Nicole Etolen

Nicole is freelance writer, blogger, and mom to a wild, wacky 8-year-old boy. She is addicted to coffee, tends to hoard books, and watches way too much television. Her favorite thing about being a writer is wearing her pajamas to work every day!

Flash Back to the 80s in Derrolyn Anderson’s After Last Call + Giveaway ($15 Amazon Gift Card & Swag)

After Last Call

If you’re wondering where you heard the name “Derrolyn Anderson” before, but can’t quite connect it to the cover image and title above, let me help you out. Anderson wrote two brilliantly written young adult series that I absolutely adored: Marina’s Tales and the Athena Affect. Her mellifluous writing style, stunning mind visuals and ability to turn mermaids and genetically altered psychics into completely relatable characters reeled me in from the very first book (Between Land and Sea). When Derrolyn wrote me and asked if I wanted to check out her newest book, After Last Call, I of course said […] Read more »

Give Dad a Truly Distinctive Gourmet Gift with Taste Trunk

Every successful subscription box has something that makes it special. It has to if it wants to survive past the "friends and family" stage. So what makes Taste Trunk scream "pick me, pick me"? First, it doesn't scream. It's WAY to dignified for that.

Looking for a tasteful gift idea for Father’s Day for your foodie? Let me introduce you to Taste Trunk, a delicious subscription or gift box service that lets you try truly distinctive gourmet goodies. I received a complimentary Taste Trunk to try out for myself. I’m also an affiliate, so if you click the links, I get a commission. You get yummy goodies and my gratitude. Totally win/win. Disclosure out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff! As with all my subscription box reviews, I strive to answer one main questions: what makes THIS one special? What makes Taste Trunk stand out […] Read more »

The Has Been Series Book Blast: $100+ Value Beach Bag Giveaway

HasBeenSeries

G-Strings, fake bodies, what lubricant to use, and which angle looks best on camera, these are all things Tony knows. What he doesn’t know is how to pursue a real relationship, one outside the industry that’s making him retire and leaving him behind. Tony DiMarco, aka Ting Tang Tony, made a big name for himself– regardless of being small–in an industry where size truly does matter. He’s had a long career hiding behind a camera lens where his shortcomings didn’t affect him at all. At 38 he’s forced to find a real life where hopefully size doesn’t matter. The last […] Read more »

Create Striking Personalized Gifts for Dads & Grads at Collage.com

Collage.com Cooper Blanket

Personalized gifts are such great ways to show your favorite dads and grads how much they mean to you, but with so many out there to choose from, it can be hard to decide which company to go with and which product to choose. When Collage.com asked me if I wanted to do a review, I found myself facing a dilemma of my own: do I go for a beautiful canvas print with pictures of my son for my wall or a soft photo blanket with pictures of our dog FOR my son? They solved my problem by giving me […] Read more »

The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Middle Graders

Ultimate summer reading list for middle graders, separated into categories and featuring over 50 books total. Plenty of great books to keep kids reading all summer long!

Every year, I try to put together a huge summer reading list for at least one age group. This year, I’m really going to try to outdo myself and make it an ULTIMATE summer reading list! I’m going with middle graders because my own baby boy is heading to 5th grade next year, making him officially a middle-grader (even though is school goes up to 5th grade for elementary school). I put a ton of research into these lists for you. I’m not just grabbing best sellers or copying other lists. I’m talking to my son to find out what […] Read more »

Vacation like a Local at The Woodlands Inn in the Poconos! #GoNative

Wilkes-Barre Sign

This post is brought to you by the Ascend Hotel Collection®. All opinions are my own. Since I live in what is essentially a tourist region (the Poconos), I’ve never been one for doing touristy things when I go on vacation. I like to travel off the beaten path, find the cool little places that aren’t over-crowded and make my own itinerary of fun. I feel like you can’t really say you’ve visited a town unless you’ve been to the local haunts and made the effort to go native. Wilkes-Barre, PA is just about an hour from my house. It’s […] Read more »

Are These Common Sleep Problems Wrecking Your Rest?

What's keeping you from getting a good night's sleep? Could it be one of these 5 common sleep problems?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Serta. All opinions are 100% mine. When was the last time you got a really great night of sleep? If you’re like me, chances are you can’t answer that question. I couldn’t tell you the last time I didn’t toss and turn all night or wake up feeling achy. I try to do everything right. I keep my room temperature reasonable, I minimize distractions by banishing electronics. I really try to go to bed at a decent hour, use a great pillow and wear my comfiest jammies. Still, I […] Read more »

Stock up on these Preschool & Early Elementary Summer Reading Books with 20% off Site Wide at Scholastic Store

Scholastic Memorial Day Sale

This summer reading post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support! Looking for a great reason to stock up on your summer reading books early? How about 20% off? Scholastic Books is running a fantastic Memorial Day Sale! Now through June 1st, take 20% off your purchase site wide by using the code MMDXVSS! I’ll be sharing a HUGE Summer reading list for Middle Grade kids this week, so bookmark this page to come back to after you read that. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite selections in other age groups. Fantastic Summer Reading Books for […] Read more »

Jack Templar and the Lord of the Demons (Book #5) Cover Reveal: $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Jack-Templar-5-684x1024

  Jack Templar and the Lord of the Demons (The Templar Chronicles #5). With two of the Jerusalem Stones in hand, Jack and his friends must race the clock to find the remaining Stones as Ren Lucre’s Creach forces gather strength. With two of their group now with Creach blood flowing in their veins, the team will be tested as never before. They must unite together if they have any hope of surviving their journey to the Underworld and their battle with the vicious Lord of the Demons. The fate of the entire world hangs in the balance. Pre-order Your […] Read more »

The Twitter Guide for Non-Tweeters: Promoting Your Blog on Twitter When It’s Just Not Your Thing

Twitter Guide for Non-Tweeters: How to Promote Your Blog on Twitter When It's Just Not Your Thing!

How do you promote your blog on Twitter when 140 character limits make you cringe? I’ll be honest, it’s something I’ve struggled with since the beginning of Pretty Opinionated. Twitter is one of those things you either passionately love or wouldn’t even so much as blink if it vanished forever. I don’t love it, so guess how I feel? I don’t hate Twitter. I have nothing against it as a platform. It’s just not my thing. 140 character limits make me cringe. I’m not exactly known for my brevity. I rewrote this intro 20 times because it kept hitting 400 words […] Read more »