Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back to School with Softsoap: Body Wash Trio Giveaway!

Softsoap has come out with some new body washes, and one lucky reader of The Fashionable Gal will receive the following:

  • Nutri Serums Body Nourishing Wash, Illuminating with Mineral Extracts
  • Black Orchid & Velvet Hibiscus Moisturizing Body Wash
  • Body Butter Mega Moisture in Heavenly Vanilla

With a variety of affordably-priced bath products, Softsoap allows you to have that spa-like experience in your bath at an affordable price. I've used their products for years and love how my skin comes out soft & smooth, but not greasy at all. I also like that their scent lingers after my shower is over, but ever-so-slightly. It doesn't compete, should I decide to wear perfume.

Giveaway ends 8-26

Win $500 for Just My Size® apparel!

Just My Size recently invited 14 BlogHer Reviewers to shop the JMS® line of apparel at Wal-Mart and they're offering one very lucky reader a chance to win a $500 Walmart gift card to go on a JMS shopping spree!

They also have a Mix and Match Tool so you can pick clothing that's appropriate for your body type (Oval, Triangle, Curvy).

Using the tool, I picked this look - what would you pick?

Below is a sampling of the bloggers that are participating.

Swistle tried on a denim mini skirt (!!!) and some other cute outfits, and got busted for taking photos in Walmart. LOL

This Woman's Work went shopping with her daughter's birth mom and found some really adorable items!

Fab 50 scored an impressive amount of stylish JMS clothing on not one, but TWO separate shopping trips, and is trying to decide what to get next.

Megan's Minute Rad Reviews picked up a lot of great mix-n-match pieces, and talked about the comfort and affordability of JMS clothing.

Back to School 2010 Giveaway: Target GC & Bonus Box Tops Prize Pack

As part of their Back To School Giveaway series, 3 Garnets and 2 Sappphires will be giving 1 lucky reader a "Box Tops for Education at Target Prize Pack" containing the following items:
•an Avery binder
•Betty Crocker Fruit Gushers Variety Pack
•Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni
•Hefty CinchSak Trash Bags
•Honey Nut Cheerios
•Juicy Juice 8pk Juice Boxes (flavors will vary)
•Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars
•Welch's Concord Grape Jelly
•25 Bonus Box Tops
•$25 Target gift card

You can find out more about Box Tops for Education and the Double Box Top promotion currently running at Target either on the the blog post, or on The General Mills website.
Giveaway ends 8-28

Friday, August 27, 2010

Gearing Up For Summer: CSN Stores $60 Gift Certificate Giveaway

As part of their Gearing Up for Summer series, A Mom's Balancing Act will be giving one of their lucky readers a $60 gift certificate to CSN Stores.

With over 200 stores covering a wide range of products from houswares, lighting, tools, baby and kids, luggage and more, you'll find something (or 87 somethings!) you want to purchase.

Everytime I look, I see something else I want but I think I'd put this towards the Kichler House Beautiful Portable Desk Lamp in Burnished Bronze Finish. Giveaway ends 8-27

Thursday, August 26, 2010

five simple things you can do for your child to help keep their smiles healthy and bright

There are 5 simple things that every parent can (and should!) do to protect their children's teeth, and keep their smiles heathy and bright.

1. Brush twice daily - yes, we all know this one, but honestly how many of us take the time (or make sure our kids take the time) to do it correctly? 2 minutes is an eternity to a toddler. Don't fool yourself thinking that you don't have to take care of their baby teeth, since they fall out anyway - you're also caring for their gums, their permanent teeth are forming, and you're teaching them life-long habits. Get a timer, sing a song, something but make sure they brush properly, twice a day. Kids under the age of 5 or 6 probably can't do a proper job, so you'll have to do it for them - make the time.

2. Limit sugary drinks/snacks - this is a given. You can indulge occasionally, but then immediately have them brush their teeth (or at minimum, rinse with mouthwash or even plain water). Trident sugar-free gum is available in 11 great flavors so kids have lots to choose from! In addition, chewing Trident sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help fight cavities.

3. Eat healthy foods - children's bones and teeth are still growing, so make sure they get proper nutrition (even if your toddler insists on living on nothing but PB&J, you need to work in other foods, or at least a multivitamin).

4. Regular dental check-ups - I have first-hand knowledge of this one. My parents didn't believe in dentistry, I didn't see my first dentist until I was 18. Almost 30 years later, I'm still dealing with the aftermath.

5. Replace toothbrushes reguarly - so simple, but you'd be surprised. The bristles wear out, so replace them every 3 months or so. If you've been sick recently, replace the toothbrush (germs, HELLO) or at least soak it in some mouthwash for a few minutes to kill the bacteria.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Trident blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Flavorful Low-Sodium Family Meals

I've really been trying to watch my sodium levels this summer, because I've been retaining water quite severely. So, I've ditched the salt shaker and I'm reading labels like crazy (you will be amazed and disgusted at the amount of sodium in foods, especially processed ones).

Ditching the salt doesn't mean I have to ditch the flavor though. I've known about Mrs. Dash for years, but now I've found out they have 15 Salt-Free Seasoning Blends so you can really create a variety of healthy, flavorful foods without adding any salt.

For quick weeknight dinners, I love putting some burgers on the George Foreman grill - I mix in about 1 tablespoon of Mrs. Dash per pound of ground beef so the flavor goes all through the burger!

I've even done oven-roasted potatoes by cutting potatoes into large chunks (I leave the skin on), spraying with a bit of cooking spray, and seasoning liberally with Southwest Chipotle, Extra Spicy or Garlic Herb Mrs. Dash, then roasting in a 400 degree oven until crispy. We like these better than french fries!

If I'm cooking chicken, I'll put it in a Ziploc bag in the morning, add a healthy shake of Mrs. Dash, mix to coat and leave it in the fridge to marinate all day. When I get home, I can put the chicken on the grill or in the oven and it tastes FABULOUS!

Making scrambled eggs? Add a dash of Mrs. Dash into the raw eggs as you scramble them, and they will be the best-tasting eggs you've ever eaten! (my preference is the Original, but the Southwest Chipotle is great too.)

The Italian Blend is great for making quick pizzas as an afterschool snack - halved english muffins, canned tomato sauce, a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash and a little shredded cheese, put in the toaster oven and toast until the cheese is browned and bubbly. We had these long before they came out with frozen mini-pizzas!

Steamed veggies (broccoli, squash, zucchini, carrots) taste great sprinkled with a little Original or Caribbean Citrus seasonings.

For a quick Italian vinaigrette dressing, I've whisked oil & vinegar together (I do about half and half, I like my dressings tart) and then added Mrs. Dash Italian Blend to taste. It's so much better than bottled dressings and it's fresh every time.

Thanks to Mrs. Dash, I'm now preparing healthier, more flavorful meals for my family. We're also experimenting with different flavors because of the wide variety of products. Healthy eating does not have to be bland or boring, as long as you have Mrs. Dash!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mrs. Dash and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Mauviel M'cook 5 Layer Stainless Steel Saute Pan (Review & Giveaway)

One lucky One Savvy Mom!™ reader will win a Mauviel M'cook 11" (8qt) Saute Pan with Lid (MSRP $320 ).

From the company's website: Since 1830, Mauviel has manufactured the highest quality of copper cookware for professional and commercial markets. Mauviel offers cookware manufactured in copper, stainless steel and aluminum that is unsurpassed in quality and design - praised by professional chefs and household cooks.

Their M'cook collection is 5-layer stainless steel cookware. Five layers of materials provide perfect conductivity for each product, thanks to fast and uniform heat distribution. The handles are made from cast stainless steel or cast iron, and reinforce the pure and modern design of this range.

You can read more about the company, this line of cookware and this pan specifically in the blogger's review. The giveaway ends 8-26

Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover Air Purifier Giveaway

Honeywell is giving 1 lucky Sweeps 4 Bloggers reader a True HEPA Compact Tower Allergen Remover (Model No. HPA-050 ARV $99.99). Giveaway ends 8-26

The Honeywell HPA-050 True HEPA Compact Tower Allergen Remover offers all of the benefits of True HEPA in a compact tower design. It boasts many impressive features including:

•A True HEPA filter that captures up to 99.97% of microscopic allergens such as pollen, dust, smoke, and pet dander as small as 0.3 microns.1
•Germ fighting capability, helping to reduce airborne mold spores, bacteria, and fungi. 1
•An activated carbon pre-filter to help reduce unpleasant household odors. 1
•3 levels of air cleaning.
•An electronic filter replacement reminder.

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Summer Grilling Prize Package Giveaway

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! is giving 1 lucky Leslie Loves Veggies Reader a summer grilling package, which includes:

•Two coupons for free I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! product
•I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Summer Newsletter with great grilling recipes
•I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Grill Basket for grilling veggies, fish or chicken
•Set of Crate & Barrel Corn on the Cob Picks and Dishes
•Crate & Barrel Melamine Serving Bowl
•Crate & Barrel Grill Tongs and Turner
•BBQ Mitt

Giveaway ends 8-26

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gear Up For Summer: Zuvo Water Filtration System (ARV $300!) Review & Giveaway

As part of their Gearing Up for Summer, A Mom's Balancing Act is offering their readers a chance to win a Zuvo Water Filtration System. ARV: $299.99. Drink pure, clean water and eliminate the wastefulness of bottled water, all at the same time! There will be 1 winner, and the giveaway ends 8-25

From the sponsor's website:
The Zuvo Water Purator™ uses a patented five-step process to produce clean, healthy, great tasting water...just the way nature intended!

Step 1: Ozonation
The Zuvo Water Purator mixes ozone with incoming tap water to treat taste and odor contaminants and improve taste. Like chlorine, ozone is a powerful oxidizer. Unlike chlorine, ozone leaves no chemical residue.

Step 2: Ultraviolet Light
The ozone saturated water is flooded with high-intensity UV light - the same as the solar energy that cleans water in the upper atmosphere.

Step 3: Photo-oxidation
The Zuvo Water Purator combines UV and ozone in a patented process known as photo-oxidation which releases powerful oxidizers to further treat the water.

Step 4: filtration with lead removal
Pure spring water is created by passing through fine particles in the earth. Zuvo uses the same principle by passing water through a Class 1 Particulate Reduction Filter, reducing chlorine taste and odor, lead, and tiny particulates.

Step 5: post-filtration UV
The filtered water is again exposed to high-intensity UV light as it leaves the Zuvo Water Purator, ensuring that you get clean, healthy, great tasting water...just the way nature intended!

CSN Store Giveaway

CSN Stores is giving one Take It From Me reader an $50 gift certificate. With over 200 stores covering a wide range of products from houswares, lighting, tools, baby and kids, luggage and more, you'll find something (or 87 somethings!) you want to purchase.

Everytime I look, I see something else I want but I think I'd put this towards the Kichler House Beautiful Portable Desk Lamp in Burnished Bronze Finish. Giveaway ends 8-25

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Seventh Generation "Back-to-School" Gift Pack Review & Giveaway

One lucky Raising My 5 Sons reader will win a Seventh Generation "Back-to-School" kit that includes:

  • Seventh Generation branded backpack
  • 2 canisters of Seventh Generation disinfecting wipes (1 for home, 1 to donate to your child's classroom)
  • disinfecting multi-surface spray cleaner
  • facial tissue
  • paper towels

For the past 20 years, it’s been Seventh Generation's mission to help you protect your world with their naturally safe and effective household products. They make everything from Disinfectants, Laundry, Household Cleaners, Household Paper & Supplies, even Feminine Care and Baby items!

Giveaway ends 8-24

The Perfect Dresser and a Hayneedle $200 Giveaway

One VERY lucky Real Moms Real Views reader will win a $200 gift certificate to Hayneedle. With over 200 online shops covering just about anything and everything you would want for your life, you're bound to find something you want (or if you're like me, 187 somethings!!!). Giveaway ends 8-24 Review & Giveaway

One lucky Take It From Me reader will win a suite of new, must-have Pyrex gadgets including a Fine Grater with ½ Cup Container, Rotary Cheese Grater, Baster Brush, Flat Whisk (perfect for your non-stick skillets when making gravies) and more! Check out their post for reviews WITH PICTURES. I'm lusting after these already! Giveaway ends 8-24

Back to School with Sam's Club and Box Tops for Education - Giveaway

My Charmed Life is offering 1 of their readers the chance to win a $25 Sam's Club gift card, courtesy of My Blog Spark. Ends 8-24

In addition, Sam's Club is having a Back to School event not only will help you get ready for back-to-school (EEK!), you can start collecting those Box Tops for Education! See My Charmed Life's post for all the details.

Monday, August 23, 2010

ten tips for saving money during the back-to-school season

I have a son in college, and everything is crazy expensive! Saving money is more important than ever. Here are my 10 tips:

1. Buy used textbooks, or if possible rent/download. This will save you a ton of money, but you have to be on it - the good used textbooks go quickly! Also don't forget about places like or, I regularly get my son's textbooks there for less.

2. Once the term is over, sell them back! Unless you need the books for future reference, sell them back to the bookstore, or again to a place that deals in used textbooks. Some money is better than nothing, and that extra cash will help defray your expenses for next term.

3. Wait for penny sales, and stock up on the essentials. Paper, notebooks, pens, pencils, etc. won't go bad. When there's a good sale, I stock up. I mean, I STOCK UP! I also use that opportunity to donate to local school supply drives.

4. Invest in a quality backpack. Even the more expensive ones are reasonable when combined with rebates, and a good quality backback that lasts 2, 3 years or longer will save you money in the long run.

5. Comparison shop. This doesn't apply only to back-to-school! Know the prices before you go shopping, just because a store has it on sale doesn't mean another store doesn't have it at a lower price every day. Don't get sucked into the madness!

6. Check out deal sites online - they regularly will post the sales flyers several days before they come out in the Sunday paper, so you can plan your shopping trips accordingly.

7. For dorm rooms, check out yard sales, craigslist, eBay (local), etc. We picked up a great loft bedfor my son's dorm room from someone who was graduating, and didn't need it anymore. I saved several hundred dollars. I picked up some storage shelves and a rug at a yard sale.

8. Take advantage of any rewards/rebates programs available. This is a no-brainer and another one that's not limited to back-to-school. Just make sure you send off for the rebate immediately and keep copies in case something goes wrong.

9. Try to get other parents to participate in clothing swaps - especially important if your school has uniforms. Some PTA groups are starting to coordinate these and I think that's great.

10. Set a budget, and stick to it. You don't have to get it all on day 1. I shop for school supplies whenever there's a great sale, so I never worry when it's back-to-school time, because I know I have the basics covered.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

GIVEAWAY: Win an $80 Gift Certificate from The CSN Stores

CSN Stores is giving one The Road To Here reader an $80 gift certificate. With over 200 stores covering a wide range of products from houswares, lighting, tools, baby and kids, luggage and more, you'll find something (or 87 somethings!) you want to purchase.

Everytime I look, I see something else I want but I think I'd spend it on this Kichler House Beautiful Portable Desk Lamp in Burnished Bronze Finish. Giveaway ends 8-23

Back To School 2010 Giveaway: Ryn Rocker Bottom Shoes (ARV Up To $300)

One lucky 3 Garnets and 2 Sapphires reader will receive a pair of Ryn shoes of their choice (style/color/size) (subject to availability). Ends 8-23

Ryn offers awide range of athletic, dress, casual and outdoor shoes (sandals too!) with rocker soles that provides a variety of benefits as shown by this picture I saw on the sponsor's website.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Check out the Mom's Breakfast Club for 24 chances to win $100 every week!

24 BlogHer moms are sharing their summer plans, and offering a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card thanks to Kellogg.

  • Mannland 5 got season passes to a nearby water park and wants to cram in a few more visits before summer is over.
  • FiddleDeeDee shares her "recipe" for a homemade slip-and-slide. Water fun doesn't have to be expensive!
  • C Beth Blog shares her summer vacation memories. She made me feel like I was there.
  • Shells in your Pocket made a summer to-do list of affordable activities her kids wanted to do, all while making family memories.
  • Jenny on the Spot enjoyed “Drive-in on our drive way” night for an fun, affordable family activity - makes me wish we had a garage instead of a carport!
  • Swistle goes to the pool almost every day, and also admits to letting her kids have extra TV and video game time (don't we all! I swear my son played more Xbox this summer than he did all last school year, which was OK with me).
  • Finding Bonggamom shared her list of 14 things she wants to do before summer is over.
  • Welcome to Quadville! is planning a trip to Disneyland. With quads, I bet it'll be a blast! There's nothing better than experiencing Disney through the eyes of a child (or 4).
  • Deb, Mom of 3 Girls will be in the middle of moving over Labor Day weekend so they can't spend the end of summer like they usually do, so they're making alternate plans.
  • Cookin' Canuck shared her experiences camping with the kids. There's nothing more fun than a pair of walkie-talkies to a couple of boys! My son and his best friend used to have all sorts of adventures and used their walkie-talkies to keep in touch. One of the best presents I ever gave my son.
  • My Beautiful Day made a list of things her family wanted to do before summer was over, and shared pictures and memories of their recent trip to the Minnesota Zoo (indoor exhibits only and I don't blame them - TOO HOT!
  • V & Co shared camping memories, past and present.
  • Because I Said So's family went on a trip to the Outer Banks. I'm sooo jealous, that's my most favorite destination vacation spot (and where I'm planning on going next month). I wonder if they went to Corolla/Duck, or someplace further south?

EMILE HENRY 12" Oval 6.3qt Flame® DUTCH OVEN Giveaway

One One Savvy Mom reader will win an EMILE HENRY 6.3qt. 12" Oval Dutch Oven - isn't it pretty? I had never heard of this line of cookware before tis giveaway, now I'm completely obsessed. They also make tableware, kitchenware (I love the mortar & pestle, and the spice jars). Giveaway ends 8-22

Here is more information on the Dutch Oven being given away, from the sponsor's website:
Manufactured in France, this versatile cookware is easy to clean and it is also dishwasher safe. Ideal for use on any type of stove or in the oven, they are also attractive serving dishes at the table.

These cocottes or casseroles can be used for a variety of cooking, from cooking rice or vegetables, to making soups and casseroles, pot roasting and even baking cakes and breads. The dutch oven / stewpots are made of an innovative ceramic technology that is remarkably hard and flameproof so it can be used directly on a heat source whether it is a stovetop or grill and then can be placed in the oven to roast or bake. The dutch oven / stewpots direct heat tolerance is so high that it, unlike most metal, glass or ceramic cookware, can sit on a very hot open flame, empty, for an extended period of time and it won't crack, discolor or break.

The Flame-Top Dutch Oven / Stewpot cooks evenly and gently when used on top of the stove, in the oven or even in the microwave.