Giveaways & Reviews

Here are some of the giveaways I have entered recently:

SKOY Cloth Winner


Congratulations to Leah! I emailed her 24 hours ago. If I do not hear back from her within the next 24 hours, I will select a new winner.


Giveaway: Orient Automatic Watch (1/27)


Orient Watch

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED…

Orient Watch offers a variety of interesting styles of watches, including this racing watch – CFTAB002B and this urban watch – YFH02001S.

Want to win a watch?

Orient is giving away one lucky reader his or her choice of one of the following watches from their Standard Line (arv $135):

Women’s Options:

Red  Women's Orient Watch
Red
Green Women's  Orient Watch
Green
Blue Women's Orient Watch
Blue
Pink Women's Orient Watch
Pink

Men’s Option:

Khaki Men's Orient Watch
Khaki

How to Enter

Mandatory Entry: Please leave a comment below letting me know which watch (pictured above) you’d pick if you win.

Optional Entries:

1 – Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (+1)
2 – Follow @CravingSavings and/or @CravingGiveaway (+1 for each)
3 – Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) (+1)
4 – Follow me on Networked Blogs (+1)
5 – Be or become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (+1 for each)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Thursday, January 27, 2011. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email, or I will select a new winner.
- Giveaway is limited to United States residents.

Disclosure: I did not receive anything in exchange for posting this giveaway other than the opportunity to give one of you an Orient Watch. Good luck!




Review & Giveaway – SKOY Cloths (1/16)


SKOY Cloth Review & Giveaway

I have had the opportunity to try SKOY Cloths over the past few weeks.

Because we go through a lot of paper towels, I was looking forward to seeing how these would hold up. The company claims that one cloth will outlast 15 rolls of paper towels. I haven’t used them that long, so I cannot confirm the claim, but the one cloth I have been using has held up well during the last two weeks I have used it.

What I like:

- Very absorbent – supposed to hold up to 15x its weight
- Can be sanitized in the microwave or cleaned in the washer and dryer
- Size isn’t too big or too small
- 100% biodegradable, natural and re-usable – made of natural cotton and wood-based cellulose pulp; chlorine-free product using water-based colors and inks. Independent composting test showed the SKOY cloth broke down completely within 5 weeks.
- Use anywhere you’d use paper towels
- Save on paper towel cost and waste

What I don’t like:

- Microwaving may kill the germs, but it won’t clean them. For extra messy spills, I still prefer paper towels so I can toss them quickly. If I used SKOY for every mess, the cloths would be in the washing machine every day!

Buy them

I saw these at Sunflower Markets for around $7 for a three cloth pack or you can buy them for $6.99 at Amazon.com.

Win a 3-pack!

SKOY sent me two sets of their cloths – one to try and one to send to a lucky reader. Please note: The colors of your cloths will be different than what is shown above.

Mandatory Entry: Please leave a comment below letting me know why you want to try SKOY cloths.

Optional Entries:

1 – Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (+1)
2 – Follow @CravingSavings and/or @CravingGiveaway (+1 for each)
3 – Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) (+1)
4 – Follow me on Networked Blogs (+1)
5 – Be or become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (+1 for each)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Sunday, January 16, 2011. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email, or I will select a new winner.
- Giveaway is limited to United States residents.

Disclosure: I received the SKOY Cloths mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com and the Tomoson weekly featured sponsor Favorite Wigs – Shop Name Brand Wigs at Low Prices! Large Wig Selection of Forever Young Wigs, and other Quality Wigs. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Review — Yogi Bear’s All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper DVD


'Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper DVD Review

Synopsis:
Yogi Bear and his pal Boo Boo live in Jellystone Park, where they constantly sneak behind the back of Ranger Smith to steal picnic baskets from unsuspecting vacationers. Yogi made his debut in 1958, as part of “The Huckleberry Hound Show.” The character proved so popular, he was given his own show in 1960, also sponsored by Kellogg’s Cereals. In addition to Yogi, the show featured separate cartoons with the new characters Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle. Through 1962, 70 Yogi Bear cartoons were produced, all of them featuring Daws Butler as the voice of Yogi, and Don Messick as Boo Boo. In this Christmas Special, Yogi escapes from Jellystone and hides out in a department store – posing as the Store’s Santa. Along the way, he helps a little girl to rediscover her faith in Christmas.

My Opinion:
My daughter was excited to receive this DVD because of the new Yogi Bear movie that is now in theaters. This DVD was waiting for us when we returned from our holiday trip and since school started back on Monday, we made a quick transition back to our normal routine and didn’t get a chance to watch the DVD. Even though the holidays are over, we plan to watch this DVD over the weekend.

Learn more about this DVD or purchase it for $9.95. It is also available at Dallas Public Libraries, so check your library for a copy of this DVD if you want to rent it first!

Disclosure: I received a copy of Yogi Bear’s All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper in exchange for posting this information. The synopsis, images and movie clips were provided by Warner Bros.



Review — Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales DVD


'Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales DVD Review

Synopsis:
Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales is a series of Christmas-themed animated stories, in which each of the beloved PEANUTS characters star in his or her own charming animated vignette. Bonus episode: Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown – New-to-DVD! Linus must break the devastating news that his family is moving. Charlie Brown and the gang make their goodbyes and prepare for Linus and Lucy’s departure.

My Opinion:
This is one of those DVDs that brings back memories from childhood and I enjoyed watching it with my daughter. She is not as familiar with the Peanuts as I was growing up (I regularly read the Sunday comic strip), but she asked to watch it several times over the holidays.

The DVD includes a bonus episode “Is this Goodbye, Charlie Brown?”

Visit the official Peanuts on DVD Website to learn about this and other Peanuts DVDs. The Dallas Public Library carries several copies of this DVD!

Disclosure: I received a copy of Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales DVD to review. The synopsis, images and movie clips were provided by Warner Bros. All opinions are my own.



Review — Flipped DVD


Flipped DVD

Synopsis:
When second-graders Bryce and Juli first meet, Juli knows it’s love. Bryce isn’t so sure. In the days and years ahead, Bryce (Callan McAuliffe) does all he can to keep his wannabe girlfriend at arm’s length — and the smart, independent-minded Juli (Madeline Carroll) continues to give him the benefit of the doubt. This tender coming-of-age romantic comedy from director Rob Reiner takes the pair from grade school to junior high, through triump and disaster, family drama and first love, as they make discoveries that will define who they are — and who they are to each other.

My Opinion
I haven’t read the book, so I do not know how true the movie stays to the original story, but I enjoyed this movie. It is rated PG for thematic material and language. It is the language that keeps me from allowing my six year old to watch this movie.

Available now on Blu-Ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand or for download.

I also noticed that the Dallas Public Library has seven copies of this DVD, so check your library if you’d like to watch it for free.

Visit the Official Website to learn more about Flipped.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Flipped to review. The synopsis and images were provided by Warner Bros. All opinions are my own.

Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to winners of the two $25 gift card giveaways!

$25 Tom Thumb gift card giveaway winner
#17 – Mami2jcn



$25 Kroger gift card giveaway winner
#14 – Mary J.

I emailed both winners on 12/27 and they confirmed, but I’m just getting the chance to post this now. Thank you all who entered.

Two upcoming giveaways to look for: SKOY Cloths and Orient Watch (arv $150).



Review — Samantha: An American Girl Holiday DVD


Samantha: An American Girl Holiday DVD

I recently received several DVDs from Warner Bros. to review, which I will be posting today. The first is Samantha: An American Girl Holiday.

Synopsis:
For years, girls have wished for a movie about their favorite American Girl. Finally that wish comes true in the first-ever, full-length, live action movie starring long-time favorite Samantha Parkington! Samantha: An American girl Holiday brings history boldly to life as it takes girls on journey back to New York in 1904. Samantha’s prim and proper Grandmary is raising her to be a young lady, but her life starts changing the day as she meets Nellie O’Malley, the servant girl next door. Though they come from different worlds, they come from different worlds, they become fast friends, facing happiness and sorrow, adventure and danger together. But nothing can prepare them for the life-altering surprises that await them this holiday season.

My Opinion
My daughter and I loved watching this movie together. It is a charming tale that teaches so many wonderful life lessons about friendship, caring for others, and finding solutions to difficult situations. My daughter had many questions after we watched the DVD. The movie made a big impact on her.

Purchase the DVD: You can purchase this DVD new for $18.95 or less, or used for around $10. Or, I noticed you can get the Felicity and Samantha: An American Girl 2-DVD gift set for $19.59.

I also noticed that the Dallas Public Library’s Bookmarks branch at Northpark Mall has ordered a copy of this DVD. Head to your local library to see if they have a copy and check out the DVD for free to see how you like it before you buy it!

Visit the Official Website to learn more about Samantha: An American Girl Holiday.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Samantha: An American Girl Holiday to review. The overview, images and movie clips were provided by Warner Bros. All opinions are my own.

Review — ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas DVD


'Twas the Night Before Christmas DVD Review

I think most people are familiar with the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas movie. This movie has played on television every Christmas season since 1974. But what you may not know is it was digitally remastered and re-released in October!

Synopsis:
For some unexplained reason, letters to Santa Claus are being returned to the children of Junctionville. It seems some resident has angered St. Nick, calling Christmas “a fraudulent myth!” Skeptical Albert Mouse has to be brought to his senses “and let up a little on the wonder why.” How Albert is persuaded to change his tune paves the way for Santa’s jolly return to town – and the joyous finale of the animated fable inspired by Clement Moore’s poem and produced by the merrymaking conjurers of Rankin/Bass Studios. The voice talents of Joel Grey, Tammy Grimes, John McGiver and George Gobel make this festive fable even more fun.

My Opinion:
It was fun to watch this movie with my daughter. It brought back memories of my childhood when we would watch this movie whenever it came on television. Now that there are so many television channels available, I can’t keep up with all the holiday programming, so I like having this movie available to pull out each holiday season to watch it when we want.

Buy this DVD
Keep an eye out at stores for this DVD, as you might find it on sale after the holidays. You can also buy Twas the Night Before Christmas at Amazon.com for $13.99.

The Dallas Public Library carries four copies of this DVD and, not surprisingly, all copies are checked out!

Visit the Official Website to learn more about the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas DVD.

Disclosure: I received a copy of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to review. The synopsis, images and movie clips were provided by Warner Bros. All opinions are my own.



BBC America Shop Prize Pack Winner


Congratulations to Jessica, who won the BBC America Shop Prize Pack. She has confirmed via email.

If you haven’t already entered the two gift card giveaways (Kroger and Safeway/Tom Thumb), there’s one week left!


Holiday Cookie Exchange – Giveaway: Betty Crocker Cookie Mix, GladWare & $25 Safeway Gift Card (12/27)


Holiday Cookie Exchange with Betty Crocker & Gladware Giveaway

Are you planning to attend any holiday cookie exchanges in the next few weeks? Or do you plan to give cookies as a gift this holiday season?

Through Tuesday, December 14, visit the Safeway family of Stores (which includes Dominick’s, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Vons, and Genuardi’s) to purchase any two participating Gladware products and get a free Betty Crocker Cookie Pouch while supplies last.

Tom Thumb/Safeway Promotion

If you picked up a copy of the Safeway “Thanksgiving” $60 in coupons booklet, there is a $1.50/2 GladWare products coupon inside that you could use for this promotion. The booklet came out in early November, so chances are slim that you will find one if you haven’t already gotten it, but I have heard a few people have found them at select stores, so you never know.

Visit BakeSweetMemories.com where you will find several recipes that expand the possibilities of Betty Crocker cookie mixes.

We can no longer eat Betty Crocker cookie mixes (or any mixes for that matter), but I used to make their chocolate chip, chocolate oatmeal and sugar cookies pretty regularly. It was so easy to make great tasting cookies, but I never thought to take them to a new level like many of the recipes on BakeSweetMemories.com do. I’d love to try the Turtle Tassies. Yum!

The Bake Sweet Memories Website also offers a section on how to host a cookie exchange, in case you need ideas.

And while you’re at the Bake Sweet Memories Website, play the instant win game for a chance to win free baking products from Betty Crocker. I played and won a coupon for a free pouch of Betty Crocker Cookie Mix that was loaded directly on my Tom Thumb shopper card. Maybe I’ll use it to add cookies to my daughter’s teacher gifts.

Win a “Happy Holiday Treats” Prize Pack

Mandatory Entry (must be completed first): To win a package of Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix, a GladWare sample pack and a $25 Safeway gift card (also valid at Dominick’s, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Vons, and Genuardi’s), tell me which cookie recipe you most want to try this holiday season.

Additional Entries (optional):

1 – Visit BakeSweetMemories.com and play the Instant Win Game. Let me know if you won or not. If you won, let me know what you won! (+1)
2 – Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (+1)
3 – Follow @CravingSavings and/or @CravingGiveaway (+1 for each)
4 – Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) (+1)
5 – Follow me on Networked Blogs (+1)
6 – Be or become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (+1 for each)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Monday, December 27, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email, or I will select a new winner.
- Giveaway is limited to United States residents.

Disclosure: Safeway, Betty Crocker, and Glad provided me with the gift card, information, and prize pack through MyBlogSpark, but I was not obligated to host the giveaway or post this information.

Make Chex Mix for the holidays – Giveaway: Chex Cereal and $25 Kroger gift card (12/27)


Chex Mix Recipes and Chex Cereal & $25 Kroger gift card giveaway

Are you a fan of Chex cereals? If so, you may be interested to know that now through December 25th, Kroger stores are offering Chex cereal at their lowest prices of the year.

Kroger

I haven’t checked stores to see what the price is and I didn’t see Chex cereals listed in this week’s ad… but you can grab the $1.00/2 coupon from the 12/5 General Mills newspaper insert or print a $1.00/2 coupon (found on 2nd page), and check the price the next time you’re at Kroger.

Sure, you can buy pre-made Chex Mix, but there’s something that says “its holiday time” when you make Chex Mix from scratch. Plus you can have complete control over what ingredients you want to include when you make the mixes yourself!

Unfortunately we can’t eat Chex cereal, but I gave the Chex cereal that I received to a friend who loves to make Chex Mixes. I told her about the Ginger-Honey Crunch Recipe, Chex Pumpkin Pie Mix and other recipes on the Chex Website. Many of the recipes can be made in 15 minutes and the mixes can be served at parties or given as holiday gifts.

If you are eating a gluten-free diet, then you may like to know that the Chex Mix recipes site has a “gluten-free” icon next to certain recipes.

Win two boxes of Chex Cereal and a $25 Kroger gift card

Mandatory Entry (must be completed first):
To enter, please visit the Chex Mix recipes page and let me know which mix you’d like to try.

Additional Entries (optional)
1 – Like Kroger on Facebook (+1)
2 – Like Chex on Facebook (+1)
3 – Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (+1)
4 – Follow @CravingSavings and/or @CravingGiveaway (+1 for each)
5 – Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) (+1)
6 – Follow me on Networked Blogs (+1)
7 – Be or become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (+1 for each)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Monday, December 27, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email, or I will select a new winner.
- Giveaway is limited to United States residents.

Disclosure: The prize pack, information and giveaway were all provided by Chex and Kroger through MyBlogSpark, but I was not obligated to host the giveaway or post this information.

Giveaway winners

Congratulations to these winners! All have been emailed and confirmed.

Z Tire Chains Winner

Z Snow Tire Chains
Comment #50 – April Yedinak

JUMBiES Winner

JUMBiES
Comment #140 – Toni

StaphAseptic Winner

StaphAseptic
Comment #12 – Mindi

Udderly Smooth Winner

Udderly Smooth Assortment
Comment #19 – Amber

PretonSaver Winner 1

PretonSaver Software #1
Comment #23 – SLS

PretonSaver Winner 2

PretonSaver Software #2
Comment #6 – Pamela James

PretonSaver Winner 3

PretonSaver Software – 3
Comment #35 – April P.

PretonSaver Winner 4

PretonSaver Software – 4
Comment #27 – Kimberly

Giveaway Winners (7)

I apologize for the delay in posting this. All winners were selected by Random.org and all have been contacted. All of the Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop winners have confirmed, but I am waiting for confirmations from the HoMedics and EcoSMART winners.

Thank you to everyone who entered! I have two more gift card giveaways to post very soon – $25 to Kroger and $25 to Safeway/Tom Thumb – as well as a few that end on 12/9 and 12/15 (see top right column). I hope to have the gift card giveaways posted this weekend.

Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop Winners

Congratulations to the following Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop Winners:

Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop Winner

1 – Comment #341 – Shel – $25 AMEX GC

Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop Winner

2 – Comment #121 – Kristen – $25 Cooking.com GC

Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop Winner

3 – Comment #244 – Tabathia B – $25 Kroger GC

Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop Winner

4 – Comment #218 – Becky Shattuck – $10 Amazon.com

Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop Winner

5 – Comment #432 – Heavenly Savings – $25 to Jasmere.com

Thank you to Simply Stacie, Little Yayas, My Wee View and Stockpiling Moms for all their hard work organizing this blog hop!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HoMedics Shiatsu Massage Pillow Giveaway Winner

HoMedics Shiatsu Massage Pillow
Comment #66 – Heather M.

EcoSMART Giveaway Winner

EcoSMART Home Value Bundle
Comment #23 – Greta

Giveaway: BBC America Shop Prize Pack (12/15)

BBC America Shop Giveaway

This holiday season, the BBC America Shop invites you to discover the perfect holiday gifts. Simply click to visit the site.

In addition, the BBC America Shop is giving you the opportunity to win a pair of $500 gift card (one for you and one for a friend!). The gift card is redeemable toward purchases at bbcamericashop.com. Hurry because this contest will end on December 15th. Click here to enter the contest.

The online store offers a variety of products, including DVDs, books, music, house & home items, apparel, jewelry, gifts and magazines.

In exchange for sharing the above information with you, The BBC America Shop has given me a fantastic prize pack that includes several products from their store.

One lucky winner will receive:

BBC America Shop: Robbie Reindeer DVD

Robbie the Reindeer DVD
Follow Robbie through a pair of hilarious and hip animated adventures in this multi-award-winning animation that the whole family will love.

BBC America Shop: Charlie & Lola DVD

Charlie & Lola, Volume 11: I Really Really need Actual Ice Skates DVD
First she begged Granny and Grandpa for a scooter, but now Lola has decided that she wants a pair of real, actual ice skates. Everyone is dubious. Charlie reminds her she felt the same about her old yo-yo and Dad warns her that he doesn’t want to find the ice skates in the bottom of her closet. But Lola is adamant, she needs actual ice skates because they are sparkly and white, and when she gets them, she will be the best ice skater in the whole school.

BBC America Shop: Emma DVD

Emma DVD
Beautiful, clever and rich, Emma Woodhouse (Romola Garai, Atonement, Daniel Deronda) is convinced she is an expert matchmaker. Austen’s incorrigible heroine, certain of her talents, persuades a pretty protégé to reject a local farmer in favor of a more dashing suitor. So begins a story that challenges Emma’s naiveté, her social preconceptions and her own future with Mr. Knightley. Co-stars Sir Michael Gambon and Johnny Lee Miller (both of Mansfield Park and Cranford). Adapted for the BBC by BAFTA®-winner Sandy Welch.

BBC America Shop: Spot's Magical DVD

Spot’s Magical Christmas DVD
Spot the perfect holiday gift! The delightful star of Eric Hill’s beloved children’s books joins his friends as they embark on a special magical ride to help find Santa’s special Christmas sleigh-before it’s too late. As a reward for his help, Spot finds a big surprise under the tree on Christmas morning! Bonus episode: Spot’s Winter Sports, featuring Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense), plus two games. As seen on Playhouse Disney.

BBC America Shop: Keeping Up Appearances DVD

Keeping Up Appearances: Deck the Halls with Hyacinth DVD
When it comes to snobbery, Hyacinth Bucket is in a class of her own! Tireless social climber Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced ‘Bouquet,’ of course!) puts her best foot forward in this high-class comedy’s favorite specials.

BBC America Shop: Marble Heart Keychain
A Marble Heart Keychain
The luck o’ the Irish is yours whenever you reach for your keys!


BBC America Shop: Build Your Own Kaleidoscope
A Build Your Own Kaleidoscope


Win this BBC America Shop Prize Pack

One lucky reader will win all of the items listed above.

Mandatory Entry:

- Visit BBC America Shop and tell me something they offer that you like.

Optional Additional Entries:
(There are several extra entry opportunities on this giveaway. Please complete the optional entries after you have completed the mandatory entry and leave one comment for each entry specified below. Example: +2 = 2 comments):


- Enter the BBC America Shop Holiday Sweepstakes and let me know you did (+1)
- Like BBC America Shop on Facebook (+1)
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (+1)
- Follow @BBCAmericaShop on Twitter (+1)
- Follow @CravingSavings and/or @CravingGiveaway (+1 for each)
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) (+1)
- Follow me on Networked Blogs (+1)
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (+1 for each)
- Post this giveaway on a giveaway linky (and leave the URL) (+2)
- Enter any of my other current giveaways (+1 for each giveaway entered – listed at the top right below the Search field)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Wednesday, December 15, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.
- Giveaway is limited to United States residents.

Disclosure: I did not receive compensation in exchange for this post other than the offer to giveaway this prize pack to one lucky reader.


Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop (12/1-12/5)


Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered.

All five winners have been notified by email and all have confirmed. I will be posting a winners’ announcement on Tuesday along with the names of the two winners from giveaways that ended on Monday.

I have two $25 gift card giveaways coming up this weekend for Kroger stores and Safeway/Tom Thumb stores. And don’t forget to enter the open giveaways in the top right column — many of which close on 12/9.

I can’t believe it’s now December! Let’s kick off this festive month with five gift card/code giveaways in one (five winners)!

This giveaway consists of the following gift cards/codes:

$25 Kroger Gift Card Giveaway

1. $25 Kroger Gift Card
(valid at most Kroger Family stores, good at Tom Thumb Food stores in AL and FL only, good at Food 4 Less stores in So CA, NV, IN and IL only)
Planning to give gift cards this year or have a big purchase to make and want to stretch your money? Now through 12/11, Kroger is giving customers a fuel savings of 40¢ off per gallon for every $100 in gift cards purchased. The savings apply to most gift cards sold at Kroger stores, including Best Buy, The Home Depot, iTunes, Macy’s, Sears, Subway, JCPenney and Chili’s. Get all the details or see what stores are part of the Kroger Family.

$25 Cooking.com Gift Card Giveaway

2. $25 Cooking.com gift card
Love to cook? Cooking.com not only sells lots of great kitchen products, but also has an online community and recipe database!

$25 AMEX Gift Card Giveaway from NAKANO

3. $25 AMEX Gift Card from NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegars
Have you tried NAKANO Rice Vinegar? I use it to make a fabulous Mahi Mahi dish from their Splash Recipe Club. Get a $1.00/1 coupon and find a recipe to try!

$25 Jasmere Gift Card Giveaway

4. $25 Jasmere.com Gift Code
Jasmere.com features high-end merchandise from the nation’s top web merchants. Sign up on their site to be notified via email of each day’s deal. The winner of this gift card will need to have a free Jasmere.com account.

$10 Amazon.com Gift Card Giveaway

5. $10 Amazon.com Gift Code
This one is sponsored by me!

RULES

- This giveaway will run from December 1 -12:01 am EST through December 5 – 11:59 pm EST.
- On 12/6, I will use Random.org to select one winner per gift card/code listed above. Five winners total.
- All winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond or else a new winner will be selected.
- Winners will receive their first choice of gift card (if still available). If the winner’s preferred gift card/codes are no longer available, she/he will have the option to receive one of the remaining gift cards/codes or a back-up $5 Amazon.com gift code.
- All giveaways are limited to US residents.

MANDATORY ENTRY

Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect (right column – scroll up just a tad) and then scroll to the bottom of this page and leave a comment telling me which gift card/code(s) you would like to win. Please rank them in order of preference!

OPTIONAL ENTRIES

1. Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (+1)
2. Follow @CravingSavings on Twitter (+1)
3. Follow me on Networked Blogs (+1)
4. Become an email subscriber or become a RSS subscriber (+1)
5. Like one or more of the giveaway sponsors on Facebook and leave your Facebook name in the comment: NAKANO Splash, Cooking.com, Kroger, Jasmere.com (+1 per sponsor)

If you are already a follower/subscriber/fan, please be sure to leave comments too! If you left a comment on my Cooking.com post, I will be adding your bonus entries to the comments and will email you to let you know.

Good luck! Be sure to visit the other blogs listed here during this week, and then come back here to enter any or all of my other open giveaways listed at the top of the right column of this page: EcoSMART Home Value Bundle (12/6), HoMedics Ultra Plush Shiastu Massage Pillow (12/6), JUMBiES Stuffed Animals (12/9), Z Tire Chains (set of 2) (12/9), StaphAseptic (12/9), Udderly Smooth Product Assortment (12/9), PretonSaver Ink Saver Software (4 winners) (12/9), BBC America Shop Prize Pack (12/15).




Review & Giveaway: JUMBiES Stuffed Animals (12/9)


JUMBiES Review & Giveaway

Once upon a time, many baby animals were being born at once — so many that the storks couldn’t keep up as much as they tried. It eventually got to be too much for the storks and they started crashing into each other!

JUMBiES Stork

The result? Twelve jumbled animals that the storks decided to call JUMBiES!

The storks took the JUMBiES to a wonderful island they called JUMBiELAND where these animals could stay until the storks could find new homes for them.

Three of these cute JUMBiES arrived at our home recently, to my daughter’s delight. They are:

JUMBiES - Zumbo the Zelephant
Zumbo the Zelephant (Zebra + Elephant)


JUMBiES - Leopold the Leopird
Leopold the Leopird (Leopard + Hornbill Bird)


JUMBiES - Yuri the Moosecow
Yuri the Moosecow (Moose + Cow)

When the package arrived, I noticed the JUMBiE “sand dollars” that were included with the JUMBiES stuffed toys. Each sand dollar features one of the JUMBiES, a value and the JUMBiE’S motto. For example, the one that features Filbert the Blabbit (Blue Bird + Rabbit) is worth fifty sand dollars and has “Don’t keep it a secret, Blabbit!” written on the back. I used the sand dollars to create a fun discovery game for my daughter, which she talks about in this video review:

What I like about JUMBiES:

- They’re cute and unique
- They have a story behind them to make for a fun discussion with your child(ren)
- They will stand/sit up on their own (this was one of the first things my daughter talked about)
- There’s a Website with games and other activities to extend the “JUMBiELAND experience”
- They are easy to surface wash
- They’d make fun stocking stuffers

The JUMBiES that we received are well-made, but they are best suited for children 3+ years old due to the potential choking hazard of some small, hard parts on the toys (JUMBiES’ eyes, Moosecow’s antlers, etc.).

Buy JUMBiES

You can buy JUMBiES online for $7.95 + shipping & handling, or at one of the retailers listed on this PDF. Each JUMBiE comes with a sand dollar and mini storybook.

Win Two JUMBiES!

One lucky reader will win two randomly selected JUMBiES!

Mandatory Entry:

- Visit JUMBiELAND.com and tell me which JUMBiE you like best.

Optional Additional Entries:
(There are several extra entry opportunities on this giveaway. Please complete the optional entries after you have completed the mandatory entry and leave one comment for each entry specified below. Example: +2 = 2 comments):

- Like JUMBiES on Facebook (+2)
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (+1)
- Post on your Facebook page – “Check out JUMBiES and win 2 at http://tinyurl.com/2dl39zh. They have been compared to the next Beanie Babies!” (+4)
- Follow @JUMBiES on Twitter (+2)
- Follow @CravingSavings and/or @CravingGiveaway (+1 for each)
- Tweet “Check out @JUMBiES and win 2 @CravingSavings – http://tinyurl.com/2dl39zh. Ends 12/9. They have been compared to the next Beanie Babies!” (+2)
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) (+1)
- Follow me on Networked Blogs (+1)
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (+1 for each)
- Post this giveaway on a giveaway linky (and leave the URL) (+2)
- Enter any of my other current giveaways (+1 for each giveaway entered – listed at the top right below the Search field)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Thursday, December 9, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.
- Giveaway valid only in the US and its territories including APOs.

Disclosure: I received three JUMBiES, two comic books, and several sand dollars in exchange for writing this review and hosting this giveaway. All opinions in this review belong to me and to my daughter.


Review: Norah Jones’ Latest Album …Featuring


Norah Jones....Featuring album

In case you didn’t hear – Norah Jones’ latest album …Featuring was released two weeks ago on November 16.

Whenever Norah Jones’ song “Don’t Know Why” comes on the radio, I turn it up. I love that song! So when One2One Network asked me if I’d like to review a copy of …Featuring, I didn’t have to think too long about whether or not to do it.

This album includes 18 songs where Ms. Jones collaborated with such artists as Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, the Foo Fighters, Ryan Adams, Herbie Hancock and Outkast…. quite a variety! Yet, despite the variety of styles of the artists and songs on this album, I thought it flowed rather nicely.

The 18 songs represent some of the multi-Grammy Award winning singer’s musical collaborations from the past decade.

Little trivia tidbit for DFW readers: Did you know Norah Jones grew up in Grapevine, Texas, attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas and the University of North Texas before her career took off?

My favorite songs on this album are:

- Love Me
- Virginia Moon
- Bullrider
- Life is Better
- The Best Part
- Here We Go Again

Want to learn more? Visit these sites:

- Official Website – Watch video vignettes of 15 of the collaborations!
- Facebook Fan Page
- YouTube

Buy …Featuring Norah Jones for only $7.99 on Amazon.com and get a $5.00 promotional code for Amazon Video on Demand (limited time promotion).

Disclosure: I received a copy of …Featuring from One2One Network in exchange for this review and I am entered to win one of five $50 gift cards. All opinions of the album are mine. Your opinion may differ, so please listen to the sample songs on Amazon.com before purchasing the album!

Review & Giveaway: PretonSaver Ink Saver Software – 4 winners (12/9)


PretonSaver Printer Ink Saver Software

I am embarrassed by how long it has taken me to write this review and post the giveaway, but on the positive side, I have had a lot of time to try out the software!

PretonSaver is a ink saver software program that allows you to not only save money on printer ink but also help the environment because it promotes “green printing“.

If you use your printer regularly like I do to print coupons, rebates, and other documents, PretonSaver will help you save money on ink while you print to save money on other items!

My Experience
In October, I participated in a Just Between Friends (JBF) consignment sale and had to print around fifty pages of tags on card stock. My black ink cartridge had been low for about a month, but I didn’t change it because I wasn’t printing too often.

I waited until the last minute to print my tags and had no replacement ink in the house. I used this opportunity to see if PrestonSaver could help me get all the tags printed so they were still legible enough to be scanned/read at the sale.

I’m happy to report I was able to successfully print all 50 pages of tags, and I continued to use the black printer ink cartridge for another month before having to change it. While the quality wasn’t great, it was decent – especially knowing the ink cartridge was almost out of ink. I felt like I really stretched the life out of that cartridge.

Once I changed the ink cartridge, I tried the PretonSaver program again and could not tell a difference in the print quality unless I changed the savings percentage to the maximum 70% savings.

I have a bag full of ink cartridges that I need to take somewhere to recycle. I am hopeful I will no longer have such a full bag of cartridges now that I am using PretonSaver whenever I print.

The only minor annoyance I found was that each time I printed something, the box (shown above) would pop up and ask me to select a quality percentage before I could print. I thought it would be nice if I could click a ‘do not show this’ box and keep all printing at default of 35%. I just realized this option does exist, but you have to right-click on the Preton icon in the lower right corner of your browser and unclick the “Prompt before Printing” option. I would love to see this on the pop-up itself, but I understand why it is not there.

Some highlights:

- Have a document with images and text, but only want the text? Click “Print text only” to remove the images during printing.
- The default setting of 35% will generally give you the best savings/quality.
- You can adjust the slider with each document you print. The slider provides a recommended scale so you know where to set it for photos, text, email, etc. for maximum savings and quality.
- Since starting to use the software in September, PretonSaver estimates that I have saved $67.51 in ink costs by using the program, with an annual savings prediction of more than $270.
- Each time I print, I see a summary in the bottom right of my screen that looks like this:

PretonSaver Printer Ink Saver Software

The features and system requirements listed on the PretonSaver Website include:

Features:

- Reduces consumable spending by up to 50%
- Easy to install and manage – start saving with just a few clicks
- Comprehensive reporting on cost and usage
- Supports Inkjet and LaserJet printers
- Color and mono, local and network printers
- Supports Windows, Win XP SP2 and up, Win Vista and Win 7

System Requirements:

- Windows® XP SP2 and up, Vista or Windows® 7
- 32 and 64 bit Operating Systems
- .NET 2 SP1 and up (relevant for Win XP)
- At least 20MB of available hard drive space
- Internet Connection

Download a free, 30-day trial (Black Friday through Cyber Sunday sale so this would only be valid on 11/28) or get a free, two week trial any other time, and test it out for yourself!

Buy It

You can buy a one year license to PretonSaver Home for $19.95 or a lifetime subscription for $34.95. They also have subscriptions for multiple computers and for office environments.

Win It

Preton gave me four, one year PretonSaver Home licenses to give away to four lucky readers!

Mandatory Entry

- Leave a comment letting me know why you want to win one of the licenses.

Optional Additional Entries:
(Completed these after the Mandatory Entry has been completed – leave one comment for each entry. Example: (+2) = 2 comments):


- Take the Preton Green Printing Quiz and let me know what your score was (+1)
- Like Preton on Facebook (+1)
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (+1)
- Follow @SaveToner on Twitter (+1)
- Follow @CravingSavings and/or @CravingGiveaway (+1 for each)
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) (+1)
- Follow me on Networked Blogs (+1)
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (+1 for each)
- Post this giveaway on a giveaway linky (and leave the URL) (+2)
- Enter any of my other current giveaways (+1 for each giveaway entered – listed at the top right below the Search field)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Thursday, December 9, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.
- Open to residents worldwide.

Disclosure: I received a one year PretonSaver Home license and four to give away. All opinions are my own. The features and system requirements lists come directly from PretonSaver.com.


Giveaway: EcoSMART Home Pest Control (12/6)


ecosmart home pest control giveaway

EcoSMART would like to giveaway one of their Home Value bundle of 100% safe pesticide products to one lucky reader!

The bundle includes:

– Ant and Roach Killer (14 oz can)
– Home Pest Control (24 oz spray bottle)
– Flying Insect Killer (14 oz can)
– Insect Repellent (6 oz bottle)

I have not used EcoSMART products yet, but hope to soon. I love that they are offer several safe pesticide solutions that use botanical oil blends (food grade ingredients) that are specifically designed to attack certain pests (e.g. ants and roaches) so they will not harm you, your child(ren), pet(s) or the environment.

How EcoSMART Got its Start
When Steve Bessette and his wife were expecting twins almost two decades ago, they looked into transitioning their home to a toxic-free environment. Unable to find a 100% safe pesticide brand, Steve founded EcoSMART.

EcoSMART Product Line
In addition to the EcoSMART home pest control products, EcoSMART also sells organic pesticides for vegetables and other outdoor use (such as combating mosquitoes, fire ants, and weeds).

Buy EcoSMART products

You can buy EcoSMART products at many major retailers like Walmart and Tom Thumb/Randalls/Safeway as well as places like Calloway’s Nursery (if you are in Dallas-Fort Worth).

Win the EcoSMART Home Value Bundle!

One lucky reader will receive the home value bundle!

Mandatory Entry

- Leave a comment below letting me know why you need or want to win the Home Value Bundle of EcoSMART products.

Optional Additional Entries:
(Completed these after the Mandatory Entry has been completed – leave one comment for each entry):

- Like EcoSMART on Facebook (+1)
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (+1)
- Follow @CravingSavings and/or @CravingGiveaway (+1 for each)
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) (+1)
- Follow me on Networked Blogs (+1)
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (+1 for each)
- Post this giveaway on a giveaway linky (and leave the URL) (+2)
- Enter any of my other current giveaways (+1 for each giveaway entered – listed at the top right below the Search field)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Monday, December 6, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.
- Open to residents of the continental US

Disclosure: This giveaway is provided by EcoSMART. I did not receive any products to review, nor did I receive any compensation for this post other than the giveaway opportunity. I was offered a product bundle if I post the EcoSMART link on my blog roll, which I will be doing since I want to try these products!


Review & Giveaway: HoMedics Shiatsu Massage Pillow (12/6)


HoMedics Shiatsu Massaging Pillow Review & Giveaway

Before starting on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I spent as little time as possible in the kitchen. Now I spend at least an hour each day, but sometimes six or seven hours, prepping, cooking and cleaning up afterward. My back often aches after standing for so long. So when HoMedics contacted me about hosting a review and giveaway for their Ultra Plush Shiatsu Massage Pillow, I quickly said yes!

HoMedics provided me with a code to use to order the product on their site. I found the HoMedics.com order and checkout process to be very easy. You can get a shipping cost estimate before you enter all your personal information, which I love! Billing, shipping, payment and review information are all presented on one page so no need to click through multiple pages to place your order. The checkout process is very quick and easy-to-follow.

I received my pillow within days of ordering it and I was eager to put it to use on my achy back. I used it the night I received it after spending multiple hours prepping food. I think I was too eager because I didn’t bother to read the instructions and I used it for nearly an hour!

It felt so good on my back that I didn’t want to stop, so when it would automatically shut off, I immediately started it back up again. That was a big mistake as I had a few areas of sharp pain in my back the next day. I decided that I should probably take a look at the instructions. They clearly state not to use the product for more than 15 minutes at a time. Oops…

Now that I have read the product instructions and I am using the pillow properly, I love it. When I want a deeper massage, I turn on the heat and lift the flap. When I want a softer massage, I put the flap down. For an even softer massage, the instruction manual suggests putting a towel between your back and the pillow.

The product is meant for use on the the neck, shoulders and back. I have been using it primarily for my lower back – where the majority of back pain and tightness settles.

The product is portable, but it is corded, so it needs to be used near an electrical outlet. It is not meant for use in the car, and should not be used by children without supervision (my daughter is drawn to this pillow so we have had a few discussions about how it is not a toy).

Check out the Shiatsu Massage Pillow or other massage products from HoMedics.

Buy It

You can buy the pillow for $39.99 on the HoMedics Website or look for a retailer near you that carries the pillow by entering the product model number – SP-20H – and your zip code in the search form.

Win It

One lucky reader will win a HoMedics Ultra Plush Shiatsu Massage Pillow!

Mandatory Entry:

- Visit the HoMedics Shiatsu Massage Pillow page and tell me what feature you like best

Optional Additional Entries:
(Completed these after the Mandatory Entry has been completed – leave one comment for each entry. Example: (+2) = 2 comments):

- Like HoMedics on Facebook (+1)
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (+1)
- Follow @HoMedics on Twitter (+1)
- Follow @CravingSavings and/or @CravingGiveaway (+1 for each)
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) (+1)
- Follow me on Networked Blogs (+1)
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (+1 for each)
- Post this giveaway on a giveaway linky (and leave the URL) (+2)
- Enter any of my other current giveaways (+1 for each giveaway entered – listed at the top right below the Search field)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Monday, December 6, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.
- Open to residents of the US

Disclosure: I received a HoMedics Ultra Plush Shiatsu Massage Pillow to review and one to give away. All opinions are mine.

Review, Giveaway & $1/1 Coupon: StaphAseptic (12/9)


StaphAseptic Review & Giveaway

A few years ago, my cousin was hospitalized with a staph infection…. the dreaded MRSA – a highly resistant strain of staph that often will not respond to antibiotics. Most of her family came down with MRSA more than once — apparently it was very difficult to get rid of! They think it was initially contracted at a gym and then spread through contact at home.

MRSA spreads through contact and enters the body through cuts. So when I heard about StaphAseptic, I was eager to try it. While StaphAseptic is not a cure for MRSA, it is a preventative product that is worth having around the house if you are concerned about staph infections. After hearing about my cousin’s scary experience, I want to take preventative measures to avoid going through what she and her family went through.

You can apply StaphAseptic to minor cuts, scrapes and burns. I recently had two skin biopsies and used StaphAseptic before covering the areas with bandages. I was a little concerned about using it on the biopsied areas because the cuts are a little deep, but I had no problems with the product. I plan to use this on my daughter’s cuts and scrapes too, for added protection.

StaphAseptic is not only a first aid antiseptic, but also a pain relieving gel (includes Lidocaine). It does not contain antibiotics. To reduce your chance of getting a staph infection, use it in addition to following these other preventative steps:

- Treat and cover wounds
- Don’t share personal items (e.g. towels)
- Shower after physical activity
- Properly clean gear and equipment
- Keep hands clean
- Consult your physician for all active wounds

Buy StaphAseptic

You can find StaphAseptic at most major retailers for around $7.99 and $14.99. Be sure to print this $1.00 off coupon too!

$1.00 off coupon for StaphAseptic

Win StaphAseptic

One lucky reader will win a 2 oz tube of StaphAseptic!

Mandatory Entry:

- Leave one comment letting me know why you want to win this.

Optional Additional Entries:
(Completed these after the Mandatory Entry has been completed – leave one comment for each entry. Example: (+2) = 2 comments):

- Like StaphAseptic on Facebook (+1)
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (+1)
- Follow TechLabs (makers of StaphAseptic) on Twitter @TecLabs (+1)
- Follow @CravingSavings and/or @CravingGiveaway (+1 for each)
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) (+1)
- Follow me on Networked Blogs (+1)
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (+1 for each)
- Post this giveaway on a giveaway linky (and leave the URL) (+2)
- Enter any of my other current giveaways (+1 for each giveaway entered – listed at the top right below the Search field)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Thursday, December 9, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.
- Open to residents of the US

Disclosure: I received a 2 oz tube of StaphAseptic to review and one to give away. All opinions are mine.

Review & Giveaway: Udderly Smooth Lotion (12/9)


Udderly Smooth Review & Giveaway

I have very dry elbows — so dry that my dermatologist prescribed a special cream because no lotion has helped. The same day she prescribed the cream, I received three Udderly Smooth products in the mail to review:

- Udderly Smooth Shea Butter Foot Cream
- Udderly Smooth Udder Cream
- Udderly Smooth Moisturizing Lotion with Vitamin E

I thought I would do an experiment by applying the Udderly Smooth Moisturizing Lotion to my right elbow and the prescription cream to my left elbow.

I have tried so many lotions from the very cheap to very expensive, but none have worked other than to provide temporary relief. If I forgot to re-apply them daily or even several times a day, my skin felt dry again. Because of my past experiences, I didn’t have high expectations for the Udderly Smooth lotion.

But guess what? I was pleasantly surprised by the Udderly Smooth lotion, and it has worked faster than the prescription cream. I could tell a difference in my skin’s appearance within the first few uses of the Udderly Smooth lotion.

This lotion makes me want to continue to use it — not just because it has left my elbow skin the softest it has been in a long time, but also because of the texture and scent. And I don’t feel the need to re-apply it many times a day like I do with some lotions.

Udderly Smooth was created more than 30 years ago by a pharmacist. It can be used from head to toe – yes, even as a facial moisturizer! I am glad I learned about this product before the winter months start because my hands get severely cracked with colder temperatures to the point where they bleed. If this lotion works as well on my hands as it has on my elbows, I expect quick relief or no cracking at all this winter.

What I like most about the Udderly Smooth products:

- Absorbs quickly
- Creamy texture that does not leave my skin feeling greasy
- Very light, pleasant scent. I am very sensitive to product fragrance to the point where I get a sore throat, runny eyes, etc. I try to avoid fragrance whenever possible. I experienced no sensitivity problems while using the Udderly Smooth products.
- Works quickly to moisturize my overly dry skin.
- Made in the USA
- Not tested on animals – other than the cows’ udders that it was originally formulated for!
- Affordable — products start at $2.99 and go to $8.75

The prices really surprised me. I was expecting them to be much higher!

There is nothing that I don’t like about the products I tried.

Buy Udderly Smooth Products

You can buy Udderly Smooth products on their Website or at many major retailers, including the 99 cent store!

Win Three Udderly Smooth Products

The folks at Redex Industries (makers of Udderly Smooth products) will send one lucky reader an assortment of their products (though likely not all of the products in the photo above). These would make great stocking stuffers or keep them for yourself!

Mandatory Entry:

- Leave one comment letting me know why you want to win these products.

Optional Additional Entries:
(Completed these after the Mandatory Entry has been completed – leave one comment for each entry. Example: (+2) = 2 comments):

- Like Udderly Smooth on Facebook (+1)
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (+1)
- Follow @UdderlySmooth on Twitter (+1)
- Follow @CravingSavings and/or @CravingGiveaway (+1 for each)
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) (+1)
- Follow me on Networked Blogs (+1)
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (+1 for each)
- Post this giveaway on a giveaway linky (and leave the URL) (+2)
- Enter any of my other current giveaways (+1 for each giveaway entered – listed at the top right below the Search field)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Thursday, December 9, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.
- Open to residents of the US and Canada

Disclosure: I received the three Udderly Smooth products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.



Giveaway: Z Tire Chains (this blog) & Whistler Weekend (Z Tires contest) (12/9)


Z Tire Chains - Whistler Weekend Giveaway

It was 80 degrees in Dallas yesterday, but the first big cold front of the season swept in overnight and temperatures dropped by 40+ degrees!

While Dallas does not normally see much snow (we usually get ice if the temperatures are cold enough), I have lived in and visited other parts of the country where I have driven in some pretty nasty snowstorms. For those scary situations, I always wished I had some extra traction on my tires but never did anything about it before the storms would arrive. If you expect to be in such a situation this winter, this giveaway may interest you!

SCC, maker of the Z Tire Chains, is currently running a giveaway for a weekend trip for two to Whistler, British Columbia! Here are the details from SCC:

This winter, SCC (maker of the trusted Z winter traction products) has prepared three videos with some helpful advice encouraging folks to “stay safe”…..on the road. As a thank you for watching and sharing the videos, SCC is offering a Whistler Weekend Getaway AND a set of Z chains.

What do you win?

- Two-nights stay for two in beautiful Whistler, British Columbia
- Two adult ski passes
- $50 per day to spend as you wish (maximum of $150)
- One set of Z chains (specific to your tire needs)
(Note: airfare not included)

How to Enter:

1. Visit www.Youtube.com/LookForTheZ
2. Watch the videos and leave a comment
3. Random viewer will win!

Tip: The more you share, the better your odds! Post on Facebook, Twitter, etc. and comment on our channel with a unique link/url to your post.

All entries must be made by December 1, 2010 at 11:59pm PST.

To review Terms & Conditions, visit www.LookForTheZ.com/Terms.html

About The Z:
Z chains are easy to put on and tough to break, and the #1 choice for winter traction products…just ask your local police department! Z chains are the winter traction product choice for police, fire, ambulance and other professional fleets throughout North America. Their fast installation, aggressive traction performance and extreme durability simply out-class all other options. For more information or to find a local distributor, visit
www.LookForTheZ.com.

Z Tire Chains Giveaway on CravingTheSavings.com

Want to be protected this winter? Win a pair of Z Tire Chains for your specific tires!

How to Enter

Mandatory Entry:

- Leave a comment below telling me about a time when you drove on snow or ice.

Optional Entries
(Completed this after the Mandatory Entry has been completed – leave one comment for each entry):

- Let me know if you entered the Whistler Weekend giveaway and where you posted your comment (2 entries)
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (2 entries – leave 2 comments)
- Follow me on Twitter (@CravingSavings and @CravingGiveaway) – 1 extra entry for each
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column)
- Follow me on Networked Blogs (right column)
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (top right column) – 1 extra entry for each
- Post this giveaway on a giveaway linky (and leave the URL) – (2 entries – leave 2 comments)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Thursday, December 9, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.

Disclosure: In exchange for posting the Whistler Weekend Giveaway, I received a pair of Z Tire Chains to use as a giveaway for one lucky reader! I did not receive any other form of compensation.


Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the following winners of my latest giveaways:

Disney on Ice – Princess Wishes

I received a second 4-pack of tickets so I was able to select two winners! Both winners have been confirmed:

Disney on Ice Giveaway Winner

Erin Walsh

Disney on Ice Giveaway Winner

Elizabeth N.



An additional show was just added for next week – Friday, November 26, 10:30 AM – so if you were thinking about going and haven’t gotten tickets, you have another option!

The winner of the Girl Wonders Cahootie (confirmed) is:

Girl Wonders Cahootie Winner

Amber




The winner of the Robi Comb (confirmed) is:

Robi Comb Winner

Stacy

Thank you to everyone who entered. Stay tuned for the Holiday Blog Hop starting on December 1 where I will be giving away a $25 Kroger gift card and a $25 Cooking.com gift card.

If you are already a reader of this blog, you will have an opportunity to get extra entries in the blog hop giveaway before it starts. I will announce those opportunities shortly!



Disney on Ice presents Princess Wishes – Discount Code & Giveaway for North Texas


Disney on Ice presents Princess Wishes - Allen, TX

Disney on Ice – Princess Wishes is coming to the Allen Event Center (north of Dallas) during the week of Thanksgiving!

About the Show

“Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine and Mulan all make their wishes come true in this collection of celebrated tales wonderfully told through artistic skating and acrobatics.

Audiences will be transported to a world where dreams really can come true. With the help of the magical pixie Tinker Bell, the Disney Princesses embark on an adventure to find their heart’s fondest wish. Ariel dreams of a life above the sea, Mulan finds her inner strength, Jasmine discovers a whole new world and Snow White finds her true love. Cinderella, Belle and Sleeping Beauty also find happiness in this beautifully imagined ice show.”

Snow White - Disney on Ice - Feld Entertainment

Be sure to arrive an hour before the performance to see the free pre-show. It is “an exclusive fairy tale collection of gowns and treasures from the Disney Princess stories” and will include the appearance of one of the princesses!

To learn more about Disney On Ice, visit www.disneyonice.com, or visit their Facebook page.

WHERE:
Allen Event Center
200 East Stacy Road, Ste. 1350
Allen, TX 75002
Free parking!

WHEN:
Wednesday, November 24 – 7:30 pm
Friday, November 26 – 2:30 pm, 6:30 pm
Saturday, November 27 – 11:30 am, 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 28 – 1:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Sleeping Beauty - Disney on Ice - Feld Entertainment

TICKETS:
Tickets are available at online, at the Allen Event Center box office or charge by phone at 1-866-443-8849. Ticket prices are $75 (Rinkside), $45 (VIP) and $30 (Level 3).

DISCOUNT CODE:
Use the promo code MOM to receive $4 off Level 3 tickets at any performance. We sat in Level 3 for the Disney Live performance and had great seats. The Allen Event Center is a small venue so you can’t go wrong with any level of seating.

Ariel - Disney on Ice - Feld Entertainment

Win a Family Four Pack!

Would you like to win four tickets to the 7:30PM performance on Wednesday, November 24?

UPDATE: I am now giving away two 4-packs!

Mandatory entry:

Leave one comment letting me know who your favorite Disney princess is (or your child’s favorite!) Please note: it is one mandatory comment per person. I am deleting multiple mandatory comments made by the same person.

Additional entries (if you already do these, please leave comments too!):

- Like Disney on Ice on Facebook – 2 extra entries
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) – 1 extra entry
- Follow me on Twitter (@CravingSavings and @CravingGiveaway) – 1 extra entry for each
- Follow on Networked Blogs (right column) – 1 extra entry
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook – 1 extra entry
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (top right column) – 1 extra entry for each

This giveaway will end at 11:59 PM Central on Wednesday, November 17. I will use Random.org to select two winners whom I will email. The winners will have 24 hours to respond or else a new winner will be selected. This is open to anyone who wishes to travel to Allen, TX for the show.

Good luck!

Disclosure: I will receive three tickets to attend this event in exchange for posting this information. All photos are credited to FELD Entertainment.


Winners from 11/1 giveaways (3)

Sorry for the delay posting the winners. All winners were contacted on 11/1 and all have confirmed:

Bow Making Success DVD winner
More Secrets to Bow Making Success DVD Winner – #12 Comment – Jessica



SmartKnitKIDS Socks winner
SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Socks Winner – #29 – shala_darkstone



CardsDirect winner
CardsDirect Winner – #71 – Amber Gifford

Congratulations! If you haven’t already entered, there are two low entry giveaways that end on Monday, November 15: Cahootie and Robi Comb. I am also posting the Disney on Ice ticket giveaway for Dallas-area readers.


Review & Giveaway: Robi Comb – Non-toxic head lice remover (11/15)


Robi Comb - Non-toxic head lice remover

For nearly three years, I would read each email from my daughter’s school alerting parents that there was yet another lice outbreak on campus, but thankfully, the outbreak was never in my daughter’s class.

I kept an eye out for the little buggers for a few days after each alert, but never saw any and breathed a sigh of relief each time.

And then…a few weeks before school ended last June… I discovered that my daughter and I both had head lice. I was horrified!

The school alerts always included a link to Jesse’s Story about a little boy who died after being exposed to toxic head lice treatments. Because of my daughter’s numerous autoimmune illnesses, Jesse’s story caught my attention and was the first thing I thought about when I discovered we had lice. I knew I needed to find a way to get rid of these pests without exposing my daughter to a toxic shampoo or other potentially harmful treatment.

After doing some research online, here’s what I decided to do:

1. Put all stuffed animals in trash bags and moved them to storage in the garage for two weeks.

2. Washed all sheets, towels and blankets in hot water. I also washed clothes in hot water that could tolerate it and bagged the other regularly worn clothing. We wore clothes that we didn’t regularly wear, hoping that they didn’t have any lice or nits on them.

3. Thoroughly vacuumed all carpets, couches and chairs. I bought diatomaceous earth at Home Depot, but never used it.

4. Purchased a Robi Comb at Walgreens and used it immediately on both our heads.

5. Purchased a nit comb.

6. Covered our heads in olive oil and shower caps. We kept the olive oil and shower caps on overnight and spent a long time washing out the olive oil the next day!

I wasn’t sure what would work, but I had read good reviews about the olive oil, Robi Comb and nit comb so I decided to start with these items.

How the Robi Comb Works

The Robi Comb runs on batteries and “zaps” the lice as the comb goes through the hair…killing them on contact. The high pitched noise stops when a louse is stuck in the comb, so you can pull the comb out, remove the dead louse and continue. The zap sound allowed me to know exactly when the Robi Comb had located lice. Over time, the sound stayed on consistently so I knew there were no lice remaining. It gave me great peace of mind to know that the Robi Comb was no longer locating lice!

Once I was sure I had zapped all the living lice, I followed up on both of our heads with the nit comb. The Robi Comb does not kill nits, and I didn’t want any more lice hatching on our heads.

We continued to use the Robi Comb at least once daily for two weeks to make sure no new lice were found, but we did not find any live lice after the first day.

Watch this video to see the Robi Comb in action.

What I love most about the Robi Comb:

- Safe, non-toxic solution to killing lice
- Compact
- Battery powered
- Re-usable (invest in the product once and you can use it again, if the need ever arises – which I hope it won’t!)
- Can be used by an adult on his/her own head without enlisting another adult’s help. I wouldn’t give this to my 6 year old to use on her own head, but I used it on my own head without assistance for all but two of the comb-throughs
- Works quickly (lice killed on contact)

What I dislike about the Robi Comb:

- The comb cannot be wet. If you sterilize the comb with rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab, you will have to wait for it to dry before you can use the product. It will not work when wet. I understand the reason why it won’t work, but I was so eager to the comb through my hair after using it on my daughter’s head and hated the wait.

Buy It

You can buy the Robi Comb at most Walgreens locations for $29.99, or if you’re not in a hurry, you can buy it online for a little less. My Walgreens only had one left in stock when I bought mine.

Win It

The Robi Comb is not a product that you would normally buy to have on hand “just in case” you need it. But if your child’s school regularly has lice outbreaks like my child’s school does, it would be worth entering to try to win one! You can use it to check for lice when you hear about outbreaks so you can treat your child’s head sooner.

Mandatory entry (must be completed in order to enter this giveaway):

Visit Robicomb.com and let me know something you learned or why you want to win this product.


Additional (optional) entries (1 extra entry each unless otherwise noted. If you already do these, please leave comments too!):

- Like Robi Comb on Facebook (2 entries – leave 2 comments)
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (2 entries – leave 2 comments)
- Follow Robi Comb on Twitter
- Follow me on Twitter (@CravingSavings and @CravingGiveaway) – 1 extra entry for each
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column)
- Follow me on Networked Blogs (right column)
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (top right column) – 1 extra entry for each
- Post this giveaway on a giveaway linky (and leave the URL) – (2 entries – leave 2 comments)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Monday, November 15, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.

Please note: I received no product or monetary compensation for this review. Robi Comb is offering one of my blog readers the opportunity to win the product through a giveaway on this blog. While I’m embarrassed to admit we had lice, when I read that Robi Comb was looking bloggers to host giveaways of their product I jumped on the opportunity to share how wonderful this product is! If it saves one child from toxic lice treatments, it is worth it to me to share our story.

Three low entry giveaways ending 11/1

A quick reminder that these three giveaways end on Monday:

CardsDirect (25 cards – up to $50) – if you are sending holiday cards this year, this would be a good prize to win! (Only 68 entries so far)

SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Socks – great stocking stuffer for kids! (Only 56 entries so far)

More Secrets to Bow Making Success DVD – if you want to make hair bows or giftwrap bows, this DVD will give you some ideas! (Only 50 entries so far)

And this giveaway that ends 11/15 has very few entries so far:

Girl Wonders Cahootie – great tween girl stocking stuffer!

If you’re hosting a giveaway, please be sure to add them to my giveaway linky!


Review & Giveaway: Cahootie (11/15)


Cahootie Review - Craving the Savings.com

A few weeks ago, my daughter came home with a paper “Cootie Catcher” that she had made at school, except she called it a “Fortune Teller.” I hadn’t seen them in years so it was fun to see her playing with something I played with in the 80s.

Recently I learned about Cahootie – a colorful, modern take on the old paper version – and asked my daughter if she thought it looked like something she would enjoy. She said yes, so I signed up to do a review and giveaway.

We received the Cahootie yesterday. My daughter asked if she could do a video review instead of telling me what she thought about the Cahootie, so here it is:

My thoughts

The Cahootie Website states the product is tween girls for six years and older, but the products we received state they’re for 7+.

My six year old daughter is learning to read and is able to play with it, but occasionally needs me to help her with some of the words. And… while she was able to remove and replace the reusable stickers, she had a difficult time getting them to stick back on the sheets so I had to help her. The reading and changing of stickers may be why the Cahootie is recommended for 7+ year olds.

I love the Cahootie for my daughter because it is a fun way to get her to read without her thinking about it. She has to read at least 10 minutes a day as homework for school and it feels like a chore to her. She would rather we continue to read to her instead! With the Cahootie, she is playing a game and WANTS to read the words, so it makes reading fun.

I also like it for hand/eye coordination and for spelling words. She must open and close the toy as she spells the words and cannot see the word the entire time. It forces her to remember the letters as she is playing (e.g. spelling Climber – she will see C-I-B-R and will have to remember L-M-E as she’s opening/closing the Cahootie).

The Cahootie is made out of durable, pre-folded laminated paper. My daughter has only played with it for a day so I cannot comment on how long it will last, but I did notice she got a little rough with it at one point (opening and closing quickly) and it held up.

To store the toy, I think it would be best to keep it in the box or open it so it is flat. I worry it will eventually get crushed in our house. I’m thinking something like the second or third photo:

Cahootie Review - Craving the Savings.com

About the Company & Product

Cahootie’s mission is to build a leading tween brand that promotes esteem-building conversation and positive self expression through social interaction.

There are 17 different themes, including four that are licensed under Animal Planet, like “Cats Rule” that my daughter reviewed in the video, as well as six party pack themes that come with six Cahooties per pack.

I love this…. the company donates their products to several nonprofit organizations that help girls, including Texas Scottish Rite – a place my daughter has been going for more than four years for treatment for juvenile arthritis.

Buy Cahooties

I think these would make a great stocking stuffer for tween girls! Certain themes are sold at Justice stores, select Hallmark stores, Learning Express stores, independent gift and toy retailers and Amazon.com.

Find a store near you. You may need to try a few zip codes or enter your city to get all the locations. I entered my zip code first and it did not give me a store than is less than five miles away.

If you want to buy a Cahootie at Justice, be sure to print this 40% off coupon and use it before 11/2/10! Thanks, Lea Ann.

Win a Girl Wonders Cahootie!

Girl Wonders Cahootie Giveaway - Craving the Savings.com

I am giving away the Girl Wonders Cahootie to one lucky reader!

Mandatory Entry

These two items must be in one comment in order to be entered to win the Cahootie:

- Visit Cahootie.com and let me know something you learned or something you like about the product.

- Become (or already be) a public Google Friends Connect follower (right column).
If you’re not sure how to do this, please email me and I will help you.

Optional Entries

Increase your odds of winning! Complete one or more of the following additional entries and leave a comment for each:

- Like Cahootie on Facebook
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (2 entries – leave 2 comments)
- Follow Club Cahootie on Twitter.
- Follow me on Twitter (@CravingSavings and @CravingGiveaway) – 1 extra entry for each
- Follow me on Networked Blogs (right column)
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (top right column) – 1 extra entry for each
- Post this giveaway on a giveaway linky (and leave the URL) – (2 entries per giveaway linky so leave 2 comments for each linky)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Monday, November 15, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.
- The winner must live in the continental US since I am paying the shipping costs for this prize.

Disclosure: I received the Cats Rule Cahootie to review and Girl Wonders to give away. All opinions about this product belong to my daughter and me!

Giveaway: 25 Cards from Cards Direct up to $50 value (11/1)


CardsDirect Giveaway

***CLOSED…. Winner to be announced soon!***

Each fall, I think “I have plenty of time to get my holiday cards together,” and then I wait until the very last minute to do them. This “to do” item keeps going to the bottom of the list as more pressing “to do” items take priority.

Last year, I didn’t send cards because I ran out of time. So this year I am going to do them early. My goal is to have them ready by mid-November and my incentive is a gift code from CardsDirect.

About Cards Direct

CardsDirect offers more than 2000 card designs, available in such categories as:

- holiday cards
- birthday cards
- thank you cards
- photo cards
- baby shower invitations
- birth announcements
- and many more!

They offer free personalization and custom imprinted verse.

If you are looking for Christmas cards, holiday cards or photo cards for the holiday season, check out CardsDirect and enter this giveaway!

I have my eye on some of the 259 different styles of Christmas photo cards they offer. I might go for the tri-fold or a square card this year. I have never used Cards Direct before, so I am looking forward to making my first purchase soon.

If you win this giveaway, you are not limited to seasonal cards. You can use the gift code to purchase anything on their site!

Win It

Mandatory entry (must be completed in order to enter this giveaway):

Visit CardsDirect and let me know how you would use this prize.


Additional (optional) entries (1 extra entry each unless otherwise noted. If you already do these, please leave comments too!):

- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (2 entries – leave 2 comments)
- Follow me on Twitter (@CravingSavings and @CravingGiveaway) – 1 extra entry for each
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column)
- Follow me on Networked Blogs (right column)
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (top right column) – 1 extra entry for each
- Post this giveaway on a giveaway linky (and leave the URL) – (2 entries – leave 2 comments)

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Monday, November 1, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.

Disclosure: I received a $50 gift code to CardsDirect as a thank you for hosting this giveaway. This is not a review of their products or services.

More Secrets to Bow Making Success DVD Review & Giveaway (11/1)


Bow Making Secrets

***CLOSED…. Winner to be announced soon!***

My daughter hasn’t been into wearing bows until recently. But she doesn’t clip them to her hair…. she clips them to her headbands! It’s a good look for her so I thought I should get her some more bows to clip on to her headbands – especially ones that match her headbands better.

I have found that nice hair bows can cost $5 or more, so I thought I’d look into making some. I wasn’t sure where to start, so it was excellent timing when Jenn contacted me from LearntoMakeBows.com to ask if I wanted to host a review and giveaway on my blog.

Jenn sent me More Secrets to Bow Making Success, which provides two hours of detailed instruction on how to make 18 different styles of bows.

I watched the DVD a few times with my daughter to get an idea for what I would need to buy to get started and to decide which style of bow to try making first. I would never have thought that I would need a lighter to make bows. I also needed to get a glue gun, which can be purchased for around $2.00 at a craft store like Michaels or JoAnn (be sure to use a 40% off coupon!).

By scouting the clearance bins at Hobby Lobby, JoAnn and Michaels, I was able to buy everything in the photo below for under $8.

Bow Making Purchases

I thought I would invest in some ribbon first, and if my bow making attempts work out, I will look into embellishments next.

In addition to the DVD, I received a 100 page manual with step-by-step instructions, a materials list, and ribbon tips. The DVD and manual also come with a few downloadable bonuses:

- Secrets to Hair Clippies Success
- Secrets to Bottle Cap Decorating Success
- How to Make Ribbon Flip Flops
- A Craft Fair Goldmine: How to Sell Your Handcrafted Items at Craft Shows

I have attempted to make one bow so far and it came out okay, but not great. I should have reviewed the manual first, so I am going to do that and try again. I will post photos of my bows on this post before the giveaway ends so you can see what a novice can do!

I see so many possibilities for making bows – not only for my daughter’s headbands, but also to clip on birthday presents, to decorate holiday wreathes, and to decorate shirts and bags.

Try before you buy….view one lesson for free!


Bows
Bows

Buy It

You can buy the More Secrets to Bow Making Success DVD and downloadable manual for $27. You will also receive the free, downloadable bonuses. Or, save 25% by sharing the LearnHowToMakeBows.com site on Twitter, Facebook or another Web site. Scroll to the bottom of the site for details.

Win It

Win a copy of the More Secrets to Bow Making Success DVD!

Mandatory entry (must be completed in order to enter this giveaway):

Visit LearnToMakeBows.com and tell me why you’d like to win this DVD.

Additional (optional) entries (1 extra entry each unless otherwise noted. If you already do these, please leave comments too!):

- Request the free bow making lesson (3 entries – leave 3 comments)
- Like LearnToMakeBows.com on Facebook (2 entries – leave 2 comments)
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (2 entries – leave 2 comments)
- Follow me on Twitter (@CravingSavings and @CravingGiveaway) – 1 extra entry for each
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column)
- Follow me on Networked Blogs (right column)
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (top right column) – 1 extra entry for each

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Monday, November 1, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of More Secrets to Bow Making Success for this review. All opinions are my own.


Review: KT Tunstall’s latest album Tiger Suit


KT Tunstall Tiger Suit album review

I loved two songs (“Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and “Suddenly I See”) on KT Tunstall’s album Eye to the Telescope, so I was looking forward to receiving her latest album Tiger Suit from One2One Network to review. The album was released on October 5.

For those who are not familiar with KT Tunstall, she’s a Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum, Scottish-born singer-songwriter. You can learn more about her and her music on her Website or watch her videos on YouTube.

“Fade Like a Shadow”, her first single from Tiger Suit, is a Top 20 hit on the radio, but my favorite song on the album is “Uummannaq Song”.

While I generally like KT’s music, none of the songs on this album grabbed me like “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and “Suddenly I See”. “Uummannaq Song” is really the only song that I want to listen to repeatedly. Get a preview Tiger Suit and decide for yourself if this is an album you want to add to your collection.

KT Tunstall will be on tour from October 31 – December 1. She’s not coming to Dallas, but you can check here to see if she’s coming to a city near you.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Tiger Suit to review. By participating in this review, I will be entered to win a gift card through One2One Network. All opinions are my own.



Review: Cuddlee Pet from ThrowPillows.org


ThrowPillows.org Review

My daughter loves stuffed animals and has been asking for one that converts to a pillow, so she was thrilled to receive the pink bunny Cuddlee Pet from ThrowPillows.org to review. It has become one of her top five stuffed animals since it arrived.

She likes the size because it fits on her bed with her other four stuffed animals and isn’t too big. She also likes how soft it is. When the Cuddlee Pet pillow is open, it is slightly smaller than my throw pillow as seen here:

ThrowPillows.org Review - Cuddlee Pets

and here’s what it looks like when closed:

ThrowPillows.org Review - Cuddlee Pets

The pillow is machine washable, which is a good thing because it’s already getting a bit grungy.

These pillows are appropriate for children 3 years and older and, in my opinion, would probably be most enjoyed by children 3-7 years old. The Cuddlee Pets include bear, panda, bunny, turtle, cat, cow, tiger, ladybug and dog pillows.

These pillows are not yet available at ThrowPillows.org, but will be soon. They offer a variety of throw pillows, so if you need a pillow, check out their site.

ThrowPillows.org also offers information on how to clean throw pillows, how to decorate with throw pillows, and how to make your own throw pillows.

Disclosure: This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by ThrowPillows.org for this review.


SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Socks Review & Giveaway (11/1)



SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Socks Review & Giveaway

***CLOSED…. Winner to be announced soon!***

My six year old daughter and sock seams do not get along. She begs me to put her socks on for her because she can’t get the seams to line up just right on her toes. Putting on socks for school has been a daily source of frustration for both of us.

When I had the opportunity to review SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Socks, I jumped on it! I wanted to see if they would help.

SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Socks Review & Giveaway

I am happy to report that my daughter loves them!

Every day after school for the entire first week that my daughter wore the socks, she told me that she never wanted to wear any other sock again. She said the SmartKnitKIDS socks are “soooooo comfortable.” And for the past few weeks, she has been putting her socks on without my help — there has been no whining or complaining. We’re sold on these socks!

Key features of SmartKnitKIDS Socks

- 100% seamless
- Form-fitting (no wrinkles or bunches, and they won’t come off wiggly feet)
- Heal-less design – they are easy to slip on and children won’t outgrow their socks as quickly
- Made with high-tech fibers that wick moisture away helping control odor
- Non-binding Halo Top™ fits comfortably without slipping down the leg (no elastic bands)
- Five colors (pink, purple, blue, black, white) and three styles (ankle, crew, knee-high)
- Fits Toddlers (1-12) and Girls/Boys (2-8)

These socks are not only a great option for children with Sensory Processing Disorder or Autism, but they work well for kids like mine who are just plain annoyed by sock seams. Adults will be happy to know you can get these seamless socks in your size too!

My only disappointment with this product is the limited number of colors that are offered. I would love to see SmartKnitKIDS offer the socks in colors such as red, brown, beige and gray.

Occasionally the socks go on sale (they were recently 20% off), so be sure to sign up for Bugsley’s Sock Club to be notified of future promotions. These would make great stocking stuffers!

Buy Them

You may purchase the SmartKnitKIDS socks online from a few different retailers for around $6.95/pair.

Win three pairs of SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Socks!

Mandatory entry (must be completed in order to enter this giveaway):

Visit SmartKnitKIDS and tell me one thing you learned or what color(s) you would like to receive if you win.

Additional (optional) entries (1 extra entry each unless otherwise noted. If you already do these, please leave comments too!):

- Like SmartKnitKIDS on Facebook (2 entries – leave 2 comments)
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (2 entries – leave 2 comments)
- Follow SmartKnitKIDS on Twitter – 1 extra entry
- Follow me on Twitter (@CravingSavings and @CravingGiveaway) – 1 extra entry for each
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column)
- Follow me on Networked Blogs (right column)
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (top right column) – 1 extra entry for each

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Monday, November 1, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.
- Limited to US and Canadian residents only.

Disclosure: This Product Was a Free Giveaway. I received two pairs of SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Socks to facilitate this review. All opinions are mine. Sponsored by Tomoson.com



Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the following giveaway winners:

Kroger or Shell gift card giveaway

$25 Shell Giftcard: Robyn G



OutLast Hand Sanitizer Giveaway

OutLast Hand Sanitizer: Nan Lara



UPrinting.com giveaway

UPrinting.com 250 Die Cut Business Cards: Stephanie




All have confirmed! I will be giving away the $25 Kroger gift card during the Holiday Gift Giveaway event.



Review: EcoStore USA


EcoStore USA Review

I have been trying to remove not only foods that may be causing my daughter’s chronic inflammatory illnesses, but also household toxins in an attempt to see if her health improves.

When I heard about EcoStore USA, I wanted to give their products a try. EcoStore USA is an extension of a 20 year old New Zealand company. Their household cleaning, pet, baby and personal care products are plant based and non-toxic.

Their products do not contain any of the following chemicals:

- toxic petrochemicals
- enzymes
- optical whiteners
- synthetic perfumes or dyes
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
- Phosphates
- Chlorine
- Ammonia
- TEA, DEA or MEA
- Parabens
- Propylene Glycol

If you are not familiar with what these ingredient can do to your body, check out this explanation.

I purchased three of their products:

- Baby Shampoo (2)
- Cream Cleanser (2)
- Dishwash Liquid – 32 fl. oz. (2)

and received two additional items to review:

- All Purpose Cleaner (1)
- Rose & Cardamon Body Wash (1)

They sent me a bar of soap with my paid order for free, but I have not tried it yet.

I purchased these the three products in late July and received the review products in early August. We’re almost out of them all, so they lasted a few months, which was nice. I waited to post my review because I wanted to fully use the products and make sure they continued to work for an extended period.

I have found when using certain personal care products over time, my skin will become dry, my hair will become oily or my daughter’s hair will start to thin, so I wanted to make sure the EcoStore USA products did not do any of that before I posted my review. We have had no issues with the EcoStore products, and have been very happy with them.


Bath & Body Products

My daughter loved the baby shampoo and body wash. And I felt good about letting her use them herself since she wants more independence while bathing.

I really liked the scent of the Rose and Cardamon body wash and felt clean after using it.



Household Cleaning Products

The Dishwash Liquid is not as thick as I’m used to, so it took some adjustment for me not to use a lot each time I needed to wash dishes. EcoStore USA states on the product packaging that a little goes a long way, but I used too much initially. It doesn’t stick to dishes like some do, so I did not need to scrub as much to get it off and thus was worried I wasn’t using enough. But once I got used to it, I was able to use less and get the same level of cleaning.

I liked the scent of the All Purpose Cleaner, but did not like the streaks it left on my bathroom counter tops. I have tried other plant-based spray cleaners and they all leave these streaks so it must be one of the ingredients. I can eliminate the streaks by running a clean, wet towel, followed by a dry towel, over the surface.

I bought the Cream Cleanser to use on my stovetop. I have only used it twice, but it has done the job.

Check out all of the EcoStore USA products here, as well as lots of Eco Information linked from the site’s left navigational bar.

I noticed on their website that:

- The price of many of their products has been reduced by 30%
- They are running a fall promotion: buy any two household products, receive a Pure Oxygen Whitener for free (they will add it to your order – don’t put it in your cart)
- All orders over $25 get free shipping.

You can also find EcoStore USA products at Meijer or Duane Reade stores if you live in an area with those stores (I don’t).

My order arrived very quickly and well-packaged so it didn’t leak in transit. I will definitely be buying more products from them soon!

Disclosure: I received two items from EcoStore USA for free to facilitate this review. I also purchased three additional items. You can follow EcoStore USA on Twitter and Facebook.



Winner of Disney Live Tickets


Craving the Savings Disney Live Tickets Winner Announcement

Congratulations to Stephanie Butler (comment #8) for winning the Disney Live tickets!

She has 24 hours to respond to my email confirming that she will still be able to attend, otherwise I will select a new winner.


UPrinting.com Giveaway: 250 Die Cut Business Cards (10/15)


UPrinting.com 250 Die Cut Business Cards

Do you need personal or business cards? If so, check out this giveaway!

UPrinting.com is offering one of my readers 250 Die Cut Business Cards. Here are the options you can choose from:

- 2 x 3.5”, 2 x 2” (square card) or 1.75 x 3.5” (slim card)
- Die cutting options available: Rounded Corners, Leaf, Rounded One-Corner, Half-Circle Side, Circle
- Paper Type: 14pt Cardstock Gloss, Matte, or High Gloss; 13pt Cardstock Uncoated
- Color: 4Color Front, Blank Back; 4Color Front, Black Back; 4Color Both Sides

Business cards are an easy, efficient way to exchange contact information. Earlier this week, the Washington Post featured an article about how business cards have been “thriving in a digital age” while the use of other paper products has been declining.

In recent months, I have received business cards from:

- job-seekers
- teens who babysit or do lawn work
- other moms (they include the name(s) of their child(ren))
- other bloggers at get-togethers
- Etsy, Ebay and Half.com sellers (they include the card with my order)
- business owners

Some just include a short message, URL and email address. Others include every possible way to contact the individual, including Facebook and Twitter. The nice thing about business cards is that you can include as much or as little personal information on them as you would like!

Win 250 Die Cut Business Cards from UPrinting.com

Mandatory entry:

Leave one comment letting me know which die-cut shape you like best at UPrinting.com.

Additional entries (1 extra entry each. If you already do these, please leave comments too!):

- Like UPrinting.com on Facebook
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook
- Follow UPrinting.com on Twitter – 1 extra entry
- Follow me on Twitter (@CravingSavings and @CravingGiveaway) – 1 extra entry for each
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column)
- Follow on Networked Blogs (right column)
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (top right column) – 1 extra entry for each

Rules:
- Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Friday, October 15, 2010. I will use Random.org to select the winner.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.
- Limited to US residents only and the winner must be 18 years old and above.
- If you have already won a UPrinting.com giveaway, you are not eligible to win this giveaway.

Disclosure: I will be receiving 250 Die Cut Business Cards from UPrinting.com for hosting this giveaway.

Good luck!



Movie Review: Life As We Know It


Last week, I had the opportunity to pre-screen the movie “Life As We Know It”. I don’t get to movies too much any more, so I was looking forward to going.

“Life As We Know It” stars Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel, along with other familiar faces like Will Sasso (plays Josh) from Mad TV and Melissa McCarthy (plays DeeDee) from the new TV series Mike & Molly.

The movie is about two single, working people (played by Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel) who are both good friends of a married couple played by Christina Hendricks and Hayes MacArthur. The movie starts with lots of laughs and good times, but eventually switches gears when the married couple is killed in a car accident, leaving behind a one year old daughter named Sophie. If you have kids and don’t have a will and plans for your child if both parents die, this scene will get you thinking about it.

The movie focuses on how these two single people come together to take care of their god-child even though they initially appear not to care for one another.

The laughs return, along with some more sad moments, and I found myself drawn into the movie. While there are some predictable moments, they weren’t “roll your eyes” predictable. The movie rolls along nicely and I didn’t have any moments of wanting to know how much longer until the movie ended.

A few words of caution: Eat before you see this movie. There are many scenes with food and I hadn’t eaten before I went. I thought for a split second about getting something at the concession stand, but for $4.75 for water, I decided I would skip it. I was very hungry by the time the movie was over! And take Kleenex for the sad moments if you tend to tear up in movies.

This is my second movie this summer to see starring Josh Duhamel on the big screen (the other being Ramona and Beezus). I used to watch him on TV, but he didn’t make any sort of impression until I saw him in these two movies. I also haven’t been a big fan of Katherine Heigl, but I enjoyed her in this movie. I loved all the neighbors too, especially “DeeDee”!

“Life As We Know It” will hit all movie theaters on October 8. It is rated PG-13 for language, drug and sexual references. There is no violence in this movie. It is definitely a “chick flick,” but I think most guys will enjoy it too, or at least the sports references sprinkled in the movie since the lead character works in sports broadcasting.

There were a few moments where I was a little surprised – like when the character played by Josh Duhamel puts baby powder on little Sophie. That was one of the first things I was told NEVER to do when I brought my daughter home six years ago because of the powder getting into the baby’s lungs.

And then there were the scenes when Sophie sat on regular chairs to eat instead of in a high chair or booster. I kept worrying the baby was going to fall forward, especially when she reaches for the bowl of fruit.

As a mom, I couldn’t help but notice all sorts of possible accidents waiting to happen in this movie!

While this movie probably won’t be nominated for any Oscars, it’s a cute film that stirs up several emotions in less than two hours. I enjoyed it!

View the trailer or locate a theater near you.

Disclosure: I attended a complimentary screening of this movie to facilitate my review and received a gift card from Mom Central as a thank you for my time.


Disney Live Mickey’s Rockin Road Show Giveaway (Dallas/Fort Worth)


Disney Live is coming to North Texas!

On Sunday, October 17, Mickey’s Rockin Road Show will hold three performances at the Allen Event Center.

What
A stage spectacular featuring classic Disney characters in an all-new adventure with an original storyline.

Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy set out on a zany road trip where audiences join in and help find the coolest acts around. Along the way:

- hit a high note with Cinderella
- get your bounce on with Tigger
- shout out your loudest “yee-haw” at a hoedown with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear from Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story!

Special bonus!
Starting fifteen minutes before every show, sing, dance and play along at the Playhouse Disney Pre-Show Party! This interactive experience features a live host and video highlights from “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Handy Manny,” “Imagination Movers,” “Special Agent Oso” and “Jungle Junction.” The pre-show is free to all ticket holders.

Where
Allen Event Center
200 East Stacy Road, Ste. 1350
Allen, TX 75002

When
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Three shows: 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 6:30pm

Buy Tickets
Tickets are available online, at the Allen Event Center box office or charge by phone at 1-866-443-8849. Ticket prices are $60 (Front Row), $45 (VIP Floor) and $35 (Level 3).

Discount Code
Use the promo code MOM and get $4 off Level 3 tickets.

Win It

Feld Entertainment has provided me with a family four pack of tickets to the 12:30 PM Disney Live show on October 17 in Allen, TX… a $140 value!

Mandatory entry:

Leave one comment letting me know who your favorite Disney character is.

Additional entries (if you already do these, please leave comments too!):

- Like Disney Live on Facebook – 2 extra entries
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) – 1 extra entry
- Follow me on Twitter (@CravingSavings and @CravingGiveaway) – 1 extra entry for each
- Follow on Networked Blogs (right column) – 1 extra entry
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook – 1 extra entry
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (top right column) – 1 extra entry for each

This giveaway will end at 11:59 PM Central on Thursday, October 7. I will use Random.org to select the winner who I will email. The winner will have 24 hours to respond or else a new winner will be selected. This is open to anyone who wishes to travel to Allen, TX for the show.

Good luck!

Kroger & Shell Fuel Rewards Program Overview & $25 Gift Card Giveaway (10/15)


In late August, Kroger announced the expansion of their fuel rewards program that now allows shoppers to not only save on gas costs at Kroger fuel centers, but also at 400 participating Shell locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area (as well as other U.S. cities).

I have watched my Kroger fuel rewards come and go because I don’t have a Kroger fuel station near me. I was thrilled to hear about this new partnership so I can start using the 10 cents per gallon discount for every 100 points I accumulate on my Kroger Plus card! I have several participating Shell locations not too far from me.

You can redeem fuel points by entering your Kroger Plus Card number or alternate ID (phone number) at the pump.

Did you know you can earn additional fuel points by:

- purchasing prescriptions: 50 fuel points for each eligible prescription you fill
- gift cards: 2 fuel points for every dollar spent on third-party gift cards from Kroger’s in-store Gift Card Malls.

Have questions about the program? You can call Kroger Customer Service at 1-800-576-4377, or contact Shell Customer Service at 1-888-GO-SHELL for assistance identifying participating Shell locations.

Win It

To help promote this new partnership, Kroger sent me two $25 gift cards to use for a giveaway – one for Kroger and one for Shell. For this giveaway, one winner will get to select either the $25 Kroger gift card OR the $25 Shell gasoline gift card.

I will give away the second gift card during an upcoming Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop.

Mandatory entry:

Leave one comment letting me know which gift card ($25 Kroger or $25 Shell Gasoline) you would like to win.

Additional entries (if you already do these, please leave comments too!):

- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) – 1 extra entry
- Follow me on Twitter (@CravingSavings and @CravingGiveaway) – 1 extra entry for each
- Follow on Networked Blogs (right column) – 1 extra entry
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook – 1 extra entry
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (top right column) – 1 extra entry for each

This giveaway will end at 11:59 PM Central on Friday, October 15. I will use Random.org to select a winner sometime that weekend. I will email the winner who will have 48 hours to respond or else a new winner will be selected. The winner will select either the $25 Kroger gift card OR the $25 Shell gift card. This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Good luck!

Disclosure: I received two $25 gift cards that will be given away to readers. I did not receive any gift cards or other compensation for personal use.

OutLast Long-Lasting Hand Sanitizer Review & Giveaway (10/15)


I recently had the opportunity to try OutLast hand sanitizer.

OutLast Hand Sanitizer has a unique patented formula that was originally developed for hospital use. It is supposed to “kill germs on contact and control germs for up to 6 hours.” The makers of OutLast claim that most sanitizers work for as little as two minutes.

I prefer warm water and soap whenever possible, but when I’m in public places where I don’t have access to a sink, I use hand sanitizer. I keep a large bottle in my car and carry a smaller bottle in my purse or pocket. I use it most often when I first get in my car if I’ve been touching shopping carts and self-checkout screens. I also make sure I have it with me at places like amusement parks, doctor offices (my daughter goes to the doctor a lot) or anywhere where I won’t have easy access to soap and water.

The samples of OutLast arrived just before we went to Zhu-niverse at Grapefest a few weekends ago, so I took some of the samples with me. We played with Zhu Zhu pets and rode several of the rides. I didn’t want to go overboard with pulling out the sanitizer after each ride, so it was nice to have a product that is supposed to keep working for up to six hours.

I love that the OutLast did not leave a greasy or sticky feeling on my hands or steering wheel. It is more watery than most of the sanitizers I have used, and I have found that I use less of it than I do with other brands.

OutLast is now available at select Albertsons grocery stores throughout Texas and Louisiana. You can also order it online for $4.95.

Win It

I will select one winner to receive two sample bottles of OutLast. These bottles are the perfect size for your purse!

Mandatory entry:

Leave one comment letting me know why you want to win this.

Additional entries (if you already do these, please leave comments too!):

- Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) – 1 extra entry
- Follow me on Twitter (@CravingSavings and @CravingGiveaway) – 1 extra entry for each
- Follow on Networked Blogs (right column) – 1 extra entry
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook – 1 extra entry
- Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (top right column) – 1 extra entry for each

This giveaway will end at 11:59 PM Central on Friday, October 15. I will use Random.org to select a winner sometime that weekend. I will email the winner who will have 48 hours to respond or else a new winner will be selected. This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Good luck!

Disclosure: I received samples of OutLast Long-Lasting Hand Sanitizer as part of a MomSelect campaign. I am mailing two of my samples to the winner of this giveaway. The other samples are being shared with family and friends.

Craving the Giveaways

I promise I will be posting some giveaways soon, including a Kroger gift card, and I will get back into blogging about ways to save money, but I wanted to quickly announce a new area of my blog – “Craving the Giveaways”.

With the holidays quickly approaching, I have started looking for giveaways with low entries to enter, and I have won a few items that I have put away for gifts!

If you love giveaways, check out Craving the Giveaways for the low entry giveaways I have entered. You can also subscribe via email or RSS reader for the giveaway updates.

If you have a giveaway that you want to promote, feel free to post it on the Giveaway Linky.

I will still post my giveaways on CravingtheSavings.com, but other bloggers’ giveaways will be posted at “Craving the Giveaways”.




Rock ‘N Learn Phonics DVD Winner


Congratulations to Samantha – Comment #37 – who won the Rock ‘N Learn DVD!

If you haven’t already done so, you can enter to win an iPad from Rock ‘N Learn by signing up here through September 30.


Giveaway Winners


Congratulations to Robyn (comment #55) who won the EasyLunchbox System!

Congratulations to Danelle (comment #56) and Janet F. (comment #61) who each won a copy of the I Hate to Cook Book.

All three winners have confirmed their contact information.

Stay tuned for another Kroger gift card giveaway that is coming soon, and don’t forget to enter the Rock ‘N Learn Phonics DVD giveaway if you haven’t already. It has low entries and ends on 8/30!


The I Hate to Cook Book – review & giveaway – 2 winners (8/25)

Since starting my daughter and me on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet three months ago, I have been doing something I really dislike… spending time in the kitchen!

I have a long list of things I would rather be doing with my limited free time, and cooking and clean-up are not on it. But since I want to see if my daughter’s health improve through diet, I have resolved myself to adjusting the best that I can. So when I heard about The I Hate to Cook Book, I was eager to review it.

Peg Bracken first released this book in 1960. Her daughter, Jo, re-released an updated version 50 years later with a tribute to her mother, who passed away a few years ago.

The book is a compilation of easy recipes and kitchen secrets of Peg Bracken and several of her friends who also hated to cook. They were tired of making the same meals over and over, and joined forces to come up with an easy-to-read and enjoyable book to help others who felt the same way about the kitchen as they did. It is not your typical cookbook.

If you are eager to get in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible, or if there are days when you feel this way, this is a book for you. It includes 30 everyday entrees to get you started. They’re all easy-to-make and are supposed to taste good (I haven’t tried any yet, but will be), but best of all, the preparation time is quick. There are even sections for planning a potluck meal, menus for when company is coming to your house and suggestions for kids’ birthday parties. Check out the inside of the book.

Update: Since posting this, my mother read my blog and informed me that this book was “revolutionary” back in the day and she received it as a wedding present. And a friend emailed me that her favorite recipe is the one with chicken with avocado and mushrooms. Her father gave her a copy of the original book years ago. I had no idea just how popular this book has been over the years!

Does this sound like a book you’d like to add to your bookshelf? Two people will win a copy of this book!

Mandatory Entry

Leave a comment letting me know why you’d like to win.

Bonus Entries

- Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect (right column) – 1 entry
- Follow me on Twitter – 1 entry
- Like the I Hate to Cook Book on Facebook – 1 entry
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook – 1 entry
- Subscribe to my blog via email or RSS (right column) – 1 entry

Rules

- Be sure to complete the mandatory entry first! If you want to complete bonus entries, please leave a separate comment for each item. If you are already doing one or more of the bonus entries, be sure to leave a comment stating so!
- This giveaway will be open until August 25 at 11:59 PM Central. I will select two winners using Random.org.
- I will email the winners, who will have 48 hours to respond, otherwise I will select a new winner.
- Only residents of the U.S. or Canada are eligible to win
- No P.O. Boxes, please.

Good luck!

Disclosure: I received a copy of The I Hate to Cook Book for review and two for a giveaway. All opinions are my own.


EasyLunchBoxes.com review & giveaway (8/25)


A few months ago, I entered a blog giveaway to try to win an EasyLunchbox system.

I was looking for an eco-friendly lunch box that would work for both my daughter and for me, and the EasyLunchbox system appeared to be a great solution. I was thrilled when I found out I won!

I contacted Kelly Lester, the creator and owner of EasyLunchBoxes.com, to see if I could buy a second system and ship both together. That started an email exchange that led to this review and giveaway!

We’ve been using the EasyLunchbox system since early June and love it! My daughter has the purple one, and I have the green one.

Prior to the EasyLunchbox system, we used individual plastic storage containers and threw them into a lunch bag. I have started discarding the plastic storage due to concerns about what is in the plastics and replacing them with non-toxic options.

When I saw that the EasyLunchbox system contains no BPA, phthalates, lead, vinyl, or PVC, and it is safe for the dishwasher, freezer, and microwave, I was sold. Gone are the days of trying to pull together multiple containers and lids….I now have just one bento lunch box-style system to contain a main meal and two sides.

Since we’re following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I especially love that I can fit up to three of the containers inside the lunch bag. Since I have to cook everything we eat, the EasyLunchbox system made it very convenient to pack multiple items in one bag (no need to carry 2-3 lunch bags!) when we were traveling to conferences and camps in June and July.

If you only need one container, there’s still plenty of room for a thermos or water bottle! We fit two containers and a water bottle in the lunch bag while we were traveling last week.

What I love most:
- no BPA, phthalates, lead, vinyl, or PVC

- safe for the dishwasher, freezer, and microwave

- the lunch cooler bags are made of the highest quality 300D Polyester for premium durability and toughness. They are vinyl free (PVC-free) & lead free, with an FDA compliant PEVA lining

- the plastic hasn’t warped yet. No scratches either. The containers have held up very well!

- different colored container tops to make it easy to recognize lunches

- I have reduced the number of storage containers we have to clean after school by using only one EasyLunchbox three compartment container to pack my daughter’s lunch

- easy-to-clean lunch bags

- I looked at bento boxes and other lunchbox solutions, but EasyLunchbox was the most affordable for what you get in the system.

- They were created by a mom who understands what it’s like to pack lunches and provides lots of tips on her site and blog!

One thing that can be a little frustrating is that the containers are not leak-proof. I knew this when I bought mine because I saw a solution on Kelly’s site. I have tried it, and it works.

Want to win a back to school lunchbox (or maybe keep it for yourself!)?

Mandatory Entry:

Visit EasyLunchboxes.com and let me know which color lunch bag you like most.

Bonus Entries:

- Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect (right column) – 1 entry
- Follow EasyLunchboxes on Twitter – 1 entry
- Follow me on Twitter – 1 entry
- Like EasyLunchboxes on Facebook – 1 entry
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook – 1 entry
- Subscribe to my blog via email or RSS reader (right column) – 1 entry

Rules:
- Be sure to complete the mandatory entry first! If you want to complete bonus entries, please leave a separate comment for each item. If you are already doing one or more of the bonus entries, be sure to leave a comment stating so!
- This giveaway will be open until August 25 at 11:59 PM Central. I will select the winner using Random.org.
- I will email the winner who will have 48 hours to respond, otherwise I will select a new winner.
- Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.
- You must not have won anything from EasyLunchboxes.com in the past three months.

Good luck!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this review. I won an EasyLunchbox system a few months ago through another blog and I also purchased a second EasyLunchbox system. I was given one system to use as a giveaway. I recently became an EasyLunchboxes.com Affiliate, so any purchases made through this post will earn me a commission. All earnings from July 2010 through July 2011 will be donated to Children and Arthritis at next summer’s Jambalaya Jubilee conference. All opinions in this blog post are my own.


CSNStores.com $60 gift card giveaway winner


I apologize for the delay in posting this.

Rachel’s comment (#35) was selected by Random.org as the winner of the CSNStores.com giveaway. We exchanged email last week so she’s the confirmed winner. Congratulations, Rachel!


Kroger “Add Up the Savings” event & $25 gift card giveaway (8/20)


Congratulations to Sable – Comment #5. I have emailed her and she will have 48 hours to respond with her contact information. Thank you all for entering and don’t forget the other giveaways that end between now and the end of August (see right column for the list).

I have several giveaways that I have been delayed in posting, so I apologize that the savings posts will be few today, but the giveaways will be plenty. If you are addicted to blog giveaways like I am, maybe you won’t mind too much.

My daughter and I traveled to Colorado last week thanks to my sister and her frequent flyer miles. Thanks, Steph! We had a great time!

Now that we’re back, it’s time to get settled and prepare for school to start. The summer sure flew by!

To help you prepare for the start of the school year, the Kroger family of stores is running an “Add Up the Savings” event in their stores from now through August 21.

Just buy eight participating items from any Kroger store, you’ll receive $4 off of your purchase. Participating brands include: Cheerios, Yoplait Yogurt, Pillsbury Cookies & Biscuits, Kleenex, Huggies, Betty Crocker Brownies, Cottonelle, and Lucky Charms.

In addition to the Kroger savings event, you can take advantage of special bonus Box Tops Offers to help the participating school of your choice. We participate in the Box Top program for my daughter’s school. See the box we made a few years ago to collect the box tops.

If you haven’t already, simply register at www.RewardYourSchool.com. Once you register, you will automatically receive 5 Bonus Box Tops just for signing up! You will also receive custom offers for Bonus Box Tops for purchasing participating products. If you’re already registered, just log in.

The bonus Box Top offers are:

* Buy any 4 Box Tops products and get 10 Bonus Box Tops

* Buy any 8 Box Tops products and get 25 Bonus Box Tops

The offers you select will load onto your Kroger Shopper Card to be redeemed once you purchase the items… no clipping! Be sure to scan your Kroger Shopper Card and the Bonus Box Tops will automatically go straight the participating school of your choice.

Would you like to win a $25 Kroger gift card? Read on!

How to Win:
Leave a comment listing the eight participating items (Cheerios, Yoplait Yogurt, Pillsbury Cookies, Pillsbury Biscuits, Kleenex, Huggies, Betty Crocker Brownies, Cottonelle, and Lucky Charms) you plan to purchase during the savings event at Kroger (mandatory).

Bonus Entries:

- Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect (right column) – 1 entry
- Follow on Twitter – 1 entry
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook – 1 entry
- Subscribe to my blog via email or RSS reader (right column) – 1 entry

Rules:
- Be sure to complete the mandatory entry first! If you want to complete bonus entries, please leave a separate comment for each item. If you are already doing one or more of the bonus entries, be sure to leave a comment stating so!
- This giveaway will be open until August 20 at 11:59 PM Central. I will select the winner using Random.org.
- I will email the winner who will have 48 hours to respond, otherwise I will select a new winner.
- The gift card can be used at any Kroger store (Kroger, Ralph’s, King Soopers, City Market, Dillons, Smith’s, Fry’s, QFC, Baker’s, Owen’s, Jay C Food Stores, Hilander, Gerbes, Food4Less, Pay Less Super Markets and Scott’s Food & Pharmacy).

Disclosure: The Kroger Family of Stores gift card, information, and giveaway were all provided by The Kroger Family of Stores, General Mills, and Kimberly Clark through MyBlogSpark.

Rock ‘N Learn’s Phonics Volume 1 DVD Review & Giveaway (8/30)


My daughter is starting first grade in a few weeks where she will be taught in French 60% of the time. She’s been at the same school for the past three years and has been learning in English, French and Spanish, but this year, the French instruction will increase by 10%. Even though she gets English at home 95% of the time, I am not a teacher and I do not know what she should be learning at this age.

I want to make sure she does not fall behind on the basics of English for her grade level, so I have been looking for ways to make sure she is getting those basics while at home. When I saw that Rock ‘N Learn was looking for people to review their educational DVD for children ages six years old and older, I jumped on the opportunity!

My daughter and I have spent the past few weeks watching the Rock ‘N Learn Phonics Volume 1 DVD. My daughter thought it was rather “babyish” (her words) when she started watching it the first time, and she refused to watch the entire DVD. She said she already knew the lessons, but a few days later, she agreed to sit through the entire DVD with me. As the DVD progressed, the lessons became more difficult, and she had a much more positive reaction to the DVD. She started singing the songs and repeating the instruction.

While we were on vacation last week, I caught my daughter singing some of the songs without having watched the DVD, especially the “A E I O U and sometimes Y” song. This goes along with Rock ‘N Learn’s philosophy that a “steady beat helps encourage memorization.” Not only had she memorized the songs, but she also understood what they meant when I asked her questions about them.

The Rock ‘N Learn Phonics DVD program covers topics such as oral segmenting, word families, oral blending, rhyming phrases, short stories and sentence practice. And parents can print free worksheets that go along with the phonics program.

In addition to the phonics program, Rock ‘N Learn offers other products that cover a variety of subjects, including reading and writing, science, test preparation, math, foreign languages and social studies.

What I like most…
In addition to liking how the lessons are catchy and my daughter was able to remember some of the phonics rules after the DVD was turned off, I also really like that the animations on the Phonics Volume 1 DVD are not too fast-paced. So many television shows for children use flashing animations that move rapidly on the screen. I have tried to limit my daughter’s exposure to those kinds of shows as I don’t think they can be that great for her or her attention span. I felt very comfortable with the transition speed of the animations on this DVD.

Want to learn more?
Read about their awards and about the company.

Want to buy it?
The Rock ‘N Learn Phonics Volume 1 DVD is $19.99 or you can buy volumes 1 and 2 for $34.99. Learn more here.

Want to win it?
One lucky reader will win the Rock ‘N Learn Phonics Volume 1 DVD!

Mandatory Entry:

Please visit RockNLearn.com and let me know one other product they sell that you think looks interesting.

Bonus Entries:

- Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect (right column) – 1 entry
- Follow on Twitter – 1 entry
- Like Craving the Savings on Facebook – 1 entry
- Subscribe to my blog via email or RSS (right column) – 1 entry

Rules:
- Be sure to complete the mandatory entry first! If you want to complete bonus entries, please leave a separate comment for each item. If you are already doing one or more of the bonus entries, be sure to leave a comment stating so!
- This giveaway will be open until August 30 at 11:59 PM Central. I will select the winner using Random.org.
- I will email the winner who will have 48 hours to respond, otherwise I will select a new winner.
- The contest is open to the U.S. and Canada.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the Rock ‘N Learn Phonics Volume 1 DVD for review purposes, as well as one copy to use in a giveaway. I received no other form of compensation and all opinions are my own.

Good luck!



CSNStores.com – $60 Gift Card Giveaway (ends 8/1)


See the winner announcement.

When I decided to start my daughter (and me) on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) after she was diagnosed in March with a chronic gastrointestinal illness, I was nervous. I really don’t enjoy cooking.

Maybe because it takes up a lot of time — time I don’t have. Or maybe it’s because whenever I cook, I’m not happy with the outcome. Or perhaps it’s all the clean-up I have to do once I’m done cooking.

But because the diet has helped so many people avoid surgery and unnecessary medications, I had to take on this challenge and see if it would help my daughter (and so far, it seems to be helping!).

I knew I needed to make this new effort in the kitchen to be as enjoyable as possible. I looked at various SCD sites to find out what gadgets people were using in the kitchen to make the process easier.

One item I saw mentioned quite a bit was an ice cream/frozen yogurt machine. I didn’t need it, but thought it would be a nice product to have to make an occasional “treat” for my daughter.

When I saw on that Abby was giving away a Cuisinart ice cream maker and electric scoop on her blog, Pleasure Palate blog, I knew I had to enter, and I hoped I would win. I did!

Within less than two weeks, I received the items from CSNStores.com.

I have been thrilled with the Cuisinart! My daughter attended a birthday party recently where the children enjoyed banana splits, and I used the Cuisinart to make a peach sorbet (just pureed peaches and a few slices of ripe bananas) for her banana split since she could not eat the ice cream. It has really been a useful gadget to have during summer months!

I haven’t used the scoop yet, but plan to soon.

Now it’s your turn to win something at CSNStores.com because they are giving one lucky reader a $60 gift code to use at any of their 200+ online stores!

Mandatory Entry

Visit CSNStores.com and leave a comment letting me know what you think you’d buy with a $60 gift code!

Bonus Entries

Be sure to leave an extra comment for each item you do (or have already done) below:

1. Let me know what kitchen gadget you couldn’t live without (I am always looking for items that will make my time in the kitchen easier so I want to know what you like!) – 1 entry

2. Follow on Google Friend Connect (right column of this blog) – 1 entry

3. Subscribe via RSS reader or email (right column of this blog) – 1 entry

4. “Like” my Facebook page – 1 entry

5. Follow me on Twitter – @CravingSavings – 1 entry

Rules

- Please complete the mandatory entry first. If it is not completed, I will delete all additional entries.
- Leave a separate comment for each entry so you increase your odds of winning!
- The giveaway will end at 11:59PM Central on Sunday, August 1.
- After 11:59PM Central on 8/1/10, I will use Random.org to select a winner.
- I will email the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond. If I do not receive a response, I will select a new winner using Random.org
- I will forward the winner’s name and email address to CSN Stores and they will email the winner a gift code to use at any of their online stores.

Good luck!!

Please note: The only item I received in exchange for this post is a $60 gift card code that CSN Stores will email directly to the winner of this giveaway.


$20 Visa GC Winner


Congratulations to Angel! I have emailed her and she has 48 hours to get back to me!



Circus Ticket Winner!


Congratulations to Laura! She has confirmed her information via email.

Thank you to everyone who entered! If you haven’t already, be sure to enter at Mommy’s Wishlist and Today’s Mama DFW. Today’s Mama DFW is giving away NINE packs of 4 tickets. If you don’t tickets, be sure to take advantage of the discount by using the code MOM when you purchase tickets!

In case you didn’t see it, I posted an update to the circus post. If you have a newborn (12 months old or younger), you can get a free ticket for that child to use anytime in the future (no expiration!). Here are the details:

To receive the child’s first free Ringling Bros. ticket, parents need only complete the registration form in the “Special Offers” section of www.Ringling.com, or mail their name, address, newborn child’s name and date of birth to:

Baby’s First Circus Program
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
8607 Westwood Center Drive
Vienna , VA 22182




Glue Dots – Summer Bonding Project

A month or so ago, I signed up to receive a sample of Glue Dots Adhesives through TwitterMoms so I could participate in the Summer Bonding Project. My daughter and I enjoy doing crafts together so I thought this would be something fun for us to do together.

When I received the samples, I was excited to see the variety of Glue Dots…. re-usable, permanent, mini, craft – some in applicators and some on sheets of paper. Since Glue Dots are supposed to adhere to a variety of surfaces, including paper/photos, metal, wood, plastic, textiles/fibers, plastic, and foam, my daughter and I decided to use them to make a decorative mirror for her bedroom.

We used a bunch of 40% Michael’s coupons to buy a mirror, wooden frame, colored paper, see-through mosaic squares and square beads.

First we measured the frame to figure out what size to cut the colored paper squares.

Then we used the Glue Dots applicator to spread the adhesive evenly on the wooden frame. It took us a few attempts to get the adhesives started, but once we figured out how to apply them, it was easy!

Once the Glue Dots covered the frame, we placed the colored paper squares. It was my daughter’s idea to place the blue on the corners and red and yellow in between the blue squares.

Then we used the Glue Dots applicator to apply the adhesive to the back of the mirror.

And once the mirror was set, we used the individual pages of Glue Dots stick the beads and mosaic squares to the colored paper.

Unfortunately we ran out of clear mosaic squares so we have not finished the frame. I set the frame upright on our fireplace mantle with plans to finish it and was disappointed that some of the beads and mosaic squares fell off. I also noticed the mosaic squares were not as straight as they were when we placed them on the colored paper. As a result, I’m not sure that Glue Dots were the best option for this type of project, but I would definitely use them for scrapbooking or making greeting cards. And I love how easy they were for my young daughter to use – non-toxic, acid-free, no mess and no need to wait for the adhesive to dry – so I would not hesitate to give them to her to do craft projects on her own or with friends.

Check out the Glue Dots Facebook Fan Page for ideas on how you can use their products.

Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Glue Dots blogging contest to be eligible to receive a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


Ringling Bros. Circus – Dallas ticket giveaway (ends 7/14)!


It’s that time again! The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus will be returning to Dallas/Fort Worth from July 28 – August 15.

The circus comes to Dallas the week of my daughter’s birthday so it has become a birthday week activity we have done four of the last six years. She noticed the circus banners as soon as they started appearing on light posts around Dallas and said she hoped we could go again this year. So, when I was contacted about hosting an opening night ticket giveaway on my blog and invited us to attend too, I jumped on it!

This year’s performance is entitled Zing Zang Zoom, and it will include aerialists, human cannonballs, high-wire walkers, Chinese acrobats, a never-before-seen Quadruple Russian Fire-Swing and daredevils on dueling Wheels of Steel. There will also be lots of animals, including Asian elephants, Bengal tigers, and Arabian and Friesian horses.

DFW Performance Schedule

Dallas’ American Airlines Center, July 28 – August 8
2500 Victory Avenue, Dallas, TX 75219

- Wed, Jul 28, 7:30PM
- Thu, Jul 29, 10:30AM, 7:30PM
- Fri, Jul 30, 10:30AM, 7:30PM
- Sat, July 31, 11:30AM, 3:30PM, 7:30PM
- Sun, Aug 1, 10:30AM, 2:30PM, 6:30PM
- Tue, Aug 3, 7:30PM
- Wed, Aug 4, 7:30PM
- Thu, Aug 5, 7:30PM
- Fri, Aug 6, 7:30PM
- Sat, Aug 7, 11:30AM, 3:30PM, 7:30PM
- Sun, Aug 8, 10:30AM, 2:30PM, 6:30PM

Fort Worth Convention Center, August 11 – 15
1201 Houston Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102

- Wed, Aug 11, 7:30PM
- Thu, Aug 12, 7:30PM
- Fri, Aug 13, 10:30AM, 7:30PM
- Sat, Aug 14, 1:30PM, 5:30PM
- Sun, Aug 15, 2:30PM

Arrive an hour before the show starts for the all-access pre-show “Clown College” (free with your purchased ticket). And get updates about the DFW area shows on Facebook and Twitter.

Not in DFW? Check out Ringling.com to see the full tour schedule.

Buy Tickets

Buy tickets at a discount – either four weekday tickets for $44 or $4 off each weekend ticket! To get the discount, go to www.ticketmaster.com and use code MOM on the purchase page under “Advance or Promotion Ticket Selection”. You can also order by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Just mention the code “MOM” when you call. Ticket prices range from $15-$95 and can also be purchased at Ticketmaster Retail Locations, including Macy’s and Fiesta stores, or by purchasing them at the arena’s box offices.

Free Ticket for Newborns!

Ringling Bros. offers newborns (12 months and younger) in the U.S. a free ticket to Ringling Bros. circus. The free admission offer is good for one ticket that is redeemable at any time during the lifetime of the child, whether at age 2 or 92.

To receive the child’s first free Ringling Bros. ticket, parents need only complete the registration form in the “Special Offers” section of www.Ringling.com, or mail their name, address, newborn child’s name and date of birth to:

Baby’s First Circus Program
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
8607 Westwood Center Drive
Vienna , VA 22182

The parents will receive a certificate exchangeable for one admission ticket for any Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performance in any city in any year. Pretty nice deal!

Win Four Tickets!

One lucky reader will win a family four pack to opening night (July 28) of the Dallas performance!

To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment below mentioning what you like best about the circus. Comments will be open until 9PM Central on Wednesday, July 14 at which time I will select a winner using Random.org. The winner will have 24 hours to reply to my email, otherwise I will select a new winner.

Good luck!

Disclaimer: I received free tickets for the opening night performance in exchange for posting this blog post.

Triscuit & the Home Farming Movement – $20 Visa GC giveaway


Have you noticed the new Triscuit packaging? Four million boxes of Triscuits now include plantable herb seed cards. The Original Triscuits include basil seeds, and the Reduced Fat Triscuits include dill seeds. But why?

Triscuit is working with Urban Farming, a non-profit organization, to create 50 new community-based home farms throughout the United States. They have not only included the seeds in their Triscuit boxes, but they also launched a Website that includes information about growing vegetables at home, a crop guide, community forums and more. I love the “Start Your Own Farm” tool that lets you know what will grow and when to grow it based on your zip code.

My daughter and I made our first attempt this year to grow vegetables in our backyard….starting with tomatoes. We do not have much room in our backyard, but we were able to get a few tomatoes to grow.

It was a fun project, and I want to try more soon, but because I have a very small backyard, I looked into community gardens in North Texas. Unfortunately the ones near me are full. I put my name on a waiting list, and maybe in a few years I can rent a plot! I’m #87 on the waiting list for the garden nearest to me, so apparently the concept is quite popular.

Until I am able to rent a community garden plot, I am going to look into the recommendations from the Triscuit Home Farming Website to see if I can set up a 4×4 space in my backyard that will get enough sun.

Win it!

I am giving away a $20 Visa gift card to one lucky reader.

How to Enter

To enter, please leave a comment about your experience (if any) with home gardening. If you can’t think of anything to share, let me know what you’d like to grow, if you could. This is mandatory.

Want additional chances to win? Complete any/all of the following and leave one comment for each one you complete:

- Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect (see right column)
- Follow me on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter
- Subscribe to my email or RSS feed

If you already subscribe/follow for any of the above, be sure to leave a comment letting me know!

Rules

This giveaway will be open until 11:59PM Central on Friday, July 16. I will select the winner using Random.org and I will email the winner. That person will have 48 hours to respond, otherwise I will select a new winner.

Good luck!

Please note: I received two free boxes of Triscuits (which I had to give away as much as I love Triscuits since we can’t eat them on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet), as well as a $20 Visa gift card. I am giving away the $20 gift card that I received to one lucky reader!


Coupon Giveaway – 4 winners of “free” coupons! Ends 7/4

Winners:

#39 – Nedra Lytle (emailed/responded)
#32 – Steph S (emailed/responded)
#51 – Mariam (emailed)
#47 – Jenna H

As soon as I hear back from Nedra, I will email Steph and so forth. If I do not hear from one of the winners within 48 hours, I will move down the list and select a new winner. I am crossing out the coupons that are selected by the winners as I receive confirmations. Congratulations!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The $60 CSN gift code and $20 Visa card giveaways will be posted soon, but I realized I have quite a few “free” coupons that I won’t be using since we have started on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Some of these coupons expire soon, so I thought I would hold a coupon giveaway.

Check out the list below and see if there are any you would like to win. There will be four winners who will each receive five coupons by mail.

Here are the coupons:

- Butterfinger bar (up to $0.99) – exp. 12/31/10
- Chavrie Goat Cheese (up to $5.50) – exp. 7/31/10
- Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce (13 oz bottle) – exp 12/31/10
- Dannon or Danimals Yogurt (Kroger store coupon – free) – exp. 7/18/10
- DiGiorno Deep Dish Pizza (up to $3.30)- exp 8/31/10
- Fresh Gourmet Salad Toppings (up to 6.25 oz – up to $3.99) – exp 12/31/10
- General Mills Cereal (up to $6) – exp 9/30/10
- Heluva Good Product (up to $4.99) – exp. 12/31/10 (supposedly sold at Texas Super Targets, but I didn’t see it at my Target when I looked several months ago)
- Kraft Cheesy Explosion Macaroni & Cheese (up to $1.69) – exp. 7/31/10
- Pillsbury Refrigerated Pizza Crust (up to $3.44) – exp 12/31/11
- M&Ms Brand Chocolate Candies (9.9 oz – 12.6 oz up to $2.99) – exp 10/31/10
- Marzetti Produce Dips (up to $5) – exp 12/31/10
- Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Angus Beef Bologna or Turkey Pastrami (up to $4.50) – exp 7/31/10
- Kool-aid Fun Fizz Drink Drops (up to $2.49) – exp 8/31/10
- Kraft Homestyle Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese Dinner (up to $3.99) – exp. 8/31/10
- Kraft 100 Calorie Packs Cheese Bites (up to $3.29) – exp 8/31/10
- Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Shaved Meats (up to $4.50) – exp. 8/31/10
- Ritz Crackerfuls filled crackers (6 oz, any variety – up to $3.49) – exp. 8/31/10
- Yoplait Simply Go-Gurt Yogurt (up to $2.89) – exp 1/30/11
- B1G1 Free Pirate’s Booty Coupon that expires 8/31/10 (up to $2.99) – NOT free, but B1G1 free…

Here’s how the giveaway will work:

1. I will select the first winner on Sunday, July 4 after 11:30PM Central using Random.org and I will contact the winner via email. All winners will have 48 hours to respond to my email or else I will select a new winner.
2. The first winner can choose the five coupons that she/he wants. After I get this information from the first winner, I will select a second winner using Random.org and will give that person the option to select five coupons from those that remain. And so on… until four winners get coupons.
3. This giveaway is open to US residents.

Here’s how to enter (mandatory):

- Leave a comment letting me know which coupon you would most like to have.

Extra entries:

- Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect – right column (2 entries)
- Follow me on Facebook (2 entries)
- Follow me on Twitter (1 entry)
- Subscribe to my email or RSS feed (1 entry)

Be sure to leave one comment for each entry you do (or already do – e.g. already an email subscriber).

Good luck!


Upcoming giveaways & free nutrition workshop in Dallas – 6/24

I am finishing up my blog re-design and hope to launch on Monday, if all goes well. Once the new design is up, I will start blogging on a more regular schedule again!

A few things I wanted to share:

1. Free Nutrition Workshop (Dallas readers)

In the most recent In the Loop Kids newsletter, Christine shared this free nutrition workshop at Brookhaven Country Club on June 24:

Wellness By Design! Nutrition 911 – America’s Crisis!

A wellness presentation by Physician Assistant, Kristie Voglesberg hosted by Creative Nutrition. This presentation will focus on discussing foods that reduce our risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, allergies, as well as answering questions such as “How can I get my family to eat more fruits and veggies?” Information on eating to BEAT the Flu! What foods strengthen my immunity? And learning to read food labels.

FEE/COST: Free!
FULL DATE: Thursday, June 24, 2010
TIME: 7 – 8 PM
LOCATION: Brookhaven Country Club (3333 Golfing Green Drive, Dallas 75234)
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Joanna Chabot 214.505.8450

If you decide to go, let me know so we can meet!

2. $60 CSN Store Gift Code Giveaway

CSN Stores carry a variety of products. With more than 200 online stores, the winner of the $60 gift code will have many choices on how to spend it! You can put it toward a vanity or kitchen gadgets, for example. Take a look at all the CSN Stores and start thinking about how you would use the $60 if you win!

3. $20 Visa Giftcard Giveaway from Triscuit

Triscuit sent me some of their product in new packaging along with a $20 Visa Giftcard. I will share what the new packaging is about and will give you a chance to win the giftcard!

I look forward to getting your feedback on the new blog design once it goes live – the good and the bad!

One eskimO review & free song download


I recently had the opportunity to review One eskimO’s self-titled debut album thanks to the One2One Network.

When I work past 3AM, I turn on VH1′s Nocturnal State for background noise to keep me awake. The show has introduced me to a few bands that catch and keep my attention. One eskimO is one of them.

One eskimO is a critically-acclaimed English band fronted by singer-songwriter Kristian Leontiou and includes musicians Pete Rinaldi (guitar), Jamie Sefton (bass, horns) and Adam Falkner (drums).

Their #1 hit “Kandi” has regularly played on VH1′s Nocturnal State as well as on adult alternative rock radio stations. I find myself singing along whenever I hear it! Watch the video on YouTube.

Since receiving the album, I have been listening to it while working. It’s very relaxing music – something I can listen to over and over without getting tired of it. I agree with Billboard Magazine, which calls the album “…catchy, ambient pop.”

At times (very brief moments), One eskimO reminds me of the 80′s and 90′s style music of Paul Simon, Michael Penn, Bryan Ferry and Jean-Jacques Goldman (French singer).

You can download their song “Astronauts” for free. Just click on the button that reads “& Download Astronauts”. Unfortunately the special offer appears to have been from the 2009 holidays since it is no longer $5.99 on iTunes.

One eskimO is on tour supporting Michael Franti, in addition to playing at festivals and headlining shows. Here are the upcoming dates:

May 26 – Smith’s Olde Bar (solo date) – Atlanta GA
May 28 – Outland on Liberty – Columbus OH
Jun 01 – The Guvernment – Toronto ON (Canada)
Jun 03 – The Beach at Governors Island – New York NY
Jun 04 – House of Blues – Boston MA
Jun 05 – Champlain Valley Exposition – Essex Junction VT
Jun 06 – Mountain Jam Festival – Hunter NY
Jun 08 – Royal Oak Music Theatre – Royal Oak MI
Jun 09 – Orbit Room – Grand Rapids MI
Jun 10 – Radio Radio – Indianapolis IN
Jun 12 – Minglewood Hall – Memphis TN
Jun 13 – Crossroads – Kansas City MO
Jun 15 – Blueberry Hill (solo date) – St. Louis MO
Jun 17 – 3rd & Lindsley (solo date) – Nashville TN
Jun 18 – Southgate House (solo date) – Newport KY
Jun 19 – Taste of Randolph Street (solo date) – Chicago IL
Jun 20 – People’s Court (solo date) – Des Moines IA
Jun 21 – Waiting Room (solo date) – Omaha NE
Jun 28 – Largo (solo date) – Los Angeles CA
Jul 01 – Anthology – San Diego CA
Aug 14 – The Fields at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Mile High Festival – Denver, CO
Nov 13 – Fox Theater – Boulder CO

Why do the musicians that I would like to see skip Dallas?

If you want to try to win a copy of the album and a t-shirt, check out these blogs.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the One eskimO album from the One2One Network in exchange for posting this review. All opinions (unless otherwise stated) are my own.



Pillsbury Pizza Crust Review & Prize Pack Giveaway




Congratulations to Anita!

Last month, I received a package from MyBlogSpark and Pillsbury that included a coupon for free Pillsbury Pizza Crust, some plates shaped like pizza slices and the Pictureka board game.

When I signed up to review the Pillsbury Pizza Crust, we had not yet decided to start my daughter (and the rest of us) on a special meal plan because of her ongoing health issues. Unfortunately that meal plan eliminates breads, rice, grains, etc. so we were not able to try the pizza crust. But…I have had it in the past and we really liked it I especially liked that I was able to add my own toppings. Our favorite was a thin layer of tomato sauce and big helpings of goat cheese, turkey pepperoni and bell peppers. It was something we could pull together quickly for dinner if no one felt like cooking and was a fun opportunity for my five year old to get involved in dinner preparation.

The pizza crust is available in thin crust and classic crust. We have always used the classic crust as I didn’t realize there were two varieties.

Want to try it? You can print a coupon for $0.40/2. There is also a $0.40/2 coupon in the 3/28 SS insert (North Texas, but possibly other areas).

You can also win a prize pack! Not only will you receive a coupon for a free package of Pillsbury Pizza Crust, you will also get the pizza plates and Pictureka game from Hasbro. We have had a lot of fun with Pictureka. It’s for ages 6+, but my daughter caught on quickly and really enjoys playing this game!

To enter:
Just leave a comment below with your favorite pizza toppings by 9PM Central on Saturday, May 22. One comment per person, please. I will select a winner using Random.org and will email the winner. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email, otherwise I will select a new winner. Good luck!

Disclaimer: I received a Pillsbury Pizza Crust prize pack (free coupon, four plates and Hasbro Pictureka game) from MyBlogSpark and Pillsbury in exchange for this review.



Get Free Simply… Go-Gurt (first 30 people) & giveaway

If you haven’t already snagged a free coupon from another blogger’s site for the new Yoplait Simply… Go-Gurt, here’s your chance to get one. The first 30 readers to complete the form will receive a coupon* in the mail for a free package. If you’re not one of the first 30, you can still download a $1.10/1 coupon.

I have not been able to find the new Simply… Go-Gurt yet, but I like that it does not include high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). We used to eat Yoplait’s regular yogurt frequently until we decided to give up HFCS, so I was glad to see Yoplait is not adding it to the Simply… Go-Gurt yogurt. There are also no artificial colors or flavors. It comes in two flavors, Strawberry and Mixed Berry.

Win a Prize Pack!
Want to win a Go-Gurt “Simplify Your Life” prize pack that includes a pocket Etch a Sketch, weekly planner and a seat back organizer? Just leave a comment below with which flavor of Simply… Go-Gurt you hope to try. I will select one winner from the comments below using Random.org on Wednesday, April 21 at 9PM Central. One comment per person, please.


*This coupon offer for free Simply… Go-Gurt is not valid in some states, including California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, North Dakota and Tennessee.

Disclosure: I received a free coupon and a prize pack from Yoplait through MyBlogSpark in exchange for posting this information. The prize pack is the same one that I am giving away to one of my readers.

Tropicana Juicy Rewards


Tropicana started a new program in January called Tropicana Juicy Rewards.

When you purchase specially-marked Tropicana juice products, you will get a code that you can enter on the rewards Web site. The codes generate points that you can redeem for discounts at participating:

- Retail/Online stores
- Salons
- Performing Arts Venues
- Classes & Lessons
- Amusement Parks
- Home Improvement stores
- Travel
- and more.

I’m excited about this program because we purchase a lot of Tropicana juice and it’s always nice to have an extra bonus when purchasing something you consume regularly!

Do you plan to travel before the end of the year?

Save your rewards points and get discounts for your destination city! Be sure to read the offer terms & conditions before redeeming, but I didn’t see anything that would prohibit me from redeeming points to get discounts in Philadelphia this summer when we attend a conference there.

For Dallas readers, here’s a fabulous offer that I’m going to take advantage of this week…

As soon as I replace my printer’s ink, I will redeem 3 points for a Dallas Children’s Theater voucher to buy one adult ticket and get one child ticket free. This will be a savings of $16-21, depending on whether we sit in section A or section B. I usually try to get to their Target Saturday performance since the tickets are $10 each, but we missed it last month, so I was thrilled to see this opportunity.

- Check out what rewards are available near you.
I just looked through the Dallas-area ones again and noticed several new ones, so keep checking back if you don’t see something that appeals to you.

- Check out the program’s FAQs

- Register here and enter the code MOMCE-NTRAL to get a free point.
This one-time use code is valid for new accounts ONLY. Must be entered within 6 hours of creating your account.

- Get free codes by following Tropicana on Facebook and Twitter.

All points must be entered by November 15, 2010, but you can redeem your points until December 15, 2010.


Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in the Tropicana Juicy Insiders Ambassador program by Mom Central on behalf of Tropicana. I received 12 free Juicy Rewards points and a $50 Visa gift card to use in redemption of the points and to facilitate my review.

January is Thyroid Awareness Month – $25 Amazon.com GC Giveaway

WINNER: Comment #21: Ashley S. I have emailed Ashley and she has 24 hrs to respond. Congrats!

Note: This is not a “deal” post, but something that I have experience with and feel is important to share with you.

I had no idea that January is National Thyroid Awareness Month. As someone who has dealt with thyroid issues for more than a decade, I wanted to participate in this awareness campaign when the folks at the Global Influence Network contacted me about it.

During a routine physical exam in my 20s, my internist detected the small goiters growing on my thyroid. After an ultrasound confirmed their existence and after some tests to rule out cancer, I started on Synthroid. Thankfully the nodules were caught early and haven’t grown since starting on medication.

The thyroid is a small gland located in the middle of the lower neck, which produces hormones that regulate many functions including temperature, weight gain, and weight loss. Many Americans experience various problems with the functioning of their thyroid. Some red flags to watch for are:

* sudden weight gain or increase in body fat
* inability to lose weight despite proper diet and exercise
* fatigue, insomnia or restless sleep, anxiety or panic attacks
* gas, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation
* chronic sinusitis or lingering infections

It is important that people experiencing these warning signs see their physician to learn more.
There are also many online resources for those seeking more information and support. One online resource is the Fibro 360 Community – Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Center. This online community not only offers a network of support, but also resources to those seeking more information about fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and related disorders including those concerning the thyroid.

If you’d like to learn more or would like to join the Fibro 360 Community, please visit Fibro 360 on Facebook. You can also follow Fibro 360 on Twitter.

$25 Amazon.com Gift Card Giveaway
Could you use a little pampering? One reader from this blog will win a $25 gift card to Amazon.com to be used on whatever you need!

To enter, please visit the Fibro 360 Community on Facebook and become a fan, then let me know in the comments below.

Bonus entry: Leave a second comment, letting me know that you follow @Fibro360 on Twitter to get a second entry in the giveaway.

NOTE: This contest ends January 31st at 11:59 p.m. EST at which time I will use Random.org to select a winner. I will email the winner and will post the winner’s name on this blog entry. The winner will have 24 hours to reply to my email to claim the prize. If it is not claimed, I will use Random.org to select a new winner.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any sort of payment to post this information, but will be eligible to win a gift card that will be given away to three bloggers who participate in this awareness campaign.



General Mills lowering sugar in kids’ cereals & ‘free’ coupon giveaway


Congratulations to Robyn (Comment #1). You have 48 hours to respond to my email!

General Mills announced in late 2009 that they have reduced the sugar in cereals advertised to kids under 12 years old to single digit grams of sugar per serving. They have also been increasing key nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, and providing whole grain. We try to avoid having sugary kids’ cereals in our house, but we had some while on vacation, which doubled as snacks in the car.

I tried some of these kids’ cereals (not General Mills) and my teeth became coated in a sugary residue. It was gross and I wanted to brush as soon as possible. I don’t remember this being an issue when I was a kid (I probably didn’t notice), and it didn’t seem to bother my daughter. I’m glad General Mills is making an effort to reduce sugar in kids’ cereals.

Here are some facts from General Mills/MyBlogSpark about ready-to-eat cereals:

* Ready-to-eat cereals, including pre-sweetened cereals, account for only 5% of sugar in children’s diets.

* Ready-to-eat cereal is the No. 1 source of whole grains in a child’s diet today.

* More frequent cereal eaters tend to have healthier body weights and lower Body Mass Index measures.

General Mills (through MyBlogSpark) has sent me a some free coupons to try out the new cereals. I am looking forward to trying a box to see if I can notice a difference.

Would you like to win a coupon for a free box of General Mills cereal?

I am giving away one of my coupons for a free box of General Mills cereal. Just leave a comment below before Friday, January 15 at 9:00 PM Central stating the General Mills cereal you would like to try with the coupon. I will use Random.org to select the winner after the deadline and will send an email to the winner. The winner will need to reply within 48 hours or I will select a new winner. I will be mailing the coupon directly to the winner.

You can also print $1.00/1 coupons for General Mills cereals.

Disclaimer: MyBlogSpark sent me free General Mills cereal coupons. I am giving one of my coupons away to a lucky reader. No other compensation was provided in exchange for this blog post.

Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program & PUR Pitcher Giveaway

Here’s another item I received an email about while I was on vacation…

Congratulations to Emily (Comment #7). You have 48 hours to respond to my email!

PUR, the makers of water filtration systems, is partnering with the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program (CSDW) to provide clean drinking water to those in need.

Approximately 4,000 children in developing countries die each day from illness and disease that is linked to unsafe drinking water.

On January 7, PUR joined the “Summit on the Summit” (SOTS), a celebrity climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro featuring Jessica Biel, Alexandra Cousteau and others. SOTS will raise awareness and funds for clean drinking water efforts. View a video of Jessica Biel on a Village Visit before the Summit.

Dr. Greg Allgood, Founder and Director of CSDW, will be joining the climb as the water authority, educating the climbers on the global water crisis and what is being done to help.

Here’s one way to help:

For each PUR system that is purchased, PUR will provide 10 liters of clean drinking water to children in the developing world through the CSDW Program. CSDW has already provided 1.8 billion liters of clean water to children and their families around the world.

Your PUR system(s) will remove many of the common contaminants found in drinking water, including:
- 94% of atrazine
- 98% of lead and other metals
- 99.9% of microbial cysts
- 96-99% of pharmaceuticals

And you will save up to $600 a year on bottled water (not to mention reducing and/or eliminating plastic bottle waste).

Want to win a PUR Pitcher?

PUR has provided one pitcher to give to a lucky reader. If you would like to enter this giveaway, please leave a comment below stating how many plastic water bottles you estimate you would no longer use if you had a PUR Pitcher.

This giveaway is open until Friday, January 15 at 9PM Central. After that time, I will use Random.org to select the winner from all of the comments on this post. I will email the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond or else I will select a new winner.

Good luck!

Disclaimer: In exchange for this blog post, I am receiving one PUR Water Pitcher that will be given away to one lucky reader. No other compensation was provided for this post.

New Rosarita salsas

I’m back from a nice 2+ week vacation and trying to get into a routine.

I will blog about my trip soon… including my couponing experiences while traveling. It was the first time I attempted to clip coupons from my inserts and organize them before a trip.

While I was away, I received some opportunities to try items and also do a giveaway. I will be posting them first and then plan to get back into sharing deals I find.

On a quick note, if you haven’t been to CVS this week, Christmas items are 50-75% off at most stores in Dallas. I was able to get several toys at 75% off, including Bendaroos, which my daughter has been asking for since early December. I wasn’t prepared to spend $19.99 for something that had mediocre reviews, but I was willing to pay $4.99 in expiring Extra Bucks! Also, your fall Extra Bucks coupon is printing now, so be sure to scan your card on your next CVS trip.

One of the email I received while away was from Mom Central. They offered to send me three bottles of the new Rosarita Salsas (mild, medium and hot) to try, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity! I have used the Rosarita refried beans in bean and cheese burritos for years and was curious to see how these salsas tasted.

I decided to be brave and try the Salsa Taquera (hot) variety first. I really liked the taste, but then the “hot” kicked in. It wasn’t as hot as I expected (I shy away from spicy foods), but it is not something I could eat regularly with tortilla chips. I would definitely add this to a recipe to provide some ‘kick’ though*.

Next I tried the Salsa Verde (medium, green salsa). This variety tastes a lot like the salsa I get at Mexican restaurants. It was good — very fresh tasting, but a bit hotter than I can handle.

After waiting for my taste buds to cool off, I tried the Salsa Mexicana (mild) variety. I’m partial to chunky, mild salsa with tortilla chips, and was happy to see the Rosarita mild salsa was chunky. It’s very good, and also tastes like restaurant-style salsa. It has a little more kick than I am used to getting from a mild salsa, but I have a very low tolerance to spicy foods. I plan to share all three salsa varieties with some friends on Saturday night to see what they think.

Here’s a drawback… the new Rosarita salsas are currently only available in Los Angeles, Dallas, Phoenix, and Denver at select Walmart and grocery stores. So if you live in another city, you will have to wait until they expand their distribution.

I went to the Rosarita Website and tried to search for the salsas in Dallas, but I got zero results (LA does produce results). Hopefully ConAgra/Rosarita will update the Dallas store database soon.

* Megan at Mom Central provided a recipe that she’s created with Rosarita salsa. I haven’t had a chance to try it, but it looks good (and easy to make!).

Recipe for Chicken Tostadas

Ingredients

* 2 cups of canned Rosarita refried beans
* Rosarita Salsa
* 2 packages tostadas (6-inch diameter)
* 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
* 4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
* 1 cup Queso Fresco (fresh Mexican cheese)
* 1 large, firm ripe avocado, pared, pitted, sliced
* ½ cup sour cream

Directions

* Heat refried beans
* Spread onto tostadas
* Apply thin layer of shredded chicken
* Top with thin layer of lettuce
* Top with salsa
* Sprinkle cheese/garnish with cream and avocados

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Rosarita and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

T.J. Maxx / Marshalls Holiday Giveaway


Congratulations to #32 – Jackie M.! I have emailed Jackie and if she does not reply within 24 hours, I will select a new winner using Random.org.

Have you shopped at T.J. Maxx or Marshalls lately? If not, now is a great time to look for gifts for friends, family and yourself!

I stopped by T.J. Maxx over the weekend to see what I could find. I was surprised by how many items were on clearance. The prices are already lower than retail, but when they have the red sale sticker on them, you are likely to find some good deals!

Both Marshalls and T.J. Maxx (owned by the same company) carry a large variety of items – clothing, accessories, electronics, books, home decor, bed and bath items, gourmet food, beauty products, brand-name toys and more.

I found a $70 summer dress for $5.00 and a $50 pair of shoes for $10. I also saw many of the same toys I bought last summer at the Target 75% off sale for what would have been the equivalent of 50% off at Target (this is the everyday price, not the red tag price!). Not bad if you are looking for toys this month!

My T.J. Maxx also had lots of jewelry and home decor on clearance, and some really nice holiday outfits.

Toys for Tots Fundraiser & Carol-Oke Video Contest

Have you seen the T.J. Maxx/Marshalls commercial with the carolers in a shopping mall? You can now create your own “Carol-oke” video and upload it to YouTube for a chance to win a $5,000 holiday shopping spree or one of 15 $100 gift cards.

And for each person that uploads a Carol-oke video, T.J.Maxx/Marshalls will donate $1.00 to Toys for Tots (up to $50,000)!

Learn more about this contest.
$25 Giftcard Giveaway

Marshalls/T.J. Maxx sent me two $25 gift cards — one good at each store. I’m sharing one of them with one lucky reader. The winner will get to choose which gift card he/she would like to receive (either Marshalls or T.J. Maxx)!

You never know what you might find at T.J. Maxx or Marshalls. More than a decade ago, I found many pieces of my Wedgwood china pattern at a fraction of what I paid at a major retailer. Fortunately I had only purchased a few items, so I went to every T.J. Maxx in Washington, DC, Southern Maryland and Northern Virginia to buy all the pieces I could find. It was definitely my best find!

Giveaway Rules:
To enter this contest, leave a comment sharing a great deal you have found at T.J. Maxx or Marshalls, or if you haven’t shopped at either store yet, let me know what you’d look for if you win the gift card. This entry is required.

Get a second (optional) entry by voting for my Ile de France appetizer. Just click the stars (5 is best!) to vote. No registration is required. In the comment you leave below, let me know how many votes were cast before you voted or the rating after you voted.

Be sure to leave two comments if you do both the required and optional entries.

Comments will close on Wednesday, December 16 at 9:00 PM Central. After that time, I will use Random.org to select a winner.

I will contact the winner via email and will post the name on this page. The winner will have 24 hours to respond with an address so I can mail the card. If the winner does not respond within 24 hours, I will use Random.org to select a new winner.

Good luck!

Last chance to enter to win 4 movie tickets and a cereal coupon

If you were thinking about entering to win the Movie Moments gift pack from General Mills and MyBlogSpark, today’s your last opportunity. I will be selecting a winner after 9PM Central time and you have pretty good odds on this one!

I used my cereal coupon to get a free large box of Cheerios with one of the Spoonfuls of Stories books. I won a blog contest last year and got all the books. My daughter loved them so we were excited to see them out again this year.

Want to try to win the four movie tickets and coupon for a free box of cereal? Enter to win by 9PM Central (11/14).


General Mills “Movie Moment” prize pack giveaway


WINNER – #17 – Sarah who saw “Up” and loved it. Congrats! If Sarah does not reply to my email within 48 hours, I will select another number using Random.org. Sarah did not respond, so the winner was Doreen. Doreen responded within 48 hours. Congrats Doreen!

Starting this month, you can get a free movie ticket (worth up to $12) when you purchase two specially marked packages of General Mills’ Cereals.

It is easy to redeem your free movie ticket(s), which can be used at a participating movie theaters:

1) Purchase the two participating cereals
2) Go to generalmills.com/moviecash
3) Enter the code found inside each box of cereal
4) Print your free movie certificate(s) good for admission to any movie!

The participating General Mills brands include select sizes of:
- Honey Nut Cheerios
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch
- Lucky Charms
- Trix
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs

MyBlogSpark sent me a “Movie Moment” prize pack that includes 4 e-movie cash certificates ($12 each) and one (1) free coupon for a General Mills cereal. And they have given me a second, identical prize pack to give away on my blog.

Want to win it?

You can enter up to two times:

Required entry: Please leave a comment with the last movie you saw (in a theater or a rental) and whether you’d give it a thumbs up or thumbs down.

Optional entry: Become a fan of Craving the Savings on Facebook. Once you become a fan (or if you’re already a fan), leave a second comment below letting me know.

And while you’re on Facebook, I would really appreciate your vote for my video for the ConAgra Foods Delicious Moments $10K vacation giveaway. Voting goes through November 9, so we’re in the final stretch. I would *love* to win this and thank you for your help!

There is a link to the video page from the Craving the Savings Facebook page, or you can go directly to the video page.

Movie Moment Prize Pack Giveaway Rules
1. You may enter up to two times – one required comment and one optional comment.
2. Comments must be submitted by Saturday, November 14 at 9PM Central.
3. The winner will be selected using Random.org. I will email the winner who will have 48 hours to respond. If I do not hear back from the winner within 48 hours, I will select a new winner using Random.org.

Good luck!

Five for Fighting Album Review


I recently had the opportunity to download and review a free copy of the new Five for Fighting album Slice, thanks to the One2OneNetwork.

The album was released a week ago (October 12), and John Ondrasik (Five for Fighting) is now touring (no Dallas stop planned though). Many venues are already sold out!

I was only familiar with ’100 Years’, so I really didn’t know what to expect from Slice. While I wasn’t initially blown away, this album has grown on me the more I listen to it. It has become great music to listen to when I’m working late at night, and I especially like the song ‘Hope’. I wouldn’t be surprised if one or more of the songs from this album turn up on a TV show or movie soundtrack.

Album Tracklisting:
1. Slice
2. Note To The Unknown Soldier
3. Tuesday
4. Chances
5. This Dance
6. Above The Timberline
7. Transfer
8. Hope
9. Story Of Your Life
10. Love Can’t Change The Weather
11. Augie Nieto

Learn more about Five for Fighting and the interesting story behind Slice on FFF’s Website. The album is available on sites like iTunes and Amazon.com.

You can enter to win a copy of Slice on these blogs:

- One2Try- ends October 23

- Frugal Plus – ends October 25

- The Mommy Files – ends October 30

- The Dirty Shirt – ends October 31




Where the Wild Things Are – IMAX Experience


Where the Wild Things Are: The IMAX Experience opened Friday, October 16th.

I remember reading the book as a child and I have read it a few times to my daughter. I thought initially Where the Wild Things Are was a movie for children, but after reading a few reviews, such as this one from Five Hens, it sounds like it’s better suited for older children, teens and adults. More info and reviews are available at IMDB.com.

Starting Monday, October 19th, become a fan of IMAX on Facebook, add the Where the Wild Things Are crown on your profile photo and comment on the IMAX wall to be entered to win an exclusive IMAX Where the Wild Things Are poster, book, and a pair of IMAX movie tickets! The crown image and full instructions will be posted on the IMAX Fan Page on Monday.

Two readers from approximately 30 blogs (including mine) that are participating in this Momfluence campaign also have an additional and exclusive opportunity to win a Where the Wild Things Are Prize Pack, which includes:

- An adult Where the Wild Things Are t-shirt (L or XL)
- A kid’s Where the Wild Things Are t-shirt (size large)
- A Where the Wild Things Are Crown
- An exclusive Where the Wild Things Are IMAX poster
- Where the Wild Things Are book
- A pair of IMAX movie tickets

To be entered in the Momfluence giveaway, first become a fan of IMAX on Facebook and then complete this form. The contest ends Friday, October 23rd at 11:59 p.m. ET and is open to all legal U.S. residents age 18 years or older.

Twitter Party
There will be a Twitter party – hashtag #IMAXWildThings – Monday, October 19 from 8 to 9 p.m. CT and even more prizes and tickets will be awarded during that event. You can get more details and RSVP here.

Hasbro Pre-school Game Giveaway
Don’t forget to enter the game giveaway here on my blog by 9PM Central on Tuesday, October 20. The odds are pretty high on this one with less than a dozen comments less than 48 hours before it closes!


Elefun & Friends Game Review & Giveaway

Congratulations to Kori – Comment #4 – who won via Random.org selection!

I haven’t blogged in about a week. I had to take a little break to refuel after some major energy drainers. The biggest was that my daughter fell at her theater class last week and got a large gash in her forehead.

I was at Target at the time and found some great deals on clothes (75% off) and took advantage of the Motts Apple Sauce promotion. I was in the furniture section looking at the sale/clearance items to see if I could find an end table to go with the cheap desk I bought a few weeks ago when I got a call saying that my daughter was running during class, fell, hit a chair and had a bad cut. I said I’d be right over, never thinking “bad cut” meant “large, bloody, split open section of forehead”.

After a trip to the ER and nine stitches, she has had to remain inactive while the wound heals. This is difficult for my high energy child, so I have kept her home from school so I can keep an eye on her.

The day after the ER visit, the doorbell rang. It was a big package from MyBlogSpark with two new Elefun & Friends games: Giraffalaff Limbo and Scatterpillar Scramble. Yay! They couldn’t have come at a better time.

When I received the email from MyBlogSpark several weeks ago asking if I wanted to participate in this review, I worried that these preschool games might be too babyish for my kindergartner. But she adores the Elefun game (an elephant that blows butterflies out of its trunk that you try to catch in a net), so I thought we would check these out. I am glad we did.

We started with the Scatterpillar Scramble game. Even though she’s been eager to play the Giraffalaff Limbo game, it requires a lot more moving around than the Scatterpillar Scramble, and I need her to stay quiet.

I am competitive when I play games, but I hold back when playing games with my daughter to keep it fun. I wasn’t prepared to lose time after time to my daughter without holding back at all. This game is more difficult than it looks – but for the adults! After a couple of rounds, we figured out that the outer two sets of “arms” wiggle a bit more than the inner two sets. This is perfect because parents or older siblings can play with younger children and use the outer arms to make the game fun and challenging for everyone.

This game is great for helping develop hand/eye coordination, and can be played with 1-4 players. My daughter continued playing long after I stopped. When my daughter plays alone, I count to see how long it takes her to get all the marbles on the caterpillar’s arms and then she wants to keep beating her score.

We have not had a chance to try Giraffalaff Limbo yet. My daughter has to remain inactive for several more days, so this game will kick off our return to active play sometime this weekend or early next week.

Both games come with special codes that can be entered at Elefunandfriends.com to access The Tangled Tale, an Elefun & Friends animated short, as well as games and sing along to songs like “Friends’ til the End” and “Follow that String”.

You can print a $4.00 off coupon for any Elefun & Friends game (this includes Scatterpillar Scramble, Giraffalaff Limbo, Elefun, Hungry Hungry Hippos and Gator Golf). The coupon is valid through December 31, 2009, but will only be available to print through the end of October so print it now if you think you might buy one of these games.

GIVEAWAY
MyBlogSpark will mail an Elefun & Friends gift pack to ONE lucky winner. The gift pack will contain:

GIRAFFALAFF LIMBO – the crazy new game of “how low can you go?” Spin the dial to try one of the 6 limbo styles: classic limbo, crab walk, crawl, giraffe walk, bend forward or backward. The game’s built-in sound will play an encouraging song as preschoolers try not to bump into Giraffalaff. If he’s knocked over, he’ll roll on the floor in laughter. The player that passes under Giraffalaff at the lowest level wins.

SCATTERPILLAR SCRAMBLE – kids will do their best to balance marbles in the hands of one very wiggly caterpillar. Kids will have fun dancing along to the music with Scatterpillar in this fast-paced marble game. The first player to securely place all 8 marbles in Scatterpillar’s hands wins. SCATTERPILLAR SCRAMBLE was named the 2009 Preschool Game of the Year by Creative Child Magazine.

To enter, just leave a comment below stating how you like to spend play time with your child(ren) or a favorite memory of playtime with your family when you were a child.

The comments section will be open until Wednesday, October 21 at 9PM Central at which time I will use Random.org to select the winners. Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to reply with a mailing address.

Fiber One Yogurt Review & Giveaway


Two confirmed winners – Steph #9, Denise #11
The third winner did not reply to my email so I have selected a new winner using Random.org. If she does not reply within 48 hours, I will ‘draw’ again. Congratulations to the winners!

Ann #3 – confirmed on 10/19

MyBlogSpark sent me a Fiber One Yogurt gift bag a few months ago and I’m finally getting around to reviewing it. I’m so behind! I have tried the key lime pie variety in the past, but wanted to try another flavor, so I used my coupon to get strawberry. They also have peach and vanilla varieties.

I love that you can get 20% of the daily recommended amount of fiber in just one 4 oz. cup of this yogurt from Yoplait, and it’s only 50 calories. I also like the little chunks of strawberries in the strawberry variety. I’m not so excited about the aspartame, as artificial sweeteners often give me headaches and I can detect a slight aftertaste, but it’s not as obvious in the strawberry variety as it was in the key lime pie flavor.

Many of us coupon users have already had a chance to try Fiber One Yogurt because we could get it for free during sales using a $1.00 coupon.

GIVEAWAY
For those of you who can’t get enough Fiber One yogurt or haven’t had a chance to try it yet, here’s an opportunity for you! MyBlogSpark will send THREE lucky winners a Fiber One Yogurt gift bag with a coupon to try the yogurt for free! Also included are a cooler pack and other storage items. I especially love the fork/spoon utensil.

To enter, leave one comment below sharing your favorite flavor of Fiber One (if you have tried it) or what flavor (Peach, Vanilla, Key Lime Pie, Strawberry) that you’d like to try.

The comments will be open until Friday, October 16 at 9PM Central at which time I will use Random.org to select the winners. Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to reply with a mailing address.

Free theater performance & another fabulous Mommy’s Wish List giveaway


If you don’t live in Dallas or don’t have kids, scroll to the bottom of this post for information on how to see live theater for free in October!

If you do live in Dallas and have kids, head over to Mommy’s Wish List and enter Lea Ann’s latest giveaway to win 3 VIP passes to any show this season at the Dallas Children’s Theater. The Dallas Children’s Theater is such a gem and this is a fantastic giveaway!

My daughter has taken classes at the DCT for more than two years, and I try to take her to all the performances that are appropriate for younger children. Last weekend, we saw Junie B. Jones. It was wonderful! We have never been disappointed by any of the shows we have seen at the DCT.

Be sure to sign up for the DCT email list because they send out discounts and special event information to email subscribers.

Here’s your chance to see Junie B. Jones or other shows for FREE!
The Free Night of Theater program will be giving away more than 75,000 free tickets in early October to performances around the country. Lea Ann has some details on her blog.

I imagine tickets will go quickly for many of the shows, so check the site and mark your calendar for the listed registration date (they vary by location and performance) and then check back to get your ticket(s).


Mommy’s Wish List Giveaway: Discover Card coupons!


Do you have a Discover Card?

Lea Ann at Mommy’s Wish List is giving away eleven $2 coupons to one lucky winner on October 4. These coupons were in the Sunday paper a few weeks ago and can be used at any store that accepts coupons and Discover Cards.

I love these coupons! They don’t expire until October 31, so you could use them to get free candy for Halloween, meat, produce, milk, etc. I have used mine to buy a desk at Target and bring my CVS total down so I could roll extra care bucks with little money out of pocket.

Head over here to leave a comment to be entered to win!


Review: Your Songs by Harry Connick Jr.


UPDATE: Get a free download of Harry Connick Jr.’s song “All the Way” on Oprah’s site. It’s valid for 24 hours only and started on 9/25!

I first saw Harry Connick, Jr. perform when a friend and I visited New Orleans over summer break in 1991 – July 6, to be exact. I had just finished my sophomore year of college, and I had been a fan since I heard his music on the When Harry Met Sally movie soundtrack (20 years ago!).

When the New Orleans morning news mentioned that Harry Connick, Jr. would be performing while we were in town, we knew we had to go see him.

After we purchased tickets, my friend and I went shopping in a kitchen store in the French Quarter. It was sort of random – college kids in a kitchen store – but guess who was there? Harry! My friend and I stalked followed him around the store trying to get a good look through the store shelves. We didn’t have mobile phones with built-in cameras back then, so we had to make mental memories.

Harry Connick, Jr.’s performance that night was wonderful, and I was hooked!

Fast-forward a few years to the summer after I graduated from college. I was working in a small grocery store located outside of the Grand Teton National Park in Moose, Wyoming. We had the occasional celebrity stop in, and on one of those occasions, the celebs were Harry Connick Jr. and his future wife. They stopped in to get food for a picnic by the Snake River.

Since several of my co-workers also liked Harry Connick, Jr.’s music, two of us left the store (not sure where the manager was!) and ran to the rental cabins, chuckwagon, bike store, bar and gift shop to let everyone know he was on site. I’m sure Harry Connick, Jr. and his now wife were really thrilled. They likely came to the area to get away from such nonsense, but we did end up letting them go have their picnic in peace.

I haven’t followed Harry Connick, Jr.’s music career since the late 90s or early 2000s. I saw him on TV when I occasionally watched Will & Grace and caught him in a movie that I can’t remember the name of. I just haven’t had time to keep up with him or any other artists like I used to. So I was thrilled when I heard from One2One Network that they wanted to send me a copy of his new album, Your Songs , to review. I had no idea that he had a new album coming out.

I have never listened to a Harry Connick, Jr. album that I didn’t like. I figured this one would be good, and it didn’t disappoint! This is a great album to listen to when you need to unwind or when you have a romantic evening planned.

My 5 year old daughter immediately wanted to dance when the music started, so instead of relaxing, I ended up getting some exercise. She liked listening to the album as much as I did.

Harry Connick, Jr. is joined by a full jazz band and string orchestra. If you are a Harry Connick, Jr. fan, if you like jazz or string music, or if you enjoy the songs listed below, this album is worth a listen.

There are 14 classic songs – most of which you may recognize. Here’s the album tracklisting (originally performed by):

All The Way (Frank Sinatra)
Just The Way You Are (Billy Joel)
Can’t Help Falling In Love With You (Elvis Presley)
And I Love Her (The Beatles)
(They Long To Be) Close To You (The Carpenters)
Besame Mucho
The Way You Look Tonight
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Roberta Flack)
Your Song (Elton John)
Some Enchanted Evening
And I Love You So (Don McLean)
Who Can I Turn To? (Tony Bennett)
Smile (Charlie Chaplin)
Mona Lisa (Nat King Cole)

Check out Harry Connick, Jr.’s TV appearances over the next few weeks and see what you think:

9/25 – Oprah “Live Friday”
9/28 – Today Show
9/29 – The View
9/30 – Imus in the Morning
9/30 – Letterman
10/1 – Today Show
Week of 10/5 – Rachael Ray

You can also see a video of the making of the album, check out his Website and fan him on Facebook.

Here are some bloggers who are doing Your Songs CD giveaways:
- My Good Cents – ends 9/30
- I Am A Money Magnet – ends 10/1
- One Day, One Dollar at a Time – ends 10/2
- Sweeties Swag – ends 10/3
- Life More Simply – ends 10/16

The album is out now, so you can also get it at Amazon.com, iTunes or any number of other retailers that sell music.




$30 Kroger Gift Card Giveaway


The winner of this giveaway is comment #21 – Jessie. Congrats! Thank you all who entered!

The folks at General Mills, PepsiCo and MyBlogSpark have given me a $30 Kroger gift card to use during the Kroger Mega Savings Event.

I was hoping to get to the store and post my shopping trip before opening this giveaway, but with back-to-school preparations, I haven’t had a chance. I will post a summary of how I did sometime this weekend.

This Mega Savings Event is taking place at the Kroger Co. Family of Stores from August 19 – September 2. Based on my initial coupon match-ups, it looks like it will be easy to stretch the $30 and get a lot of items for the money.

Participating brands include: AMP Energy, Aquafina, Betty Crocker Baking Mixes, Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks, Cascadian Farms Cereals and Bars, Cap’n Crunch, Cheerios, Cheetos, Chex Mix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, Dole Juices and Juice Drinks, Fiber One, Fritos, Gatorade, Golden Grahams, Green Giant, Hamburger Helper, Life , Lipton Tea, Nature Valley, Old El Paso, Pepsi family of 2 Liters, Pillsbury, Progresso, Propel, Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Quaker Chewy Bars, Starbucks, Sobe Life Water, Totino’s, Trix, Tropicana, Yoplait and MORE!

You must buy 10 participating products and then $5.00 will come off instantly from your transaction. There is NO limit to the number of $5.00 deductions on your transaction. You just need to make sure you buy in groups of ten to get the best price.

This is a great time to stock up on items for back-to-school or a Labor Day party, or just to get some items for day-to-day!

Do you want to see how much you can buy for $30?

Enter a comment below for your chance to win a the gift card, which is good at any of the Kroger Family of Stores locations.

Rules
- Leave any comment below – anything you want!
- One entry per person.
- Comments will be accepted until Wednesday, August 26 at 11 AM Central (12 PM Eastern, 10 AM Mountain, 9 AM Pacific).
- I will use Random.org to select a winner and will email the winner on Wednesday. The winner will have 24 hours to reply with his/her full name and address.

Good luck!

Honey Kix Review & Giveaway


CONGRATULATIONS Jennifer (comment #9) who won this prize pack!

I recently had the opportunity to try Honey Kix cereal thanks to My Blog Spark.

I have eaten the original Kix since I was a kid (did you know it’s been around for 72 years?!?) and my daughter has enjoyed it for several years. Kix is one of our “rotation” cereals along with Cheerios, Frosted Mini Wheats and Chex, so we were looking forward to trying this new variety.

When my gift pack arrived, my daughter asked if we could get the cereal right away. We stopped at several stores (Kroger, Tom Thumb, Walgreens, CVS) until we finally found it at Target.

My daughter immediately loved the Honey Kix. It took me a little while to get used to the honey taste since I am so accustomed to the original flavor. It’s not bad. There is a hint of honey – nothing too sweet – but I think my taste buds are wired to the original.

The nice thing about Kix cereal (Original, Berry Berry or Honey) is that it can be eaten for breakfast or as a snack. My daughter has regularly requested the Honey Kix for her camp snack, and I’ve taken it in the car to eat on the way to work. I love portable cereal that doesn’t require milk!

In addition to passing the portability test, Honey Kix also fairs well on the nutrition scale. You will get a few more calories per serving with the Honey Kix than with the original Kix, as well as a little more potassium, iron, sugar and salt, but if you are looking for new cereal flavor with a good source of calcium, Vitamin D, fiber and one third of your daily recommended allowance of whole grains, then you might want to give this one a try.

Win a Honey Kix Gift Pack!

Want to try this cereal for free? My Blog Spark will send one of my readers a Honey Kix gift pack which includes:

- a coupon for a free box of Honey Kix
- a honey jar
- a cereal bowl
- a container to take your cereal and milk on-the-go (if you want the milk when on the go, this is really nice!)
- a container to keep cereal fresh at home

How to Enter
Please leave a comment with what you do to get your morning off to a good start.

Comments may be left until Tuesday, August 4 at 9:00 PM Central. I will use Random.org to select the winner and will contact that individual by email. If I do not hear back within 48 hours, I will select a new winner using Random.org.



Winner of the Ringling Bros. tickets

Thank you to everyone who entered the Ringling Bros. circus ticket giveaway.

Random.org picked comment #12 – Allison Boyce. Congratulations Allison!

Hollie at Happy Couponing will be posting a Ringling Bros. circus ticket giveaway on her blog sometime next week (probably Tuesday). Be sure to follow her blog and enter if you’d like another chance to win!

Last chance to enter the Ringling Bros. Ticket Giveaway (Dallas Show)

A quick reminder that today is the last day to enter the Ringling Bros. ticket giveaway. The odds are pretty good to win this one. I know some of you who have already left comments also subscribe via email, so be sure to leave one comment for each qualifying entry in order to increase your odds of winning! You may leave comments until 9 PM Central on Tuesday, July 7.

Get more details about this giveaway.


Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus Discount & Giveaway


It’s that time of year again! The Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be visiting Dallas/Fort Worth in less than a month.

This year’s show, “Over The Top” (aka The Blue Tour), will perform at the:

Dallas American Airlines Center
Wednesday, July 29 through Sunday, August 9

and

Fort Worth Convention Center
Wednesday, August 12 through Sunday, August 16

Over The Top is a “wacky and whimsical circus spectacular where dogs fly, Asian Elephants stomp, hop, and groove and one courageous man stands eye to eye with a pack of powerful Bengal tigers. Circus Celebrities help rev-up the motorcycle madness featuring one cycle on a high wire and seven speeding riders in a Globe of Steel. Extraordinary aerial acts fill the arena sky with a rare double-decker trapeze and Chinese acrobats propelling through the air. And with the audience participation, this circus really goes Over The Top.”

Watch some video highlights from the show.

I hadn’t been to the circus since I was a child, but have such fun memories of going. So when my daughter turned two the same week that the circus came to Dallas, I took her to see the Red Tour. She loved it!

We went an hour early to attend the free All Access Pre-show. I was afraid it would be too long of a day for her, but it was well-worth going! She loved getting close to all the action, including the clowns, acrobats and elephants.

Check out some photos of the pre-show on the Ringling Bros’ site.

We returned the next year to see the Blue Tour. I’m looking forward to going again this year, especially now that my daughter is at an age when she will start having memories of attending The Greatest Show on Earth!

Are you thinking about going this year? I have two opportunities to share with you, thanks to the great folks at Mom Central:

#1 – Special Discount Offer

Purchase a 4-pack of tickets for only $44*! Just go to www.ticketmaster.com and enter the coupon code: MOM in the MC promotion code box.

* There is a required minimum purchase of 4 tickets to get this price. For families that need more than four tickets, no problem! You can purchase additional tickets at $11 each. The offer not valid on Circus Celebrity, Front Row, or VIP seating. Cannot be combined with other offers. Service charges & handling fees will apply.

#2 – Win 4 Tickets to see the Circus on Opening Night!

If you live in or near Dallas, here’s your chance to win four tickets to see the circus on opening night (July 29)!

What: Four opening night tickets to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ Over the Top
When: Wednesday, July 29 – 7:30 PM (arrive at 6:30 PM to see the pre-show!)
Where: American Airlines Center (Downtown Dallas)

Giveaway Rules

– Comments will be accepted until Tuesday, July 7 at 9:00 PM Central time.

– The four pack tickets are only good for opening night (Wednesday, July 29 at 7:30 PM) in Dallas. The winner will be responsible for paying any parking fees and paying for concessions/souvenirs (my daughter is already asking about cotton candy!).

– Please be sure you leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.

– I will choose the winner using Random.org, which randomly picks one of the comments, and I will email the winner. The winner will have 48 hours to reply to my email. If the winner does not respond, I will select a new winner using Random.org.

How to Enter
Please leave a comment below with one of your favorite circus memories. If you’ve never been to the circus, please leave a comment stating why you want to go to Over the Top.

Get additional entries for doing one or more of following:

1) Follow this blog (Google Friend Connect – located in the right column of this blog)

2) Subscribe to receive blog updates via RSS reader or email.

3) Follow me on Twitter.

***Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry you do. If you already follow or subscribe, please leave a comment stating so.***

Good luck!

Mom’s Night Out & Other Mom-related events

The Mom’s Night Out event at Studio Movie Grill was a lot of fun! In addition to watching a movie, we got t-shirts and goody bags with lots of coupons and samples. Thanks North Texas Kids and MomsOutloud.com!

The goody bags also included the May issue of North Texas Kids. The Rainforest Cafe coupon for a $1.99 kid’s meal is in it, so if you didn’t get the coupon last month, look for the green North Texas Kids magazine to get the coupon.

There are several other coupons inside, such as B1G1 Free at Purple Cow and coupons for Main Event.

The goody bag also included a flyer advertising the Studio Movie Grill’s 2009 Summer Children’s Series… more cheap movies for the kids!

When: June 8-August 20 (Monday through Thursday at 11:00 AM)
What: 11 different movies
Cost: $1.00 per child, $2.00 per adult

> Get more information for DFW

> Get more information for Houston


5 Minutes for Mom Giveaways

Mothers Day 2009

Mom-related festivities continue through the weekend. Be sure to check out 5MinutesforMom.com for a chance to win one of a variety of great giveaway prizes such as a digital camera, laptops, handbags and gift certificates. You must submit a comment for each prize you’d like to win. Comments must be submitted by Saturday and winners will be announced on Sunday.

Mamapedia.com Twitter Sitewarming Party

There’s also a Twitter Sitewarming party on Friday night (May 8) for Mamapedia.com. Mamapedia.com is a searchable extension of Mamasource.com. If you’ve ever posted a question or advice on the Mamasource.com list, it will likely now appear on Mamapedia.com.

Here are the details about the Twitter party from Momfluence:

It’s 2:00 a.m. and your three month old is crying…a lot. You’re a first time mother, and while you’ve got a ton of questions, you called your mom at 2:00 in the morning last night about that crazy looking diaper, so you’d really like to get through this one on your own.

But where can you turn?

Mamapedia is a new site that takes the wisdom of thousands and thousands of moms and makes is searchable! You can head to the computer with that screaming infant in your arms and type, “Why does my baby cry so much at night?”

And this is what you’ll find – an article about a mom who asked a question titled “Sleepless Nights with a 13 week old” and the responses of forty-four moms. You can read those forty-four answers while bouncing your baby, and with a little luck by the time you are through your infant will be fast asleep and you will feel better as well.

To launch this new mom resource, the Momfluence network and Resourceful Mommy are throwing a party.

Join us on Twitter this Friday, May 8th, from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. Eastern time along with mom experts in a variety of parenting areas: multiples, kid crafting, health and safety, potty training, home schooling and more!

During the party, details about a “What Can I Learn Today?” contest will be revealed…along with the incredible grand prize.

Join us by RSVP’ing here!

This event brought to you by Momfluence: rocking the cradle and shaping the world.

Spray ‘n Wash Giveaway Winners


Congratulations to #18 – Chhaya and #16 – Kathy. I sent both winners an email. If I do not hear back from one or both winners, I will use Random.org to select new winners. Thank you to everyone who entered!

My blog may be a little quiet until 4/26

I am going participate in an all-day consumer panel for the rest of this week. I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to talk about the panel, so I’m not going to mention the name of the company, just in case.

And then Saturday is my daughter’s first ballet recital. I’m going to be a ‘backstage mom’ – getting the girls ready before their big performance – so I’ll be at the auditorium most of Saturday between the dress rehearsal and the recital. My sister is also flying in for the weekend!

I don’t know how much time I will have to shop or look for deals this week, so I wanted to let you know ahead of time that if it is a little quiet here, things will be back to normal by Sunday.


SPRAY ‘N WASH GIVEAWAY

If you have not registered for the Spray ‘n Wash giveaway, you have until 9PM Central on Tuesday, April 21 to enter. I’m giving away two bottles – shipped directly to your house – and there are only 11 comments, so your odds are pretty good with this one! Go here to leave a comment to be entered to win. I will approve all comments when I get home, and I will post the winning two entries and email the two winners on Tuesday night.


LIVING WELL PROMOTION AT TOM THUMB/SAFEWAY

If you haven’t already discovered Tom Thumb/Safeway’s Living Well Promotion this week, check out Moneywise Moms’ site. She has a Mr. Linky where several bloggers have posted their deals. The promo goes until May 5, so I will look for deals this weekend and will post any I find.

Spray ‘n Wash Bright & White Giveaway


UPDATE: Congratulations to #18 – Chhaya and #16 – Kathy. I sent both winners an email. If I do not hear back from one or both winners, I will use Random.org to select new winners. Thank you to everyone who entered!

A few months ago, I was selected to be a part of the Spray ‘n Wash Mom Panel. As a member of this panel, I get to try out new Spray ‘n Wash products and give feedback to the company.

Last month, I received a bottle of Spray ‘n Wash Bright & White and two bottles to give to readers. You may have seen the TV commercials that announce that “97% of garment labels warn against using bleach”. In fact, as I write this post, the commercial came on!

Having had my share of bleach accidents on nice clothing over the years, especially during the first years out of college when I lived in an apartment and shared the washing machine with other renters who apparently loved chlorine bleach, I liked the idea of trying a safe alternative, such as Spray ‘n Wash Bright & White. Not only does it claim to keep your clothes looking bright, but also it helps fight tough stains.

So I put it to the test with an extreme example of “tough stains”.

I used an old 100% cotton garment with multiple blood stains. Because the blood had been set in the garment for many months and had been washed a few times already, I didn’t have high expectations for the stains to be removed, but I wanted to give it a try.

Spray ‘n Wash suggests pouring some of the Bright & White on the stain and letting it sit before washing it (similar to what you might normally do with Spray ‘n Wash stain remover). So I did this:

As you can see, some of the spots turned white. I guess this means the product is going to work on the stain. I am not sure why it didn’t turn all the spots white though. After rubbing the area and waiting a few minutes, I put the garment in the washing machine and used my normal detergent and poured a little more Spray ‘n Wash Bright & White into the machine.

As I expected, it did not get all of the stains out, but it did manage to remove some of them. I repeated the steps a day later with my next wash, but couldn’t get any more of the stains out. I took a photo, but unfortunately cannot find it. I will try to get another one and post it.

I have since used the Spray ‘n Wash Bright & White in each wash I’ve done, including all of my daughter’s clothes, which tend to get very dirty. I think she plays with her classmates in the dirt on the school playground.

All the clothes have come out nicely. Do I see a huge difference? No. But as a safe alternative to chlorine bleach, I think it does a nice job and I don’t have to worry about ruining clothes.

Learn more about Spray ‘n Wash Bright & White on their Website, and while there, enter their “Listen to Your Clothes” sweepstakes.

Would you like to try the product yourself?

Spray ‘n Wash will send two of my readers a free bottle of Bright & White as seen in the photo at the top of this page.

To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment below about a bleach accident you’ve had or laundry-related tip by Tuesday, April 21 at 9PM (Central time). One comment per person please.

I will use Random.org to select two winners and I will email the winners, so please be sure to leave an email address in the form (which is not visible if you use the email field).


Neat Receipts Giveaway at Organize with Sandy


In February, I mentioned in a post that I use Neat Receipts to scan my receipts and keep them organized. I received email from some readers asking if I found a good deal on it since they’re expensive. I actually got mine as a birthday gift several years ago.

The Neat Company has since released a newer model of the Neat Receipts, which Sandy (Organize with Sandy) is giving away on April 10.

If you would like a chance to win one, head over to her blog and leave a comment.

Blog giveaways have good odds. I’ve won a couple of nice prizes lately, so it’s definitely worth entering if the Neat Receipts is something you’d use. You never know if you’ll be randomly selected!

Bracelet Giveaway Winners Announced


Congratulations to the three winners of the Cheerios Circle of Helping Hearts pearl bracelet giveaway. The winners were selected using random.org:

#5 – Janine
#30 – Ashley
#31 – D. Roberts

I have emailed the winners. If for any reason I do not hear back from one or more of them, I will randomly select another winner or winners. Thank you for entering!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

I just heard about the Ultimate Blog Party 2009, which is organized by 5 Minutes for Moms. It sounds like a great way to discover new blogs to follow. And… you can enter to win one of the hundreds of great giveaways that are listed on the site! Prizes include jewelry, gift cards, books, clothing and more. View the prize page.

I have to list which three prizes I’d like to most win should my name be drawn.  It’s difficult to decide!  I’ve visited several of the sites to see all the talented women who have donated items they have created.  There are also lots of gift cards that I could definitely use (Target, Amazon.com, OfficeMax).  My top three choices are:

#22 $50 gift certificate to Target Stores from Beginner Baby Blog (or any Target gc)
INTL 61 — $30 Gift Credit to Amazon.com from Robynn’s Ravings (or any Amazon.com gc)
INTL 60 — Secret Confessions of a Clean Freak from Carole at CommonSenseLiving.com

I would also be thrilled to win any of these: #16, #32, #66, #89, #111, #113, USC #1, USC #2, USC #27.

I have donated a copy of Robert Taylor’s novel The Secret Trust. Taylor is a Dallas-area international tax attorney who wrote his first novel while in his late 70s. The novel has many similarities to the author’s own life. It’s a page-turner!

Join the Ultimate Blog Party here.

For those who are stopping by from the Ultimate Blog Party… Welcome!

I have always compared prices for big purchases, but I rarely paid attention to grocery store or drugstore prices until February 2008. I actively began tracking sales and matching them with coupons to get the items we need most at the lowest cost. After nearly a year of telling my friends and family about all my “deals”, I decided to start this blog in January 2009 to show what I actually manage to save.

Posts on this blog cover deals at Dallas-area grocery stores, as well as those at big box retailers (Target, Walmart) and drugstore chains (Walgreens, CVS). I also post printable coupons, freebies, online deals and other ways to save money. And occasionally I’ll post something off-topic, if it is relevant to my life.

If you haven’t already entered my freshwater pearl bracelet giveaway, you have until Saturday, March 21 at 9PM Central to leave a comment!

$1.00 printable Honey Nut Cheerios coupon


I just spotted this $1.00/1 Honey Nut Cheerios coupon on a banner ad while reading my Yahoo email.

If you get the specially marked Cheerios Circle of Hearts boxes, be sure to enter the code on the Website.

Cheerios Circle of Hearts Bracelet Giveaway
Want to win a freshwater pearl bracelet? If you haven’t entered yet, you have until next Saturday to leave a comment here. With three available, you have a great chance of having your name drawn!

Cheerios Circle of Helping Hearts



Congratulations to the three winners selected using random.org:
#5 – Janine
#30 – Ashley
#31 – D. Roberts

I have emailed the winners. If for any reason I do not hear back from one or more of them, I will randomly select another winner or winners. Thank you for entering!

Have you heard about the Cheerios Circle of Helping Hearts? It’s a new cause-related marketing program benefiting WomenHeart to help raise awareness about heart disease and to provide free cholesterol screenings for women in need.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in women with approximately 500,000 women dying of heart disease this year.

And high cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for heart disease.

High cholesterol does not cause symptoms on its own, so without keeping it in check, the cholesterol can quietly build up in the walls of your arteries in the form of plaque, and cause the arteries to narrow or harden. This can eventually lead to a heart attack or angina. Learn more about prevention and early detection.

Cheerios Circle of Helping Hearts Code = $1 Donation to WomenHeart!

For every code found inside specially marked Cheerios boxes that is entered on the Cheerios Circle of Helping Hearts Website from now until January 31, 2010, Cheerios will donate $1.00 (up to $200,000) to WomenHeart.

Get some Cheerios coupons!
Until March 31 (or while supplies last), you can sign up to get six $1.00 Cheerios coupons and take part in the Cheerios Challenge. Be sure to look for the specially-marked packages and enter the code to help WomenHeart with their programs.

Bracelet Giveaway
To help spread the word about this program, I have been given three freshwater pearl bracelets with a heart charm to give away to three lucky readers of my blog. These bracelets are from Charity Charms, which donates a portion of the proceeds from its charms to various charities.

By wearing the charm bracelet, you can show your dedication to raising awareness of women’s heart health!

How to Enter to Win a Bracelet
Leave a comment below with a tip for how to maintain a healthy heart. One tip entry per person.

For additional entries, you may also:
1. Subscribe to my blog (1 entry)
2. Mention this giveaway on Twitter (1 entry), Facebook (1 entry) or MySpace (1 entry)
3. Mention this giveaway on your blog (1 entry)

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each additional method of entry indicating what you did (subscribed or link to the mention(s)). If you’re already subscribed, please submit a second comment letting me know.

Enter by Saturday, March 21 at 9PM Central time. I will use Random.org that evening to select the three winners.

Please be sure to include a valid email address so I can contact you to get your mailing address.


Family Game Night


One way to save money and have fun with family and friends is to have a game night.

A friend of mine regularly brings out the board games whenever she has a party, and everyone has a great time. They’re an excellent way to bring people together who have just met.

And now that my daughter is at an age where she’s patient enough to play board games, I’ve built a small collection of games that we can play together. While we don’t have a regular family game night (yet), we do try to play a game or two at least once a week. It’s not only a great way for us to spend some quality time together, but is also full of learning experiences – counting, reading, strategy, and how to both win and lose.

We particularly enjoy playing Cranium’s Cariboo, Noodleboro’s picnic and carnival games, Monopoly and Horton Hears a Who (even my mother got into it — wearing the elephant hat to pick up clovers. Wish I had my camera for that one!).

If you currently hold a family game night or think you might want to start one, check out Family Game Night at TimetoPlayMag.com. Jim Silver put together a great list of games. He covers many games that I’ve never heard of, but will consider adding to our collection.

#Timetoplay Sitewarming Party
If you use Twitter (or want to start!), plan to join the #timetoplay Sitewarming Party on Friday, February 27 from 8-9PM Central. Don’t forget to RSVP at the URL above to be entered for door prizes and use #timetoplay to participate in the chat. What’s a Sitewarming party? It’s an opportunity to hear from one or more experts (in this case, Jim Silver will be present) and meet other Twitter users to discuss a topic.

How to attend a Twitter Party
New to Twitter or Twitter parties? I’ve been to three and it can be a little overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s fun and Sitewarming Twitter parties are especially enjoyable. Here is a step-by-step list for joining this Twitter party:

1. RSVP for the party here by entering your name in the My Linky box (about half-way down the page below the numbered list of names).

2. Register for a Twitter account (if you don’t already have one).

3. Go to www.tweetchat.com and bookmark it.

4. At TweetChat, enter your Twitter username and password. Then enter the room name timetoplay. You’ll see some “tweets” already there.

5. On Friday at 8PM Central (or anytime between 8PM and 9PM), return to TweetChat.com, log in and join the room. You can change the speed of tweets and you can pause them. Warning – things move very quickly, so don’t feel like you have to keep up with everything!

6. If you want to reply to someone, just type their name. For example, to send me a message, you’d type @cravingsavings I’m at the party! and I’ll be able to see your message.

Two alternatives to Tweetchat that I also sometimes use are Tweetdeck (download) and TweetGrid. For Twitter parties, I like Tweetchat best, but explore them all to see which you prefer!

As always, if you have any questions, please email me! And if you decide to join the #timetoplay Sitewarming party, let me know so I can look for you!

Chili’s Guiltless Gourmet Review

I took my daughter to dinner at Chili’s tonight and used one of the free Guiltless Gourmet entree coupons I received from Bzzagent.com. I have had their black bean burger in the past and thought it was so-so, and hadn’t considered having anything else on the Guiltless Gourmet menu again until I got the free coupons.

There are six options on the Guiltless Gourmet menu and they’re all under 750 calories:

* Guiltless Buffalo or Grilled Chicken Sandwich
* Guiltless Cedar Plank Tilapia
* Guiltless Carne Asada Steak
* Guiltless Honey-Mustard Glazed or Grilled Salmon
* Guiltless Chicken Platter
* Guiltless Black Bean Burger

I decided to go for the most expensive Guiltless Gourmet menu item – the Guiltless Carne Asada Steak with steamed broccoli.

When the plate came out, my first reaction was “that looks good, but there’s hardly any food on the plate!” I’m used to seeing loaded plates at Chili’s. I thought about Erin at 5dollardinners.com. She mentioned at her class in Grapevine, TX last weekend that when implementing portion control, it’s important to use smaller plates. Maybe someone at Chili’s should consider getting smaller plates for the Guiltless Gourmet menu.

The steak and broccoli ended up being more than enough food and it was delicious! Much better than I expected. Before trying the Carne Asada Steak entree, I associated “guiltless gourmet” with “bland and unsatisfying,” but the Carne Asada was the opposite — full of flavor and completely satisfying. I’m now looking forward to trying out one of the other entrees that I haven’t tried yet.

If you’ve tried a Chili’s Guiltless Gourmet menu item before, what did you think? Any recommendations on what I should try next?


Reusable bag giveaway

Erin at the JANE4Girls $800 Annual Budget blog is giving away a sample of reusable snack bags and a sample of reusable bulk food bags to one lucky winner. Watch Erin’s video to see the bulk bags in action and enter to win some. The winner will be selected on February 13.

YMMV – A movie about coupon users


YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com. I didn’t know this was in the works and hope to check it out soon. You can try to win one of five copies at The Coupon Cupboard forum.

Smart Shopper Giveaway


Sandy from Organize with Sandy is holding a Smart Shopper Giveaway on her blog. The Smart Shopper is a device that you put on your refrigerator. You record your shopping list and coupons, and it prints out a list for you to take to the store. Check out her giveaway here.

Another blog giveaway – for your feet!

Frugal and Fabulous is giving away a pair of Chenille socks. Act quickly as this ends Monday afternoon!

JANE4girls $800 Annual Budget Giveaway

Do you have too many plastic shopping bags and want a better solution?

JANE4girls is giving away five bag set of Ultimate hotSACKS with a matching set of reusable bulk bags, Meshy hotSACKS. Enter to win them here.