Monday, February 27, 2012

Busy Morning? Start With a Smoothie! (Mmmmm, Recipes!)

I've been on a bit of a healthy kick lately, so this week my focus is on some fabulous smoothie recipes I found on Pinterest. Somewhat healthy and packed with goodness, these three are on my to-make list sometime this week!
Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

Anti-Cancer Banana Berry Breakfast Shake - Sign me up! Antioxidant rich and DELISH!

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

Spinach Smoothie Recipe - Mmmmm, green goodness!

Banana Almond Smoothie - with flax seed, honey and other ingredients you don't have to feel guilty about!

Follow Me on Pinterest

I'm linking up this post to Pinterest Monday over on Musings From a Stay At Home Mom blog. Check it out, find some more great pins, and link up your own post!


New WINNERS Announcement!

The winner of the Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery giveaway is...

Rafflecopter Entry #583, Rebecca S.!

The winner of the Betty Lukens giveaway is...

Rafflecopter Entry #819, Lisa W.!

Congratulations! You have each been contacted via email!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cool New Product - Zipit Bedding! Review & Giveaway Ends 3/9

(Zipit Bedding is available on!)

Zipit Bedding is a Mom-invented unique solution for easy bed-making for parents and kids alike. It's a comforter and fitted sheet that zip together, making it a breeze to make the bed look neat and tidy within just seconds. The matching pillowcase completely zips open so you can just place the pillow inside and zip it back up! It's actually the world’s 1st all-in-one zippered bedding! Zipit Bedding is practically like a sleeping bag. In fact, the inspiration for Zipit Bedding was one of the inventors seeing her kids zip up a sleeping bag so easily at a young age, but weren't able to effectively make their own beds. Check out this video to get a better idea of how it works.

(This video is hilarious! It totally reminds me of an "As Seen On TV" commercial only this product works!)

The video shows it best, but basically you have a fitted sheet and on the 2 longest sides there are parallel zippers on each side that run almost the whole length of the bed. The comforter has the other side to these zippers so each side can zip up to create a cozy sleeping bag type of environment. All while giving you plenty of options if you choose to keep one side unzipped while sleeping, or just half way. The magic comes when you make the bed and see how easy it is that anyone can do it! Just zip and go! No messy, twisted sheets to deal with either. It's so easy and works great for bunk beds, murphy beds, trundle beds, air beds, RV beds too.

 You know the scratchy comforters and sheets you sometimes run into when you decide to buy the cheaper bedding? I know I've made that mistake before. Zipit Bedding is soft and clearly made using high quality materials. I found the quality to be exceptional and I'm very impressed actually. I wasn't expecting the reinforced, detailed stitching everywhere which really increases the durability aspect of zipping and unzipping. Very nicely done!

A problem I often have with my son is that he gets too hot at night. He's always been a hot body, and a major sweaty boy. I was initially  worried that there isn't a top sheet under the comforter for warmer nights when just the sheet up to the armpits and a comforter to the waist is perfect for him. The comforter is the same cotton print as the sheets on the underside, and polyester navy on the top, with a synthetic polyester fill in between. I was really worried about air flow and breathability of the comforter, but surprisingly Buddy slept through the entire night and wasn't sweaty the next morning. I think Zipit Bedding has really found the perfect thickness for the comforter that works for varying temperatures. I really like the designer print too. It doesn't scream "little kids ONLY" and it's sophisticated enough I think teenagers and adults would be okay with it too.  
 What I loved...
  • SO easy (and fun? yes!) to make the bed. Just pop on the fitted sheet! Seriously, this saves me 10 minutes by not having to do my normal perfectionist-style bed making!
  • By keeping the side next to the wall zipped almost all the way at night, and the other side mostly open, Buddy stays cool (and avoids overheating) but can still easily find the comforter if he throws it off and then gets cold later. 
  • Again, perfect for my hot body child...the very end of the bed is open with no zipper to close so their is adequate airflow.
  • The comforter STAYS tucked in on the side next to the wall since it's zipped! Seriously, that is fabulous! (totally a pet peeve of mine and the reason Buddy wakes up when he's cold--he can't find the covers he threw off at the end of the bed!)
  • The elastic around the bottom of the fitted sheet is not only quite wide, but it also goes all the way around - not just at the corners like most sheets. This helps keep the sheet where it should be and it doesn't ride up.
  • The pocket, oh the pocket!! Buddy insists on bringing little cars or toys to bed but frequent loses them in the night and wakes up very upset when he can't find them. He loves his special pocket! (and so does mama!!) This would also be great for an iPhone, iPod, retainer or anything you might put on your nightstand. 
  • Double-sided zipper making it easy to zip or unzip from in bed already. 
  • Best of all, Buddy can make his own bed (with a smile on his face!).

What I didn't love so much...

  • The initial first wash caused lint to cover the blue comforter and all the sheets. I think some of the synthetic filling made it's way out of the quilted squares and contributed to all the lint! I just used a lint roller and it all came off.
  • The initial wash also caused most of the squares in the middle of the comforter to bunch up, so the bed looks a little lumpy. However, the comforter is on the thin side anyway so it's not a big deal. The sides didn't come out lumpy, just the top.
  • The fitted sheet could be cut to go a little lower around the sides to adequately fit just under the mattress. Although I can't say for sure, I think drying on high heat may have cause the fitted sheet to shrink a bit (it's not a tall mattress at all either).

Despite the very small things I mentioned above, this is truly a very well thought out product that could save a lot of mamas from pulling their hair out! Zipit Bedding will revolutionize the way your kids feel about tidying their bed, AND help mom save valuable time.

Connect with Zipit Bedding on Facebook and Twitter!

Price: Twin - $129.99 & Full - $139.99

Buy It: Zipit Bedding is available on!

Win It!
One winner will receive their own Zipit Bedding set! 
(Winner can choose color and size - twin or full)

Friday, February 24, 2012

*HOT* NurturMe Organic Baby Food - 48 Pouches Only $21.25 SHIPPED! That's .44/pouch! ($69 Value)

$35 for a 48 Pouch Variety Pack of NurturMe Organic Baby Food - a $69 Value!

This deal is amazing! While this isn't the pouch style with the spout like Plum Organics, this is an excellent price for organic baby food! This brand is now sold at BabiesRUs, and you know it's for A LOT MORE than this price!

Here's how to get this price...get your $5 signup credit through HERE, and 25% off code dallas25, this deal comes out to only $21.25 SHIPPED to your door!  That's .44/pouch!
Deal Details:
  • Limit four per person
  • May not be combined with other offers
  • Orders will be fulfilled via shipping direct to customer
  • Purchase includes shipping and handling
  • Customer shipping address required upon purchase
  • Anticipated delivery estimate: 14 business days
  • Voucher good for NurturMe variety six-pack only
  • Expires 08/01/12

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Kids Crocheted Hats as low as $1 + Shipping (Reg. $18) through TODAY only! (Owls, Monkeys, Skulls, Cats & More!)

The Foundary has a fabulous sale going on right now! They have a bunch of kids and baby (crocheted/knitted?) hats for $11 each today!! BUT, for every friend you refer to just sign up their email (no purchase required), you get an instant $1 credit each (up to $10 credit). That means you can score one of these adorable hats for just $1 plus shipping. What a deal! There are lots more styles on the site so go check it out!

***This deal ends TONIGHT at Midnight EST so don't delay!***

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chick-fil-A Introduces Healthier Kid's Meal Options! Giveaway Ends 3/4 (2 Winners!)

Chick-fil-A has introduced a new nutritious Kid's Meal option...grilled chicken nuggets! This new option for kid's meals is certainly a welcome change from the greasy fried nuggets, and I'm excited that Chick-fil-A has stepped up to help the child obesity crisis in our country too. Compared to an “average” hamburger kid’s meal offered at fast food restaurants, the new Chick-fil-A Kid’s Meal (grilled nuggets [4-count], fruit cup and low fat milk) contains almost 60 percent less calories and an estimated 85 percent less fat. Oh my gosh, thank you Chick-fil-A! They seem to understand that fast food is convenient on occasion for busy moms and truly want to offer healthier choices. This may be one of the most nutritious kid's meal options I've ever seen! They also have some awesome Healthy Kids Tips that you should check out too.

Chick-fil-A is also offering a new side option to their normal fruit cup or fries choices. It's a Buddy Fruits Pure Blended Fruit To Go applesauce! We love fruit pouches in our house. Although this isn't an organic option (well, nothing is in restaurants!), it's a much better option that fries. Besides that, it's not messy, doesn't require a spoon and they taste great also!

It's so ironic that my husband and I were JUST talking about this! We were just saying how we didn't like the kid's meal option of fried, greasy nuggets for kids, especially when we we're getting their healthier, grilled Chargrilled Sandwich for ourselves. Just when were about to forgo our frequent trips to Chick-fil-A, we were pleasantly surprised with this new change. Buddy loves the new grilled nuggets and eats them up with a smile! He doesn't miss the greasy nuggets one bit (which are still available if you happen to prefer those). I also like the Buddy Fruit pouch option, but Buddy actually prefers the fruit cup.

Win It!
One winner will receive 4 coupons for a FREE Kid's Meal at Chik-fil-A! 
(Please make sure you have a location near you before you enter.) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

FREE $10 off $10 Code, FREE Shipping (or only $2.22!) & 2 FREE Samples at Vitacost! Organic Food, Burt's Bees, gDiapers, Kashi, Clif Bars & More!

****2/23: If you were unable to place your order yesterday (their site was so SLOW!), you CAN still get the $2.22 shipping or FREE shipping over $22 by calling. This was on their FB: We value all of your comments and input, and we want to make it right! If you were unable to get the 2/22 deal yesterday, call 1-800-793-2061 to place your order and customer service will ensure that you get the deal. So sorry for the inconvenience!

TODAY is the best day to use your $10 off $10 code at Vitacost!! Why??? Because today ONLY, shipping is FREE on orders over $22 (which means just $12+ after your code is applied), or just $2.22 for orders less than that. That means you can get $10 in FREE goodies & 2 samples for as low as $2.22 SHIPPED! (Shipping is normally $4.99, or free over $49)

At, you can buy discounted vitamins, organic and natural groceries, baby toys and accessories, natural household cleaners, toiletries, beauty and other health products. Vitacost sells top brand products at a wholesale discount cost so you're saving 33% - 75% on every product! Don't pay retail, shop at Vitacost!

GO HERE to sign up for your $10 credit! 
 Your unique code should be emailed to you within minutes. If your code doesn't show up, you can also log on to to get your code too.

(((Don't forget, you can also add 2 FREE samples per order too!)))

Here are some HOT deal examples with your FREE $10 credit & $2.22 shipping 
(Keep in mind they have over 30,000 products! Chances are they have your favorites brands!)

Buy 1 - $10 code + $2.22 shipping = $2.22 SHIPPED!
Buy 1 - $10 code + $2.22 shipping = $2.22 SHIPPED!

(Other varieties available like Chocolate Brownie, Peanut Butter, Blueberry and Honey Graham)
Buy 3 boxes - $10 code + $2.22 shipping = $4.88 SHIPPED!
Buy 3 bags - $10 code + $2.22 shipping = $2.99 SHIPPED!

Buy 4 - $10 code + $2.22 shipping = $2.22 SHIPPED!

Buy 1 - $10 code + $2.22 shipping = $5.97 SHIPPED!

Check out my previous scenario posts HERE and HERE for more ideas and hot finds from Vitacost!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sleep Better Tonight with the NightWave & Lark (Review)

I don't always sleep that well at night. Even with the occasional 9-10 hours of sleep, I still feel tired and fatigued. Then I remember I dreamed crazy dreams all night and I end up hoping Buddy will take a midday nap so I can too. Those days are no fun! That's why I was excited to try the NightWave Sleep Assistant and Lark Alarm Clock and Sleep Sensor to see if they would help me at all (and my Hubby too).

 The NightWave Sleep Assistant is a small little device you place next to your bed. Before you try to drift off to sleep, the NightWave will flash a blue light onto the ceiling for 7 minutes. The goal of the NightWave is to help you control your breathing to match the light, and help you relax to fall asleep naturally. This relaxation routine is silent and noninvasive, and for some, should get you ready for sleep relatively easy.

While this is a nice concept, I found that this didn't work for us at all. Granted, we don't have a terrible time actually falling asleep, but this device seemed a bit hypnotic, mesmerizing and just plain annoying (and a bit silly too). I also found that I could slightly see the light through my eyelids on the subsequent nights I wanted to skip the NightWave but my Hubby wanted to use it. I had to shield my eyes! Although this is easy to use and noninvasive, overall this isn't a product my Hubby and I would ultimately recommend as a sleep aid. Instead, try breathing techniques and a warm cup of tea (that's specifically for night time) and achieve the similar results for a lot less money.

The Lark Silent Un-Alarm and Sleep Sensor Alarm Clock is essentially an alarm clock but with some other cool features to connect with your iPhone. The Lark comes with an adjustable wristband and a charging dock (which you can also plug your iPhone into as well - super convenient). The wristband serves as your vibrating alarm clock, as well as a sleep sensor and tracker so you can find out if you're waking at night without knowing (definitely happening for me - loved this feature!). For someone who isn't feeling rested after a full night's sleep (like me!), the Lark is a great tool to help discover what's going on through the sleep data on your iPhone.

The Lark wristband is an alarm clock by vibrating in the morning to gently wake you. While I enjoy this feature when my husband used the Lark as opposed to a classic alarm that always woke me up, it has woken me up a few times also (I think I'm a light sleeper!). The vibration is quiet, though louder than I would have expected. With that said, if your husband is wearing it and you sleep in a bear hug all night long, this will definitely wake you up too. However, the vibration is probably as close to naturally waking up on your own as you can get. It even has a snooze function to let you briefly sleep in. And if for some reason you don't wake up, there is a composer-created audio backup just in case. Although we never needed the audio with using the Lark (I think my Hubby's internal alarm clock gets him up anyway), this is probably a valuable feature for many, especially after a late night with an early wake up in the morning.

One thing we quickly learned is that if you forget to charge the sensor device that goes in the wristband, it takes more than a few hours to charge for the next night. We found that the "ready" light was still red after about an hour of charging and still wasn't ready another two hours later. We didn't risk it and see if the sensor would last through the night but we felt this is a long time to charge. Surely we aren't the only ones that would forget to charge it first thing in the morning! Not to mention the undoing of the velcro wristband. When my Hubby wore the Lark, if I wasn't up when he climbed out of bed, I always woke up from him taking off the wristband. Maybe snaps would be better? Overall, we are enjoying the Lark.

Connect with Best Buy on Facebook and Twitter!

NightWave - $49.99, Lark - $99.99

Buy It:  Check out the for more fantastic products for your kitchen and home!

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned products from Best Buy for free, to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received. This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Yummy Muffin Recipes

 A couple weeks ago I finally joined Pinterest. It was mostly as a result of being curious to see what all the fuss was about! Now I can see what all the hype is and I'm totally inspired! Since I am one that needs to see photos of any type of project or recipe, I've found Pinterest to be a great motivator in trying something new. I'm so impressed what people come up with! I only wish I could be so inventive and creative. For now, I'll definitely settle for finding some amazing "pins" on my new favorite site, and trying my hand at a few in my spare time. Here are a few recipe finds for muffins that I'm looking forward to trying!

Carrot Cake Inside-out Muffins - I'm such a carrot cake ADDICT!
Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

French Breakfast Muffins - Mmmmm, cinnamon, delish!
Source: via Elizabeth on Pinterest

Chunky Chocolate Muffin - Filled with plenty of chocolate!
Source: via Kristine on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

I'm linking up this post to Pinterest Monday over on Musings From a Stay At Home Mom blog. Check it out, find some more great pins, and link up your own post!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

EXTREME Cash Giveaway! 5 Winners - $650 in Cash PLUS a Kodak Camera! Ends 3/15



The last giveaway was a huge success with over 600,000 entries. This time we’re bringing you MORE PRIZES which means MORE CHANCES for YOU to win!

We are giving away:
(1) $300 Paypal Cash prize
(1) $200 Paypal Cash prize
(1) $100 Paypal Cash prize
(1) $50 Paypal Cash prize
(1) Kodak Easyshare Sport Camera

There are lots of entries available and this giveaway will go on for a whole month, so take your time! Be sure to bookmark this page so you can come back every day and claim your daily entries too. 

This giveaway ends 3/15/12 at 11:59 pm EST and is open worldwide. There are over 100 participating blogs, but you only need to enter the giveaway on one of our blogs. Good luck!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Felt Boards from Betty Lukens: Review and Giveaway! Ends 2/26

I've jumped into homeschooling my preschooler with all hands on deck. While it's easy to find lots of resources and curriculum materials on the internet and in various stores, I've found it a bit overwhelming to find easy projects and activities that are relevant to what I'm teaching, have virtually no prep time, and with an easy clean-up too. Some days are just so hard to fit it all in and on those days a painting session is out of the question! With this in mind, I'm so thrilled to share my favorite new find....felt boards from Betty Lukens! They have a large variety of felt activities to choose from including educational to "fun" to Bible -themed as well. You will love the selection and have a hard time just choosing one favorite!
 Betty Lukens very generously sent me 5 felt boards from their Learning Fun with Felt line to check out and review for you. I could hardly wait for them to arrive and see what Buddy thought! (Needless to say, he definitely knows by now that a quick photo with a smile is the fastest way to get to the opening part!) These pre-cut felt boards measure 13" x 15" and include at least 20 pre-cut felt pieces, depending on the set of course. Betty Lukens products are all manufactured right here in the US (wahoo!) and only the highest quality polyester felt is used. 

These educational felt boards from Betty Lukens provide endless hours of creativity and storytelling. Every session is different and the hands-on learn experience is a valuable tool for young children. They are great as a travel toy or for play time at home, preschool and day care. Flannel board sets are also great resources for homeschool and special education. Felt manipulative pieces develop hands-on learning and hand-eye coordination. Inspire creativity with a Learning Fun with Felt set today!

Something I have learned very quickly is that prepping activities for homeschooling your preschooler is A LOT of work since most activities at this age are not boring worksheets. At the same time, activities need to be fun, engaging, colorful, and interactive to keep their attention and actually teach them something in the process. What I absolutely have LOVED about these felt boards is that there is NO prep whatsoever. Just pull one out and have at it! For the two "academic" boards we received I sit with him to teach and direct him as needed. With the 3 "fun" boards he makes each scene however he wants and his imagination just goes wild!

We've started out by doing a pieced-together "Letter of the Week" type homeschool curriculum until we start another program for preschool in the fall with a homeschool group. The Learning Your ABCs board is the one I would highly recommend for all homeschool families. Not only are you able to teach letters, but it's also easy to connect the letter sounds to a brightly colored visual picture and the written word if you choose. Since we are just starting out, we opted for just the picture-matching on this activity for now. This was an excellent way for me to also evaluate where he is right now with letter recognition and sounds. Since it's the entire alphabet, once Buddy puts down pieces he knows best, it's easier for him to narrow down which ones he is not great at yet. He loves the independence he's slowly gaining with this board each times he pulls it out! The board and pieces are also a very nice quality, and will definitely stand the test of durability with a busy toddler or multiple children. 

The felt pieces "stick" well to the felt board which is very convenient. When Buddy picks up a felt board to show me what he created, the felt pieces don't fall off unless he's overly rough and starts to tip it upside down. Clean-up is extremely fast and simple. I love that the contained "mess" really isn't a mess at all! The boards just slide into their own little carrying case with a handle. We took a couple felt boards to Grandma's house last weekend and it couldn't have been any easier! These have proved to be my favorite "toy" for traveling, which we do quite often to visit family.
A couple weeks ago we were finishing up the letter A. One of the themes we had talked about was astronauts so I was excited to receive the Adventures In Space felt board just in time. It really brought the whole concept together full circle in a hands-on way.

Since Buddy enjoys cars and anything that goes, he's been taking the tractor from the Fun On The Farm set and folding the wheels under, pretending the wheels are broken! He makes the animals talk to each other and make their animal sounds too. He has so much fun with these felt boards! They open a whole new avenue of creative play and are an excellent hands-on activity for children. I believe these felt boards are a very powerful tool in teaching your child, especially in the preschool years. These are great gifts for kids birthdays, and would certainly be appreciated by the recipients' parents too!

Price: Each set I received is $16.99 each

Buy It: Check out to buy today!

Win It!
One winner will receive one felt board from Betty Lukens!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dale and Thomas Popcorn WINNER!

The winner of the Dale and Thomas Popcorn giveaway is...

Rafflecopter Entry #503, Kristie N!

Congratulations! You have been contacted via email!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tea Collection: Get Set For Spring Sweepstakes (through 2/12) & 10% Off Discount!

Tea Collection has introduced their new collection, inspired by Bali! They are currently running the Get Set For Spring Sweepstakes through Sunday, 2/12- one grand prize winner a wardrobe set and a $250 Tea gift certificate! What are you waiting for!?! It's super quick and easy to enter. You never know, you just might get lucky and win some super awesome clothes for your kiddo!

If you can't resist ordering now after checking out the new Bali collection (and sales too!), you can also snag 10% off your first order by signing up for email updates on their homepage!