Checking In: See how we like our cheap wireless plan

Remember, about a month ago I shared that we were checking out the Walmart Family Mobile plan with the Concord phone and the cheap wireless plan? Well, it’s been long enough that hubby (as well as me, and the 8 year old) have been able to play around and use the phone to really see what we think of the plan.  The verdict: we love it. It may not have the most bells and whistles of some other smartphones that cost 5-6 times as much, but it has the bells and whistles we USE and need.

My husband is able to send photos to us while he’s on the road- so when he sees something really cool, instead of  just describing it over dinner, and trying to share the image from a teeny tiny flip phone, he can send it immediately. Like last week, he caught about 20 blue crabs- he was able to tell not just tell us but also SHOW us…and I was able to get the grill set up to cook the crabs. (Which is the absolute end of my involvement with the crabs).

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I have to admit right now that yes I did add myself into the phone contacts. Just in case you were wondering. 😉

When he’s home, my 8 year old has taken over this phone. She loves to text.  We don’t let her text many folks, but we have let her text family members.  She’s also been known to text me if I am up in my room or she’s down in the basement with my husband.  But she’s also able to text her daddy from my phone when he’s at work and check in or tell him something that happened- the two of them are thick as thieves and that’s been great for both of them.  My son has been playing around taking photos to send via text or just to surprise his dad with….

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We’re also in the process of redoing a room in our home- and now my husband is able to compare prices or send me links because he has a phone with a data plan.  He was at a business, loved their flooring, asked where it was from and was able to send me the link to check out within 5 minutes.  That’s not something that we’d have been able to do before.

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Having the ability to keep in touch and be able to search online for things with a smartphone has been wonderful for my husband (and for me).  Even just for being able to search for where a place IS or a phone number makes me feel better if he’s far from home.  He likes being able to look stuff up himself and not have to call home to ask me to look something up.

The service rollback available from Walmart Family Mobile is still available, $39.88 unlimited talk, text and web and $29.88 unlimited talk and text- pair that with the great phone prices Concord (is $79.88 – was $99.88)  and MyTouch devices (is $129.88 – was $149.88) and no contract? That’s a win in my book!  Online account management and information is available 24/7 on the Family Mobile website.  Hint: Grab it now while there’s a rollback! Give it a try!  I think you may like it.

 I think the thing my hubby is most excited about, besides finally having a personal phone…is that he can get the ‘extras’ option and be able to download his own ringtones.  Having a cheap wireless plan for us means we can splurge and do some fun things like get a few ringtones- not something we’d normally do.  I like the peace of mind.

Walmart Family Mobile is not available in all areas yet– although it is available widely (not as available in the west).  It’s a GREAT option if you want a smartphone without paying the really high rates, having to sign a contract, and spend money on unlimited plans that aren’t actually unlimited.  We’re really happy we discovered this service and will be continuing for at least 3 more months (we like to try service for a few months to get a really thorough experience with a product like this). Signal strength is fair in our house, better outside (which is how most service plans are in my area) but signal is great in most of Connecticut and most of Mass which is where my husband travels for work all the time, and where he uses the phone the most. I do see that they are rolling out some 4g service throughout 2013 so I think that the Walmart Family Mobile plans and service will get better, better and better with wider coverage.

Now, I’m off to give the kids more fun ideas of photos to take on daddy’s phone.  He forgot it at home today and, well, we like to have some fun. I think we’ll add some photos to all of his contacts.

Be sure to look around online and see how others are liking the Walmart Family Mobile plan- just watch for the #FamilyMobileSaves hashtag!!

Affordable Smartphone Service with Unlimited Plans

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop and post about finding affordable smartphone service with unlimited plans  has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. My husband has a cell phone through his employer, but they aren’t allowed to use the phones for personal calls or texts.  This is understandable, but also frustrating.  If he’s running really late and out in the field, he’s not able to call and say, “hey! I’m running late!” and he also can’t check emails in the event I’ve sent him something time sensitive.  I think the worst part for him (first world problems…) is that he can’t send or receive pictures of the kids at all.  Or pictures of anything, really.

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We’ve wanted to do a smartphone for my husband for a while now- it just makes sense with him on the road all the time for work- he’s all over Connecticut and frequently in Massachusetts. We’ve held off a long time because we simply didn’t want to pay for already expensive cellular service plus an additional $30 a month for data with a 2 year contract commitment. It’s not a need and not something we were willing to do. So we’ve been looking around and waiting and researching for plans that have NO commitment, no contract, and offer affordable smartphone service. I think we have found that in the Walmart Family Mobile plans.

With the Walmart Family Mobile program, consumers like us who aren’t looking-or willing- to pay high prices for a contracted amount of time can find devices AND plans that are affordable. Several devices are on rollback right now (including the Concord that we received for this review, priced down to $79.88 from $99.88 and the MyTouch device which is $129.88 from $149.88). I’m not telling you about the devices to recommend them or not- I’m trying to just show that there are affordable options for the Family Mobile plan that are out there. There’s several different phones available through this program which is brought to you by T-Mobile. You can also bring your own phone to the plan and just get the activation kit with a SIM card- just be sure your phone is a GSM phone so it’ll be compatible.

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Here’s what got us so excited to give the Family Mobile unlimited plans a go- there are plan rollbacks that are available: $39.88 for unlimited talk, text and web and $29.88 for unlimited talk and text (great for new users and kids). Remember, NO contract. The $39.88 is less than we were paying when I was with a contract service for my phone and zero texts, zero web. Just phone. Basic phone. This is a whole lot more without a commitment. Good grief, am I making us sound like we’re commitment-phobic? I mean, obviously we aren’t since we got married but if you didn’t know better…you might think we are.  The activation kit is just $25.

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We have started our Family Mobile journey and will be updating in a month or so with what we think of the phone and service.  Stay tuned…

Visit Walmart Family Mobile for online account management and information.

Ch
#FamilyMobileSaves #CBias #Shopeck out my whole shopping experience to get the Walmart Family Mobile activation kit at our local Walmart store!

Come join us for the #CottonelleRoutine Twitter Party! #CBias #Shop

This is a sponsored post inviting you to join us for the #CottonelleRoutine Twitter party on July 31, 2013 from 12-1 pm EST.We’ll be talking about ways to streamline and simplify your cleaning routine!!  I know I’m always up for ways to spend less time cleaning- especially in the bathroom!  I hope you’ll join me, @brettbmartin and my cohost @formulamom for the party!

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Join in the #CottonelleRoutine party for fun conversation

and chance to win great prizes! 5 $100 Target Gift Cards!

Follow along and join in by following #CottonelleRoutine TweetDeck and our Party Host Twitter List!

Find help and tips to set up a custom view of our #CottonelleRoutine party via this link: http://cbi.as/5oac-

RSVP Below!!

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#CottonelleRoutine Twitter Party Sweepstakes Official Rules

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. BY ENTERING THE SWEEPSTAKES, YOU (“ENTRANT” OR “YOU”) MUST AGREE TO THESE OFFICIAL RULES, WHICH CREATE A CONTRACT SO READ THEM CAREFULLY BEFORE ENTERING.

1. Eligibility. The #CottonelleRoutine Twitter Party Sweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes”) is open only to legal residents of the United States, who have a Twitter account, and are eighteen (18) years of age or older at the time of entry. Employees of Collective Bias, Inc. (“Sponsor” and “Administrator”), Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and their affiliates, as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members of each such employee are not eligible. The Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited.  If you do not have a Twitter account, it is free to create one at www.Twitter.com.

2. Agreement to Official Rules. Participation in this Sweepstakes constitutes Entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to this Sweepstakes. Winning a Prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth in these Official Rules.

4. Submission Entry Period. Entrants may make submissions via Twitter following guidelines outlined in How to Enter (“Entry”) between the hours of 12:00 pm (noon) – 12:55 pm ET on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 (“Entry Period”). Date and time can change based on Twitter’s status. If date and time are changed entrants will be notified via Twitter using appropriate hashtag (#CottonelleRoutine).  Sponsor’s clock is the Sweepstakes’ official clock.

5. How to Enter: Enter by RSVPing for the Twitter party at #CottonelleRoutine party via this link: http://cbi.as/3nqk-, be actively participating in the party and by using the hashtag #CottonelleRoutine. To be eligible to win prize(s), Sweepstakes entrants must submit a tweet during the Entry Period using #CottonelleRoutine hashtag.  Sponsor, may disqualify you from the Sweepstakes if it believes, in its sole and absolute discretion that your Submission fails to conform to these Official Rules.

6. Prizes, Approximate Retail Value and Odds of Winning. Prizes will be limited to five (5) $100 Target Stores gift cards to be given away during the 1 hour duration of the party on July 31, 2013.  Total value of all prizes awarded in this Sweepstakes is $500.  All winners will be chosen using random.org from the RSVP link and the active tweets during the party.  Winners must be present and participating in the party using the hashtag #CottonelleRoutine at the time that they are drawn as a winner. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received and active tweets during the party. Winner will be notified via Twitter @ message by @formulamom during the party on July 31, 2013 and must respond to @formulamom within 5 minutes of being selected to claim their prize.

a. All Prizes are non-transferable, with no cash redemptions, equivalents or substitutions except at Sponsor’s sole and absolute discretion. All Prize details not specified in these Official Rules will be determined in Sponsor’s sole and absolute discretion. Prize details and availability are subject to change, and in the event that Sponsor is unable to provide a Winner with their Prize, the Sponsor may elect, to provide such Winner with the approximate value of such item in cash or award an alternate prize of comparable or greater value.

b. There is a limit of 1 (one) prize per household during the party.   Prizes will be shipped within 4-6 weeks following the end of the Sweepstakes.  Each gift card is subject to the terms and conditions set forth on the gift card.  Each gift card is redeemable for merchandise only and will not be redeemed or exchanged for cash, except where required by law. Each gift card will not be replaced or replenished if it is lost, stolen, damaged, destroyed or used without your permission and will be voided if altered or defaced.  Winner is responsible for any taxes on prizes awarded.

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7.  Limitation of Liability:  IN NO EVENT WILL THE RELEASEES (DEFINED BELOW), THEIR ADVERTISING OR SWEEPSTAKES AGENCIES OR THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, REPRESENTATIVES AND AGENTS, BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR LOSSES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES. Sponsor and Administrator assume no responsibility for undeliverable e-mails resulting from any cause, including any form of active or passive e-mail filtering by a user’s Internet Service Provider and/or e-mail client or for insufficient space in user’s e-mail account to receive e-mails.  By participating in this Sweepstakes, each Entrant agrees to release and hold harmless Sponsor, Administrator, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, their respective affiliates and related companies and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, and other representatives (collectively, the “Releasees”) from any and all liability for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, use or misuse of a prize, participation, or inability to participate in Sweepstakes, any Entries or any Sweepstakes-related activity.  Releasees are not responsible for printing errors or for lost, late, unintelligible, misdirected, incomplete, damaged or garbled Entries or any other documents. Releasees are not responsible for any: (a) telephone, computer, hardware, software, programming or interrupted or unavailable network, server or other connections, network malfunction, or other technical failures or errors, or failure to properly process Entries; (b) communication disruption or other forces beyond the reasonable control of the Sponsor, make Entries or other disruption related to Internet traffic, virus, bug, or non-authorized intervention; or (c) damage caused by computer virus or otherwise resulting to any computer by entering this Sweepstakes, whether human, mechanical or electronic. Releasees shall not be liable to any Entrant or any other person for failure to supply a prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God; any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entities (whether or not they prove to be valid); equipment failure; terrorist acts; earthquake; fire; flood; war; explosion; unusually severe weather; hurricane; embargo; labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal); labor or material shortage; transportation interruption of any kind; work slow-down; civil disturbance; insurrection; riot; or any other cause beyond Sponsor’s sole control.

8. Governing Law:  THE SWEEPSTAKES IS GOVERNED BY, AND WILL BE CONSTRUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH, THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, AND THE FORUM AND VENUE FOR ANY DISPUTE SHALL BE IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN.  IF THE CONTROVERSY OR CLAIM IS NOT OTHERWISE RESOLVED THROUGH DIRECT DISCUSSIONS OR MEDIATION, IT SHALL THEN BE RESOLVED BY FINAL AND BINDING ARBITRATION ADMINISTERED BY JUDICIAL ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION SERVICES, INC., IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS STREAMLINED ARBITRATION RULES AND PROCEDURES OR SUBSEQUENT VERSIONS THEREOF (“JAMS RULES”).  THE JAMS RULES FOR SELECTION OF AN ARBITRATOR SHALL BE FOLLOWED, EXCEPT THAT THE ARBITRATOR SHALL BE EXPERIENCED AND LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN MICHIGAN.

9. Consent:  UNLESS PROHIBITED BY APPLICABLE LAW, BY ENTERING THE SWEEPSTAKES, A ENTRANTCONSENTS TO THE USE OF HIS OR HER NAME, LOCATION,  LIKENESS, IMAGE, ADDRESS AND/OR PRIZE INFORMATION and/or Sweepstakes entry for promotional and other purposes (including without limitation, commercial purposes) without further payment, except where prohibited by law.  By entering the Sweepstakes, Entrants give their express permission to be contacted by Sponsor by telephone, e-mail and/or postal mail regarding the Sweepstakes.

10. Privacy Policy: Any personally identifiable information collected during an Entrants participation in this Sweepstakes will be collected by Sponsor or its agent and used by Sponsor, its affiliates, agents and marketers for purposes of the proper administration and fulfillment of the Sweepstakes as described in these Official Rules and in accordance with the Privacy Policy as stated at http://collectivebias.com/privacy.html.

11. Miscellaneous:   Sponsor reserves the right to change these Official Rules or cancel the Sweepstakes at any time, at its discretion.  In the event of any dispute concerning the identity of any entrant, the entry will be deemed submitted by the natural person who is the authorized holder of the transmitting account. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to a Twitter account by Twitter, who is responsible for assigning all Twitter accounts. Any false information provided within the context of the Sweepstakes by any Entrant concerning identity, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, ownership of right or any other non-compliance with these Official Rules or the like may result in the immediate elimination of the Entry from the Sweepstakes.

12. Winner’s List:   For the name of the prize winners, those interested print their name and address on a 3″x 5″ card and mail it in an envelope to:  #CottonelleRoutine Twitter Party Official Rules, c/o Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Bentonville, AR 72712. Specify “Rules” or “Winner List” on the card.  Winner List requests will only be accepted after the Sweepstakes end date (listed above) and requests must be received no later than August 31, 2013.

This Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administrated by, or associated with, Twitter or Target Stores.  Entrants understand that they are providing their information to the Sponsor and not to Twitter.

Sponsor:  Collective Bias, Inc., 201 S. Main St., Bentonville, AR  72712.

#ColgateWish #cbias Twitter Party Monday, June 24, from 1-2 pm ET #shop

I will be compensated for hosting the #ColgateWish #cbias Twitter Party Monday, June 24, from 1-2 pm ET. We’d love for you to come and join us to talk about Colgate’s Wish For A Swish event happening on Tuesday, June 25, in NYC Times Square. Guinness Book of World Records will be there and, along with other fun, will be the world’s largest mouth swish with Colgate Total® Advanced Pro-Shield™ mouthwash. Proceeds benefit Make A Wish Foundation.
colgate wish for a swish #colgatewish

Want to break a world record?

Join actress and TV host, Stacy Keibler, and Colgate for “A Wish For A Swish” where we will attempt to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® record for the “Most people using mouthwash simultaneously.” We’ll also be celebrating the launch of the new Colgate Total® Advanced Pro-Shield™ Mouthwash

For every participant in attendance, Colgate will donate a $1 to Make-A-Wish®

Can’t make it, but still want to help?

Upload a picture of yourself smiling after using Colgate Total® Mouthwash to this page and we’ll contribute an additional $1 until July 1, 2013

Event check-in begins at 10:30am and ends at 11:45a

By uploading your photo, you’re giving Colgate permission to use your photo, name and likeness in all “A Wish for a Swish” promotional materials. Do not include any other people or third party trademarks in your photo

For every participant who attends the Colgate ‘A Wish for a Swish’ event in New York’s Times Square on June 25, 2013 and for every photo upload to Facebook.com/Colgate from June 13 – July 1, 2013, Colgate will donate $1.00 (USD) to Make-A-Wish®, for a minimum donation of $50,000 up to a maximum of $60,000.

Party Details:

WHO: Be sure to follow your hosts @brettbmartin and @SavvyMomNYC
WHERE:Follow the party with the #ColgateWish and #cbias  hashtags

Guide For Using TweetDeck/Twitter List here: http://cbi.as/5oac-
Party Host Twitter List here:

WHEN: 1-2pm EST June 24, 2013
WHY: It’s a fun event and benefits Make a Wish. Plus…PRIZES! 5 lucky participants who have RSVP’d will win a $100 Walgreens Gift Card!
Don’t forget to RSVP so you can be eligible to win prizes!

Join in the #HASHTAG party for fun conversation

and chance to win great prizes!

 

Follow along and join in by following #ColgateWish  on your Twitter feed or create your own custom view with TweetDeck and our Party Host Twitter List!

Find help and tips to set up a custom view of our #ColgateWish party via this link: http://cbi.as/5oac-

 
colgate total wish for a swish



NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE TAXED, PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Subject to Official Rules. Open only to residents of the United States.

Enter by RSVPing for the Twitter party on the link above, be actively participating in the party and are using the hashtag #colgatewish #cbias . To be eligible, entries must be received by 1:55 p.m. EST June 24, 2013 (5 minutes before end of party) except that mail in entries must be mailed separately and postmarked by June 21, 2013 (4 days before party). To enter without purchase, hand write your name, complete address, age and telephone number on a 3”x5” card and mail it to Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712.

Prizes will be limited to $100 Walgreens Gift Cards and will be given away at 15m, 25m, 35m, 45m and 60m during the 1 hour duration of the party on June 24, 2013. All winners will be chosen using random.org from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party using the hashtag #colgatewish #cbias at the time that they are drawn as a winner. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Winner will be notified via Twitter @ message by @SavvyMomNYC during the party on June 24, 2013 and must respond to @SavvyMomNYC within 5 minutes of being selected to claim their prize. All entries will be eligible for any unclaimed prizes after the close of the Twitter party via random drawing held on July 8, 2013.

To obtain a copy of the Official Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712.

SPONSORS: Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712

All winners will be chosen using random.org from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party at the time that they are drawn as a winner. There is a limit of 1 (one) prize per household during the party. Please allow 4-6 weeks for prize fulfillment.

Summer fun with Compact System Camera Samsung WB200 Camera #SocialCamera #Shop

This review of the Samsung WB200 Camera, one of the Samsung Smart Cameras, has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.
samsung wb200 wifi hybrid touchscreen camera

The Samsung WB200 Camera is a smart camera, in many ways. It’s got a hybrid touch screen, so you can use the shutter button to snap those memories or you can touch the screen (which my kids prefer to do). It’s an affordable camera that’s most definitely family-friendly, and comes with a lot of bells and whistles for the approx. $179 price tag. These little cameras let you email photos direct from the camera, share on social networks or upload to storage clouds. You can grab close-ups, action shots, panoramic views and more with the 18x zoom lens. This 14.2 megapixel camera has built-in BSI CMOS Sensor to capture images in low-light situations. It also comes with optimal image stabilization- which means all ages can get some fabulous shots regardless of how still they can hold the camera. You can even control your camera with your smartphone and capture the entire family in a special moment!
Things I love about this camera:
Long zoom– I don’t have to carry anything but the tiny little camera that can (almost) fit in my pocket. The lenses are built right in. Do you know how convenient this is? I love it. Less room for user error (I’m good at user error). We were on a field trip to Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT this past week and check out the shots I got from many feet away.
samsung wb200 zoom feature
This little guy just stared right at me, like he was asking me to take his picture!
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Low Light Photography No fiddling around with settings on my “big” camera and missing out on moments I want to capture. That’s one thing that compact system cameras have over DSLR- with the built in, powerful zoom lenses and strong and powerful setting detection, the camera does the work for me. (Does that sound lazy? I don’t mean to sound lazy)! I’m focusing on the pool fun since we’ve finally had warm enough weather to use our pool but I’ll be sharing more photos from this camera as the summer progresses, don’t worry!
samsung wb200 low light photo

Wireless Cameras/Smart Cameras– You can share photos FROM YOUR CAMERA. Not by removing the card and using a card reader, not by a USB cord…but with Wi-Fi. Isn’t that just marvelously marvelous? I love it. So cool. Maybe I’ve been under a rock but I find this just fantastic. Family, be warned, this mama loves sharing photos and this mama has a new camera that shares direct!! Prepare your inboxes!

The price. I got this camera WITH a 3 year extended warranty for $210.57. It’s got features galore and did I mention it’s got that wi-fi so you can share right from the camera (Maybe once or 4 times, right?) plus it has a sleek look and a small size so it’ll go anywhere you go.
samsung wb200 action shot
I wish I’d gotten a better shot of her FROM this jump, but none were great shots (she was making a weird face) so we did a second take sans goggles!
samsung wb200 cannonball action shot

Things I don’t like about this camera:
The color. White is pretty but I fear for how long it will look pretty and not dingy. Perhaps pink will come out next. But really, that’s also part of what I love about this camera, is that it IS white, because I’ve had black, black, and black cameras for my entire life. The white is fun and refreshing.

Check out my shopping trip for this camera at our local Walmart store:

Shopping for Samsung WB200 Camera at Walmart

Be sure to follow Samsung on Facebook to stay up to date!

Quick Chicken Dinner with Tyson Fully Cooked Homestyle Chicken Fries #ChickenFryTime

For an easy weeknight meal as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias® I put together this easy and fun picnic chicken dinner using Tyson Fully Cooked Homestyle Chicken Fries. I headed to Sam’s Club to shop for ingredients- with three very active (and busy) kids, I need to buy most of our food in bulk.

sams club softball

Weeknights have become really, really busy around here. My little one has yoga one day a week and soccer another. Both activities are in the afternoon but they also impact our family schedule and the time I have to prepare balanced meals for my family. My son who is 5 ½ has soccer and yoga with my littlest one, but also has TBall one evening a week and games on Saturday mornings. My oldest has Softball one evening a week and a second evening each week with a game, plus yoga with the little 2…and Brownies one afternoon every other week. (The TBall and Softball are not in the same place nor the same time, of course!!)

To say my cooking time has been impacted by this spring schedule is an understatement. I am trying to keep up with home cooked, balanced meals, but it’s hard when we’ve had a lot of yard projects this spring that need a lot of attention (and watering). I’ve been really busy. So when I had the chance to do this shop for the Tyson Homestyle Chicken Fries, I had to check them out- I’ve been seeing a lot of posts around for them and was quite intrigued. I’m always up to find new quick dinner ideas.

sams club tyson homestyle chicken fries

I went shopping last Wednesday. I’d forgotten my membership was expiring so I had to go renew it when I got there (forgot to take photos) and then I set out to find the fries. I was quite proud of myself for having just one little distraction en route to the fries….the party cups. More proud for not buying them (yet).

Of course, when I found the Chicken Fries, I wasn’t sure what I was going to make with them. I just knew this was my day to get my shop done and figured inspiration would strike. Strike it did, a few short minutes later (and shortly after I saw all the different flavors of wings that Sam’s Club sells….inspiring me to have a wings party later in the summer).

I didn’t realize how AFFORDABLE these fries were before I got to Sam’s! $9.98 for 3.5 lbs! Not a bad price, in my opinion. After I grabbed the fries and came upon the produce my inspiration struck. And common sense. Veggies were laid out in front of me and we eat a lot of veggies….veggies are a great finger food. Veggies are easy to bring places. Veggies are great for picnics….and…

Why was I so stressed about an easy weeknight meal when so many other families have schedules like ours right now- I thought to myself, why not just stick with simple and basic and pack a balanced picnic chicken dinner? Picnics are fun for the whole family and with or without a hectic schedule, a nice way to spend time together as a family. Awesome. I had a plan. (You can see my whole shopping trip in my Google Plus album here. Enjoy. You can see a glimpse into how my mind works. It’s not that scary, I promise).

Since we had yoga from 4-4:45 and a Softball game at 5:30, I knew time would be tight, so the Chicken Fries were a great main component to our picnic. (I realized right about now that those fun party cups would be perfect to hold chicken fries IN for the picnic, but my brain doesn’t work like that. There I was all proud of myself for not just grabbing all the impulse things I wanted to buy).

So, we got home at 4:50, I sent my oldest up to get her uniform on, reminded the littles to get their toys ready to bring to their sister’s game, and preheated the oven. While that was heating, and while the fries were cooking, I cut up veggies and filled dipping sauces for appetizers in containers with what the kids love. Grabbed some grapes and Crisps, a few drink boxes for the kids, plates and napkins, and we were ready for a quick chicken dinner!! The kids were so excited!

sams club quick chicken dinner

I have to tell you that we got to the game (on time!!), set up the picnic, got plates set out, kids were eating, and a thunderstorm arrived. Our picnic lasted about 4 ½ minutes. Thankfully my husband arrived right as the storm did so he helped me pack food and kids up quickly since they called the game and we got home before the big rains came. (It rained for three days straight!!)

We did finish our picnic inside, at home. The kids devoured the chicken fries. And wanted more. Just so you know, 3.5 lbs seems like a lot in the store. With 3 hungry kids (and a husband) in the house, 3.5 lbs doesn’t seem like a lot. Next time, I’ll be buying at least 2 bags when I go. The kids LOVED these and I love that they are white meat chicken, and so easy to prepare.

Be sure to “like” Club Tyson on Facebook, because you will soon be able to enter to win free Six Flags tickets for your family vacation!!!

What are your go to easy meal ideas?

#SpringtimeNuggets Twitter Party Monday, June 03, from 1-2 pm ET #Cbias

I will be hosting the #SpringtimeNuggets Twitter Party sponsored post for Collective Bias®. Opinions are my own. You are all officially invited to join me and my Co-Host, Melissa, for this fun and fabulous party! We’ll be discussing Tyson Foods’ Chicken Nuggets and fun ways to incorporate them into kid-friendly springtime meals!

Photo Credit: Becca Thiele

Photo Credit: Becca Thiele


What: Tyson Nuggets!! We’ll be talking about fun meal options!
When: June 3, 2013 from 1-2 pm EST
Where: http://cbi.as/ukoay
Who: Be sure to follow me (HOST)Melissa (COHOST) CB TweetChat (2nd COHOST)
Why: Twitter parties are AWESOME and prizes are fun to win. And who doesn’t need more mealtime ideas? I always do!

RSVP to join us below!


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE TAXED, PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Subject to Official Rules. Open only to residents of the United States.

Enter by RSVPing for the Twitter party on the link above, be actively participating in the party and are using the hashtag #springtimenuggets. To be eligible, entries must be received by 1:55 p.m. EST on June 3, 2013 except that mail in entries must be mailed separately and postmarked by May 30, 2013(4 days before party). To enter without purchase, hand write your name, complete address, age and telephone number on a 3”x5” card and mail it to Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712.

Prizes will be limited to 5 $100 Walmart GC and will be given away 15m, 25m, 35m, 45m and one at end of party the 1 hour duration of the party on June 3, 2013. All winners will be chosen using random.org from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party using the hashtag #springtimenuggets at the time that they are drawn as a winner. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Winner will be notified via Twitter @ message by @@MSRheinlander during the party on June 3, 2013 and must respond to @MSRheinlander within 5 minutes of being selected to claim their prize. All entries will be eligible for any unclaimed prizes after the close of the Twitter party via random drawing held on June 17, 2013

To obtain a copy of the Official Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712.

SPONSORS: Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712

All winners will be chosen using random.org from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party at the time that they are drawn as a winner. There is a limit of 1 (one) prize per household during the party. Please allow 4-6 weeks for prize fulfillment.

I can’t believe this is Walgreens #BosWag #CBias

I was invited to the opening of the Walgreens flagship store opening by Collective Bias®.  I was compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias ™ and Walgreens #CBias #SocialFabric  All Opinions are my own.

walgreens flagship downtown crossing

About a month ago I received an email telling me that there was going to be a Flagship store grand opening for Walgreens in Boston, Masachusetts.  Intrigued, I wondered just what a flagship store could be… and did I want to come up and attend the opening, and then share with my readers?  Well, yes, yes I did.  Now I’m going to tell you about this amazing store and I apologize if you end up wishing you lived in an area where there was or will soon be a flagship Walgreens store.

walgreens flagship boston pharmacy

First things first. I want you to take all of the things you know and think about with Walgreens, and then kind of push them aside.  I mean, yes, the things that your local Walgreens sells are still at the flagship store. Why? Because….

You can get fresh sushi prepared by chefs.  In front of you.  At Walgreens.

manicure in boston at walgreens

You can get a manicure (for $12!).  At Walgreens.  You can get designs applied, or a gel manicure, for a little bit more.  High end products, and trained and licensed nail technicians.  At Walgreens.

You can get your eyebrows “done” or your eyelashes applied.  At Walgreens.

walgreens flagship pharmacist out front

You can see the Pharmacist, seated, ready to talk with patients and give them quality care. You can also see the consultation room just off to the side. That door shuts and the room is soundproof.

You can have a private consultation with your pharmacist behind a closed door in a sound proof room.  At Walgreens.  Which reminds me- there’s this whole concept Walgreens has with their pharmacy, and they want to focus on the care their pharmacists can provide to customers so the pharmacist is sitting out front, accessible and approachable.  At Walgreens.

You can pick up wine, beer and spirits.  At Walgreens.  (Please note, when I say wine, beer and spirits, I am not just talking about a few shelves.  The Walgreens at Downtown Crossing (School and Washington)  has a mezzanine level that’s all wine, beer and spirits, including a section with imported cheeses, chilled wines (hello, staying in an area hotel?  STOP BY!)…and a fun little machine that helps you pair the aforementioned mezzanine level items with your dishes being served. Remember, this is still at Walgreens.

Want a soda?  (Do you call it pop where you live? I know people do, but it’s kind of strange to me, having spent all 38 years and 360 days of my life to date living in New England) There’s a Coke Freestyle machine and you can choose from 146 flavors.  One hundred forty six options.  At Walgreens.

Love smoothies?  There’s a smoothie bar.  At Walgreens.  And something super fun about the smoothie bars is the local “flavor” in the smoothie varieties and names- in Boston, there are references to the Red Sox (my team!) and lots of other local sites, teams, and historical references.  It is, in 2 words, wicked awesome.  At Walgreens.

walgreens flagship localization

Local foods, local spirits, local beers and local culture are all pulled into the Downtown Crossing Flagship store. It’s wicked fun to see all of the Boston “phrases” and expressions in huge prints on the wall when you first enter this building- and yes, wicked is on there.

Love high end cosmetics and beauty items?  The Look Boutique has it all.  So many brands, so many products….and so much fun.  The folks who work in the Look Boutique are specially trained and know their stuff.  If you haven’t heard of Ramy Cosmetics, well, I’m sad for you.  Ramy is known for his eyebrow technique (No waxing! No threading!) and he tamed my wooly caterpillar brows for me.  At Walgreens.  (When you are there, you need to look for the magic wand. I need to go to Boston so I can buy like 5 of them. I totally forgot to get some before I left. The official name of this is the Perfect Eye Wand but really, it’s a magic wand).

You’ll find the everyday brands that you are used to finding at Walgreens in the flagship stores, but you’ll also find Mineral Sea Mud products that I thought only came from exclusive salons and if you ask nicely (and I did, not surprisingly), they might even give you a little demo on your hand, so you can see what this stuff can do.  (It comes off with a magnet! I wish I had a video- especially of my face when they pulled a magnet out!).  All of this…at Walgreens.

Other amazing things you will find at a flagship store: Virtual Makeover Kiosks so you can see just how that Maybelline or Loreal product will look ON YOU.  There’s a sample kiosk that offers $1 samples of many, many beauty products- it works like a vending machine- but you’re getting a sample enclosed in a very nice envelope (it looks like a present!) and with the samples?  $2-$3 coupons to use on the full sized version of the samples you purchased.  One of the other bloggers who attended this event with me tried this Sample It machine (from Coinstar, and you won’t (for now) find it anywhere else in the country) and tried the machine- she got a lip gloss sample- several colors came in that envelope- very generous sample, and a very generous coupon to boot!

Want to see more photos from the opening?  Check out my Google Plus album! I want to know what you think- can you believe this is Walgreens?

flagship walgreens grand opening

Next time you are in Boston, go to Walgreens.  It’s worth it.  I can’t wait until I’m in Boston again and can visit the store once more. This is not your mama’s drugstore chain.  It’s not your mama’s Walgreens!

 

 

Come join us for the #FrozenFavorites Twitter Party 12/20!

It’s party time again!  This week we’ll be talking about Frozen Favorites  like Lean Cuisine!  Come join me (@brettbmartin) and Miriam (@wicproject) as we chat about easy, healthy frozen meal options!  It’ll be a lot of fun, and there will be prizes too!  Come have lunch with me – and  we can talk about lunch ideas!
frozen favorites from lean cuisine

The party is on Thursday December 20 from 12-1 pm EST

Follow along with hashtag #FrozenFavorites (or make it easy on yourself like I do and follow the Tweetgrid!
You’ll also want to be sure to RSVP (below) so you are eligible to win the prizes- Sam’s Club Gift cards!



NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE TAXED, PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Subject to Official Rules. Open only to residents of the United States.

Enter by RSVPing for the Twitter party on the link above, be actively participating in the party and are using the hashtag #FrozenFavorites. To be eligible, entries must be received by 12:55 p.m. EST on December 20, 2012 (5 minutes before end of party) except that mail in entries must be mailed separately and postmarked by December 16, 2012 (4 days before party). To enter without purchase, hand write your name, completed address, age and telephone number on a 3”x5” card and mail it to Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712.

Prizes will be limited to 1 $25 Sam’s Club Gift Card, 1 $50 Sam’s Club Gift Card, 1 $75 Sam’s Club Gift Card and will be given away every 15 minutes during the 1 hour duration of the party on December 17, 2012. The grand prize of $100 Sam’s Club Gift Card to 1 winner will be given away at the close of the party. All winners will be chosen using random.org from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party using the hashtag #FrozenFavorites at the time that they are drawn as a winner. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Winner will be notified via Twitter @ message by @wicproject during the party on December 20. 2012 and must respond to @wicproject within 5 minutes of being selected to claim their prize. All entries will be eligible for any unclaimed prizes after the close of the Twitter party via random drawing held on December 31, 2012 .

To obtain a copy of the Official Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712.

SPONSORS: Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712

All winners will be chosen using random.org from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party at the time that they are drawn as a winner. There is a limit of 1 (one) prize per household during the party. Please allow 4-6 weeks for prize fulfillment.

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. I am being compensated to host this party as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® #CBias #SocialFabric

Come join us for the #HuggiesWalmart Twitter Party! 12/6

Attention party lovers! I’m hosting another fun party for #HuggiesWalmart and YOU are invited!  We’ll be chatting about Huggies- diapers, pull-ups and more, how you can get Huggies at Walmart, and we’ll be giving away PRIZES…5 $100 Walmart Gift Cards, to be exact.  Who wouldn’t want an extra $100 to spend right now?

huggies snug dry

The party is taking place from 1-2pm EST on Thursday, December 6, 2012. I hope you can join us!  To join in, simply use the #HuggiesWalmart hashtag to follow along- or make it easier on yourself like me and use this TweetGrid.



 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE TAXED, PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Subject to Official Rules. Open only to residents of the United States.Enter by RSVPing for the Twitter party on the link above, be actively participating in the party and are using the hashtag #theicecreamsocial. To be eligible, entries must be received by 1:55 p.m. EST on December 6, 2012 except that mail in entries must be mailed separately and postmarked by December 2, 2012 (4 days before party). To enter without purchase, hand write your name, completed address, age and telephone number on a 3”x5” card and mail it to Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712.Prizes will be limited to 5 $100 Walmart Gift Cards  and will be given away every 15 minutes during the 1 hour duration of the party on December 6, 2012. All winners will be chosen using random.org from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party using the hashtag #HuggiesWalmart at the time that they are drawn as a winner. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Winner will be notified via Twitter @ message by @somedayilllearn during the party on December 6, 2012 and must respond to @somedayilllearn within 5 minutes of being selected to claim their prize. All entries will be eligible for any unclaimed prizes after the close of the Twitter party via random drawing held on December 20, 2012 .

To obtain a copy of the Official Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712.

SPONSORS: Collective Bias, 205 S. Main Street, Ste. 1, Bentonville, AR 72712

All winners will be chosen using random.org from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party at the time that they are drawn as a winner.  There is a limit of 1 (one) prize per household during the party.

I will be compensated for hosting the twitter party. Opinions are my own.