$750 Amazon Giveaway

If you’re anything like me, you are SO ready for summer. June is SO BUSY for us and we’re only a day into it.  Yikes.  So what better way to celebrate than to give away one of our biggest prizes ever? That’s right — my blogger friends and I have come together to give one very lucky reader the chance to win an Amazon gift card loaded with… $750!

Totally Awesome Amazon

Will you be the winner of the $750 Amazon Gift Card? Bookmark this page and come back every day to enter and earn bonus entries by sharing the giveaway with your friends on social media. Good luck!

 

GIVEAWAY

 

Prizes: $750 Amazon Gift Card

 

Organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

 

Co-hosts: This Mama Loves ♥ Broward Saves ♥ Fluttering Lashes ♥ True Story Book Blog ♥ Amazing Super Savers ♥ Babushka’s Baile ♥ Finger Click Saver ♥ Fresh Fit N Healthy ♥ Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog ♥ Mama Papa Barn ♥ Misadventures with Andi ♥ Mom and More ♥ Pretty Thrifty ♥ Stacy’s Savings ♥ StushiGal Style ♥ The Skinny-Life ♥ The WiC Project

 

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Besides the mandatory blog comment entry, all other entries are optional. Giveaway ends 7/2 and is open worldwide.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hey bloggers! Would you like to grow your blog and increase your social media following? Click here to  sign up for the next Totally Awesome Giveaway and join a group of awesome bloggers!

 

Trista Sutter on family, gratitude and the great outdoors

Earlier this week I had the chance to sit down (via Skype) and chat with Trista Sutter.  Yes, “that” Trista Sutter.  Which is kind of ironic, because I’m fairly certain I’ve never watched The Bachelor nor The Bachelorette. (I have no reason why, although if they are all like Trista, I would love to watch….) So for me, this was a way to connect with another mom, albeit a mom who has a lot more fame in her life than I ever will.  It was a lovely conversation (though brief) but there were a few things that she said that were so meaningful to me, that really have just given me a refreshed view this week. I needed it.  It was nice to hear so much “normal” from a celebrity- talking about her kids playing sports, planning camps, playing Minecraft, stuff that the “rest of us” chat about all the time.

 trista-sutter-headshot-#theoutdoorsmissesyou

I had the chance to ask Trista a few questions- I was curious to hear what activities the family likes to enjoy most outdoors together.  Biking, hiking, walks, playing… the Sutters just really seem to enjoy being outside all of the time. They even go camping- and yes, I asked. They do tent camping.  (Clearly she’s braver than I am, I’m an RV camping girl I think…but I can hang in a tent. I’d just prefer not to….) It was really clear that Trista really values family time, together time.  Being outdoors with the family is important and part of their family on a regular basis. :)

 

Given that Trista’s partnered with OFF! brand to help get everyone OUTDOORS and enjoying all that mother nature offers, together, with our families, we had to find out some information about what her favorite OFF! products are. The Botanical Wipes came up several times, as did clip on repellents.  I haven’t tried the wipes but we plan to get some this week- my kids are really fair skinned and that pale skin is very sensitive to insect bites.  We’re looking forward to trying some wipes to keep the bugs OFF! the kids!

trista-sutter-happily-ever-after-bachelorette

I want to read Trista’s book: Happily Ever After: The Life-Changing Power of a Grateful Heart.  Why?

“The most important time to find gratitude is in those most difficult times because that’s how you get through them. Realize they are a blessing, even when it’s hard.” (Thank you for remembering that quote, Janel!)

Because showing gratitude every single day is immensely important.  It’s SO easy to get caught up in stuff- the big, the small, the daunting, the simple, and lose that gratitude.  But it matters. It’s important.  Trista shared with us that she committed to sharing gratitude on social media daily.  Every day. Part of being happy is choosing gratitude.  I’m pretty sure that I’ve heard that message many times in church sermons through the years.  I just have found times in my life where I almost forget to choose gratitude.  I’m recommitted to choosing happy…choosing gratitude…choosing positive.

mother-day-hammonasset

One of the best ways I have found that helps me to choose positive, choose gratitude, IS to get outdoors and BE with my family.  I actually wrote a whole post about the last minute decision on Mother’s Day to head to the beach knowing it’d not be warm enough to swim but feeling that strong urge to just get AWAY from the every day and connect with the family outside, exploring, appreciating, finding gratitude.  Choosing in those moments, planned or unplanned- those are the moments that turn into reasons for gratitude. We had one of the best days we’ve had all year and my cup was just overflowing.

As a mom, hearing Trista share how she says Magic Words to her children every night and has them repeat them really touched my heart. The biggest?

You are important” (yes, from The Help). What a gift to give your kids to remind them every single night they are important to you. I’ve decided we need to start using Magic Words in our family too.

national-get-outdoors-day

Oh, and one last thing? National Get Outdoors Day is June 14th. Cities all across the nation will be participating and you can join in on the fun or plan your own outdoor activities for that weekend. Check out NationalGetOutdoorsDay.org to see what’s planned for your area. Whatever you decide, do it outdoors!!

trista-sutter-book-giveaway-prizepack-#theoutsidemissesyou

One reader will  win a picnic basket, an outdoor blanket, a copy of Trista’s book and a bottle of OFF! FamilyCare Insect Repellent.

To enter, simple follow instructions on the Giveaway Tools form below.

 

This is a compensated post.  Opinions are my own.

PLEASE NOTE THAT SINCE THESE PRODUCTS ARE REGISTERED WITH THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, IT IS A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW TO USE THESE PRODUCTS IN ANY WAY OTHER THAN DIRECTED ON THE LABEL. PLEASE ENSURE YOU READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY BEFORE TRYING THE PRODUCT

 

Meet the #Doozers on #Hulu! #Giveaway

We have four new friends we want you to meet.  They are Doozers, and their little group of friends is called “the Pod Squad.” They live in Doozer Creek, a modern and eco-friendly community.  Doozer Creek is full of adventures galore for the Pod Squad, with friends who engage in exciting projects and who love to play together.
doozers

Meet the Pod Squad

Spike

doozers spike

Molly Bolt

doozers molly

Flex

doozers-flex

Daisy Wheel

doozers-daisywheel
Doozers is the first Hulu Original for kids! The CGI animated preschool series comes from The Jim Henson Company (Dinosaur Train, Sid the Science Kid) and DHX Media (Yo Gabba Gabba, SuperWHY!). Watch Doozers on Hulu at http://hulu.tv/i7M.
The Pod Squad loves to DESIGN, CREATE, and INNOVATE. These Doozers are DOERS – they put their ideas into action! If that sounds like work, think again! What kid wouldn’t want to design their very own Doozer Derby racing car, fly in a jetpack (or better yet…fly with a kaleidoscope of butterflies!), or build a giant life-sized gingerbread house?! Whatever they are doing, the Pod Squad always manages to have a fantastic time!

HuluGiftSubscription
One reader will win a 
6-month Hulu Plus Gift Subscription ($47.97 ARV)

 
 
 
 This is a sponsored post on behalf of Hulu.  Opinions are my own.
 
 

$500 Target Gift Card Giveaway

Who’s ready to get their spring & summer shopping on? This month we’re giving away a $500 Target gift card to one of our fabulous readers! Remember, you can enter daily and earn bonus entries by sharing the giveaway with your friends on social media. Good luck!

 Totally Awesome Target Giveaway

GIVEAWAY

 

Prizes: $500 Target Gift Card

 

Organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

 

Co-hosts: This Mama Loves ♥ Lush to Blush ♥ Pretty Thrifty ♥ By Sarah Halstead ♥ Put A Little Umbrella In Your Drink ♥ Southern Girl Ramblings ♥ Stacy’s Savings ♥  Married to the Game ♥ alex à la mode ♥ Blog by Donna ♥ A Labour of Life ♥ [oomph.] ♥ Broward Saves ♥ Honey & Birch ♥ Skirt The Rules ♥ Our Small Hours ♥ Deal Mama ♥ StushiGal Style ♥ Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog

 

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Besides the mandatory blog comment entry, all other entries are optional. Giveaway ends 5/31 and is open worldwide.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

 

Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

It’s the end of April which means Mother’s Day is coming up fast, my friends.  I’m all about personalized and monogrammed items, so I wanted to find some ideas in some different price ranges to fit my likes and budget.  I recently discovered C. Wonder and quite honestly, fell in love. This post is brought to you by our friends at C. Wonder.

Chevron Stationary sets- I LOVE these. I still love to send and receive “snail” mail, and pretty papers and notecards just make me happy. A set of 8 with a monogram is just $10.00 and paired with a nice pen? A beautiful gift! monogram chevron stationary

One thing that stuck out to me about these gift ideas for Mother’s Day from C. Wonder is how many items there are at each price point in the guide.  On many sites I feel like the guides have a lot more included in higher price brackets and less included in more affordable price ranges, but C. Wonder seems to welcome all shoppers regardless of what their bottom line is.
cork jewelry box

There are gifts ranging from $10 and up over $200 on C. Wonder- and so many in between. I”m not going to lie- I think this is one of those sites where I’m all “oh, that’s a fabulous thing and I’l just get one for so and so and one for me…”  You can find fun and funky summer dishes, cutting boards, cheese knives and so much more. There are shoes, jewelry and clothing on C. Wonder as well. Be warned, you may spend a lot of time perusing C. Wonder before you leave the site….

cork bowls

I love monograms and personalized items. I think it stems from being a girl named Brett my whole life.  No one ever had “Brett” Items to buy and I was always left without. Now I can have it all monogrammed for me!

 

whalecutting board

Using the C. Wonder codes at Coupons.com will help you to get an even better deal on the guide items! That means you can save more and spend smart. I’d really like to find a coupon code to help me get this Harbor Tile Print wrap dress. I love the colors and the pattern on it!

c wonder dress

If you decide to  shop the Mother’s Day Gift Guide at C. Wonder, let me know. I’m curious to see what you choose too!
500_c_wonder_coupons_giveaway

One (U.S. only) person will get the chance to win a $500 e-gift card to C. Wonder. The giveaway will end Friday, May 9, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do your kids drink milk?

Do your kids like to drink milk?  I have 2 kids who love milk.  They will drink it all day long if I let them (I don’t).  But my other child?  Not likely.  Unless it’s flavored, she won’t touch it.  That’s a whole new ball game. MilkSplash is an innovative new milk flavoring that is perfect for busy parents who want their kids to drink more milk. They asked if we’d give some of their flavors a try and share about our experience with you.

milksplash
The packaging for this product is a lot of fun. Each flavor has it’s own distinct name with a character on the package to go along with it.  The packaging is small so it’s easily brought along in a lunch bag or cooler bag and kids can have a sense of control over how they flavor their milk.  My kids were happy to see that their Coco Loco milk looked just like regular chocolate milk, and that Sir Strawberry Swirl makes milk pink just like our beloved Bunny Milk (strawberry milk).

Although this product currently contains artificial sweeteners, it has zero calories and it allows kids to enjoy milk on their own terms. I’m happy to tell you that MilkSplash is also working on an all natural version!  We’ll be watching for that ourselves.MilkSplash is available now in select Target stores and at Walmart stores nationwide.

milksplash milk flavor options

There are several flavors of the Milksplash product that are available.  I (rightfully) assumed there’d be a chocolate, a vanilla, and maybe a strawberry.  I was surprised at some of the other fun flavors they came up with -Cookies ‘n Cream, Orange Dream Cream, Jammin’ Banana. Adorable names, appealing packaging!
milksplash milk flavoring chocolate
My son is all about chocolate.  Which is kind of a relief to me since for the first four years of his life, he hated anything chocolate, and I wasn’t sure how I’d had a kid who hated chocolate. I mean, I love it. LOVE it love it. Thankfully, he’s come around and understands the greatness of chocolate now. He loves the Cocoa Loco Milksplash flavor.  He’s asked if we can get some Jammin’ Banana next- he’s on a banana kick lately, so here I go being a nice mom and going to Target just for that one little item.  Just one Milksplash, right?
strawberry milk flavoring milksplash
Do we do flavored milk every day? No.  Do we do artificial sweeteners regularly? No.  Would I give this to my kids again?  I would. I’d prefer to hold off until they are able to create the product with natural ingredients, but it doesn’t mean I’d never but the product.  Everything in moderation, my friends. :)
milksplash thumb

So why do so many moms want their kids to drink more milk?

Milk delivers nine essential nutrients: calcium, potassium, phosphorous, protein, vitamin D, vitamin A,
vitamin B12, riboflavin and niacin.
One of those essential nutrients – calcium – builds and maintains healthy bones and teeth and delivers
increased energy, better memory and regulates blood pressure.

According to a survey, many moms say their kids won’t drink milk without flavor.  So MilkSplash took those survey results and created something that doesn’t add extra fat or calories to the milk, but made the flavor more fun so kids would want to drink their milk.

In our house, MilkSplash is a hit. My little ones are big milk drinkers anyway, but they were excited to have some fun flavors to add and it was something new to try.

Two readers will each win a MilkSplash sample pack and a $25 Target Gift Card!

 

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

Have you ever wished for a smart thermostat?

You know, when you get to work and realize you didn’t remember to turn down the heat and no one will be home until super late that night?  

Honeywell sent us their Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat for this review.  This thermostat is easy to install and quick to register.  You can set a schedule for the temperature of your home and you can even change the schedule remotely via the internet or an app.  How cool is that?

Honeywell Wi-fi thermostat

The Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat Model # RTH9580WF retails for $224.  But, before you purchase it, go HERE and make sure your heating system is compatible.  We had to run new wire and to get ours installed but if you check the home compatibility and make sure you have a “C” wire it will go smoothly for you.

Smart technology made simple

  • Control from Anywhere – Honeywell’s reliable and highly-rated app allows you to program your thermostat from your computer, tablet and smartphone, whether you’re across the room or around the world
  • Simple Setup – The Wi-Fi smart thermostat’s simple setup guides you through a few basic questions to get your 7-day program up and running and save you money fast
  • Customizable Color Touchscreen – The bright, easy-to-read touchscreen can be color customized to fit your mood, match your paint, or support your favorite team!
  • Smart, Flexible Scheduling – Our Wi-Fi smart thermostat offers flexible programming options for business and residential needs
  • Smart Response – This smart thermostat even learns your heating and cooling cycle times to deliver just the right temperature, right when you want it
  • Advanced Fan/Comfort Control – Improves air circulation and helps regulate the temperature throughout your home
  • Auto Alerts – Extreme temperature alerts and filter change reminders are sent to your connected network devices and are display on your Honeywell Wi-Fi smart thermostat, so whether you’re home or away, you’ll never miss an alert
  • Reliable App – This highly rated app is backed by Honeywell’s reliable network, for dependable access and peace of mind. Available for iOS and Android devices
  • Indoor Humidity Sensor – Your indoor humidity is displayed right below the temperature
  • Locking Touchscreen – Advanced locking features and password options provide smart security and convenience
  • Compatible with heating, cooling and heat pumps
  • Does not work with heat pumps with electric baseboard heat (120-240V)
  • 1-Year Warranty

Once we ran the wires and connected them to the furnace, the set up was quick and easy.  I took a picture of the information I needed to set up the free online account and app.  Setting up the account was easy and now I can manage the climate of my house from anywhere in the world.  Technology is amazing!  Our previous thermostat was programmable but not user friendly.  This Honeywell Wi-Fi smart thermostat will help us save money without sacrificing comfort.

Money saving thermostat

Three readers will win a Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat!

Honeywell provided this thermostat for the review.  All opinions are my own.

 

What is Kombucha and Why Should I Drink it

What is Kombucha and Why Should I Drink It?
I always get excited when I know a package is being delivered.  But, when I got my tracking information from GetKombucha.com for my Kombucha Continuous Brewing Kit, I obsessively tracked the package.  Dave at GetKombucha.com is a wicked upbeat guy who loves to share the benefits of Kombucha and sent me this kit to get started.

Home Brew Kombucha

So, what is Kombucha? 

Kombucha, affectionately called Booch, is a fermented and effervescent tea drink loaded with probiotics.  Kombucha has been around for thousands of years and can be traced back to the Qin Dynasty in China.  Kombucha starts off as sweet tea but through the fermentation process it takes on a slight vinegary taste.  When you home brew Kombucha you can stop the fermentation when it gets to the taste you prefer and you can add flavor at that point.

How is Kombucha Made?

This is what Dave from GetKombucha.com wrote:

Stuff You Need (please refer to the terms found on our in lesson one of our free 7 day kombucha mini course for more info on the terms.  the sign up form is at the bottom of this post).

  • Kombucha Mushrooms – (also known as a kombucha culture or kombucha SCOBY)
  • 1 cup of kombucha mushroom starter.
  • 1 cup organic sugar – you can use white sugar but make sure it says “cane sugar”
  • Four to Six tea bags (ahem.. or you could pick up some of our Signature Organic Kombucha Loose Leaf Tea Blend) – if using premium loose whole leaf tea use between four to six teaspoons.
  • Breathable cover – (you can use a simple paper towel or handkerchief and will allow fruit flies in your brew
  • rubber band to fasten the cloth cover over the kombucha brewing vessel.
  • A magical unicorn (optional)
  • Water (we recommend spring water if possible)
  • Stainless steel pot
  • Kombucha brewing vessel – glass, stainless steel or oak – you can use food grade plastic or a Porcelain Brewer if you know it is certified lead free

It really is a simple process and the waiting is the hardest part.

How To Brew Kombucha

Here is a quick rundown of how to make your own Kombucha.

In a sterilized pot brew some sweet tea and let it cool.

Pour the room the tea into a lead free porcelain or glass jar.

Add your SCOBY (aka kombucha mushroom)

Place the jar in a warm dark place and wait about a week.

Taste your tea, if it is the right flavor, bottle it, flavor it, Enjoy it.

It is really that simple.

SCOBY for Kombucha

What am I Waiting For?

You will be waiting for a tasty elixir that is filled with probiotics (healthy bacteria) and antioxidants.  I enjoy kombucha all the time but when my stomach is feeling “off”, kombucha always settles it.  Kombucha also has worked great when I have acid reflux.

Home brewed kombucha

Benefits of Kombucha

As I just mentioned, after I drink kombucha my stomach feels settled and my system seems more balanced.  The FDA has not approved Kombucha for any medicinal purposes but there is a ton of compelling information out there.  Check out what Dave has to say about the benefits of Kombucha on his BLOG.

How Can I Get Started?

If you want brew your own kombucha, start reading about it online and email Dave over at GetKombucha.com.  He is knowledgeable and entertaining.  He has tons of helpful videos on the website and I know he has even more exciting things planned for GetKombucha.com.   The KOMBUCHA CONTINUOUS BREWING SYSTEM Gold Package retails for $196.97 and has everything you need to get started.  Once you use it a couple of times it has paid for itself.  Store bought kombucha sells for about $3-$6 a bottle. 

CBSPackageSilver__65287_std

Enter to  win a KOMBUCHA CONTINUOUS BREWING SYSTEM Silver Package from GetKombucha.com.  This kits retails for $139.97.

 

Here’s What You Are Going To Get

  • Certified Lead Free Porcelain Brewer.  FDA approved ~ 2.5 gallons ~ 1 foot in diameter.
  • Hand Crafted Wood Stand. Raises your brewer an additional foot making the total height 2 feet and enables bottling your kombucha a breeze on any counter top!
  • ONE Fully Grown Organic Kombucha Mushroom Culture – 6 inches in diameter!  Individually packaged in its own organic kombucha starter tea ~ add both cultures in with your brewer to speed up fermentation times OR save one for future experimental brewing with your kombucha boosters!
  • Dispenser Spigots, Covers, Fastener Bands, PH Strips, Muslin Tea Filters, Brewing Gloves, and More!  We give you everything you need to make brewing a breeze.  We even include double the spigots and covers in both black and white so you can customize your brewer and alwas have a backup… we got you covered!
  • Kombucha Whole Leaf Tea Blend.  60 servings so that you can enjoy Gallons of free kombucha tea at home.  This is our proprietary kombucha tea blend specifically designed for continuous kombucha tea making.

PLUS

  • Lifetime Membership to GetKombucha Community Support Forums and Trainings ($195 Value)
  • Kombucha Continuous Brew Set Up Instant Online Video Access.  Over 51 Videos and Growing!  ($35 Value)

Kombucha starter kit

kombucha lead-free brewing vessel

 

GetKombucha.com provided the kit to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

Say Hello to Office 365 Personal

Say Hello to Office 365 Personal


I LOVE Office 365.  It’s made my life- personally and professionally- so much easier. Things are just in sync with one another and having things available no matter where I am, without having to save or whatever? Priceless. Now it’s available in a personal version so for those of us who may not need it on multiple PC or Macs, we can save a little and enjoy all that Office 365 has to offer. When my friends at Lunchbox asked if I’d do a post with a giveaway to tell everyone about Office 365 Personal, I had to say yes! I love it!  Seriously. OneNote and OneDrive are worth it for me. I use both all day, every day.  Other too, but those are my 2 main. LOVE them.

office365 personal

Introducing Office Personal 365, a brand new version just for you.

Personal gives you all the perks of Office 365 for less — including installations on 1 PC or Mac, 1 Tablet + mobile, as well as subscriptions for your favorite Office Professional apps like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and Outlook. Get anywhere access across your devices for the low price of $69.99 annually or $6.99 monthly. Your apps will always be up to date and you can enjoy the benefits of 20 GB of additional OneDrive storage plus 60 minutes of Skype calling per month.

 

Office for iPad

With Office Personal 365, documents look better than ever on iPad and you never have to worry about losing your formatting. Take your work with you on the go and edit with ease on the always-up-to-date Word, Excel and Powerpoint apps.

 

One is not the loneliest number when it comes to new Office 365 Personal. Shop now or renew your subscription today. Available at Walmart.

 One reader will win a $50 Walmart Gift Card !!

To enter, retweet the following tweet:


 

You can also Tweet this yourself- just leave the link to your Tweet- but the tweet MUST include this exact verbiage:

Office 365 is here! RT for a chance to #win a $50 Walmart gift card! http://bit.ly/1jGt3C4 #OfficeGiveaway

Another Tweet to RT for extra chances to win:


This giveaway will end on Sunday, April 27 at 11:59pm EST.