Friday, September 25, 2009

Another way to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research

Back in June, I posted about Kelly Ripa teaming up with Electrolux to help raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research, through online lemonade stands. Now that the lemonade stand promotion has ended, they are working on a new promotion to raise more money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund is for exactly what it says, to fund research to find a way to detect ovarian cancer early and ultimately to cure ovarian cancer. This is obviously a great cause as any of us with ovaries, or who love and care for someone with ovaries, could easily find ourselves personally affected by this someday. Since most of us fit into those categories, I hope you will join me in this great new promotion.

So what is this new promotion, you ask? It is the Kelly Ripa Text-a-Thon for a Cause. Throughout September, which is also Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, you can donate $5 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund by texting "KELLY" to 85944 from your mobile phone (it shows up as a one-time charge on your monthly bill) or by logging on to the Kelly Confidential website. Also, every time you log onto Kelly's website, you will be entered to win an Electrolux front load washer and dryer in the color teal, which is the color of the ovarian cancer awareness ribbons. If you cannot wait to win the washer and dryer, Electrolux is also donating $200 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund for every set of teal-colored washer and dryers sold. While on Kelly's website, you can also design and send a virtual t-shirt to help raise awareness of ovarian cancer. There is no cost to you for sending a virtual t-shirt and Electrolux will donate $1 for each t-shirt sent. There are also real t-shirts, designed by Kelly, available for purchase on the site with 100% of the proceeds going to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

As I said earlier, ovarian cancer is something that all women are at risk of. 1 in 67 woman will get ovarian cancer in their lifetime. There is a good chance that if you don't get it, someone you know will. Let's help find a way to detect this earlier and help all women live longer, healthier lives.

Getting the Little Ones to Eat More Veggies

Do you have trouble getting your little ones to eat more veggies? Of my 4 kids, I really only have 1 that we struggled with to eat her veggies and as the others were always so willing, eventually she came around as well. I can not promise these tips will work, but here are some of the things we have always done.

- Involve the child in selecting what veggies to serve. Do not just ask them what veggie they want, give them 2 or 3 choices and try to incorporate a "new" vegetable in the mix every once in a while. Continue to involve the child in selecting how to prepare the the veggie or in finding the recipe. I have always picked 1 or 2 ways that I may want to serve it and then given the child the final choice.

- Allow the child to help in growing their own veggies. If space is tight, find a veggie that grows well in a pot and let them help plant and care for the veggie. Also, when the time comes, let them help prepare the veggies for eating. Even toddlers can help in the washing process.

- Teach them to like veggies in their most natural states from an early age. Veggie recipes are nice to change things up, but teaching them to like veggies that are raw or lightly steamed and then served plain or with a dab of butter, helps to train their taste buds.

- Serve veggies as often as possible. I not only serve veggies plain as a side dish, I use several of the techniques that other moms use to "sneak" veggies to their kids. I add a few mashed turnips to our mashed potatoes, add shredded carrots to our meatloaf, and finely chop up broccoli to resemble herbs and add it to, well, just about anything. There are also some food companies that are beginning to blend veggies in with their foods as well. One is Horizon and their Little Blends line. They are combining yogurt with both fruit and veggies in one cup, a triple food pyramid whammy. With flavors such as Banana and Sweet Potato or Strawberry and Carrot, the kids are sure to enjoy them.

So how do you incorporate veggies into your kid's diets? If you blog about it, you can win a prize package from Twittermoms and Horizon. Check the details here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Creating a Good Sleep Environment

We all know that getting a good night's sleep is good for us (I'll post why another time) and we all know how good we feel after getting a night of great sleep, yet many of us are unable to get the sleep we desire. Often, it is due to us trying to cram too much into the day, but sometimes we just are unable to get the quality of sleep we desire. Here are some tips to help ensure a better quality of sleep.

- Keep the bedroom as a place of rest. This means no tv, no phones, and no computers in the bedroom. It also means no fighting, arguing, or serious discussions in the bedroom. In fact the only activities that should happen in the bedroom are sleep and, um, well you know, the "other" thing you do in bed. Our brains and bodies can become conditioned to expect these other activities will occur, preventing us from falling into a deep sleep. When we re-condition ourselves to expect just sleep in the bedroom, it is much easier for us to get the sleep we need.

- Find the temperature that works for you. If you are often kicking the covers off during the night, try lowering the temperature or using a fan on your side of the bed. If you find yourself often waking up cold during the night, turn up the temperature or add a blanket to your side of the bed.

- Make sure your mattress is comfortable. If necessary, and possible, replace it. If you and your spouse have different mattress "styles", consider investing in a split-style mattress. If you are not comfortable, you will have trouble sleeping well.

- Limit the amount of light in the room. Use room darkening shades/curtains to limit outside lights from shining in. Turn you alarm clock away from the bed or cover the time. This actually has a double purpose, as looking at the time can cause anxiety which can cause problems falling asleep. You can also consider using a sleep mask, though I tend to find they come off during the night. Also, avoid bright lights before bed. The body is conditioned to sleep when it is dark, so the less exposure to light, the easier it is to fall asleep.

- Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Again, this relates to conditioning the body to expect sleep at certain times.

- Reduce the noise level in the bedroom. If you live in an area with a lot of outside noise, consider a fan or white noise machine to drown them out. If you have a spouse who snores or talks in their sleep, consider ear plugs. While I personally dislike using them, they do work wonders.

- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and will keep you awake. Smokers also experience withdrawal symptoms once they do fall asleep. These withdrawal symptoms will keep them from getting a deep sleep. Yet another reason to quit. Alcohol also disrupts sleep.

- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Avoid anything that makes loud noises or has bright lights. Also, avoid anything that stimulates the brain, such as word puzzles or games. Avoid exercising too late in the evening as well. Warm showers/baths, journal writing, and reading can all help relax you.

I know I am guilty of taking my laptop to bed with me and after researching this topic, I am able to pinpoint several other areas where I can improve my sleep. Obviously, there are seasons in our lives where we cannot get a full night's sleep regardless of what we do. However, we owe it to ourselves to do what we can to make the most of the sleep we do get. What are some things you do to help you sleep?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Try It Tuesday: Quaker True Delights

I enjoy a good granola bar and I really like raspberries and dark chocolate, so I was very excited when I came across a free sample for Quaker's new True Delights Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond granola bars. I received my bar in the mail yesterday, right about snack time so I tried it right away. Upon opening it, I immediately noticed that it looked nothing like the pictures I had seen. The large pieces of raspberries were more like flecks of raspberries and although the photo on the website shows no less than 9 chunks of dark chocolate on the bar, I only found 1 on mine. I also only had 1 whole almond in the bar. Okay, so it failed in appearance, but what about taste? Remember the days when all granola bars tasted like cardboard? Apparently, so does Quaker. I was sooooo disappointed in the overwhelming grainy taste of this bar. I had been hoping to enjoy a granola bar with a "sophisticated" flavor and ended up feeling like I had just eaten a slightly sweetened piece of cardboard. Maybe the bar was stale, maybe it was a fluke that it contained so little of the yummy ingredients, whatever it was, I am glad it was a free sample and not something I had spent money on. If it was stale or a fluke bar, Quaker may want to consider better quality control, especially when sending out free samples that are supposed to convince me to buy the product. I have always liked Quaker products and rarely have had any problems so I was very surprised that I not only did not love this product, but that I really disliked it completely. The True Delights also come in two other flavors: Toasted Coconut Banana Macadamia Nut and Honey Roasted Cashew Mixed Berry. I can speak for those flavors, but if they are anything like the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond, they look and sound much better than they will taste. If any of you have had a better experience with this line from Quaker, please share in a comment. I was really hoping for a better experience and hope this was just a bad sample, but I will not spend my money on a whole box until I know if that was the case.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Just wanted to share

As some of you know, I have another blog, Things I Love, where I post about those things that, well, I really love. I typically do not cross-post, but did want to share a wonderful story with all of you about an experience we had with the police while on our recent vacation. Be sure to swing on over and check it out. In my husband's words, "It is the best experience I have ever had with the police."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Biggest Loser: What is the deal with Jillian?

Several years ago, I found that watching The Biggest Loser helped keep me motivated on my weight loss quest. After I lost 80 pounds, I slowly stopped watching the show. A few years later, I was dealing with some medical issues and then had 2 babies almost back-to-back, and I had gained back my 80 pounds. A few weeks ago, I sat down and decided that I was seriously going to take back my body and re-lose that weight and hopefully more. I was thrilled to learn that The Biggest Loser was starting another season and eagerly turned in this week to watch. While I am sure I will find motivation in the contestants, I was absolutely disgusted and turned off by Jillian's repeated use of the *F*-word. If I was on the show, I would ask to leave simply due to her language. Forget about the fact she shows no respect, she lacks decency as well. As a former US soldier, I get the break 'em down, build 'em up philosophy, but even in the military, the drill sergeants do not speak to soldiers in such a way as I watched Jillian do. Bob, I like and up until this season, I liked Jillian. I like her tough-as-nails attitude and it would be great, if she didn't also find the need to repeatedly use foul language. Personally, I find it very offensive, but we are also talking about a show that started at 8PM, an hour when many kids are still awake and winding down for bed. My almost 9 year old was repeatedly subjected to hearing the beeps as the censors had to cover Jillian's choice of words. She knows she is on a tv show and she should be disciplined enough to control her tongue much more than she did. The sad thing is, she has been working at building up herself as a "brand" and this one episode turned me off to all that she offers. I had been planning to buy her Wii "game", but after this week's show, will look for another one instead. Is this something that I forgot about her from the earlier seasons? Has she gotten progressively worse as seasons have gone on or is this something completely new this season? Whatever it is, I will not be watching again unless she cleans up her mouth.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Cutting Food Safely

I love cooking and I love the feeling of chopping food up by hand. However, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind when doing any chopping or cutting in the kitchen. Here are some tips to remember:

- Always use a clean cutting board. This is especially important when cutting raw meats and foods that will not be cooked after, such as veggies for a salad. It is ideal to have 3 separate cutting boards, preferably color coded, that you always use for their intended food. For example, a red board that is always used for meat, a green board that is always used for fruits and veggies, and a blue board that is always used for other foods like cheese and breads. The reason for the separate cutting boards is to prevent cross contamination of your foods. Also, do not cut cooked foods on a cutting board that you had cut raw foods on earlier. Be sure to properly wash and sterilize the boards between uses.

- Keep your knife sharp. This allows you to not only work faster and more efficiently, but it is actually a safety reason as well. A dull knife does not cut as well and is more likely to slip while cutting, putting your fingers at risk.

- If you drop your knife, DO NOT try to catch it. It is safest to jump back away from the falling knife.

- Never put a knife into a sink full of soapy water or dishes. It is can cause nicks in the blade, cause the blade to rust, and puts you at risk for cuts when you reach in to grab something else out of the sink.

- Wear non-slip shoes in the kitchen when cooking. This not only keeps you from slipping, it helps to protect your piggies if you do happen to drop a knife on them.

- Keep knives well away from the edge of your counters and cutting boards. This makes them less likely to fall and more difficult for wandering children to grab.

Using food choppers and food processors are another way to limit the dangers of knives, though they are not always practical. Even so, they also need to be handled with care when using. Always be sure the cover is on the food processor before starting it (many will not start anyway if the cover is not locked in place) and take special care when removing and washing the blades.

A great meal can turn bad quickly when the cook gets hurt or the guests get sick. Take these extra steps to ensure that your efforts are not undermined by something preventable.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Piggy Paint Coupon Code extended

I just wanted to let you know that the coupon code I posted earlier today for Piggy Paint has been extended through October 31st, 2009. Originally, it was set to expire today. The coupon is for 15% off anything on the Piggy Paint website, including sales items. The coupon code is HAPPYWIFE15L. This is a great way to get a jump start on holiday shopping.

Try It Tuesday: Piggy Paint

Over the past year or so, I have seen several blogs hosting giveaways for Piggy Paint. As the mother of three young girly-girls, I was intrigued from the first time I saw this wonderful company. I never did win any of the Piggy Paint giveaways, so when I was contacted a few months ago about doing a review for the company, I was thrilled.

We received a bottle of Girls Rule Piggy Paint and a bottle of Piggy Paint Nail Polish Remover. I had always hesitated to apply nail polish to my girls because they tended to pick at their nails when I did polish them and I was concerned about them, or their baby brother, eating the flakes. The nail polishes I found that were designed for children still were laden with chemicals. The biggest difference was that the polish dried "soft" and peeled off instead of flaking off. Wonderful, now I have to worry about the baby choking on the polish AND ingesting all those yummy chemicals. Piggy Paint came to my rescue with their non-toxic, water-based polishes. The Polish Remover is also non-toxic and made from natural ingredients. Neither the polish nor the polish remover have that awful smell that similar products have either and they are both hypoallergenic.

When we received our package, my 2-year old immediately asked to have her nails painted and I happily obliged. The polish dried quicker than any other polish I have ever used and it dried "hard", not soft and tacky. The purplish-pink color was so pretty that I decided to use it on my toes as well. The polish lasted as long as any other polish I have ever used. It tended to wear off rather than flake or chip off. The polish remover worked wonderfully on the Piggy Paint. Although it does say it works on any polish, it took quite a bit of scrubbing to get the Opi polish off my finger nails that had been applied during a professional manicure the week before. However, for the benefit of not having to smell the remover or worry about the toxicity of it, it was worth the effort.

Piggy Paint nail polish sells for $9.99 a bottle and comes in a variety of classic and fun colors, including pinks, purples, oranges, greens, blues, and black. The names are fun too (Mac-N-Cheese Please and Twinkle Toes are 2 examples). The Piggy Paint Polish Remover is $10.50 for a 4oz bottle. There are tons of gift sets available such as Ghouls Wanna Have Fun, Little Miss Firecracker and Mistle Toes, which includes 3 bottles of polish for $26.50 and a few other gift packs which include 2 bottles of polish and a bottle of remover for $27.50. For the month of September, you can order the Girls Rule! gift pack (a bottle each of Girls Rule! and Forever Fancy nail polishes and a bottle of polish remover) for $23.50. Also, through October 31st, I have a coupon for The Happy Wife readers to use. If you enter the coupon code, HAPPYWIFE15L, you will save 15% on anything you purchase, including sale items. That makes the Girls Rule! gift pack an even better deal. At just about $20, it is like getting the polish remover for free! Also, all orders over $25 come with free shipping.

Would I recommend buying these products? Absolutely! I have many years left before my girls will be of an age where I would be comfortable with them using "regular" nail polish and I do not want to withhold the fun of mani/pedis from them until then. I am so grateful for Piggy Paint and will continue to use them not just for my little ones, but for myself as well.

I did receive free product in exchange for this review. I did not receive any other payment. While the product was free, my opinion is my own.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Stop and Smell the Flowers

I recently read an editorial in our local newspaper where a woman was thanking a stranger for giving her flowers. She had seen him (a stranger to her) holding a bouquet of sunflowers and commented on their beauty and teasingly asked if they were for her. As she was cashing out, the gentleman approached her and handed her the bouquet and wished her a good day. This story also reminded me of an episode of The Big Give when one of the contestants used some of the money she had to buy all the flowers a street vendor had and then she proceeded to just hand them out to random people. Both stories left me with a happy feeling, yet when it comes to others buying me flowers, I have mixed feelings. I hate that they die so quickly, but they are so uplifting to look at. So what is it about flowers, that make us feel so good.

The State University of New Jersey recently published a study (led by Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Rutgers) that found connections between flowers and our satisfaction with life. Flowers help trigger happy thoughts and emotions, they increase of feelings of satisfaction and affect our social behavior in positive ways. I imagine that many of those people who received flowers from a stranger went on to do something nice for someone else later that day or the next. It becomes a pay-it-forward type thing. Here are some of the points learned by the study:

-Flowers provide immediate happiness. People receiving the flowers had "true" smiles on their faces and felt genuinely happy and grateful.

-Flowers help extend feelings of satisfaction and happiness. The recipients of flowers felt less agitated and lonely.

-Flowers allow us to make intimate connections. When someone has given us or sent us flowers, it tells us they were thinking about us.

-Flowers are a healthy and natural way to help us manage our day-to-day moods.

I know I have always enjoyed the flowers I have received, even when I know money was spent to buy them. When we recently bought our home, I was thrilled to have a garden. As I think back to the first few weeks in the house, I always felt best after taking a walk through the garden. The next time you are feeling down, or just because you want to, I encourage you to take a walk through a garden or even the floral department of your local store. Take in the scents and visual beauty and let them linger in your mind. Send flowers to someone you love and let them know you are thinking of them or just give some to a stranger. Cut some from your garden and leave them on a neighbor's doorstep. Just remember to take the time to enjoy the flowers around you. It has now been proven to be good for you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Stop & Shop Back to School Event and Giveaway

I am very excited to share with you the Stop & Shop Back To School Event. It began on September 4th and runs through this Thursday, September 10th. You will find great sale prices on participating General Mills brands, including: Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Reeses Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cookie Crisp Sprinkles, Cookie Crisp, Fruit Snacks, Old El Paso Dinner Kits, Pillsbury Strudel, Pillsbury Scrambles, Green Giant Boxed Vegetables, Yoplait Yo-Plus Multi-Pack, Fiber One Yogurt Multi-Pack, Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookies, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Pillsbury Sweet Rolls and Yoplait Delights. In addition, depending on which Stop & Shop you visit, there are even more savings for you or your school. If your location also sells gas: you will receive 100 points on your Stop & Shop card when you buy 4 participating General Mills products. These points can then be redeemed at the gas pump. For every 100 points you earn, you will save 10¢ per gallon of gas (Please note: Total discount cannot exceed price per gallon). Just swipe your Stop & Shop card at the pump and it will take care of the rest. If your location does not sell gas: For every 5 participating General Mills products you purchase, you will receive 20 Bonus Box Tops for your school.

To top it all off, Stop & Shop and MyBlogSpark are giving one of you a free $10 gift card. I wish I had gotten this posted in time for you to use during the Back To School event, but I am sure it will come in handy in the near future anyway. To enter, leave a comment and tell me what you love about shopping at Stop & Shop. I will randomly draw name tomorrow, September 9th at midnight, using The winner will be contacted by e-mail and have 48 hours to get back to me or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck.

(Don't) Try It Tuesday: Chemistry Shampoo

I hate wasting my money on products that do not work and I hate to throw things away, but this product is absolutely awful. I am fortunate to have gotten this bottle of Chemistry Cleanse Daily Shampoo for free a while back, I think through a Rite-Aid rebate. Since it was free, I am not so upset that I am throwing the remainder of it out! Let me tell you more about it.

Chemistry salon labs creates hair care products that are supposed to work to improve your hairs look, composition and fiber. It does this by infusing each strand of hair with their Pro-KeraGen Complex which infuses the hair and protects it. The products also contain vitamins and extract blends that include UV filters to further protect the hair. Chemistry hair care products are all sulfate- and paraben-free as well so it is not as harsh on the hair either. (all from the Chemistry salon labs website). The bottle also states that the Beautology Brands Company does not test on animals.

The bottle is real cute too. It looks like a chemistry beaker with a pump on the top. I do have a complaint there too, in that it was a bit difficult to figure out how to initially open the pump, especially when in the shower, but that alone is not enough to elicit such strong feelings from me about the product. The scent of the product is nice and clean, not too fruity or floral. The shampoo itself is a bit on the thick side, but does lather. I even thought it cleaned my hair and it seemed to rinse out ok too. Then, as my hair started to dry, I noticed it felt funky. You know the way it feels when you didn't quite get all the shampoo out? It felt greasy and was clumping together in small bunches at the roots. The first day, I let it go figuring I must not have rinsed well enough. The next day, I made extra sure to rinse ALL of the shampoo out, but the same thing happened. I even got back in the shower 2 hours later to rinse again, but that feeling was still there. The more I used the shampoo, the worse it got each day. It was like it was building up in my hair. After 3 days of accumulating this garbage in my hair, I decided to just use another brand of shampoo. Lo and behold, all the gunk was gone and my hair felt clean again.

So, let's recap. I like the concept of this shampoo. I like the bottle, for the most part and it smells great, but would I recommend it? Only if you like to walk around feeling like, and looking like you have not washed your hair. Personally, when I take a shower, I want to look and feel clean. Not only do I not recommend buying it, I am throwing mine away. If I ever see it offered for free or even as a money-maker, I will leave it right there on the shelf. This is not even a product that I would give away to someone else, unless I really disliked them;0)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fiber One Winners

I have my winners from the Fiber One Meal Set giveaway. All have responded to the e-mail and should be receiving their prizes soon. Congratulations to: Jessica, Tzel, and Emily W! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Keeping our brain healthy

Our brain. We use it every day, some of us more than others, but none-the-less. So how do we care for it? Just like the rest of our body, our brain needs the proper nutrition and exercise, but exactly how do we provide that? Read on.

A good diet for brain health is one that contains a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish, especially fatty ones like salmon; also found in some eggs and is being added to "everyday" foods now too); whole grains; antioxidants; lots of fruits and veggies; and is low in trans-fat. Sounds a lot like the diet our body needs too, huh?

Exercising the brain is a little more interesting. In order for the brain to maintain its cognitive ability, it needs to constantly be processing stimuli. Stimuli can be provided by taking classes, learning new languages, and working on puzzles, both jigsaw puzzles and word/number puzzles. Experiencing new places and using our senses to experience new things also help keep our brain fit. If only it was so easy (and fun) to keep our bodies fit.

Speaking of keeping our body fit, that is also important for brain health. Getting your heart pumping increases blood flow, and therefore oxygen as well, to our brain. Avoiding unhealthy habits, getting plenty of rest (ever notice how hard it is to concentrate when your tired), and keeping our head (wear helmets when appropriate) and body safe all help keep our brain safe as well. Having a healthy body also decreases your risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease, all of which increase your risk of dementia.

Dementia is usually an irreversible condition and one most of us would like to avoid. Let's do what we can to protect our brains now, so that we may enjoy all the days of lives.

PS- Don't forget to enter my Fiber One yogurt giveaway (it ends today!) and my YoBaby giveaway.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another Yogurt Giveaway!

Last week, I extolled the virtues of yogurt and had a Fiber One yogurt giveaway (you can still enter until tomorrow, 9/3 at midnight). Today, I want to review the Stonyfield Farms YoBaby yogurt that I received from them a few weeks ago and I have yet another giveaway at the end.

YoBaby yogurt is made with organic, whole milk to ensure you are giving your baby the best product you can. For babies, whole milk is perfect for a yogurt because their developing brains need the extra fat that whole milk provides. However, we all know that babies shouldn't have cow's milk until after the age of 1 year. As I said last week, yogurt is different because it contains enzymes that produce lactase which helps digest the lactose, which is what causes the digestive problems in the first place. Yogurt is actually a wonderful first food for babies 6 months of age and YoBaby is the only yogurt especially designed for babies. It is even recommended by well-known baby expert, Dr. Sears.

So now you know why YoBaby is so great, but how does it taste. It is available in several flavors, some even include cereal and some are in drinkable form. For the review, we chose the regular yogurt in banana and vanilla flavors. My little two, ages 1 and 2 years old, absolutely LOVED this yogurt and ate it right up. I decided to sneak a little taste of the banana and it was sooooo yummy. It tasted just like pudding. I wish *I* needed extra fat in my diet, I would eat this every day. I can take comfort that my babies are eating something that I know tastes good and is good for them. I also like that they recently changed the tops of their yogurt packages to be more environmentally friendly. The only thing I would like to see changed is for them to also produce a multi-serve container for households like mine where a 6-pack might make it until noon.

YoBaby is being so generous as to provide one of my readers with the prize package pictured above. It includes a bib, a covered bowl, and 5 coupons redeemable for a free YoBaby product. Here is how you can win:

Mandatory Entry:
- 1 entry for visiting YoBaby and leaving a comment telling me what flavor/variety you would like to try.

Optional Entries:

- 1 entry if you become a public follower of this blog. If you are already a follower, you get 2 extra entries. Just leave 2 comments letting me know.

- 1 entry if you subcribe to this blog. If you are already a subscriber, you get 2 extra entries. Just leave 2 comments letting me know.

- 5 entries if you blog about this giveaway and post the link here. If you are not a blogger, feel free to post this on your Facebook page (if I am not already your friend, you will also have to ask me to be, so I can see it posted. I am on there as Danielle Parent Garcia)

The contest will remain open until Wednesday, September 8th at 11:59PM. I will use to draw the winning comment. Winner will be contacted via e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond. If they do not respond, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!!

30 Free Swagbucks

Search & Win

Many of you have noticed the Swagbucks box I have on the right side of my blog or you may remember me mentioning on a past This Week Thursday post. I joined Swagbucks a few months ago and have already accumulated 185 swagbucks, mainly from just using their search engine. I am not sure what I am saving my swagbucks for, but it is possible to get a $5 gift card for 45 swagbucks, so I am already at $20+ in Amazon credit if I choose. If Amazon gift cards are not your thing, do not despair. They have a wide range of prizes from gift cards to electronics and even cash (via PayPal). Anyway, the reason I am writing about them today is that they just released their new toolbar. I have to say this is much more convenient than typing in their web address and then searching. The other great thing about it is that for every day in September, they are giving away a free Swag code to everyone who has the tool bar. Each Swag code is good for that day only and is worth 1 swagbuck. It will appear in the messages section right on your toolbar. If you are already a Swagbucks member, be sure to go download your toolbar and get those free swagbucks. If you are not already a Swagbucks member, what are you waiting for? It is free and easy to earn swagbucks. They even give you 3 for signing up.