Friday, January 29, 2010

Kissable Lips from Neosporin

When I went up north this Christmas, I knew I was going to be in trouble up there in PA.

I have very dry skin, and my lips always get chapped in cold weather. It's a combination of the lack of humidity outside and the dry heat inside from furnaces, fireplaces and the like.

Plus, I take thyroid medication for my hypothyroid, another reason I have dry skin that leads to my lips chapping, even in FL where it is humid and sunny.

So I went out looking for a good lip balm. Some lip products just cover up the problem with wax, and you end up using more and more of them without actually helping your lips.

Which is why I was delighted when I found out that Neosporin had a new line of lip care products. And now that Mom Central is having this blog tour, I get to share them all with you!

You already know the name of Neosporin and that you can trust them when you have cuts and scrapes. Their ointment helps protect cuts and lets them heal faster than with just a bandage.

Well, their lip products are every bit as good for my poor chapped lips. Neosporin Lip Health Overnight Renewal Therapy and Neosporin Lip Health Daily Hydration Therapy are clinically shown to restore visibly healthier lips in just 3 days. Your lips actually become more hydrated, smoother, and appear back to their normal tone.

The Neosporin Lip Health line isn't just colored wax to coat your lips, but a patented combination of lipids, fatty acids and antioxidants.

First, the Neosporin Lip Health Overnight Renewal works to soothe and restore my lips while I sleep. I don't have to do anything! I just put it on at night and wake up to lips that aren't dry and sore, but already hydrated.

Then, the Daily Hydration Therapy keeps this going during the day. It contains SPF 20 (so it's also great for FL!). And it absorbs quickly--your lips just drink it right up. There's no sticky, icky mess. Using them both together gives me 24-hour, round-the-clock protection from the elements and the dry, heated air inside during winter, too.

I keep the Daily Hydration Therapy in my purse for quick, easy touch-ups whenever I am on the run.

When you use the Neosporin lip health products, you can take their "3 day challenge". I'm confident that, just like me, you'll see that after just three days your lips feel healthy, have their natural tone and are no longer dry and sore. The unique formula, full of vitamins, peptides and emollients, keeps you covered sun up to sun down (and then again during the night!).

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Neosporin and received a sample of the Lip Health Overnight Renewal Therapy and the Lip Health Daily Hydration Therapy to facilitate my review and a $20 thank-you gift certificate.

Friday, January 22, 2010

For Your Funny Little Valentine: A Giveaway!
Regular readers of the blog will know that I am a big Winnie the Pooh fan. I think the stories are very kid-friendly (the Owl takes his nickname from them), Piglet is a great role model for kids who are a bit timid, and of course Eeyore is the sweetest depressed donkey around.

Tuesday, January 5th, the latest Winnie the Pooh DVD from Disney came out, the heartwarming classic, Winnie the Pooh: a Valentine for You, in a special edition with Winnie the Pooh valentines(!), and we are GIVING IT AWAY!

You know that Disney always packs their DVDs full of extras. This Valentine-themed animated collection features:

My Hero-- First time on DVD. Piglet saves Tigger's life, so of course Tigger feels he owes his friend and becomes Piglet's servant. Unfortunately, Tigger's "help" makes life harder for Piglet until the tables are turned once again.

Un-Valentines Day--Rabbit wants to cancel Valentine's Day! Last year, the Valentine's Day cards littered the Hundred Acres Wood. So the friends agree..and then someone anonymously sends Pooh a pot of honey, and it's on again!

A Valentine for You--Pooh, Piglet, Tigger are worried that Christopher Robin has been bitten by the love bug "Smitten," after they see him making a Valentine for a...gulp...*girl*! Will he still have time for his friends? They set off on a wild chase for the love bug to save their friend.


Catch the Love Bug Game--In this game, players try to catch as many flying “Love Bugs” as they can throughout the Hundred Acre Woods.

Pooh-themed Valentine’s Day cards!

To Enter the Giveaway (required for initial entry): Just leave a comment below.

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Good luck! Contest ends Friday, February 5th. I'll send the DVD out by Monday, February 8th to the winner.

Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine for You Special Edition is available for U.S. $29.99 from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. I received a copy for this review, which I am giving away on the blog in this contest.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book Review: Some Girls Are

Courtney Summers, the author of YA novels like Cracked Up to Be, is, in my opinion, a rising star in the field. I definitely think she is the one to watch.

Not only does Courtney deal with timely and relevant tough subjects with empathy, her dialogue is spot on for teens, and her characters have depth.

What a welcome change from some of the shallow, two-dimensional novellas out there, with the stereotypical nerds, jocks, goths and the rest!

Teens, and parents of teens, will recognize within the pages of her works familiar faces and personalities from their own lives.

In her latest work, Some Girls Are, Courtney deals with the disturbing world of bullying and intimidation between teen girls desperately vying for popularity.

Regina Afton dreads the designated driver role when she goes to parties. No alcohol to deaden her ennui, and her friends' silliness gets wearisome to watch. But Regina has no clue just how bad it can get. When she turns, in tears, to an unlikely confidante after a nightmare encounter that's left her reeling, she learns just what it's like to be a victim of the exclusive, all-girl clique formerly known as the Fearsome Five--of which Regina was once a charter member.

Invisible to her former friends, Regina attempts to pull her life together amidst bullying and intimidation from the new Fearsome Foursome as she is "frozen out". Help comes in the form of an unlikely friendship with Michael Hayden, whose tragic past Regina once used as leverage in her own particular form of character assasination.

Viv's take:
Some Girls AreThis latest from rising star YA writer Courtney Summers is an experience not to be missed. Teens will love the realistic, in-depth characters, and parents can use this book as a "teachable moment" by talking about the plot with their teens. Warning: the cruelty in Some Girls Are, while scarily genuine, is just breath-taking in its scope and intensity, so I would not recommend this book for pre-teens. I would say the appropriate age group would be those about to enter, or enjoying their first year of high school.

I received a copy of this book from the great folks at Macmillan to aid in my review, with no other expectation than a fair and unbiased opinion.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Avatar Parody

I saw Avatar in 3D and it was absolutely gorgeous but...well, the plot was predictable to say the least. And, bearing that in mind, here's the BEST synpopsis of Avatar I had seen online! It's hilarious, right on (and full of SPOILERS).

What My Secret (Blogger) Santa Sent Me!

I just wanted to give a shout-out to my wonderful Secret (blogger) Santa, who picked out this super selection for my Christmas surprise!

Kitchen towels with snowman designs (which I have been using, as they are perfectly appropriate in this absurdly cold weather Florida has been experiencing), cranberry butter cookies (the whole family thought they were delicious), a photo frame, a scrumptious gingerbread candle (which we also burned on a few of those cold evenings) and an entire cookbook full of just desserts! Woot! She must know I have a sweet tooth.

This, btw, was my Secret Santa: Melissa, from

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We're Ba-a-a-a-ck! How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

So, after a short break over the holidays, Cool Moms Rule! is up and rolling again.

Here's how I spent my winter vacation: we took a drive up to my sister's place (which is GORGEOUS) in PA, so the owl and the rhino could see their cousins.

The Engineer, the kids, the grandparents and I all piled into the minivan for the long trek up north, through icy scenery and snowy skies. We spent our first night on the road in West Virginia, where the snow was so thick we had to wait until the roads were plowed before we could start moving again.

As we continued on toward the small town in PA where my sis lives, the Owl could hardly contain his excitement, as his girlfriend, who he hadn't seen since the summer, lives in PA. I need a nick for her as well, so I'm going to call her Raven, as she currently has her lovely hair black (perfect for my gothic son).

Before school holidays started, every time the Owl would walk into a classroom with his friends, they'd say, "Hey, how many days now?" and he would answer, "10, 9, 8...days until I'm with Raven." He'd been counting the days since, I think, November!

We had really good traffic on the drive north, despite the weather, and made excellent time. As we drove up to the door, we were greeted by my sis's dog, Hattie McSpaniel. Hattie has a LOT of energy, an she LOVES to fetch. Her favorite toy is her barbell--here's a movie of the Engineer throwing it for her.

My sis, her husband and the kids couldn't have been better hosts. They have newly designed their kitchen and it really is the heart of their home now, with a huge granite countertop that also serves as a casual dining space when they aren't using their dining room. We were just plied with delicious food the whole time we were there, and even decorated gingerbread cookies. Here's my favorite personal creation (I am NOT the best decorator), the Jolly Green Giant cookie.

We exchanged gifts for Christmas and just had a great time. The Engineer went sledding with first the Rhino, on a hill nearby, and then took the cousins, the Owl and Raven to Avalanche Express for more outside adventures while my sister, grandma and grandpa and I saw Sherlock Holmes at the movies.

It wasn't all idyllic, of course. Hattie McSpaniel gave my sis a scare when she devoured some chocolates, foil wrappers and all, and had to be rushed to the vet just after we arrived (chocolate can be toxic for pets. Please be careful!). Then, the windshield on the van CRACKED all the way across from the cold! Turned out we had a small nick in the glass that just couldn't take the extremes in the weather. It was easily fixed, though. We also ended up changing hotels. The grandparents had picked a little budget place that had, as total storage, two small cubbies and a half-closet (not full-length), and that just wasn't enough for the Engineer and I and our two teens--we needed some drawers at least. Thanks to the Engineer's frequent business trips, he was able to get us a good rate at a nearby hotel with a full hot breakfast every morning (and cookies in a jar on the counter!).

We were really pleased at the way Raven fit in so well with the family. Her hearing impairment really didn't pose any problems at all, and she is a total sweetheart. Other than the fact that she is a vegetarian and the Owl is a dedicated carnivore, the two of them have SO much in common that she just fits seamlessly by his side. Of course, they are only teens yet, so there's plenty of time to see how that relationship develops.

The way home didn't go so well as our visit, unfortunately. Traffic was HORRENDOUS, adding a good four hours onto our drive time. But overall we had a great Christmas vacation!
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