NEW Nectresse™ 100% No Calorie Sweetener (Prize Pack Giveaway, 4 winners)

nectresses spoonableI’ve been pretty open with you all that I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life.  Right now I’m in an “up” mode and I’m frustrated.  Ready for down again.  I’ve always been hesitant to go with no calorie sweeteners for fear of side effects and long term impacts of artificial sweeteners on my body.  Funny, isn’t it?  Or maybe not as much funny, as ironic? I just heard of the NEW Nectresse™ 100% No Calorie Sweetener and am very interested in checking it out.  A no calorie sweetener that’s natural?  Yes, please!
The Nectresse is made from the extract of monk fruit, and combined with other natural sweeteners like sugar, molasses and erythritol.  100% natural.  Nothing artificial.  Intriguing, right?
nectresse baking
You can cook and bake with Nectresse just like real sugar, too.  I think I’ll start with just my coffee and see how that goes.  That’s a big test for me. I don’t like to mess around with my morning coffee.  Ever.  There are recipes to use the Nectresse with including some pumpkin walnut pancakes that I’m totally going to make when the weather is cooler- what a delicious fall breakfast treat!  We love making pancakes on Saturday mornings as a family…and we love pumpkin…
nectresse natural no calorie sweetener coupon
 Be sure to print a $2 coupon to save on Nectresse so you can check out the new natural, no calorie sweetener for yourself! ! Nectresse is available at Walmart!
Nectresse would like to send four(4) winners each a prize pack including one(1) canister of Nectresse sweetener along with a $25 Walmart gift card to grab baking supplies or other ingredients to help you make one of the Nectresse recipes! 
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Planet Box Review and Giveaway!!!

One of my favorite things about the end of summer is back to school shopping. There is something so nostalgic about shopping for lunch boxes, back packs, folders and pencils. I love it!!! This year, one of the items I was desperate to find was a reusable lunch box for my first grader. I wanted one that would last several years, wasn’t too bulky and was efficient. This was more difficult to find than you might imagine. I’m not a fan of themed lunch boxes. These get old after a couple of months (and I just don’t like superheroes and “bad guys”). After searching around on pinterest for some new and unique ideas, I ran across the Planet Box.

“Looking for an eco and easy way to pack healthy lunches? With right sized compartments made out of high quality stainless steel, PlanetBox is the smart lunchbox that guides you in packing a well-balanced meal quickly and easily. Part bento box, part TV dinner tray, our segmented containers are the best way to pack delicious, no waste lunches for school or work. Not your old fashioned metal lunch box, PlanetBox is truly lunch transportation for the green generation. ” The Planet Box comes in 2 sizes: The Rover is great for younger children, and the Launch is great for bigger kids and adults. Rover

  • SMALLER serving sizes
  • Wide variety of foods
  • 5 compartments, 2 Dippers for wet foods
  • Designated space for a little treat
  • Measures 10 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Kits range from $39.95- $59.95


  • LARGER serving sizes
  • 30% larger than the Rover by volume
  • 3 compartments, 1 Dipper for wet foods
  • Glass Satellite Dish for reheating foods
  • Measures 10.25 x 7.75 x 2 inches
  • Kits range from $49.95 – $79.95

A variety of kits are available for purchase. Just look at these products!

  • Utensils

  • ColdKit

  • Dippers and Satellite Dish


  • Magnets


  • Carry Bags


This system is so amazing. I knew I needed one ASAP. I chose the Rover system for my little guy. I tend to overpack food and this system is divided into just the right portion sizes. He will be able to use this for a few years before upgrading to a larger box. By then I can pass it along to my next little guy! How does the Planet Box System work: 1. Choose your size: Rover or … 2. Choose dipping bowl sets 3. Ice Packs 4. Magnet sets. Yes, you can personalize and change up the look of your box with magnets! Genious!!!! (We chose the Rockets of course) You can purchase the items individually or as a set. The Rover box fits perfectly into the case. It is about the size of a notebook and is slimmer than a regular lunch box. The website has several lunch packing ideas for both the Rover and the Launch system (complete with grocery lists!!!). I found a lot of inspiration for lunches while perusing this site. I know that Bento boxes are all the rage lately. These individualized compartments are perfect for bento box type meals. The tray can be washed out with soap and water or placed in your dishwasher at the end of the day. Easy and reusable!!! This is my favorite lunchbox of all time and my little guy just can’t wait to use it at school this year! One of our readers will win their own Planet Box Rover Basic Set!!!! (Winner chooses magnet set)

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 “A sample of this product was provided to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my own.”

CURT Manufacturing Trailer Hitches Review & Giveaway

Having our new family bike adventures has been such a wonderful experience for us. Even our first trip out, when my tire blew out, my son’s pedals stopped working, and we were attacked by mosquitos was a ton of fun.  What was not fun was having to try to squish 3 car seats into the back of our 4Runner because my van was without a trailer hitch.  We knew very quickly that we needed a hitch that was made for a minivan, and fast. Curt Manufacturing has a huge selection of trailer hitches for all kinds of vehicles- a few simple bits of information entered via drop down menus on their site will give you options to choose from specific to your vehicle.

CURT Manufacturing, LLC stands for EXCELLENCE in our products and our people. We are a Manufacturer, Importer, and Distributor of Towing System products, OE Trailer products and Specialty Equipment products that combine competitive price, unsurpassed quality and unparalleled aesthetics. CURT aspires to be the industry leader by recognizing that the customer is King and that our people are our greatest asset.

Curt Manufacturing sent us a trailer  hitch made for our  2004 Toyota Sienna Minivan for review.

Once you click search, the results page is quick to come up- my results wielded 4 options to choose from.

What I like about this is how clear the choices are, and you know that they are specific to YOUR vehicle.  Before venturing to this site, I always just figured a trailer hitch was a trailer hitch and it would just screw onto the bottom of your car.  (Aren’t you glad I’m not in the trailer hitch installation business?) I’ve learned a lot.  Trailer hitches are not that simple and not all the same.

When we started looking for a hitch, my husband emphasized to me he would really prefer to go with one from Curt Manufacturing.  He explained that they’ve used Curt hitches at his work, and his family has used them, and they simply have a great reputation for quality.

Here’s another thing I was clueless about with trailer hitches:  They are big and they are HEAVY.

I had no idea a trailer hitch was this BIG! Nor heavy. I was wrong.

Tucked in the box for shipping

My husband has done this before, so install took him a little under an hour.  He has helpers on projects like I do so things tend to take a while….especially when your helpers ask eleven million questions.  Install was straightforward, no major issues, and as my husband said, very secure.

Great quality materials paired with excellent construction make our Curt Manufacturing Trailer Hitch one that we can use and rely upon to function properly for years.

One thing I like?  It doesn’t stick way out from behind my van!  That means I’m not banging my shins or ankles when I inevitably forget the hitch is on there (I may or may not be known for doing just that on the hitch ball we have on the 4Runner).

Before the Curt hitch was installed

With Curt trailer hitch installed









Of course, I’m happy to have the hitch- it means we can travel with our bikes, even on a trip, without being super crowded or cramped.  It also means we can tow our boat with the van, if need be, or even the trailer.  Options are always nice.  If you are looking for a hitch for any of your vehicles, I definitely recommend that you head over to Curt Manufacturing first!

Here’s the van, with the hitch being used, and us about to head out on a bike adventure. While I’m gone, don’t forget to enter to win a hitch of your own!

One lucky US reader will win a trailer hitch for their vehicle! 


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GoodNites Disposable Bed Mats Coupon and Giveaway (4 winners)

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I am still in disbelief that all three of my children are potty trained.  Now, my oldest has been accident free for 18 months, and my just about 5 year old has one accident a year?? But my little one, who just turned 3 last week…she’s just not ready to be dry overnight.  She’s frequently dry, but not reliably. The problem is she’s adamant about NO DIAPERS!!  and even when we put them on her, by the time I go in to tuck her in and kiss her before I go to bed, she’s wearing nothing at all on her little tush.  Cute, but the laundry gets old really fast.  I’ve been searching for a solution and I think I have found it in the new GoodNites Disposable Bed Mats.  She can wear big girl underpants to bed, and I don’t have to worry about wet sheets in the morning.  I would much rather not make this a power struggle and let her be in underpants, and the GoodNites allow me to do so.

After learning some helpful facts, readers can print a $2 coupon for GoodNites Disposable Bed Mats so they can try them out with their own kids!While downloading the coupon, you can also learn facts about bed wetting like what causes it and how you can help your child avoid it
You can also shop all the GoodNites Disposable Bed Mats products and learn exactly how they work

For the giveaway, I’d like readers to interact with the unique features on the page. So, for one of the ways to enter, I’d like readers to visit the page and leave a comment on your post saying what they learned from the quiz about bed wetting. 

If interested, please link readers to:

FOUR lucky readers will each win  1pack of GoodNites Disposable Bed Mats and a $15 Walmart gift card!
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Gigi’s Glitzy Boutique Review & Giveaway

If there’s one thing I love more than monogrammed stationary, it’s monogram shirts.  Gigi’s Glitzy Boutique sent us an embroidered shirt for each of my kids recently, with their first names monogrammed on the front.  The kids love them, I love them, we’re all happy.  The embroidery is very well done, stays put, and holds its shape.  The kids LOVE their shirts, and are always asking me if they are clean!  These make such a fun gift, especially for the kids in your life who have “too much stuff” as their parents say (guilty here), and so personal. What a fun way to express yourself.  They do have “age” themed shirts at Gigi’s  as well, but I like to order shirts a bit large so the kids can wear them longer so we did the characters instead.

Gigi’s is located right next store to us in Rhode Island, a children’s boutique offering infant, toddler, girls and boys clothing and accessories.  My favorite part?  90% of their products are priced at or below $25.00.  I don’t mind spending for quality, but it’s nice when the quality is affordable!  They specialize in custom embroidery (like the shirts they made my kids) and most of what is in their boutique is hand made by them.  They also use local vendors who sell in store.  You can shop in person or online.  I’m hoping we can make a little road trip up to Coventry, Rhode Island, so we can visit Gigi’s in person and see all they have to offer!

For local folks, Gigi’s does birthday parties- in style!  They have a kids’ salon too so you can get glam at the party!


Gigi’s has what you need for dance class, as well.  Tons of fun, unique and different items at affordable pricing!

Gigi’s would like to give one of my fabulous readers a custom shirt of their own!


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I received samples to facilitate my review. Opinions are my own. 


Fairy Tales Hair Care Rosemary Repel Lice Prevention Giveaway

It’s here, friends. Back to school time. Back to germs…and the increased risk of LICE. I kid you not, just typing those words makes my skin crawl and my scalp itch. I had lice once, in 2nd grade. I remember my mom putting all my stuff through the washer over and over again, bagging my toys in dark trash bags and putting them in the freezer if they fit.  Such a yucky feeling.  I hated it.  I also remember the product she put on my hair and scalp, and that super fine toothed comb that took hours to go through…it was not fun for anyone in the house.  I dread the day it comes into my house…although hopefully with regular use of Fairy Tales Hair Care’s Rosemary Repel line of products, which consist of natural ingredients known to repel lice…hopefully we won’t have lice in the house.

We’ve been using Rosemary Repel products  for almost a year now- and I’m especially glad we have it in the house now, before school starts. I have three in elementary school this year and that to me means triple the risk.  I love to be able to use natural products to try to prevent things like lice from entering our home- it helps me feel like I’m protecting my children but also preventing a huge mess.

Pencils and erasers aren’t the only thing students are bringing back to school this season; head lice outbreaks are rampant during the school year.  In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, there are between 6-12 million cases of head lice cases annually.

“Preventing lice is much easier than managing an outbreak, which can be a stressful, time consuming and an expensive experience for both parents and children,” said Risa Barash, founder of Fairy Tales Hair Care.  “Outbreaks can impact entire schools, play groups, athletic/dance facilities and daycare centers.” Fortunately, following a few simple guidelines can help deter the problem.  “Don’t share hats, helmets, brushes and combs and do weekly head checks; use it as a nice time to talk to your child,” recommends Barash.

Since 1999,  has been the source for education and tips on head lice prevention and removal.  The site provides educational material and how to videos to help educate parents, school nurses and teachers on all things head lice related. The Rosemary Repel® line of hair care is designed to repel lice using organic ingredients such as rosemary, tea tree, citronella, peppermint and lavender oils. Rosemary Repel Hair Care is clinically proven to be over 95% effective when combined.   Gentle and safe for everyday use, each product is infused with aloe, jojoba and vitamins that leave hair soft, smooth and shiny.

The free iPhone app, “The Facts of Lice” is the first of its kind to report and track lice outbreaks.  With over 250,000 downloads to date, parents and educators can anonymously report an outbreak and receive notifications when an outbreak is in a selected zip code.


Naturally caring for families since 1999, Fairy Tales Hair Care produces an assortment of premium-quality, non-toxic hair care products and bug repellents for children.  Dedicated to maintaining the health of every family member, the company’s formulas are made with the best organic herbs and essential oils and are nut-, soy, dairy- and gluten-free.  The brand’s Rosemary Repel collection is the U.S. leader in natural lice prevention products.  Headquartered in Passaic, New Jersey, Fairy Tales Hair Care products are available in fine salons, pharmacies, Ulta Stores, and specialty stores nationwide. For more information, visit


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$100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Happy end of summer!!  I figured we should celebrate back to school time somehow….and decided I’d join up with a few blog pals to do a $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!  Here are my fellow hosts for this giveaway:

Musings From a Stay At Home Mom

The Mama Report


Scattered Musings of A Creative Mind

The Holistic Mama

Kelly’s Lucky You

Philzendia Living

Mi Vida Loca

Keeping Up With The Rheinlander’s

This giveaway is open Worldwide, 18+

Ends August 31, 2012 at 11:59 EST

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Brilliantly Simple Package: LED Whitening + Whitening Pen (Giveaway)

I have always struggled with my teeth being discolored.  As long as I can remember, they’ve not been pearly whites.  It isn’t that I don’t brush them- I do, and I’ve tried whitening things over and over with no luck.  I decided to give Smile Brilliant’s LED Whitening System & Whitening Pen a try to see if this could help me with my issue.

This product is effective.  Very happy with how it works.  I’m still searching for a good before picture, because I don’t have one.  Applying the gel is super simple, and the instructions are very easy, very clear.

I have this horrifyingly bad photo of me USING this product, but that’s the biggest thing I want to share with you- using this product is going to take some getting used to.  It’s effective and I’m really liking it but it took me a few weeks to be able to wear it for as long as you are supposed to.  Once you paint your teeth, you have to put the protective tray on– think of the plastic mouthguards we used to wear for sports, just a lot thinner!  After the tray is in, you have to put the LED unit and hold it in place with your lips.  This is where I struggled. I don’t know about you but I’m not used to having all that stuff in my mouth and even though I talk more than most anyone I’ve met to date in life, apparently, this doesn’t make my lip muscles strong.  So be prepared to build up your time with the LED light in gradually. I wasn’t able to hold it in more than 10 minutes the first week- now, a few weeks later, I’m able to use this as long as I need to.


Brilliantly Simple Package: LED Whitening + Whitening Pen

Price:   $39.95

You Save:   $90.00  (69%)
When speed is key to your brilliant new smile, grab the pen, accelerate with the LED light, and GO! Everything you need. 20 minutes a day. Guaranteed results or your money back!

  • High intensity Ultra-Blue LED activating light (batteries included)
  • Protective trays (top & bottom)
  • 4ml Professional whitening gel pen (35% concentration)
  • 30 Day money back guarantee
  • Life-time tray replacement warranty

When you dont have time to mess with syringes and need immediate results on the go, Brilliantly Simple does it all. is pleased to offer a tooth bleaching package that generates results in an easy to carry package. In as little as 20 minutes per day, Brilliantly Simple gets results and goes where you go. The whitening system includes an ultra high strength professional whitening pen with an LED lighting system. The gel paints on quickly and the LED whitening light accelerates the process. Affordability on the go is Brilliantly Simple!

One reader will win  a Smile Brilliant’s LED Whitening System!


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A sample of this product was sent to facilitate my review.  Opinions are my own.

Fellowes Saturn2 95 Laminator (plus a coupon!)

I’ve waited a really, really long time to say this. I have my very own Fellowes Saturn2 95 laminator. I can laminate whatever I want, whenever I want. Well, anything that fits into my Fellowes Laminator. Emergency cards? Laminated. Fun printable activities? Laminated. Name tags for the kids to wear the first few weeks of school? Laminated in seconds. If it’s the right size and fits, I’m probably going to at least attempt to laminate it. I even took some Astrobrights paper and made little wipe off calendars for each of the kids – if they are waiting anxiously for an event (like their birthday) they can use a dry erase marker to cross off the days while waiting- and they aren’t going to be asking me 100 times a day to write on my family calendar! (Of course, this won’t stop them from asking, but I can direct them to their own calendars).

Name tag going into the laminator


I’m a Brownie troop leader (well, to be. We’re moving up to Brownies this fall, my oldest and me). That offers more chances to laminate. The Girl Scout Law, the Girl Scout Promise- both have to be memorized, and now I can make my girls cute little laminated cards with the Law & Promise on them that won’t get wet or ripped!

Name tag coming out of the laminator

With the holidays almost always comes cookie swapping. I am not sure I’ve ever finished writing out a recipe card and NOT spilled on it at some point. Recipe cards are great for laminating too. Plus, if you have a special recipe card that maybe your favorite aunt wrote out for you, and you are afraid the ink may fade or wash away if it gets wet- laminating that card means preserving her handwriting and comments/notes…while still being able to use the card.

Laminating a wipe off calendar for my son

I laminated brightly colored triangles to make a “Back to School” banner for the kids.

This laminator is so much fun to have around.  Practical, yes, but also fun.  There are so many things I have plans to laminate- and so many friends who want to borrow it!
For some fun laminating ideas, click here

HeatGuard™ Technology: Double-walled insulation keeps heat inside so laminator is comfortable to touch, making it safe for homes with children (Safety is so important, especially given that you have to let your machine warm up before use- it’s hard to just sit next to a machine for 20 minutes when there are other things to do!)

Advanced Temperature Control: Hot and cold laminating capabilities ensure consistent, smooth results every time

Jam Release Lever: Permits easy removal or re-centering of stalled pouches. (Levers like this were made for people like me.  I don’t deny it).

From August 5th – August 25th friends of Mom Central can use exclusive coupon code 87298 to receive $30 off the regular price ($159.99) of a Fellowes Saturn2 95 at! (while supplies last; maximum two machines per person)

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Fellowes and received a product sample to facilitate my review.”


$200 Joovy ‘Cool’ Giveaway

The dog days are here…. it is hot everywhere and we all need a break.  Let’s get cool with a Joovy Giveaway!

Joovy has released so many cool new products this summer we’d like you all to have a chance to GET JOOVY COOL!  Check out the new products and then enter to win $200 towards the purchase of one of these (or another Joovy product of your choice.)

Loo – are you potty training?  Get the Loo for the cleanest looking training potty around!

Spoon – is baby learning to walk?  The Spoon is walker meets highchair, has adjustable heights and comes in 4 great colors

StepTool – you’ll want one in every room: bathroom, kitchen, pantry!!! Super sturdy, stackable and good looking!

theBabaSling – comes in ten gorgeous colors, even a limited edition print! Breastfeed discreetly and carry baby with ease!

Caboose Too Seat – the Caboose Too Seat is a full-size add on seat that makes your Caboose or Caboose Ultralight a double with two full size seats.  Best for when you’ve got children close in age!

These are just a few of the new introductions from Joovy.  Visit our website to see the complete line-up!  Enter the Giveaway below.
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