Sunday, October 31, 2010

Winner Announcement $45 CSNStores.com gift certificate



I would like to thank all of my readers who entered my $45 CSNStores.com Gift Certificate Giveaway. We had 485 entries this go around! I used randomizer.org to choose our winner and it was lucky #281. They have claimed their prize and this giveaways is officially closed.

I also want to thank CSNStores for allowing me to host this giveaway. It's an honor to be apart of their blogging program.

Be sure to stop by and enter to win a Giant Fortune Cookie from Fancy Fortune Cookies. This giveaway ends on 11/21.

Friday, October 29, 2010

10 Great Uses for Vaseline Petroleum Jelly

I am a member of Twittermoms and they have teamed up with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly and asked me to share 10 of my favorite uses of Vaseline with you! You may read more about that request here.

I am a mom. I am a pretty crafty mom if I say so myself! I am also a frugal and money smart mom. I like to use products that work well and that don't break the bank at the same time. I have found that Vaseline is one of those products that I can trust and afford. I like to use Vaseline for many things and I will share 10 of my top uses for it with you.

1. Skin Protectant. I have psoriasis and I like to use vaseline to seal in my skins moisture. I use it daily by applying a thin layer of vaseline to my dry spots after I get out of the shower. The Vaseline helps to seal in the moisture and it helps to ease flaking of the skin.

2. Prevent Chapped Lips. I like to apply Vaseline to my lips so that they are protected and not so dry. Vaseline is easy to use and it leaves a nice shine to my lips as well. I like a lot of shine on my lips and I don't need lip color so this works out nicely for me.

3. Pretty Hands! I like to rub Vaseline on my cuticles several times a day. This gives me softer and better looking cuticles. A damaged cuticle is painful. Vaseline applications help to ensure that my cuticles stay healthy and pain free.

4. Pretty Feet! I like to put a coat of vaseline on my feet at night. You apply a thin layer of Vaseline to your feet, cover them with socks and wake up to softer feet. I like to wear socks in the winter and the softer feet is an added bonus!

5. Pretty knees and elbows! Rub a small amount of Vaseline on your knees and elbows to prevent that dry, ashy look. This is a quick and inexpensive way to keep your knees and elbows presentable! A girl has to look good you know!

6. Bath Scrub. You can make a nice and inexpensive bath scrub right at home by mixing sea salts with Vaseline. You can get the spa feeling in the comfort of your own home for very little out of pocket.

7. Make remover. Vaseline makes a great eye make up remover. It only takes a little bit to get that mascara right off and that is a plus for when you are in a hurry and tired at night.

8. Vaseline is also great for helping to remove a ring that is stuck on your finger. Take just a little dab and work it under your ring. Your ring will become slippery and with a little work, it will come off painlessly.

9. Scalp conditioner. Do you have dry scalp? If so, then use a little bit of Vaseline on your scalp before you shampoo. Take a small amount and rub it on your dry scalp. Let it sit while you wash your body and then shampoo it out.

10. Shine your shoes or purses! Do you need to put a little shine on your purse or shoes for a special night out? If so, take a bit of Vaseline and work it into your purse or shoes and you will get immediate, shiny results!

Overall there are many great uses for Vaseline! I like to buy the big container of Vaseline and use it for many different things. How do you like to use Vaseline?

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Vaseline blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Giant Fancy Fortune Cookies Review and Giveaway CLOSED

When we received our Gingerbread flavored Giant Fortune Cookie from Fancy Fortune Cookies we were thrilled! The fortune cookie weighed in at over a pound! It was individually wrapped and came with a beautiful white ribbon that can be reused. I love that the Giant Fortune Cookie came in a sturdy white gift box that not only looks nice but it protects it during shipping. Our cookie arrived fresh and wonderfully presented.



As hard as it was, I waited to open the box until after my children got home from school. I wanted to make sure that I caught their first expression of our Giant Fortune Cookie on film. They didn't dissappoint me! I had asked them to smile nicely while I took their picture for my review and you can see below, my daughter was trying to sneak a taste while she thought that I wasn't looking! After I caught her trying to lick the cookie, she said, "Mom, it just looks so good!"



We loved our Gingerbread Gourmet Giant Fortune Cookie. This fortune cookie makes a nice gift that several people can share togther in a fun way. To make this a personal gift for a loved one, you may add your own fortune to be put inside the cookie. The fortune is a whopping foot long! It is made of quality paper and it will keep nicely if the recipient wishes to save it.



There are many Giant Fortune Cookies to choose from at Fancy Fortune Cookie. They are great for many occasions: Mother's Day, Congratulations, Romantic Celebrations, Birthdays, Thank You Gifts, New Baby, Halloween, Valentines Day and Christmas, just to name a few. You may choose from white chocolate, dark chocolate or milk chocolate. The toppings range from M&Ms, sprinkles, or peppermint to even crushed hazelnuts. They truly offer flavors for anyone.

I am pleased to be able to host a giveaway for my readers! One of my readers will be able to choose a Giant Fortune Cookie of their very own! To enter, please follow the entry guidelines below.

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 lucky winner.

Extra Entries:

1 extra entry: Tell me which Giant Fortune Cookie you would chose if you are the lucky winner!

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

1 extra entry: Subscribe to my rss feed and comment below. Current subscriptions count too!

1 extra entry: Like Fancy Fortune Cookies on facebook. They routinely offer a free sample Friday that is open to facebook fans. Today, 10/29, they have a facebook fan giveaway that includes chocolate covered fortune cookies!

3 extra entries each: Tweet this giveaway. This may be done daily. Please leave a link to your tweet in your 3 comments below. It's easy to tweet this post by using the little buttons below this post.

3 extra entries: Subscribe to my email (top left hand corner of my blog). Current email subscriptions count too! Please leave your 3 comments below.

3 extra entries: Follow me on network blogs. Please leave your 3 comments below if you follow me.

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

Thank you for visiting my blog! This giveaway will end on November 21, 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 have received a free Giant Fortune Cookie so that I may post an honest review of this product.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Equip Them Well, Protect Your Active Kids from MRSA



As parents and coaches, it is important that we do our part to help prevent the spread of MRSA. MRSA is a potentially life threatening, antibiotic resistant, staph infection. They are the cause of 56 percent of all infectious disease outbreaks in competitive sports in the U.S.

To help stop the spread of MRSA, you can begin by getting involved in the Equip them Well program through three simple steps – collect, disinfect, donate. The sports equipment collected through this program will be donated to communities who are in need.




Disclosure: I am a one2one network member and they have asked that I share this information with my readers. Our goal is to raise awareness amongst our readers and to teach them how to protect their kids from MRSA.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Planning your next years health insurance benefit

I am a member of twittermoms and they have teamed up with Aetna and asked me to share my thoughts on the topic of planning our next years health insurance benefit with my readers. You may read more about that request here.

For most working people it is time for your insurance open enrollment to begin. This can be a very daunting and time consuming task. I usually put this task off until I am able to sit down with a note pad, pencil and a calculator. I like to have the house quiet also when I work on choosing my families health insurance benefit. I feel that the choice that I make for health insurance is an important decision and it needs to be done with a lot of thought. This will be the insurance that we have for a whole year and it needs to be taylored to our individual family needs.

While I am thinking about choosing our next years health insurance benefit a few time and money saving tips come to mind. My 5 tips for planning your next years health insurance benefits in under an hour are below.

1. Do a quick review over your last year in medical needs. Estimate how many prescriptions your family needs over a typical year. Also estimate how many well and sick visits each family member needs in a year. Do you have any ongoing illness that needs routine attention and doctor visits?

2. Calculate how much you were actually out of pocket last year for medical bills. Be sure to include any over the counter medicine, prescriptions and doctor visits. This will help you when deciding how much to contribute to a Health Reimbursement or Health Savings Account. Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Health Savings Accounts are ways to save pre-tax dollars for health care expenses.

3. Look ahead and into the next year. Once we reach a certain age our doctors like to see us more often. At certain yearly intervals it is time for a mammogram or colonoscopy. Do you have any routine well exams comming up in the next year?

4. Compare the medical care options that your company may provide you with. I always compare premiums to services offered. Find a plan that offers what your family will use and benefit from. Is the plan affordable? Can you purchase the plan without it taking a toll on your families budget?

5. Definately check to make sure that your families doctors are in-network on the plan that you choose. If your doctor isn't on the plan you then need to decide if you are comfortable changing doctors so that you may use the plan at its best benefit.

I know that choosing a health insurance plan for your family is a time consuming task. I hope that some of my suggestions above may help you make the best choice of what you have available to you.

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Aetna blogging program, making me eligible to get a $30 Target gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Earn a $10 Free Groupon Credit

Free money is fabulous, don't you agree! Follow these simple steps below and you can earn a Free $10 Credit to Groupon!

Create a Groupon Account if you don’t have one already. Be sure to create your personalized referral link while you are there.
• Next, go here and sign up for the Real Simple $500 Groupon Sweepstakes
• Last, invite 5 Friends and you’ll receive a $10 Credit to Groupon

Groupon has some really HOT deals that pop up. This Free $10 credit will come in handy!!! I’m not sure how you will receive your credit (via email or if it will be automatically applied). Enjoy this deal and share it with your friends!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Walgreens & Rite Aid deal for Crystal Deodorant



Crystal® products will be on sale at Rite Aid and Walgreens at $1 off for the Stick and $.50 off for the Roll-Ons and Spray from 9/26 – 10/23.

If you have a Walgreens or Rite Aid near you, be sure and check out their specials!
I am a one2one network member and I am happy to pass this deal on to my readers for them.

Disclosure: I am a one2one network member and I have been prompted to write this post in hopes of winning 1 of 10 $25 gift cards.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10 Ways To Have Fun Daily With Your Children

The Hub and TwitterMoms have teamed together and asked twittermoms to share 10 ideas that help incorporate fun and play into our child’s daily activities. You may read more about that request here.

This post comes naturally to me because I am an at home mom and my number one rule is to have fun! I believe that by making our daily routine fun, that it helps the children to know what to expect and our day will run smoother.

I like to have fun with my children by:

1. Make homework and learning fun! We sing little songs to help us learn our spelling words. The tunes are catchy and it helps make the spelling easier for them. I find that if we make homework fun, the children will fuss less and endure the work better.

2. Car rides can be fun too! We like to have learning challenges in the car when we drive. I ask them to work a math problem that I give them and sometimes we will spell their spelling words for the week also. This game is not only fun but it helps to pass time nicely also.

3. Snack time can be both fun and educational! Yesterday I let my children create their own snack. I gave them a tortilla, peanut butter, banana and strawberry jelly. The snack was nutrious and they had a blast creating their own masterpiece! They ate every bite without a single complaint. Plus they had fun!

4. Dinner time can be fun also! I like for my children to help me prepare our dinner and menu. Last night we had meatball subs, salad, tomatoes, baby carrots and ranch salad dressing. My children helped by arranging our veggies on our plates. They will eat their veggies better if they help create the dish that they are in. This dinner time fun allows them to be creative and helpful at the same time.

5. Bed time fun! My children always look forward to their bath time. They know that if they get an early bath then they can have bubbles during the bath and television before bed. That's a real treat because they both have tvs in their rooms and can watch any cartoon channel that they want to.

6. Reading is fun! My son will read his library book at least 3 times a week for school. His favorite time to read is right before his lights go out for the night. My daughter is 6 years old and she is learning how to read. We love to read a bed time story before her lights go out. Reading before bed is a fun way to unwind and to settle in for the night.

7. Good mornings can be fun! I like to wake my children up with a big hug and a quick snuggle. This is our little special time together and we all enjoy it. A little love and a lot of fun can help jump start the day the right way.

8. Choosing our school clothes is way fun! My children like to express their individual personalities in the clothes that they wear. At night we go through their drawers and closets and pick out their outfits for the next day.

9. Exercise is fun!! My kids love to exercise and to get involved in after school sports. My son is currently playing football and he will start baseball in the spring. I love that sports teach our children that exercise is fun and rewarding.

10. Going to school can be fun too! Both of my children are in public school full time. I always ask them how was their day and I make sure to really listen to them. I always hit on the fun aspects of school. I make sure to ask about music, p.e., computer class, lunch and their friends. I want them to enjoy going to school and I want them to know that I really do care about how their day was.

I would love to hear about how you make your childs daily living fun! Life is too short to be serious all the time. I find that my job as a parent is so much easier if I can make every day go by smoothly. A little fun definately doesn't hurt either!

The Hub is a new television network that launched on October 10, 2010. The Hub is a NEW TV channel for kids and families where great things come TOGETHER! They hope to inspire, entertain, and engage children while also bring families together at the same time.

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and The Hub blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Winner Announcement for the Pillsbury Grands Frozen Mini Biscuits Giveaway



It was an honor to host the Pillsbury Grands Frozen Mini Biscuits Giveaway sponsored by Pillsbury and myblogspark.

Can you believe we had an amazing 498 entries for this giveaway?! I used randomizer.org to choose my winner and the lucky number was 197. The winner has confirmed their mailing information already and this giveaway is now officially closed.

I want to thank you for taking the time to enter this giveaway. Thank you also to Pillsbury and MyBlogSpark for allowing me to host this great giveaway.

Please be sure to enter my CSNStores $45 Gift Certificate Giveaway. Good luck and thank you for following my blog!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

CSNStores $45 Gift Certificate Giveaway CLOSED



I am a preferred blogger for CSNStores. This month I have been chosen to host a giveaway for a $45 gift certificate for them.

This giveaway is open to my U.S. and Canada readers only. You may use this $45 gift certificate to buy anything that you would like from the csn stores. They sell a wide variety of items ranging from ottoman coffee table to kitchen items at CookWare.Com.

The lucky winner of this $45 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 lucky winner.

Extra Entries:

1 extra entry: Tell me what you would purchase from CSNStores if you are the lucky winner!

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

1 extra entry: Subscribe to my rss feed and comment below. Current subscriptions count too!

3 extra entries each: Tweet this giveaway. This may be done daily. Please leave a link to your tweet in your 3 comments below. It's easy to tweet this post by using the little buttons below this post.

3 extra entries: Subscribe to my email (top left hand corner of my blog). Current email subscriptions count too! Please leave your 3 comments below.

3 extra entries: Follow me on network blogs. Please leave your 3 comments below if you follow me.

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

Thank you for visiting my blog! This giveaway will end on Saturday, October the 30th, 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 $45 Gift Certificate from csnstores.com. The opinions on this post are my own.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Protecting Your Family From The Flu This Season

Twittermoms has teamed up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)and asked me to help share ways that you can protect your family from the flu this season. You may read more about that request here.

Flu viruses are constantly changing and each flu season a different strand of the flu viruses can spread. The flu can affect people differently based on their bodies ability to fight infection. Healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu and spread it to other family members and friends. The flu season is unpredictable and it can be severe. The 2009 H1N1 virus that caused alot of illnesses was more serious for younger people than the seasonal flu usually is and it is still a serious threat this season. The flu can make you miserable, lead to missed days from work and/or school, hospitalization and even in severe cases, death.

As the flu season comes and goes, there are things that you can do to protect yourself on a regular basis. The employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) want you and your families to be protected. The first and most important step in protecting yourself and your loved ones against the flu is to get your flu vaccine.

The CDC has some facts and tips that I found interesting and I thought that I would share them with you. They recommend that anyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated against the flu. The flu vaccine is updated each season to protect you against the three flu viruses that research indicates will cause the most illness. The vaccine will provide protection that lasts through the whole flu season. You will still need to get the 2010-11 seasonal flu vaccine even if you had the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine last flu season. If you or your children don't care for shots, the flu vaccine is also available in mist form. For more information on any of this, please ask your doctor or visit www.cdc.gov/flu.

While the flu vaccine is best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu I would still encourage alot of hand washing and covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough. I always try to teach my children good manners and hygiene but it is especially important during flu season. There are a lot of bad germs out there and we sure don't want them on us.

Have you had your flu shot yet?

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in a TwitterMoms blogging program for which I may receive a small thank you (valued at less than $20). For more information on how you can participate, click here.

I am officially Yard Smart!


It has been my privilege to have been a Briggs & Stratton Yard Smarts Boot Camp recruit. What does this mean exactly and how did I earn this title? Well, it all started with a facebook contest, an ugly yard and a desire to correct the issues and to make my yard more appealing.

I entered the giveaway and posted some pretty horrific pictures of my yard. Once the yard doctor saw my pictures I was chosen for a voting round. Needless to say that the public voters also thought that I needed yard care tips and they voted me off to boot camp!

Our Yard Smarts Boot Camp was held in lovely Boston Massachusetts. The recruits were flown in for a whirl wind weekend of educational fun. We met with several Briggs & Stratton employees along with Yard Doctor Trey Rogers and Garden Expert Susan Gruber.

I learned so many great yard care tips during this fabulous weekend. I even learned how to perform a basic lawn mower tuneup. All you need is a Briggs & Stratton lawn mower tune up kit and 15 minutes. Did you know that you need to do a lawn mower tune up just once a year? This will help with the performance of your mower and extend its life.

I will share some of my yard care knowledge with you.

1. I don't have a weed problem. I have a mowing problem. This one was hard to admit but it is definately true for me. I have learned that a lawn needs to be cut 1/3 of its length. If you like a 2 inch yard then mow it once it reaches 3 inches. Don't wait until it reaches 6 inches and chop it back down.

2. Water your yard. A yard only needs 1 inch of water a week. The best time to water is during the early morning. Too much water can make a yard turn brown. This 1 inch includes any rain water that you may receive.

3. Fertilize your yard. You need to do this more than just once a year. The fertilizer ingredient Uria will act quickly and give you greening results with in a few days.

4. Seed your lawn. Your yard needs seeds, water and fertilizer to look its best. Choose a grass that is good for your area.

5. It's ok to use mulch around the base of a tree. You don't want the mulch to touch the tree bark but you can use it to cover up roots that have grown on top of the ground.

6. Plant it low, it won't grow. Plant it high, it will do fine! This little saying is helpful when you are planting trees or plants.

7. Plant a $50 tree in a $50 hole. This means to dig a nice big, twice the size of the plant, hole. You want to give the plant plenty of room to grow. After taking your plant out of the packaging container, be sure to break up the packing dirt and seperate a few of the roots. This gives your plant a nice start once it reaches its new home.

8. After planting your plant, you should spread the dirt taken out of the hole and spread it on the ground around your new plant. You shouldn't have any dirt left to dispose of.

9. Round up is your friend! Even the most experienced gardeners and yard geeks use it! Be careful, it can damage young plants and trees. Be sure to shield young plants from the round up spray when using it near them.

10. Yard care can be fun! You can experiment with your own yard. If you take pride in your yard work it will show.

I love that Briggs & Stratton provided me with this knowledge before they provided me with the prizes that I received from being a Yard Smarts Boot Camp recruit.

I received a $100 sears gift card, a duffle bag and a water bottle for being a first round winner.
For being an actual Yard Smarts Boot Camp recruit winner, I received a $200 sears gift card, a new lawn mower and a power washer along with a trip to the Boot Camp. I am excited about all of these great gifts and I plan on putting them to good use soon.

I would like to share a few sites with you if you are interested.

Trees are good This is the society of Arboriculture. They have tips on planting, pruning and fertilization plus information on caring for mature trees and hiring an arborist.

Arbor Day Foundation They have more great tips and how to video segments along with a fun on-line tree ID tool.

Corona Clipper Here you can download a printable pruning manual if you like.

I want to thank Briggs & Stratton for being a wonderful host while I was in Boston. This will definately be a time not forgotten. I have learned a new appreciation for my lawn and I will use the knowledge that you have given me from now on.

Disclosure: This is not a paid post. All of the opinions here are my own.





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