Friday, May 28, 2010

$40 Gift Certificate to CSNSTORES.COM Giveaway! CLOSED

I am excited to host a $40 gift certificate giveaway to csnstores.com. This giveaway is open to my U.S. and Canada readers only. You may use this $40 gift certificate to buy anything that you would like from the csn stores. They sell a wide variety of items ranging from headboards at BedRoomFurniture.Com to kitchen items at CookWare.Com.

The lucky winner of this $40 gift certificate will be able to shop among over 200+ csnstores.

Now for the fun part! The entry rules for my giveaways are always simple so this one will be too.

Mandatory Entry:
Follow my blog publicly and leave a comment below. Please include your email address in the comment so that I may contact you if you are the winner.

Extra Entries:
1 extra entry: Follow me on twitter and comment below with your twitter name.

2 extra entries each: Post a comment on any of my other non-giveaway posts and let me know which ones you commented on. This is umlimited. Please comment 2 times for each non-giveaway post that you comment on.

5 extra entries: Post my giveaway on your blog and leave a link to your post in your comments.

Thank you for visiting my blog! This giveaway will end on Sunday, June the 13th, 2010 at 11:59 pm central time. I will choose a winner shortly after that and notify them by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email notification. If they fail to claim the prize in that time frame then I will choose another winner.

Disclosure: I am not receiving any promotional item or payment for this post. One of my U.S. or Canadian readers will be chosen to receive a $40 Gift Certificate from csnstores.com. I received nada, zero, zip for hosting this giveaway. The opinions on this post are my own.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Classic Belgian Chocolate Covered Oreo Tin from 1800BASKETS.COM Review



Today I received my Classic Belgian Chocolate Covered Oreo Tin from 1800BASKETS.COM. To my surprise, the package arrived a day early! Of course I couldn't wait to open my package and see the goodies inside!

When I opened the tin I saw a personalized note to me. I love that the note was inside the tin. To me this shows that the products are personally inspected before they are shipped out. This shows me that 1800BASKETS.COM cares about their customers. They do a personal inspection of each order to insure great quality.

The Classic Belgian Chocolate Covered Oreo Tin gives the gift of cookie perfection! It is packaged in a collectible tin filled with 16 classic Oreo cookies covered in Belgian white, dark or milk chocolate. Some of the cookies are drizzled with Belgian white chocolate, some are drizzled with Belgian dark chocolate, and others are sprinkled with milk chocolate decorettes. They are all amazingly delicious and very tempting to look at.

The Classic Belgian Chocolate Covered Oreo Tin is a wonderful gift for the cookie lover in your life. I shared my cookies with my 5 year old daughter, 10 year old son and 10 year old nephew. Their favorite cookie was the Belgian white chocolate drizzled with Belgian dark chocolate. My favorite was the Belgain dark chocolate drizzled with the Belgian white chocolate.

If I were to suggest one way to improve this product to 1800BASKETS.COM, I would suggest to improve the outside shipping package of this product by making it temperature controlled with an ice pack. These cookies are very delicate and covered in meltable chocolate. I live in Texas and it's only 88 degress here today. When the cookies were delivered this morning, the paper was stuck to the top of the cookies and they weren't as presentable as they should have been. I know that this was due to shipping and the inside temperature of the vehicle that delivered them. Propper outside packaging could avoid this in the future.

Overall I am very pleased with the Classic Belgian Chocolate Covered Oreo Tin from 1800BASKETS.COM. I would definately order this as a gift for my friends and family.

Disclosure: I received a Classic Belgian Chocolate Covered Oreo Tin from 1800BASKETS.COM free of charge so that I may complete an honest review of this product. Thank you 1800BASKETS.COM. These opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

5 Must-have Fashionable Pieces to Pack for Every Weekend Trip

TwitterMoms and Gap Outlet wanted to hear about my "5 Must-have Fashionable Pieces to Pack for Every Weekend Trip." You can read more about that request here.

My family and I like to take long weekend trips during the summer. My husband will take a few Fridays off from work and the kids and I will pack up and be ready to go when he gets in from work on Thursday. I have a few fashionable pieces of summer clothing that I like to take with me. I make sure that all of the clothing that we take with us are light weight and don't need ironing. No one wants to be hot or carry an iron with them on a weekend trip!

I make sure to pack:

1. my capri pants. I love wearing capris especially if I am out shopping or in public.
2. my shorts. I like to wear shorts while in our hotel or out to the pool to cover up my swimsuit bottoms.
3. my swimsuit. We live in Texas and it gets awfully hot here. The water feels great so a swimsuit is a must!
4. my night gown. I make sure to pack 2 night gowns for our trips out of town.
5. 3 nice tops. I like to pack 3 tops so that I can be comfortable and have a choice of what to wear.

Gap Twitter DiscountExclusive Gap Outlet and Banana Republic Factory Store Savings


I am happy to provide my readers with two exclusive TwitterMoms discount codes good through June 7, 2010 for Gap Outlet and Banana Republic Factory Store. You may get your coupons today at http://gap.twittermoms.com.

Gap Outlet is offering a doorbuster sale with up to 40% off all their adult items and 30% off all their kid items from May 25-31, 2010. Gap Outlet extends the sale with up to 50% off select styles! Gap Outlet is also offering an exclusive coupon code to the TwitterMoms community for an additional 15% discount on all purchases, with a minimum of $75 spent. This exclusive additional discount is available to all TwitterMoms friends and family from May 25 - June 7, 2010.

Banana Republic Factory Store is offering 40% off the ENTIRE STORE from Wednesday 5/26/10 through Monday 5/31/10. In addition, Banana Republic Factory Store is offering an exclusive coupon code to the TwitterMoms community for an additional 15% discount off on all purchases, with a minimum of $75 spent. This exclusive additional discount is available to all TwitterMoms friends and family from May 25 through June 7, 2010.

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Gap Outlet blogging program to be eligible to win a $20 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Decorated Pretzels Box Review 1800BASKETS.COM



I am a very lucky girl! I was choosen to review the Happy Birthday Decorated Pretzels Box from 1800BASKETS.COM.

I received my Happy Birthday Decorated Pretzel box a day early! They arrived today and we have already enjoyed 3 of the 4 flavors.

There are 12 rich chocolate covered pretzels in each Happy Birthday Decorated Pretzels Box. The crisp Bavarian pretzels are smothered in dark chocolate and candy confetti, dark chocolate with white decorative drizzle, milk chocolate with candy gems and smooth white fudge with nonpareils. There are 3 of each of the 4 decedant flavors. The pretzels arrive in a bright orange Happy Birthday box that is very cheerful. I smiled as I opened my box. The pretzels were decorated to perfection! It was hard to decide on which pretzel to try first.

I am very impressed by the size of the pretzels. They are big! They are not the mini pretzels that I expected. One pretzel honestly satisified me. I would describe the size of the pretzels by making a heart with my thumbs and first fingers. It would take about 12 bites to finish one of these. The chocolate is very thick and rich on the pretzels too. They are the perfect combination of sweet and salty for me.

Shipping was very fast. My order was placed on Tuesday and it was received today, Thursday. 1800baskets.com has excellent customer service! Their design team puts a lot of time and effort into each gift that they create. I feel that my Happy Birthday Decorated Pretzels Box was personally made just for me. I love the personal note that they sent along with the gift. A+++ Thank you for allowing me to review your Happy Birthday Decorated Pretzels Box!

Disclosure: I received a Happy Birthday Decorated Pretzels Box free of charge from 1800BASKETS.COM so that I could write an honest review. My opinion is my own.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This is my 5 year old daughter Marissa with her princess pumpkin that she created.



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Five Fun Family Vacation Activities Your Kids Will Love

Williamsburg Tourism and TwitterMoms are introducing a fun new blogging program which asked me to write about "Five Fun Family Vacation Activities Your Kids Will Love." You can read more about that request here.



Our family likes to make our vacations fun for everyone involved. We all seem to agree on the top five fun family vacation activities for our family.

1. Swimming - Our vacations are a lot more enjoyable when swimming pools or water are involved! We live in Texas and it gets really hot and humid here during the summer. Water is a great way to relax and cool off.
2. Learning - We love to to take vacations and go to places that we can learn from while visiting.
3. Outdoors - We enjoy being outdoors and vacations are a great way to get in some exercise and visit outdoor recreational sites. We love to visit zoos, parks and lakes.
4. Shopping - We always make a little time for shopping while we are on vacation. It's fun to visit local shops and see how their area and stores differ from ours at home.
5. Photos - We make sure to take many photos while we are on vacation. The memories last a life time and the pictures help us to recreate the adventure.

What are your fun family vacation activities?

Fun Family Vacation Activities
Visit Williamsburg


Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the Williamsburg Tourism and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My morning coffee has found a new love: COFFEE-MATE stick packs!!



My morning coffee has found a new love: COFFEE-MATE stick packs!! They come in 2 flavors: Original and French Vanilla. I honestly enjoy them both but French Vanilla is my favorite. It is deliciously creamy and has a classic vanilla taste. Coffee with Coffee-Mate is a perfect pick me up for anytime of the day.

I love the stick packs because they are the perfect size for making a rich and creamy cup of coffee on the go. The stick packs are premeasured and mess free. The sticks have allowed me to have my Coffee-Mate in places that don't offer Coffee-Mate. I even have a few sticks of both Original and French Vanilla Coffee-Mate in my purse for those coffee emergencies. This is a must have for those mornings when you need your coffee and creamer QUICK!




Disclosure: I am a member of the Coffee-Mate Brew Crew and they have asked me to write a post on the new Coffee-Mate stick packs. My post will be entered into a pool of entries to be chosen from for the new “Coffee-Talk” section of coffee-mate.com! I will receive pomotional points for writing this post. The opinions here are my own.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What do you think life is too short for?

I was reading a post from TwitterMoms and they asked "What do you think Life is too short for?" You can read that post here.

This question has given me something to think about and I think that life is too short to frown. I feel that a smile goes a long ways. It helps break the ice when you meet a stranger. A smile helps when someone is feeling down. A smile also makes an uncomfortable situation more bearable. Try smiling the next time someone is watching you and see if they smile back. Even if the gesture isn't returned you still prevented your own frown wrinkles!

What do you think Life is too short for?

Disclosure: I wrote this post for a chance to win a copy of Lisa Quinn's new book
"Life is Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets: Your Ultimate Guide to Domestic Liberation".

Ten Tips for Being Fashionable on a Budget

I am a member of TwitterMoms. TwitterMoms and Gap Outlet have asked me to share my own "Ten Tips for Being Fashionable on a Budget" with my readers. You can read more about that request here.

I like to think that I am a frugal fashionista and I would love to share my tips with you!

1. Shop out of season. I like to get the deepest discounts on in style clothes by shopping at the end of the season. You will still find many good items for a fraction of the cost.
2. Shop outlet stores. You will find great clothes that are still in style there. These are usually discontinued items but they are still a first in quality.
3. Coupons - When I plan a shopping trip, I will always go online to the stores website and check for discounts or coupons.
4. Email newsletters - Sign up for the email newsletters for your favorite retailers. They usually email their customers a coupon and they will let you know of sales in advance.
5. Store credit cards - I am not a fan of credit cards but many retail stores offer their credit card holders extra discounts. This is worth looking into especially if you have favorite shops that you go to often.
6. Buy a new top or jacket to go with an older pair of jeans or slacks. This will update your look with out costing a bundle.
7. Shop at resale or consignment stores. A lot of times people will change sizes in clothes and donate or consign their still in style clothing simply because it doesn't fit them anymore.
8. Back to School no tax days are a great time to shop for fashionable clothes. Many stores offer discounts during this time and a lot of states offer a no tax weekend!
9. Store flyers - Pick up a store flyer when you enter the doors. This will alert you of any sales and sometimes they will have an additional coupon in the flyer.
10. Mix and Match. Buy a pair of nice black or navy pants and buy 3 or 4 tops to go with them. You will look like you have several new outfits and no one will know the difference.

Gap Twitter DiscountExclusive Gap Outlet and Banana Republic Factory Store Savings


Gap Outlet is offering summer dress and cardigans for $15 and up to 40% off other select items from May 7-24, 2010! Also, Gap Outlet is offering an exclusive coupon code to the TwitterMoms community for an additional 15% discount on all purchases, with a minimum spend of $75. This exclusive additional discount is available to all TwitterMoms friends and family from May 11-May 24th, 2010!

Banana Republic Factory Store's "It's All About Her Sale" offers savings of up to 50% off all women's clothes from April 30th through May 19th! In addition, Banana Republic Factory Store is offering an exclusive coupon code to the TwitterMoms community for an additional 15% discount on all purchases, with a minimum spend of $75. This exclusive additional discount is available to all TwitterMoms friends and family from May 11 through May 24, 2010, so hurry to your closest location today.

Get your coupons today at http://gap.twittermoms.com .

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Gap Outlet blogging program to be eligible to win a $20 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

My Top 10 Creative and Affordable Vacation Ideas.

I am a member of TwitterMoms and they have teamed up with Toyota Sienna. They have asked me to write about "Your Top 10 Creative and Affordable Vacation Ideas." You can read more about that request here.

I am a frugal vacationer so this is an easy task for me!

1. Choose your destination. We like to go somewhere that is fun and a few hours away from home.
2. Choose your mode of transportation. This will help you with planning a budget. We almost always choose to drive to our vacation destination. Driving your own car will save from renting a car later. Also when you drive you don't have to worry about baggage fees.
3. Choose your accomodations. I use online websites when looking for a place to stay. I look for a hotel with a pool and continental breakfast. This is great for entertainment and it saves money!
4. Take your time in finding a place to stay. You can save a lot of money by comparing hotel room rates online.
5. Stay in a hotel from Sunday through Thursday if your time off allows for this. You will get better room rates and the hotel will be less crowded.
6. Plan your entertainment in advance. You can buy event tickets online in advance and you should get a discount on them. Tickets at the gate are usually higher.
7. Eating out - After you choose a place to stay, look at a map of restaurants near by. Find a few that your family will enjoy and then sign up for those restaurants email list. Also check online to see if they have any coupons or discounts available. Print the coupons and take them with you!
8. Kids eat free - check for restaurants that offer a kids eat free night that are near your hotel.
9. Souvineers - I save souvineer shopping for the last day on our trip. By then the kids have seen all of the items available and they have a good idea of what they really want to take home. This will also keep from getting too many "I want that!" items!
10. Snacks and food - I always plan for snacks on the drive. I will pack a cooler with drinks and fruit and then a bag with dry snacks. This will save money at the bath room breaks along the way. Snacks also help keep the blood sugars and moods in check.

Do you have any creative and affordable vacation ideas to share with me? If so I would love to hear them!

Affordable Vacation Ideas
Toyota Sienna


I wrote this blog post while participating in the Toyota Sienna and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

5 things on my 'Honey-do' list that never get done

I am a member of TwitterMoms and they prompted me to write a post about 5 things on your 'Honey-do' list that never get done. You can read more about that request here.

I have many items on my 'Honey-do' list so this is an easy task for me! I will start with:

1. Wash the siding on our house. Our home is brick but the top part is a white siding. It's time to scrub and bleach them.

2. Stop the leak in the first bath room sink. It has been leaking for ages and my husband can never seem to get around to fixing it.

3. Paint the living room, hall and bathroom. We painted the bedrooms 2 years ago and we never got around to painting the rest of the house.

4. Wallpapering our kitchen. The wallpaper is as old as our house is and it's time that it gets replaced. The little country houses and "Home Sweet Home" just isn't cute anymore.

5. Trimming our trees and hedges. I have been asking my husband to do some pruning outside but it has yet to be done.

Do you have any little 'Honey Dos' that need to be done?

Find a Local Contractor
Get a Contractor


Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and ServiceLive blogging program to be eligible to receive $100 in ServiceLive Bucks. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Planning a Fancy Nancy Tea Party



My daughter and I are huge Fancy Nancy fans and when I was asked to blog about tips for hosting a Fancy Nancy Tea Party I jumped at the chance! If you want to learn more about how I was asked to write this post, you may read about that here.

To plan a party you must start with a theme. I chose Afternoon Tea Time as our Fancy Nancy Tea Party theme.

Invitations are fun to make. Be sure to include the date, time, place and a phone number to rsvp at. In your Fancy Nancy Tea Party invitations be sure to include any special dress that is needed for the event. Flowered hats, shiny high heels, girly dresses and even big purses are fun! As a host, I always pull out my extra dress up items so that everyone may dress up too.

Our party decorations would be pink, pink and more pink! I would purchase the Fancy Nancy party supplies and have a pink table cloth along with my dainty tea cups.



We would begin our tea party with a reading of "Fancy Nancy Tea Parties" by Jane O'Conner. This would help in getting the guest excited about the upcomming fun. These books are great for getting little ones excited about reading also.

For activities I would chose to make the edible jewelry. This craft is both simple and tasty. You use shoe-string licorice as chains and string candies with holes in them on the licorice to make bracelets and necklaces. Your guests can wear and eat this project! This would be a fun treat for all of the party goers.

A tea party isn't complete with out snacks! We would chose to prepare Nancy’s Extra Fancy Lemonade for our guest. It's easy to make and little girls love it! It's a can of pink lemonade, cranberry juice to make it hot pink, raspberries (two per glass of lemonade), and you serve it in teacups. The little ones love it and it's so fancy!

We would also serve sandwich shapes. Square sandwiches are so boring! You can use cookie cutters to make plain sandwiches into fancy shapes like hearts, moons or stars. I would offer several different varities of sandwiches, like cheese, ham and cheese, turkey and cheese or even peanut butter and jelly.

We would end our party with a fun reading of "Fancy Nancy Poet Extradordinaire". We would ask each guest to come up with a fun little rhyme or share one that they already know if they wanted to. Reading and rhyming is fun.

Fancy Nancy Poetry Party Ideas
Fancy Nancy Books


Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get a Fancy Nancy prize pack. For more information on how you can participate, click here.