Sunday, July 24, 2011

Slapdash Sunday(7/24)


Slapdash Sunday is a day for your proverbial week 'leftovers.' Is there something you wanted to say, but just forgot? Is there something you want to write about, but isn't worth a whole page? Do you have a random thought, funny or otherwise that needs to be written down?

That is what Slapdash Sunday is for!

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My friend Jennifer of Sweep Tight just recently blogged about a scary situation that happened to her friend on a flight.

Seriously guys, this gave me CHILLS O.o

You can read about it Here.


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Wanna be apart of Slapdash Sunday?

Grab the button below and blog along!


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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Health Update Thursday(7/21)


As you all know, I took a short bloggy hiatus and just recently (Monday) came back-Well wouldn't you know, but the day I chose to come back to the blogging world, I got sick again!!

Isn't that how it always goes, though?

Not all is lost, however, my dear friends-Those two or so weeks I took to focus on my health treated me very well! I was able to go out a little bit, hang with friends, go shopping, and I generally was feeling pretty decent.

You can even see a picture of me at the movies in my recent Harry Potter movie review.

Thankfully, I know what this recent bought of not feeling good is due to; yes, Tom is heading back into town and I'm seriously feeling his wrath this month. I hate the way I have to deal with not only the PMS and the actual THING itself, but I also have to add 2+ weeks to that PMS because mine usually starts halfway through the month.

So 1 1/2 weeks of reprieve, and 2+ weeks of pure hell.

A woman's lot to bear? Whoever thought this up, point me in their direction so I can kick their masochistic ass!

Anyway, I'm here. I'm doing the best I can blogging wise, business wise, health wise, sanity wise. I just have to get through the next two weeks and I'm (hopefully) home free.

I <3 ya'll!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Galstanberry #2 Tour *Book Review & Giveaway*





Last Winter, I did an interview with the author of the Galstanberry Girlz series, Garen S. Wolff, as well as held a giveaway for her first book. Recently, I was contacted to see if I would be interested in working with her again, this time, with her recently released SECOND book in the series, and all I could think was...OF COURSE!

Book Synopsis:

"May all Galstanberry girls pursue their dreams, persevere through obstacles, and live without regret!"

Being the Galstanberry school motto, Lillian, Brandi, Fei, Tabitha, and Nisha-five completely different girls from different parts of the country just coming into their own and learning the ropes at this new (and a little intimidating) school-are ready to take it to heart!

Lillian, the spunky, scholarship recipient, is just happy to be accepted to the prestigious Galstanberry academy, and doesn't see what the big deal is when she tells people she's on scholarship. She just wants to put her best foot forward no matter what, and that's why she eventually decides to take her love of writing to the next level in Galstanberry #2.

Brandi, the determined one of the lot of five sees things differently then others; Galstanberry is the most honorable school in the country and, thus, those chosen to go there are the most honored girls, but that doesn't mean it's not unlike any other all-girls school out there with it's cliques and girl drama! This is why she decides to set out to change things!

Fei, the confident, carefree one of the group, could care less what girls at the school think of her and what she does, especially her roommate, Meredith. She's content with being herself, and in her eyes, that's enough to be happy. Well, that and her breakdancing ;)

Tabitha, the sassy daughter of a wealthy Texas governor, is used to being popular-Status and wealth are important to her, and it's important that she keeps up that persona while at Galstanberry. So of course that means running for sixth grade class president!

Nisha, the clever Beverly Hills girl, is not so keen on being a partial scholarship recipient like her roommate, Lillian is; in fact, she would rather keep that little piece of information a secret from just about everyone, staff and student, at Galstanberry.


My Thoughts:

Even when I was a teenager, I wasn't that much into books directed at teens. I was always an advanced reader and would tackle books far beyond my reading level. My point: I never really got into teenager-y books.

So, to write this review, I'm going to try to channel my inner teenage girl :)

Aside from one, little pet peeve in particular, I really did enjoy reading this book. While sitting down and reading it on the couch, I visualized hundreds of little girls doing the exact same thing I was doing, and taking from it what Ms. Wolff set out to give them through her writing-Confidence in who they are as individuals, no matter what their background might be.

One of my absolute favorite quotes from the book: "Do NOT permit the noise from naysayers to drown out YOUR voice, YOUR ideas, and YOUR dreams."

Even though it was a quick read for myself, I think many young girls will find this book entertaining, enlightening, and just plain fun :)

My one big pet peeve, though-I was not a fan of the teenager-y talk found throughout the book-In fact, it kind of drove me a little nuts. But hey, that's just my preference! Like I said, advanced adult genre book reader here, where teenage speak is most definitely not found.


The Girlz of Galstanberry and Galstanberry #2 can be purchased as a paperback or e-book at any major online retailer, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or on Garen's website, The Girlz of Galstanberry!



{The Giveaway}

A copy of Galstanberry #2 by Garen S. Wolff, a Tabitha Crawford collectible bookmark, AND the girlz stickers!







{The Rules}

1. You MUST include a way to reach you whether it be an email or blogger URL.
2. Each comment, mandatory and or extra, has to be separate.
3.
This contest is open to US residents only.



{Win It}

Visit The Girlz of Glastanberry Website and comment on anything you learned!



{Extra Entries}


1. Comment on one thing you learned about Garen in the author interview I did with her last year(1 extra)

2. Follow my blog through GFC(1 extra)

3. Subscribe to Me(2 extra)
*Located on the right-You can't miss it.

4. Follow Me and Garen on Twitter(2 extra-1 per follow)

5. Tweet this giveaway(1 extra daily)




RT:: #Win a Copy of Galstanberry #2 and a few other goodies! @TheEclecticE @GalstanberryFan  http://bit.ly/ok7p0O
#giveaway


6. Blog about this giveaway and leave a link(3 extra)

7. Become a fan of Garen and The Girlz on Facebook (1 extra)

8. Register at Battle of the Bands and vote for Case In Point
(5 extra for registering-1 extra per day for voting)


That's 1 mandatory entry + 45 possible extra entries which = 46 entries total!
Good Luck!






The Eclectic Element Disclaimer:: I received a copy of Galstanberry #2 by Garen S. Wolff so that I could accurately write an honest review of the book-All thoughts and opinions expressed in the above post are 100% mine and mine alone. This contest is open to US citizens only and will run from Wednesday, July 20, 2011 12:00 am central standard time until August 3, 2011 11:59 pm central standard time. The winner will be chosen via Random.org and will be contacted within 24 hours of the drawing. You have 72 hours to claim your prize and send me your shipping information-If I haven't heard from you within that time frame, I will choose another winner.


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 Galstanberry #2 Blog Tour, Next Stop: thecupcakesprinklesinlife.com

 Follow @GalstanberryFan and RT for a chance to win the Galstanberry Grand Gift: Books 1 + 2,  Stickers, and Bookmark!

Use this RT: Follow @GalstanberryFan, and RT this for a chance to win the Galstanberry Grand Gift! http://t.co/vdVLz4v #giveaway #contest
 
*Please note that the contest is for US residents only.




Tuesday, July 19, 2011

T-Mobile's Huddle Up Program Making a Difference



I'm not the biggest, most popular blogger around the blogosphere {which I'm completely okay with by the way}, but I have been at it for over 2 years, made several friends along the way, got quite a decent following, worked with several different companies, and many other things commonly known and done in the blogging world.

I see all these more popular mommy and review bloggers being invited on trips to different parts of the country to take part in events they were cordially invited to, and I really would love to be able to do these things too!

Well, last month I was invited to an event put together by T-Mobile and 150 of their employees. This isn't just any event, though; they invited me to be a part of a project to 'Paint, Plant, and Beautify' a local after school space at the Institute of Latino Progress in Chicago, Illinois as a part of T-Mobile Huddle Up, a national outreach program.

A little bit more about T-Mobile Huddle Up:

"T-Mobile Huddle Up is T-Mobile’s national community outreach and employee volunteer program, connecting kids, primarily from single-parent families in high-need, urban communities, to positive people, places and programs. Now in its sixth year, T-Mobile Huddle Up has transformed more than 58 after school programs nationwide, and is taking on 10 more “extreme makeovers” in 2011."




Even though I would have LOVED to be apart of this life changing program, I unfortunately wasn't able to make it due to health issues. That being said, I'd like to do my part by blogging about what T-Mobile did, and what they are continuing to do with their wonderful program!

Being Chicago and that Illinois has had some outrageous weather this year, the day started off with what can only be described as torrential rain and downpours; that didn't deture the T-Mobile employees and other volunteers though!

'Paint, Plant, and Beautify' consisted of not only painting brand new color schemes and revitalizing the inside of the school, constructing cubbies, bookcases, picnic tables, and donating computers, furniture, books, school supplies, games, and a large flat screen tv, but it also consisted of creating a stronger environment for learning and fun, which, I think they well surpassed THAT goal.

Prior to this year's Huddle Up, through many of T-Mobile office initiatives to raise money including bake sales, ice cream socials, carnivals, and cash donations, employees collected nearly $4,000, and that money was used to pay for the school supplies placed in the newly built bookshelves, the television, the Wii system, and everything that filled up the Huddle Up Zone at the Institute.

In addition to the $4,000 raised, T-Mobile donated a whopping $6,000 as well, AND Wireless Vision, T-Mobile's retail partner, donated an additional $1,300 to the institute along with joining in on the "Extreme Makeover" festivities.

"To sum up the day, T-Mobile focused on the 3 “C’s” – Chicago, Community, and Camaraderie.  Huddle Up Chicago 2011, the fourth annual Huddle Up Service day in Chicago, was all about teamwork and giving back to the community."


What an inspirational program right in my 2-hour-away backyard! I honestly had no idea that T-Mobile did this for the Chicago area each year, but now that I do, hopefully I will be better so I can participate in the next Huddle Up project :)

For more information on T-Mobile or T-Mobile's Huddle it Up Program, visit T-Mobile.com.





The Eclectic Element Disclaimer:: I was not in any way compensated for writing this post-I did it strictly for the benefit of my readers, and to spread the word about T-Mobile's Huddle it Up Program.





Monday, July 18, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 *Movie Review*



Movie Synopsis:

It all ends 7.15.11

Picking up where they left off in part 1 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) fight to keep their heads high and attitudes positive when everything around them is turning dark.

They still have several of Lord Voldemort's (Ralph Fiennes) horcruxes to find and destroy. The order has crumbled and it's members-those who still remain alive that is-are scattered. The Dark Lord's army is growing by the day.

Still, there is nothing to do but push on. As the trio go about the dangerous and deadly journey of hunting and destroying horcruxes, they take one step after another that eventually leads them to the battle that ends all battles, and above all, the truth. But when Harry realizes the terrible fate that awaits him in the end, will he be brave enough and strong enough to accomplish it?

Amidst the whole world turning against them, they still have time to show love; love to strangers, love to each other, and love to themselves. As Dumbledore states at the end of the movie, "Pity those who don't have love."


My Thoughts:

My friend texted me the other day and asked me if I wanted to go to a late-late {like 11:00pm} movie to see this. I was actually up for it, so I eagerly decided to accompany her :)

'The end of a era' is what people have been calling this long anticipated last installment of the Harry Potter series.
A lot of people have been saying that this movie is the best of the whole series. To address this comment, I guess I would have to agree and disagree; my thoughts: yes, it IS a very good movie, but it's also a finale. Finales are usually put-everything-you've-got-left-into-them good.

That being said, I personally think that in the complete series, there have been better movies overall. That's just my opinion anyway-You guys can be the judge when you see it!

As for the movie in general, I thought it was pretty darn epic. It was unlike the earlier HPs due to the dark nature of the storyline, and the whole kill-or-be-killed plot, which I did like. I also liked the way they incorporated things, like life lessons (pity the living, you're nothing without love) and actual romance (I've been waiting for that kiss between Ron and Hermione since I read the darn book way back in the day!!!) amidst all the darkness.

I must say though, for as epic as the movie was, it draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaged. I understand you want to incorporate a lot into this movie and whatnot, but do it a little faster, huh? I don't need to see 10 minutes of the trio epically walking somewhere in slow motion.

All in all, if you're a Harry Potter fan (books, movies, or both), DEFINITELY see this!





**This is an opinion solely based on my thoughts and opinions of the movie in question and no one elses. I was not influenced one way or another to write the subject matter in this review, so if you don't like it or don't agree with it, that is your choice and I fully respect it so please extend me the same curtsy**



 I thought I would add this little picture for viewer enjoyment-We did NOT see the 3D version, but my friend's sister had the night prior and we had fun trying on the Harry Potter 3D glasses. HEHE!



Mailbox Monday(7/18)



Mailbox Monday divulges into the inner workings of my mailbox throughout the week. From books to jewelry to free samples to random magazines and letters-You never know what will be in the mail this week... 

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I was NOT expecting this on my stoop a couple weeks back!

It's a full quart of Glidden Interior Paint O.o
And it was FREE!

I wish I would have known how big it was going to be; I would have chosen something besides pebble gray! Lol








I've recently got into trading on Etsy and this past week just traded a few pieces of my jewelry for something that I really wanted and needed-An address book.

I know, I know; party animal Kayla, huh!?

But you have to see this address book from Jennifer of Jennifer Inspired on Etsy to understand why it's so amazing xD











Who doesn't love free things!?

This business card holder was a freebie-It's blue :)










I THINK I won this through a giveaway being held on SteamyKitchen.com. One day, I just looked in my inbox and there was a gift certificate!

I chose the Pyrex glass containers and still had a few dollars left over, so I opted for some Paula Deen Cheese Straws.



This was a 4th of July win thanks to CSN Stores!

I was even able to get it embroidered with my initials :)

Now, all I need is a beach to go to and I'll be set! LOL








What did YOU get in the mail this week?




Monday, July 4, 2011

Bloggie Hiatus


Due to a few realizations this past week and the fact that I've been pretty up and down with my health for a good long while now, I'm taking a temporary hiatus from blogging and whatnot to focus on the healing process.

My realizations::

1. I'm not getting better and I'm just stuck in this vicious cycle of being down, getting a little better, then completely blowing it and being down again.

2. I am NOT doing all that I can to get better {shame on me}.


I think I've just hit a point where I'm tired of it all and I'm either going to do all that I can go get better, or stop trying all together-Personally, it could go either way right about now with the way I've been feeling, but I have an amazing family, an incredible boyfriend, and true friends {real life, Lymie, and bloggie} who love me and won't let the latter happen, so as I like to say, "ONWARD!"

Don't worry, this absence is not going to be forever-I still plan on visiting and commenting when I can and I will be back before the 20th because I was included in a wonderful opportunity to be a part of a book tour, but if you don't hear from me for awhile, just know I'm working on bettering myself physically, mentally, and spiritually :)

As always, your support means the world to me, and I love each and every one of you!



P.s. Everyone have a happy and safe 4th of July!!




Friday, July 1, 2011

Apothica GC Giveaway Ending TONIGHT!


Haven't entered my $25 Apothica Gift Certificate Giveaway? 

You still have time!

Enter HERE until 11:59pm CST.