Things I’m Loving This Spring

This post contains affiliate and referrral links but I’m not linking to anything I don’t use and love.

It’s a rainy day here in Chicago so I thought I’d brighten it up by sharing about all of the things I’m loving this spring season! Number one on my list is sunny, warm days lol :)

Archer Farms Vegetarian Mexican Street Corn Salad

This is one of those times I’m glad I was hungry while shopping! I’m not vegetarian but I loved Mexican Street Corn so when I saw this salad at Target I thought I’d give it a try. You guys… I’m so embarrassed to say that I ate the whole container in one day. I paired the salad (which was more like a cold, creamy corn salsa) with tortilla chips and had some for snack in the morning, a little more with lunch, and then decided it would make a great substitute for dinner on a Saturday night since I was too tired to cook after I spent the whole day cleaning my office. This was so good that I almost didn’t want to include it because I don’t want the word getting out before I get back to my local Target to buy more!

I checked on Target’s site (where it only has 2 stars- probably because it doesn’t have typical Mexican Corn ingredients) and it’s not available to order. Boo. But, there are some frozen varieties you can buy online like this Trader Joe’s version or you can just buy this Tajín Clásico Seasoning and some Cotija cheese and top the Archer Farms salad to make it a bit more authentic. Either way hope you all have more self-control than I did!

$4 Diapers from Aldi

I’m a newbie Aldi shopper (though I admit it’s not my favorite place to shop with the kiddos because the whole cart/box fiasco can be a nightmare) but I’ve discovered some great cheap finds which keep me going back. A few weeks ago my husband knew we needed diapers so he picked up a package of Aldi brand ones. Normally we don’t buy off brand diapers -other than Target’s Up&Up- since I’ve discovered they don’t work as well as Huggies and Pampers but I was pretty impressed with them. Are they the best quality? No, but these diapers are only $4 a package! Saving half off something my child is going to poop in? Works for me! Not sure how these will work as she grows and starts moving around more but for now she’s pretty stationary so they are perfect.

Imperfect Produce Delivery

I shared about my love for Imperfect Produce in a blog post about food waste last week. I’ve found that having fresh produce is inspiring me to eat more fruits and vegetables plus be more creative in the kitchen. And knowing that the food I’m using would have otherwise gone to waste makes me happy. Want to see if Imperfect produce delivers in your area? Use this link: Imperfect Produce and we both get $10 off a box.

The Act on Hulu

Looking for something good to watch? I’m about halfway through The Act season one on Hulu and would recommend it if you like true crime shows. Season One follows Gypsy Blanchard (Joey King), a girl trying to escape the toxic relationship she has with her overprotective mother, Dee Dee (Patricia Arquette). Her quest for independence opens a Pandora’s box of secrets, one that ultimately leads to murder. Don’t have Hulu yet? Use my referral link and get a 2-week free trial!

Bow Box Subscriptions

This new girl mom is obsessed with hair bows! I recently shared a post about how I organize my daughter’s bows and headbands and my favorite bow subscription boxes. My favorite bow box is from Chic Pipsqueak and comes with 4 bows (normally $11.99+ shipping/month but use code ‘SAVE50’ for 50% off). Want to try a subscription for free? Little Poppy Co. has one (normally $13.99+ shipping/month for 3 bows but use code ‘THREEFREEBOWS’ for a free month- just pay shipping). I love getting fun mail instead of bills sometimes :)

Facebook Marketplace

This weekend I bought Emma this Fisher-Price Smart Stages chair for only $5, saving myself about $30. I check the Marketplace every few days for baby items I’m still wanting to get for Emma. When you are on a budget it’s a great place to find used items that are barely used. You can even set up alerts so that when an item you want is listed for sale nearby you are notified. Babies go through things so quickly so if you can save a few bucks, why not?

Target Tank Tops

One of the staples in my wardrobe are basic tank tops from Target. These tank tops are pretty similar to the Mossimo ones they used to sell and I have a couple dozen in my closet. They come in a variety of colors and prints and pair perfectly with everything from skirts to yoga pants. In colder weather they can be worn under a cardigan sweater but the straps are also thick enough to cover bra straps so they are perfect for hot summer days as well.

Clearance Easter Candy

If your kids didn’t get enough candy from the Easter bunny now is the time to run to the store and grab all that yummy seasonal chocolate while it’s on clearance. Our local store had it all 90% off a couple of days ago and they had a surprising amount left. I got my favorites, like of a bag Reese Eggs for 39 cents and Cadbury Eggs for a dime. Score!

PhotoSpring Digital Picture Frame

This has been on my favorites list for the past couple years because I absolutely love it and it’s still something I use daily. I like that I can easily load my favorite photos on the PhotoSpring frame from my smart phone. It holds 5,000 photos which is a ton because I’ve had it for a few years now and it’s only 25% full or so even though I load new photos on it a few times a week. I enjoy looking at the slideshow of pictures as I work each day.

Primo Water Dispenser

I recently learned that my home’s tap water in our nice suburban Chicago home has 8 contaminants detected above health guidelines and 6 other detected contaminants. I was shocked! We got a Primo water dispenser (like this one but in white) that dispenses purified water. Our’s is bottom-loading, which means no heavy bottles to lift, and has 3 options- cold, hot, and warm water (perfect for baby bottles). I shared about getting a water dispenser for our home here but it really was a smart choice and reassuring knowing my kiddos aren’t drinking all those contaminants anymore!

What things are you loving this spring? Share with me on social! Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

 

Beyond The Backpack Event In Chicago This Weekend {Gift Card Giveaway}

Thanks to Kmart for sponsoring this post.

Hey Chicago parents! Looking for a fun back to school event to get your kids excited for the first day of school? If so, you’ll want to head to the Nick Jr. Beyond the Backpack event at the Addison Kmart location this Saturday!

This free, kid-friendly back-to-school event will be filled with awesome activities, games, crafts and even a dance party for everyone to enjoy. Plus, big news for the littlest shoppers, there will be surprise appearances from Shimmer and Shine as well as Dora the Explorer. There will also be kindergarten readiness resources from Nick Jr. Beyond the Backpack, a nationwide initiative to promote overall kindergarten readiness for preschoolers.

  • Event Date: Saturday, August 19 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Event Location: Kmart Addison – 3443 W. Addison Street, Chicago, IL 60618

While you are at the event, make sure to check out Kmart’s great selection of back to school necessities and get everything else you need to make the first day of school a success. From a cute outfit for picture day to stylish shoes to a cool backpack, they have everything your family needs for the school year.

To make shopping for back to school gear a little easier, Making Time For Mommy is partnering with Kmart to offer a $50 Kmart gift card to one lucky winner. Just enter via the form below and the winner will be chosen Saturday and receive their gift card via email.

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8 Diaper Bags That Don’t Look Like Diaper Bags

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. (And also, I’m not pregnant….didn’t want anyone thinking this was an announcement post.)

When my boys were little, my diaper bag couldn’t pass for anything but a diaper bag. It was baby blue and brown and had the name of a well-known children’s store embossed on it. At the time I loved how roomy it was but I’m really liking the new trend of having a diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag. If I have another child I’d want something that can pass for a purse when I’m sans kids. (Not that I’m sans kids often but a girl can dream of an evening out, right?)

Here are some of my favorite diaper bags from Baby Cubby, a chic store that carries the top items for mom and baby. All of these can pass for a purse or tote while after the kids are out of diapers.

Oemi Baby Leather Diaper Bag

Hands-down this is my favorite diaper bag I’ve come across. The Oemi leather bag is cut from the finest and softest distressed aniline leather available and is not only stylish but functional, too. It boasts five interior and three exterior pockets giving you more than enough room to stay prepared for everything you’ll need for your little one. Buy it here.

Skip Hop Greenwich Simply Chic Diaper Bag 

The Skip Hop Greenwich diaper backpack in smoke is chic and convenient. Made of wipeable vegan leather, it’s the perfect bag for busy parents! It has multiple pockets for ultimate organization and includes a changing pad and stroller straps. Buy it here.

Timi & Leslie Convertible Collection Rachel Satchel

The Timi & Leslie Rachel Satchel is made for the modern mom. Easy-to-clean faux leather, several interior and exterior pockets, included accessories and custom hardware make this a classic bag that won’t look like a diaper bag. Buy it here.

Coco and Kiwi Sydney 5 – Piece Diaper Bag

This sleek and simple design will make a big impact!  The Sydney 5-Piece Diaper Bag is sure to fulfill all your needs with its functional design and special included accessories! Buy it here.

Petunia Pickle Bottom Glazed Pathway Pack

The Pathway Pack is a super classy bag for modern parenting that even dads will want to use. It has great features like a laptop pocket and can be worn as a backpack or cross-body.  The sleek glazed canvas is easy to clean, and the fantastic colors offered will fit either parent’s style. Buy it here.

Little Unicorn Rambler Satchel Diaper Bag

If you need a bag that is both functional and stylish, this is it! The Little Unicorn Olive Rambler Satchel is the ultimate organizer bag with its 12 pockets. The durable cotton canvas is sure to hold up, and the vegan leather adds the perfect trendy touch. Buy it here.

Little Unicorn Rotunda Diaper Bag

The Rotunda diaper bag offers a sophisticated combination of style and thoughtful function while you’re on the go with or without your little one. Its sleek design makes it easy to incorporate the Rotunda into your wardrobe long after your babies are out of diapers. I love that it has a tech pocket to protect electronics. Buy it here.

Timi & Leslie Convertible Collection Charlie Tote

The Charlie tote is made from faux leather and features custom hardware in an antique brass finish. The tote is fashionable but has great accessories so it functions well as both a diaper bag and a purse. It has a zippered sac for soiled clothes, a changing bag with front mesh pocket to hold diaper changing necessities, and a stylish clutch with interior credit card slots and an inside zippered pocket for all of mom’s must-haves. Buy it here.

Baby Cubby carries more than just diaper bags, too. They have a large variety of everything parents need for babies and toddlers. I really love that they take the time to make videos about most of the items they carry so you can get an idea of what the products are like in person. They make the online ordering process easy for those of us that are not close by to their Lindon, Utah storefront.

Which diaper bag is your favorite?

 

Backyard Updates To Brighten Summer Days

Thanks to Kmart for sponsoring this post!

The boy’s baseball season is over which means our family is spending a lot more time relaxing at home instead of sitting at the baseball field. I love spending time in the backyard but our space was less than ideal for family time so we stocked up on goodies at Kmart to make it a place we want to spend all of our lazy afternoons. From a new patio table to a hammock to bright floral tableware, our space looks totally transformed and we spent all day Saturday just enjoying it.

Even better? The Summer Blowout is going on right now in stores and online with 10-40% off in all departments (excluding grocery), with some items up to 50% off! All your favorites, including apparel, footwear, electronics, home decor and toys are on sale to make your summer – and your backyard- ridiculously awesome.

The first thing I wanted to get was a new patio table because our old one had a broken top from an umbrella that had gotten loose a few weeks ago. I knew I wanted a table that seated 4-6 and wasn’t tempered glass so I did some searching and found this tile top table. It is perfect! It looks classy and is very spacious which is great for entertaining.

To brighten up the brown table I went with floral tableware in cheerful colors. This is probably the first time I have a complete set of tableware since having kids! (Any other parents have a cabinet full of mismatched pieces due to plates and bowls getting broken by little hands that were not yet ready for big boy plates?)

I also got floral placemats and serving trays in a matching design which added even more color to the table.

One other thing I had been wanting to get was an indoor/outdoor serving cart. I found this affordable one and it folds up so it’s perfect for our small space. I chose to get the serving cart in brown but it comes in a number of colors like red, teal and green to match any decor. I hung little solar powered lanterns on it so it will light up at night time for the evenings we will spend on our patio.

Having a serving cart is helpful when you are entertaining because it gives guests more room at the table. (It’s also a great place to keep dessert away from little ones that want to taste test the icing :) lol)

Kmart has aisles full of outdoor decor so even if you can’t update your whole patio, you can still get a few pieces to brighten up your space. I found some beautiful ceramic lanterns, outdoor pillows (like this butterfly one below), colorful door mats and so much more.

I really love all of the updates that we made to our patio. My favorite addition to our backyard though? A hammock! This hammock is perfect for taking an afternoon nap, reading a book or relaxing as you watch your kids play. Best of all it folds upright for easy storage during the winter!

Speaking of kids playing… I used this party tub to store water balloons for my kids water balloon fight but it will also be great for holding drinks at summer parties!

Do you need to spruce up your outdoor living space or want to stock up on a few more essentials before the end of the season? Hurry to Kmart for great deals during their Summer Blowout, now through July 30th!

Last Minute Gift Ideas For Dad {Giveaway}

Thanks to Sears for sponsoring this post and giveaway.

Father’s Day is this Sunday! Anyone still need to buy a gift for dad? My boys have reached the age where they like to help pick out gifts to give for occasions like this so we are headed to the store tomorrow for some last minute shopping. While they try to convince me we should go to a toy store and get him toys because “daddy really likes toys”, I know better and will be taking them to Sears where there are plenty of things that their dad actually would want.

From tools to small appliances to trendy clothes, Sears has the perfect gift for every dad. I checked out Sears.com to get an idea of what we’d find and am sharing some of my favorites here so you can make sure to visit Sears online or in-store for all your Father’s Day gifting needs! I also have a $50 Sears e- gift card I’ll be giving away for those last minute shoppers.

Gift idea #1: A new grill and/or grilling accessories for the dad who loves to grill

Several years back I shared here on the blog how we got a new grill from Sears. I think it is one of the best gifts I’ve given and something that gets used on a frequent basis. They have a number of grilling accessories too so dad can grill everything from fish to shish kabobs.

One of my favorites is the Kenmore 4 Burner LP Mocha Gas Grill with Searing Side Burner. I love the fact that it has the side burner plus the storage space on the bottom is perfect for all of the grilling accessories and seasonings dad might want to keep in it.

Gift idea #2: Craftsman Tools for the handyman

As a girl growing up I remember being amazed by how many tools my dad had. I never knew what all of them did but he always seemed to know which tool was perfect for the job. I think tools are the perfect gift for the handyman dad.

Sears carries an assortment of Craftsman tools and toolboxes. This Craftsman 254 PC Mechanics Tool Set with 75Tooth Ratchet is the only tool set dad will need to complete any and every mechanical job and it’s nice because all of the tools come in a well constructed tool box. Sears is offering up to 50% off Craftsman tools for Father’s Day (sale runs through 6/18).

Gift idea #3: Home theater system for the movie buff

Some dads are all about movies. They come up with a movie quote for every occasion and always know what movies are playing at the theater and what new movies are coming out every week.

Those dads would love a home theater so that every movie watched at home would make them feel like they were at the movie theater. The Samsung HT-J5500W 5.1 Channel Home Theater System w/ Bluetooth and Smart Blu-ray Player brings a cinema atmosphere to your living room. This package includes immersive speakers, a subwoofer and a smart Blu-ray player to enjoy all types of content in vivid color and robust audio. With 5.1 channels and wireless rear speakers, dad can create an immersive experience when watching sports or the latest blockbusters.

Gift idea #4: Rding lawn mower for the dad who prides himself on how his yard looks

Recently I saw a photo online of a dad mowing his lawn with a tornado in the distance. While I thought he was crazy because you should always take shelter in bad weather, it just goes to show that some dads will not let anything stop them from making their yards picture perfect. If you have a dad in your life who spends hours outside every weekend, a gift that would help make yard work easier would probably be appreciated.

For those with a large area to mow every week, a riding mower would make the perfect gift. The Craftsman Pro Series 42″ 20 HP V-Twin Kohler Hydrostatic Riding Mower w/ Smart Lawn Bluetooth Technologymakes me want to type all the heart eye emojis because this thing is amazing. Dad can get the job done quickly with this mower and it has Consistent-Cut™ technology so he’ll get the perfect cut even if your yard includes uneven terrain or areas of tall grass. Caring for the riding lawn mower is easy too with the Smart Lawn app for iPhone and Android smartphones that includes a run time tracker, service reminders and everything he will need to maintain the riding lawn mower.

Gift idea #5: New tent for dads who love to camp

Growing up we went camping often and I loved it so I think that camping equipment is a great gift that can help make memories for years to come. This would make a great gift for a new dad accompanied by a note sharing some of your favorite camping tips and tricks. Even seasoned campers could use some new equipment and I found this out the hard way! I had borrowed my dad’s tent that was probably more than 25 years old and woke up in a puddle of rain water in the middle of the night. So if dad enjoys camping, maybe surprise him with a new tent before he discovers he needs a new one while in the middle of nowhere.

Sears has tents, sleeping bags and everything else a camper needs. For smaller families, this Coleman Sundome® 4-Person Dome Tent would be ideal. Easy setup means less time setting up the tent and more time roasting marshmallows! This tent is compact, yet spacious and has a ground vent and two windows to help your family stay cool and comfortable. If it rains, the WeatherTec™ system with its patented welded floors and inverted seams will help you stay dry and the compact dome shape stands up to wind.

Gift idea #6: Mini-fridge for the beer drinker

I find that we always need extra fridge storage so mini-fridges are great. If your hubby enjoys a cold drink while watching a baseball game or enjoys entertaining, this might be a great gift for dad.

The Whynter Mini Stainless Steel Refrigerator is sleek and will fit in dad’s garage workshop, office or his man cave. This fridge holds an amazing 117 12-ounce can beverages or up to 27 wine bottles.

Gift idea #7: Mountain bike for the explorer

One of the things Sinisa wants this year is a bike so he can go bike riding with the boys. It’s a great way for dads to spend time with their families- whether they are just going on a ride down the street or exploring a wooded trail.

There are a number of bikes to choose from at Sears from well known brands like Schwinn, Mongoose and Iron Horse. The IRON HORSE 29″ Men’s Warrior 3.2 Mountain Bike is the perfect set of wheels for dad. This mountain bike is built to take all the bumps, dips and holes in stride and is designed to make even rough roads feel freshly paved.

As you can see, Sears is definitely a one stop shop for your Father’s Day shopping because they offer a wide range of home merchandise, apparel, automotive products and more! Sears provides shopping convenience – letting members shop wherever, whenever and however they choose, both in stores and online. They even have an awesome rewards program called ‘Shop Your Way’ that is a free social shopping destination and rewards program offering millions of products, personalized services, and advice. The program rewards members for buying the products and services they want every day. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you will want to sign up!

Enter below to win a $50 e-gift card to Sears! The winner will receive it before Father’s Day so they can pick out some last minute gifts for dad!
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10 Tips For Saving Money On Kid’s Clothes

One of my favorite things to do is shop for kid’s clothes and I love finding great deals on things that make them look even cuter than they already are. Clothes purchases can be a large portion of your budget if you let them so I wanted to share ten of my favorite ways to save money on your kid’s wardrobe.

1) Shop garage sales during the warmer months (and use my tips below to get the best bargain)

I’ve been amazed at some of the deals I’ve scored at garage sales because people just want to get rid of their stuff. The best deal I found was outfits for a quarter! If you find a great sale with nice clothes but they are a little too pricey you can do one of two things. You can ask the person what day/time their sale ends and go back right before they are closing to get a better deal or you can give them your phone number and ask them to call you if they still have clothes leftover at the end of their sale. People are more likely to give you a bargain if the alternative is giving them away or putting them back in their basement for another year. Another way to save money is to ask for a discount on their prices if you are buying a number of items.

2) Shop the end of season clearance racks

The end of season clearance is the best way to score some great deals on brand new clothes. You will take a chance guessing on what size your child will be the following season so I’d buy one extra size up. Your child will either have clothes that fit or clothes that are a bit big and can be worn two seasons. I’d also suggest purchasing things that aren’t super trendy if your kids are older since trends change. Stick with basics for them like tshirts, athletic wear and pajamas.

3) Find clothes for free

If you are really in a bind trying to get clothes for your children, Freecycle is a great place to look. When I first had the boys we were struggling financially and I got the majority of their clothes from people giving them away for free. The majority of the clothes were wearable and some were even name brand (which didn’t matter that much at that point- I was just happy to have clothes for them).

4) Check local thrift stores

Thrift stores can be hit or miss. My favorite is Savers because I’ve found quality clothes at good prices there and they give back to charity. Goodwill is another well-known thrift store that I like to shop at and some even have clothes with tags on them. Our local Goodwill gets items donated from Target that they resell at a steep discount.

5) Get hand-me-downs from family 

If you have family with children of the same gender you can always ask for hand-me-downs. We were lucky enough to get some hand-me-downs of my nephews who was about a year older than Jacob. Make sure to check if they will want them back and if so, mark the tags of the items so you know which ones are theirs.

6) Use an online consignment site

There is nothing better than being able to shop from the comfort of your couch. I love selling on Swap and also just recently learned about Vinted Kids. Both sites I’ve worked with in the past and you can see my reviews here- Swap and Vinted Kids.

7) Swap with friends

If you are in a local parenting group you can always see if anyone is up for participating in a clothing swap. Everyone can donate clothes to the swap that their children have grown out of and then you can get the items you need. To make it fair for everyone, one item has to be donated to the group for every item taken. My local moms group has bins for younger children that they pass around.

8) Check the outlet malls

I was surprised to find that outlet stores have the same on trend items and seasonal offerings that their main stores do, just at a fraction of the price. Before shopping at a store in your local mall check out their outlet location to see if you can find what you are looking for there.

9) Buy basics for cheap at the big box stores

The best places to shop for basics are Walmart and Target. I love buying plain sweatpants and sweatshirts for the boys at Walmart because they are usually less than $5 each. I make sure to keep a set for each of them in the car in case of cold evenings or when they need a change of clothes due to spills.

10) Shop at discount stores

Discount stores like TJ Maxx, Ross Dress for Less and Marshalls often sell name brand items at amazing prices. They usually have a great selection as well which makes shopping easy.

What are your tips for saving on your children’s clothes?

 

 

More Time To Make Memories

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.)

Food is a big part of the holidays and usually what I’m still needing to shop for the couple days before Christmas. Creating delicious meals and party favorites brings joy to many but unfortunately, shopping and preparing foods during the holidays can get hectic and add more stress to an already busy season. I love grocery shopping and sometimes lose myself while walking down the aisles looking for ideas and foods to inspire me but sometimes that leads to me spending too much time in stores which is not something I have an abundance of this time of year.

For over a decade I have enjoyed shopping at Sam’s Club to save time and money around the holidays. I can find a great variety of quality foods and save even more time this year with their new Club Pickup. Their Club Pickup is a free, “personal shopper” service that is focused on making shopping more convenient for members. Club Pickup provides an easy and quick pickup option through seamless ordering online at SamsClub.com from any computer or mobile device. The service is available at all 653 Sam’s Club locations. I love how this is done. In this tech-savvy world we all use apps and online shopping so Club Pickup is something that is very simple to do. I can place the order on my phone while waiting for the kids in the car pick up lane at school. During very hectic times (like this week!) there is also an easy reorder feature as well which is a great tool that lets me order go-to items quickly by creating a list of my past purchases.

One thing about Christmas that rings true is the plentiful parties and meals. Fantastic desserts and treats and great recipes that bring smiles to all.  That is one of the biggest reasons I shop at Sam’s Club around the holidays. I can stock up on all kinds of party favorites and new side dishes that also guarantee I will have leftovers (which is one of my favorite things about hosting).

This year we tried some new side dishes like sweet potatoes with pecan butter and marshmallows. We also bought the staples like scalloped potatoes. Sam’s Club has something for everyone.

The 200% satisfaction guarantee on high-quality produce, meat and baked goods is the number one reason I keep going back and why I am always eager to try new offerings at Sams club.

We also purchased Holiday decor from Sam’s Club including Christmas plates and a festive, fresh wreath for the front door. Being able to check one thing off the to-do list without leaving the couch gives me more time to make memories with my kids.

Bath-Time Fun On A Budget

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Save-A-Lot. This could include Save-A-Lot providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

It is nearly summer here and all my boys have been talking about lately has been going outside to play. Playing outside for boys means all kinds of sports and games and fun on the playground. Most of all though, it translates into the boys getting dirty as they slide down the field, jump into sand and get covered in grass. After a long day of fun and play my boys need a good bath and a scrub down. Bath-time is after all just another way to have fun and the kids love drawn out baths with lots of bubbles. The only thing that is not fun is spending too much on bath products. Luckily Save-A-Lot and Suave have teamed up to help create bath-time fun on a budget.

For my kids baths mean another chance to get rowdy and splash and throw bubbles everywhere. Usually the kids try to dump extra of whatever they can to make more bubbles. The key to their ongoing happiness is to use tear free products so when the bath water splashes into their eyes it doesn’t sting. Suave has a great line that includes a tear free 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner along with a body wash.

Spending less, means more bottles and more bubbles and happiness (Prices may vary on location). For my kids that just means more fun before bed.

Kids get silly and splash and they are happy. The only thing that makes them crabby after a bath is their unruly hair. Luckily Save-A-Lot and  Suave have a detangler made just for kids and the aroma of apple makes it very friendly to little noses.

Suave has a lot of kid friendly products but I’ve discovered that there are twice as many products for moms and dads. Save-A-Lot has savings for everyone in the family on Suave.

So as the summer comes and the weather gets hotter let the kids play. Let them enjoy playing outside and getting dirty and let Save-A-Lot and Suave be there at the end of the day to clean and refresh the whole family. To make the summer even more fun, Save-A-Lot is also having an exciting opportunity through their Facebook community, giving customers a chance to win a $25 Save-A-Lot gift card each week. For the chance to win a $25 Save-A-Lot gift card, check out the Smart Shopper Sweepstakes on the Save-A-Lot Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SaveALot.

Be sure to find & follow Save-A-Lot on:

Keep up with me and my family and see what adventures we find and let us know some of yours, too.

Stock Up and Save At Walmart (Gift Card Giveaway)

Disclosure: The Walmart gift cards and information have been provided by P&G.

It is finally spring! For my family this means we are spending more time outdoors. The kids have sports and activities so we are constantly on the go and that means I have less time to run my typical errands, like going to the store. Luckily I shop at Walmart so I can stock up and save on my family’s favorite P&G products with amazing savings. For a limited-time, Walmart has rollbacks and guaranteed low prices on our favorite P&G products, such as Tide laundry detergent, Charmin toilet paper, Bounty paper towels and more. The P&G line of products ranges from laundry detergents and paper towels to baby diapers. The stock up sale runs through Thursday, April 30th, 2015 .

The most important essentials I love to stock up on are paper towels and toilet paper. Everyone knows that when you have smaller children they always overuse both. My boys are 5 and 6 and they go crazy with the toilet paper. Those were the first things I intended to buy in order to stock up and save with Walmart.

Buying paper towels and toilet paper and even laundry detergent is easy. The challenging purchase for any guy is buying tampons. P&G and Walmart definitely make that an easier task. Just stock up and then not only do you save money, but you only have to go to the store once. No more emergency runs to the store to get tampons when she runs out.

No matter what essential items you need to stock up on there are many choices and the shopping is made easy at Walmart’s Stock Up and Save event. So spend less money and time at the store and more time enjoying the warmer weather.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a $25 Walmart gift card

HOW TO ENTER:

Share this post on social media and leave a comment below with the link

Giveaway ends April 30, 2015 at 11:59pm. Must be 21 or older and a US resident to enter.

Jewel-Osco’s New Savings App: MyMixx

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Jewel-Osco. The opinions and text are all mine.

I am a full time working parent and always short on time to do my grocery shopping. Recently I have discovered a brand new mobile app by Jewel- Osco called MyMixx that will revolutionize my shopping experience. Jewel-Osco is a staple grocery store in our neighborhood and the app will make Jewel our top grocer.

MyMixx is a free app available for apple and droid products. Very user friendly. Once downloaded you will want to choose your neighborhood Jewel-Osco for the updated ad of the week. Once you are signed up MyMixx will do all the work for you beside push the cart. MyMixx sends paperless receipts via email, lets you create a shopping list and discover recipes, and the best exciting part is the electronic coupons directly at your fingertip. It was always hard to find time to clip the coupons and remember to bring them and now I do not have to anymore.

Jewel has absolutely created a very unique personalized shopping app. In a blink of an eye I was hooked. I constantly look for something to do on my phone so now I can do something useful and creative. But most importantly MyMixx saves me time and money.

Looking up recipes and then creating a shopping list is easy and fun. MyMixx remembers your purchases and promptly finds savings on selected items. Redeeming the coupons and savings is easy as pie at the checkout. All someone has to do is enter their phone number they used for signing up. I found this very useful especially at the self checkout.

Over the next few weeks there are several exciting occasions happening such as Valentines Day and beginning of Lent so I will be looking for special recipes and deals to share with everyone. Try the app and let me know what you think and if their shelves are stocked with Sobe let me know.

I’m Christmas Shopping From My Couch This Year

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

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I used to love shopping for Christmas gifts. I enjoyed checking out the ads and made my shopping lists months in advance. I’m normally so on top of things that by Black Friday I am at least half done shopping for the gifts I need. This year is different though. I really don’t feel like shopping. Shopping has went from being one of my favorite stress reducing activities to something I dread. I don’t know if it’s because it means pulling my work-at-home-mom, yoga pants wearing butt out into the cold and driving through traffic to push around a cart in a crowded store or it’s because I just really want to do nothing after a long day of work and playing “mom taxi”.

Since the shopping won’t get done itself I’ve decided to make it a little more enjoyable and shop from the comfort of my couch while I catch up on my DVR’d shows. I have been using my new Acer Iconia One 7 tablet and have been loving how easy it is to use. Intel Tablets are up to 36% faster than other similar tablets. They also have added security features built in so I feel comfortable purchasing things right from my tablet.

To make life even easier I decided to start a Christmas wish list doc on the tablet so every time the boys tell me something else they want I can just add it to the list. I think it’s going to work so much better than all the scraps of paper Jacob has been giving me. When I do venture out to the stores I will always have the wish lists with me since I can easily keep the small tablet in my purse. It will also help when I get those calls asking me what the kids want for Christmas or, harder yet, what I want for Christmas (to which I normally reply- “um. Let me get back to you…” because my mind always goes blank.) My Intel tablet has a long battery life which means I don’t have to worry about the battery dying while I’m out and about.

Along with Christmas shopping, I think my tablet will come in handy when it’s time to make Christmas cookies next week. I can research ideas on Pinterest and bring my tablet into the kitchen when it’s time to follow recipes. It’s my tech must-have this year.

Gurnee Mills: Great Deals & Fun For Everyone {Giveaway}

(Disclosure: I received a gift card from Gurnee Mills but all thoughts are my own.)

A couple weekends ago the boys and I headed to Gurnee Mills Outlet Mall to do some shopping. What I love about Gurnee Mills is the great selection of stores with many of them having deep discounts on items. Being on a budget I really appreciate being able to keep my kids in the same brands they typically wear while being able to save money.

Shopping with kids is an experience as we always tend to get sidetracked. The first store we went into was The Disney Store and my little Toy Story lover found the Lotso bear that he’d been hunting for. I liked the price which was over $30 less than the only other Lotso bear I had previously found at a toy store. He also found a bunch of other little friends and with the buy 3 or more discounts (and armed with a gift card) we went a little crazy…. 

Lucas had the biggest smile on his face and kept thanking me and hugging his stuffed friends. Jacob on the other hand kept asking where the LEGO store was. I promised him we’d stop there after mommy got some clothes for them.

I shopped at Carter’s, Gymboree Outlet, OshKosh B’gosh and The Children’s Place Outlet which are all the stores I typically go to for kid’s clothes. I found so many great deals it was unbelievable. I typically find good prices at outlets but there seemed to be even more sales than normal. Here are a few of my favorite finds:

Apparently yellow and gray are popular colors this season :) I swear I bought plenty of colorful items including a few matching shirts for the boys. Don’t they look handsome in these blue shirts?

When we were done looking at clothes, I fulfilled my promise of stopping at the LEGO store so Jacob could pick something out. Both boys made a few custom minifigures which they loved doing. Jacob has really been into LEGOs recently and has told me that when he is an adult he is going to collect all the minifigures. They each picked out an Advent Calendar also which is something I had my eye on last year but never bought. When we went to check out we got four free gifts. Four! Each boy got a LEGO magazine and then we got a little LEGO Chima set and a LEGO Astronaut set.

After a busy afternoon of shopping we enjoyed an early dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. I’ve been to three locations and I have to say that their Gurnee Mills location was the nicest one. It wasn’t too busy which was nice. Lucas loved the kid’s macaroni and cheese which he said was “Heaven”. I’d never heard him describe food like that so you know it was good :)

As we were walking around we discovered there was a lot more to do at Gurnee Mills than shop. There was a movie theater, an arcade, golfing and even an ice skating rink! Though I’d been to Gurnee Mills before I’d never noticed all the fun things there were to do there.

After a long afternoon carrying numerous bags I was exhausted (note to moms everywhere: pull out the stroller…trust me….). We headed home and I listened to the boys talk about how much fun they had. Lucas played with Lotso and the Peas in a Pod and Jacob looked through his LEGO magazine and talked about minifigures. Before they drifted off to sleep Jacob asked me when we’d be going back again. Considering we’d spent most of our time in clothing stores I’d consider this a win :)

GIVEAWAY:

Enter to win a $50 American Express Gift Card

(Please note: If you win you will have to pick it up at Gurnee Mills Outlet Mall)

HOW TO ENTER:

Comment on this giveaway telling me why you want to win

For an extra entry, share this giveaway and leave the link in the comments below

Giveaway ends October 1, 2014 at 11:59pm CST.

Get $10 Off At Kohl’s With A Planes: Fire And Rescue Movie Ticket Stub

(Disclosure: I participated in an Ambassador campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Kohl’s. I received promotional items and product samples as a thank you for participating.)

I told you all last month that Planes: Fire & Rescue was coming to movie theaters soon. Well guess what? It’s coming out this Friday and Kohl’s has a wonderful deal that I just had to share! When you bring in your Planes: Fire and Rescue movie ticket stub July 18th through July 26th, you can get $10 off a $25 kid’s apparel purchase in-store at Kohl’s! (See full details at the bottom of this post.)

Kohl’s has some great Planes themed clothes for kids.  I shared some of our favorites in the collection. This is a great line of clothes for those of you with children who are fans of Disney Planes. In case you missed last month’s post, here are some of our favorite tops:

Also at Kohl’s this week are limited edition Disney apparel by Jumping Beans smoke jumper tees. How great is this shirt for celebrating the movie release? I love it.

Twitter party alert! Join us for the #MagicAtPlay Twitter Party July 17th, 2014 from 1:00PM – 2:00PM EST.

More details on the $10 off $25 deal:

Offer valid for one-time use 7/18/14- 7/26/14. In store only. One Kids apparel merchandise coupon per customer. $10 offer valid on a minimum $25 pre-tax purchase of Kids apparel merchandise. Dollar-off discounts applied prior to percent-off total purchase discounts. Offer cannot be redeemed for cash. No cash back. Offer not valid for price adjustments on prior purchases. Excludes sales tax. Photocopies or duplicates not accepted. Return value of merchandise purchased with $10 coupon will be subject to adjustment. See store for additional terms and details.

Go to http://oak.ctx.ly/r/ 1d462 for more details on the promotion and http://oak.ctx.ly/r/1d45x for more information on Planes Fire + Rescue apparel.

 

The Pink Elephant In The Room

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is October but I think that conversations around it shouldn’t just be limited to one month out of the year. This is a constant conversation that we should be having so I’m happy to be working with Kohl’s this month to talk about this important subject.

Kohl’s Department Stores and Katie Holmes invite women everywhere to start a conversation about their breast health in an effort to confront the “pink elephant in the room” – breast cancer – and support the fight. As part of this initiative, Kohl’s will donate up to $1 million to Susan G. Komen® to help support the cause.

“Breast cancer is like a pink elephant in the room that women don’t really want to think about, but know they should,” said Katie Holmes. “Women have so much going on in their day-to-day lives, it can be easy to ignore their own needs, like scheduling a mammogram or routine screening. I’m honored to team up with Kohl’s to remind women of the importance of having a conversation about breast health right now.”

From now through Monday, February 17, customers who earn Kohl’s Cash on purchases at Kohl’s stores or on Kohls.com will receive a new, pink version of the traditionally green coupon. From Tuesday, February 18 through Saturday, March 8, Kohl’s will donate $1 to Komen for every pink Kohl’s Cash coupon redeemed, a minimum of $100,000 up to $1 million.

Kohl’s is also featuring a special, pink elephant necklace from the LC Lauren Conrad collection beginning February 19th with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the fight against breast cancer through Kohl’s Cares®, the company’s philanthropic platform. Priced at only $5 and $8 each, two sizes of the necklace will be available while supplies last for a limited time in stores and online.

(Disclosure: I received a necklace from Kohl’s but all thoughts are my own.)

Gift Ideas For Boys, Sneaky Shopping Tips & A Target Gift Card Giveaway

Target recently gave me a gift card and sent me on a Christmas shopping mission with my kids to one of their stores. My challenge? Be a kids’ gift detective and purchase toys for my boys without them knowing.

Sometimes shopping for kids can be hard. Jacob and Lucas tell me they want everything that they see on television so it’s not always easy to decide which gifts they want the most. With Sinisa working so much it’s also difficult for me to find time to go shopping. While I do a lot of my shopping online, I’ve found that sometimes I just prefer the shopping experience in-real-life instead of online.

Target gave me some great ideas on how I could shop with my children without them knowing. Here are the ideas I was given:

  • Kids’ Gift Detective Tip 1: While shopping at Target for your everyday needs, indulge your kids with a stroll down the toy aisle. As they interact and point out toys they like such as the Air Hogs Atmosphere, you can easily pull out your smartphone and use the Target app to purchase it right there in the toy aisle without them ever knowing it.
  • Kids’ Gift Detective Tip 2: For an upcoming shopping trip, bring the other parent, friend or grandparent who can bring the kids to a different part of the store for a snack while you make purchases of the gifts. Or, doing your shopping with the kids’ while in plain sight and tell your kids the items are being given to a cousin or friend, so your kids won’t even realize the gift is for them.
  • Kids’ Gift Detective Tip 3: Enlist your kids in the shopping fun. Want a sneaky way to find out exactly what your kids want for the holidays while also shopping for a good cause? Tell your kids you’re shopping for gifts to donate to a local charity, and have them pick out the toys to donate. Your kids will love scanning the aisles for their favorite items, like the Flutterbye Flying Fairy or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles R/C Shellraiser. Little do they know that the items you’re picking out will also be the gifts they’ll find under the tree. To make sure they don’t blow your cover, you can drop off items you bought at your local charity and order the items online that they picked out for their Christmas gifts.
  • Kid’s Gift Detective Tip 4: If you don’t have a partner in crime to help during your covert shopping trip, make sure to disguise or hide the items you put in your cart. When you arrive at the store, line your cart with “undesirables” (like jumbo packs of frozen Brussels sprouts or books about manners) so your kids can’t see the real gems hidden inside. You can also swing by the container aisle to convert your cart into a covert shopping storage machine. Just place one big, closeable bin into the basket and add their wish list items to the bin while you wheel through the aisles.

For my shopping trip, I decided to focus on my 5 year old’s gift ideas. I seem to be full of gift ideas for preschoolers but for some reason that next year up is harder. He’s too big for preschool toys but too young for many elementary toys. I went along the lines of #2 and told him I wanted him to show me 5 toys that he thought his friends wanted most for Christmas. At his age, his “friends” wants are still suspiciously the same as what he wants ;)

Here were his choices:

Skylanders is #1 on Jacob’s list. The newest game out is Skylanders Swap Force which he loves. Really anything Skylanders will do!
Angry Birds Telepods toys go with the phone app and are a big hit in our house as well.
Switch & Go Dinos were mentioned a few months ago and here he shares again that they’d be in his top 5. Vehicles that turn into dinosaurs? Pretty cool!
Jacob got this Hot Wheels Set for his birthday. Cars are always a hit with this age group!

This LeapPad bundle tied with the Nintendo 3DS as a top electronic gift. For the LeapPad Jake thought a 5 year old boy would like a SpongeBob game the most and his top 3DS game was Pokemon. 

Target also shares some of their top gifts for boys in that age range. They are:

  • 4-pk. Disney Planes Die-Cast Gift Set (Target Exclusive)
  • Imaginext Justice League Javelin (Target Exclusive)
  • Angry Birds Go Pirate Ship
  • Kidtrax SRT Viper 6-Volt Ride-On Car
  • MEGA Bloks Hot Wheels Super Stunt Test Facility
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles R/C Shellraiser
  • Zoomer

So many great gift ideas! Need help figuring out how to hide all of the fabulous gifts? Don’t worry because Target has ideas about how to do that as well! Find them all here.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a $25 Target Gift Card

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me a sneaky shopping tip you have

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Share a picture of yourself using the Target Kids’ Gift Detective tips on Twitter.

Use the #MyKindofHoliday hashtag to tag your pictures.

4) Subscribe to this blog

5) Comment on another one of my posts

Giveaway ends December 20, 2013 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older and a US resident to enter.

(Disclosure: As stated above, Target gave me a gift card to use. All thoughts are my own.)

NCAA Fun At Target {Giveaway}

(Disclosure: This is a compensated post but thoughts are my own.)

I talk about the Chicago Bears all the time but did you all know that I enjoy college ball, too? I live in Illinois but when I watch NCAA football or basketball the team I’m cheering for is from Ohio. Why? I went to college in Ohio! My school didn’t have a team in the NCAA since it was a small liberal arts school so the college team I adopted as “my” college team was Ohio State University {OSU}.

To make this sports season even more exciting, Target has teamed up with Dove Men+Care™, AXE®, Degree™ Men and the NCAA to create the “Save Your Season” QB Challenge. Enter the contest for your chance to win an Xbox One. Think your team is going to reign supreme? Recruit your friends to play against you!

Don’t forget to grab your favorite Dove Men+Care™, AXE® and Degree™ Men products, too. From now until November 9th, you’ll receive a $5 Target gift card when you buy any three participating Dove Men+Care™, AXE® or Degree™ Men products. Now, even if your team may stink this season, it doesn’t mean you have to.

Like Twitter parties? Join the Twitter party with @ResourcefulMom taking place on 11/4 at 8 PM ET by following the hashtag #NCAATarget.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a $20 Target giveaway

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me what NCAA team you (or someone in your family) cheers for

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow me on Twitter

Giveaway ends November 9, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Must be 18 or older and a US resident to enter.

 

Best Buy Mobile Specialty Stores Make Smartphone Shopping Easy

(Disclosure: I’ve been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card.)

I love getting new smartphones but I don’t really enjoy shopping for them. There’s so many choices and I’m always nervous that I’ll get a phone that isn’t a good fit for me.  As a blogger and someone who is always connected to my phone via email and social media I need something that’s fast, holds a battery well, and lets me access a variety of apps and programs.

Since learning about Best Buy Mobile specialty stores I am no longer dreading my trip to choose my next device. They offer the latest devices and carriers all in one place from Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, from all the top brands, along with stylish accessories to suit any lifestyle. Stores are located in convenient places like malls and shopping centers so I don’t have to go out of my way to run this errand. Best of all their prices are the same as the carriers (with no mail-in rebates to worry about!) and their sales people aren’t paid commission so they won’t try to get you to buy a more expensive phone that’s not right for you. They can set up and activate your new phone, transfer your contacts and data and set you up with the complimentary Walk Out Working™ program.

There are over 410 Best Buy Mobile specialty stores. Find one near you. Need a new smartphone accessory? Get a $5 off coupon for one in-stock mobile phone case, shield or charger here (valid only at Mobile Specialty Stores). Coupon valid 11/1/13-11/30/13.

Target Revamps Their Baby Department In Select Stores {Giveaway}

I love Target. They have everything I need under one roof and the best part is they have a great selection, great clearance prices and unique designs. When I was asked to check out the revamped baby department at a local store and given a gift card to do some shopping I was so excited. I get a majority of my kid’s clothes there and have since they were infants.

Building off its “Expect More. Pay Less.” brand promise, Target has launched an enhanced baby experience program in 10 existing Chicago-area stores. The test program aims to create a more compelling shopping experience – with an emphasis on in-store service – through a redesigned layout, knowledgeable Baby Advisors and interactive digital content and expert advice in partnership with leading parenting resource BabyCenter.

I love Target’s new baby section. The past section tended to be crowded but I found everything was displayed nicely and easy to find in the new, larger layout. I also noticed that certain areas of the department were expanded to offer better choices to parents.

When it comes to clothes their selection is just as cute as it’s always been. Guests can find exclusive brands such as Circo and Just One You by Carter’s and all their national brand favorites.

Clothes are displayed at eye-level and coordinating pieces are presented together which makes creating outfits extremely easy (which is extra nice when you are sleep-deprived).

Having an expert to help new parents is also great. I remember when I was pregnant and shopping for “necessities”. I put everything on my list because I didn’t know what I needed, what I didn’t need (or at least didn’t need right away) and what items were best. I love that Target has partnered with Baby Center because it’s a website I trust.

The full list of Chicagoland stores that offer enhanced baby experience includes Bolingbrook, Lombard, Rosemont, Oswego, Homewood, Romeoville, Willowbrook, Chicago-Peterson Ave, Chicago McKinley Park and Highland in Indiana.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a $25 Target gift card

{You don’t need to live in the Chicago area to win!}

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Which part about Target’s new baby department is your favorite?

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow Target on Twitter

4) Follow me on Twitter

5) Subscribe to this blog via email

Giveaway ends November 4, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Winner must be a US resident, 18 or older.

(Disclosure: As stated above I received a gift card for my time. All thoughts are my own.)

$25 Kohl’s Gift Card Giveaway

Last week I shared that I was working with Kohl’s to promote their new #CookWithKohls Sweepstakes. To enter this sweepstakes, log onto Twitter or Instagram and show/tell @Kohls what you’re baking for a chance to win a $500 Kohl’s Gift Card. One grand prize winner will even win a $5,000 Kohl’s Gift Card! Follow @Kohls and include the hashtag #CookWithKohls. (See complete rules here.)

Tonight I’m happy to share that one of you will get to win a $25 Kohl’s gift card right here on my blog! Which amazing Food Network products would you buy with your gift card? Check out my last post to see what items I bought.

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me which kitchen item you’d want to buy at Kohl’s

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow @Kohls on Twitter

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Subscribe to this blog via email (look in upper right corner)

Giveaway ends November 2, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Must be 18 or over and a US resident to enter.

(Disclosure: I received a gift card from Kohl’s but all thoughts are my own.)

#CookWithKohls Sweepstakes

I partnered with Kohl’s a lot this past Summer and Fall to show you some hot fashions but this month I’m working with them to help share the word about their new #CookWithKohls Sweepstakes. Check out the Food Network page on Kohls.com for loads of inspiration, recipes and pics.

I went shopping yesterday in the kitchen department at Kohl’s and was surprised by how much they offered. I had bought small appliances at Kohl’s before but hadn’t ventured into the department that much. Check out what I bought:

I got mini pie pans to make individual apple pies with all of the apples I have leftover from apple picking. I got collapsible measuring cups because we needed them. I love that they collapse to save room since we don’t have much cabinet space. I also got a dutch oven because I’ve never had one and I’ve always wanted one :)

Want to win the #CookWithKohls Sweepstakes so you can get some Food Network items of your own? To enter, log onto Twitter or Instagram and show/tell us what you’re baking for a chance to win a $500 Kohl’s Gift Card. One grand prize winner will even win a $5,000 Kohl’s Gift Card! Follow @Kohls and include the hashtag #CookWithKohls. Rules: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/bhwo

Here was my entry into the Sweepstakes:

See how easy that is? It took me less than a minute to enter to win a gift card! Good luck!

(Disclosure: I received a gift card from Kohl’s to go shopping but all thoughts are my own.)

Grocery Store Activity For Kids

Make your next grocery shopping trip with your kids fun! Have your children put together the grocery list by cutting pictures out of grocery store paper inserts and gluing them on to paper. While you are at the store your young kids can use the pictures to find what you need.

My two boys (who were both preschool age) spent over an hour on this activity. I’d suggest sitting them at the kitchen table to work on this while you clean out the fridge and get it ready for the new groceries so you can supervise them while they are using scissors and can still get something done that you need to.

Supplies Needed:

  • Child Scissors
  • Glue
  • Grocery store inserts or pictures of food
  • Construction paper or printer paper

Bath & Body Works Country Fair Event Tomorrow 9/21

(Disclosure: I am receiving products in exchange for posting about this event.)

Get excited for the arrival of fall with the Bath & Body Works County Fair—a fun, playful take on a favorite local pastime. On September 21, select Bath & Body Works stores will be transformed into festive county fairs, complete with Blue Ribbon interactive experiences.

Join Bath & Body Works for the Blue Ribbon Pumpkin Review—an activity where you’re the judge. Simply smell the range of NEW BBW Pumpkin candles and select your favorite. You can even take your top picks home! Next, visit the White Barn Home Fragrance area for the World’s Best Candle Challenge—take a trivia quiz to learn about all the ways Bath & Body Works’ superior candles enhance the home.

Those who make a home fragrance purchase will receive a FREE exclusive four-ounce preview edition of the Harvest Gathering Candle, complete with cello wrapping and tied with baker’s twine – the perfect housewarming gift for anyone this fall.

Discover what’s in store for fall at your local Bath & Body Works store this September.

Shopping At Savers For Fall Clothes {Giveaway}

I think you all know by now that I love to shop so when Savers asked me to be one of their Back To School Ambassadors and buy some clothes for the boys I said I’d love to. Not only does Savers have great deals but each Savers Thrift Store donates a portion of their proceeds to charity. The location near me happens to donate their money to a charity dear to my heart- The Epilepsy Foundation of Chicago. My {step}mom passed away in 2009 during a seizure in the middle of the night after suffering for 10 years with Epilepsy and a handful of other issues. I’m happy to give my money to any company that supports such an important cause.

Once I received my gift certificates I headed to the store. Savers is a HUGE resale store full of quality used items. I have never looked at an item there that I wouldn’t use in my home or dress my family in. I always try to buy clothes for the boys in the next size up so that I never run into the problem of discovering that Jacob grew out of his clothes and then I have to run to the store and pay full price for clothes. I realize that this system won’t work for that much longer because he will have his own thoughts on clothes soon enough but it has really saved me a lot of money for the past five and a half years. The fact that Lucas can then wear the clothes is an even bigger bonus!

Here are some of the items that I found at my local Savers:

Barely worn GAP denim for less than $7

***

A comfy hooded sweatshirt for those chilly Fall mornings

***

Character t-shirt for the Yoda lover

 Overall this is what I found for about $220 {this wardrobe covers numerous seasons and four sizes}:

15 pairs of jeans

4 pairs of dress pants

3 hooded sweatshirts

1 sweater

2 pairs of jean shorts

1 pair of athletic shorts

3 pairs of bathing suit shorts

1 tank top

7 t-shirts

1 pair of sandals

1 Halloween costume

1 sweater jacket

1 winter coat

5 long sleeve shirts

1 backpack

1 bag of Transformer toys

1 bag of Imaginext toys

***

If you were just buying for the Back to School season you could get a full wardrobe for less than $90!

To find out if you have a Savers location near you check out this store finder. For those of you who are in the Chicago area, I have exciting news! A new Savers just opened in Franklin Park last week.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a $50 gift certificate to Savers

 HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me what you’d shop for at Savers

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow me on Twitter

4) Follow Savers/Value Village on Twitter

5) Comment on another one of my posts

6) Subscribe to this blog via email (look in upper right corner)

Giveaway ends October 1, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Must be a US resident, 21 or over to enter.

(Disclosure: I received gift certificates to shop at Savers but all thoughts are my own.)

Shopping At Gordmans For Clothing, Shoes, Holiday Decor & More {Giveaway}

(Disclosure: I received a gift card to shop at Gordmans but all thoughts are my own.)

This weekend I went shopping at Gordmans, a store that sells name-brand, on-trend fashion, home décor, gifts and more at 60% off department and specialty store prices. As a bargain hunter I was excited to see what deals I could find. I found racks of clearance clothing with signs that all items were an additional 50% off the clearance prices on the tags. I got great deals on kid’s clothes like an Adidas shirt for $2, a Nike outfit for $7, a MLB sports team tshirt for $3.50, Star Wars pajama pants for $2 and a Skylanders shirt for $3. I also found adult gym shoes for only $25 and got Jacob boots for $8. Even the things that weren’t on clearance were still a great price because of the low everyday prices that Gordmans has.

Check out some of the amazing items that can be found at Gordmans:

Halloween Decor

***

Shoes for men

***

Sports team clothing

***

Shoes for her

***

Kitchen Accessories

***

Baby clothes

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a $25 gift card to Gordmans

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me what you’d buy at Gordmans

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Subscribe to this blog via email (look in upper right corner)

4) Follow Gordmans on Twitter

5) Follow me on Twitter

 Giveaway ends September 22, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Must be a US resident and over the age of 21 to enter.

(Disclosure: I received a gift card to shop at Gordmans but all thoughts are my own.)

Great Deals At ROSS Dress For Less {Giveaway}

I love scouring the shelves at ROSS Dress for Less to see what kinds of deals I am going to find. Recently, I was given a gift card to go shopping so the boys and I stopped there after Church yesterday. We walked around and looked in all of the different departments.

When we got to the shoe department I remembered that I wanted to look for some Basketball shoes since Jake had been really into basketball lately and he will be starting the league in a couple months. I saw a couple pairs that I liked and could not believe that they were each only $15! I am very picky about my kid’s shoes coordinating with their clothes so I figured I could get both pairs for less than the cost of a single pair. Here was my favorite pair:

ROSS Dress For Less sells more than clothes and shoes! You can get home decor, toys, seasonal items, kitchen accessories, and more. The boys each chose a toy and I found some soccer socks and a back of the door hook for our laundry room.

Live in the Chicago area? Look for four new ROSS Dress for Less locations! The new locations are in Bradley, Chicago (proper), Crestwood, and Hillside.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a $25 ROSS Dress for Less Gift Card

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me what you’d buy at ROSS Dress For Less

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Leave a comment on another post

Giveaway ends on September 20, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Must be 21 years old or older and a US resident to enter.

(Disclosure: I received a gift card but all thoughts are my own.)

“The Dump” Luxury Discount Home Furnishing Store Opening In Chicago Area {Giveaway}

The Dump, America’s fastest-growing furniture outlet which features famous name furniture at dramatic discounts, is coming to the Chicago area! It will officially open its new location in Lombard on August 30th. 

The Dump, which is located at S. Highland Ave and Butterfield Road, in the former Great Indoors space, will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday every week. Totaling a massive 134,000 square feet, The Dump is the largest high-end furniture outlet in the Chicago marketplace. 

“The secret of our success is based on our unique retail business model, which is focused on delivering the best savings for our customers,” E.J. Strelitz continued.  “For example, at The Dump, we are only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which allows us to keep the cost of doing business down as well as refresh and replenish the entire inventory before the weekend rush. This demonstrates our intuitive understanding of our customer, who prefers to buy furnishings with other family members or friends, making the weekend an ideal time to shop.  Plus, shoppers can expect to find something new every weekend at The Dump, which attracts a high level of increased traffic among our loyal customer base.”

 “At The Dump, we have always been completely transparent with our buying model,” says Randi Strelitz, Executive Vice President, Haynes Furniture/TheDump.  “Our customers know we don’t pay full price, which means they don’t pay full price.  We accomplish this by purchasing overstocks, one-of-a-kinds, factory sell-outs, showroom models, and design prototypes – all brand-new, top-quality merchandise at highly discounted prices.  This creates the ultimate shopping experience for our customers every weekend of the year.”

“The Lombard store will feature the latest furnishings at 30 to 80 percent discounted prices for all areas of your home, including modern living and dining room furniture, chic rugs, and much more,” added Randi Strelitz.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a $134 gift card to The Dump

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me what piece of furniture you’d like to get for your home

2) Follow The Dump on Twitter

3) Follow me on Twitter

4) Share this giveaway on a social network

5) Leave a comment on another blog post

Giveaway ends August 30, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Must be 18 or older and a US resident to win.

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for posting this. I was invited to the Chicago grand opening and can’t attend but I wanted to post because I thought you all would enjoy this.)

Buy Quality Used Clothes & Support A Local School

I love clothes shopping for the boys at large resales in my community but it’s not always easy to get some kid-free time to do so. I learned about a site called Schoola Stitch that just opened last week. It is an online consignment shop that gives 40% of every purchase to our schools.

Schoola Stitch sent me a $50 code to go shopping with. I found a lot of quality brands on their site. The condition of all items is listed on the site and most seemed to be in good to excellent condition. Shipping was free on orders over $50. Here is what I got for $52:

1 jacket

1 hooded sweatshirt

1 pair of jeans

1 sweater

4 long sleeve shirts

3 pairs of shorts

1 t-shirt

The GAP Kids sweatshirt is my favorite! Hoodies are definitely a must have for Fall.

Get 30% off your first order using my affiliate link. What will you find for your kids at Schoola Stitch?

(Disclosure: As stated above, I received a gift code to shop at Schoola Stitch. All thoughts are my own.)

Sevenly’s Weekly Cause: National Autism Association

I was so happy to see that Sevenly, a for-profit social good company that I love, is supporting another Autism related cause this week! $7 from every single item sold goes directly to the National Autism Association to provide behavioral therapy or communication tools to children with Autism. If you have a loved one with Autism this is a great way to support the cause both financially and with a conversation provoking shirt.

I want to get this fabulous shirt for Lucas:

And this is my favorite one I’d wear myself:

Totally cute, right!? Learn more about this week’s cause and/or purchase an item from Sevenly to support those with Autism here {but keep in mind that each week they change causes so hurry!}

Walk The Halls In Style With Kohl’s

It’s back to school season and I’m sure most of you are busy preparing for school. When buying back to school fashions don’t forget the shoes! It’s been said that shoes make the outfit. Check out these cute looks from Kohl’s (disclosure: I am working with Kohl’s to promote their BTS looks):

 (Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post however I am working with Kohl’s on other posts at the moment.)

8 Simple Tips To Spend Less On Back-To-School Electronics

Have a child headed back-to-school soon? Here are eight simple tips to spend less on the electronics they want.

  • Shop on sales tax holidays—seventeen states have sales tax holidays that will allow consumers to purchase back-to-school items, such as clothing, computers and school supplies, tax free. If you live in these states, plan to do your electronics shopping on a sales tax holiday—it could help you save 4% to 10% depending on your state.
  • Shop online—shopping online makes it easy to compare prices from several retailers. And there are plenty of sites that do the bargain hunting for you. Dealnews.com has a page devoted to the best computer deals; Amazon and PriceGrabber are good sources for comparing prices.
  • Take advantage of price-match policies—if you find a good deal online but don’t want to pay shipping costs, you might be able to get the same price in a brick-and-mortar store if it has a price-match policy. For example, Best Buy and Target will match Amazon prices.
  • Buy refurbished—you can save a lot by purchasing refurbished tech items, which are used but restored to like-new condition and usually have a one-year warranty. Try Apple.com, BestBuy.com, Dell.com, Newegg.com and Walmart.com to find refurbished electronics.
  • Take advantage of trade-in programs—one way to pay less for new tech items is to trade in a used item. A number of retailers, including Best Buy and Radio Shack, have trade-in programs that offer cash, a gift card or credit that can be applied toward the purchase of a new item.
  • Look for bundles—look for bundle deals, which are popular back-to-school promotions among tech retailers. The deals typically include a gift card, printer, gaming console or other accessory along with a laptop—at a price near what you would expect to pay for the laptop alone.
  • Get a free phone—mobile phone service providers, such as AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, often offer free smart phones when you sign up for a two-year service plan. Considering smart phones usually cost $200 or more, this can be a major savings. Or you could buy an unlocked phone and cut the cost of a service plan by more than half by opting for a prepaid wireless provider.
  • Don’t splurge on features you won’t use—when buying a laptop for your child, look for systems with a dual-core processor (not a pricey quad-core setup). Also, say no to tech support and retailers’ extended warranties—your credit card might offer an extended warranty.

Guest post provided by Kiplinger. Get more details on any of the above tips here.

 

BlogHer Wardrobe Shopping {And Some Tips On What To Wear}

(Disclosure: I received gift cards from Kohl’s but all thoughts are my own. Honestly, I would have done most of my BlogHer shopping there anyways, even without the gift cards, since I love their selection.)

I’m headed to the BlogHer conference at the end of this month. It’s one of my favorite blogging events and one I know can bring anxiety about what to wear for those going for the first time. Having been to the conference back in 2010 {and many other blogging conferences since then} I have some tips on what to bring wardrobe-wise:

1) Wear comfy shoes. Those heals may look adorable but trust me, they won’t look so cute on someone who is limping around in pain.

2) Pack more than you plan to wear. At the last conference a friend spilled wine on my dress. Thankfully it was white wine so I was able to stick it out with the wet spot but you never know what could happen. You need to have a few extra outfits for accidents or change of plans.

3) Pack something warm. I live in the Chicago area and earlier this week we had one day that was a high of like 63 degrees. Even on hot days the city seems a bit cooler than other areas and conference rooms tend to be a little cold so pack a cardigan or light jacket just in case.

4) Pack a little purse and a larger tote like bag. Going around the conference and expo you will want a large bag to put business cards, pamphlets, and swag in. For the parties you will want something small to keep your cell phone, wallet, and lip gloss in.

5) It’s okay to wear items you already have. I’ve done some shopping for the conference but I plan to wear some clothes that I already have. Keep in mind that most of what you already have in your closet are clothes that none of us have seen so your “old” clothes will be new to us :)

With that said, if you are shopping for some new items I wanted to share some tips on what to look for at the store:

Cute accessories! I love this bracelet pack because these will go with a variety of different looks. I can wear them all together or separately.

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It’s all in the details! Look for cute prints and details on shirts. This is a flowy shirt that goes over a tank top and it has these buttons on the sleeve that make it a short sleeve top.

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Instead of regular old rubber flip flops (which I seem to live in during the summer), give your feet some bling.

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When looking for dresses, find one that works for your body type. I found this dress that has stripes in the skinniest part of my middle which slims me because the eye is drawn to that portion of my body.

What about you? Any tips for us all? Or if you are a “newbie”, any questions I can answer? Leave a comment or tweet me! @aliciamarie112

Women’s Spring & Summer Fashions From Kohl’s {Giveaway}

I am so excited to be going to Collective Bias’ very first blog conference, #SoFabCon, next week! As an employee of Collective Bias I want to look my very best while representing the company and I don’t think the comfy pajamas and sweats I wear while I work from home are going to cut it. I have tons of cute clothes but not much that is fitting me nowadays so I knew I would have to go buy some. Thankfully, Kohl’s sent me a gift card to do some shopping and check out their Spring and Summer fashions.

My favorite item of clothing {other than yoga pants} are tank tops because I can wear them year round so I wanted to pick up at least a couple while shopping. I wanted to find a dress and a shirt I could pair with black pants for a dressier event at an art gallery and for Friday of the conference. I also needed some cute shirts to pair with jeans. If I found any accessories or a Spring purse that would be amazing, too!

Here are some of the items I chose:

Not one to wear white or horizontal stripes but I just loved this dress!

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Loving the color of this shirt!

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Earrings! These hoops are gorgeous!

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One of two polka dot shirts I bought. I think I’ve owned one other polka dot thing in my life but I just thought these tiny polka dot tops would add a pattern to my otherwise plain wardrobe. This one has little cap sleeves. The other is a tank top like the blue-green one above.

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Everyone needs a little blue in their wardrobe! This top is nice and billowy and looks cute with black pants. With the accents of yellow in the flowers I can even wear my bright yellow flats with it.

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This Derek Lam dress is so fun. You can’t tell in the picture but it kind of bubbles a bit at the bottom. Still undecided on if I’m keeping this one or not because I’m not sure if I like how it looks on me.

I found a lot of great clothes and earned some Kohl’s cash just for shopping. I am going to use my Kohl’s cash to get some jewelry this week.

Need to do some shopping yourself? One lucky winner is going to win a gift card to Kohl’s. Think of all the cute items you can get!

GIVEAWAY:

One winner will win a $100 Kohl’s Gift Card

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me what you’d shop for at Kohl’s

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Share a link to an item from the Kohl’s website that you like

4) Subscribe to this blog via email (look in upper right corner)

5) Comment on another blog post

6) Follow @Kohls on Twitter

7) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

Giveaway ends May 20, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. US residents, 18 and older only.

(Disclosure: As stated above, I received a gift card from Kohl’s to shop and I am an employee of Collective Bias so I will be attending the conference courtesy of CB. All thoughts are my own.)

Making Over A Room With Disney Paints {Part 1}

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.)

As you all know, we recently moved the boys out of their toddler beds and into bunkbeds. That was a big transition for us all but one that is going pretty well (other than Lucas trying to claim the top bed as his some days). The next step in our room makeover is painting.

I like having neutral color walls but they can be a little boring sometimes so I was excited to hear about a new line of Disney Paints that are available at Walmart now. There are over 112 colors and 5 specialty finishes, including a glow-in-the-dark finish.

We decided on a theme for the room of space. I made a list of items I thought would fit the theme before heading to Walmart. I wanted glow in the dark stars for the ceilings and some Buzz Lightyear decals. I thought these things would go great with the paint. I also wanted to find as many Buzz Lightyear items as I could for a “to infinity and beyond!” party we are going to be hosting for our friends.

I loved how the paint colors were grouped by theme and with coordinating colors. Many of the paint colors also match the Disney bedding that is available at Walmart which makes decorating rooms easy. The display also had some little booklets which gave me ideas of ways I could use the glow-in-the-dark paint.

Once I picked up the paint I headed to get party supplies. I’ve been known to go a little overboard when it comes to party themes and this party, though just a small one, was no exception.

I bought Toy Story themed cupcake supplies, table decor, decorations to hang from the ceiling, and candy bracelets to make. We have white t-shirts to decorate with glow in the dark paints, glow in the dark markers to color with, Toy Story toys, and a Buzz Lightyear fishing game. The party is going to be so fun and I can’t wait to have everyone over to show off the boys’ new room!

Stay tuned for part 2… the painting!

(Disclosure: Compensation and products for review were provided by Glidden via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Glidden.)

Spring Fashions From The Children’s Place {Giveaway}

(Disclosure: I received a gift card to shop at The Children’s Place but all thoughts are my own. I featured pictures of my boys in clothes from The Children’s Place long before I started working with them as a blogger and TCP Ambassador.)

The boys are all set for Spring after my recent shopping trip to The Children’s Place! I try to get a couple pieces each Spring that are green because that color, to me, is such a bright, fun color that’s perfect for the season. I had bought some dress shirts around Christmas time that the boys will wear to Church on Easter Sunday but I bought the plaid shirts above for our Easter celebration and egg hunt at my mom’s house. I figured that would be more comfortable while they are running around and playing. I bought some matching plaid shorts for them and they each got a pair of sunglasses since the sun is finally starting to come out around here!

Overall I got 15 items for a little over a hundred dollars and got 2 ‘Place Cash’ certificates to spend next month which will get me $40 off my purchase. At that time I will probably get some more Summer clothes.

Have you gone shopping for clothes yet this season? What are staples in your child’s wardrobe during the Spring?

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a $25 gift card to The Children’s Place

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me who you’d shop for at The Children’s Place

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Subscribe to this blog via email or RSS

Giveaway ends April 14, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. US residents, ages 18+ only.

Get Pampers Rewards When You Shop At The Children’s Place

The Children’s Place and Pampers have teamed up to bring even more value to The Children’s Place “Love you Baby Sale”! Now through February 11, earn 25 Pampers Gifts to Grow Reward Points for every baby item purchased at The Children’s Place retail stores. Plus, get even more savings for future purchases at The Children’s Place. Pampers is offering an exclusive 20% off $50 or more coupon, available online at https://en.giftstogrow.pampers.com. It’s the perfect partnership to help you get all you need for baby (and save you money!).

Here’s how it works: Simply shop baby items at The Children’s Place retail stores to start earning Pampers Gifts to Grow Reward Points. You’ll receive 25 points for every baby item you buy. Then register online at Pampers.com, on your computer or smartphone. Enter your voucher code(s) to instantly redeem Gifts to Grow points for over 1.4 million prizes. Keep earning points every time you purchase Pampers diapers or wipes.

(Disclosure: I am a Children’s Place Ambassador. All content was provided by them but I wasn’t compensated for this post.)

News For Parents From Pampers {Target Gift Card Giveaway}

As a parent it is so hard to find a good diaper. I know that we went through multiple brands until we found the one that worked best for us. Pampers fans will be excited to learn that Target now carries their much-loved “Swaddlers” diapers in sizes 4 and 5 so they can stick with what works. This is great news for parents who have children that wear larger sized diapers.

GIVEAWAY:

$10 Target gift card, the First Years Deluxe Fold and Go diapering kit, Pampers wipes

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me why you want to win

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow me on Pinterest

4) Leave a comment on another one of my posts

Giveaway ends February 25, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Winners must be residents of the United States and be 18 years of age or older.

(Disclosure: I received items from Pampers but all thoughts are my own.)

 

Gift With Purchase At The Children’s Place {And Spring Fashions}

I love dressing my boys up in cute clothes so I’m really excited to announce that I am a Blogger Ambassador for The Children’s Place! This means I will be sharing great promotions, sales and giveaways with you this year!

With thoughts of shopping for Easter clothes coming up soon I thought I’d go back in time and share some of my favorite Spring looks from there modeled by my children over the past few years :)

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Apparently I love green and blue at Easter and argyle is my go-to look in Spring for the boys :) This last little outfit even had argyle socks with little linen pants. My kids just prefer to wear no clothes in the house apparently.

If you need to go shopping for some new clothes, The Children’s Place has some great promotions right now. The monster sale I talked about weeks ago is still going on–prices are up to 80% off! They have a Spring sale and a Valentine’s Day sale going on as well. {I love a good sale!}

One new promotion is a special gift with purchase. From today, January 22nd , to January 31st (while supplies last) if you make an in-store purchase of $75 or more you will get a free plush Bunny. How cute would this little bunny be in your child’s Easter basket?

(Disclosure: As an Ambassador I receive promotional items from The Children’s Place. All thoughts are my own.)

 

Monster Sale At The Children’s Place

If you all love The Children’s Place as much as I do you are going to want to check out the huge monster sale going on right now! TODAY ONLY you can get an extra 30% off using the code HAPPYNY30HP.

I shopped the sale on the 26th when I only had a 20% off coupon and found a lot of great deals and now they are even better!

Here are some of the things I bought for my kids:

Red sweaters for Valentine’s Day

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Birthday boy t-shirts for both boys {I got a 4 year old one for Lucas}

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Mint green dress shirts for Easter

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Warm sherpa lined hoodie

Overall my total ended up being a little over a $100 and for that amount I got:

5 long sleeve shirts

3 long sleeve dress shirts

1 hooded sweatshirt

4 sweaters

2 pairs of jeans

2 t-shirts

1 fleece zip-up

I thought that was a great deal especially given the wonderful quality of the clothing from The Children’s Place. My kids have been wearing clothes from there since they were newborns and I have never had an issue with any of the items they’ve worn.

I can’t wait to see their Spring fashions!

(Disclosure: I received a gift card to shop at The Children’s Place but all thoughts are my own.)

ROSS Dress For Less {Giveaway}

I headed to ROSS Dress For Less yesterday because I wanted to check out their selection of toys, men’s coats, and kitchen items. ROSS is great because they have everything I need for my home and family at prices that are 20-60% off of retail. They’ve just opened up new stores in the Chicago area including Darien, DeKalb, Geneva, Gurnee, and Niles.

I ended up finding some brand name train toys that are normally around $50 for just $20 each, super hero toys at over 50% off, a good quality laptop case for $8, and a cute brand name purse that was less than $50 and normally sells for $130 {my Christmas gift to myself}! After seeing the prices at ROSS Dress For Less I think I will be going there first every time I need a gift or something for my home.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a $25 gift card to ROSS Dress For Less

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me what you’d shop for at ROSS Dress For Less

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Subscribe to this blog via email or RSS {look in the upper right corner}

4) Comment on another post and leave a comment below letting me know you did

Giveaway ends December 27, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US 18+ only.

(Disclosure: I received a gift card to shop at ROSS Dress For Less but all thoughts are my own.)

Christmas Shopping Online {And Safe Cyber Shopping Tips!}

I never used to like shopping online. I hated paying for shipping and waiting for my packages to be delivered. I liked touching what I was thinking about purchasing before I spent money and taking my finds home from the stores.

A couple months back I received some Amazon e-cards and I had been holding on to them for Holiday shopping. The week of Black Friday I put them into my Amazon account and took a look around the site. I discovered some great prices on things I had planned on buying for Christmas. I put a few items in my online shopping cart and then a little box about Amazon Prime came up. After reading about it I got excited because I could get shipping free and it would only take two days to arrive. I signed up for my free trial of Amazon Prime and was relieved that I had started my shopping early this year.

I have to say that I have fallen in love with Amazon Prime and won’t be cancelling it. I love that I don’t have to put a minimum amount in my cart so I’ve been watching for deals and crossing things off my list as I see them. And I haven’t just limited myself to Amazon. I’ve shopped Walmart Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and chosen site-to-store so all I have to do is run in and pick up my packages when they arrive. I also have shopped sales at Kohls, Old Navy, The Children’s Place, and Osh’Kosh Bgosh- all of which had amazing sales.

With all of the amazing sales online, some better than what I’ve seen in stores, I’ve been able to finish most of my Christmas shopping with only having to go into one store. Now that gifts for everyone else were handled it was time to shop for myself. I had been wanting a SLR camera since I was in high school and I told myself that I would finally get one this year. I decided I wanted a Canon Rebel T3i so I searched online because I wanted to find the best price I could. I typed in “Canon Rebel T3i prices” on Google to see if I could easily find a price comparison site. Towards the top was a link to cnet.com which is a reputable technology review site. Along with the review of the camera they gave a list of about 20 online sites that sold the camera and their prices.

Most of the prices were pretty similar with some sites being hundreds higher. The lowest one was about $530, $70 less than the average. I clicked through to the BPPhoto site without even thinking about it because the site I was on was well-known and I figured they wouldn’t be linking to a site that wasn’t trustworthy. While they didn’t have the camera that I wanted in stock, I looked around at what other items I did have since they had great prices on lenses and other camera accessories. I find that I am leery of sites that offer products for a reduced rate so I also checked for signs that the site was secure. I noticed that the site had a security validated button and a 30 day money back guarantee which is nice to have when making an online purchase and made me feel like this was an online retailer that I could trust.

In the end I ended up going with Amazon.com and buying a Rebel T3 {not T3i} because I found the best price on that site. 2-day shipping was free, I got 2% of my purchase back in Amazon credits, I got a free camera bag and memory card, and I got an extra lens for $150 off {which made it only $7}. I was so excited about the deal I found during the Cyber Monday sale and can’t wait to use my new camera to take pictures!

Are you shopping online this Christmas season? Here are some cyber shopping tips, courtesy of Trend Micro, to keep in mind:

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU CLICK:

1. Go with What You Know: Bookmark reliable online shopping sites, as search engines like Google can lead you to malicious sites.

2. Go with Your Instinct: Ignore suspicious emails and spam offering huge discounts and bargains as they may contain malicious links and file attachments.

3. If It’s too Good to be True It Usually is: Spam and online ads that offer mind-boggling promos and discounts can lead to web threats.

4. Double, Triple Confirm: Check a payment site’s URL. Phishers trick users into giving out personal information via spoofed pages. Two of the most commonly phished sites are eBay and PayPal.

5. Tried and True: Use reliable security software that helps you avoid visiting comprised sites.

6. Buyer Beware: Never use a payment method that does not offer any kind of buyer protection. Wire transfers and money orders are therefore off the table as there is no way of getting your money back. Pay with a credit card as it offers better protection.

7. Keep It Private: Don’t shop in a public “hot spot” or in places with unsecure networks. Limit online shopping to when you are at home, this assures uninterrupted and safe sessions.

8. Spot the Obvious: Legitimate banking or e-commerce sites’ URLs usually begin with https not http. The padlock icon at the lower right or near the address bar (depending on your browser) is also a good indicator of site’s security.

9. Keep Records: Always keep your transaction records to track your online purchases and avoid becoming a victim of online scams and other kinds of fraud.

10. Stay Aware: Stringently check your credit card billing statements to monitor all of your transactions. Immediately report any discrepancies to your bank.

 

(Disclosure: As a Trend Micro Digital Joneses family I received a gift card to shop online with but all thoughts are my own.)

Vitacost Cyber Monday Sale

Vitacost.com has the best selection of health foods and snacks, bath and body products, natural household supplies, baby care essentials–plus, of course, discount vitamins, minerals, herbs, sports nutrition supplements and other formulas for your nutritional needs. You’ll find nearly 40,000 products that help you care for yourself, your family, your pets and your home. Get up to 50% off health and beauty products, vitamins, nutritional supplements, health foods and whole food products. They deliver them right to your door for FREE if your order totals $49 or more. Otherwise, shipping is just a small, flat-rate fee of $4.99, no matter how big the box.

They are currently running a Cyber Monday sale that started today and runs through Monday night. You can visit their website to see all of the products they have to offer.

(Disclosure: I am receiving products from Vitacost for posting this sale information.)

Holiday Outfits From The Children’s Place {Giveaway!}

I love buying my boys matching outfits from The Children’s Place for seasonal and holiday pictures. About a week ago I placed my order online at The Children’s Place for their Holiday picture outfits, their Thanksgiving shirts, and their outfits for Christmas along with a couple other items that were on sale and at an even greater discount with a coupon I had received via email. A couple days after I placed my order someone from TCP contacted me about sharing their Holiday fashions for kids with my readers and I jumped at it because they have some adorable styles for holiday get-togethers and pictures. These are some of the fun looks you can put together with pieces from The Children’s Place:

Here’s what my boys will be wearing:

They have cute dresses for girls, too! I love this red one:

GIVEAWAY:

One lucky reader is going to win a $25 gift card to The Children’s Place!

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me who you’d shop for at The Children’s Place

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Like The Children’s Place on Facebook

4) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

5) Follow me on Pinterest

Giveaway ends December 5, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US 18+ only.

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post but I have received a gift card from them in the past. All thoughts are my own. Please note: This gift card is not guaranteed to arrive in time for Christmas shopping.)

Updating The Fall Wardrobe With Cookies Kids

My four year old is growing like a weed. While cleaning out Jake and Luke’s closet I realized that Jacob’s 3T pants were all way too short on him and it was time for him to move up to the next size. Most of the time I shop at a big box store but lately I’ve been so busy working that I don’t have time to get to the store. This is when online stores are ideal because I can shop at midnight when I finally stop working and taking care of the kids and I have a minute to sit and rest. It was one of these late evenings when I decided to shop at CookiesKids.com to get Jacob some new clothes.

I had shopped at Cookies Kids last year and loved the clothes that I ordered. They were really cute and the quality was wonderful enough that I was able to pass them down to Lucas when Jacob outgrew them. Looking at the site again  I remembered my favorite thing about Cookies Kids- the prices! There’s nothing better than finding stylish clothes at a great deal.

The online ordering process was pretty easy. I normally shy away from online shopping because I’m afraid of getting the wrong size but Cookies Kids has a new feature to help. The Alva Kids feature helped me choose the right sizes of each item with just a few steps.

When I went to pay I was excited to see that I had $30 in my account from referral credits I had earned in the past few months. Once I ordered everything I wanted I had it shipped to my house. About a week later the package arrived and I opened it to check out all the new clothes that I had bought for Jake.

I ordered three jean outfits, one sweats outfit, one hoodie, two pairs of pajamas and two pairs of long johns. With my referral credit, all that would have only cost around $60!

Outfit #1

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Outfit #2

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Outfit #3

I thought the clothes we got were great quality and Jacob felt very comfortable in them. The only thing I wished was different is that I would have liked to see the pants with waist adjusters in them since both my boys are pretty skinny and always need the waistbands of jeans tightened. Overall, I was happy with the clothes I had chosen and will definitely be shopping at Cookies Kids again.

Cookies Kids is amazing and gave me a unique code for all my readers to use so that you all can get 10% of Cookies Kids already low prices! Use the code “makingtimeformommy” for 10% off at CookiesKids.com! Code expires on 12/14/12.

You can see more pictures of my online shopping experience and the other clothes I ordered in my Google+ album. You can find Cookies Kids on Facebook and Twitter. If You are in New York, Cookies Kids have 7 stores in the NYC area in Bronx, Brooklyn and Jamaica.

(Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and CookiesKids.com #CBias #SocialFabric #CookiesKids )

Red Envelope Gifts

Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday and I am so excited to give her her birthday gift! I shopped at Red Envelope which is a website that sells unique and personalized gifts. A couple years ago I was introduced to the site and found myself a cute earring tree. Since then I’ve found lots of great gifts. I ordered my mom some pretty white sapphire earrings.

These earrings feature three small white sapphire stones that hang down from a sterling-silver earring. I thought they were beautiful and the stones are larger than I thought they’d be. I think my mom is going to love them!

Here are some of the other gifts I considered buying her:

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Want to find unique gifts for your loved ones? Red Envelope has new gifts out just in time for Christmas! The site is nicely organized and it’s easy to shop by occasion or by type of gift you want to buy.

(Disclosure: I received a gift code in order to complete this review but all thoughts are my own.)

Back To School Shopping At The Children’s Place

The boys just started school last week so I was really excited to be invited by The Children’s Place to check out their new back to school fashions. I found some great deals and adorable styles at one of my favorite places to shop for kid’s fashions.

I spent less than $150 {they provided me with a gift card} and got all of this:

4 pairs of jeans

1 pair of sweatpants

3 pairs of plaid shorts

2 long sleeve dress shirts

4 long sleeve shirts

Jeans were only $10 each, shorts were on clearance for $6 each, and all of the shirts were on sale, too.

I also got a coupon for 20% off my next purchase.

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Here are some of my favorite shirts for preschool boys from the Fall line:

You can check out more fashions on their website at childrensplace.com.

TODAY, AUGUST 20TH, ONLY:

25% off when you spend $50 or more!!

{Check the site for more details}

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(Disclosure: As stated above, I received a gift card to check out the Fall fashions at The Children’s Place. All thoughts are my own.)

Embelle Bibs Available At Target {Coupon}

I remember when my boys were infants I always had to match their bibs to the outfits they were wearing each day. Mine are no longer in the bib stage but I know many of you have little ones so I thought this new baby product and coupon may interest some of you.

Embelle bibs are now available in select Target locations. These bibs are made of pre-washed 100% cotton and come in a variety of fun novelty prints. You can see all the designs they have on their website or visit them on Facebook.

There’s a Target exclusive coupon available for $1 off a purchase of 2 Embelle bibs. You can print the coupon from here until 4/5 or until supplies last. It’s only available in select regions so make sure to enter your zip code to see if it’s available in your area.

If any of you buy Embelle bibs I’d love for you to share a picture of your little cutie in the comments below :)

(Disclosure: This is a compensated post but all thoughts are my own.)

Decorating On A Budget

I love beautifully decorated homes but truthfully my house’s decor is pretty much non-existent. Part of this is because we are renting and can’t do much, part is because I have young children around, and part of it is because I just don’t have a lot of money to invest in decorating.

I was excited when Family Dollar contacted me about their decor line and challenged me to decorate a room on a budget. I eagerly accepted and headed to the store. I knew that Family Dollar had a great selection but I hadn’t really explored the home decor section before. I was going to decorate my downstairs bathroom but then decided that no amount of home decorating would distract away from the hideous fish wallpaper {I rent a home from a fisherman apparently…} so I instead decided to do my entryway.

Entryway Before

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Entryway After

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Cute fabric "cubbies" for the toys. Two for $5 at Family Dollar!

Family Dollar had a bunch of rugs, some even larger area rugs. I chose a brown and tan one for in front of the door that was $5. I picked out a few prints for the wall, one for $3 and a couple for $5. I found mini-shelves for less than $10 and a small plaque on a stand for only $2. I added in a small figurine on one of the shelves. I spent less than $30 on this area but it makes my home look a lot more inviting, don’t you think? I’m excited to go back and get great deals for the rest of my home!

Want to decorate your home, too? Check out the great sale going on now and get an extra $5 off a $25 home decor purchase using the coupon found here!

(Disclosure: I was given a gift card in order to go shopping at Family Dollar. All thoughts are my own.)

Last Minute Christmas Shopping At Family Dollar

Still have shopping to do? Family Dollar has a great selection of name brand toys at wonderful prices. Hundreds of their toys are only $5 or $10. They also have a coupon online for 10% off a toy purchase of $100 or more.

Last time we were there they had a large assortment of Disney themed toys which is great for my boys who love Cars and Toy Story and for little girls who love Princess toys. The also have Paper Jamz. We got a guitar to try out. Look at Jake as a Rock Star:

He loved playing it and even climbed up on the little picnic table pretending it was his stage. Luke liked trying to play it too though he had no idea what to do with it.

(Disclosure: We received the Paper Jamz Guitar from Family Dollar to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Gift Guide Inspired By Parents Magazine

I get lots of great ideas for crafts and recipes from magazines so I thought it would be fun to put a gift guide together inspired by all the great things I saw in this month’s issue of Parents magazine. Some are companies featured in the magazine and some are similar to ones featured.

FOR BABY GIRLS:

Ruffled Bloomers By Ruffled Butts

 FOR BABY BOYS:

Rockstar Bundle By Carters

FOR TODDLERS:

Rocker by Sprout Kids

FOR PRESCHOOL AGED GIRLS:

Tutu Outfit From Cutie Pa Tutus

FOR PRESCHOOL AGED BOYS:

Superhero Costume By BabyPop

FOR ELEMENTARY AGED GIRLS:

Girls 3-in-1 Jacket

FOR ELEMENTARY AGED BOYS:

Insulated Jacket by Spyder

FOR MOM:

Personalized Necklace From The Vintage Pearl

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Want even more gift ideas? Check out my Google+ story!

(Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias #CBias. All thoughts are my own and I was not compensated by the companies I mentioned or offered any products in exchange for including them in this gift guide.)

Shopping At CookiesKids.com

I don’t shop online much but after the great deals and experience I had shopping at CookiesKids.com I might just do so more often. I went there in search of clothes for my three year old who had recently grown out of his 2T clothes. I found many brand name clothing items and varying prices. I tend to buy inexpensive items for my children so some of the clothes cost more than I’d spend (but a lot less than those brands would cost at the mall) but I did find many great deals including jeans cheaper than they cost at the “big box” stores and even a hoodie/jean combination for $10.99! I bought one layered polo shirt, one sweater, one hoodie, and two pairs of jeans. Here are the items I bought:

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CookiesKids.com has a price match guarantee so that you can always make sure you are getting the best price you can find. They also have a Refer A Friend program so you can make money by sharing their site with your friends. Every time you refer a friend they get $10 off a $50 purchase and when they make a purchase you get $10 to spend yourself! I love sharing good deals with friends and it’s even better with Cookie’s Kids Refer A Friend program because everyone wins! Click here to find out about the Refer A Friend program and get $10 off your purchase of $50 or more!

Want to find out more about my shopping trip? View my Google+ photo album!

(Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias #LuvCookies All opinions are my own.)