Archive for August, 2009

Office Max helps kids get ready for back to school

officemax1It is hard to believe The Little Write Gal starts school again this week.  The summer has flown by!  If you are out shopping for school supplies, be sure and check out Office Max, who recently sent me some products from their new Schoolio Von Hoolio back-to-school line.  Look at how cute they are!  The Little Write Gal just loves the owls and cupcakes.  Her favorite item is the pink, yellow, and orange floral clipboard.  She has been using it this week to hold all of her lists for getting ready to go back to school.

officemax3I was very fortunate to be invited to participate in a blog cast which featured renowned organizational expert, Peter Walsh; Heather Wolpert-Gawron, an award-winning teacher; Ana Picazo, a well-known mom blogger; and two students. Together, they discussed strategies, tips and advice from the real experts on how to organize and prepare students for back-to-school.  Here are some tips from the blog cast you can use to help organize back to school in your house:

1) Find the Vision you have for a Space
2) Make Organization a Family Value
3) Use the Right Tools for Great Organization

1) Show that you Value Organization
2) Establish Clear Limits and Routines
3) Always ‘Finish the Cycle’ (Complete a Task)

1) Establish Clear Routines
2) Involve Kids with Classroom Organization
3) Use Words, Pictures and Color to help Organize

Thank you Peter Walsh and Office Max for sending the Little Write Gal these great school supplies and for giving us tips to keep us organized for the 2009-10 school year.  For more organizational tips check out my post from April of this year called, “Office Max and Peter Walsh team up to make you organized.”

Signature 23 Skincare – Review & Giveaway (CLOSED)

Sig23logoFor the last two weeks I have been using some fabulous skincare products from Signature 23 Skincare.  I really like this line because their products are made from natural ingredients and not harsh chemicals typically found in other skincare products.  Signature 23 Skincare’s products feature the company’s exclusive, proprietary formula– “Complex23”–composed of 23 active ingredients that assist in cellular metabolism and help improve the lipid-water balance in the skin. Signature23 ingredients do not include fragrance, parabens, dyes, or sodium lauryl sulphates.

Here is more information from the Signature 23 Web site:

Signature23 is more than just a skin care line. It’s a lifestyle. Combining the knowledge of science with the beauty of nature, Signature23 recognizes that lasting beauty comes from within, and that what you put on your skin goes directly into your body.

ClearSkinElixirI have tried other natural skincare lines before and have been disappointed.  While I am confident the ingredients were natural, they didn’t do a thing for my skin.  Not so with Signature 23. I believe their products actually work. My favorite product is definitely the Clear Skin Elixir which contains Willowbark extract and promotes clear and balanced skin.  After taking Accutane in college, I never thought I would suffer from adult acne again. Well I was wrong.  I am in my 30s now (Ashley is laughing here because she knows I am really closer to 40 than 30 but whatever) and unfortunately it is a problem I deal with on a daily basis.  I am a fair-skinned redhead so acne on me is always much  redder than on someone else.  After using the Clear Skin Elixir for the last two weeks I can actually see the redness lighten.  What’s even better is that since using it I haven’t gotten any new bumps on my face.  I hope that with continued use my acne will actually go away.  My only suggestion to the company to improve this product would be to sell it in a mega size because I will definitely order more in the future.

LifestyleDayCreamI also love the C23 Lifestyle Day Cream which contains high tech humectants and Skin 23’s anti-aging “Complex23” to help moisturize skin for a more youthful appearance.  It also has a yummy tangerine smell that I love. This is one of the first products I have tried in a long time that doesn’t actually make my skin look more oily.  I have been using it after the Clear Skin Elixir and before my mineral makeup foundation.  I think using these two products together has made my skin less oily because I have noticed that I am reapplying less powder to combat the oil during the day.

VitaCElixirIf you have dry skin or you need extra hydration, you might want to try Skin 23’s Vita C Elixir.  Vita C Elixir’s  antioxidant formula helps replenish lipids lost due to aging, dehydration and environmental factors while bamboo extract helps to deliver and lock in cellular moisture. If you have really oily skin like me, I would suggest you use the Clear Skin Elixir instead of this product because I noticed that my skin tends to be more oily after using it.  If your skin is normal or dry I think this would be an excellent source of hydration for you.


Signature 23 has given The Write Gal readers a 25% discount off of their entire order.  Simply use the code thegal at checkout to receive your discount. They are also giving one lucky Write Gal reader a full size of the Clear Skin Elixir – a $38 value.  To enter, please visit the Signature 23 Web site and tell me in a comment something about the company or a product other than the one’s I mentioned.  That is all you have to do.  You can also get exta entries by:

  • Tell me in a comment why you want to win the Clear Skin Elixir (5 extra entries);
  • Add me to your blogroll (10 extra entries).

The contest is open to residents of the U.S. only until 11:59 p.m. on September 4th.  A winner will be chosen shorthly thereafter.

Good Luck. And if you order from Suzanne at Signature 23 tell her The Write Gal sent you.

I might be watching “Dancing with the Stars” this season

dtwsI have never tuned in to Dancing with the Stars before except maybe a few times while at my sister’s house.  I have to give it to the show that each season they get better and better with their celebrity contestants.  I think this year I might be watching on a regular basis because they have a great group of celebrities.  The contestants for Season 9 were announced on Good Morning America yesterday.  You can see the complete cast list here but my favorites are supermodel Kathy Ireland (love her!), Donny Osmond, Kelly Osborne, and actress Melissa Joan Hart (from Sabrina the Teenage Witch). 







Who’s going to be watching with me? makes price comparison easy

pebble2Recently I discovered which is a price comparison Web site.  There are a lot of price comparison Web sites out there but this one is unique.  Not only can it help you find the best deal on the Web, it also has a feature where you can ask questions about products. This is a great benefit to the consumer because often my biggest pet peeve about buying online is the inability to ask questions.  It is a Catch – 22 because if I go in to the store to ask a salesperson my questions I get a massive sales pitch.  If I buy it online I run the risk of not knowing everything about the product. I actually prefer buying online when I can and when I don’t have to pay load of shipping costs. I like shopping in the comfort of my home without having someone try to sell me something.  With you can actually fully research a product before you buy it because now there are people to answer your questions.  And these are not biased store employees answering your questions either but regular consumers who have experience using the product. 

pebblepricecompareI tried to search for a Keurig.  I am really wanting  a Keurig in white to match my kitchen appliances and I have had a hard time finding one locally.  Hopefully one day the great people at Keurig will finally give this Mr. Coffee user a chance to trade up and give me a review and giveaway. I am not sure if that will ever happen in my lifetime so I am probably going to have to resort to purchasing one on my own.  I searched to find my white Keurig and they had six stores with price data.  Now I did have some questions about owning one so I checked out the question databank for this product and sure enough someone else had already asked my question which was about what type of filtration system the machine used.  A user responded with how the Keurig does not take separate filter but uses their own line of special K-cups to make the coffee which acts as the filter. I knew the Keurig used the K-cups but I did not know they acted as the filter. I found that information to be very helpful in my search for a Keurig.  (Special note to the people at Keurig: If you are reading my post will you pretty please let me review one of your machines?  Pretty please?)

The next time you need to do some price comparison shopping, give a try. 

Now I know why I dread the dentist

redheadsMy fellow redhead and friend Trisha from Sweet ‘n Sassy Girls introduced me to an article about how redheads are more susceptible to pain.  Now I know why I hate having dental work done.  According to the article, research shows that people with red hair need larger doses of anesthesia and often are resistant to local pain blockers like Novocaine. As a result, redheads tend to be more nervous about dental procedures and are twice as likely to avoid going to the dentist as people with other hair colors.  I have always dreaded the dentist. Always.  I thought it was because of my past TMJ surgery which does bother me a lot when I go because it hurts to hold my mouth open for a long time.  But now I know why it hurts so much when I get shots of Novocaine and why they don’t feel like they numb me at all.  So now in addition to the freckles and sunburn, I have to worry about a gene  mutation that causes redheads more pain.  Researchers believe redheads are more sensitive to pain because of a mutation in a gene that affects hair color. If you want to read the full report, check out this article from The Journal of the Americal Dental Association.

The good news is that soon I am going to have a very understanding dentist.  In December my cousin Cathy, a dentist, will be moving back to the U.S. from Germany. So finally I get to go to someone who I know will understand my pain.  My current dentist just blows me off when I say I am still hurting. 


I have to say pain or no pain, I wouldn’t trade my red hair for anything in the world.  Thanks Mom & Dad for the redheaded gene.  I guess I better also thank my Grandma who had red hair since it skips a generation in our family.  One day, a long, long  time from now I hope to have some redheaded grandkids.  We can commiserate about our dislike of dental procedures together.  Any other redheads out there feeling my pain?


Win the Wizards of Waverly Place CD (CLOSED)


Last week Walt Disney Records released the Wizards of Waverly Place soundtrack featuring songs from and inspired by this hit Disney Channel TV series.  If you have kids in the house who watch the Disney Channel, I am sure they know all about this series which stars Selena Gomez. It is one of the Little Write Gal’s favorites. If you haven’t seen it before, the show follows the Russos, a New York family that includes Alex (Selena Gomez), her brothers and parents. The three kids are wizards, able to perform amazing feats of magic, though they aren’t supposed to do so without parental permission. Of course, that usually doesn’t stop Alex.

The Wizards of Waverly Place album features new songs and interpretations of classic tracks from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, each one about magic. The CD includes several new songs performed by series star Selena Gomez, including “Disappear,” the rock ballad “Magical,” and the show’s theme song “Everything is Not as it Seems.” The CD features exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with Selena, plus her all-new music video.  Also included on the CD is “Hannah Montana” co-star Mitchel Musso with a version of “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” by the Police; the all-girl rock band KSM performing the 1968 Top 10 smash from Steppenwolf, “Magic Carpet Ride;” Meaghan Martin covering Olivia Newton-John’s #1 1980 hit “Magic;” “You Can Do Magic” by Drew Seeley; and Aly & AJ’s version of the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Do You Believe in Magic.”

“Magic” by Selena Gomez, “Magic Carpet Ride” from KSM, and “Magic” by Honor Society will be featured in Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie, an adventure comedy complete with more than 350 special effects, premiering Friday, August 28 (8:00 p.m., ET/PT) as part of the Disney Channel Original Movie franchise.

My friends at Walt Disney Records have very generously offered two lucky Write Gal readers a chance to win a copy of the Wizards of Waverly Place CD!  The contest is open to U.S. residents only and ends 11:59 p.m. EST on August 24th. 

Main Entry:

Leave me a comment telling me why you want to win. 

Extra Entries:

  • What is your (or your son or daughter’s) favorite Wizards of Waverly Place character? – 5 extra entries
  • Subscribe to my blog – 5 extra entries
  • Add me to your blogroll – 5 extra entries

Good Luck!

Pond’s Towelettes make makeup removal easy

ponds1Recently I had the opportunity to try Pond’s Wet Cleansing Towelettes which come in three varieties – the original clean, micro dermabrasion, and age defying.  I tried the Original Clean towelettes which I really like.  I hate to admit that most of the time I do not take off my makeup before going to bed;  mainly because it is a pain to get out the washcloth, cleanser, and then to actually take the time to do it.  With Pond’s this process is simple because all you need is the towelette. It is already wet so all you do is use and toss in the trash can when you are finished.  It’s that simple. 

ponds2Pond’s is the No. 1 brand of wet cleansing towelettes and they gently remove make-up and even waterproof mascara. Clinical studies have shown that Pond’s towelettes remove the make-up that other brands leave behind – taking off up to 40 percent more than other leading towelettes.  These towelettes are also ophthalmologist and dermatologist tested.  I like that they have been tested by an ophthalmologist because I wear contacts and am always hesitant about placing things close to my eyes.  I have to say with these I had absolutely no eye irritation. And the best  part – the price!  Ponds Wet Towelettes are available at major retailers and range in price from $4.79 – $5.07 for a pack of 30.  Here is a Pond’s Towelettes coupon where you can save $1.50 on your purchase.

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