Saturday, December 29, 2012


The lucky winner of an Oral-B ProfessionalCare Precision 1000 Rechargeable Toothbrush is...

The lucky winner of a Crayola Digital Light Designer and a Crayola Marker Airbrush is...

The lucky winner of a $40 gift certificate to NOVICA is...

The lucky winner of their choice of size and color BB STARS from Bailey Berry is...

The lucky winner of a Good to Know Baking Set from Unilever is...

The lucky winner of a pair of NERF Infrared Nightvision Goggles with Camcorder is...

Thanks to everyone who entered these great giveaways! Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Celebrate Walgreens "Night at the W" After-Party of the People's Choice Awards {Beauty Prize Pack Giveaway!}

Walgreens logo
When it comes to convenience, I love that I can typically find just about everything I need at Walgreens.

Need to pick up a wedding card, have photos printed, get a new toothbrush, find a birthday toy for your friend's daughter and grab a container of ice cream to make your pie a la mode? All found right at your corner Walgreens!

I had my doubts recently when I was looking for a particular (somewhat-unusual) color of shoe polish, but, lo and behold, there it was at Walgreens. They've got it all!


But did you know that as well as being a go-to pharmacy and convenience store, Walgreens also hosts a variety of events and happenings? And one such occasion is right around the corner... and is set to make you look glamorous!

On January 10th, every Walgreens store in the United States will host "Night at the W," a free, beauty-themed event from 4:00 – 9:00 pm. Billed as the official after-party of the People's Choice Awards, women across America are invited to talk with their local Walgreens Beauty Advisor on how to get their own dazzling new look for the New Year and have a chance to win fabulous prizes.

Those who attend will find many simple ways to elevate their look and get "red carpet ready" for a big night out – all from the aisles of their local Walgreens. Want a few previous tips and tricks? I've got five from the "Godfather of Style" himself, Fashion Consultant Tim Gunn.

Tim Gunn

On behalf of Walgreens, Tim offers the following for ways that you won't have to spend a fortune to get your own "red carpet ready" look:
  • Get a Camera-Ready Smile: A bright white smile is absolutely necessary whether you're walking the red carpet or the runway. A simple tip I tell all the runway models is use something like Crest Whitestrips. There's this 2-hour treatment you can put on when you are getting ready.
  • Get Ready for Your Close-Up: When it comes to facial hair removal, there's nothing to be ashamed of, and there's everything to gain. Olay has something new that is perfect for this and because it's from Olay you know your skin will look fabulous!
  • Every day is a new chance for you to "walk the runway," so I like to encourage women to try new things whether it be a new lipstick or nail color.
  • Some of the most stunning looks I have seen lately are topped off with healthy-thick hair. Not every woman has thick hair and as women age their hair tends to thin. There is a new hair thickening product on the market from Pantene that will give you that gorgeous hair
  • To keep your skin glowing, it is important to stay hydrated by using a good moisturizer and drinking lots of water. And you can make your features pop with the right makeup and brightest smile.
This January, tune in to the People's Choice Awards on January 9th and then be sure to mark your calendar for January 10th to visit your local Walgreens between 4 and 9pm for "Night at the W." Chat with a Walgreens Beauty Advisor and enter to win a trip for two to the 2014 People's Choice Awards or one of thousands of gift boxes of beauty products!

And, thanks to the generosity of Proctor & Gamble, one person will be prepared to be beautiful and glamorous any time they want, because...

One lucky person will win a Walgreens "Night at the W" Beauty Prize Pack*! ARV approximately $90!

Walgreens Beauty Prize Pack
Prize Pack includes: Crest 2-hour Express Whitestrips; Olay Facial Hair Removal (Medium to Coarse); Pantene Expert Collection AgeDefy Thickening Treatment; CoverGirl Clump Crusher (Very Black); CoverGirl Jumbo Gloss Balm; and CoverGirl Nail Gloss.


A big thank you to P&G for providing a "Night at the W" Beauty Prize Pack for me as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


The lucky winner of an Artisan Beaded Necklace from World Vision is...

The lucky winner of a $100 AMEX card from Fisher-Price Moments of Joy is...

The lucky winner of a Winter Emergency Kit prize package is...

The lucky winner of their choice of the size and color Fleece Earwarmer Cap, Fleece Mittens or Mitten Clips from i play. and the lucky winner of their choice of the Rose Bunny, Cornflower Lion or Sage Panda from green sprouts are...

The lucky winner of a SKIL iXO Vivo Power Corkscrew is...

The lucky winner of a 2-Month Membership to the K-Cup of the Month Club from Mixkups is...

The lucky winner of a 1-night stay and Indoor Theme Park passes to Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells is...

Thanks to everyone who entered these great giveaways! Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Last Minute Gift Ideas: Avon, Hästens, Brazilian Peel, Tiny Tillia by Avon, and The Children's Place!

As one of the busiest shopping weekends has arrived, the stress level across the nation to tie up loose ends and find last-minute gifts in time for the holidays has risen sky high.

How could I have forgotten her? I never know what to get for him! Shoot, they had a baby recently, I should really bring something...

But what?

If you're still looking for holiday gift ideas, never fear.

When it comes to the options that are sure to bring a smile to your recipient's face, Avon, Hästens, Brazilian Peel, Tiny Tillia by Avon, and The Children's Place have great gifts that will work for men, women, kids... heck! Pick one up for you this year!

Avon For Her Fragrance Sampler

Avon For Her Fragrance Sampler

This limited-edition fragrance sampler set includes eight of Avon's best-selling fragrances, including Unplugged for Her, Step into Sexy, Outspoken and Outspoken Intense by Fergie. Even better, the sampler includes a voucher for a full-sized bottle of your fragrance of choice, making it the perfect present for indecisive buyers or receivers. Simply try out the eight samples and decide on your favorite!

Price: $23.00; including eight deluxe (.05 fl. oz) trial sizes.

Available: or contact your local Avon representative.

Hästens Travel Pillow

Hästens Travel Pillow

Filled with 100% duck down, this travel pillow is the perfect accessory to guarantee a little beauty rest while you're traveling during the holidays – whether by air, train, or automobile. Folded it measures in at 15.4" x 11.4," so it is just right to rest your head and grab some shut-eye.

Or, unzip it and use it as a makeup or storage bag! Your loose items will be kept safely inside while the rugged blue check fabric faces stylishly out. Then, when you have settled in to your seat for your long trip, simply reverse the pillow to expose the soft cotton and down interior for a little more rest.

Price: $110.

Available: Hästens Stores nationwide or on

Brazilian Peel

Brazilian Peel

The perfect peel to jump start skin during winter, the patented, self-neutralizing Brazilian Peel firms and tones skin, and reduces fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, and uneven skin tone. At the same time, this beauty breakthrough helps you maintain a radiant, youthful complexion, hastens cell regeneration, restores skins' collagen building function, and increases the effectiveness of moisturizers.

Formulated with 30% glycolic acid, the nourishing antioxidant açaì, and the innovative Q-Mag Neutralizer, Brazilian Peel is the first professional-strength peel designed to deliver deeper, long-lasting results at home.

Price: $78.00; four applications.


Tiny Tillia Polar Bear Hat & Mittens

Tiny Tillia by Avon Polar Bear Hat and Mittens Set

Available in S/M (for ages 12M - 2T) and M/L (sizes 3T - 4T), this adorable polar bear hat and mittens set will keep your little ones toasty warm and extremely cute. Tiny Tillia has made these pieces from soft fleece, making it the perfect fashionable way to take the chill out of winter.

Price: $11.99.

Available: Avon representatives, on or

The Children's Place pajamas

The Children's Place Pajamas

We LOVE The Children's Place! With sizes available from 0 - 12, we have long been fans of everything from their casual, weekend sweats to their dressy, holiday outfits. But what's better for winter than all of TCP's ultra toasty and cozy sleep separates and onesies for kids of all ages?

With options such as robes, tops, bottoms, footies and more, these cold-weather pj's are perfect for snoozing and lounging during the winter/holiday season. And, just as amazing as the quality and styles are the affordable prices that everyone can appreciate!

Price: Starting at just $8.99.

Available: The Children's Place stores and

I was provided a promotional item in exchange for my time writing this post, however, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

COOL WHIP Frosting Makes Finding Reasons To Celebrate Easy and Delicious {Prize Pack Giveaway!}

Cool Whip logo
Often when I admit that, strange as it sounds, I don't like cake, people look at me as though I've suddenly sprouted a second head.

But truly, it's not the cake that I don't like, it's the frosting. There's something about traditional, store bought frosting that just seems too sugary for my taste buds that it ends up feeling sticky and sweet in my throat. Don't get me wrong, I still find myself managing to eat more than I need to at various parties and celebrations, but it's just not my thing.

But what's the other option? Not frosting my kids' cakes for their birthdays? Not exactly plausible.

Fortunately, from now on I not only know exactly what frosting to reach for to satisfy my sweet tooth, but I don't even have to wait for a special occasion. Because when it comes to COOL WHIP Frosting, I'm going to be on the lookout for any reason to frost a cake or cupcake and celebrate!

COOL WHIP Frosting

Found in the freezer aisle next to traditional COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, COOL WHIP Frosting is whipped to perfection, making it easy to spread while providing a perfectly sweet touch to your baked goodies. This innovative new frosting is available in Chocolate, Vanilla and Cream Cheese flavors and is a great alternative to canned frosting.

While I would have been perfectly happy testing out COOL WHIP Frosting simply to celebrate it being December or that my kids helped clean up the playroom, we decided to put this right to work on cupcakes for Little Sister B's birthday. Between having a celebration here at home and her party at school, we were counting on these cupcakes to satisfy the sweet tooth of quite a few people!

Cool Whip frosting review

While the Vanilla and Cream Cheese flavors were extremely tempting, we went with the Chocolate COOL WHIP Frosting to go with the chocolate cupcakes. Can you ever have too much chocolate? I think not.

As this frosting is kept in the freezer, preparing it for use just takes minimal forethought. Leave it at room temperature to thaw for an hour or place it in the refrigerator four hours in advance and it will be ready for spreading!

Chocolate Cool Whip frosting


Just as COOL WHIP had proclaimed, this frosting was whipped so light and fluffy that it was easy to spread. I love that it didn't tear into my cupcakes at all and instead was able to be smoothed right on however thin or thick I desired.

Cool Whip frosting cupcakes
I make no claims at actually having any frosting skills!

With the addition of a Gummy Bear and individual clear containers, these cupcakes were perfect to share with all of Little Sister B's friends at her preschool!

birthday cupcakes

Not to mention that all these cupcakes needed were candles and they made for an amazingly delicious birthday celebration here at home as well!

blowing out the candles

The result of both?

birthday girl

I'm not exaggerating when I say that I had the exact same reaction myself! This COOL WHIP Frosting is my absolute new favorite frosting and I will definitely be using it again in the future! It's just the right amount of sweetness without going overboard — I think the Chocolate tastes like a rich chocolate mousse that, to be honest, I've had a hard time not eating directly out of the container.


No matter how on-the-go our lifestyles can be, COOL WHIP has made it beyond easy (and DELICIOUS) to step back from the chaos and celebrate the little moments in life along with the big. Whether you're having guests over for the holidays, welcoming a new baby to the world or simply are excited about your good hair day, COOL WHIP Frosting can be your secret weapon to delectable desserts in no time at all!


To find out more about COOL WHIP Frosting, visit the COOL WHIP Facebook Page, where you can find more mouthwatering information and a whole slew of yummy recipes to try.

Be sure to also join in the fun and larger conversation of finding reasons to celebrate with COOL WHIP Frosting by sharing pictures using the #coolwhipfrosting hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

And, thanks to the generosity of COOL WHIP, one person will be prepared to celebrate all of the upcoming moments in their life with their favorite cakes and cupcakes, because...

One lucky person will win a "Reasons to Celebrate" COOL WHIP Frosting Prize Pack*! ARV $100!

Cool Whip giveaway
*Prize Pack includes: (3) free product coupons for COOL WHIP Frosting, (1) package of Gingerbread Man cupcake liners, (1) Cake Stand plus Cover Set, (2) Stainless Steel Cake Icing Spatulas by MIU, (1) package of reusable silicone heart-shaped Cupcake Liners, and (1) Baking by Flavor cookbook by Lisa Yockelson.

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I am working in partnership with the COOL WHIP brand and I am receiving compensation for my participation in this campaign. All thoughts/opinions are 100% my own.

Celebrate Your Family's Traditions with Libby's Fruits and Vegetables {Rubbermaid Storage Set, Bamboo Cutting Boards & Libby's Prize Pack Giveaway!}

Libby's logo
I recently had the chance to share one of my favorite holiday traditions, showing off the cute framed ornaments that I make year after year using pictures of my girls.

I just love seeing their smiling faces from infancy hanging on display!

Christmas photo ornaments

While it was fun for me to be proud of my own crafty way to celebrate the holiday season, I also loved being able to read all of the wonderful traditions that many of you wrote in and added. From particular songs to driving around to see lights to delivering baskets to those in need, there were such a wide variety included that I couldn't help but smile as I read each one.

However, the most common tie between the traditions involved one aspect that is near and dear to all of us: eating.

Baking cookies, decorating cookies, eating and relaxing afterward, having a big Christmas dinner... they were all named — many more than once. There is just something about celebrating traditions and family gatherings by coming around the table that can't be compared... and the holidays are the perfect time to do that.

This year, Libby’s Fruits and Vegetables has a whole list of delicious, CANvenient recipes that are fast and easy to ensure that your family can be enjoying food, stories and smiles in no time!

Libby's fruits and vegetables

As one of the nation's largest brands, Libby's Fruits and Vegetables contains over 60 different products and sizes. From household staples such as corn, peas and green beans, they offer one of the industry's most complete lines of canned vegetables, including organic options.

At the same time, their fruit products only meet the highest standards and are created from produce hand selected at the peak of ripeness and nutrient content from the finest orchards.

Considering that we're always looking for new and tasty ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into our meals, I was ready to put a fun package of Libby's products and kitchen gear to use for my family to enjoy.

Libby's prize pack

Along with all of the recipes on their website, Libby's also suggested their Maple Glazed Turkey with Sesame Ginger Green Beans & Carrots as inspiration for a holiday dinner main course and their  Peachy Corn Muffin Bites as the perfect addition for holiday morning breakfast with the family.

I'm a big fan of corn muffins and a big fan of peaches, so I definitely had to try these bite-size bits of deliciousness!

corn muffins

Peachy Corn Muffin Bites

1 c all-purpose flour
1 c cornmeal
¼ c sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ c skim milk
½ c plain nonfat Greek yogurt
¼ c canola oil
1 egg
1 can (15 ounce) can Libby's Peach Slices, drained and finely chopped
½ can (15 ounce) can Libby's Naturals Whole Kernel Corn, drained

Preheat oven to 400° F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, oil and egg. Pour wet batter into dry, mixing until the dry ingredients are just moist (do not over mix). Mix in peaches and half a can of corn until just incorporated into the batter – again, avoid over mixing.

corn muffin recipe

Coat mini muffin tins with cooking spray. Scoop 2 tablespoon spoonfuls into each muffin cup. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, remove from tins and cool completely.

mini corn muffins recipe

Yum, yum and yum!

I love that these came out having the traditional taste and texture of cornbread, yet the addition of the peaches gives them just that extra tiny bit of moisture and sweetness. Not to mention that the fact that they're bite-size just makes them so easy to pop right in your mouth!

mini muffins recipe

This holiday season and beyond, make sure to have Libby's Fruits and Vegetables in your pantry so that you'll be prepared to pull them out for everyday meals as well as for special occasions. Because when it comes to pleasing the whole family with classic as well as creative recipes, Libby's can make the end result turn out great!

And, thanks to their generosity, one person will be prepared to prep, eat and store their leftovers soon, because...

One lucky person will win an assortment of Libby's products, a Rubbermaid® 40-Piece Storage Set, a 3-Piece Bamboo Cutting Board Set and a Libby's Tote Bag! ARV $75!

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A big thank you to Libby's for providing product, a Rubbermaid Set and a Bamboo Cutting Board Set for me as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

Smartdogs Comfort IQ Posy Slippers by Grandoe {Review}

Even though it seemed like winter was wavering on whether or not it was going to fully arrive around here, the recent drop of 19" of snow outside my door has since clinched that decision.

Therefore, even though I may have been successfully kidding myself that I could still wear my spring jacket or that I didn't need to put away all of my sandals in exchange for snow boots, that's all changed now. Winter, it is here.

Along with being sure that we have our fleece blankets pulled out to warm up on the couch, I've had to put away my favorite summer slippers, as the open flip-flop design just leaves far too much chilly air on my feet. But now that I've gotten used to the comfort and cushion of my Synergy Comfort Slippers, how can I stand the upcoming months without them?

Fortunately, I don't have to worry about sacrificing softness for warmth as the Smartdogs Comfort Slippers by Grandoe has now introduced their Comfort IQ line of slippers to keep all things right in my world of footwear.

Smartdog slippers

An exclusive temperature regulating technology that Grandoe has used successfully for some time in their dress glove line, adding Comfort IQ to their slippers was a logical next step in their products. By extending this exclusive Phase Change Bubble Technology, these slippers can actually store body heat until it senses your feet need it and then gradually release the warmth. Talk about smart slippers!

Considering how cold our hardwood floor already feels and how many more months of winter we have left, I couldn't wait to try out the Posy Hoodback Women's Slippers to see how great they would feel on my feet.

Posy slippers

As I looked over the Posy Hoodback Slippers, I was immediately impressed with all of the details that had gone into them. The fabrics were strong and durable, the padding was thick and soft, and the simple design was unique and attractive with the sweet little fleece flower.

Slipping them on, I began to walk around and noticed... mmm, comfy! They slide on quickly and easily and my feet always stay warm and comfortable in the brushed polyester lining.

Combine that with the soft Cozee fabric on the outside and the Active Comfort patented four zone honeycomb footbed and my feet really do feel cushioned, supported, soothed and invigorated!

Smartdogs Posy review

As these slippers even boast a dual-density, non-skid, thermal plastic rubber outsole, they can easily be worn both indoors as well as outdoors without problem. While I tend to reserve them for staying in my house, they're so comfortable that I've worn them more than once to drive Big Sister E to school in the morning!

Both useful and stylish, these versatile slippers can actually be worn year-round because they really don't make my feet overheat — they're even machine washable so that I don't have to worry about getting them a little dirty from the constant use that they've received since their arrival. I am hardly ever without them!

The Posy Hoodback Women's Slippers come in the Charcoal coloring I received as well as a Grey Heather with dark red accents. They retail at department and specialty stores for $55 and are available in women’s size S and ML.

Find out much more on the Smartdog website and be sure to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Other than the Posy Hoodback Women's Slippers I was provided by Smartdogs, I was not compensated or enticed to do this review in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion of this product.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter Protection in Style with Aquaphor {$50 Visa Gift Card Prize Pack Giveaway}

Aquaphor logo
While I'm thrilled that my daughters received my husband's blue eyes, his tall height and his generous, caring personality, I do wish that his dry skin genes had skipped them.

After all, it's one thing for an adult to be bothered by the itchy, cracked, sore feeling on our hands, knees, elbows and more that comes along with the dry winter air, but it's even worse knowing that our kids feel the same way. What parent doesn't feel bad knowing that their baby or child's soft, sensitive skin is irritated?

Which is why I'm thankful that there are companies like Aquaphor that develop products that are specially formulated to soothe and help dry, cracked skin gently and quickly. Because now that our Winter Protection in Style package arrived, we're all happier knowing that our skin is being protected safely and gently.

Aquaphor review giveaway

Trusted by pediatricians, dermatologists and moms everywhere, Aquaphor products provide the effective care that dry, chapped or irritated skin needs all year-round (but especially in winter). Free of fragrances, preservatives and dyes, their skin therapies are pure and gentle to safely protect, clean and restore everything from chapped cheeks to cracked lips to diaper rash.

Seeing as winter is in full swing around here and we seem to have dry hands everywhere I look, it didn't take long before we were reaching for the Aquaphor Healing Ointment and Aquaphor Lip Repair + Protect.

Aquaphor review

Providing the gentle care your skin needs, Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a multi-purpose ointment that can be used for a variety of locations. I love that it can go from protecting your skin from everyday irritations to relieving chapped knuckles to healing even the roughest hands and lips all in one quick motion.

The thick, clear formula immediately feels soothing and I love knowing that this isn't going to be a lotion that would dry and disappear. Instead, the slightly greasy feeling goes away as I rub it thoroughly on my hands and I can almost feel my skin absorbing the moisture and losing the dry, uncomfortable sensation that they had.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Or, when I want to focus specifically on my dry lips (my biggest culprit of irritation in the winter), the Aquaphor Lip Repair + Protect has a way of immediately soothing and relieving the chapped, uncomfortable feeling that they often get.

I've found that it only takes a little of the Healing Ointment or the Lip Repair + Protect to cover a large area and the results are extremely long-lasting. I'll apply some in the morning and find that my lips or Little Sister B's dryness on her lower back (something she of course inherited from her father) stay hydrated, smooth and visibly improved all day long.

Just knowing that our skin and lips are healthy and protected (and that I won't have to worry about my kids feeling itchy or scratching at the dryness) is a big relief and something that I'm looking forward to continuing all winter long!

Aquaphor Healing Ointment review

For products that you know that can be depended on for relief from wind burn, chafing, blisters, dry winter skin and much more, Aquaphor is a name that has been trusted to provide gentle care for the entire family. Prices do vary but currently the Healing Ointment in this 1.75oz size is priced at $4.69 on Amazon and the Lip Repair + Protect sells for $4.99, also on Amazon.

Once you've experienced the quality of Aquaphor, you'll be hooked! And, thanks to their generosity, one person will be prepared for the remainder of winter to arrive, because...

One lucky person will win a Winter Protection in Style prize package*! Total ARV $92!

*Prize package includes: (1) $50 Visa Gift Card, (1) Aquaphor Healing Ointment, (1) Aquaphor Lip Repair + Protect, and (1) pair of Laundry by Shelli Segal convertible texting mittens from Nordstrom ($32).

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A big thank you to Aquaphor for providing a Winter Protection in Style pack for me as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.