The Bigger Than Santa’s Ass Christmas Giveaway!


‘Tis the season to give shit away like Oprah! No, you won’t be entering to win a new vehicle, but in this year’s giveaway there will be THREE winners of some huge prize packages from small businesses and me! Yay!

Here’s what is in each ‘package’- each worth over $100!


Prize Package #1:

(1) Pink Zebra Simmer Pot and (3) jars of Soywax Sprinkles
Pink Zebra is the latest in the home fragrance revolution! PZ is unique because of our scented soy Sprinkles. Sprinkles can be warmed in our Simmer Pots, Simmering Lights, or in a warmer you already own! Sprinkles can be used to make your own candle, or added to an existing candle! They can be placed in sachet bags to freshen up dresser drawers, closets, cars and more. Sprinkles can be mixed and easily melted to create your own scent or “recipe”. This is truly a customizable product in every way! Pink Zebra Soft Soy sprinkles are made from soybeans grown right here in the USA! They are non-toxic and all natural. They burn cleaner and last 30% longer than our competitors and are non-carcinogenic! – A $50 value!!
From: Kylee Black – Pink Zebra Independent Consultant (ed note: I use PZ sprinkles and I LOVE them!)
(1) Hand-knit ruffled scarf – your choice in color!
Super cute and perfectly on-trend for this year.- a $15 value
From: The Dragon and the Otter 
(1) Mary Kay Lash Love Lengthening Mascara in brown
This mascara creates bold, instantly intensified length of lashes, lifts, curls and perfectly separates lashes, conditions and strengthens lashes, and is non-clumping, flake-free formula wears all day for over 10 hours. – a $15 value
From: Megan Willis- Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant
(1)  Handmade Bracelet
This is a pearl and green crystal hand woven beaded bracelet with a pearl clasp. -a $40 value
From: AYE Creations
(1) $10 Thirty-One gift card  (good in the sponsor’s shop only)
With Thirty One, we believe our company is about more than just a bag. We believe in celebrating, encouraging, and rewarding others for who they are. We believe in being engaged with integrity in our work, in our communities, and in our families. This is why we offer such an array of gifts to our customers. We want our customers to be able to find just the right bag and personalize it just for them.
From: Chelsea Flint-Carroll Thirty-One Consultant


Prize Package #2:

(1) Mary Kay TimeWise Targeted Action Line Reducer
This product targets expression lines on forehead, crow’s feet, and around the mouth. It is hypoallergenic. When using this product you will see a difference in just 10 minutes. You will have up to 33% fewer forehead lines and wrinkles, and up to 50% fewer crow’s-feet area lines and wrinkles. – a $42 value
From: Megan Willis- Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant
(1) Hand-knit ruffled scarf – your choice in color!
Super cute and perfectly on-trend for this year.- a $15 value
From: The Dragon and the Otter 
(1) Hippy Wife Hippy Life 8oz jar of whipped body butter, and (1) 8oz jar of sugar scrub
Organically made using non processed ingredients and mountain rose herb essential oils. – a $14 value
From: Hippy Wife Hippy Life
(1) It Works! Ultimate Body Applicator (wrap) and (1) week’s supply of Greens on the Go-Berry flavored
The ultimate body applicator, also known as the wrap, is a one-time use applicator about 22″x11″ that can be applied to ANYWHERE on the body that you want to tone, tighten and firm. Greens on the Go is my absolute favorite product from the it works vitamin line. Its a drink powder that is mixed with water or juice. It provides the nutrients from 8+ servings of fruits and vegetables, and it is a NON-GMO product! Real fruit, veggies and ancient grains. It balances, alkalinizes and energizes. Less than a dollar a day and its portable! – a $35 value
From: It Works! By Dallas
 great 24 hours
(1) Jamberry  wrap, plus a mini application kit
Jamberry Nail Wraps are the newest way to accessorize your fingers and toes. Get your own unique, professional nail design and say “goodbye!” to nail polish.
FromLissa Hester Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant


Prize Package #3 (which I have nicknamed the DISNEY box!)

(1) Signed copy of my book, “Musings of a 20-Something Mom”
This is my last one (though you can always order an unsigned copy on Amazon!)! –  a $15 value
(1) Handmade Disney Wreath
Upcycled book wreath (will have another layer)! – a $12 value
From: The Garden of Underland
(1) Crotchet lovey Disney doll
Your choice of Cinderella or Snow White! They stand tall at 12 inches and lay flat at 18 inches. – a $25+ value
From hellodollyy- check out her shop full of amazing crotchet items on Etsy!
(1) Copy of the acclaimed Reese Witherspoon movie “The Good Lie” (newly released to DVD & Blu-Ray on Dec. 23rd)
The movie tells the true-life story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, their lives torn apart by civil war, left to grow up in refugee camps, then given the opportunity through the efforts of church groups and other charities to embark on new lives in the U.S. It stars Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon and some actual former Lost Boys in pivotal roles.  -a $30 valueI got one copy for me, and one to give away. I can’t wait to watch it!
(1)Mary Kay TimeWise Even Complexion Mask ​
This moisture-rich mask pampers skin and leaves it looking brighter and immediately more radiant, and feeling softer, smoother and moisturized. It is suitable for sensitive skin, clinically tested for skin irritancy and allergy, oil- and fragrance-free, non-comedogenic (will not clog pores), and hypoallergenic. – a $22 value
From: Megan Willis- Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant
 (1) Wine Basket full of vinyl printed goodies – a $50-$65 value
From: Vinyls By Vogel



I’m so excited!!

The entry period is from 8:30pm EST on 12/17/14 and ends 12/26 at 5pm EST. The only requirement is liking the Holdin’ Holden Facebook page, but there are MANY ways to earn extra entries.
While you do not HAVE to like the sponsors’ pages to enter (since the only MANDATORY entry is liking Holdin’ Holden, in order to earn the entries for visiting the pages, you MUST like them. Just to earn those specific entries.  Support small businesses and earn a buttload of entries by doing so!

Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be drawn and notified via email on December 26th and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn- so check my page and check yo e-mail the day after Christmas!!
The first name drawn will win prize pack 1, second name drawn will win prize pack 2, and third name drawn will win prize pack 3.

Prizes are shipped individually (unless more than one comes from one sponsor), so if you win, please be patient!

Posted on December 17, 2014 by Holdin' Holden 5 Comments

Taking Off the Mask

So much of my life I have felt like I am wearing a mask, (not some wacky mask I bought from a dress up store), but an invisible mask. A mask maskthat hides any negative thoughts I have about myself, (and trust me there are many of those!) Since I was about 14, I would stand in front of the mirror and feel like the me looking back at me wasn’t good enough to show others, for whatever reason I don’t really know why I didn’t feel ‘good enough”, unfortunately many tweens and teens feel this way. Oh who are we kidding, most adults feel this way too! (At least that’s what I tell myself to feel better, everyone’s a little crazy, right?)

I really do think this is the case, I clearly remember my gorgeous mother (love you mum), looking in the mirror at her stretch marks, or her curves and complaining about her body, she was “too fat”, or “not pretty”, or it was “my teeth aren’t right”, and as an impressionable child, I just thought she must be right, because your parents are always right, aren’t they? Well as it turns out NO they’re not always right at all! My mum was beautiful, is still beautiful in her 60’s, but to this day she would scoff if she read that, she still can’t take a compliment and not because she is being modest, oh no, she truly doesn’t think she is, or ever has been a gorgeous woman! It doesn’t matter who tells her otherwise, or how many men still check her out, or even how much her husband desires her, (sorry I know you’ll be embarrassed mum), she still doesn’t see the amazing woman staring back at her from that mirror.

No, she has never been catwalk model skinny, and she’s only just 5 feet tall, but she is beautiful, her voluptuous breasts, her little waist, her brown curls, and more than that, her inner beauty is what I and many others see. So why can’t she? Why can’t more women see their inner beauty, or recognize their outer beauty? We are all striving to be something we are not, so many women of all shapes and sizes complain about their appearance. My 2 model thin girlfriends sit there comparing their body’s, “my legs are too thick”, or “my breasts are too small”, my short friends want to be taller, my friends with no hips, want hips, and you guessed it, my friends with hips and butts hate their curvaceous bodies. Seriously what are we thinking! Let’s aim to be healthy for sure, but let’s not put ourselves down!

So from 14 I hated my body, and my face, I had freckles, (not even that many), but I plastered on foundation from 14 to cover them up, that’s crazy, (my daughters have freckles and I think they are super cute). And let’s not get started on ‘yo yo diet’ and ‘diet pills’ (what was the chemist thinking letting 14 year old girls buy these?) But it was more than that, I didn’t like me, and I am still learning to try to “like” me! At nearly 40, shouldn’t I just be embracing who I am? Yet I look around the school ground or at my Facebook page and I see so many of us are still on a journey of trying to accept ourselves and like ourselves. I mean how do we measure if we are a “good” person, or “worthy”, or “loveable”? Is it if we drive an expensive car, perhaps if we are happily married, maybe if our kids are successful, or have the best birthday party in their class, I could go on, clothing, house, pay check . . . We put on a mask, we go into debt to have the big house, the car, the handbags, and still we struggle to really love ourselves and celebrate our gifts and talents, or live an “authentic life”.

So for me, this blog, whatever this is, it is me, it is my attempt to be honest with myself, to embrace all my crazy thoughts and indulge in my passions, writing, photography and reading. (Even if no one else ever reads this, I am doing this for me.) If anyone is reading this then I hope in the process of this blog, to inspire you to live true to yourselves, to know it’s OK to not look like you imagine you should, or have to have the latest clutch, if we all removed our masks even a little bit, we might be surprised how alike we actually are. Everyone feels sad some days, or not good enough, smart enough, skinny or pretty enough. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves and it’s okay, it is I promise. Let’s celebrate women, lets support each other, let’s be truer to our own gifts, and celebrate when others succeed too. I am in no way saying it is easy; for me writing this blog, putting myself out there is extremely difficult, but if I’m not writing then I’m not being true to myself. Writing for me is like breathing fresh air, I need it, and for so long I denied myself because it felt silly, or indulgent, I felt if I tried, I’d fail. The truth is, I fail more if I give into fear.

Just for today, remove your mask, even a little, just share a little bit of you, or spend time indulging in one of your passions, or listen to someone else share a little about themselves, or share in their talents, and be proud of ourselves, maybe if we do a little today, it will be easier to do  a little more tomorrow! Think about it!

This piece was written by Mackenzie of Reflections From Me, which will hopefully have more of her insightful thoughts on it soon!

Posted on December 15, 2014 by Holdin' Holden 2 Comments

Book Review and GIVEAWAY! Archibald’s Next BIG Thing!

Archibald is a chicken; the very last of all of his brothers and sisters to hatch. His brothers and sisters all seem to know what they’re good at and who they want to be, and Archibald is… Archibald. One day, he gets a card in the mail that reads “Your Next Big Thing Is Here” and off Archibald goes on all kinds of great adventures in search of what his NEXT big thing is, not realizing all along that there were big things happening around him the whole time.

It’s not often that I do book reviews, but when I got the synopsis for “Archibald’s Next BIG Thing” written by Emmy-award winning actor Tony Hale, in my inbox, I knew it would be perfect for my two boys.

Holden is older and seems to know exactly where he’s going in life already, while Parker struggles to really find his place, what he’s good at, and what he wants to do. He looks up to Holden, but it frustrates him that Holden seems to be so good at everything. Maybe Archibald’s journey would help him see that he doesn’t always have to go looking.
We sat down on the couch together and opened the book. One thing I love about Archibald’s Next BIG Thing is that like the title, it is BIG. It’s hard to read to two kids when the pages are only big enough for one to see, and the pages illustrated by Misty Manley, is bright ans bold and big enough for both boys to read along with me.

As we read through Archibald’s adventures (our personal favorite was one he had with a dinosaur riding a roller coaster), Parker surprised me.

After each adventure, he would stop me and call out “But that IS his next big thing!”

By George, he gets it!archibald2

The kids laughed and smiled, but that wasn’t what told me this book was a keeper- it was when I caught Holden reading it all by himself later on. Twice!

Archibald’s Next BIG Thing is a great book for kids, so don’t let its longer length (72 pages) deter you. Parker has the attention span of a gnat and was thoroughly enticed by the entire story.

Check out Archibald’s website Here, and then snag your kids a copy on Amazon! but wait! FIRST….

We enjoyed it SO much that we’re giving 3 copies of Archibald’s Next BIG Thing away, along with 3 hand printed Archibald posters to go with each one! Yay!

Enter to win by using the widget below. Entry period is open from 12/12/14 at 8:30pm EST – 12/16/14 at 5:00pm EST. There are lots of ways to earn extra and daily entries- so keep coming back!

Good Luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be notified via e-mail on 12/16 and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn.

Posted on December 12, 2014 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

Planning a Disney Vacation? You DON’T have to do it alone! Let Robyn of Cupcake Castle Travel Company help!

mickeyAfter weeks of stress and a couple of handfuls of hair pulled out of my head, I am finally on the tail end of planning my family’s next Disney World trip. This is my 4th year planning from beginning to end, every little detail, and still I get overwhelmed with everything that goes into it. Where are you going to stay, do you want park hopper passes, where are you going to eat? Do you need to book the restaurants early or chance not getting in? What about the rides?? They don’t do Fast Pass anymore, only Magic Bands and you need to book those in advance or risk waiting in crazy long lines. It’s enough to drive anyone to the brink of insanity, but done right- and you can have the most magical trip EVER. Not kidding!

The problem is that it can be confusing, time consuming, frustrating, and stressful. For some reason, I seem to enjoy planning every minute detail, but I think it’s just because I have years of experience under my belt- still, it makes me crazy.

Here’s the thing- you don’t HAVE to go crazy with the planning! I know someone who can plan your entire trip, from TOP TO FRIGGIN’ BOTTOM, for you! Even better? She’ll do it for FREE!

Her name is Robyn, and she works for Cupcake Castles Travel Company, and she gets paid by Disney so not only do you NOT have to pay her, but just by using her to book your trip, you get a Disney gift card!

And this doesn’t just go for Walt Disney World, she can also help you book and plan trips for Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Aulani Hawaii and Adventures by Disney, Legoland, Sea World, Universal Studios and all cruise lines and all inclusive vacations. Whew! The woman knows what she is doing!

Here is everything Robyn can do for you:

  • Continuous discount monitoring – even if the promotion comes out after you book, it will get applied AS SOON as it comes out!
  • Concierge-style planning – park maps, park hours, personalized itineraries(if needed), parade schedules, fireworks schedules.. and MUCH more!
  • Personalized websites for each client – detailed info, all in one location. No stone left unturned!
  • Direct contact with Robyn – email and phone communication, directly with your agent – not a different person each time.
  • Advanced Dining Reservations – She will make them for you! Based on your feedback, she will work to put you at the best restaurants Disney has to offer!
  • Magical Express, ground transportation to & from Orlando International
  • Airline Reservations ~ if you need them
  • Travel Insurance
  • Dinner Show Reservations

That is more than I plan for my own trip, and I’m bananas! If you’re planning a Disney trip, or think it sounds too overwhelming, or even if you want help pricing a vacation with discounts, send Robyn an e-mail today. What have you got to lose? It isn’t your sanity! I’ve got that part covered! Though I’m thinking next year I might just take a break from the crazy and let Robyn take the reigns. I’ll save all my crazy for when we meet Aladdin. WHAT?! DON’T JUDGE ME!

Posted on December 11, 2014 by Holdin' Holden 2 Comments

Was Having Kids “Young” a Mistake?


“Wait… How old are you?” I answer with whatever age I am, and I hear the same thing all the time- “Wow, you had kids young!”

My reaction is always the same- “Yeah…. so?”

My first kid dropped from my lady parts when I was 23. This shocks some people; it definitely shocked my Dad who famously followed his congratulations with “Well, we wish you would have waited.” Thanks, Dad.
It’s a common line of thought that if you have kids when you’re still young (and that perception of youngness differs from person to person), you’ve wasted your youth- your LIFE, even. All that time you could have been out learning who you are, what you want out of life, what direction you want it to go in. That time when you’re still discovering the world and all it has to offer, the FREEDOM- and I spent it having babies. The horror!

“Having kids in your twenties sounds a lot like leaving the party before 10pm.”

Should I have waited until later in life? Do I regret not waiting? Inquiring minds always seem to want to know- and I applaud the inquiring minds. Having children is a BIG decision. It’s one that you make and you can’t take back for the rest of your life. It’s a hell of a lot more permanent than a tattoo. It’s a decision I guess a lot of people think that no one is really “ready” to make until they’re a little older with more experience under their belt. When they’ve weighed the outcomes, the possible consequences, and the financial burden that comes with creating another life and just how much responsibility it is. There are an OVERWHELMING amount of things to think about it when you sit down and try to plan your life plus children.

Of course I thought about the money. I thought about insurance, and whether or not I would be a working mom or a stay at home mom. I thought about health and wellness and doctors and just how much my body would look like a stretched out beachball. I thought about futures with Santa-filled Christmas mornings, and birthday parties with pinatas, and the return of homework via my child. I thought about the fact that I don’t really even like children all that much, and worried that maybe I couldn’t stretch my love far enough to care for someone completely- from head washing to butt wiping. I thought about germs and diapers and baby-proofing and I even thought a little bit about the effect a child would have on my social life. The one thing I DIDN’T think about? My age.

When it comes down to it- parenthood isn’t about being “ready”- Oh lord, that’s hysterical! You’re NEVER ready. It’s not about being too young or too old or how many books you’ve read or how many countries you’ve traveled to.

So what do I think? Did I waste my youth? Was I TOO YOUNG when I started having kids? Are YOU?

I think that if YOU think having children is a waste of your youth… well, you’ve already answered the question for me.

Posted on December 10, 2014 by Holdin' Holden 19 Comments