Cars and Cars 2 Deals at!

Are you looking for a few more Cars or Cars 2 toys to add under the tree? Hurry to the and Take an Extra 20% off Cars Merchandise!

Use promo code MCQUEEN. Ends 12/14!

This 10pc play set is only $12.00 after extra 20% off!

Other deals included:

Cars 2 Lightning McQueen Remote Control Vehicle – $16.00 after discount

Select Pajama Sets for Boys – $6.39 after discount

Cars 2 Aluminum Water Bottle – marked down from $10.50 to just $5.00! Only $4.00 after discount!

Cars 2 Kids Tee – $6.40 after discount

Shop today!

Thanks Saving Toward A Better Life!

Windows Phone Samsung Focus™ Flash #Giveaway

I am an admitted smartphone junkie.  I love having a phone that lets me stay connected whenever I want.  Being a social media person, I check email frequently thoroughout the day, and often need to “check in” in different places for different reasons.  A phone I have recently had the chance to try out is the Samsung Focus™ Flash, which is a Windows based phone preloaded with lots of fun and features.   I like the look of this phone, and honestly of all the smartphones I’ve tried to date, this is one of my favorites, and most user friendly out-of-the-box.   I like gadgets but I like someone to just have it 100% ready to go for me.  Once my service was activated, setting up all of my accounts and sync options was super simple.  The screen is a nice size, and the phone fits easily into my hand- things that make me happy.  I like the colors and the screen isn’t super glare-y.  (Yes, that’s right…that IS a technical term.  In my world anyway!)

With a Windows Phone, navigating the holidays has never been easier. The only phone with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn built in, Windows Phones are a perfect fit for the holidays, making it easy to connect and share with the people who matter, whether you’re organizing holiday travel, picking out gifts or just saying happy holidays – no app required. Plus, with features like Local Scout, you can find your favorite shopping hot spots nearby – wherever you are.


I really like the affordability of this phone.  $49.99 right now at AT& plus a free $25 prepaid APP card with purchase.  That’s a pretty affordable phone, and who doesn’t love freebies with purchase?  [click to continue…]

Holidays on the Loose DVD (Giveaway)

One of the first things my family does when the holidays begin is to watch Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  It kind of marks the start of the season and it’s become a tradition.  With the new Holidays on the Loose, we can now enjoy this beloved storybook come to life (which we read all year round) and now, some other seuss-tastic stories on DVD.  This is definitely a fun gift for any Dr. Seuss lover in your life- including yourself!!  This DVD is available in stores and online now!

Celebrate that special time of year with Dr. Seuss’ magical stories. Just in time for the gift-giving season, Dr. Seuss’s Holidays on the Loose! offers consumers the perfect collection of iconic classics in an all new gift set that is sure to captivate both kids and adults alike.

Dr. Seuss’s Holidays on the Loose! Featured Specials Include: [click to continue…]

SpongeBob Surf & Skate Roadtrip for Nintendo DS!

America’s favorite sponge is going on a roadtrip!! SpongeBob Surf & Skate Roadtrip is now available on Nintendo DS!  Join SpongeBob and Patrick as they skate and surf their way across a whole new world.  Bikini Bottom lovers and anyone who likes to skate or surf will enjoy this game.  I had fun with it- from customizing your boards to surfing with a sponge…its hard not to!

In story mode (which is what I played), you kind of follow SpongeBob and Patrick in an arcade style play.  With the Challenge mode, this is where things get more serious, more adventurous, and more challenging with 7 different challenges and 12 new environments to explore.   The better you get the more awesome your skate and surfboard can become!!

Surf and Skate across more than 24 maps
2-player multi-play with Single and Multi-card gaming
Grab some air in 5 different victory conditions – Score, Collectible, Combo Mayhem, Win the Race, Untouchable
More than 150 ways to play for unlimited hours of boarding action
Customize your boards with colors, stamps, wheels, fins and decks
Bonus Sport: Full Snowboarding level with 10 maps unlocked upon game completion

Surf & Skate Roadtrip is also available on the XBox360.   [click to continue…]

Ebates’ Cyber Monday 2: #Win Cash #giveaway 3 winners

Ebates is my favorite cash back site for online shopping.  I almost never even consider shopping online without heading to Ebates first- just to see if the site offers cash back for my purchases.  Especially for items that aren’t eligible for coupons, I can often get cash back on my order- which ultimately kind of IS a coupon..just delayed.  Or you could view it like a rebate.

Ebates is starting Cyber Monday 2 on December 12th at 12:01 AM EST with double cash back at over 500  stores! ToysRUs is normally 4% cash back, they’ve been at 7% for a few weeks, and on Cyber Monday 2 will be 10%!  I have ordered a few things from them this week and some arrived within 48 hours- so there is plenty of time to holiday shop!

Need to send some flowers this season?  Order them on Cyber Monday 2 from Teleflora or FTD and get 30% cash back!

They are also having a final holiday promotion on December 16th called Free Shipping Friday.

Have you signed up yet?  You get $10 free in your account or in a $10 gift card- you can choose from several stores for that!!  [click to continue…]

Holiday Cookie Recipe Swap: Turtle Cookie Balls & Chocolate Crinkles

Cookie Recipe SwapEvery Tuesday now through Christmas you will be able to see the Mavens of Money’s favorite cookies recipes. Ranging from long held family traditions to brand new recipes to old time favorites they will be given each Tuesday in hopes that you will try a few and love them too!

And the best part?! You can participate as well! Simply post your recipes at the bottom of this post and share with other readers your favorite cookies, bars, or treat recipes! At the end of the four weeks I will showcase a few of YOUR recipes in their own post! [click to continue…]

Matchbox Mice from Maileg- Cuteness all the way from Denmark #giveaway 6 winners!

A few weeks ago, Jenni and I were chatting and I noticed a stack of catalogs with pages marked or pulled out. One such catalog page was from Garnet Hill, and when I grabbed the page to look, I gasped. These little cuties (to the left) were on the page, and we both said “We NEED these mice!” Little stuffed mice, who sleep in little tiny matchbox beds, and live in a milk carton house. They have little tiny furniture pieces made from little pieces of newspaper. Mom and Dad mouse sleep in a cigar box. Whimsical, simple, and oh so very sweet with lots of attention to detail and let me tell you- one look and you’re in love. These are called the Mice Family, imported from the rustic, nostalgic and artistic minds from Maileg… and there are many family members to love. There’s newborn twins, little brother and sister, big brother and sister, and mom and dad…with Christmas versions of several of these. I will warn you now that you will not want to stop at one. Or two. You’ll want the whole family and you’ll probably want some friends for them. They are

THAT cute. They are tiny, too, so they are easy to travel with, and are wonderful toys to inspire imaginative and creative play.

I was surprised at how sturdy the matchbox itself was for the mice- I’m not sure what I expected, but this is a nice, durable cardboard, made to last to lots of playtime. I forsee hours and hours of play. Or rather, more and more hours of play. One day we may even let our kids play with them too. I love that the clothes aren’t meant to be changed on the mice family. I want to be little again so that these can be my favorite toys, clutched in my hands at every possible moment and carried around wherever I go. Maileg doesn’t stop with the Mice family. There are bunnies and wooden toys and fabric banners and clothes and elf hats…there are textiles for the home and cards for sending, and even rustic wrapping paper to prepare your parcel for giving. They’ve only been here in the US for a few months but I have a feeling they are going to be around for a very, very long time! [click to continue…]

Nintendo has DS and Wii bundles for everyone just in time for the holiday!

On Sunday, Dec. 4, Nintendo launched new bundles featuring a pink Nintendo 3DSportable system and either the nintendogs + cats: French Bulldog and New Friends or nintendogs + cats: Toy Poodle and New Friends software.

The limited-edition bundles are available at a suggested retail price of $169.99 in the U.S. – the same price as the standard Nintendo 3DS system.  But these come WITH a game.  Plus, they have pink!  Yes, pink!

If you remember, we tried the 3DS over the summer, and thought it was cool.  While the 3d features are great, I love that you can turn them off.  The kids don’t mind 3d, I get dizzy after a while (must be my old age).  I still love me some Super Mario World though!  Any DS game will work on the 3DS, although obviously if they aren’t a 3D game you cannot play them in 3D mode.

I am so happy that Nintendo offers games like the nintendogs+cats games, because I think they are cute and fun and am always glad when violence is not included in games, particularly for children. I think there is plenty of violence and there’s a place for everything- it doesn’t have to be in games my kids play!  There’s a HUGE range of games and products to fit budgets and preferences with the Nintendo family.

If you have a someone on your list who loves pink and likes the idea of a DS, I’d be on the lookout for this limited edition pink 3DS bundle!!  It’s all kinds of awesome.

Not sure you want to go with the 3DS?  Nintendo has a lot of other options for both the DS line and the Wii! [click to continue…]

Are your holiday memories in the music? #ChristmasFantasyCD

One of the most significant things to me about the Christmas season is the music that goes along with this season. So many of my memories that I cherish most of all are tied in with carols and songs about Christmas. I didn’t grow up Catholic, but my Grama B was and I went to Christmas Eve mass with her every single year, and we’d sing Angels We Have Heard on High – I always feel a smile in my heart as my eyes shed a tear remembering those services.    The Little Drummer Boy sure does make for great background music to wrap presents to!

My mom had about 40 different Christmas albums-not CDs, but albums.  Records.  She did modernize as time went on but if you know how records sound- that’s part of my association with Christmas.  We always used to make a different kind of cookie each night after dinner and before bed all through December, and I’m not sure she ever turned the stereo OFF at any point in time during the month.  There was always holiday music on somewhere in the house- infrequently, kid versions, but mostly, just her favorite artists and favorite songs.

I’ve apparently inherited mom’s Christmas Crazy- it’s definitely in the genes, my kids are doomed.  But my collection of Christmas music grows each year, and my 6 year old is already asking me “Mommy WHY do you tell me about when grama played this song to decorate the tree every single year” so I know that I’m planting the seeds in her little memory as well. [click to continue…]

Learning Resources Time Tracker® Mini & Let’s Tackle Kindergarten (Giveaway)

Learning Resources hit another parenting need spot on with their Time Tracker® Mini.  This little blue time tracker has been helping in a huge way in helping my kids “get” when something is going to happen- from time outs to their sister getting off the bus, to needing to get ready FOR the bus, how much time someone has with a toy, etc.  The mini time tracker not only functions as a timer but the d0me shaped top also lights up red, and then yellow, and when it is time, green.  The visual cues have made a huge difference in the struggles we sometimes have over timing issues- I don’t get asked every 4 seconds “can I come out of time out yet” or “is it my turn to play with that toy” or reminding kids to get shoes on.  Now, I can set the timer and say, when this goes off, and the light is green, we have to put shoes on and go leave for school.  You can play, do xyz, until the light is green.  They can look over, even my 2 year old, and understand that no green=its not time.  I love it.  The small size means I’m not searching for someplace to store this thing and it’s easy to bring wherever, around the house or outside.  Let’s face it- waiting, time lapsing, etc, are hard for kids (and me) and any way I can help to facilitate transitions or waiting is a good thing!

The Time Tracker Mini is also great for teachers and students alike in many of the same ways it is good for parents and families at home. The visual and auditory signals really helps children – and teachers- to anticipate timing.  (See embedded video below)

  • Offers unique visual and auditory indicators, including a warning alarm
  • Operates easily with just 2 dials: total alarm time and warning time
  • Provides flexibility with total alarm time range of 5 minutes to 2 hours, in 5-minute increments
  • Counts down until the colored light glows and the alarm sounds
  • Supports visual-only timing when you adjust volume or turn off the sound completely
  • Measures 3.25″L x 3.25″W x 4.75″H
  • Requires 3 AAA batteries, not included ARV $19.99 (available in 1/12)

Let’s Tackle Kindergarten arrived at a time when Jenni’s oldest son, who is in Kindergarten, was struggling with a few concepts, and she wanted to reinforce some things at home.  I’d originally wanted this kit because my son is really wanting to do more with me, but we sent it up the road to Jenni’s house.  We both like that while this kit is really a teaching and learning tool, full of resources and manipulatives to reinforce the concepts taught and learned in Kindergarten, to a kid, it’s a fun tackle box, filled with things to play and do- although my son doesn’t understand why there aren’t worms to sort and count with since you use a tackle box for fishing!!  He doesn’t mind the pets, nor have an issue, but in his mind, it’s a tackle box, so there should be worms for sorting.  I really like that the included activity book is a wipe-off book.  Less waste and I can keep using it! [click to continue…]