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Save up to $12 with Arm & Hammer coupons  

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I've seen a search for Arm & Hammer coupons come up on my Lijit Widget previously, so I figured I'd share them with you.

Save up to $12 on Arm & Hammer products with these coupons.

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Win a Sony Bravia 32" LCD HDTV from  

For the THIRD Time, is giving a 32" Sony Bravia LCD HDTV! Wow!

WHO: Hosted by Every day, offers an amazing deal with discounts that can save consumers up to 90% from local restaurants, spas, special events and more!

WHAT: Win a FREE Sony Bravia 32" LCD HDTV

WHEN: The "myEZdeal" Sweepstakes is open NOW and ends at 11:59:59 PM (EDT) on Sunday, August 29, 2010

HOW: Participants will only need to enter their first and last name, zip code and email address. No purchase is necessary to enter or win the sweepstakes. A purchase will not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes is open only to individuals who are legal U.S. residents permanently and are 18 years of age or older.

Good luck!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any manner for sharing this sweepstakes with my readers.

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More winners  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How about that?! I'm actually picking winners from 2 days ago instead of a week! Stick with me kids, and I'll continuously get better!

The winner of the Jensen Project Giveaway is:
#8 - cdziuba

The winner of the Penguins of Madagascar Prize Pack Giveaway is:
#21 - Belinda M (bluebelle367@...)

The winner of the Monopoly Giveaway is:
#36 - Tracy DeLuca

The winner of the Walmart $25 GC Giveaway is:

(please note, I had my Twitter followers choose a number for this one because there was 209 comments and I can't print where I am)
See here for more info:
and and

#42 - Tracy R (cardprincess@....)

Thanks to all of you for entering and congratulations! You will be hearing from me momentarily!

Keep entering. To the left... To the left... (In my Beyonce' voice)

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Summer of Smiles: Giveaway from  

 You know that feeling when you get flowers delivered to you? I'm not talking about when you send yourself flowers, silly, but those times when you are hanging out at home (or work), relaxing, and there's a knock on the door. Behind that door is a flower delivery guy (or gal) there to give you a beautiful bouquet of flowers (like the one above!)

Isn't that a great feeling?!

Personally, I don't know that feeling too well, but I did experience it on my birthday this year. It's only different in that they were hand-delivered to me - but the thought is the same. wants you to feel that feeling again, or give that feeling to someone else! It's the "Summer of Smiles", and wants us to brightens someone's day with flowers!


One of you will win a $50 gift card to spend on a bouquet of flowers for yourself or a loved one!

To enter, tell me if you send flowers to someone on a regular basis.
Or you can tell me if you get flowers on a regular basis.
OR you can tell me what type of flowers you like to receive (or send, if you're a guy)

Either way, I want that answer as your first required entry!

For extra entries, please view my Giveaway Rules, updated 5/12/10. 

This giveaway will end on August 31st, 2010 (that's in ONE WEEK!) so spread the word, get to commenting, and Good luck!

Disclaimer: I was given the opportunity to send a free flower arrangement to anyone I chose in conjunction with this review and giveaway. I was not compensated in any other manner. The opinions expressed above are solely my own and yours may differ. Receiving a product will NEVER influence what I write in any review.

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Review: Shout® laundry stain removers  

I work with the Growing Tree Toys blog network and on behalf of them, I was selected to do a review of Shout® laundry stain removers.

I also want to share with you an initiative by Shout® called Go Play. Go Play is all about encouraging kids and parents to get outside and play. Play is fundamental to positive cognitive development; it’s how kids solve problems; how they develop coping skills and master the art of conflict resolution. It’s how they become happy, healthy adults. We invite you to blog about your memories of play; how you get your kids outdoors to play; what they love to do while playing outdoors; and what you believe are some of the most rewarding benefits of play.

There's a sweepstakes that you can enter to win in conjunction with this initiative: Go Play sweepstakes begins August 16th. The sweepstakes will partner with Growing Tree Toys to award a $200 gift card each week for four weeks as well as reward one grand prize winner with a brand new play set from Rainbow Play Systems Inc. Please be sure to tell your readers about this amazing opportunity! To enter, visit the Shout Facebook page.

Now, for my review.

I remember being a kid and my mom used Shout® on our clothes, and now that I have children, I use it too. It works great, and I love it! I received three items from Shout to review and test out.

Shout Trigger Stain Remover

Shout® Trigger is formulated with powerful stain-fighting ingredients and enzymes to quickly penetrate, break up, and remove tough stains. Don't let spills and stains ruin your day - Shout® has you covered!

Product Features:
• Triple acting formula:
        1) Clings 2) Penetrates 3) Lifts away stains.
• Convenient trigger dispenser lets you treat stains quickly and easily.
• Safe for all colorfast washables.
• Works in all water temperatures.

My thoughts: 

I use this almost daily because my daughter always manages to get everything she eats on her clothes! She might get it from me, because today I spilled coffee on my white shirt (as soon as I got out of my car at work too!) 

 Shout Advanced Ultra Gel

Combines powerful Shout® stain fighters in a thick gel formula with a convenient stain-lifting brush to penetrate and remove your toughest stains. Rubbing Shout® stain fighters directly into a stain while pre-treating is the best way to remove a stain. The convenient stain-lifting brush makes this job easy!

Product Features:
• Thick gel formula concentrates stain-lifting power
directly onto the stain.
• Built-in brush makes treating stains easy.
• Lets you treat stains now and wash up to a week later.
• Safe for all colorfast washables.
• Works in all water temperatures.

My thoughts:

This works great for any type of stain, but I especially like it for tennis shoes! I recently got some grass stain on my new Nike's and I used this to get it out before I washed my tennis shoes! They're not leather, so I don't think I'd recommend it for those types of shoes, but for canvas-type shoes and regular clothes, this stuff works great! Plus, I love that you can brush it in and not worry about it until you wash clothes again - even up to a week later!

The last item I got to try was the Shout® Color Catcher®. I have seen this in the store and I've been wanting to try it for some time!  I love it! 

Nobody wants dyes bleeding onto other items of clothing in the laundry. Shout® Color Catcher® sheets absorb and trap loose dyes in your wash water, safeguarding your clothes from color bleeds and helping to preserve original colors. Use Shout® Color Catcher® sheets in every load to keep clothes looking vibrant and bright!

Product Features:
• Sheets lock up loose dyes found in the wash water to prevent dyes from running or bleeding onto other clothes.
• The proof is on the sheet-each sheet changes color as it absorbs these loose dyes.
• Helps save you time by reducing the need for sorting.
• Helps save you money by reducing the need for half-size loads. 

Note: Effectiveness not guaranteed if large amounts of dye bleed from non-colorfast garments. Use reasonable care when washing whites with colors and when washing new garments for the first time.

My thoughts:

The sheets are great for those times when you only have a load but it's not enough to split up your whites and your colors. I've used it a few times and it's awesome! You should see the sheet when it comes out of the wash! I've been needing this product for awhile and I'm glad it is finally available!

I've always been a Shout® fan and I still am! Maybe I'll help you be one too?

Hurry and enter the Go Play sweepstakes too, wouldja? I still see you!

Disclaimer: I was sent the products above on behalf of Growing Tree Toys  to facilitate in this review. The opinions expressed above are solely my own and yours may differ. Receiving a product will NEVER influence what I write in any review.

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DOLE Smoothie Party winners announced  

The other day I pulled winners and since my comments don't number, it's always fun to pick winners when I have alot of comments. Of course, the DOLE giveaway had 196 comments and my network went out while I was printing comments for all of the giveaways that had ended. (OF course, right?!) And for some reason, since it's a wireless printer, even though the network was restarted and the printer was restarted (MULTIPLE times actually!) the pages didn't print until yesterday FINALLY.


Anyway, so here are the winners of the DOLE coupons for FREE fruit!

#42 - Sarah of PSMomReviews
#182 - Kathy Pease
#157 - Erica C.
#144 - Paula Michelle
#45 - Elizabeth C.
#53 - fdigsby
#17 - @desmoinesdealin 
#146 - Janice
#194 - 07violet
#2 - Mel4Him

I will be contacting you all via email momentarily. Congratulations! Thanks for entering!

*The winners of the other giveaways that ended a couple of days ago will be drawn today also. Stay tuned!

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SafeSocial from AOL: helping to keep your kids safe  

As a parent, your children's safety is your first priority. But in today's digital age, what can a parent do to protect their kids online as well as off?

SafeSocial, a new AOL product that launches today, can help you protect your children, even if you aren't a social media expert. SafeSocial helps you:

·         Find out where your child has online accounts
·         Know who your child is "friends" with online
·         Get notified if your child is in a conversation about violence, suicide or drugs
·         See photos your child has posted online, and others' photos in which your child has been tagged

Another benefit? You can monitor all this activity without being a "helicopter parent." Your child will have to agree to be monitored, but you won't need to connect with them on the social media accounts, or hover over their shoulders in person.
"Overall, social networking is an integral part of many teenage lives and an opportunity for your kids to learn to express themselves in a creative and responsible fashion," says Regina Lewis. "It's too big a trend to ignore. You can embrace it with SafeSocial on your side."

Here's some tips from Regina:
By Regina Lewis, AOL Consumer Advisor

These days, your teens’ “friends” aren’t just the kids hanging out in your kitchen and family room, they’re hundreds of contacts on their “friend” and “buddy” lists. More than 50 million teens (ages 13 to 17) are online worldwide and the average number of “friends” is 130. For many teens, these numbers are even higher. It’s not unusual to have more than 500 “friends” and more than 1,000 profile photos.

So, how can you realistically keep up with your child’s vast circle of “friends” and ongoing status and photo updates?

1. Become a “Friend”

For starters, you can become your child’s online. They’ll need to accept your friend request. This can be easier said than done. In some cases, you may get push back. It’s your call how strongly you press.
There are more private alternatives. A new product called SafeSocial lets you privately see everything you would as a “friend” and even more. Many kids prefer this route. Remember, you’re not “spying” on them; you’re simply doing your job as an informed and involved parent.

2. Curb the Comments

If your child is reluctant to accept you publicly as a “friend,” be sure not to push your luck by excessively commenting on their page once you are granted access. Grandparents can be over-commenting culprits, too. Often teens find this “embarrassing” and it may even lead to having them “un-friend” you. It happens all the time.

3. Get a Report Card

The new parenting tool SafeSocial offers a time-efficient and thorough way to keep tabs on your children’s social networking without being too intrusive. It delivers an easy-to-read report card providing a 360 degree view of their overall social networking— what they’re saying and doing and who their friends are.
This answers one of the biggest issues facing parents all over the country—feeling like you need to spend hours each week monitoring your child’s online activity and still not really being sure if you’re seeing everything (they can filter your view) or what you might be missing (what’s happening on their friends’ pages).

4. Watch the Friends

All friends are not created equal. Some your children may know well, some they may barely know at all. You can get a good feel for their entire list via SafeSocial’s Friend Engine, which takes an extensive look at your kids’ friends and checks them against more than 50 databases to see if they may not be who they say they are. You’ll be alerted when an adult becomes a friend of your child, when someone looks suspicious or has no or few other mutual friends with your child.

5. Loaded Language and Photos

Specific words that may come up in strings of conversation— sex, drugs, alcohol, suicide and so on and suggestive or violent language will be flagged, so you can hone in on the suspect dialog versus reading every post. This helps prevent missing something inadvertently.

You can even opt to be immediately notified via an email alert. This piece could prove priceless in protecting your children’s safety and managing their reputations.

While every conversation and image is archived, you can adjust the settings to simply view those that are called out. This lets you give kids more privacy as they mature. You will also see all photos, including those other people post of your child. Young people tend to push the envelope with photos and videos, so checking out this section of the report card is critical.

Overall, social networking is an integral part of many teenage lives and an opportunity for your kids to learn to express themselves in a creative and responsible fashion. It’s too big a trend to ignore. You can embrace it with these new tools on your side. For more information, visit, and

AOL Consumer Advisor Regina Lewis ( is a national TV and radio contributor and Internet trend expert. She knows the tips, tricks, secrets and shortcuts for making technology work for you.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any manner for posting this information. I have a chance to win a gift card from Global Influence.

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Update on Joe's Crab Shack giveaway  

Call it lack of planning, call it lack of communication, but I screwed up. The Joe's Crab Shack gift card giveaway is actually for $25 to each winner. I've updated the post to reflect this and I hope that no one is mad at me for making this mistake!

My apologies for any inconvenience!

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Review and Giveaway: Joe's Crab Shack gift cards (two winners)  

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Here in Maryland, eating crabs is a big thing. I never truly understood until I moved here back when I was a teenager, and I have to admit - it just never grew on me. I'm originally from the Pittsburgh area and the most seafood that I ever ate was shrimp and snow crab legs. I love some snow crab legs though! Great flavor and tons of meat, without all of the work!

I was recently sent a Joe's Crab Shack gift card to visit our local restaurant and feast on their food! I've been seeing their commercials for some time, so when I was contacted to do this review I was like "Oh yeah!"

The one thing that I want to try is their Crab Bucket. You get to choose from the following types of crab: Dungeness, Snow, or King Crab, and then you get to pick a flavor:
  • Dry Rubbed BBQ
  • Chesapeake Style (Old Bay)
  • Garlic Herb
  • Spicy Boil
  • Simply Steamed
  • NEW Fire Grilled
  • NEW Smoked Chile
Now, I say "want to try" because I haven't exactly made it there yet. Really, the closest one to me is in Wilmington, Delaware, at 42.6 miles, and the next closest one is in Gaithersburg, Maryland, at 54.7 miles. Yes, really! So I think I'm going to head to one of those this weekend (probably Wilmington) since I'm working again and not having gas is no longer a problem!

You can be sure that I'm definitely going to get the crab bucket I talked about above, with the Garlic Herb flavoring, and I'm gonna enjoy it! I'm not sure which crab I'll try out, but I know all of those are HUGE and much less work than eating Maryland Blue Crabs.

Joe's Crab Shack also has steampots, and I might have to try one of those. I'm so undecided! But that's normal for me!

Joe's also introduced a couple of new items to their menu this summer:

  •  Fried Oysters – Served with fries and spicy sriracha remoulade sauce.
  • Salmon Orleans – Pan seared salmon topped with a creamy Cajun sauce that’s loaded with crawfish, shrimp and andouille sausage. Served with dirty rice. 
  • Samuel Adams Steampot – Sweet Snow crab, clams, meaty lobster claws, sausage, fresh corn and potatoes all steamed in Samuel Adams lager.
  • The Big “Hook” Up – Fried oysters, great balls of fire, crab stuffed shrimp, fried snapper, coconut shrimp, hush puppies and coleslaw.
  • Pan Seared Mahi – Served with sauteed green beans, bacon and new potatoes
New items for the kiddos: 
  • Kid's Steampot
  • Captain's Catch

Do you know how to eat crabs? Here's how to open crab legs:

You can download Joe's Crab Shack's menu here, and connect with them on the following Social Media platforms:

Follow Joe's Crab Shack on Twitter
"LIKE" Joe's Crab Shack Fanpage on Facebook

While you're at it, you can enter a contest to win free crabs for a year! All you have to do is create a video. After you like Joe's Crab Shack on Facebook, click on the "Crab Crackin'" tab, but HURRY because the contest ends soon!


TWO winners will win a $25 gift card to visit their local Joe's Crab Shack!

To enter, tell me where the closest Joe's Crab Shack is to you! (Required entry)

For another extra entry, Follow Joe's Crab Shack on Twitter, then come back here and tell me that you're following them, and what your Twitter name is.

For the rest of my extra giveaway entries, please view my Giveaway Rules, updated 5/12/10. 

*Here's a custom tweet you can use to share this on Twitter: 
TWO WINNERS will win a Gift Card to @Joes_Crab_Shack to eat some crabs! Ends 9/5/10 RT?

This giveaway will end on  September 5, 2010. Giveaway is open to US Residents aged 18 and over. Giveaway winners will be contacted via email, so please leave your email address in your comment.

Disclaimer: I was sent a Joe's Crab Shack gift card by Fleishman-Hillard to facilitate in this review. The opinions expressed above are solely my own and yours may differ. Receiving a product will NEVER influence what I write in any review.

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Our newest indulgence: Banquet Fruit Pies (review)  

I've said it before here, and I'll say it again, but I'm not really a sweets person. Mostly because I have some weight to lose, and I'm not sure why exactly, but I've always liked salty snacks better than sweets.

That being said, I also love fruit. Peaches are my favorite! So when Mom Central contacted me about doing a review for the NEW Banquet Fruit Pies, I was intrigued.

Banquet is known for their microwavable dinners - fried chicken, salisbury steaks, and one of my favorites - pot pies. Who knew they would delve into the dessert world?!

Each Banquet fruit pie has a half serving of real fruit inside a flaky pastry shell that bakes fresh and hot from your oven or microwave in minutes. The pies come in three classic flavors: apple, peach, and cherry berry and at only about $1 a pie, Banquet pies make it easy to treat guests at a summer get-together, offer a special "finale" for your next family dinner, or just indulge yourself with a mid-day treat.

From August 26-28, before the Labor Day holiday, 650 select Wal-Marts nationwide are offering in-store demonstrations with free samples of the pies topped with Reddi-wip!  To find out if your local Wal-Mart is having a demo, please check with the store manager, or visit the In-Store Events section at

Our thoughts:

We received four coupons to try out the new pies. At first, I couldn't find them at any of my local stores (which is pretty common, and I'm sure you other reviewers could agree!) but I finally found them at my local Walmart Supercenter yesterday. I made them for dessert last night and of course I had to get the Peach Pie! I loved it! The flavor of the pie is right on, and the crust is flaky! My children both tried the apple and they loved it too!

We put ours in the oven because I wanted that real, oven-baked taste, and next time I have one, I'll put it in the microwave to see if there's any difference. I hope not!

I think I've found a new dessert item... 

In moderation though - right?

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

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Beat the Heat with Gatorade  

If you have any kids, like me, who love sports and play sports, then this blog post is for YOU.

As a mom of a teenager who LOVES football and aspires to play for the NFL someday, I'm constantly stressing the importance of staying hydrated, as well as keeping an eye out for symptoms of heat-related illness. Even though he's not playing this year, I still make sure BOTH of my children stay hydrated, especially if they're going to be outside for an extended period of time.

Regardless of whether your children play sports or not, even if they're just outside, it's important to learn about heat-related illness. That's why I feel like I had to be involved in this blog tour!

A few years ago, I worked on a job that anyone inside a certain area HAD to be CPR and First Aid-trained. I learned about heat stress and heat stroke then, and I was grateful for that knowledge, since my children were young at the time. Since then, I've retained that knowledge and have used it on occasion.

About Gatorade's "Beat The Heat" campaign:

Gatorade’s “Beat the Heat” campaign educates athletes, parents and coaches about heat-related illness and the importance of proper hydration. The goal is to reduce the number of heat-related injuries and deaths and help raise funds for organizations dedicated to preventing heat-related illness.

  • Moms play a key role in keeping their athletes safe, so Moms need to understand that young athletes may be at greater risk for heat-related illness and know the ways to prevent it.

  • Water isn’t enough. While fundamental, water alone does not hydrate and refuel as effectively as Gatorade.

    • Gatorade supplies the proper amount of fluid, electrolytes and carbohydrates to rapidly put back what your young athlete loses in sweat and provides energy to keep them going.

    • In drinking water, the brain may turn off the perception of thirst before the body’s overall fluid needs are met and stops the athlete from fully rehydrating.  The electrolytes in Gatorade help maintain the stimulus to drink so athletes drink enough to replenish and refuel .

  • Equipment makes a difference - wear light net-type jerseys, T-shirts and shorts, change sweat-soaked clothing, avoid wearing excess clothing, remove helmets when not playing and remember to stay hydrated.

You can help- download a free Gatorade Heat Safety Kit found at For every unique download Gatorade will donate $1 to “Beat the Heat” charities up to $20,000. 

What a great way to make a difference! It only take a minute to download these documents to your computer. And, what you learn may save a life!

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Gatorade’s “Beat the Heat” campaign and received Gatorade samples to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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Submit it Sunday - 08/22/10 edition  

Happy Sunday! I hope you have had a great weekend, and if you go back to work tomorrow (like me!) that you have a restful and peaceful Sunday!

Time to link up some giveaways and enter some too!

Please remember to leave the ending date so I can easily update this list week to week!

Happy entering!

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Review and Giveaway: Powermat wireless charging  

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You might not know this about me but I'm a tech junkie. I love technology and even though I don't have money for the newest gadgets, I know about gadgets and read about them constantly.

There's one gadget I've been seeing on blogs and on the internet for some time now: Powermat. I've been wanting coveting this gadget since I first saw it.

Powermat is a wireless charger that you can use to charge up to three devices simultaneously. Phone, Nintendo DSi, iPod, etc. - what you choose to charge is up to you!

We recently went away for a weekend to a friend's house up in Pennsylvania and instead of lugging a bunch of cords with us, we were able to take the Powermat portable mat, along with the receiver for my phone, to charge my Blackberry Tour, my son's iPod, and my daughter's Nintendo DSi. We had one little bag that the Powermat and accessories that we needed fit into, and we were good to go! No more taking numerous plugs with us when we're travelling!

Travelling is hard enough without lugging around a bunch of unnecessary items!

I love the Powermat (like I KNEW I would when I first saw it!) because it's so convenient and handy! Plus, it's easy to set up! You don't have to be a technology junkie (like me) to figure it out - anyone can use a Powermat! It's got adapters for any type of device, too! Talk about convenient!

I keep mine in my purse (because it actually fits!) and even if we're on a day trip, my kids can still charge what they need to charge. They always carry their iPod and their DSi and we don't have to worry about them running out of power anymore!

Connect with Powermat on Facebook.


One lucky winner will win their choice of a Powermat Portable Mat OR a Home and Office Mat AND and accessory item.

To enter, share with us your best travel tip. (Required entry)

After you have completed that entry, you can Follow Powermat on Twitter for another entry. Come back and leave a comment below that you're following Powermat with your Twitter username.

For extra entries, please view my Giveaway Rules, updated 5/12/10. 

This giveaway will end on  September 1st, 2010. Giveaway is open to US residents ages 18 and over. 

Winner will be contacted via email, so please leave your email address in your comment. 

Thank you for entering, and good luck!

Disclaimer: M80 contacted me on behalf of Powermat to perform this review and post this giveaway. I was given the products named above to facilitate in this review. Receiving a product will NEVER influence any review I post on this site. 

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TypeAMom Conference: I'm Going!  

It's official! I'm going to TypeAMom Conference!

I recently posted about seeking sponsorship to BlogHer or TypeA, and BlogHer has come and gone, and sadly, I missed it. BUT - I'm going to TypeAMom Conference! Yay me!

I signed up to volunteer at TypeA so that's how I'm going but I still need sponsorship for travel and room and board. If there's any company out there that would like to sponsor me, email me and let's talk!

I'm so excited to go to TypeAMom Conference and take my blog to the next level!

Let me take your company with me!

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Time for some winners!  

I'm really sorry and you all are probably sick of me for not pulling winners right away. I started my new job last week and I've been getting settled in, doing training, and all kinds of fun stuff associated with a new job, so please stick with me! I've got some other reviews and giveaways I'll be putting up soon too so stay tuned for those!

Now it's time for some recent winners!

The THREE winners of the Breyer's Smooth & Dreamy FREE product coupons are:

#56: Janice

8/6 tweet:

#100: iluv2blog

On the weekend I will go to Wendy's for a large vanilla frosty
*Please note: I cannot find an email address for you... if you see this or if anyone knows this person, please have them email me at pricousins at gmail dot com. Thanks!

#58: Yona

Subscribed to RSS feed (Google)

The winner of the Cats and Dogs: Things are Gonna Get Hairy Blu-Ray giveaway is:

#117: Brandy

my fave movie ever is moulin rouge. my son would love this movie!

The winner of the Zuvo Water Filtration System Giveaway is:

#29: Mindi
August 3, 2010 12:04 AM  
I also entered your Breyer's giveaway!
I'm having printer issues so I can't print the DOLE winners... hopefully the printer will wake up and I can announce those later today or tomorrow!

Thanks to the winners and the sponsors for entering and hosting these giveaways, and thanks to all who entered. Keep trying! You never know when it could be YOUR turn to win!

Don't forget my other giveaways (listed on my left sidebar) - they end soon!

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City of Hope: sharing my personal story  

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Recently, I shared with you City of Hope, in my "I'm All In - City of Hope" post. What I didn't share with you in that post, but knew that I would before the end of this blog tour, was my personal story.

As part of this blog tour, we were either supposed to share a video of an interview we did with someone at BlogHer or an interview of someone that we did in text format.

I decided to share my personal story. It's going to be difficult to write this, but hopefully by doing so, I can prevent someone else from going through what I did.

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Be your own advocate: get educated and get tested for HPV  

As moms who are busy, we are usually the last ones that we take care of. We're so busy running the household, managing our careers, helping with homework, and more, that taking care of ourselves usually falls by the wayside.

I am in no means a perfect mom, but I've always made sure to take care of myself and schedule regular physicals and I see the doctor whenever I suspect something is wrong. I was told by a wise woman once, "If you don't take of yourself, who else will?"

Not only is it important that we make doctor's appointments for ourselves, but it is imperative that we educate ourselves.

Recently a vaccination against HPV (Human Papillomavirus) became available on the market for our daughters - limited to ages 9 to 26 - but many of us don't fall into those categories. What is there for those of us who are over the age of 26?

We do have options. First of all, make sure you are getting a yearly Pap Smear. This is the first line of defense against HPV and other reproductive diseases. Second, ask your doctor for a Digene HPV test along with your Pap Test. This test uses the same sample as the Pap and identifies women who are at risk for developing cervical cancer. The HPV test is especially important if you are 30 and over.

The HPV test website is very useful and interactive and may answer any questions you may have, especially with the HPV Test vs. The Pap FAQ section. There are also tips and items available for viewing on the website such as videos and educational materials.

Remember: YOU are your best advocate. Be proactive. Get educated. Get tested.

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of the QIAGEN digene HPV test. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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I have good news: I got a job!  

Sunday, August 15, 2010

This post is a little bit overdue since I started my job last Tuesday. Some of you may have seen it on Facebook or on Twitter and I meant to post here that I had finally found a job, but between doing paperwork to start my job and all the other things I had to do to prepare for that, I just didn't make that post happen.

If you know anything about me, you know that I have worked as a Government Contractor in various capacities for the past ten years. It's the type of work that I prefer to do, simply because I don't have a college degree (YET) and it's the best money you can make around here, aside from working for the Government.

I was actually contacted for this job and I did the first interview and they called me back for the second about a week and a half later. I found out that afternoon that I got the job. I'm working with L-3 but employed through a recruiter. I have two bosses: one here in Maryland who works for the Government and one in New Jersey who works for L-3.

I haven't worked much because when you work for the government you have to go through all of these steps to even get on their computer network so since I haven't been up there working for 5 months, I have to do all of that stuff again. L-3 sent me a laptop but still, there's not much I can do.

So far, it's good. It's quiet there but in November when people start moving down from NJ (because of BRAC), then I'll be busier.

Cool part? I get to go to NJ a few times in the next month to travel. And I get paid for it!


Thanks for all of your support and prayers while I was out of work! I truly know who my real friends and supporters are!

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Submit it Sunday - 8/15/10 edition  

I meant to put this up earlier today. I got online with the full intentions of doing this FIRST, then I got sucked into Facebook and my inbox. I started a job earlier this week and my inbox is suffering yet again. I'm talking about over 1000 messages there right now. Yup, no lie...

I have winners to pull and I hope to get to those today. I have a few reviews and giveaways to put up too but I'm not 100% positive that I'll get to that today. As always, be patient with me!

Link up your giveaways! Please be sure to add an end date for your giveaway so when I do my weekly maintenance I can easily see if the giveaway is ended.

*You can always click on the "Share This" button below to tweet this list out or share it on Facebook and help drive traffic to all of the great contests. :-)

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Rite Aid's updated coupon policy  

Monday, August 9, 2010

I received the following press release recently from a representative of Rite Aid regarding their coupon policy. This policy follows feedback from customers on what was and was not working with Rite Aid's new wellness program.
As is good practice in any store, I would print out this document and keep it with you while shopping.

To Our Valued Customers:
Rite Aid gladly accepts the following coupon types as detailed in the coupon acceptance guidelines listed below:


Manufacturer Coupons

·         Manufacturer coupons are found in newspapers, magazines and even affixed to products. The UPC on these coupons begins with a "5."

Rite Aid Manufacturer Coupons

·         Rite Aid Manufacturer coupons generally appear in our weekly circular, on our website and are sent to customers via e-mail. These coupons are labeled "manufacturer coupon" and have a UPC that begins with "49."

Rite Aid Valuable Coupons

·         Rite Aid coupons are labeled "variable coupon" and have a UPC that begins with "48."

Internet/Print at Home coupons

·         Rite Aid will accept Internet/print at home coupons up to the equivalent value of $5.00 off.
·         A Rite Aid coupon (with the Rite Aid logo) is NOT considered an Internet coupon (even if printed off the Internet) and is therefore not subject to the $5.00 maximum.

+UP Reward Coupons

·         +UP Reward coupons are special coupons earned by a customer in a prior purchase that can be used for any nonprescription purchase with a small number of exclusions that are listed on the +UP coupon. Multiple +UP coupons can be used (subject to the printed exclusions) up to the amount of purchase before sales tax.

Buy One, Get One Free

·         We accept two coupons for the purchase of two items that are on Buy One, Get One Free Promotion.
·         We accept a Buy One, Get One Free Coupon with an item that is in our flyer as Buy One, Get One Free, meaning both items are free. The cash register will compute any sales tax due, which varies by state law.

Total Purchase Coupons

·         Rite Aid may feature total purchase coupons which discount the total purchase amount based upon meeting specific requirements. For example, $5 off a $25 purchase price threshold coupon.
·         These coupons are accepted under the following conditions:
o   The coupon is valid and in date; only one total purchase coupon per transaction.
o   Total purchase equals or exceeds $25 before tax (before any coupons are applied).
o   Coupons for individual items can also be used including another "48" coupon that is tied to an item in the transaction.
o   Provided the total of items purchased is equal to or greater than the purchase requirement, other coupons can be used in conjunction with the total purchase coupon.

General Guidelines:

·         Coupons must be valid and in date; Coupons cannot be exchanged for cash.
·         Register will validate coupon through scanning or keyed entry of the coupon UPC number.
·         In the event that any item's selling price is less than the value of the coupon, Rite Aid will accept the coupon in exchange for the selling price of the item. Coupon redemption can never exceed the selling price of an item and no cash back is allowed.
·         When making a return for a product that had a coupon attached, Rite Aid cannot refund cash for the value of the coupon and cannot return the coupon that was used.
·         Rite Aid reserves the right to not accept any coupon where the validity or the coupon cannot be established.

Multiple Coupons

·         More than one coupon can be used on the purchase of a single item under the following conditions:
·         All coupons match the item being purchased.
·         The total of the coupons is equal to or less than the selling price of the item before sales tax.
·         No more than one "48" Rite Aid valuable coupon, one "49" RiteAid Manufacturer coupon, and one "5"manufacturer coupon can be used on a single item.
·         Rite Aid may accept multiple identical coupons for multiple qualifying items as long as there is sufficient stock to satisfy other customers within the store manager's sole discretion.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any manner for sharing this information with my readers.

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Monopoly Money Makes It Real (giveaway)  

Sunday, August 8, 2010

MONOPOLY “Money Makes It Real”

Have you ever wished the MONOPOLY money that you collected in during the game could be real? If so, you’re not alone! A recent survey conducted by Hasbro, showed that 60 percent of United States residents who have played the game have imagined the cash in the game becoming real money. If the money became a reality, more people would use this cash to pay off debt (70 percent) or buy something for their family (54 percent), before they purchased something for themselves (40 percent). Can you imagine?
Now is your chance to tell Hasbro and you could win some cash! That’s right, Hasbro is giving away $20,580 (the total money in the game “bank”) as part of the MONOPOLY “Money Makes It Real” contest to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the game. Visit here
for more details!

This game is perfect for National Family Game Night, which is on September 29th!
My family loves this game and we have it in two different versions. I hope that you like it as much as we do!

Hasbro wants to give one lucky winner a copy of the classic Monopoly game

To enter to win, tell me your favorite board game to play as a family! (Required entry)

If you'd like more entries, please view my Giveaway Rules, updated 5/12/10. 
This giveaway will end on 8/22. Winner will be contacted by email so please be sure to leave your email address in your comment. Giveaway is open to US residents ages 18 and older. 

Disclaimer: I was sent the product named above to review. The opinions expressed above are solely my own and yours may differ. Receiving a product will NEVER influence what I write in any review.

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Family Dollar introduces a Kidget Widget  

On July 29th, Family Dollar introduced a Kidget Widget that you can use to dress up your own kidget! You can use this widget to pair up clothing for your kids from the Kidget line, exclusively at Family Dollar! You can also share your designs with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!

Be sure to check out Family Dollar for select Avatar toys for $5!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any manner for sharing this information with my readers.

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Joy, defined  

The children and I on Christmas Eve, 2009. Don't we look JOYOUS?!

Joy -
1. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation: She felt the joy of seeing her son's success.
2. a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated: Her prose style is a pure joy.
3.the expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety.
4. a state of happiness or felicity.
–verb (used without object) feel joy; be glad; rejoice.
–verb (used with object)
6. Obsolete . to gladden.
 Joy. What does it mean to you? I'll tell you what it means to me, because I have many reasons to be joyous, and I'm fully aware of that fact.

I'm joyous for the life that I was given. My birth mother could have chosen to have an abortion when I was in her womb. She didn't. Even though I was adopted, I was still alive.
Mom before she passed away

Being adopted, I've been through good and bad times, and I always make it through to the other side. I've been fortunate to have an adopted family that loves me and raised me to be a good cook, a good mother, and a hard worker. I have also been blessed with finding a birth family that I belong to. I guess you could say I'm double joyous to have TONS of people who love and care about me!

I'm blessed to have children that I love dearly, because many people do not. I'm blessed and joyous that they're so smart and unique in their own little ways. The way they hug me, and when they tell me they love me, and especially when my daughter shows me pictures she's drawn.

I'm filled with joy when I make a great meal for my family, because it's made with love.

I'm also very thankful that I've been through many adversities in my life and God always sees me through, even when I don't think He's listening. He always come through, even when I am doubtful. He's made my life so much more fulfilling.

I've also been filled with joy that after 5 months of being unexpectedly unemployed, that I found a new job and I start in two days, and it's only a little paycut, but one that I can live with. I'm a single mother of three, so having no income has been really difficult for us!
Another thing that brings me joy is papercrafting. My craft supplies are currently in storage so recently when I've had the urge to create, I had to suppress it. Hopefully soon I'll be able to get that stuff out of storage and start creating again!
This is one of my favorite cards EVER. It's got my favorite quote on it. (see below)
This quote (from above photo) brings me joy:

"Be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

Saving money also brings me joy - because I'm a huge coupon clipper, and because I'm on a strict budget (even without the not-working thing.)

Winning things that I can't afford brings me joy. I'm a huge tech geek and I can't always afford the newest thing, so when I win something it brings me joy. I recently won a laptop and that was one of my biggest prizes and resulted in loads of joyous feelings!

All in all, even when I am down in the dumps, I have so much to be joyous about, and the great part about this post is that it helped me to think about what I am thankful for and what brings me joy.

This post is part of SOYJOY‘s What brings you joy contest. Learn more here.

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