Rice Krispies Make Mornings Better (Giveaway)

Yes, she did have Rice Krispies for breakfast. Yummy breakfast plus new clothes made for one happy girl.

Here’s something I bet you don’t know about me.  My all time favorite cereal is Rice Krispies.  With milk, without milk, in a bowl, in a cup, out of a baggie…it doesn’t matter. I love them.  Rice Krispie treats? Yes, please.  Obviously I love the taste of them, but I’ve grown to love them even more as my kids have come along, particularly now, as we’re back to school and mornings are often rush, rush, rushed.   I prefer when my kids are happy and smiling before school- a good breakfast and an organized mom in the morning helps me with that goal…

Rice Krispies are good for filling bellies, they are easy to serve, and when else does your breakfast “talk” to you the way Rice Krispies do?  With some fruit, they make for a healthy, filling start to a busy day at school or work. 

Besides serving Rice Krispies (which I buy at BJ’s because it’s more cost effective and I don’t run out as soon)– some other tips to make school (or work) mornings busier for moms:

1. Pack Lunches and Snacks the night before. I can’t say this enough.  It leaves you time to make and drink some coffee in the morning instead of fumbling around trying to put together a semblance of a healthy, filling snack or lunch. Put the whole lunchbox/bag into the fridge, and you’ll save a LOT of your time in the morning.  I try to force myself to do this before bed- it doesn’t usually even take me 10 whole minutes- even to do my husband’s lunch…but the time and stress saved in the morning makes it SO worth it. 

2. Backpacks/bookbags: Ready to go the night before.  Chances are, the homework’s done, and it’s easy to check the calendar for any “specials” like library books that must be returned, or sneakers that have to be brought for gym class.  Share day?  Get it ready the night before!

3. Calendars are on our walls, USE THEM.  When I was a nanny, and I won’t lie, I’m not as good as I was then, but each person in the family had a color.  So all of their “stuff” was written on the calendar in their color.  So if they were able to read or not, they’d know if there was ‘something’ for them to remember.  Share (show & tell) days, library, field trips, appointments, scout meetings, club meetings, sports-pictures….all of these things can be on the calendar.  The visual cue can be a reminder not just to us as the parents, but also for the kids to see and help learn to be responsible for their belongings.  

4. I’d love to tell you to set out breakfast table settings the night before, but that won’t ever happen in my house.  It would probably make life easier, but with a small kitten in the house, for me?  It would probably make life harder, and messier, because I can almost guarantee that our little Sunshine kitty would be climbing onto that table and knocking dishes off at some point.  

5. If your kids are not “morning” people, try new ways to wake them.  Sing a silly song, make a silly face when you wake them.  Make getting shoes on a “race” to see who can get ready to head out the door first.  I find that if I’m being silly and having fun, sooner or later, the kids fall into being silly and fun, and we have a little less grouchy and a lot more smiley.

  • Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal and memories go hand in hand. This back-to-school season, spark a moment of joy at the breakfast table with the simple grains of rice you can see and the Snap!™, Crackle!™, & Pop!™ you can hear.
  • With vitamin- and mineral-fortified Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal, moms don’t need to worry about sacrificing nutrition when getting their family out the door each morning. Rice Krispies cereal is made with simple ingredients and is fortified with 11 essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Share your back-to-school magic breakfast moments sparked by Kellogg’s Rice Krispies on their Facebook fan page.

Rice Krispies Giveaway Photo


Kellogg’s would like to make one reader’s mornings a little smoother with a Rice Krispies prize pack:  a box of Rice Krispies cereal, a set of four fun cereal bowls, and a Kellogg’s Retro Character Scrapbook Album.


Loading Entry-Form…

This is a sponsored post with The Motherhood.

Back to School First Aid Kits (Giveaway)

band aid first aid kit

Since the kids went back to school, we’ve gone through 2 entire boxes of Band-Aids, plus half a tube of Neosporin.  I’m totally serious.  I think the increase in boo-boos is from the kids being so tired from the new routine of school, but whatever the reason, my kids seem to drop like flies when we’re outside playing.  Of course, they will take any chance they can get to use a Band-Aid, because I love to buy the fun character ones (I adore the Muppets Band-Aids, and we have many, many boxes stashed away).  Having a well-stocked First Aid Kit is always a good idea, and what better time to make one than Back to School?

Band-Aid has created some Back to School First Aid Kits stocked with essentials to keep on hand for the playground, including NEOSPORIN® antibiotic ointment, new BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages with QuiltVent® technology and Muppets BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages.

One lucky reader will win a Band-Aid Back to School First Aid Kit (ARV $40)

Loading Entry-Form…

I will receive a first aid kit of my own to thank me for taking the time to share this post.  Opinions are my own.



Back to School (and beyond!) with Staples (Giveaway)

staples apple tape dispenserHave you been to Staples lately? I won’t lie, I’d not been in  a very long time (at least not for more than printer ink and paper reams) and was more than delighted to hear and see  that they’ve got some very, very fun items for back to school….even for those of us who aren’t going back to school but like to have new supplies for September anyway.  Cool backpacks, fun staplers, tape dispensers, gorgeous binders— they are all available and very competitively priced.

Growing up, I always hoped and hoped my mom would get me a Trapper Keeper binder.  Oh, how I wanted one. I never did get one.  I do realize I could easily get myself one now, but when Staples sent me this Translucent Screen Print Binder. I love it.  I use it for my girl scout papers to stay organized, much to the disappointment of my 7 year old. She saw this binder and claimed it for her own.  I’m one for sharing, but a pink binder with a bit of shimmer? ALL MINE.

staples translucent glitter binder

Sugar Rush Folders and NotebookFun, fresh and lively, addressing the eternal optimist. Designs inspired by beautiful tints of French Macaroons, designer candy and trendy bakeries as well as playful nail polish palettes.

·         Staples® Fashion Notebooks: Exclusive to Staples! Students can let their personality show with these fashionable notebooks, available in assorted designs. Available at Staples retail stores. ($1.00)

·         Staples® Fashion Portfolios: Exclusive to Staples! Stay organized and stylish with portfolios available in 3D poly, poly, paper and textured poly materials. Durable, waterproof and tear-resistant, these folders built to last. Convenient twin pockets hold loose documents and other materials. Available in assorted colors and designs! Available designs exclusive to Staples at retail stores. (paper portfolios/$0.99, 3D poly portfolios/$1.99, poly portfolios/$1.99 and textured poly portfolios/$1.99)

Staples BETTER® Translucent Screen Print Binder: Exclusive to Staples! Durable, convenient and eye-catching, this new translucent screen print BETTER binder will organize notes, reports and more. Its unique screen prints will stand out on any desk, table or shelf making it a great way to express your individuality. Available in 1” designs in Owls, Cartoon, Tron and Love at Staples retail. ($7.99)

Staples® Sweets Die Cut Memo Books: Exclusive to Staples! Sweeten up your school supplies with these cute and colorful 5×5.5 die cut notebooks. Available in watermelon, strawberry, cupcake and apple die-cut shapes in Staples retail stores. ($1.00)

Staples® Tape Dispenser: Dispensing tape has never been so sweet! Now available in fun, novelty shapes including a red apple and silver and pink cupcake. Available at Staples retail stores. ($7.00)

Staples® Novelty Paper Clip Containers: Exclusive to Staples! Dress up your desk with this fashionable and unique paper clip container. Available in black & white purse, black & red high heel and pink & white cupcake at Staples retail stores. ($3.00)

We may be already Back to School, but fun supplies are never turned away, and we’ve already had to replace one torn folder in my house…so it’s good to be prepared.  Plus, with the affordable pricing, these will make fun add-ons to include in care packages, or in stockings come Christmas time….(and I won’t lie- one of my daughter’s FAVORITE presents she’s gotten in her “whole life” (7 years) was a pink tape dispenser with extra rolls of tape from my sister.  She still uses it daily, 2 years later).

I can’t wait to head to Staples again SOON and see what else they have that’s fun.  Why go boring and traditional when you can have fun and funky?

One reader will win a $20 Staples Gift Card!


Loading Entry-Form…

 I received promotional items in exchange for taking the time to share this. Opinions are my own.

New fall fragrances from Yankee Candle (Giveaway 2 winners)

About 15 years ago, my friend Cathie surprised me on my birthday with a gift bag.  Inside that bag was my first “tart warmer” with some tea lights and Yankee Candle tarts.  I was hooked after about eleven millionths of a second.  A love affair began that day, back in 1997? 1998? I can’t even remember which…but it’s still going strong even today, in 2012.  I’m fortunate (to my husband’s chagrin) enough to live just over an hour from the Yankee Candle headquarters in Deerfield, Mass…and we make a few trips up there each year for fun.  I love it.  Room after room of candles and candle products and other Yankee Candle lovers just like me happy to browse and wander among the marvelously colorful and scented candles.

yankee candle scents fall 2012Now it’s September and fall is here and Yankee Candle has some fabulous new scents to celebrate the coziness and simple pleasures of fall. Yankee Candle’s new products add style and fragrance to every home for the autumn season.  There’s even a Whoopie Pie candle.  Does that mean there is finally a calorie-free, guilt free Whoopie Pie I can enjoy?

yankee candle fall 2012

New Fall 2012 Fragrances – Inspired by cherished memories of the fall season, the new collection features a range of fragrances to help welcome the autumn into your home.  Scents like Treehouse Memories, Season’s Blessings, and Harvest Welcome are perfect for any fall occasion – whether cozying up to the fireplace or enjoying a meal with friends and family. (Multiple sizes and forms, $1.99 – $27.99 MSRP)

  • Apple Pumpkin: Cultivated with care…home-grown apples and pumpkins blended with ginger and clove.
  • Treehouse Memories: Warm, earthy woods wrapped in sweet, familiar spices evoke memories of crisp autumn days spent amongst the changing leaves.
  • Harvest Welcome: Welcome home! Cozy up with this inviting combination of farm-fresh pumpkins spiced with just the right amount of brisk autumn air.
  • Season’s Blessings: Partake in a fragrant array of nature’s bounty…perfect notes of pear, plums and grape with hints of spice and cardamom.  I LOVE this scent.  I’ve only burned this a few times on cooler days- it smells just like fall to me and makes me want to go apple picking and to a pumpkin patch, and it’s not quite time for all that…so I’m trying to hold off. I love it.  The cardamom just adds a different twist on the scents together and the result is quite…well, autumnal.  

It may be because fall is my favorite, but each of these new scents appeal to me. I want them ALL.  If only my house was large enough to have a different scent in each room…

It’s not just the fall fragrances that are new from Yankee Candle this season- there are 2 Pure Radiance scents sure to delight many…the Apple Chai is divine. I love the smell of Chai but having it in my house all the time is just marvelous.  These candles have a bit of a sleeker look, more modern design to them, although they still retain that beloved and strong Yankee Candle fragrance that YC is so known for.

Pure Radiance – Joining the collection of contemporary candles this fall are Apple Chai and Pumpkin. A new line that debuted earlier this year, Pure Radiance features a sleek, modern design and a custom soy wax blend to add a stylish accent to home décor. (3 sizes, $10.99 – $27.99 MSRP)

 Yankee Candle would like to send one of my readers an Apple Chai candle and one of my readers a Season’s Blessings candle!  

Loading Entry-Form…

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

“The Summer of Giving” with Tangerine Sky Productions Review and #Giveaway

natalie's arkWe love books in our family.  Fiction, non fiction, humor, spiritual, it’s all welcomed and loved.

From my 7 year old: Natalie’s Ark is about a girl named Natalie who  and her animal friends she meets as the dam in her town breaks: Nimbus the raccoon, Telsa the cat, Sadie the Opossum, Stella the Goose, and Skittles the Squirrel- all of whom help her to learn about what’s important and not to be afraid so much.

Amazon’s description of Natalie’s Ark: A dam above a small town threatens to burst and Natalie finds herself adrift in a rickety boat surrounded by animals plucked from the raging flood. Natalie’s journey leads her to discovery of faith, friendship, love and home. Suggested Age for readers: 8-12

Natalie’s journey after the dam breaks brings her, along with several new animal friends, to the realization that she needs to follow her faith, not her fears.

natalies ark autographed

Tangerine Sky Productions was begun in order to create inspirational and educational entertainment for families, by husband and wife Kristen and Kevin Collier. The couple has a great partnership in their productions- each book, each character, each story, and video are clearly coming from the heart and have a message to be heard.  The illustrations are lovely, and the characters relate-able.

TSP doesn’t just write chapter books for tweens- they have also done some great videos, adult non-fiction,  picture books and illustrated storybooks.  All are written with the Colliers’ clear desire to produce quality, wholesome entertainment for the entire family.

Tangerine Sky Productions would like to send one winner one of their books (your choice), as well as a signed, suitable for framing, drawing done by Kevin Collier.  (retail value: $100)  


Loading Entry-Form…

A sample of this book was received to facilitate my review.  Opinions are my own.

Kmart’s Big Layaway Giveaway

This post brought to you by Kmart. All opinions are 100% mine.


It’s September 12th today.  The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and there are 103 shopping days until Christmas.  For some, that means nothing- for many, including me, it means it’s time to start planning the budget for holiday shopping.  One option for holiday shopping is free layaway.  Kmart has a great layaway program and just in time for holiday shopping and layaways beginning, they have launched  Kmart’s Big Layaway Giveaway!

The Big Layaway Giveaway is going to be huge.  There will be one layaway giveaway PER STORE each week from 9/9/12 through 11/17/12!  That’s a lot of stores, and a LOT of layaway prizes!  Now’s the time to place those gifts you’ve been eying on layaway and also get the chance to win some great prizes at Kmart!

Shopping for holiday gifts can be a challenge- not only financially, but timing can be a factor.  You don’t want to not have that one magical thing under the tree that your child has been wishing so hard for, so now’s the time to grab it and put it on layaway so you are sure to have it come December 25! I know my oldest would LOVE a new bike, and this bike would make her smile very big with a bow on it Christmas morning!

Kmart’s layaway offers many more options for consumers than competitors.  It’s available nationwide, all year round, with no product minimums.  You can pay online or in store, pay online and pick up in store- and if you want to get something special for someone who’s not local to you, you can still use layaway- items can be picked up in a different store! Best of all, there are no service fees associated with Kmart’s layaway.

* NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Ends 11/17/12.  For Official Rules, visit a participating Kmart location or www.kmart.com/layawaygiveaway.

Unlikely Friendships for Kids by Jennifer Holland

unlikely friendships for kidsIf you have a kid who loves animals, I have an awesome series for them to enjoy.  Sweet stories, adorable animals, and stories of friendship will grab your child’s attention.  We’ve been reading these books at bedtime with all three of my kids for weeks now.  They adore them, I adore them.  Simple and sweet, and a nice way to wind down the day. Jennifer Holland originally wrote a book about Unlikely Friendships after finding a PufferFish swimming in a school of Sweetlips a few days in a row while snorkeling on vacation….and now she’s written three more books, geared toward the younger crowd.  Stories of acceptance and friendship- sweet, simple, and very well written, and all about animals.  She’s got a nice formula for success!  I don’t know a kid who isn’t a fan of animal stories- and these books are perfect for them.

UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIPS FOR KIDS by Jennifer Holland, who also penned Unlikely Friendships.  The same heartwarming and awe inspiring stories from the original have been rewritten in large print and shorter sentences that can be easily synthesized by young readers. The chapter book formats are perfect for reluctant readers and a must-have for any reading list.

The books are for kids ages 7 and up, but they will be the new go-to bedtime story to read with little ones as well. At the back of each book, an Animal List features black silhouetted pictures of the animals in the stories along with a brief description of the animal where it lives. A Word and Phrase List offers definitions of difficult words throughout the books. This is especially helpful with young readers and gives them a sense of independence to not have to ask a parent each time they get stuck on a word or wonder about an animal in the stories.

The Unlikely Friendships for Kids books are available from most major book retailers in store and online, for about $5.95 to $7.95 each.  They’re a great gift idea for any occasion! I also noticed that Workman Publishing has a Unlikely Friendships wall calendar available for 2013.  I would love to hang these animal friends on my wall all year!

 Workman Publishing would like to send one reader all three Unlikely Friendships for Kids books!

Loading Entry-Form…

Samples of these books were sent to facilitate review.  Opinions are my own.


The Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener Giveaway

Classroom Friendly Pencil sharpener Giveaway for home or classroom Best pencil sharpener As an Elementary Special Education teacher, I am often searching the internet for great new lessons, ideas and products.  A couple of weeks ago I started seeing this really cool pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies.  It has a fun look and every review I read was glowing.  I knew I had to have one.  My shiny new sharpener arrived a few days ago and if a teacher can fall in love with a sharpener, then this is the right one.  It is sturdy, quiet, easy to use and gives pencils a nice sharp tip every time.  After 15 years of teaching, I have experienced my fair share of manual and electric pencil sharpeners.  No sharpener I have tried sharpen like The Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener.

Classroom Friendly Pencil sharpener Giveaway for home or classroom

My 7 year old was the first tester.  He had a pack of new pencils that needed to be sharpened for the new school year.  Honestly, we were giddy as he started to crank the sharpener and the pencil began to be feed into the sharpener.  A few seconds later he removed a beautiful thing….a PERFECTLY sharpened pencil.  I think the tip was shimmering and we could hear angels sing.  At only $24.99 each, The Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener will be the best value you will ever get out of a sharpener.

Classroom Friendly Pencil sharpener Giveaway for home or classroom

But seriously, the best way to get the perfectly sharpened pencil is to go to their site and purchase one  or enter below to win a Classroom Friendly Sharpener.


Loading Entry-Form…

Wanna Win Something? Giveaway Linky

mavens of money giveaways$100 Amazon

$100 Tea Collection 

Custom Race shirt from My Race Ragz

Lady and the Tramp II Blu-Ray DVD Combo Pack 2 winners

Learning Resources MeCorder Mini Video Recorder 

Planet Box Eco Friendly Lunch Box $60 ARV

SweetPea Maternity $50 Gift Certificate – Ends 9/22

P&G and Dollar General Every Day Heroes – Ends 9/22

Kindle Fire and Keurig Platinum Plus Brewing System – Ends 10/5

Oransi Ionic Fridge Air Purifier – Ends 9/15

$50 Amazon Gift Card – Ends 9/14

SpongeBob SquarePants – Ghouls Fools DVD – Ends 9/15

Big Time Movie and Rags – Double Movie DVD – Ends 9/15

Yankee Candle Fall 2012 Scents – Ends 9/15

#WearTOMS Pinterest Contest: Win a pair of TOMS Shoes – ends 9/23

Tide Free & Gentle Giveaway – ends 9/16

Disney on Ice Rockin’ Ever After Tickets Giveaway 9/20 show at Richmond Coliseum – ends 9.16

Doc McStuffins Dvd – Ends 09/19

Begin Again Toys Lemonade Set – Ends 9/15

Doc McStuffins Friendship Is The Best Medicine – Ends 9/19

Patriot Fire Pit and Logs – Ends 9/25

KitchenAid Mixer – Ends 9/30

$100 Amazon

$100 Tea Collection 


Delta Lahara TempAssure® 17T Series Tub and Shower Trim

Lahara TempAssure® 17T Series Tub and Shower Trim Obviously once we chose our bathtub and decided on what we wanted to go up for walls around the tub for this bathroom remodel, we needed to select a Shower/Tub  trim kit. We chose the Delta’s Lahara TempAssure 17T Series Tub and Shower Trim (ARV $384.35) for many reasons- after asking around and researching, it came up over and over for great quality, excellent durability and great pricing.  It also had the Temp Assure feature that we felt was important since we do have small children who also use our bathroom.  It’s also pretty sleek looking in design and we loved it.  (And, as an aside, my sister C was redoing 2 full baths in her home this spring- unbeknownst to either of us, she also chose to put this exact same product in both of her bathrooms!).

delta lahara faucet instructions

Instructions for install were straight forward-and easy to follow…. at least, they were for my husband. This is his department. I take full credit for decorating taste, but  much of the actual “labor” is credited to him.  I did install the shower head all by myself, though.  Go, me.   In all seriousness, though, I could have handled this one.  The directions are quite understandable and easy to follow.  It’s also quite likely that if you are replacing the tub and shower trim at your house, that you are already set up with the valve and stuff which we were not so things will be quicker and simpler. We prefer to make everything harder on ourselves…

ready to install delta lahara shower headdelta lahara shower head lullaby paintdelta lahara shower head






I love this trim kit.  The chrome is timeless, and classic, but the lines offer such a fresh, modern look in the bathroom, don’t you agree?

helper for lahara faucet install

lahara faucet with temperature control

Here’s the handle with temp assure. I LOVE it. It’s great not having to worry that the kids could possibly turn the water too hot for themselves or that they could accidentally bump it too high!

delta lahara tub spout

  • Lahara, inspired by the beauty and bliss created by waves
  • The elegant, one-piece curved handles and sleek spout of Lahara compliments any decor.
  • Features a complete suite of coordinating products: Accessories, Faucets, and showers
  • Available in four finishes: chrome, Brilliance® Stainless, Venetian Bronze®, and Aged Pewter which extend the look throughout the bath.
  • Dual function thermostatic cartridge
  • Order MultiChoice® rough separately
  • Lifetime Faucet and Finish Warranty
  • Smart Features:
    • ADA Compliant
    • MultiChoice® Universal Valve
    • With Volume Control
    • Touch Clean

delta lahara two handle widespread lavatory faucet

We purchased the coordinating Lahara Two Handle Centerset Lavatory Faucet (ARV $141.00), to keep a continuous look throughout the bath. I love the look of it.  (My sister also chose this for her bathrooms- again, neither of us knew what the other was choosing!).  We haven’t installed yet, but we also have a towel ring and towel bar to coordinate.

  • Lahara, inspired by the beauty and bliss created by waves
  • The elegant, one-piece curved handles and sleek spout of Lahara compliments any decor.
  • Features a complete suite of coordinating products: Accessories, Faucets, and showers
  • Available in several decorator finishes which extend the look throughout the bath.
  • Integrated water-efficient aerators provide a smart water delivery solution that maximizes water savings without sacrificing the comfort
  • Elegant metal lever handles for ease of operation
  • Lifetime Faucet and Finish Warranty
  • Smart Features:

Thank you to Delta for sending the gorgeous Tub and Shower trim kit for the bathroom- we’ll be using it for many, many years to come and have peace of mind knowing that there’s a lifetime faucet and finish warranty on the product!

delta lahara single handle faucet with touch20 technology





Delta would like to send one of my US readers a Delta Lahara Single Handle Faucet with Touch20 Technology (ARV $292.00) in your choice of chrome or stainless finish!

Loading Entry-Form…