Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Let Your Personalities Shine this Season with Items From Your Target Wedding Registry! {$25 Target Gift Card Giveaway}

As the temperatures continue to drop and the holiday season grows nearer and nearer, for most of us the kitchen becomes the heart of activity in our homes. From gathering with family to sit down for a tasty meal to hanging out with friends to enjoy a drink, our lives tend to center around staying warm and keeping our bellies full and happy!

For many couples who have recently tied the knot this past spring and summer, what better way for them to learn a little bit about cooking (and one another!) than by testing out some new and adventurous recipes that let both of their unique personalities shine? From a tranquil dinner for two to a decked out Thanksgiving spread, grab the tools and ingredients and it's time to feast!

Which is why right now is the perfect time for all of the couples who are still in the planning stages of their wedding to be sure to head to their nearest Target to browse, sign up and fill their Target Wedding registry!

Target wedding registry

From home decor to games and electronics to items for entertaining (and everything in between), Target's wedding registry allows users to add anything from the store or Target.com to their wishlist. Why not start your new life together with all of the everyday essentials, necessities, splurges and things you'll both really use and love?

But, along with the practicality, ease and convenience, registering at Target can also help couples bring both of their personalities to their Thanksgiving spread this year. Why not make your holiday a little more unforgettable and incredible just by using fantastic items your thoughtful guests purchased from your registry?

Step one, register for gorgeous and useful Calphalon Stainless Steel Cookware and the Calphalon Kitchen Essentials 20pc Utensil & Gadget Set and the two of you will be perfectly prepared to whip up all sorts of delectable dishes to wow your guests!

kitchen cookware tools

But you're going to need a beautiful way to serve up your tasty meal, right?

Step two, register for a Threshold Bistro Ceramic 16-Piece Dinnerware Set and the Libbey 12 Piece Red And White Wine Stemless Glassware set and your table will be ready to be set!

dinnerware

What's left to top off your epic Thanksgiving? Creating the ambiance, of course!

Step three, simply turn on your SONOS PLAY: 5 Wireless HiFi System to play some relaxing, holiday music and place a collection of Threshold Red Mercury Glass Pillar Candle Holders on the table and around your home and you'll have set the scene for a warm, memorable evening.

home decor

While my husband and I have had a variety of wonderful Thanksgiving experiences over the years, one that stands out in my mind was back in 2007 when Big Sister E was just over one year old.

We had such a great time getting together with family and getting to see our little one excited about the gathering, the food and the overall fun of the holiday!

baby's first thanksgiving

No matter if you have Thanksgiving plans that are large and lavish or small and intimate, be sure to keep a Target Wedding registry in mind so that your family and friends can help you and your new spouse bring both of your personalities to the holiday. Your guests can shop in-store or online, returns and exchanges are simple, and you even end up with a bonus savings day after your wedding to pick up any items left at a discount.

Find out more about all of Target's great registry options by visiting Target.com or visiting your local Target store today!

Plus, thanks to their generosity, one person will be even more prepared to plan their next holiday in style, because...

One lucky person will win a $25 Target gift card!

Target gift card


Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.

Shopping Online? Save Money and Earn Cash Back at FreeShipping.com! {#LoveFreeShipping}

Although I know that there was shopping back before we had the internet, sometimes I just have to shake my head because it seems hard to believe. Did I really have to get in the car and just drive to the store to browse to make a purchase? Or, if I knew what I was going to get, I had to basically keep my fingers crossed that the size/color would be in stock?

It really is no surprise that online shopping has become such a popular choice, as the savings, vast array of options, and overall convenience really can't be beat... particularly for holiday shopping and getting to skip the crowds, lines and hassle!

But what if it was possible to save even more money this shopping season? If by simply going about your online shopping as you normally would could actually result in getting cash back delivered straight to your door? Then you would want to start making your purchases from all of your favorite retailers right through FreeShipping.com!

FreeShipping

Providing members 10% cash back on purchases made at over 1,000 top retailers — for instance, Walmart, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Best Buy, ProFlowers, and more — FreeShipping.com also offers free shipping, free returns, and price protection (which pays members the difference in price if they purchase an item and find it advertised for less within 90 days).

Saving on all your online shopping and shipping needs through FreeShipping.com couldn't be any easier as members simply log in, click on any participating retailer's offer, and make their purchases as they normally would.

As soon as the retailer ships the item, FreeShipping.com applies 10% of the total purchase (minus taxes and other fees) to the member's Savings Center account, where members can track their cash-back and rebate earnings over time. At the end of every calendar quarter, cash-back earnings over the previous three months are tallied and members receive a check for their earnings.

We're talking free money here, People! From the sites where you are already shopping!

online retailers

But, wait. There's more! The 10% cash-back offer is just one of many money-saving benefits available to FreeShipping.com members, including:
  • A search tool that instantly compares the prices of any of over 100 million items sold by the cash-back retailers, so members can get the best possible deal.
  • Coupons that provide free shipping codes and links, as well as other retailer savings offers that members can claim right at checkout.
  • Shipping Rebates that pay members back if they're charged shipping fees on purchases made through FreeShipping.com.
  • Return Shipping Rebates that cover the charges if a member ever needs to return any online purchase — for any reason.
What more could you ask for? Great deals, money-saving coupons, rebates, returns and a 10% cash-back offer, which is a bigger discount on online purchases than any other subscription program around.

So, this holiday season whether you're shopping for items for the chef in your life...


or the fitness enthusiast...

fitbit deal

or just for the items that are topping wishlists everywhere...

frozen dolls

it just makes sense to head to FreeShipping.com first!

Ready to give it a try for yourself? Right now enter the coupon code HOLIDAY2014 at FreeShipping.com and you'll receive a free 30-day trial and a discounted monthly membership rate of $9.95/month after the 30-day free trial ends.

As if you needed even more of an excuse, FreeShipping.com will be offering 20% cash back at five different retailers per day from Black Friday (November 28) through Cyber Monday (December 1). Some participating retailers include Walmart, QVC, Sears, Children's Place, Gap, and Nordstrom, so don't miss out on the chance to get even more free money back simply for doing your online shopping!

Find out much more (and sign up to become a member) at FreeShipping.com and by connecting with them on Facebook and Twitter.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Inspiring the Next Generation of Female Innovation with Roominate {Review & Giveaway}

Roominate logo
A simple stroll through the toy section in any box store reveals the "girl aisle" that is pink, pretty and passive, while the "boy aisle" is blue, intelligent and action-packed. Why is that? Why are we not encouraging the next generation of girls with their development of spatial skills, hands-on problem solving skills, and confidence with technology as much as boys?

In the US, less than 15% of women enter college intending to major in a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) field, so it can be argued that all the years of hosting tea parties and playing with dolls might lead girls down a different future path?

Fortunately, companies are beginning to realize the importance of encouraging and inspiring the future of female innovators and engineers. Instead of simply sitting back and hoping that girls will decide to play with traditionally "boy" toys on their own, it's time to revolutionize the way that we motivate girls to look at the world with Roominate.

Roominate STEM toys

Created by two female friends who met in the master's engineering program at Stanford, Roominate is a stackable and customizable line of wired building systems that inspire open-ended and hands-on play. By using motor and light circuits, modular pieces and universal joints, Roominate manages to blend building, circuits, design, crafts, storytelling, and creativity to kids all while they play.

Young users end up building just about anything that their heart desires in their unique and original rooms, both big and small. Even better? Once the creating is done for the day, it can all be taken apart and remade into something completely new and different next time, essentially leading to endless creative possibilities!

As Roominate products are available now in a variety of sets and kits, I was looking forward to seeing what my own girls would think of these innovative new toys with the arrival of the Roominate Studio.

Roominate Studio toy

Including 70 pieces of all shapes, sizes and colors, the Roominate Studio allows girls (ages 6+) to completely design their own personalized studio... and then accessorize it exactly as they wish.

As soon as we started removing the pieces from the box, it was already easy to see how this one toy could help encourage my girls' STEM knowledge as they assembled, disassembled, built and rebuilt time and again.

Roominate toys

I have to admit, one look at the four wall/floor panels, the 16 connectors and the 24 furniture building pieces and I was itching to start building my own studio!

However, even as I held back, it was great to see my girls' creations come together little by little and just how much creativity and imagination went into their designs. Once they had learned about and gotten to know Alice and her puppy Harrie...

Roominate Alice

It was time to start building for them. The girls' rooms started out simple, as they realized how easy it was to pop together the panels and connectors...

Roominate room

...but then turned more elaborate as they began to stretch their minds to test the possibilities.

Roominate house

But the main structure of the studio itself is just the beginning, as the building pieces soon started to take shape into tables, chairs, desks, shelves, beds, dressers and much more.

It's great how Roominate gives all sorts of ideas for inspiration (with even more online) as well as a large group of paper accessories such as curtains, tools and books that can be cut out and included in the studio as well!

Roominate building toys

As an extremely fun and educational bonus, using the very simple motor, switch and battery pack (requires two AAA batteries, not included), kids are able to build and wire a working fan, washing machine, circular saw, carousel and more!

Roominate wiring

In the end, it has been eye-opening and amazing to see the various creations that my girls have made and I can see how Roominate really only needs the included building pieces and an imagination to provide entertainment and learning over and over again.

Roominate review

Although it can be argued that just about any toy has benefits and encourages kids to practice a variety of skills (e.g. small motor, creativity, reading, etc), there is a smaller number that truly manage to inspire... and Roominate is one of them!

You can find out much more about the full line of Roominate products by visiting RoominateToy.com and by connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The Roominate Studio retails for $29.99 and would easily be a unique, thought-provoking, fun toy for any young girl this holiday season and beyond!

And, thanks to the generosity of Roominate, one person will soon see just how much the girl(s) in their life enjoys building, creating and wiring as well, because...

One lucky person will win a Roominate Studio!

Roominate Studio


A big thank you to Roominate for providing a Roominate Studio for me to review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Make Entertaining Easy and Delicious with Cuisine Adventures {#DivasCuisine}

When it comes to hosting family meals or gatherings of friends for the holidays, I always feel as though I underestimate the amount of work required. It's just making a few dishes, throwing together a playlist, and straightening up a little bit, right?

Uh, no.

On top of the amount of time that it takes to get our house to a level of clean that is presentable, somehow the fact that I only have two hands (and one oven) escapes me until there I am washing, chopping, peeling, mixing, dicing, mashing, stuffing and more in an attempt to get enough food made before the doorbell rings.

Therefore, when I'm introduced to a company that specializes in making chef quality appetizers that everyday folks like me can pull out of our freezers whenever we want, I'm all ears. Who wouldn't want a way to add exceptionally high quality holiday menu items to their table in an extra easy way?

That's why this year I'm letting the professional and talented chefs at Cuisine Adventures help do my cooking for me!

Cuisine Adventures logo

Founded in Montreal in 1981, Cuisine Adventures is an internationally successful frozen food manufacturer that offers soups, dips, meals and snacks — with a new, limited holiday product launch in Costco stores in the Midwest.

Sure, you could spend hours upon hours making plate after plate of appetizers to wow your guests... or you could reach for a box from Cuisine Adventures to pop into the oven or microwave. Each item contains only fresh, wholesome ingredients and then is flash frozen to provide a freshly prepared taste that duplicates the quality you would strive for if you were cooking it from scratch.

Again, why would I not want to set out dishes of amazing appetizers that taste as good (if not better) than homemade when all I had to do was put them into the oven?

Cuisine Adventures appetizers

We were excited to have a pre-holiday sampling of a selection of delicious Cuisine Adventures items and, when the Fruit and Cheese Phyllo Collection, Spanakopita and French Onion Soup arrived, it was definitely time to eat!

Cuisine Adventures food

Yum, yum and yum!

The Fruit and Cheese Phyllo Collection contains three snack combinations — Cranberry Brie, Apple Cheddar and Mango Goat Cheese — wrapped in phyllo and ready to pop into the oven right out of the box.

Cuisine Adventures phyllo

Make one or make them all, these snacks bake up crispy, flaky and delicious in less than 15 minutes and are ready to be plated and eaten for a sweet, gooey, fruity-cheesy, melt in your mouth flavor combination. Mmm!

Cuisine Adventures phyllo collection review

I was especially eager to try the Spanakopita, as it is one of the Greek foods that my mom has made from scratch for as long as I can remember (I also helped her and my aunt make it once and the number of steps and ingredients and amount of time that it took was staggering).

Instead, Cuisine Adventures provides four trays of frozen Spanakopita right in the box so that you can pull out the exact number of the little spinach and feta cheese triangles to be heated to serve.

Cuisine Adventures spanakopita

In approximately 20 minutes, the outside pastry layers were toasted up nice and brown and the spinach and feta in the inside was hot and flavorful. These were almost too easy to make and extremely tasty to eat!

Cuisine Adventures spanakopita review

Finally, soup lovers everywhere know that recreating an authentic, bistro-style French Onion Soup is not an easy feat. I have to admit that I had a few doubts, as Cuisine Adventures' frozen soup cylinders were, well, a hard block of frozen soup.

Cuisine Adventures french onion soup

However, I followed the cooking instructions and let it heat in the oven for 40 minutes (there is also a microwave option as well as a microwave + oven option if you'd rather save time) and was pleased to find that the result really was a steaming bowl of slowly simmered fresh onions, real Swiss cheese and croutons.

Cuisine Adventures french onion soup review

Overall, I'm thrilled that we were introduced to Cuisine Adventures and I plan on keeping an eye out for these three varieties (as well as more from the collection) during my next Costco shopping trip. These couldn't be easier and are the perfect addition to any holiday table!

No matter if you prefer sweet or savory, salty or luscious, they have options that will satisfy every taste bud that are a snap to make and won't leave you feeling guilty. Many of their products are vegetarian, contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and more!

Find out more about how Cuisine Adventures can make a difference at your next gathering, meal or party by visiting CuisineAdventuresFoods.com and by connecting with them on Facebook and Twitter. And, if you're fortunate to live in Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Nebraska or Missouri, head to your nearest Costco today!

This review and giveaway was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Cuisine Adventures. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.