Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. Cyril Connolly (1903 - 1974)


The Dart Hit Hawaii

We went to Hawaii for vacation a few years ago and I decided I'd love to live there, but life isn't that easy. However if I had the choice, I'd move there in a heartbeat! It must be the island girl in me that loves the place so much, but oh my! I LOVE the place! It's simply gorgeous!

Where would you live if you had the choice? 

We didn't get to see Maui in the daytime, but from what I've read, it's perfect! And ask which of the islands I'd want to stay on, I simply don't know.

Stalk Hop Friday
Smart and Trendy MomsTHIS
Hop Along FridayFollow Along Fridays

About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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Top 10 Online Return Policies

Return policies for some merchants are more complex than income tax laws. Buy online and you'll spend umpteen hours working your way through phone trees and waiting on hold to talk to a customoer "service" representative. If you're lucky, you'll get a refund. Otherwise, it's a store credit from a store you may not wish to patronize again. 

Humorously, many of these merchants claim to offer "hassle free" returns. Some retailers, on the other hand, genuinely believe in making the process as pain-free as possible. FreeShipping did some research and came up with the following top 10 online return policies.

The online-only shoe merchant gives shoppers a full 365 days to return unwanted or flawed footwear with guaranteed free shipping both ways on domestic orders. Use the online returns center for proper processing.

2. L.L.Bean
There's no time limit on returns with L.L. Bean and no authorization is required. Simply download and fill out an online form or use the form printed on your packing slip. Return shipping is free for L.L.Bean Visa Cardmembers; just use a prepaid label for fast and free service.

As with, Shoebacca provides totally free shipping both ways and a 365-day window in which to return or exchange your unwanted, unworn footwear or defective products. Returns must have the original tags still attached and shipped in the original packaging.

4. Lands' End
Want to return a purchase and replace it with a different size or color? Lands' End offers free return shipping with no end date for re-orders. For returns without an exchange, use the Easy Return Label for a flat shipping fee of $6.95. To get the best value, look for Lands' End free shipping codes when you purchase, and return unwanted items to any Sears store to avoid return shipping costs.

5. Zappos
Here's another great shoe deal. Zappos free shipping is good both for purchases and returns. Whether you're unhappy with a purchase or simply change your mind, Zappos will provide a full refund or exchange within 365 days of purchase. Returns must be unworn (unless defective) and shipped in the original packaging.

6. Overland
Use the Overland free shipping label provided online for a free return via FedEx. Purchases made with a credit card are charged back within 24 hours of receipt and refund checks are issued for orders paid for with cash or a check.

7. Macy's
No receipt is necessary when returning a Macy's purchase because the merchant has a program that identifies products in their system. The department store provides a full refund or exchange within 180 days of purchase, except for jewelry, which is limited to 30 days. You can mail the item back or bring your purchase into any Macy's store for a refund.

8. Kohl's
Kohl's free shipping offers come and go, but you can return your purchase any time for any reason. Lost your receipt? They'll let you exchange your purchase for a comparably priced item or give you store credit. No cash back is available, however, without a receipt.

9. Costco
Here's a rare deal for a warehouse store. Costco will not only refund the cost of your purchase but it will also pick up the tab for shipping and handling. Just return the item to any Costco outlet and they'll remit your refund in your original form of payment. Most items may be returned at any time with the original receipts attached and in the original packaging. Most electronics, however, must be returned within 90 days.

10. Toys R Us and Babies R Us
Children change their minds so fast it can make your head spin, so a hassle-free return policy can make all the difference. The "R" Us folks accept returns within 90 days for cash back, if you paid with check or cash. Shipping costs also are refunded, but online purchases must be returned within 30 days and electronics in 45 days. No receipt is necessary if the item was purchased with plastic or from a gift registry. Shipping costs are refunded if the product is defective or damaged.

FreeShipping is the largest resource on the Internet linking shoppers to free-shipping deals offered by more than 4,000 online merchants.

About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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Sam's Club Pink Promotion $25 Gift Card Review & #GIVEAWAY

Are you a member? Do you want to get pink together? Well I still want to share my pink with you from Sam's Club and MyBlogSpark

I like shopping at Sam's Club but lately I've lamenting not being able to go because of our budget. So imagine my excitement to get the opportunity to visit again and not only that but to share in the give back program that they having going on for Breast Cancer. 

My very favorites from Sams's Club are Yoplait yogurt and breakfast cereals and certain fruits and vegetables. 
I've been noticing the pink stuff in other stores and I love grabbing the products and supporting the pinkness of donation to find a cure. 
Give back by purchasing your favorite cereal or snack! This October, by making simple everyday purchases at Sam's Club, you can help support Breast Cancer education and research. Beginning September 19th, Sam's Club stores will feature exclusive pink packaging on some of  your favorite participating General Mills products in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

  • For 5 years, General Mills has partnered with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to bring Breast Cancer support to local communities, and this year they are making their annual donation of $2 million to the foundation to advance breast cancer research and support education and community outreach projects. 
  • Purchase specially-marked General Mills products like Cheerios and Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies at your local Sam's Club and help decide how half of that contribution will be donated by voting at from now until April 14, 2012. 
  • General Mills' donations will be divided between two important Komen programs: the Treatment and Assistance Program, which assists women in securing care they otherwise may not be able to afford, and Prevention Research, which helps unlock the keys to preventing breast cancer. Voting results will be announced on Mother's Day 2012.

You can win a Pink Promotion Prize Pack : $25 Sam's Club Gift Card
Enter in the form below. Click on post link. 

The information and gift card (s) have been provided by Sam's Club and General Mills through MyBlogSpark. JamericanSpice disclosure. Facebook is in no way associated or responsible for this feature or giveaway. 

About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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Betty Crocker Fun da-middles Review & #GIVEAWAY

I've been wanting to bake with my kids for quite awhile now and when myblogspark package showed up, I waited for the right time to do the baking with both kids, but my son is so busy these days, that there was just no more waiting!

Baby girl and I got dolled up and began making the fun in and out of da-middles :)  The preparation is so easy! I really need to bake more with the babies from scratch too!
Light up your child's face with a home-baked treat that can be a perfect snack any time of the day. Betty Crocker Fun da-middles are the first boxed-cupcake mix of its kind that will leave your pleasantly surprised with their sweet center! Delight your family and watch the smiles unfold as you greet them with the delicious, fresh-from-the-oven taste of new Betty Crocker Fun da-middles cupcakes! 
I tried to let my daughter do as much of the preparation as possible. She was very excited about all this and her only pout was at the end when I told her we can't just eat it with a spoon, we have to bake it. *laughs*

After placing the fun in the oven, she would keep turning the oven light on every few minutes to see if they were done. I kept telling her to wait for the alarm to go off :)

When it was all finished, I told her we had to wait for them to cool! Oh she was very excited and then about to stomp! :)

  • Combining cake mix and filling pouch in one box, fun da-middles cupcakes have a special creamy filling hat bakes inside the cupcake
  • Available in three delicious flavors, Vanilla Cake with Creamy Chocolate Filling, Chocolate Cake with Creamy Vanilla Filling, and Vanilla Cake with Cream Vanilla Filling, Fun da-middles cupcakes are a fun and portable treat that children can take everywhere they go! 
After school yesterday, I took my son to the park to practice his soccer. I took the baked cupcakes along with lots of ice and water because it was hot out. So they had great fun playing and snacking afterwards! Definitely on the go food from Betty Crocker!
With fun da-middles, you'll never need to frost cupcakes again. Because after all, it's what's on the inside that matters. 
To download a printable coupon for $0.85 off new Better Crocker Fun da-middles, you and your readers can visit

Here's your chance to WIN a prize back from Betty Crocker and MyBlogSpark!
Enter in the Rafflecopter form below. Just click on the post link
  • One sample of new Betty Crocker Fun da-middles cupcake mix
  • One cupcake pan
  • One oven mitt
  • One package of cupcake liners
  • One box of cupcake gift notes

You can also visit Betty Crocker TV on YouTube to check out a great how-to-video on making Betty Crocker Fun da-middles.


Mabel's Labels - Labels For The Stuff Kids Lose!

This is the time of year when school is busy and kids move seamlessly into after school activities. Of course their things move along also and too often they are left behind in one location or the other, or get mixed up with everyone else stuff.

How do you keep things separated and be able to know what belongs to whom?

Mabel's Labels!

Who are they?
"We are moms who were frustrated by the amount of stuff that left our houses, never to return. After lots of research and testing we created the perfect labels for the stuff kids lose.
Our sticky labels and clothing labels are dishwasher, microwave and laundry safe, and customized with a child's name, choice of colours and icon.  We also offer child safety products and household labels. We continuously create innovative labels for babies, kids and grown - ups. You'll be amazed at what you can label! 

Before I learned about Mabel's Labels, I just assumed that I would write my children's names on their belongings with a sharpie. I was so excited when I learned about the labels. I was skeptical too. I honestly didn't see how a label could fit on a piece of clothing and not get washed off and just fall off with the wear and tear of a kids life and travel.

It was proven possible and I vouch for these products because it's my son's second year in school and the clothing labels are still on his uniforms!

And even with multiple washes, his lunch kits are still going strong with the very same labels! His books and shoes and all the other school supplies that I labeled, which came back home after the first year were still tagged!

We are now doing soccer and there is a lot to keep track of in the pile! Water bottles, balls, shoes, jerseys, you name it! Mabel's Labels is perfect! I love seeing someone pick something up and say; 'oh no', that's not for you, it's for the Sears. 

I have labeled all my kids things that could be labeled that they take outside of our home and I am confident that the labels will stay in place! Of course things can still get mixed up, but someone will see the name and realize it's not theirs and hopefully have it returned. 
The best bundle for me, is the Ultimate Back-to-School Combo!  It's loaded with all the goodies you need to get everything labeled! 

It's great to find products that makes a mom's life easier! You can label everything! I just saw some new things like the curbside trashcan!! That is too cool! And as little as a pencil! So get yourself some Mabel's Labels and keep your child's things out of the lost and found! 
Find Mabel's Labels on Facebook, Twitter and you can keep up-to-date with specials and new products from their newsletter

JamericanSpice received one or more of the products mentioned above for free for evaluation purposes. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials In Advertising. JamericanSpice disclosure. Facebook is in no way associated or responsible for this feature. 

About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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Fly High with "Tora! Tora! Tora!"

Re-live the story of one of America’s darkest moments through superb visuals and a double sided narrative that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The classic film TORA! TORA! TORA! comes to Blu-ray from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on December 6th.

The winner of the 1970 Academy Award® for Best Special Effects TORA! TORA! TORA! was nominated for four more Oscars® including Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Sound. Experience TORA! TORA! TORA! through the superb visual quality of Blu-ray for the first time.    

Starring Martin Balsam (All The President’s Men), James Whitmore (The Shawshank Redemption), Jason Robards (All The President’s Men) and Joseph Cotton (The Third Man, Citizen Kane) TORA! TORA! TORA! showcases the attack on Pearl Harbor in dazzling detail.    

The TORA! TORA! TORA! Blu-ray book includes the extended “Japanese Cut” containing 10 minutes of previously unreleased footage and rare photos from the Fox Archives – a collector’s dream.    

About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is a recognized global industry leader and a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, a News Corporation company. R

Follow Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on Twitter @FoxHomeEnt

I received this blu-ray for review.

About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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Do You Leave Your Garage Door Open?

A few months ago I learned that I was actually leaving my home wide open at night when I thought I had locked it all up and we were kinda safe inside. I say kinda, because anyone can get in your home if they have plans to do so. You can take steps to secure your home, but you can't think like a criminal all the time. 
However. while I locked all my doors and even the vehicles in the driveway, my garage door was kinda unlocked. Our vehicles are parked in the driveway. They have garage door openers. A criminal would know that the vehicle has these gadgets and if they break into your vehicle, they can easily open your garage door and gain access to your home! 

So I brought this to dh attention and began ensuring that I also locked the garage door with the keypad, before we retire for the night. 

The trick is to remember to unlock it before you rush out and get in your vehicle to drive away, because you can't lock or unlock it from inside your vehicle. 

What's one secure measure your take for your home?

About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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I Feel Like Time Is Holding Me Down - 4Ms

Sometimes, all too soon Monday comes again, but always a blessing to have another day. 

Welcome again to Monday's Music Moves Me. Let's start our Monday's off dancing and and a light mood. 

Theme for this week: FREEBIE (Whatever you want to  share)

Thank you all for visiting. I'll drop by soon!



The Shewbridges of Celebration, Florida - Lori
Stacy Uncorked - Stacy

So, here's the steps to this party.
First step:  Run over to You Tube, (or wherever), and lock and load!  Get your pick for the theme of the week. 

Second Step:  Grab our "Monday's Music Moves Me" button (over to our right, right under mine)

Third step:  SIGN THE LINKY - Dance (follow) your host/hostesses, and grab their buttons.

Final step:  Start looking for a partner and boogie on down to her/his blog, and say hello, and tag (follow) her/him, and leave a nice comment.  If you've been tagged (followed) be hip, and get on over there, and tag (follow) her/him back and  leave a comment.

Spotlight Dancers

Welcome to Meet Me Monday!  Meet Me Monday is a weekly link-up hosted by Inspiring You To Save! created for socializing and to get new followers, subscribers, and readers.  Every Monday a new linky will be posted. 

Monday Music Moves Me LINK UP Below:

PhotobucketPhotobucketThe Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time MomGIVE IT TO ME MONDAY 

One Hearts For Hearts Girls Gift Set Review & #GIVEAWAY

My daughter squealed!!
My son came home from school and took over. I had girl envy. Yes I actually wish I was a young girl again receiving this beautiful gift set. 

The doll is simply beautiful and the story that comes with it is wonderful and such a help in giving my children insight into other issues in the world on a child's level of understanding. 

Of course my daughter LOVES doing the dress up and I get to taste tea so often during the day but it is a precious time and I love seeing her so in love with this doll and the accessories!
She wants me to get her a jewelry box for her bracelet! Imagine when she really has jewelry! :) 
We volunteer in our community and our children take part in these activities as young as they are. I want them to be involved and care about humanity. 
Having a doll that shares this view is wonderful because it keeps the story alive even in play. 
Changing the Word One Heart at a Time! That is the goal of the new Hearts for Hearts Girls doll line and fashion collection from Playmates Toys. The collection features six dolls from around the world, each with an inspiring story to share. 
I will have to give these as gift to family and friends. I just have to share this! I received Nahji from India, however there are: Dell - USA, Consuelo - Mexico, Rahel - Ethiopia, Lilian - Belarus and Tipi from Laos.  Very diverse mix to choose from! 
The authentically dressed and lifelife dolls each represent a girl who is working to change her community in ways that are unique to her home country. Included with each doll are a friendship bracelet and a story booklet that explains how these multicultural girls live and contribure to their families, communities, and culture. Each doll also comes with a special code that unlocks a free membership to the kid-safe Hearts for Hearts Girls Website, which features: 
  • Additional informatioon about each of the Hearts for Hearts Girls and the countries in which they live.
  • Educational activities and lively games that are fun and rich in culture
  • Intriguing stories about real girls who are making a difference
  • While all girls are welcome to visit the site, the code unlocks access to additional features, including a larger array of games and a "myHeart" page
My daughter loves dressing the doll and we speak about different ceremonies and other interesting facts about the Indian culture. We even tried to dance together! :) 

Another awesome thing is that through a partnership with World Vision3, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each Hearts for Hearts Girls doll is donated to programs that support girls in that doll's country. Whether it's malaria nets in Africa, schoolbooks in Asia, or food supplies in the USA, these programs help girls to thrive and succeed. 

The six Hearts For Hearts Girls: 

  • Nahji from Assam, India. Brave Nahji breaks tradition to bring courage and education to the girls who work in the tea fields of India. 
  • Consuelo from Mexico City. Colorful and warm, Consuelo provides aid to hungry children who are homeless and live on the streets near her parents' bakery.
  • Lilian from Belarus. Determined Lilian provides aid to girls whose parents must find work in the big city and are forced to leave their children with orphanages.
  • Dell from the heart of Kentucky's Appalachian Mountains. Dell creates music and knitwear to share with others in need of warm clothing. 
  • Rahel from Ethiopia. Rahel, who dreams of becoming a doctor so that she can make a real difference for people in her region, journeys with her family into the wilderness of Ethiopia to help bring back aid to her community. 
  • Tipi from Laos. Based on a real girl who shares her art and storytelling with others through dancing, drawing and puppetry, Tipi leads her school in a mural contest in hopes of winning much-needed books for her class. 

You can enter here to  WIN a doll set of your own or purchase your own at the website:  Playmates Toys and learn more about the girls at Hearts For Hearts Girls. You can also visit them on facebook.

Click on post link and enter in Rafflecopter form

The Hearts for Hearts Girls Doll, and information have been provided by Playmates Toys thorugh MyBlogSpark. JamericanSpice disclosure. Facebook is in no way associated or responsible for this feature or giveaway.

About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.

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