Monday, March 31, 2014

Purex Crystals Limited Edition Fabulously Fresh - Review and Giveaway

I received product for review from Purex. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.
I usually use dryer sheets when doing laundry, not liquid fabric softener. It's mainly due to the fact that I don't want to have to worry about going back to my washing machine to add the liquid softener. I have enough on my plate to remember, without having to remember that. Purex has made that step easy with their Purex Crystals. These tiny crystals are added to the start of the wash, along with the laundry detergent.

Purex Crystals was first released in December 2010. It can now be found in major retailers. There are a variety of scents, with a new limited edition scent of Fabulously Fresh. Purex Crystals are 87% natural, so instead of coating fabrics with oil, they work by penetrating the fabric and infusing fibers with freshness that lasts. It is also the first major fabric softener that is 100% safe to use on children's sleepwear as it does not impair flame retardant qualities.

The lid on top of each bottle has measuring guides for how much Purex Crystals is to go in each load. Once you've measured the amount needed, the crystals are dumped into the washing machine. They immediately dissolve once water touches them and infuse your clothes with a fresh scent. The new Purex Crystals Limited Edition Fabulously Fresh crystals are green in color and the bottle has a pretty spring flower scene.

I absolutely like this product and the feminine scent. I'm thrilled that I can add it in the beginning of my wash and not have to do anything else with it. There's no need to use dryer sheets; this softener works on keeping my clothes static-free and smelling good. A closure that snaps in place ensures that the crystals do not spill if the bottle falls over. The only problem I've had is that sometimes the lid does not always stay on securely. But, other than that, Purex Crystals softens my clothes and makes them smell good.
Win It!

One person will win two free product coupons for Purex Crystals Limited Edition Fabulously Fresh.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes - Review

I received product for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.
My beauty routine is, well, routine. I shower every other day and use a face wash to remove dirt and makeup. During the days I don't shower or I need to remove makeup and dirt for any other reason, I use facial cleansing towelettes. I've learned that, unfortunately, not all facial cleansing towelettes are the same. Through trial and error, I've learned to look for towelettes that are effective in wiping away all makeup and dirt, don't irritate the skin, and are made of cloth that holds.

Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes - Pink Grapefruit are specially crafted for normal to oily skin to cleanse away pore-clogging dirt, oil, and makeup. They're gentle enough for daily use, even on acne-prone skin. Each towelette is formulated with Pink Grapefruit Extract.

Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes pass my quality check test. I'm able to get rid of all the day's gunk from my face by using one towelette. The pink grapefruit smell is uplifting and the cloth doesn't easily tear. The package has a resealable plastic tab so the cloths don't dry out. Best of all, the towelettes are 99.1% natural, so I'm not putting a bunch of added chemicals on my face.

RealBeanz Iced Coffee - Review

I received products for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

I'll admit, I've never tried iced coffee. Usually when I drink coffee it's hot and black, with nothing added. I was recently able to experience RealBeanz and can now say that I've had iced coffee, and I like it.

RealBeanz iced coffee uses premium coffee beans and wholesome ingredients. The beverage is low in calories, with no artificial flavorings, colorings, sweeteners or preservatives. RealBeanz also contains vitamins and potent herbs for the best in health and flavor.

RealBeanz flavors include:

Cappuccino/Energize for a whirlwind of flavor, aroma and frenetic energy.

Caramel/Focus for a sharp beverage that cuts through the clutter and delivers brain-boosting benefits.

Mocha/Resist loaded with powerful ingredients that will undoubtedly add a boost to your body’s immune system and taste buds too.

Decaf Vanilla Nut/Relax made with naturally-calming herbs to soothe feelings of nervousness brought on by everyday stresses.

Diet Cappuccino/Trim & Fit enhanced with proven nutraceuticals that help burn body fat and increase lean muscle.

Cappuccino with Coconut Water/Refresh made with indulgent ingredients filled with electrolytes and key nutrients for hydration.

Dark Roast with Coconut Water/Refresh made with rich ingredients containing electrolytes and key nutrients for hydration.
I tasted three available RealBeanz flavors - Decaf Vanilla Nut/Relax, Diet Cappuccino/Trim & Fit, and Dark Roast with Coconut Water/Refresh. RealBeanz iced coffee tastes best when refrigerated, so I first let them sit in the fridge for a few days before drinking. Aside from the good taste, RealBeanz uses different ingredients in each drink to help you throughout the day. I honestly don't know enough myself to say how beneficial the product is in terms of helping you relax, refresh, focus, or the other things they claim to do. I do know enough, however, to say I like all three flavors I tried. The tastes were distinctive.

Decaf Vanilla Nut/Relax has a creamy vanilla taste. It is infused with chamomile, lemon balm, and passion flower. Diet Cappuccino/Trim & Fit tastes like cappuccino and is infused with fiber, chromium, and CLA. By visiting the RealBeanz website, you can view each product and learn more about what ingredients are in each can and why they are beneficial for that particular coffee. Of the three I tried, Dark Roast with Coconut Water/Refresh was my favorite. It had a bold coffee taste with a hint of coconut. For me, RealBeanz is a good energy boost when I am at work or before roller derby practice.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Master Lock Eases Tax Season Stress With Sweepstakes and Tips For Organized Filing - Giveaway

I will be receiving product for review. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ. Master Lock is not a legal, tax or accounting advisor, and the information in this post should not be construed as legal, tax or accounting advice. Master Lock recommends that consumers consult a professional advisor for advice concerning specific tax or other matters.

On average, Americans spend 13 hours filing their taxes, and nearly half of that time is dedicated to record keeping. Master Lock is providing consumers with tips to make filing less taxing this year, which include how to go digital with documents, password storage and more.

One of these tools is the Master Lock Vault, a safe and secure online storage and organization system. As an added bonus for taxpayers this year, consumers across the U.S. (and Canada) will have a chance to win one of five, $1,000 prizes when they register for a Vault account as part of the Master Lock “Tax Relief Rewards” Sweepstakes.

Follow these five tips to help you get organized to file your taxes this season:

1. Get your wages in order.

When the new year rolls around, begin thinking about your past year's employment. Whether you're self-employed, an independent contractor or an employee, there are certain forms you need to submit to properly file your income. Employers are required to provide all employees a Form W-2 showing how much was earned, how much was taxable and what taxes were withheld from your wages. If you have more than one job, a Form W-2 is required from each employer. However, if you're an independent contractor a Form 1099 is required from companies you worked for to show gross earnings. Those who are self-employed require a bit more work. Before filing, make sure all receipts and documentation for business-related expenses are in order -- mileage records, office equipment and supplies, utility bills, etc.

2. Go digital.

Avoid the mess of a mound of paperwork from income wages, to auto and home loans, gifts to charity and more by storing -- and organizing -- all of your tax-related documents digitally. Scan documents and upload as you go through your paperwork, then shred and recycle the hard copies. Even if you opt to keep hard copies, a digital back-up is an important safeguard should your paper documents ever be lost, misplaced, stolen or damaged. By utilizing a free, secure service such as the Master Lock Vault (www.masterlockvault.com) you'll have easy access to all of your files wherever you are. Not only can you upload PDF forms, but you can upload photos from your phone of important receipts and expenses for your records. All data is instantly synchronized between the website and the App. Bonus: securely store log-in information for your bank accounts and tax filing site in the Master Lock Vault so you'll never have to worry about forgetting your username or password.

3. Devise a filing system.

Whether you've upgraded to a digital storage solution or are preparing your hard copies for the switch, it's important to decide how to group your paperwork and documents together -- digitally or physically. It's helpful to group all income statements, documents and necessary forms together as well as paid invoices or other evidence of income. Next, all your deductions should be stored in one place -- mortgage interest payments, property taxes, charitable gifts and medical bills. Finally, keep track of and file or scan all receipts in one place and organize your receipts by type, for example: bills, travel, utilities, insurance, fuel costs, etc. Most importantly, once you devise a filing system, remember to do the easiest thing -- use it!

4. Decide how to file.

If you choose to do your own taxes, deciding on a software service can be difficult, and for married or recently married couples, deciding to file jointly or separately can be a hard decision. However, one of the more important decisions is whether or not to electronically file. With U.S. e-filing becoming more and more popular, faster, safer and generally more convenient than paper, the biggest benefit to electronic filing is that you will receive a confirmation within 24 hours that the IRS has received your tax return. The confirmation can give many taxpayers a sigh of relief knowing that the IRS has received it, accepted it and is beginning to process your paperwork. If something goes wrong, a rejection will be sent within 24 hours and will tell you how to fix it. What's more is that when you electronically file, the IRS issues refunds within 21 days if you're eligible for one. For more information on how to electronically file, visit: http://www.irs.gov/Filing.

5. Prepare for next year.

Once you've nailed down a filing system, remember to think taxes year-round. It's much easier to pick up already-filed papers or digital folder than go through billing statements, piles of papers and online accounts to gather your documents for next year. It's also important to keep up with changes in tax laws for the new tax year to ensure your documents are in line. If you use a tax preparer, now might be the time to discuss where you could net out next year. Changes in marital status or dependents may impact what you could expect to pay or receive as a refund next year, and if you're self-employed or handle accounting for a business, now might be the time to make a major purchase or sell equipment.
Win It!

One person will win a Master Lock 7148D Document Storage Box.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

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SampleSource - Samples To Try Before You Buy

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
There are a few brands and products I'm extremely loyal to but, for the most part, I like to try new things and see what's on the market. There's always the "new and improved" and "bigger and better". One way that a company is more likely to lure me in with their products is by allowing me to try them first via free samples.

I recently learned of a company that lets you "Try Before You Buy" - SampleSource. By simply signing up and becoming a free member, SampleSource will give you the opportunity to select new products you'd like to try. That, in turn, helps consumers make smarter shopping decisions for themselves and their families. The sign-up process is easy and takes only a few minutes. The company never uses your information to spam you or sell to anyone. The questionnaire simply helps them determine what kinds of samples you'd like so you're offered what works for you and your family and the company can secure more samples like those you want.

Emails are sent out from time to time to everyone registered on the website, letting them know when samples are available. Folks then log on, log in, and start choosing the items they want. Each available sample is posted with a photo and descriptive information. There is no limit to how many different samples can be requested and there is no cost for shipping or to try the products out. Follow-up emails arrive on products received, inviting folks to share their thoughts on the products. Participation is entirely voluntary.


I signed up as a member of SampleSource and received my first box of samples within a week. In it was a trial size tube of Colgate toothpaste, Colgate mouthwash, and Tums Freshers. Also included were a couple of coupons. I've used all the samples received in the box and like them. But even if I wouldn't have cared for anything in the box, there's no harm, no foul because I received the samples for free.

If being able to get free samples by signing up for free is your thing, I definitely encourage you to sign up for SampleSource. There's nothing to lose. Just some awesome sample products to gain, and all for FREE!

Friday, March 28, 2014

DRDC Trivia Night


Last Friday night the roller derby team hosted a Trivia Night. Rather than work the event, I got a team together and played. It was my first time for playing at an "official" trivia event. Me, my oldest daughter, my husband, my supervisor and his lady made up the Quincy Quizzers.

Several categories were covered, with some including Roller Derby, Famous Nicknames, Viral Videos (I hated that one!), 80s movies, and more. If it would've been a test I was taking on my own I would've failed miserably. But collectively, my team did an alright job. We earned 5th place out of eight teams. Not good, but not bad.

I have no idea who those guys were but they had my kind of refreshments. Jagermeister and Red Bull. What more could a person want?! I held restraint and didn't stalk them for a drink.


Unicorn Massacre was the winning team. Monies raised from the event go towards our roller derby team to donate to charities. Although my Super Brain didn't hold full power that night, my husband did win a steel roller skate painted in black.
Have you ever played at a Trivia Night event? What categories do you fare well in?

Amazing News For These March Winners

Several of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn. The winners have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification or new winner(s) will be drawn.

The winner of The Shape Family Babies book giveaway is #244, Susan S.

The winner of the A Cool Summer Tail book giveaway is #28, VickeC.

The winner of the Biore giveaway is #603, Charlene S.

The winner of the Veronica Mars DVD giveaway is #380, Tim M.

The winner of the Red Cup Living giveaway is #128, abfantom.

The winner of The King of Comedy Blu-ray giveaway is #410, Tammy.

The winner of the Against the Wild DVD giveaway is #348, Lisa P.

The winner of the $25 VIsa Gift Card giveaway is #89, ababe28.

The winner of the Mrs. Meyer's giveaway is #703, Serenap95.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered. Be sure to check out and enter my current active giveaways, all listed at the top left hand side of my blog. There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Express Your PEEPSonality This Easter

I received products for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

“The flowers were budding, the grass emerged from snow, and winter was finally coming to a close.

All of the kids played outside once more, while thoughts of spring-time chores went right out the door.

Meanwhile, back in Bethlehem, PA, the Easter Bunny was becoming busier by the day.

But today was one of the most important of them all, as the PEEPS® gathered ‘round, some stout and some tall.

They met to discuss their mission this year, a big responsibility which was sure to bring cheer.

The messenger PEEPS® assured they were ready to go, and off they travelled to various homes.

The PEEPS® were ready to watch over kids everywhere and report back whether each child had earned their Easter basket share.

And for all the young boys and girls who do behave, their PEEPS® will ensure their baskets are filled with the marshmallow treats they crave.”


A girl at work told me the other day she'd never had PEEPS. My jaw about hit the floor! How can one go through life without knowing the deliciousness that is PEEPS?! I changed that one up real quick and offered the girl a PEEPS Marshmallow Bunny. Her life is now complete.

PEEPS are a representation of the good of Easter. The delicious marshmallow treats have always been a staple in my children's Easter baskets. Although my kids are older and don't believe in all aspects of the "magic" of Easter, they still love to receive baskets filled with goodies. For fun, I've brought a yellow PEEPS® plush into the Easter festivities this year. It's been specially trained to help provide a watchful eye for the Easter Bunny as he prepares baskets brimming with marshmallow PEEPS® on Easter morning. It goes along with the same concept as the infamous shelf-sitting elf tradition. PEEPS plush roams the house, high and low, keeping an eye on the kids to make sure they're behaved enough for Easter baskets filled with wonderful goodies, including PEEPS sweet treats. I, for one, already know I'm going to be extra good because I can't imagine going without PEEPS during the Easter holiday.


PEEPS Marshmallow Chicks have always been a fave but I was delighted to know that PEEPS has other varieties available for Easter. They are available nationwide through food, mass and candy retailers in the seasonal candy section.

PEEPS Party Cake Flavored Marshmallow Chicks - Ten delicious vanilla cake flavored marshmallow chicks sprinkled with fun rainbow confetti

PEEPS Marshmallow Chicks - Fluffy chick-shaped marshmallows that have been a fan favorite for more than 60 years. Available in five, ten and fifteen count packages and in colors yellow, purple, pink, orange, green and blue

PEEPS Marshmallow Bunnies - These sweet and fluffy treats are sure to get your taste buds hopping. Available in four, twelve, and sixteen count packages and in colors yellow, purple, pink, orange, green and blue.

PEEPS Chocolate Dipped Marshmallow Chicks - Three marshmallow chicks dipped in either creamy milk or dark chocolate

PEEPS Chocolate Dipped Mousse Flavored Marshmallow Chicks - Three delectable chocolate mousse-flavored marshmallow chicks dipped in either creamy milk or dark chocolate

PEEPS Chocolate Mousse Flavored Marshmallow Bunnies - Hop into spring with eight delectable chocolate mousse-flavored marshmallow bunnies.

PEEPS Large Marshmallow Bunnies - One or three large marshmallow bunnies adorned with a bowtie and decorative carrot

PEEPS Chick in a Hollow Milk Chocolate Egg - One classic yellow marshmallow chick inside of a hollow creamy milk chocolate egg. The egg is wrapped in either decorative blue or pink foil.

PEEPS Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Chicks - Individually wrapped marshmallow chicks covered in either milk or dark chocolate

PEEPS Peepsters - Bite-size combination of delectable chocolate and delicious marshmallow flavored creme. Available in creamy milk chocolate or rich dark chocolate varieties.

PEEPS Rainbow Pop - Four chicks in colors yellow, green, pink and ble marshmallow on a stick - it's like a colorful PEEPS lollipop.

PEEPS Sugar-Free Marshmallow Chicks - Three yellow marshmallow chicks offer a sugar-free alternative to the Easter favorite.

I love that the classic iconic PEEPS has come out with new additions, without compromising the already great taste. PEEPS can serve as Easter basket essentials, colorful additions to baked goods, and adorable accents to art projects and decorations. The tasteful sweetness of PEEPS makes me almost wish it was Easter all year long.

What's your favorite PEEPS product? Which new variety are you most excited to try? Which do you prefer - the chicks or the bunnies?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mendon 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament


Logan, the all-around sports kid, participated in a 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament Saturday. With the exception of roller derby, sports have never been my thing. But I'm all for supporting my kids and Logan loves sports of all kinds.

Logan, along with three of his friends, purchased customized socks and jerseys for the event. They dubbed themselves the "Bird City Ballers". None used their real names, but instead used names of birds. Logan was "Parrot" because he talks so much.

The socks were wicked cool. And super expensive. Each kid wore a pair representing a snack food company. Logan's was Andy Capp socks.

The boys played twice and lost both times. It wasn't their best. But they had fun, and that's what counts. They'll be playing in another tournament in just a few days. And yes, I'll be there cheering on my boy.

Kali's Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

I received book for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Follow the rescue of orphaned polar bear Kali (pronounced Cully) from the Inupiat village of Kali (Point Lay in English) to the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage to his new home at the Buffalo Zoo in New York with Luna, a female polar bear. This photographic journey beautifully captures the remarkable development of the cub, who initially drinks from a baby bottle, sucks his paw for comfort, and sleeps with a “blankie” as he rapidly grows into the largest land carnivore on earth.

My Review:

Kali is a real polar bear who is left behind when its mother dies. This is an adorable story of the orphaned polar bear who gets rescued. The photos of Kali playing, eating, and swimming will melt your heart. The 'For Creative Minds' section in the back of the book teaches about how polar bears are adapted for life in the Arctic, a polar bear life cycle, and polar bear math.

Kali's Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue is a Spring 2014 release by Arbordale Publishing.

Win It!

One person will win a book copy of Kali's Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Animal Helpers: Aquariums - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

I received book for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Where else could you stay dry while visiting aquatic animals from around the world? Only in an aquarium can you visit and learn about all these different local and exotic animals. Aquarium staff care for and teach about these animals, as well as work to conserve and protect threatened and endangered species. Follow this behind-the-scenes photographic journal as it leads you into the wondrous world of aquariums and the animal helpers who work there.

My Review:

I've only visited a couple aquariums in my lifetime and they fascinate me. I liked being able to see animals on a more intimate level. Animal Helpers: Aquariums is a book with realistic photos that show what an aquarium is, what animals and fish are kept there, and what kind of people work there. Each creature in the book has a tagline so children can identify the animals. The 'For Creative' Minds section in the back of the book has a 'Match the Animal' that lets children match the animal to the description. It also details aquarium jobs, has animal fun facts, and a true or false query.

Animal Helpers: Aquariums is a Spring 2014 release by Arbordale Publishing.

Win It!

One person will win a book copy of Animal Helpers: Aquariums.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Quaker Breakfast Shakes - #QuakerShakes Review and Coupon

I received products and compensation for this post from Quaker. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research befoer purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.


I work the overnights as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher. I usually get hungry a couple of hours before it's time to clock out but don't want to fill up on a hearty breakfast because I usually go to bed right after I get home. Because of that, I tend to eat a light meal that will give me needed nutrition but not extra calories.

Quaker has come out with three new delicious breakfast shakes that are ideal for me to drink in the mornings when I'm at work. With each shake being 200 calories, they consist of 10g of Protein, 8g of Whole Grains, 6g of Fiber. The three flavors available are chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. I was able to try the first two.



Quaker Breakfast Shakes come in bottles with twist-off lids, and the bottles are convenient for portability. Each bottle is a little over 11 ounces. The shakes need to be refrigerated after opening if you don't drink it all at once. I prefer my shakes cold to begin with so I put them in the fridge to chill before drinking.

I love the tast of Quaker Breakfast Shakes. They're not too sweet and have the right consistency of thickness. They're not gritty and don't have an unusual aftertaste. I have a feeling of fullness after drinking one of these shakes, so I don't usually have the desire to grab something else to eat with it. Even if I do, it's not a large meal because I've gotten some satisfaction from the shake. I'm not so sure I'll purchase the vanilla flavored shake because I usually don't get that flavor any other time from any other brand, but I'll definitely be purchasing chocolate and strawberry Quaker Breakfast Shakes in the future to drink while at work or right after roller derby practice.

I encourage you to print the $2 off coupon, then try the Quaker Breakfast Shakes for yourself.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Animal Takeover of My Bed


I'll take the blame; it's all my fault. From the day we first brought Helen home as a pup just a couple months ago, I've let her sleep on my bed. It was all so cute at first, until she started growing. And she keeps growing, and growing. By the time she's done, she'll be the size of a small horse. And she's already taken over a large section of the bed.

Just when it doesn't get any worse, Shelby's cat has now taken residence on our bed. The dog and cat fight like, well, cats and dogs. UNTIL it's time to go to sleep. Then they're the best of buds and have no problem taking up sleeping space on my bed. It's a conspiracy theory, I tell ya!

Me and Jason are now guests of our own bed. We have to make way and try to find what little space we can to lay down. We wake up with kinks and krooks in our necks. All for the love of our animals.

Four New Preschool DVD Releases - Giveaway

 I received no compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Spring into Fun with Your Lil’ Ones!

For the first time, Animal Mechanicals, Bo on the Go and Monster Math Squad bring interactive adventures, exciting discoveries and irresistible fun to DVD.

Animal Mechanicals

Currently airing on The Hub, Animal Mechanicals encourages young viewers to help solve challenges with the Animal Mechanicals Team of transforming superheroes. Children will enjoy over 6 hours of teamwork, problem solving and adventure.

Bo on The Go

Get up and go with Bo as she leads kids through active adventures in over 9 hours of Bo on the Go. The program promotes an active lifestyle by linking physical activity to the storyline and encourages kids to use movements like running, jumping and galloping in order to save the day.

Monster Math Squad

Math is fun with over 6 hours and 33 episodes of the lovable monsters using their skills of counting, measuring, sizing and sorting to help other monsters in trouble and make new friends along the way.

Dennis the Menace

The most lovable troublemaker, Dennis the Menace, is back in this hilarious 33 episode collection.

Win It!

One person will win four DVDs that include:

Animal Mechanicals - Volume One

Bo on the Go - Volume One

Monster Math Squad - Volume One

Dennis the Menace - Volume One

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

I received book for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Snails and sea slugs use Sea Slime. But, did you know that coral and clownfish need slime too? Marine scientist Ellen Prager takes us deep into the sea to introduce us to fascinating and bizarre animals that use slime to capture their food, protect themselves from harm, or even move from place to place in their underwater environment.

My Review:

This is a fascinating book about sea creatures who use slime to protect, move, and more. Children learn about a variety of creatures, including squid, snails, and moray eels. In addition, they learn how the creatures use slime in their environment. The 'For Creative Minds' section in the back of the book has a true or false questionnaire about slimy animals, a section on why animals use slime, information on lifestyles of the wet and slimy, and a recipe on how to make your own slime.

Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea is a Spring 2014 release from Arbordale Publishing.

Win It!

One person will win a book copy of Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 23, 2014

First Fire: A Cherokee Folktale - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

I received book for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Why are ravens black? Why do screech owl eyes look red in light? How did we get fire? You’ll find the answers to those questions in this retelling of a Cherokee pourquoi folktale. The earth was cold and dark but the animals could see fire coming from the tree on the island. They tried to fly or swim to the island to bring back the fire heat and light. What happened to some of the animals? Which animal brought it back and how?

My Review:

Indian folklore interests me and the tale of how fire was first brought to living creatures is appealing. Told as a tale by Cherokee people, First Fire: A Cherokee Folktale illustrates snakes, birds, spiders, and owls as they all try to bring the first fire to their habitat. It also explains, in theory, why some animals have the markings that they do. The 'For Creative Minds' section in the back of the book covers three subjects - Cherokee people, fires, and water spiders.

First Fire: A Cherokee Folktale is a Spring 2014 release from Arbordale Publishing.
Win It!

One person will win a book copy of First Fire: A Cherokee Folktale.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Beaver's Busy Year - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

I received book for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Along a stream a dam pops out of the water. Beavers are busy at work! These aquatic mammals have unique traits that aid them in building the perfect lodge to raise young beavers and keep predators away. Mary Holland’s vibrant photographs document the beavers’ activities through the course of a year. Do these beavers ever take a break? Follow along as they pop through the winter ice to begin the busy year of eating bark, building dams and gathering food just in time for winter to come again.

My Review:

I know a little bit about beavers but they aren't animals I've ever necessarily been interested in. I will say, however, that The Beaver's Busy Year is a book that covers a lot of interesting information about the habits and behaviors of beavers. The realistic illustrations show beavers as they gather food, build dams, and more. The 'For Creative' Minds section in the back of the book is thorough in teaching about Beaver Signs, Beavers as Habitat Engineers, Dam Building, Beaver Pond Wildlife, and Beaver Tails.

The Beaver's Busy Year is a Spring 2014 release from Arbordale Publishing.

Win It!

One person will win a book copy of The Beaver's Busy Year.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Colgate Optic White - Review and Giveaway

I received products for review from Colgate-Palmolive. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.
Colgate has just announced a brand new whitening regimen that will help you achieve whiter teeth in just one day. Using the full line of Optic White Toothpaste, Mouthwash and the new Toothbrush + Whitening Pen you can achieve your gorgeous smile in just one day.

I'm not vain but teeth and eyes are the first thing I tend to notice about a person. I love the beauty of white teeth and a nice smile. I also know the confidence that comes about from a pretty smile. I have false uppers and for the longest time, before getting them put in place, I never smiled. Because of what I've been through, I take extra care of my bottom, natural teeth. I also make sure my children (tweens and teens) don't skimp on oral hygiene practices.

Shelby, who will soon be 20 years old, always gets complimented on her good looks. I may be bias, but I agree she's a pretty girl. She has a beautiful smile, but her teeth are somewhat yellow. She was super excited to try out the Colgate Optic White product line.

Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Whitening Pen - This nifty hygiene device is specially designed with stain removers and polishing bristles to help remove surface stains. The gel in the built-in Optic White Whitening Pen contains hydrogen peroxide. The stay-on gel formula adheres to teeth to begin working immediately. There's no need to rinse.

The toothbrush itself is to be used as you normally would any other toothbrush. The bristles are soft and don't hurt the gums. There's a tongue brush included on the back of the head. After brushing your teeth, apply the Whitening Gel to your teeth and let it remain there. The gel has a minty taste and is not gritty. Best of all, the whitening pen can be stored inside the toothbrush!

Colgate Optic White WhiteSeal Mouthwash - This mouthwash contains 2% Hydrogen Peroxide. It effectively whitens teeth, protects against future stains with WhiteSeal, an advanced stain prevention technology, and kills bad-breath germs. Along with Shelby, I've been using this mouthwash. I like the minty taste and that it gets rid of food smells on my breath.

Colgate Optic White Platinum Whiten and Protect Toothpaste - This toothpaste deeply whitens below surface stains, for teeth that are three shades whiter in four weeks. The added benefit of the advanced stain prevention technology, WhiteSeal, seals out new stains for ntoiceably whiter teeth. Of the three products in the line, this one is my fave. I'm able to use it on my bottom teeth and it has a cool minty taste. Shelby also uses it often and likes how it makes her teeth feel sparkly clean.

Shelby has been using the Colgate Optic White products for a couple weeks now and I've been using it intermittently. Our teeth aren't so white that we'd be cast for a commercial but we have noticed that they are whiter than when we first started using the products. I'd say the products are worth buying if you want to see some improvement on the whiteness of your teeth without paying a large price for a professional whitening system.
Win It!

Three people will each win a Colgate Optic White prize pack that includes the Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Whitening Pen, Colgate Optic White Platinum Whiten and Protect Toothpaste, Colgate Optic White WhiteSeal Mouthwash.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Make Way For These March Winners

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn. The winners have 48 hrs. to respond to email notification or new winner(s) will be drawn.

The winner of the Son of God giveaway is #424, Jaime C.

The winner of the Curious Critters book giveaway are #345, Misha E. and #129, Kaycee M.

The winner of the Killer Queen by Katy Perry Fragrance giveaway is #277, Cynthia G.

The winner of the Polar Bears and Penguins book giveaway is #67, aperry.

The winner of the Orkin giveaway is #53, heymissvirginia.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered. Be sure to check out my active giveaways, all posted at the top left hand side of my blog. There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Managing Finances With Your Mobile Device - #HelloBetter

I received compensation for this post from U.S. Cellular. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

My husband and I are more vigilant than ever to manage our finances. We want to get out of debt and stay on budget. Doing so will allow us more money in the long run. There are several apps available for smartphones and tablets that assist in tracking expenses, checking accounts, and providing monetary overviews. Jason and I have been using a couple of these apps to help us visually see how we're doing and what changes we need to make for financial growth.

As mobile banking and digital financial tools become even more popular, it’s easier than ever to use your smartphone to stay focused on finances. A 2013 survey by Quicken revealed that two out of three surveyed smartphone users say that being able to check their finances on the go gives them peace of mind; 23 percent said they wouldn’t make a major purchase if they couldn’t check finances from their phone. With one in three people losing sleep over money woes, it’s not surprising that many people are looking for tools and tips to better manage their money in 2014.

Through a 2013 survey of U.S. Cellular customers, they’ve found that 23 percent of smartphone users utilize their phones to manage finances¹. They expect that number to grow in 2014.

Manage your budget: The free Mint.com app and accompanying website keep a detailed account of your finances by connecting securely to your bank and credit card accounts and tracking the money you earn and spend. Avoid the time-consuming method of checking each account separately, and view spending patterns in an easy-to-read chart to save time and money. It will also alert you to upcoming bills, fees, low account balances and unusual activity.

Utilize mobile banking: Many financial institutions offer mobile banking options, and by using an app from your bank or credit union, you can check your account balances on the go, view transaction details and make transfers. Check your statement or current balance from your phone before making a purchase to ensure you have available funds, or transfer funds for urgent needs. With access to the 4G LTE network, some apps allow you to deposit a check by uploading a photo using your phone’s camera, so you’ll have money without having to make a trip to the bank.

Invest intelligently: Finance apps like Yahoo! Finance provide an overview on how the market is performing each day. Users can customize the experience to view the daily market summary, track tickers of interest, add and remove stocks from watch lists and view portfolios.

Prepare for tax time: April 15 will be here before you know it. Apps like TaxCaster by TurboTax allow users to get a quick estimate of their 2013 federal tax refund on the go. The app uses the same calculator found in TurboTax and can use its estimates to recommend the best TurboTax product when it’s time to file.

Track work expenses: For small businesses, expense reports can be frustrating for employees. However, apps like Expensify allow you to capture receipts, track mileage and create reports on the go. It takes the time, paper and headaches out of expense reporting and reimbursement and makes managing finances easier on the company and the employees.

Visit a U.S. Cellular Device Workshop in your area to learn more about utilizing all that your device has to offer.

Footnote: Between November 15 - December 2, 2013, 500 nationally representative online interviews were conducted among smartphone users in partnership with Martiz Research.

What apps do you use on your smartphone or tablet to help manage your finances?