM

Congratulations, Rock City!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


With April comes thoughts of baseball. If you're the average sports fan, you're digging out gear to show your support of your favorite team. In my case, it means I'm grabbing my beloved Mets ball cap and wearing it proudly.

Lets be honest, for years, if you were a girl and you liked sports, you were relegated to wearing the same stuff as the guys, tee shirts and ball caps. Maybe a key chain. There wasn't much for us to show the world we loved our team.

Enter Tessuta. Andrea Claster Greenspan founded Tessuta to provide great woven products. From pillows, to purses, to memo boards and more, Tessuta makes products for many colleges and recently entered a deal with major league Baseball to offer a variety of licensed, high quality woven items.

I recently got Tessuta's Game Day Purse featuring my Amazin's on the front. The thing that struck me when I first opened the package is how striking the bag is with grosgrain ribbons of black woven with the Mets royal blue in an elegant basket weave.

Even more impressive was that this bag has substantial weight for its size. The grosgrain ribbons are paired with a heavyweight cotton in royal blue. This is one bag that is built to last.

Probably the thing that's the greatest is that the Game Day Purse fulfills a need with style. When you're headed to the game, you don't want to be lugging your usual handbag, but you have essentials you can't be without. For me, the bare minimum that I have to carry is my camera, wallet, keys and cell phone. The Game Day Purse easily held these items in the front zippered compartment (wallet), middle magnet snap closure pocket (camera and keys) and the back pocket (cell phone). If pressed, I could fit more in here, but honestly, who needs more for a game? Or a concert, for that matter.

After checking mine out, it got put into service for quick trips to the store and for the days when I am working and don't have pockets in my pants (I work outdoors and need to have ID and keys on me). I love how the strap is adjustable, as I like bags to be slung low on my hip. Your preference might be different, and Tessuta put in that nice feature, rather than offer a one size fits all strap.

I have a new favorite bag for sightseeing. Thanks, Tessuta!

You're probably wondering what other items Tessuta makes. Currently, their MLB products include the Game Day Bag, Narrow Memo Board and Square Pillow.

The other products Tessuta offers that I am excited about is their Collegiate product line. While my school currently has no products available, I was able to take a peek at the product line, as offered at other schools. I cannot wait until the messenger bag is offered for USF, because I want to carry my books in style!

If you want to show your team spirit with something stylish, well made and practical, go check out Tessuta today!

Monday, April 6, 2009

"If Mama Don't Laugh" Book Tour and GIVEAWAY!

Join me here on April 15th to meet Lucy Adams, author of "If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny," and you can WIN your very own "If Mama Don't Laugh" baseball cap!

At tax time, we all need an extra laugh, and syndicated columnist Lucy Adams delivers a book full of them!

I had the pleasure of laughing at Lucy's tales of life with four kids and will interview her about the book.

Now, about that prize. Lucy has generously donated this hat to one of my New Sue Review Readers:

This is a nice, high quality ball cap, suitable for a day at the park, covering the bad hair day or trying to disguise yourself when your child has embarrassed the heck out of you.

Tell me your funny story in the comments and we'll pick a winner on April 15th!

Extra Entry!!! Become a follower of this blog and comment to let me know!

See you then!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sensible Portions Cheating With Chocolate

If you like sweet snacks, but are watching your calorie intake, Sensible Portions Cheating with Chocolate snack packs are the perfect answer.

I recently had the chance to try two different flavors of this product, the Cinnamon Roll drizzled with white chocolate and the the Smores, which had a dark chocolate topping.

The Cinnamon Roll snacks were light and the soy was crunchy and had great flavor, There was cinnamon throughout every bite and the white chocolate was a good complement to the crunch and cinnamon. Unlike other 100 calorie snacks that I have tried, there was enough in the bag to make you feel like you were getting a decent snack. Granted, these will not fill you up when you're hungry, but if you want a sweet treat, this will definitely take care of the issue with only 100 calories.

I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of smores, as I find them way too sweet. However, the Chocolate version? It satisfied the chocolate craving, had the crunch and a hint of marshmallow flavor.

Both flavors reminded me of breakfast cereals with the noisy crunch. I don’t know about you, but if it’s supposed to be crunchy, I want to hear it.

At the end, I saw a little bit of crumbs in the bottom of one of the bags. I freely admit it, that was two calories that I thought I’d be getting-the bag went up and those crumbs went into my mouth. That’s how good these snacks were-I didn’t want to miss a morsel.

If I've got a rumbling stomach, I'll reach for something more substantial, but if I want something sweet that's better for me than a candy bar, Cheating with Chocolate fits the bill.