Archives for March 2010

Tropicana Juicy Rewards, Post 1

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Tropicana.

There are certain things that always seem to be in our refrigerator: milk, cheese, eggs, bacon, pickles, some sort of leftover that’s covered in plastic wrap and needs to be put out of its misery, and, well, orange juice.

It’s just one of those staples that we always seem to have on hand.

And also? I can’t even tell you how relieved I am that my refrigerator was reasonably clean when I snapped this picture. I didn’t think to check beforehand, and when I uploaded the pics I half-expected to see a streak of ketchup working its way from one shelf to another.

Anyway, when I found out that Tropicana was starting their Juicy Rewards program, I was a little bit curious, mainly because I always like to try out rewards programs for products that I’d be buying regardless. What totally surprised me, though, is how valuable and practical the Juicy Rewards are. You get points for each carton of Tropicana orange juice you buy (you can set up a rewards account on the Tropicana site), and then you can use those points for discounts on lots of different family activities.

(Imagine my delight when I realized that I only needed 2 rewards points for a discount on a 1 1/2 hour massage.)

(My delight, it was significant.)

So for the next couple of months, I’m going to be telling you about how I use some of my rewards. I’m already planning on the massage (DID I MENTION THAT?), and there’s also BOGO admission deal at our favorite science center. I’m especially excited about the discount at a nearby bowling alley, because there are few things in life I enjoy as much as challenging a certain seven year-old boy to a bowling showdown.

Look. He beats me at every other game we play. Surely it’s okay for me to seize the occasional victory while I still can.

And do you know what’s even better? You can totally join the fun. Just set up your rewards account, and check out what rewards are available in your area. You can even get a free reward point (new accounts only) if you use a special BlogHer code:

To get your bonus point:
1. Go to
2. Set-up your Tropicana Juicy Rewards account (it’ll just take a minute!)
3. Visit the “Enter Codes” page within the site and get started with BLOGG-HER11*
*This one-time use code is valid for new accounts ONLY. Must be entered within 6 hours of creating your account.

Best of all: every time I post about Tropicana Juicy Rewards, BlogHer is giving away a $50 Visa gift card on my blog. So if you’d like to try to win the gift card, leave a comment and tell me one product that you always have in your refrigerator. Milk? Orange juice? Bacon? Cake?

Can you tell I’m craving cake?

Be sure to visit the other participating bloggers’ reviews on the special offers page (you have seven chances to win!).

You can find more information on the official site, and here’s a link to the official rules.

Can’t wait to share all the rewards fun with y’all – stay tuned!

This giveaway is now closed.

This giveaway ends April 14, 2010.

American Idol – Top 10

I am a nerd. I really am. Because the opening segment where Ryan Seacrest was backstage and then we saw the audience from his perspective as he walked out on the stage? IT THRILLED ME TO NO END.

That being said, I’ve had a hard time getting excited about tonight’s episode. Last week was just so, I don’t know, BLAH, and I really, really hope that somebody has a breakthrough tonight. Because if not, then we just need to go ahead and eliminate everyone besides Crystal and Michael and then see what happens.

Hopefully things are going to take a turn for the better. Hopefully.

Siobhan Magnus – “Through The Fire” – OH, wow. That was really rough. I don’t think the slower tempo suited her voice at all. It was super-pitchy; it seemed like she spent the whole song jumping from one key to the next to the next. And she did the super-big-note-at-the-end again – but it was a dud. Definitely not her best night.

Casey James – “Hold On, I’m Comin'” – YES MA’AM. I loved it. He’s still tied down behind the microphone a little bit, but this song was perfect for him, and it showcased his blues-y style better than anything else he’s done this season.

(What’s up with all the backstage stuff? Is Idol taking a cue from Dancing with the Stars?)

Michael Lynche – “Ready For Love” – Really good – very tender and thoughtful and controlled. Given that, I have a quick question: when did The Kids start waving their arms back and forth during ballads? Is this a new phenomenon? And is it a distraction for anybody else? Because I felt like I kept looking at everyone’s arms to see if somebody was waving the wrong way. Maybe I just have a touch of the ADD. Or the OCD. Or the LMNOP.

Didi Benami – “What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted?” – I really do like her voice. But somehow her voice and this song just weren’t a match. Her interpretation was so straightforward, but her voice just begs for something a little more eclectic. And overall it was just a little bit boring.

Tim Urban – “Sweet Love” – Oh, tread carefully, young Tim Urban. Because this song is PERFECTION when sung by the lovely Anita Baker. And I guess in light of that, it’s no wonder that Tim’s version fell so far short of the original. It felt a little bit like elevator music – very bland and vanilla – and there was no real emotion behind it. No charisma. And this song begs for both.

Anthony Andrew Garcia – “Forever” – This was a little rough at the beginning, but about a third of the way in I felt like he really started to find his way. And while it was nowhere near perfect – a little sharp in spots, for sure – I thought this was his best performance in weeks. I especially loved what he did with the song’s bridge. Very creative and catchy.

Katie Stevens – “Chain of Fools” – Katie really surprised me tonight. She had great stage presence, some kickin’ earrings, and she held her own with a classic Aretha song. She wasn’t perfect – things got a little boring in the middle of the song – but she did a nice job.

Lee DeWyze – “Treat Her Like A Lady” – Well. That was near-’bout perfect. It was soulful, original and utterly believable. Lee had A Moment, and that sound Crystal and Michael just heard was Lee catching up with them. The whole thing was even better because he’s so stinkin’ humble. LOVED IT A MILLION TIMES.

Crystal Bowersox – “Midnight Train to Georgia”- I know I’ve said it before, but this is one of my favorite songs ever. This was a little strange, because Crystal is such a natural with the guitar, but she seemed uncomfortable at the piano – which is why I was so relieved to see her stand up. The vocals were great, but I was surprised that she didn’t do anything unexpected with the arrangement. I wish she’d picked up the tempo a little bit – but who can complain, really, when somebody can sing like that?

Aaron Kelly – “Ain’t No Sunshine” – My first thought was that the version of this song that Kris Allen sang last season was so strong that Aaron’s version would have to pale in comparison. And I was right. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t special. It’ll get him through another week, and I guess that, right now, that’s all that matters.

Best of the night: Lee
Worst of the night: Siobhan
Should go: Tim or Didi
Will go: Didi

What did y’all think?

If you’d like to add your AI post to the Mr. Linky, please leave a link to your specific post and not just your general blog URL.

You’ll Flip For This Giveaway…

…because, well, you can win a Flip video camera.


You can also win some really great music.

And it’s all because of a wonderful new album by one of my very favorite singer/songwriters.

You can find out all the details over on my giveaways page!

Spring Playlist ’10

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was about to start working on my spring playlist, and I’m happy to say that it’s finally finished. It was as time-consuming as you might imagine, what with the five to six and a half minutes that I spent typing out a list of songs that I can’t quit listening to right now.

You’re worth it, internet. That’s all I know to say.

Before I share the playlist, I just want to make my Official Disclaimer: Nobody asked me or paid me to include these songs. Nobody offered me a KitKat in exchange for a link. Nobody gave me a Popeye’s gift card, either, though if that were the case, I would certainly entertain all offers.


Here are my happy songs for spring 2010. I’m making a mental note that perhaps my summer 2010 list needs to include a shot or nine of estrogen. I don’t have any idea why this list is so fella-centric, but I’m gonna run with it since I love these songs so much.

“Washed By The Water” – Need To Breathe
“Takin’ It To The Streets” – Doobie Brothers
“Whisper” – Ernie Halter
“Live Like We’re Dying” – Kris Allen
“Sing A Song” – Earth, Wind & Fire
“Chameleon” – Dave Barnes
“Everything” – Michael Buble’
“Home” – Marc Broussard
“Ariel” – Diane Birch
“‘Til You’re Gone” – Gabe Dixon Band

By all means, feel free to dance.

What are you listening to and loving right now?

An Unexpected Weather Event

Tonight’s episode of “The Office” was pre-empted by our local NBC station because of tornado warnings in a couple of neighboring counties, so you’ll be happy to know that our DVR recorded thirty minutes of a Live Doppler NexRad 3D HD extravaganza from 8:00-8:30.

On the up side, I have learned from the weather maps that there’s a place to the south of us called Weogufka, Alabama. There’s also a Verbena, Alabama, and I think it sounds like an absolutely lovely place to live. Maybe it’s because my mama is from a little bitty town called Rose Hill. I seem to have an affinity for towns named after flowers.

And that reminds me: the last time I drove to Memphis, I passed an exit on Highway 78 for Myrtle, Mississippi. Isn’t that the best, most welcoming name in the whole wide world? I think we all should move there.

Anyway, this seems like an excellent time to share some links I’ve been saving. You can read them while you’re packing all your earthly belongings for the move to Myrtle.

– Nester has reminded me how fun it is to rearrange furniture. Please don’t tell my husband.

– I miss my Papaw Davis all the time, mainly because I wish so badly that he and Alex could have known each other. Earlier this week Shaun wrote a post about his grandfather, and it ’bout near put me in the bed.

– Melanie at This Ain’t New York wondered what life would be like if her Garmin had a Southern accent. The whole post DELIGHTED me.

– I am deeply and completely in love with . It’s a neutral with a punch. Sometimes it looks taupe, sometimes it looks lavender, sometimes it looks gray – and it’s a warm enough color that it stands out against my fair skin. I can already tell that it’s going to be my go-to shade this spring and summer.

Okay. I believe that’s all. I guess I’ll catch Michael & Co. on Hulu tomorrow. Because while the weather guy was entertaining and all, I really missed Dwight and Creed.

See you in Myrtle,

Marketing To Men

Our nine year-old leaf blower quit working at some point during the winter, and after a couple of attempts to resurrect it by replacing parts, D realized that the engine was cracked. I didn’t realize that was a big deal because I figured you could just seal it up with some duct tape or something. As you may have guessed by now, I’m a bit of an expert in small engine maintenance and repair.

Once D realized that Old Faithful was going to have to be replaced, he started researching his options. After much thought and comparison and prayer, he decided to go with an electric leaf blower instead of a gas-powered one because 1) it was cheaper 2) it had some vacuum-attachment thing-y that mulches leaves and 3) it got good reviews on Amazon. So basically it was a power tool trifecta.

This past Saturday morning D went to Lowe’s and bought the new leaf blower. Since we already owned an extension cord that’s approximately the length of a regulation-sized football field, as soon as he got home and took the leaf blower out of the box, he was in business.

Imagine, if you will, his joy. I daresay that it was palpable.

I walked outside in the midst of the new leaf blower’s introduction to our driveway, and as I looked at the box that was still on our front porch, I got a little tickled. Because somebody in Black & Decker’s marketing department knew exactly what they were doing.

Oh, it looks innocent enough.

But this B&D box offers some none-too-subtle Man Bait.

First of all, it’s a LeafHog. I have no idea what that is, mind you, but it sounds menacing. It certainly seems like a LeafHog would be bad news for leaves, doesn’t it?

It also seems like there would be no small degree of snorting.

Next, it’s a LeafBlasterTM. Not just a mover – not just a blower – a BLASTER.

Frankly I don’t know how any man could resist this product, because inherent in the LeafBlasterTM designation is the possibility that SOME LEAVES MIGHT EXPLODE.

And if the hogging and the blasting weren’t enough, this leaf blower also has an Anti-Clog Vortex. CONSIDER IT SOLD.

By the way, when I saw “Metal Impeller,” I thought that was bound to be a French term – you know, a friendly translation of “Anti-Clog Vortex” for our European friends.

But no. No. It’s actually English. And I know that to be true because I googled it.

And that’s not all, my friends. It’s also POWERFUL UP TO 240 MPH.

At first I was puzzled by this claim, because as far as I know a leaf blower is not intended to be used as a small aircraft. But then I realized that it can blow leaves at a force of up to 240 MPH, thereby rendering this model of leaf blower irresistible to anyone with a Y chromosome. Even my own husband said, “THIS THING IS FOUR TIMES AS POWERFUL AS DAMAGING WINDS.”

Man Bait. Plain and simple.

I rest my case.