Need local services at home? Check out Servemehere.com!

Servemehere.com promises local services set to come to your door in just three clicks. They aren’t kidding, I just tried it several times myself.   I did several appointments, which were each easy to set up, quite literally a few clicks, and voila!!  To no surprise of mine, there aren’t many businesses (yet) that are near to my area.   I checked out massage therapy and pet grooming (hey, if someone wants to come to my house and groom my dog, or massage me, well, why not?). 

Servemehere.com is the first referral network of mobile professionals, bringing services to your doorstep. This is perfect for executives, busy moms, and people with disability.   This site is 100% free for clients.  You aren’t required to pay ahead of time- although if you are setting up as a gift I’m sure that you can pay ahead of time, you can pay for the service at the time of service.  I think this is a really cool service being offered and can really offer huge benefits to those who are unable to get out and do things for themselves, or simply don’t have the time!!  I do have to note that they have a disclaimer:

ServeMeHere does not guarantee the quality of work performed by professionals listed on www.servemehere.com, nor do we assume liability for referrals or for any work or services that professionals perform  at your home, office, or any chosen location.

 In addition, we are not liable for property damage or claims made by professionals listed on servemehere.com. For additional information please refer to our Terms of Service on the Registration page.

What this says to me is that as with all services, do your research.  Check references, check the Better Business Bureau, etc. 

This site is really user friendly- and I imagine this could come in handy if you have a relative in another state that you may want to gift a massage to but perhaps they are homebound- or want to get their dog groomed for same reasons- what an awesome feature- you could arrange it from your home (or work) computer and have someone come to their house at a time convenient for them  !!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Servemehere.com.  Opinions expressed within are my own.

Mario Kart Wii Sets for K’nex

Have your kids discovered K’NEX yet?  I typically reach for the Lego sets myself, but we recently discovered K’nex and absolutely love them.  There is a great variety in their product line, with sets appropriate from ages 2 and up.  I love the Sesame Street and Kids K’nex sets.  They have a fun, childlike quality that are totally age appropriate.  They also have much more complicated sets for the older crowed, 9 and up.

We had the opportunity to try out the new Mario Kart Wii sets.  They have Mario, Luigi and Yoshi sets for ages 6+.  We tried out the Luigi and Standard Bike Building Set and the  Mario and Standard Kart Building Set.  Let me start with the packaging.  They are designed to be used as ramps after you have assembled your piece.  There is a “track” that can be printed online and affixed to the box, then used as a ramp.  I think it’s great when the packaging can be turned into something useful, instead of just getting thrown in the garbage.  I was a little surprised at the size of the pieces when I opened the package.  I am used to building pieces that are a little bit larger, but then again, my children are quite small and this set was intended for the 6 and up crowd.  Regardless, my 5 year old was able to assemble the piece with minimal instruction from me and he really enjoyed the process.  It was a fabulous fine motor activity and really made him think spatially.  What a great project for a rainy day.

The Luigi set came with an adorable Luigi figure and all the components to build his bike, just like in the game.  The Mario set came with a Mario figure, banana peel and pieces to assemble the pull back motor kart.  In June even more products and online activities will be available for this line.  Overall, I give this toy 4 stars.  I think the age recommendation is right one, the toy is assembled easily and is a easy to play with.  The Mario version even has a motor with pull  back action that works great.  This would make a great birthday gift as well.  Check them out here for more information.

I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review.  Opinions expressed within are my own.

Kids Frugal Fun

Each week I try to bring you a craft you can do with your kids that is both educational AND frugal. Bubbles are always a favorite with kids but can get costly if you continually purchase them. I’ve given you a very frugal recipe for bubbles and some educational applications. They may seem a little far fetched but teachers are notorious for being able to make anything educational! :)

Bubble Recipe:
4 cups water
1 cup dishwashing liquid (I used generic and it worked just fine)
1/4 cup corn syrup
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Organic Profits

Organic Profits ns.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/2011-02-09-12.43.07-225×300.jpg” alt=”” width=”225″ height=”300″ />This is sadly the clearest photo I can get of my baby in her Tiny Tush diaper.  She will.not.hold.still.  You can get a good sense of the nice snug fit of this diaper, though, in the photo. This is a great one size diaper, with a generous cut for inserts to be stuffed into (which I like- means I can use this diaper for bedtime with 3-4 inserts!) and a nice leg elastic.  As with most Aplix closure diapers, you can really get an absolute custom and perfect fit at the waist with the Tiny Tush, something that is very user friendly- and also less intimidating when a non-cloth diaper user is changing diapers.  (I’ve found that if someone who isn’t used to seeing cloth sees a snap diaper, they have no idea what to do, but with Aplix, I usually hear them say something about them not being ‘so’ different from disposables.)

Tiny Tush Elite One-Size Pocket Diapers combine technology, design, and good old fashion comfort!

 

 

This unique cloth diapering system is the easiest cloth diapering system available today. With a reverse envelop pocket opening in the rear of the diaper, the inserts are easy to install. The reverse envelope pocket opening also prevents stools from getting caught up underneath the flap. This makes cleanup easier and yuck free. Our Elite or Elite 1.1 pocket diapers are made in the USA.

Available with Aplix (Velcro style) or Snap Closures.

I find this to be a great one size diaper.  My favorite kind of diaper is the one size- I feel like you get the best bang for your buck with them.  I like pockets for their ease of use and the Tiny Tush is no exception.  Their microfiber inserts are super absorbant and when doubled, I can head out to do some errands worry-free and not constantly check for leaky diapers.  They are generously sized, as well, which helps prevent leaks!

One of my readers will win a Tiny Tush One Size diaper!!

Mandatory Entry: Visit Tiny Tush and tell me which color you’ll choose if you win, and if you’d choose Aplix or snap closure.  Remember, if you don’t do this entry, the rest don’t count!

Extra Entries:
Like Tiny Tush on Facebook +1 entry

Follow me via GFC

Subscribe to my emails or follow me in your RSS reader (1 entry EACH)

Share this giveaway on any social networking site (can be done up to 2x per day, 1 hour apart, PER site)

Tweet this: #Win a @TinyTush #clothdiaper from @Mamatomjr http://wp.me/p1qA6G-VH” (can be done 2x/day 1 hour apart)

This giveaway will end on April 8, 2011 at midnight, EST.  Winner to be chosen randomly.  US only.  Winner has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Saturday is Earth Hour- will you celebrate with us??

20 SIMPLE IDEAS FOR PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS TO HELP CHILDREN TO GO “BEYOND THE HOUR”, AND HELP SAVE OUR PLANET!

At the centre of the Earth Hour is the symbolic collective action of lights out on March 26.
Yet Earth Hour is about much more than just switching off the lights. It’s about switching to a more sustainable lifestyle. Being mindful, using less, making everyday choices to reduce our environmental footprint.

If you want your kids to be environmentally responsible when they grow up, you’ve got to teach them while they’re still young

Here are some tips for going beyond hour. Big or small, through all our efforts combined, these changes will help make a difference.

Turn off lights and appliances at the wall when not in use
Explain to children that lights, TV’s and computers use energy, and that it is in short supply! This is an easy way to reduce wasted energy and carbon. If you switch off just one appliance at the wall you could save 99 pounds of greenhouse gas! Ask your child if he can imagine what 99 pounds might look like, and show him/her some examples – like twenty 5 pound bags of potatoes!

Stop using plastic containers
Explain to your child that every bottle they throw in the trash sits in a big pile at the local dump. Have your child help you pick out fun, brightly colored refillable or reusable containers.

Make recycling fun!
Make recycling fun by inventing games such as tossing non-breakable recyclable items into trashcans at a short distance! Use recyclable materials in craft projects, for example use cardboard to make masks, or paper to make airplanes! Create art projects such as paper mache and mosaics. And donate discarded items to charity!

Have a candlelight family and grab a blanket if it’s cold!
Once a week, have a candlelight family hour and tell stories or play games instead of watching TV. And if it’s cold, wear an extra layer of clothes or snuggle up under a blanket to read books.

Use the sunlight to warm up a room
The house pet knows this and you kids will enjoy it too. Open blinds and drapes on a sunny but chilly day and enjoy the glorious warmth that pours in through the windows!

Close drapes and blinds when it’s too hot!
In the summer heat, turn down or off the air-conditioner to save energy by teaching children how they can keep from getting hot and sticky by closing the drapes and blinds to keep the room cool. They will enjoy their playtime better and parents will save money too!

Watch your water use
Only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water, and of that, two-thirds is frozen in glaciers and polar ice-caps! Teach kids water-wise habits at home at a young age. Turn off the water while brushing teeth, take shorter showers, and no water-hose fights in hot weather!

Throw a green birthday party
Kids parties generate a lot of trash. Email invitations; choose reusable kid-friendly cups and plates; and create a craft activity for kids to take something home instead of wasteful goody bags.

Walk more
Walk to pre-school with your kids! It’s fun to spend the extra time with your children, great exercise and you save on gas too.

Take public transport when you can
Buses and trains ease congestion, reduce emissions, and allow you to relax with your kids. Relax and read a book together instead of driving the car!

Car pool
Double the efficiency of your car by carpooling to pre-school!

Buy earth-friendly back-to-school products
It’s always fun shopping for supplies. Choose recycled pencils and notebooks, PVC-free shoes, hemp backpacks, organic cotton clothes, or re-used clothing where possible.

Take a reusable cloth bag when you go shopping – decorate bags with your kids!
Did you know that American use 380 billion plastic bags every year? In addition to being manufactured from non-renewable fossil fuels, plastic bags degrade extremely slowly. Buy a canvas bag, and decorate it with recycled items!

Buy local, seasonal produce
Take the kids for a fun morning out and buy produce at your local Farmer’s Market! Explain how far much of the food you buy has travelled before it reaches your table. Food produced locally costs less to process and transport, and it’s fresher and better for you.

Cut down on meat
Try to eat a little bit less meat by having the children help you to make one extra vegetarian meal each week. It takes only about 723 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of wheat, but 3250 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of beef.

Plant natives in the garden
Enjoy some fresh air with the children in the garden and plant native plants! Kids might like to have their own miniature size garden box to tend! Use native plants, they require less water, care and maintenance. Plus, you will be creating the ideal conditions to attract native species to your backyard or balcony by creating a habitat for them.

Start a compost
What kid isn’t fascinated with worms? Create a worm composter! Almost 75 per cent of household waste is compostable. Composting not only saves landfill space, but recycles material and saves money on fertilizers. Worms to speed up the process. Ask the children to fill the composter with food scraps and in a few months, they will see how the “garbage” becomes rich dirt they can help you spread around to make the garden grow.

Grown your own fruit and vegetables
Watching things grow is exciting! Reduce your footprint and have your kids help you grow their own veggies. Let them choose seeds, plant and tend them together. Fresh veggies are good for you and for the earth. No packaging and no food miles!

Install a rainwater tank
See how much rain you can catch! Secure your own water supply and collect water for use in the garden. Rainwater is free, so parents, that means a reduction in bills too!

Share your tips with friends!
Have a weekly contest with friends to see who did the most to help save the planet!

Earth Hour 2011 will ask the world to:
·      Switch off your lights for Earth Hour at 8.30pm, Saturday 26 March 2011 and celebrate your commitment to the planet with the people of the world
·      Sign up and Share stories of your actions that benefit the planet on earthhour.org <http://www.earthhour.org/>
·      Sustain your actions beyond the hour – www.beyondthehour.org <http://www.beyondthehour.org/>

In a bid to extend the message to young children and their caregivers, the Earth Hour organization has appointed the globally loved animated character Pocoyo as the first Global Kids’ Ambassador of Earth Hour, Beyond the Hour.  Pocoyo will reach out to millions of preschool-aged fans across the globe, fostering “Learning through Laughter,” to inform children about environmental issues.  
 
Parent and their caregivers can find a fun activity book, promo, screensavers and wallpaper at http://www.pocoyo.com/earth_hour_2011.html

Propel Zero- a new, zero-calorie enhanced water (Giveaway 10 winners) ends 4/12

Propel Zero is making a big splash in 2011 with their new zero-calorie enhanced water!   Plus, you can enter to win a year’s supply of Propel Zero!  Here’s the scoop:

What’s new about Propel Zero? They kept the same natural fruit flavor and removed the calories from Propel water, offering a great way for active women and men to replenish (vitamins C & E), energize (B vitamins) and protect (antioxidants) their bodies.
To Enter the Sweeps (who doesn’t want a year’s supply of a product they like??)
Find Walmart sampling locations and dates here (Sampling from March 19 to April 24)
Snap a photo of yourself with your favorite Propel Zero flavor at a sampling event (or wherever you happen to be)
“Like” Propel Zero on Facebook
Upload your photo to the Propel Zero Facebook wall and answer the question: “I stay active by… ” (running, taking the stairs instead of the elevator,
taking my dog for a walk, etc.)                                    
Tell them the name of the blogger you heard about the sampling from (Please tell them that This Mama Loves Her Bargains (Brett M) sent you!)
On April 29, they’ll select one winner at random from our Facebook page and the winner and the blogger both win a year’s supply of Propel Zero!

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The Best Family Slow Cooker Recipes

I’ve loved my crockpot (slow cooker?!) for years now.  Lately, I’ve come to love it more, and also appreciate it more.  The busier my kids get, even though I’m home full time, the more I need to get dinner prepped earlier and earlier.  There are days when I’m doing dinner stuff while the kids eat breakfast simply because of the schedule for the day- my youngest is a very, very busy little 19 month old who loves to climb.  I can’t very well be chopping veggies while she’s standing atop the toilet tank reaching into the medicine chest, or climbing up onto the banister of the stairs.  So, I cook when I can grab a few minutes. 

The Best Family Slow Cooker Recipes , by Donna Pye (publisher: Robert Rose) is a newer cookbook we’ve tried several recipes from, and have really enjoyed everything we’ve made thus far.  The kids like the foods, I like controlling what’s going on the table, and the kids LOVE to help me make dinner!  We all enjoyed the Italian Meatball and Bean Ragout (page 128). 

One thing that I really like about this book is that when you have, say, a can of chiles needed for a recipe, the recipe clearly states “with liquid” which is something I’m always wondering and usually calling one of my siblings or friends to ask their thoughts on.  The ingredients aren’t ones that are hard to find, and even a novice cook (like me) can find them easily at the store.  I get really frustrated and overwhelmed when I’m trying a new recipe and the ingredients are not easy to find or are in a weird place in the store. I like simplicity.  I also like family friendly.  I really like healthy and nutritious.  You will find all of these components in this cookbook.

I will warn each of you (like me) who has a sweet tooth that this book doesn’t have a lot of desserts.  But the ones they have seem great- we made the Maple Sauced Pears on page 177 and oh, are they delicious!!  My kids liked them plain but you could put some whipped cream, cool whip or vanilla ice cream with them for a little extra pizazz. 

Delicious slow cooker recipes created especially for busy families.

A slow cooker is the perfect appliance for families who want good, nutritious food with a minimum of effort. Simply throw a few ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning and your family can come home at the end of the day to a hot, satisfying meal.

The Best Family Slow Cooker Recipes features 125 easy, imaginative and delicious recipes — each tested for dependability:

  • Lunch box planning is a snap with Vegetarian Chili, Cheesy Pesto Pasta, Meaty Minestrone and Raspberry Cobbler
  • Everyday family meals become an event with Brunswick Stew, Ginger Beef and Broccoli, Italian-Style Stuffed Peppers or Johnnycake Cornbread
  • The next pot luck will be a hit by including Pepperoni Pizza Chili, Oktoberfest Hot German Potato Salad or Homestyle Barbecued Ribs
  • A sweet slow cooker desert surprise awaits you with Double Chocolate Caramel Bread Pudding, Brown Sugar and Coconut Baked Apples or Raspberry Cobbler

The Best Family Slow Cooker Recipes also offers detailed information on slow-cooker techniques, serving suggestions and kitchen tips.

 

You can find this cookbook and many others at RobertRose.ca (and find where to purchase them in brick and mortar stores).

I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review.  Opinions expressed within are my own.

bareMinerals has a skincare line! #bMSkincare

Hi Brett-

With this limited offer, Bare Escentuals invites you to give their groundbreaking bareMinerals Skincare line a try. We’d like to send you products from their eight-piece bareMinerals Skincare line, powered by a patent-pending RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex (which has three times the antioxidant capacity of blueberries, by the way). Being a part of this exclusive, limited-time blogging program, we expect you to try, enjoy and experience the new products.

I’ve heard such great things about bareMinerals as a brand, and now they are introducing a new Skincare line! This line is an eight-piece line which includes cleansers and moisturizers that all contain a patent-pending RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex (large amounts of antioxidants!)

Check out the bareMinerals Skincare and tell me which product you’d like to try. I’m almost out of my current cleanser so I’m eyeing the Purifying Facial Cleanser. I like exfoliating cleansers too, especially with my dry winter skin. Of course, in a dream world, a box of each product would arrive on my doorstep with a pink bow around it and I could try them all!

Link and information provided by PR. Opinions are my own.