Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giliena's Italian Charm Bracelet Holiday Giveaway

For anyone interested, I am also hosting another giveaway. You can enter to win an Italian Charm Bracelet, like the one pictured above, over at Giliena's Blog. There is this and so many other wonderful gift ideas over at Giliena's Italian Charms and European Beads.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Avon Botanicals Bamboo Diffuser and Beauty Palette Giveaway

The wonderful people at Avon and Mom Select gave me a great opportunity to review both the Botanicals Bamboo Diffuser and the Jillian Dempsey Beauty Palette

The Botanicals Bamboo Reed Diffuser is a decorative way to add fragrance to your home. The scented oil is poured into the ceramic vase and the natural bamboo reeds are inserted and absorb the oil. It will become a stylish part of your home decor and add a clean fresh scent to your surroundings. I have to say, when the diffuser arrived I was a little worried. I have a hard time with most air fresheners. That was not the case at all. The scent fills a room but is subtle and not overbearing. When I poured the oil into the vase I was a little sloppy and spilled a bit on my table. It wiped away easily without staining my table. I accidentally spilled another brand a while ago and it took the finish right off my nightstand.

The Jillian Dempsey Beauty Palette is wonderful. I was given the warm palette and the colors are beautiful. You can also order the cool palette. All the colors are soft and luxurious. The lipstick is glossy, goes on smooth and is long lasting. I like that the color stayed but did not dry out my lips. The cream eye shadow and blush are easy to apply. This collection of colors will create the perfect look for the holidays or any day. The makeup is gift ready and comes in a decorative magnetic-close compact with built-in mirror.

The nice folks at have offered my readers free standard shipping with a $30 order when you shop with an eRepresentative. All you do is enter the code: JINGLE30. Act fast though because this offer expires January 1, 2009. Be sure to take advantage of this great deal during the holidays!

Win It:

I am offering both the Botanicals Disffuser and the Warm Palette to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me your favorite Avon product.

Want additional entries?

Blog about this giveaway on your blog and link back to me here at Giliena's Inspirations as well as Avon. Then come back here and comment again with the direct link to your post. Make sure you do so in a new comment in order to get credit for multiple entries.

Add my button to the sidebar of your website. Then come back here and comment again with a link to your site. Make sure you do so in a new comment in order to get credit for multiple entries.

Follow me by clicking on the "Follow this blog" link on the sidebar of my site. Then leave me another comment that you have done so. Make sure you do so in a new comment in order to get credit for multiple entries.


Contest ends December 4th, 2008 at 10:00PM MST! Be sure to include your email address so that you can be contacted. I have to have some way to contact you. If no email address is provided your entry will be disqualified and the comment will be removed. The winner will be chosen using and will have three (3) days to claim their prize. If the winner does not claim their within three (3) days another winner will be chosen.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Spread the Holiday Spirit

Just something special to remember, for those who are doing something special for us . . .

When doing your Holiday cards this year, take one card and send it to this address. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these wonderful special people who have sacrificed so much would get. So, when you are making out your Holiday card list this year, please include the following:

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
Washington,D.C. 20307-5001

Monday, November 24, 2008

Green Your Routine

I was watching the Today show the other morning and they were talking about their "Green Your Routine" campaign. I always try to do my best to be as Green as possible in my routine. There were couple of tips they referred to that I actually had not thought of. They are simple changes we can make in our life that can make a huge impact on our environment.

The first deals with ATM receipts. There are billions of transactions each year. They said that 600 thousand tons of paper is used each year to produce the various receipts we receive for things including those we get from ATMs. That equals millions of trees, enough water to supply 100 homes, and 234 million gallons of oil. That said, please choose not to take your ATM receipt. If you need to check your balance do it online. Several ATMs will even let you check your balance there without generating a receipt. Think about what other receipts you can eliminate because they are unnecessary.

The second point they made was napkins. Most people will grab a lot more napkins than they realistically need or can use. Millions of clean napkins end up in our landfills each year. Taking just one less napkin will keep 150 million from going to a landfill each year. Do not just stop at taking one less napkin though. Start with taking just one or two and get more only if you need them.

These tips really struck home for me. They are small, simple and logical changes we can make to our every day life that can make a huge difference on our environment.

Image above provided by

Sunday, November 23, 2008


For me having kids and being a part of Upromise go hand in hand. Upromise is a way for you to save money for your kids to go to college while you do your every day shopping. The best part about it is it is free! All you do is sign up, enter your credit card and even your grocery shopping card and let the savings begin. You can even send it to your friends and family. They can sign up and enter their information and you get money for college for the shopping that they do as well. I wonder all the time about whether I am able to save enough money for my girls to be able to go to college. Having several hundred dollars a year extra that I do not have to contribute is awesome. Over 18 years that will add up to thousands of dollars contributed for doing nothing other than my normal routine of shopping.

It is literally that easy. I signed up almost 3 years ago when my oldest daughter was born. Most of the money I have received has been through just every day grocery shopping and shopping for items online. An example of some of the popular grocery name brands that participate are Nestle, Beech-Nut, Elmers, Tylenol, Enfamil, Hefty and so many others.

I am looking forward to the holidays coming up. I plan to shop for my big items online and use the Upromise site to do so. All you have to do is go to their online shopping section. Click on the link for the store you want. It loads the actual web site for that store and as you shop you earn $$$. There is even a toolbar you can load on your web browser. It allows you to eliminate the step of going to the Upromise site each time you shop online. As you shop sites it recognizes which ones are part of the program automatically. It makes online shopping and saving even easier.

I plan to go to the Walmart site and buy my items because they are part of the Upromise program. The cool thing about using Walmart is that I can shop online and then have all my items "sent to store". All I have to do then is go pick them up when they arrive. There is no shipping charge that way and I get to save extra money for college for my girls.

Sign up today and start saving for your kids! You really have nothing to lose and $$$ to gain.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mommy Talk Giveaway

Quick! Over at they are doing a giveaway! Head on over and sign yourself up too!

Giveaway at

Hurry! You might miss it! Oh, but be sure to come back when you are done!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Olivia Baby Signing Update

I have been working really hard with Olivia on communicating using Baby Sign Language. She is 7 months and is not yet able to do the signs herself but I know we are making progress. When I sign "eat" or "milk" the expression on her face completely changes. She gets a huge smile on her face and starts bouncing around with excitement. It just tells me that we are on the right track and that she understands 100% what I am saying to her. Right now I am also teaching her "more" and "all done". From there we will branch out well beyond the basics and see how it all goes. Progress is awesome!

Walmart vs. Target

My mother recently visited us for a couple of weeks and it always gets me thinking about this. She is a crazy Walmart person. When I say crazy I sure mean it (I love you mommy). I do not know of another person who could spend 4 hours straight in that store and think nothing of it. Sometimes I think she eats, sleeps and breathes Walmart. I laugh and think she is the reason they are still in business with as much as she spends there. I am not complaining because I love her dearly. She bought my kids some wonderful gifts from there during this visit. She is a great Nana.

I think I am more of a Target person though. Maybe that is because Target is actually closer to my house. I love going to Target. I am not much of a shopper to be honest. I know a lot of women are and that makes me the odd one out. I just get way too stressed out and down right pissed off when I cannot find what I am looking for. That said, I always seem to find more of what I am looking for at Target. I even love doing my grocery shopping there. Some of the food items I have tried lately have been really yummy.

I really think I like them both but for different reasons. Which do you prefer? With the Christmas Holiday just around the corner which one will you shop at the most? Anyone out there not a fan of either?

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Sweet First Kiss

Most of us remember our first kiss from a boy or even the first kiss we shared with our husband before we were married. Well, that is not the first kiss I am talking about. I have been waiting for it for 7 months now. Waiting patiently?? No way! I want my kisses and I want them now! That said, this is something every mom has to wait for and it is well worth the wait. I am a mommy and I love getting kisses from my girls.

Well today my patience, or lack thereof, was rewarded and it was awesome. I was holding my little Izzy when she reached up and grabbed one side of my face and leaned in towards my cheek with her mouth wide open. She is teething so it was the sloppiest slobber kiss ever but I loved every minute of it. I was so happy and so very excited. These are the moments that every mom looks forward to. It only gets better from here and I cannot wait!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Motrin Removes Controversial Ad

Unfortunately the link provided in my previous post is no longer valid. Apparently Motrin has taken down their site in an effort to remove the ad. They did so not long after my previous post. Here is the ad from YouTube if anyone is still interested in checking it out.

I have no doubt an apology will be made soon.

Motrin Ticks off Moms

So, I logged into Twitter today and there was definitely a buzz going on there about Motrin. It took a short bit to figure out what all the fuss was about. I came across a video of a Motrin ad and I was stunned. It is a dumb ad. You can check out this Motrin ad for yourself at. The ad is obviously targeted for moms but they made a HUGE mistake. The ad suggests that moms choose to wear their babies in an effort to make a fashion statement and demonstate that they are "official" moms. I did not realize there were "unofficial" moms. Moms around the world take bonding with their baby very seriously. They do not do this to make a fashion statement. The ad clearly down plays this experience.

I am not outraged about this but I certainly found the ad annoying. I get where they were trying to go with this but the delivery was way off. Will my personal feeling about this ad lead to me choosing another brand when I have a headache? It is not likely. I use ibuprofen all the time but I usually purchase the generic brands as opposed to Motrin anyways. They should really look to focus groups prior to making an ad like this public. If they did do a focus group then perhaps they need to look for a new one. It is never good to upset the very group you are hoping to market your product to. It is probably the least effective way to win them over. The buzz started yesterday afternoon apparently and it is still the #1 trended topic on Twitter. Opinions definitely vary but a lot of moms out there are really offended by this.

The sad thing about this is that no matter how you carry your child you are bound to have aches and pains. Carrying my cute little chunky one just about kills me at times. I do not use a sling personally but having one allows you to carry those little one that all but demand to be held and still be able to have the use of your hands.

What are your thoughts on the ad? Will you reach for Advil the next time you have an ache or pain? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jessica Knows 15 Days - Playing Major Catch Up

I have still been following Jessica and her 15 days of advice every day. My mother is visiting this week which has made this quite a challenge. I have a lot of days to catch up on and I am trying to do bits and pieces at a time. I am setting up to host my first giveaway very soon. If you have not already, I highly recommend you check out for yourself what Jessica has going on. I added her button to my site for easy navigation.

I know I am learning so much valuable information. It has been useful in helping me get started with doing product review and giveaways. I am also working very hard to promote my Giliena's Italian Charms and European Beads brand and website. This information has been awesome for that.

Okay, back to my homework while mom is napping!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Giliena's Inspirations is a Rock Star!

I want to thank the The Work From Home Mother for giving me this award. I really enjoy reading your blog and I am thrilled you would pass this on to me.

So, in order to accept this award the recipient must reveal 8 amazing things about themselves and then pass it on to 8 more rock star bloggers. I am hoping I can come up with 8 amazing things so here goes:

  1. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful husband who supports me 100%, 2 beautiful girls of my own, and one awesome step-daughter.
  2. I have an Associates Degree in Legal Assisting (although I have not done much with it in years).
  3. I was the Customer Service Manager for Electronic Arts' online support prior to giving birth to my oldest daughter.
  4. I love to play video games! I currently play World of Warcraft and have on and off since it launched.
  5. Even though I was not born in Texas and do not live there right now I will always be a Texan and consider it home.
  6. I love photography and need to make more time for it.
  7. I am the owner of Giliena's Italian Charms and European beads and I maintain Powerseller status with my eBay store.
  8. I love Tinkerbell and Fairies!
Now I have to pass this award on to 8 other deserving blogs. Those are as follows:

The Lil' Mommy that Could

Thrify & Chic Mom

Mommy Chronicles Blog

Ramblings of a Texas Housewife

The Daily Dish Recipes

Life With Two

Single Mom Meltdown

Peanut Butter and Pickle Reviews

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Jessica Knows 15 days - Day Two Marketing Resume

15 Days of Marketing with Jessica Knows

Hello, I am Karen and I am also known as Giliena. I am the owner of Giliena's Italian Charms and European Beads. I also have an eBay store and I have been selling on eBay for several years now. I can be found on Facebook, Twitter,, and I am now over at and working to become an expert there.

Here are a couple of things about me:

  • I am an eBay Powerseller with over 2000 feedback and 100% positive score.

  • I am a work at home mother of two awesome little girls. One is about to turn 3 and the other is 7 months old.

  • I love new and cool products that are safe for my kids. I have found so many really cool items for my kids and I am always thrilled when I find something new and cool for them.

  • I love photography. This is something I used to share with my father and it is still very special to me. I have a Kodak digital camera and I love it but I was telling my husband this next year I wanted a new up-to-date camera for personal and business.

  • I love playing video games. I used to work for Electronic Arts. I was the Customer Service Manager for their online games. It was the best job ever for me. The only job that was better was being a mom. I enjoy playing both computer and console games. I am currently playing World of Warcraft online. I like The Sims and I just got my hands on Spore so I will be testing that out. I am a huge fan of The Wii. I love the sports games especially the bowling. I have a couple of new ones I am going to be trying out soon. I am looking forward to trying The Wii Fitness pad soon.

  • I love blogging and reading various blogs each day.

  • I love baking and I am trying to get back to doing more of this. I want to make fun and creative things for my kids. My current project is to make apple chips.

  • I have tons of pictures and have been thinking I need to take up scrapbooking as a new hobby.

Jessica Knows 15 days - Day One Catch Up

15 Days of Marketing with Jessica Knows

So, I am following Jessica and I love all the advice she has given so far. I look forward to what she has to say every day. I am behind on my homework so I am going to be working very hard over the next couple of days to catch up.

I did my homework and signed up for Help A Reporter Out and Now I need to head over and comment on what brands I like best and why. In case anyone is wondering, my favorites are as follows:

I have so many favorite brands and it is definitely hard to settle in on just three of them. The following are the three that I chose for this homework assignment:

  1. Target - I love their Archer farms brand. I have purchased several of their items and all have been well received in my home.
  2. Kodak - I love photography and I love my Kodak camera. I am in the market for a new camera this next year and I will be looking at all available but will go to Kodak first.
  3. Safe Baby Products - I love all products that are safe for my babies. I am a huge fan of some of the Sassy and Nuby products and always looking for cool new products for my
  4. kids.

I would love to hear your comments. Especially if anyone is following the Jessica's advice too.

Homework: For those reading this I highly recommend going over and reading what Jessica has to say. You will not be sorry.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Giliena's Italian Charms and European Beads Goes Posh

I am the owner of Giliena's Italian Charms and European Beads and I joined the Posh Holiday Shopping Guide over at The Posh Parent. The ladies over at Posh Parent are awesome. Jen over there created a sweet little commercial for my ad in their guide. Check this out!

I love it! Thanks Jen! If you get a chance, check out my web site and buy your friends and loved ones a unique gift for this holiday season. You could easily put together an Italian Charm starter bracelet and a few charms for under $20.00. That includes shipping! They will love you for it.


Special Offer - Celestial Seasonings Tea

So, I have been trying to eat less junk food and put healither stuff in my mouth lately. I have been pretty successful so far at cutting back on some stuff. It has been hard for me because I really have a horrible sweet tooth. Of course, Halloween does not help things at all. One big thing for me was to give up drinking soda. I have been doing really well and have not really given it up but have been drinking it in moderation. That said, I have been drinking a lot of tea over the last couple of weeks. It has become my new addiction really. Yesterday I went to the King Soopers really quick for something to make for dinner. I saw that they had the Celestial Seasonings Tea on sale. The sale was awesome and one that I could not pass up considering how much my husband and I have been drinking lately. They had 10 for $10.00. You cannot beat $1.00 a box really. I bought just about every flavor they had in order to stock up. Unfortunately they were out of my favorite which is the black cherry berry. Yumm!! I guess it is a favorite of others as well. I know that King Soopers is owned by Kroger so perhaps they have the same special. I am not sure when the offer expires. My guess is the sale is over this Wednesday. Anyways, I had to pass on this little tidbit of information.

Are you a tea drinker? If so, which is your favorite brand and flavor?


P.S. I have lost 5 pounds just simply making a few minor changes to my diet. Woot!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

See Kai Run Giveaway at Thrifty & Chic Mom

Today I found an awesome giveaway for some See Kai Run shoes. If anyone else is interested in this the link is THRIFTY & CHIC MOM: See Kai Run Giveaway. I think they are all so very cute and would love to win a pair. I like the little Nancy ones in the smaller collection. They would look so very cute on Izzy B. So, cross your fingers that I win this one!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Sweet Angels

I have been looking forward to this for a very long time. Vic is finally old enough to understand what Halloween is all about. She was a purple Barbie Fairy and she definitely looked and played the part. She would twirl around just like a fairy princess. It was the cutest thing ever. I was so proud of her. She was polite the whole way. She said "trick or treat" and then said "thank you" every single time. I had so much fun with her. She was so funny. After every single house she said to me, "Mama maybe there is another house". Then she would run to daddy and say "Look Daddy . . . more candy!"

Izzy was awesome too. I stuffed her super chunky butt into that kitty costume without one complaint from her. She did look at me a few times like "what the heck have you done to me". She just rolled with it though and smiled her sweet smile. It will be so much more fun when both of them are old enough to understand what is going on.

The weather here was fantastic. I was worried that Vic would need a jacket or something but I could not have asked for a better night temperature wise. I guess typically for this area it is bitterly cold and all the little goblins and ghouls need to bundle up.

All in all it was a great night. One I have been looking forward to for a very long time. Everyone had a good time and now we are looking forward to Christmas.
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