Saturday, May 31, 2014


The lucky winner of an Entenmann's Earth Month Prize Pack is...

The lucky winner of a Labor Day Dessert Viewing Kit Prize Pack is...

The lucky winner of a HABA Doorway Theater is...

The lucky winner of a "Thanks, Baby" Prize Pack from Pampers is...

The lucky winner of a prize pack of assorted LINDOR truffles and LINDOR sticks is...

The lucky winner of a Fountain Jet Soda Lover's Start-Up Kit from SodaStream is...

The lucky winner of a Child UV Sunsuit or T-Shirt from Konfidence is...

Thank you to everyone who entered these fun giveaways! Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Auntie Anne's Celebrates Mini Acts with a Mighty Impact {Free Pretzel Cards Giveaway - 5 winners!}

Auntie Anne's logo
In today's day and age where "bigger is better" is the motto most often followed, it's important to take the time to recognize that it might not always be true.

In fact, it's sometimes the little things in life that we cherish the most, right? The scribbled love note left by your child, the Thinking of You card that shows up unexpectedly in the mailbox, being presented with flowers "just because" — truly, it is sometimes the mini acts that result in the mighty impact.

Right now, no one is highlighting that better than the one and only Auntie Anne's.

mini but mighty

While the Auntie Anne's empire was built upon the classic (super delicious) pretzel, they have since expanded their line to not only include a variety of amazing flavors, but mini versions as well. No matter how big your hunger is, their freshly baked Mini Pretzel Dogs and Pretzel Nuggets are the perfect portable snacks that can really pack a mighty punch!

It's bite-size pretzel perfection!

Auntie Anne's mini bites

Just as their bite-sized products can make a big impression, Auntie Anne's also knows that sometimes it's the mini things in life that make the mightiest difference... and is shining a spotlight on exactly that in their Mini Acts with a Mighty Impact contest.

Auntie Anne's contest

Who do you know who deserves a little extra recognition?

Through June 14th, head over to to nominate a friend, family member, co-worker, etc. who has performed a Mini Act with a Mighty Impact. As an added bonus to getting to share about the special person in your life, all fans who submit a nomination will receive a digital BOGO coupon simply for participating!

After Auntie Anne's and the panel of judges determine the top 10 finalists, voting will occur from June 16th – 30th, with a grand prize winner announcement in the first week of July.

That lucky person will receive a $1,000 gift card furnished by American Express and a $1,000 donation made to the charity of the nominee's choice! In addition, the person who initially nominated the winner will also receive a $250 gift card and a $500 donation to the charity of his/her choice!

contst thank you logo

Isn't it time we all gave a nod to those people that deserve a little recognition for their selfless work they do day after day? Head over to today and submit your nomination!

In the meantime, keep an eye on Auntie Anne's Facebook page this June as they launch their Mini and Mighty Trivia Series — the combination of fun questions and great prizes isn't something you'll want to miss!

auntie anne'sIf you haven't visited your local Auntie Anne's recently, you've been missing out on an ever-increasing array of delectable menu options, so be sure to follow your nose the next time you smell the fresh-baked aroma of delicious pretzels wafting from one of their 1,330+ locations all over the world.

Be sure to also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram so that you'll never miss the latest flavors, contests, events and more that this fantastic company has to offer. And, thanks to their generosity, five people will soon be basking in pretzel greatness, because...

Five lucky people will win FOUR Free Pretzel cards from Auntie Anne's!

Auntie Anne's pretzels

A big thank you to Auntie Anne's for providing 4 free pretzel cards for 5 lucky giveaway winners. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Get Out and Enjoy Spring and Summer with the Graco Aire3 Click Connect Stroller {Review}

Graco logo
As with other areas of life, the world of baby gear will forever have differing opinions.

But whereas it isn't hard to find both sides of debates on cloth vs. disposable diapers or store-bought vs. homemade, organic baby food, I can't think of a single instance where I've heard a parent dislike a company that is known for creating well-designed, high quality products that are carefully constructed to make your life easier.

If there is a mom out there that complains that she owns baby gear that fits her (and her child's) needs too well, then she's not really going to be pleased over anything.

For the rest of us, however, there is Graco.

Graco baby products

Inspired by the instincts and best intentions of a loving parent, the Graco brand of baby gear provides thoughtful, practical and dependable parenting solutions. From strollers and car seats to high chairs, playards, monitors and more, Graco's broad range of innovative products can help protect, nurture, comfort and soothe babies and children of all ages.

Having always been extremely impressed with the quality and durability of Graco's products in the past, I had no doubt that the Aire3 Click Connect, a new addition to their collection of strollers, would be just as amazing.

Graco Aire3 stroller

Designed specifically for active moms, the Graco Aire3 Click Connect stroller makes it extremely easy to get out and about with little ones with this spring and summer (and beyond). Considering that it weighs in at less than 21 pounds and folds down quickly and easily with one hand, there is never any problem maneuvering, lifting, carrying or transporting this stroller for your next walk around the neighborhood or jog in the park.

Add in a multi-position recline seat, an extra-large storage basket, a parent's tray with zippered storage and two cup holders, and more and it is clear that this stroller was built for easy use by moms and dads on the go.

Graco Aire3 stroller assembly

Arriving nearly fully assembled right out of the box, right away I appreciated that Graco knows that parents are busy and don't have hours to spend constructing their products.

In a total of around one minute, I popped the wheels into place, clicked open the frame and attached the parent tray and child bar. When I stepped back to see this high quality stroller fully assembled and ready to go, I was already impressed!

Graco Aire3 stroller review

Any consumer knows that being able to purchase one product and have it last through multiple years (and life stages) makes sense, so I was immediately pleased with the way that the Aire3 Click Connect works for infants up to preschoolers.

For the youngest riders, this stroller accepts all Graco Click Connect infant car seats with a secure one-step attachment. Simply open the car seat attachment flap on the front, insert the seat until it latches and you've created your own travel system!

Graco Click Connect

Alternatively, for a safe and comfortable ride for your infant without a car seat, the seat to the Aire3 can turn into its own carriage resembling a pram.

After reclining the seat back to the lowest position, it only takes a minute of fastening and unfastening Velcro straps in the correct place and your enclosure is ready!

Graco Aire3 infant carriage

For children of all ages, the strap controlling the reclining seat makes it a snap to let them sit upright, lounge or lay back quickly and easily. I love simplicity, especially if it is going to make naptime on-the-go more happy and convenient for everyone!

At the same time, the extra-large canopy provides plenty of protection from the elements when you're out for a stroll... and even has an added zippered extension panel for when you really want to block out the rays!

Graco stroller extended canopy

During times when everyone is awake, the addition of the child cup holder is great for bringing a sippy cup along and, while there is no snack tray for eating on the go, that isn't a feature that is typically included on any of the jogging strollers I've seen in the past.

At the same time, parents aren't left out with the addition of two cup holders and a zippered storage compartment that is perfect for a phone, keys, money and more. For larger items, the deluxe storage basket provides plenty of room for stashing a diaper bag, sweatshirt and much more!

Graco Aire3 stroller storage

While I love all of the features that Graco included to ensure this stroller provides a comfortable and smooth ride for everyone (the three-wheel design and added suspension cause this stroller to glide so easily!), I appreciate that didn't mean that safety was ignored.

The foot-activated, dual-rear brakes make it simple to keep this stroller from rolling when you've parked it and the convertible 3- or 5-point harness is easily adjustable to grow with your child.

As a great bonus, the Aire3 includes a fast, one-hand fold and a unique free-standing design so that not only does it fold up quickly (one second!) and easily, but it stands upright on its own. I love the space-saving ability as well as not having to worry about another piece of baby/child gear that lays across the floor to be stepped over!

Graco Aire3 stroller fold

With an MSRP of $229.99 (exclusively from or in store), the Aire3 Click Connect stroller just about does it all. Instead of purchasing multiple strollers for different aspects of your life, this single piece of equipment can allow you to get outdoors to spend quality time with your child quickly and easily.

When it comes to a convenient, easy to maneuver, durable stroller that is made to last from birth throughout many years of childhood (this holds a child up to 50 lbs!), the Aire3 Click Connect has proven that Graco knows how to take safety and security and make it fast, accommodating and user-friendly. Whether you are out taking walks daily or are just looking for a way to make life easier with your baby, this is the stroller to do it!

Find out much more about this and all of Graco's high quality products by visiting and connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Other than the Aire3 Click Connect stroller I was provided by Graco in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion about this company and this product.

Apparoo App of the Week: Grandma's Kitchen

Did you miss the last few weeks of seeing what deals Apparoo, the app discovery service for busy moms, found? I sure did! Fortunately, they're back and they've brought education and fun with them!

Apparoo logo

App: Grandma's Kitchen

Grandma's Kitchen app

Description: Grandma's cooking up a storm in this fresh-baked app that stirs kindergarten and first grade skills into the batter. Kids can "bake" compound words, make and decorate a cake, tell time to see when the cake will be ready, and even help Grandma wash the dishes.

Reading, math, and pattern-recognition are seamlessly integrated into eight fun mini-games, and live-action instructive cooking tips add to the deliciousness. Customize the games to choose which skills to activate. So hide the knives and step aside – your eensie-weensie Emeril or junior Julia Child will be whipping up dinner – with a side of reading and math!

Grandma's Kitchen app on sale

Regular price: $1.99

Apparoo price today and tomorrow: 99¢!

Download it here on iTunes and let me know what you think of this adorably fun and unique app for kids!

This post is part of a sponsored weekly partnership with Apparoo, but all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus, the New WonderBottle! {Review}

Although I love the relaxed, homework-free, casualness of summer, there are definitely a few downfalls to the kids being out of school.

The constant bickering, the havoc wreaked on the house, the over-scheduled activity calendar and the appearance of dirty socks on every open surface all throughout the day, just to name a few. Needless to say, I'm always on the lookout for ways to save time (and my sanity), so that we can keep up with life (and possibly have enough time left over for me to shower).

Most recently, I've been introduced to one product that not only follows through on its intended use, but manages to have 100 other convenient, helpful, time-saving quick-fixes as well: the new and improved Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus.

Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus

Designed to eliminate wrinkles by coating fabric fibers with silicone that allows them to relax and slide apart instead of being frozen in a crease, Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus makes ironing a thing of the past.

What parent has time to get out the ironing board, wait for the iron to heat up and then iron an outfit in the morning? Instead, simply point and spray Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus, smooth and tug the garment, then allow fabric to dry for a crisp, fresh smelling and wrinkle-free look in minutes. 

Even better, after thorough research and testing, Downy has redesigned the spray trigger on their bottles so that it can perfectly deliver a finer mist of Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus. The new and improved sprayer delivers broader coverage to reduce drying time, meaning releasing wrinkles from fabric is as easy as squeezing a trigger.

Can it really be that simple? Now this I've got to see.

Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus review

Three steps to wrinkle-free clothes? Even I can handle that!
  1. Spray until lightly damp.
  2. Tug to loosen wrinkles and then smooth to flatten.
  3. Hang to dry.
Downy sent along a wrinkled t-shirt as the test subject for their Wrinkle Releaser Plus, but, in an effort to make sure that it was indeed wrinkled, I let Big Sister E go ahead and mash, roll, crunch and play with it for a few minutes.

The end result was thoroughly wrinkled, back and front.

Downy review

After spending a minute spraying and smoothing/tugging on both sides of the shirt, I hung it on a hanger and walked away to let it dry (Downy suggests 5-10 minutes), already noting that it looked noticeably less wrinkled.

Downy Wrinkle Reducer Plus works

Unsurprisingly, when I returned to check on my dry shirt, it looked much less wrinkled than how it had started!

Downy Wrinkle Releaser review

But, okay. Maybe this was just an extra smooth shirt? Or designed to not hold wrinkles (does fabric like that exist)? I needed to put Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus to work on my own clothing, which are most often a wrinkly mess due to me leaving them in random piles around my bedroom.

In the following weeks, I've incorporated this magic product into my daily routine and it has made a world of difference. Whereas I would have normally picked up a wrinkled sweater like this and set it aside for a time (in the distant future) when it could get ironed in order to be presentable...

wrinkled sweater

...I've instead given it a spray with Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus, tugged and smoothed it all over, placed it on a hanger while I take a shower, and it is ready to wear.

no-iron sweater

I've found myself excitedly pointing out my head-to-toe outfit (typically yoga pants and an athletic top) to my friends and telling them how it started the morning as a wrinkled pile! Thanks, Downy!

Downy Wrinkle Reducer spray

As well as my adoration of Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus as a replacement for the hassle of ironing (and for making me not look like a slob), I've also come to realize why Downy has deemed it "The WonderBottle." There really is an endless number of uses for this great spray!

While traveling, pull one of the small bottles out to remove wrinkles from clothes that have been scrunched in a suitcase; at home, quickly remove creases from sheets and pillowcases, drapery, tablecloths, cloth napkins, and many other household items; at work, pull this out to remove static cling or wrinkles that appeared during transit; and more!

As an added bonus, Downy Wrinkle Release Plus has a light, fresh scent that dissipates as it dries, so there is no worry of items ended up with an overpowering aroma or flowery smell. Instead, you get the double-win of a set of unwrinkled placemats that also are odor-free and fresh when your guests arrive!

red placemats
I was too excited about spraying these to remember to take a Before picture... but trust me that these were some very wrinkled placemats!

No matter what your next fashion emergency, I highly recommend reaching for a WonderBottle of Downy Wrinkle Release Plus to save the day. Why waste time with an iron when you can just spray the wrinkles away?

Keep an eye out for this innovative solution at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Kroger, Publix and many other grocery, drug, and mass retailers, where a 1-liter bottle retails for $6.99 and a 500 mL bottle for $4.19. It is also available in a travel-friendly 3-ounce size for $1.99 (hint: print a $1 off coupon before you go)!

For more information visit and connect with Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Other than the t-shirt and samples of Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus I was provided by Downy in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion of this product.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Get Your Car Ready for Summer Travel with WaterSavers {$50 Visa Gift Card Prize Pack Giveaway!}

 WaterSavers logo
Now that winter is finally over here in the Midwest (I just jinxed it, didn't I?), people everywhere are throwing open their windows, packing up their down jackets and turning their faces to the sky to enjoy the long-awaited sunshine.

However, while our homes and closets are often high on the list for a spring-inspired overhaul, it is just as important to remember that our vehicles also benefit from revitalization as the seasons change.

You put your vehicle through a lot this winter, so it's time to turn to WaterSavers, a consumer awareness campaign from the International Carwash Association (ICA), for all of their great tips to take care of any damage done by this year's harsh winter and keep your car in optimal shape for summer.

WaterSavers Car Washing

WaterSavers is committed to promoting the importance of using eco-friendly car washes that use less fresh water and return clean water back into the environment. Who doesn't want to support that?

No matter if you live in an area that had a mild winter or you experienced the deep freeze and snow like we did, here are WaterSavers' eco-friendly car tips to get you back on the road this spring:

Wash your car at a professional car wash. Winter months can be especially hard on your vehicle and washing your car is an easy first step to making your car feel new again.

Using a professional car wash is a great way to protect the environment. According to the International Carwash Association, WaterSavers professional car washes use an average of 40 gallons of water or less per car while recycling and filtering their water to prevent harmful chemicals from going into our rivers and streams. Professional car washes also remove salt from the undercarriage of your vehicle, which is a must after a long winter.

By comparison, the average home washing machine uses 41 gallons per cycle, and a garden hose uses 63 gallons of water in just five minutes. You can learn more, and find a WaterSavers wash at

eco-friendly car wash

Give the inside a deep clean. Winter's elements are hard on the outside of your car, but many people forget the abuse the vehicle's interior takes as well. Think of how many times you've crawled into your vehicle with dirty, snowy feet and you can begin to understand why cleaning the inside is necessary.

Apply some baking soda and a rubber sponge to your floor mats for an environmentally friendly and efficient clean. Then, wipe down interior surfaces with a microfiber cloth and vacuum the fabric and floor to remove dirt, sand, salt and dust.

cleaning inside of your car

Don't forget the maintenance check. Winter is finally over, but that doesn’t mean your vehicle can skip an overall maintenance check, especially if you want to save energy. Make sure to have your oil changed and give your vehicle an once-over. Check the fluid levels as well. The more efficiently your vehicle runs, the more gas you'll save.

How's your tire pressure and alignment? Low tire pressure will cause your vehicle to overexert itself and waste gas so make sure your tires are up to the task.

Your tires list their recommended pressure on the side (if you can't find it, you can find the recommended tire pressure in your owner's manual as well). It is also a good idea to have a certified technician conduct an alignment test since it could have been thrown off by driving over pot holes during the winter months.

checking tire pressure

For much more great information and tips on how to take care of your vehicle, conserve water, and more visit and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Plus, thanks to their generosity, one person will be even more prepared to be eco-friendly in and out of their car this month and beyond, because...

One lucky person will win a WaterSavers Prize Pack*!

WaterSavers giveaway
*Prize Pack includes (1) $50 Visa gift card, (1) Gap Stick, a versatile auto accessory to help access the hard-to-reach areas of a vehicle by using a strong magnetic hook, (1) Phone Caddy to keep your phone in view and easily accessible, and (1) Auto Trash Bag, a sturdy fabric bag with a bottom zippered compartment for extra garage bags or hand wipes.

I am working with the International Carwash Association to share these tips. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Keurig K-Cup Recipe: Citrus Lemonade Punch

I'm knocking on wood as I type this, but it seems that Mother Nature has finally, finally decided that warm weather should truly be here.

The sun has been shining, the flowers have been blooming, the green grass has been growing (too much actually, seeing as I'm the one who has to mow it), and all that is left is for me to kick back in a hammock with an ice cold glass of lemonade. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

We're big fans of lemonade around here, whether freshly mixed, from concentrate or right out of a carton — as long as it is sweet and cold, it's the perfect refreshment for a hot day!

So why not take things one step further and turn a glass of lemonade into a fruity, tasty surprise?

Citrus Lemonade Punch

Citrus Lemonade Punch

1 Green Mountain Naturals Lemonade K-cup
1 oz orange juice
2 oz lemon lime clear soda (e.g. Sprite, 7-Up, etc)
1 oz Malibu Spiced Rum (optional)
Frozen raspberries, strawberries or blueberries for garnish and added flavor

Brew one Green Mountain Naturals Lemonade Keurig K-cup on the lowest water setting into a shaker (or 16oz or larger cup) filled with ice.

Add approximately 1 oz of orange juice.

Add approximately 2 oz of lemon line soda.

Add approximately 1 oz of Malibu rum.

Thoroughly mix or shake all ingredients together and strain into a glass. Garnish with berries (which will keep the drink cold but not water it down) and a slice of orange.

Sip and enjoy!

As a Cross Country Cafe Ambassador, I have been provided with products in exchange for my continued work with their company and affiliate links are included in the above post. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Disney Fireworks Light Show Launcher by Uncle Milton {Review}

Fireworks Light Show logo
On our recent trip to Disneyland, my family rode our favorite rides, met many of our favorite characters and made memories to last a lifetime. And, now that we're back home, my kids love to reminisce about the trip and look through the large number of photos that help them remember all of the lights, sounds, smells, sights and complete joy.

But as much as they can recreate seeing Sleeping Beauty or talk about feeling dizzy after we rode the Astro Orbitor, talking about the lights, sounds and amazement that we experienced watching Disneyland's nighttime entertainment is always a hit.

After all, seeing fireworks burst high in the sky above Sleeping Beauty Castle and watching images of characters come to life projected on water during World of Color just can't be repeated at home (without a fleet of technicians and engineers coming to our house).

Or can it? Lately we've been able to turn any room in our home into our own thrilling nighttime spectacular thanks to the arrival of the Disney Fireworks Light Show Launcher from Uncle Milton.

Disney Fireworks Launcher

Giving kids the ability to create their own Disney Park fireworks show anytime, anywhere, the Disney Fireworks Light Show Launcher is a handheld light and sound experience that anyone can control.

Simply choose one of the eight different Disney images (featuring characters such as Mickey Mouse, Tinker Bell, Lightning McQueen, Cinderella and more), pump the fireworks launcher, aim and pull the trigger. The result is a magical bursting fireworks image that expands across the walls and ceiling with booming firework sound effects!

Can you get much cooler than this? The girls and I were definitely excited to see this unique toy in person!

Uncle Milton Disney Fireworks

Right out of the packaging and... well, there's not much to do besides install three AA batteries (not included) and the Disney Fireworks Light Show Launcher is ready for use.

Disney Fireworks Light Show Launcher

With only three main parts to this toy, I barely had to show my girls how to work the Disney Launcher before they had taken over and were oohing and aahing at their own colorful creations.

Disney Fireworks Light Show

This really couldn't get much easier and the results are just so fun for anyone who loves fireworks and Disney!

Disney fireworks toy

As there is zero possibility that I'm going to allow my kids to have fireworks in their bedrooms anytime soon, I love that Uncle Milton has found a way to provide the next best thing with the Disney Fireworks Light Show Launcher.

My girls have had a blast reaching for this time and again and love to see their favorite characters burst onto their ceiling when laying in bed at night!

Designed for ages 4 and up, the Disney Fireworks Light Show Launcher is available now directly from Uncle Milton or on Amazon, with an MSRP of $36.99.

If you are looking for an innovative, fun way to empower the kids in your life to light up the night and create their own fun firework moments all year long, be sure to check out the full line of creative Fireworks Light Show products that Uncle Milton has to offer. You can also connect with this imaginative and inspiring company on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

Other than the Disney Fireworks Light Show Launcher that I was provided by Uncle Milton in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion of this product.