Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Walmart Grocery - Easy Peasy

My free #SparkDelight with my order
I had the opportunity to give Walmart's New online Grocery service a try and I was pleasantly surprised.   I wasn't sure if the website would offer all the items I normally purchase  but figured what could it hurt.  I was able to log in using my Walmart.com log in info and off to the races I went.  You can shop by category, suggested items or look for specific items in the search bar. Selecting multiple items was extremely easy and I actually found everything I was looking for.  I did hope to do same day pick up (taking it too far) but next day service was available.  Walmart Grocery presents you with a page of time slots available to pick up your groceries in one hour time slots.   I selected a 8am -9 am slot and was ready to see how this worked.  The Madison Blvd (Madison, AL) has a designated area for grocery pick up with signs directing you to the correct isle to drive into.  I received a phone call from the store an hour before my schedule pick up letting me know that my order was ready and to confirm what time I would be there to pick up.

I was supposed to be there at 8am but didn't arrive on time but my groceries where out and in my car in less than 5 minutes of my arrival.  I simply pulled into the designated area, pushed the call button and let the associated know my name.  The associate was very nice, explained the two substitutions on my order (extremely minor & upgrade) and I signed for my delivery.   The groceries would have been placed in my vehicle by the associate but I was in such a rush that I assisted. The Walmart employee provided me with a receipt of my purchases and a free tote bag with goodies that they call #SparkDelight It was an around pleasant experience.  They do not allow tipping, just a smile & a thank you is accepted. 

I believe that I will use it again on occasion especially when I know we will have bad weather, an event that I will be pressed for time or simply a trying week.  This service is great for those who have problems walking far distances, small children you don't want to take out the car or busy lives.  Walmart Grocery currently only allows payment via credit or debit cards for , which was a bit odd that you couldn't use a Walmart card but it has no fees associated with this service so it's worth a try. 

I have a nice referral code for you guys, If use this link you will receive $10 off your order! http://refer.walmart.com/v2/share/6231136900334036185. Walmart Grocery isn't available in all areas but click the link, put in your zipcode and see if you can give this service a try!

Have you tried grocery pick up? What was your experience? Share, I love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Better to Give - Volunteering with CASA

Holidays bring out the best in many of us.  Gift sharing, spending time with family and giving back to our community, are some of the reasons I love the month of December.  My family looks for opportunities every year to share our time and this year my youngest took the lead with an amazing organization.  CASA of MadisonCare Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound, offers a lot of ways to give back in the Huntsville area.  Jalen decided to focus his time with their Build a Wheelchair Ramp for Seniors program.  This volunteer lead program looks to make a difference in the lives of its recipients by giving the gift of mobility.  Teams prepare in the newly opened CASA warehouse, kits of material needed to build ramps and then come together again to build the ramps directly to the homes of the extremely grateful senior.  CASA is currently pushing to build at least 25 ramps for well deserving seniors during the December Blitz 2015..... so grab your friends, co-workers, family or come as an individual and make a few hours last a lifetime for a senior.  

CASA of Madison offers a variety of ways to volunteer including financial donations. Please visit their website to learn more and find out how you can help! (Click here)


How do you give back? Share your thought!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

#BlogLikeCrazy with See Jane Write



Well, I'm suppose to be offering you guys some amazing, life changing and intelligently written blog posts everyday in the month of November but I've already screwed that up beginning on the 3rd... So, although the beautiful Javacia Bowser at See Jane Write has created a 30 day writing challenge to push us bloggers.... I'm going to just do some minor adjustments and make it a 28 day challenge LOL

Blogging daily is HARD! I currently work a 9-5, have 2 kids & a husband at home (so basically 3 kids), I
http://seejanewritebham.com/
do social media work for clients, I'm getting a non-profit off the ground, collaborating on a upcoming launch with the Queen of Coils (Coilyencounters-Marci) and working out at Planet Fitness but I will make it work. No excuses! Like Sean "Puffy" Combs said, "I can sleep when I'm dead". Don't know why that came to mind and I'm sure he didn't create the phrase but you get it, Right?  This challenge will hopefully push me to improve my time management skills, connect more with you guys, improve my writing and re-kindle my love and commitment to my baby, AsTheWindBlows.org

Yes, this is a bit of a "get by" post ( no denial here) but I'm ready for the journey. I hope you guys will hop on board and enjoy the ride!

Follow the hashtag #BlogLikeCrazy on Twitter to discover some other amazing bloggers that will be daily blogging  in the month of November!

What are my chances? Would the house bet on me? Place your chips, the wheel is spinning in 3..2...1...

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Can the Grass be Greener?

Stranded on an island, of course one should wish they had family, food, friends ....Right?  Naw, this girl here needs Internet access and a Roku streaming device.  Just kidding,..... I think?  However, it is true that I would sell one of the unnecessary organs to pay my Netflix subscription. Judge me if you must. 

  I am extremely excited about some of the new shows streaming this Fall and I have boldly gone where a loyal Netflix lover doesn't belong.  Venturing to other platforms like Amazon Prime, HBO Go, Showtime Anytime and a peek at Hulu Plus. I have discovered shows that have me rearranging my schedule to find time to binge watch every episode. 

First up is my  experience with Amazon Studio's Original offerings to the streamasphere (yes, I made that up). Previously I had an Amazon Prime subscription because of my extreme addiction to shopping in their marketplace.  If you need it, want it or just think it, it will appear so $99 was worth every penny to get 2 day shipping on almost everything.  I  explored selling items, buying music and purchasing movies but didn't know they had original content.  

I was browsing the site (no purchases made -WHEW!) and stumbled upon a show called, "The Hand of God". It starred the step-father in Sons of Anarchy (Ron Perlman) and the pilot episode was free.  This could be interesting so I signed into my account and pressed play. Let me begin by saying this show is about his discovery of  religion but not its not religious! It's rated M for Mature so please don't engage if you are expecting a show you will discuss with your prayer group on Wednesday evening. The show is centered around Judge Pernell Harris (Ron Perlman) desperately trying to save his sons life and make amends for the time he has wasted with him. He is hoping his new found connection with God is real and will be the key to discovering the answers to bring him out of coma, punish those responsible which will also save him too.  This show is a ride of intrigue, confusion, craziness, sex, arrogance  and more that keeps you hooked and wanting more.


 The pilot is free on Amazon (click here) and if you don't have a subscription (or a friend who willing to share their account info), you can get your own for $99 a year. They offer a free trial for 30 days (get yours here) and a little birdie told me they will be reducing the price during Black Friday. Amazon Studios offers other original shows in the genres of drama, comedy, family etc.  I've started watching  Bosch, a cop drama starring Titus Welliver who happens to have also been on Sons of Anarchy, the jury is still out on this one.  

I wish Amazon had a monthly option and of course I wouldn't pay $99 for just its streaming services but if you like to shop online, read books and all the other things Amazon offers for your Kindle, Kindle app or Fire stick it might be worth the cost. 

Have you watched any of Amazon Studio's shows?

                          What are your favorites? Duds? 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Please "Don't Let the Fat Fool Ya"

I openly discuss my struggles with my weight and trying to get myself healthy here on my blog with no apologies or excuses.  I have shared goals, challenges and defeats but I have never been ashamed of my size.  Daily I read stories of women who feel or are treated as if they are inferior because they are plus size and it disturbs me.  Yes, you want to be healthy but size can be extremely misleading. Thin doesn't equal healthy.

Social Media is a great place to find inspiring plus size women challenging stereotypes and breaking them in pieces. Some of my Instagram favorites are fierce, bold, beautiful and all around Rock Stars! +Garnerstyle (@garnerstyle) is a blogger that has a voice that makes readers buy and companies change their policies.  Her fashion style, her "she looks like me" appeal and passion for the plus-size woman make her a force that companies want on their side. Chasity and one of my other favs "The Plus Size Princess" Cece Olisa launched the Curvy Con this year.  It is a day event that I hope to attend next year, that is centered around the needs of the curvy girl.
Photo from her IG page

@biggalyoga is proof that a plus size body can be flexible, healthy and amazing.  I am a huge fan of Yoga and the way it naturally relaxes, strengthens and lengthens my body.  I thought it was cool when I found a great plus size yoga DVD ( Yoga: Just My Size w/Megan Garcia)  until I discovered @biggalyoga and was floored.   This aspiring Yogi motivates with her pics of poses, fun challenges and promotion of self love.  She is currently working to become a certified Yoga instructor and has a Go Fund Me page to help her reach this goal financially.  I wish Valerie much success because she has truly help me without knowing it.

+CeCe Olisa  (@ceceolisa) with her workout vids, @tessholliday killing the modeling scene (and her #EffYourBeautyStandards campaign) and @Ashley_Nell_Tipton taking over Project Runway,are helping women  find love for their curves and influencing them to accomplish their dreams.


Their inspiration and a phrase that I find myself using when I'm doubted because of my size evolved into a t-shirt.  This tee is my way of shouting to everyone that sees me coming.... I'm Beautiful, Talented, Strong, Smart, Healthy.... So please Don't Let The Fat Fool Ya!



I hope you like it & Please support!  Follow me on Instagram @mslawanda 

 Get Yours Today! Click here to order ---->
                                  https://teespring.com/don-t-let-the-fat-fool-ya-tee

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Grab a Cup and Come on! - #MslawandaWC

Taking control of my health is a must! I know how important water is to our organs, hair, skin and weight loss so I need to rally the troops. So heres a H20 challenge  to encourage me while getting support from friends, family and my social media world.

The goal is to consume a gallon (128oz) of that crisp and refreshing recently discovered substance on Mars. (I'm in the #RocketCity so it must be said)....








Anyone can join, simply drink a gallon
a day,  cheer each other on via social media and use the hashtag  #MslawandaWC to find each other. This is a 10 day challenge but I'm sure it will last longer with the great participation I have seen.  I'm going to be on Periscope, Facebook(personal page) , Instagram & Twitter. (@mslawanda)

Who's in?

So far we have had some great sponsors! Winners for each prize are chosen randomly . To be enter for prizes simply respond on "Roll Call" posts or share your daily consumption total with #MslawandaWC

So Let's Get Drinking... Water that is!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

I Got a Crush!.... A Big Spring Crush

My daughters gifted me 2 tickets to the 2nd annual Homegrown Big Spring Crush! I was so excited to attend this event that offered over 250 wine labels ready for me to "Sip, Rinse & Repeat". I won't share how many sips I had, but I will say...I didn't drive home LOL!

This Saturday evening went well into the night with live music from local favorites the Microwave Dave Band & The Wolves of Chernobyl as well as dishes to satisfy your taste buds from local food trucks & chefs. I didn't try the food, I was distracted by the wine... I am an unofficial wine connoisseur of course!


One of the highlights of the event was a chance to stomp grapes the way they do in Italy! Although it
was a lot of fun, it was fun with a purpose. The stomping area benefit a very important charity, The American Cancer Society! 


I truly had a great time enjoying friends, sipping wine & attending another amazing Huntsville event!

Did you attend the Big Spring Crush? Do you have a favorite wine?

#BigSpringCrush


*Special thanks to Mary Ann for covering this event*








Monday, August 31, 2015

Strong, Beautiful, Powerful... Yes ladies #BornandMade


Leave it IG (Instagram) to be the place to find a great campaign! Beauty giant Carol's Daughter wants girls and women to realize that they are #BornandMade to perfection.  There is no need to look for validation, approval or self-love from anyone or anywhere because it's born within us.  I love it! The company has partnered with a group called I am That Girl to help spread the message and empower women to know their self worth. The website bornandmade.com allows you to generate an inspiring meme with a picture of your choice. 

Although a simple slogan (#BornandMade) says so much. It stirred something in me the same way I felt when I first heard Alicia Keys - Girl on Fire and saw the Lane Bryant #ImNoAngel campaign. Women and young girls must be reminded that we have so much power, control and strength and we must release it to the world. We can't allow anyone especially ourselves to burn out our light before we share our roaring flame!

Girls Rock!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Northerner's Review of Southern BBQ- Melvin's (#1)

My experience at Melvin's Place of BBQ was a good one..... So why only 3 stars? Let's start at the beginning... This BBQ joint is exactly what you think of when you're looking for a place that has no time for hype, they simply want to provide good food.

My dad was visiting from Michigan so I decided to bring him along to check this place out.  The restaurant is an add on to his home with the dining area in his drive-way furnished with comfy chairs, umbrella for shade a large table to eat at family style. We were welcomed by three of his friends who were enjoying the weather and instantly felt like I was hanging out with old friends or relatives.  Melvin appeared a few moments later with his cowboy hat and red apron asking how he could help us.  We ordered a slab of ribs, no sides and he left to prepare our order.   Shortly he returned with a Styrofoam container so full of ribs that wouldn't...well couldn't close completely. I was extremely excited!

I shared with Melvin that I was a blogger and that I saw his restaurant in the Alabama BBQ app. I explained that his picture was the reason I decided to give his restaurant a try.  Now when I first encounter Mr Melvin, he didn't seem overly friendly but once I showed him his picture on my iPad in the app... A smile and excitement appeared that I hadn't seen previously. He knew his picture had been taken and that the Tourism Department had been planning something but he wasnt aware of exactly how that worked.  He asked if he could take my iPad inside and show his sister( I said yes, of course) and we posed for a picture together.  This experience was 5 STAR for me.

The Ribs: That container had so many ribs that my father, 14 year old son, husband and myself had plenty.  They were very tender, completely fall of the bone, the seasoning was good but not great and a few of mine were a bit too fatty.  I like a very thick sauce and Melvin's was thin but the taste of the sauce was spot on.  Now,  my Northern Father & Husband Loved Them! They enjoyed the seasoning of the ribs and felt the sauce was unnecessary, a added bonus.

So although I haven't found my Go To Rib spot at Melvin's, it may be the perfect spot for you!

Have you tried Melvin's Place? 

Should I return and check out the sides? Share your thoughts!


Friday, August 14, 2015

#DineHSV 2015 Edition


Huntsville Restaurant Week 2015 begins today and lasts until Sunday August 23rd. This is a great opportunity to try some of the best restaurants/food trucks in the Huntsville & the surrounding areas.  The Huntsville/Madison County CVB's website http://huntsville.org lists the participating restaurants and special meal options for this promotion. They also have a fun contest to win some cool prizes while supporting and enjoying the local cuisine. It's very easy to participate, simple take a pic of your favorite dish at one of the participating restaurants and share on their social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) using the hashtag #DineHSV.... They will select a winner daily so make sure you snap those pics, use the hashtag and share ... I will :-)

Here's a of pics from Restaurant Week 2014 at Sady's in Madison for lunch...




 Share your favorite restaurants!

 I enjoy reading your comments!



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