colossal | Reviews | Giveaways at Mommy Living the Life of Riley

Posted by: Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley on September 25th, 2010    Filed in: Blog Hopping & Networking, Giveaways, Product Reviews

Colossal Christmas Countdown ButtonI just had a wonderful idea suggested to me by one of my readers...thanks Deb!  How about some extra entries for ALL GIVEAWAYS included in the upcoming Colossal Christmas Countdown?  This holiday extravaganza will officially kickoff on October 1st, but if you enter now, you can score more chances at some FABULOUS holiday loot!

Now I thought long and hard about this and I didn't want to only award extra entries to my fellow bloggers...I want to make sure I included EVERYONE!  That is Santa's way, after all!  :-)   So, here's the deal.  Please read closely to make sure that you don't accidentally disqualify yourself from receiving these entries:


Hurry your entries must be submitted HERE by 11:59 PM on September 30th!

Earns 2 Extra Entries to EVERY GIVEAWAY:

  • Include the following message on YOUR Facebook page:  (Please leave the direct link to your Facebook post in your entry)

Looking for a sleigh full of FREE loot?  Then enter the wonderful giveaways of the "Colossal Christmas Countdown" at Mommy Living the Life of Riley! beginning October 1st!

Earns 2 Extra Entries to EVERY GIVEAWAY:

  • Tweet the following message out THREE times with at least an hour in between each tweet:  (Please leave the direct link to all three tweets in your entry)

Want to #win a sleigh full of #FREE loot?  Then enter the wonderful #holiday #giveaways at starting 10/1!  YAY!

Earns 5 Extra Entries to EVERY GIVEAWAY:

  • Post the "Colossal Christmas Countdown" button on your blog's sidebar.  MUST be on the front page of your blog, not on a separate page.  Your blog must also have at least 10 followers to qualify.  (Please leave the web address to your blog)

Colossal Christmas Countdown at Mommy Living the Life of Riley

I hope these extra entries get everyone in the early Christmas spirit! :-) Please make sure to be here on October 1st, when I'll be kicking off the "Colossal Christmas Countdown" with a bang...a giveaway worth $140!  Ho! Ho! Ho!

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Posted by: Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley on September 22nd, 2010    Filed in: Blog Hopping & Networking, Giveaways, Product Reviews

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ChristmasYou may have noticed a new button located on my sidebar advertising the upcoming "Colossal Christmas Countdown" holiday event here at Mommy Living the Life of Riley.  Well, I have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to try and come up with a SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION and am happy to say that it will be kicking off on October 1st!

Why October 1st?  That sounds awful early to already be thinking about Christmas, right?  Well, it's because I am doing everything in my power to bring you some great holiday giveaways, which you can win in time to receive for Christmas.  As a matter of fact, all of the giveaways listed in October should arrive at your door in time to sneak under the tree!  The Colossal Christmas Countdown will be running through December 25th, so not all of the prizes offered will arrive in time for Christmas, but most of them will!

Colossal Christmas Countdown Button

I've got some TERRIFIC giveaways from some amazing sponsors already lined up.  An example, you may ask?  How about one worth $800!  :-)   That would definitely put a sparkle in my eye and make my belly shake like a bowl full of jelly, if I won!  I will also be bringing you some terrific holiday-themed posts about how not to break the bank during the holiday season, wonderful Christmas and Thanksgiving recipes, fashion, fitness and beauty tips, as well as fun activities to do with your family.  I'm so excited to get this feature underway, that I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve!

Any recommendations for things you'd like to see or sponsors you'd like to know more about?  Then, don't be a Scrooge...leave a comment here and I will do my best to make your holiday wish come true!

It's beginning to look a lot like Mommy Living the Life of Riley!

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Posted by: Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley on July 13th, 2012    Filed in: Tips, Techniques, How-Tos & Advice
Colossal Christmas Countdown ButtonWe know, we know...the holidays are about enjoying time with family and loved ones.  But there's so much to do and spend.  Rather than making this season a time of stress, scrambling and overspending, follow this plan to keep your happiness sky-high and your budget low.
  1. Create a schedule: It's never too early to plan your shopping, says organizing guru Julie Morgenstern, author of SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life.  "Right now, put five dedicated shopping trips on your calendar over the next two months for holiday meals, gift and gatherings you plan to host."
  2. Set your budget - NOW: Figure out how much money you can comfortably imagine disappearing from your savings on January 1, says financial expert Jean Chatzky.  Plan how you'll have that amount in your checking account when the bills come in.  "If you have eight weeks until the holidays and an $800 budget, move $100 into savings every week so it'll be there to pay the bills," she says.
  3. Allocate your budget: What would make you happiest this year?  Hosting a wonderful holiday gathering?  Giving great presents?  Going all-out on the menus?  Divide cash accordingly.
  4. Make your lists: Figure out gifts and groceries.  "Plan your meal and party menus far in advance," says Morgenstern.  Once you know the menu, knocking out a shopping list is a breeze.

But wait, there`s more! »

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Posted by: Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley on July 11th, 2012    Filed in: Tips, Techniques, How-Tos & Advice

Colossal Christmas Countdown ButtonGroceries for Next to Nothing?


Teri Gault's website,, tracks grocery prices in over 160 markets nationwide.  Here's her guide to dirt-cheap shopping.

  1. Stick to Staples: "Go with traditional foods - that's where the best sales will be," says Gault.  "The supermarkets think of Thanksgiving week as their annual open house to attract new shoppers, and they do it by selling traditional foods at the lowest prices of the year."  Once you stack manufacturer's coupons and store coupons, many baking supplies, cranberries and broths are actually sold at a loss, as manufacturers try to hook new customers.
  2. Get Coupons: Grab the weekly circulars and inserts during the three weeks running up to the holidays.  "Often, coupons don't run in the Sunday paper the weekends before Thanksgiving and Christmas because manufacturers know readers don't have time to clip them," she says.
  3. Stock Up: "There are going to be incredible sales, so buy extra," says Gault.  The baking aisles reach their lowest prices of the year, and so do margarine and butter.  "That's a terrific opportunity to buy extra and freeze it for later."
  4. Shop Local: Don't forget your town's weekly farmers' market - veggies are often a steal.

But wait, there`s more! »

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Posted by: Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley on May 9th, 2012    Filed in: Tips, Techniques, How-Tos & Advice

Colossal Christmas Countdown Holiday EventMaking Spirits Bright with Wassail

England's spin on the Christmas cocktail was the ancient beverage known as wassail, essentially Middle English for "cheers".  The base alcohol was beer, mead or wine, heated with sliced apples and spices and served in the customary wassail bowl.  This version, scented with cloves and allspice, cleverly combines apples with cider and Calvados.


Sprinkle 1/4-inch-thick apple slices with maple sugar, and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes for garnish, if desired. 

Combine 4 allspice berries and 2 whole cloves in a cheesecloth sachet.  Heat 1 cup fresh cider and spice sachet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. 

Remove from heat; cover, and let steep for 30 minutes. 

Stir in 2 tablespoons maple sugar, and heat over medium heat until it dissolves. 

Reduce heat to low, and add two 12-ounce bottles ale, preferably Newcastle Brown Ale.  Heat for 8 minutes. 

Add 1/2 cup Calvados, and heat for 3 minutes more.  Remove sachet; discard. 

Divide among 4 to 6 heatproof glasses.  Garnish with roasted apple slices if using.  Serves 4 to 6.

Wassail Recipe

{This post is an excerpt from "Making Spirits Bright" as published in Martha Stewart Living magazine}
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Posted by: Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley on January 7th, 2012    Filed in: Tips, Techniques, How-Tos & Advice

Colossal Christmas Countdown Holiday EventMini Football Subs!

In Texas, football is almost a religion in itself!  So it's no surprise that Thanksgiving and football are synonymous in my household!  Here's a festive treat which would make a great appetizer before the official bird of the day hits the table.


  • Meatballs
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Individual-Sized Rolls


  1. To make a batch, first prepare your favorite meatball recipe, shaping each meatball into a mini football before cooking. Once they're cooked, add the meatballs to a skillet of spaghetti sauce and warm them through.
  2. For each sub, cut a V-shaped notch from the top of an individual-size roll, place a meatball in the roll, and top with cheese shred laces. Finally, get the sandwiches in a huddle on a cookie sheet and place them in a warm oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Mini Football Subs Thanksgiving Day Appetizer

{This post is an excerpt from "Mini Football Subs Recipe" as published in FamilyFun magazine}
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