Sunday, September 29, 2013

3 days left to get your Chicken Soup pack on Living Social!

Only 3 days left to get your $130 Chicken Soup pack for $29 on Living Social!


Warm hearts and bellies with a sneak preview of Chicken Soup for the Soul's new line of delicious comfort food and exclusive collection of gifts:
• $29 ($130 value) for a limited edition comfort food and gift set
• 15-piece set includes pantry essentials, kitchen gear, and best-selling books
• Perfect for hostess and holiday gifts
Get Cooking
Turn up the flavor and fun in the kitchen with one ready-to-serve Chicken Soup for the Soul chicken noodle soup with tender chunks of chicken; one Signature classic chicken broth to enhance all your dishes; one BBQ-style beef-flavored broth for hearty winter meals; one turkey gravy for savory holiday fare; and one zesty pasta sauce made with imported Italian tomatoes and herbs.
Celebrate moments with a happiness-themed photo frame; and create inspired meals with an apron, oven mitt, potholder set, and two ceramic mugs with matching spoons. Then, treat your friends and family to wonderful recipes from two gift-able eBooks: Chicken Soup for the Soul 20th Anniversary Edition and Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook. You'll also get a fun word puzzle book filled with inspirational quotes and an audio book of the best-selling, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive.

Chicken Soup for the Soul's Website
PAID VALUE EXPIRES ON September 29, 2018

*Just think of all the great gift ideas-I am thinking teacher gifts in addition to the inlaws!* 

Learning fun for home and the classroom!

Have you seen the new LeapReader? It is now available for purchase in most of your favorite stores including our favorites Meijer & Target! The reading and writing system is perfect for ages 4-8 and really keeps kids busy!
This year I will once again be room mom for my junior kindergartner and had the privilege of taking two LeapReaders to school (a big thanks to MomSelect and LeapFrog!) It was a combined class party with twenty four 4-5 year old's that were eager to play and engage while focusing on a frog unit. I thought it would be a great blend into the unit and a perfect station to really see how well the LeapReader worked and held the attention of so many children. So what was the fan favorite? The Monsters University 3D Book! The kids loved the 3D glasses and most took a pair home because the glasses were "magical".
What did the mom's like? The top must have was the Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil and the Talking Words Factory Flash Cards. Everything was such a great mix of play and learning that each of the classrooms is keeping a LeapReader in the classroom for free choice.
I enjoyed watching the children play with each of the activities and "teach" each other how to work the LeapReader. I found it easy to transfer from activity to activity and very easy to use without having to read a huge how to book. We plan to buy little miss one for the holiday and include all the princess books and flashcards. What is your favorite LeapFrog product?

*I have received the LeapFrog products to host a sponsored classroom party. All opinions are my own*

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Living Social Deal-think holiday present!

Have you seen this deal on Living Social

It is a fantastic Chicken Soup for the Soul $130 prize pack for $29! I know I will be buying a few for the the inlaws and hard to buy Christmas presents!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fall Fashion for Less!

If you have been following for some time you would know that I an obsessed with Meijer! When we first moved to our current home I never heard of the store and not open to trying something new...flash forward three years and I would not shop anywhere else! You have already me rave about the free cookies for the kids at the bakery which is a great way to start a drama free shopping trip and Sandy the horse the end (only a penny to ride!) for those who behaved while shopping. EVERYONE in my family loves Meijer so with fall approaching I decided to dive in a little deeper and explore the women's clothes. 
Now I have not really added much to my wardrobe in two years because I really did not want my "nice" clothes being ruined by a messy toddler. All this did was get me used to dressing in comfy clothes that really were not flattering or helped me feel good about myself. In that time because everything stretched I gained some weight and am happy to be back on track to a healthy life.
 Meijer has created a Fall Lookbook which showcases some of the exciting Fall fashion offerings available at Meijer to show how you can get on-trend items for less. I am in love with the back of this shirt- absolutely love simple colors with detail!

 I went to Meijer armed with a $50 gift card and $5 off $50 purchase thanks to MPerks. Here is what I came up with:

 Outfit #1: Jeans from Meijer ($12 on sale!), Shirt was on sale for $10 and boots I found in my closet. I absolutely love the detail on the shirt and how it really adds to the look without being crazy in your face. I also like that I can pair this with black pants and wear to work with a simple black bead necklace! 

Outfit #2: My one goal was to add some color to my wardrobe. I wear a TON of black and white and really wanted to get some color that would blend with things I already own. Jeans are from Mejer ($12 and super comfy), White tank from my closet, green long flowing cardigan from Meijer (love that it is the perfect length and make my legs look longer), shoes and necklace from my closet. 

Outfit #3: Jeans ($12 Meijer), Cardigan & shoes from my closet, Ruffle tank from Meijer. I had a hard time passing this one up even though it is black & white! I love how the ruffles move with you and hide any extra you might have around the middle. This is one of the most flattering shirts I have owned in a long time and I like that it is sleeveless so will transition well from season to season. 

Do you love Meijer as much as me? Right now Meijer is hosting a Pinterest contest where pinners have a chance to win one of five $100 gift cards. Pinners simply enter here and pin five items or outfits from the Meijer Fall Fashion board onto any one of their boards. Winners will be chosen the first week of October. You can find more info about the contest on the Meijer Style page. 

Looking forward to seeing your fall styles! 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Is your little one back in school?

Our school year is in full swing and little miss is in junior kindergarten this year! She goes five days a week and even stays for lunch each day which is a bit of an adjustment and although I was a bit sad that summer was over I was also doing a bit of a happy dance thinking of a few hours of freedom each day.....can you relate?
Now this is our third year of school and I had the entire summer off work so it was a bit of a different feeling. I mean my baby was no longer a baby and next year she would be in school full time-that is so hard to imagine! She is such a big girl she even dressed herself for the first day of school....I mean who doesn't want to wear pearls and giant hairbands everyday of their lives:

So I made it the entire first week and then today while working on snack for the class for the week I break down and absolutely loose it! How in the world can this little miracle baby be going to school full time and not need me anymore! Of course I know she needs me and we still will have fun but its not the same as when she was little and I was her number one playmate. Every time I look at her I see this little baby stuck on her belly because she couldn't figure out how to roll over to her stomach. It is hard to believe that she is four and tomorrow I will blink and she will leave us for college....I am by no sense saying life is roses each day but it is the tiny moments you want to reach out and hold on forever.
So back to our snack situation. Does your child's school have a "waste policy"? It is a big thing in Canada and we are starting to receive more pressure to adopt this style of life (no problem for our family since we have been living this way for years). Basically they encourage you to pack your child snacks/lunches that do not have to be thrown away such as sandwich bags and juice boxes. I will reveal a ton of great ways we have been saving money over the years with these products but I want to tell you a little about the new and improved Squeez'Ems Reusable Food Pouch:
This is one of my favorites for lunch time because little miss loves fruit purees but not so much whole fruits. For example if an apple is brown of a banana is mushy she will not eat it or even think about touching it. To make sure we are using all of the fruit in our house and that she is getting the best of the best we started "fruit salad Sunday". On Sunday we go and get her favorite fruits and get out the Magic Bullet. She then picks out five combinations and we blend each with a bit of vanilla yogurt. This is such an amazing "trick" because she will ALWAYS eat what she thinks she "cooked" herself. Here is one of our new favorite recipes:

Raspberry Applesauce Pouches:
(Makes about 3 pouches) 
2 Cups Applesauce (I use the no sugar added if I am already using a sweet fruit)
2 ounces raspberries pureed (I use my Magic Bullet but sometimes I will have her smash them in a plastic bag to make her feel more involved)

*Note the best part of mashing the fruit in a plastic bag is you can easily cut off the corner and transfer to the pouches with little mess*

So far lunch has been a complete success-not only are we saving a ton of money by NOT having to buy a bunch of those fruit pouches that are so pricey but I know exactly what is going into her lunch. She loves that the pouch is just like the throw away pouches-it has an easy twist on cap and the other side has a clear window so you can tell when you are getting to the end of the pouch. All in all this first week of packing lunches has been a success-stay tuned for my tutorial on making your own peanut butter and jelly uncrustables!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A new blog and a new me!

So I want to start off by apologizing to all you for my extended absence. During the past few weeks I was sick then got into a bit of a funk and really started to think. Many of you who have been with me from the beginning remember why I started this blog-a place to vent and really express who I was and coping with being a mom with a long distance family. Over the years I have tried to find you the best contests and prizes which comes with a lot of wheeling and dealing and led to a review/giveaway blog. Although I love all the prizes and the feedback on how great your children/partner/family loved the prize I realize I have lost the personal connection. During the next few months be prepared for a slow change-more personal content and a ton of pictures! Here is a to finding myself again and to getting to know more of you personally!

Excited to be back!