Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Just a Note . . .

If you enter any of my giveaways, please make sure that you actually complete everything that you say you do.  I verify that my winners have shared, tweeted, etc. before awarding prizes.  Thanks so much for stopping by, reading, and entering.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Holiday Cards

While I haven't picked out my holiday cards yet, I did browse around a few sites for some ideas.  Here are a some of my favorites from Minted.com. 

Inspiration Board by Melissa, see more Minted.com
Inspiration Board board by Melissa. See more Minted.com
I'm sharing my board for a chance to win a minted.com gift card. You should browse your favorites, create a board, and share it for your chance to win too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What I Love Wednesday

Date Night with Doc

This past weekend, Doc and I went to The Fillmore in Detroit to see Brandi Carlile in concert.  The Fillmore was gorgeous!  It had such character and charm.  Brandi Carlile was AMAZING.  Not only is her voice wonderful to listen to, but she and her band looked like they were having so much fun that I couldn't help but smile. All of that was made even better because I was sitting by the love of my life.  I'm one lucky girl!

If you've not heard many of her songs, here's one that may not be my favorite, but definitely makes me smile. FYI - Her music is generally very family friendly, but she does use the word he** in this one. 

*Sometimes you'll see a Wordless Wednesday post, sometimes you'll see a What I Love Wednesday post, and something you won't see any post at all.  :o) This past weekend was just so amazing that I was inspired to start a new theme of posts that wouldn't require much detail.  They will be quick posts where you learn a little more about me, without requiring me to take much time away from my family.  Please feel free to comment below with what you love as well.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Let's Go Krogering - Giveaway

I am a Kroger Shopper.  Even though I pass two other grocery stores on the way, I almost always make my weekly shopping trip at Kroger.  Locally, our Kroger has good customer service and very competitive pricing on the items I buy most often.  There are a few items that are priced a little high, so I just pick those up other places when I happen to be out and about.  Overall though, I'm generally very pleased with my experiences at Kroger. 

This week, I couldn't be happier with some of my Kroger purchases.  Right now, through October 24, you can receive a coupon for $5 off your next purchase when you buy 5 participating General Mills products.  This was a perfect opportunity for me to stock up on some of the girls' favorite "special treat" cereals.  Many of the cereals were on sale at my Kroger for $2.99.  When combined with coupons I found online at coupons.com, they only ended up costing me about $2.00.  To make it even better, most of the boxes have a promotion for a free movie ticket (up to a $12 value), when you buy two.  Then, as icing on the cake, I got a coupon for $5 off my next purchase when I checked out.  Does it get any better than that?

Actually, it does get better than that for one of my lucky readers.  MyBlogSpark sent me a $25 Kroger gift card for sharing this information with you, and they have another one for one of you.  So enter now and start planning your next shopping trip!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here are a few details about the promotion:
  • Attention Kroger shoppers! Grab a cart (or two!) and head to your local Kroger Co. Family of Stores for the Kroger Buy 5 – Save $5 Event! From October 14th through October 24th purchase 5 participating General Mills products, and receive a coupon for $5 off your next shopping order (coupon printed at checkout)
  • Products must be purchased during one shopping visit. To view a list of participating products see your store for details. The $5 coupon offer off your next shopping trip offer expires 1 week from the print date, with the coupon prints ending October 24th. Any offers printed on October 24th will expire on October 31st.
  • Look for some of your favorite participating General Mills products like Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, Betty Crocker Cake and Brownie Mixes, Hamburger Helper, Totino’s Party Pizza, Yoplait and many more!
  • Promotion varies in different locations so please be sure to check your local Kroger Co. Family of Stores for specific deals and offers which include: Kroger, Ralphs, King Scoopers, City Market, Dillons, Smith’s, Fry’s, QFC, Baker’s, Owen’s, Jay C Food Stores, Hilander, Gerbes, Fred Meyer, Pay Less Supermarkets and Scott’s Food & Pharmacy 
*Disclosure - Information and Gift Card were provided by Kroger and MyBlogSpark.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

UNJUNK with UNREAL this Halloween (and ever after)

I have to be honest.  

I was a bit of a skeptic.  

When I was told that there was a candy that had been unjunked, I wasn't quite sure I believed it.  How could it be unjunked?  It couldn't possibly taste good, could it?  So, let me be the first to admit . . . 

I was WRONG!

A box of UNREAL candy arrived at my door just about a day before I had scheduled a party with some of my nearest and dearest friends.  Peanut and Pumpkin were my guinea pigs.  I gave each of them one peanut butter cup from a package just to get their reactions.  Peanut was the first to walk in.  She looked at the package a little haltingly and asked where the paper wrapper was.  It didn't take too much convincing for her (my sweets lover) to take a bite.  She then smiled, gave me a thumbs up, and asked if she could have the other one.  When Pumpkin walked in, she was a bit more hesitant.  She asked if Peanut liked it or not, took a little bite after smelling it, then gobbled it up.  She didn't even want to share when I asked if I could have a bite.  It was definitely a hit with both of my girls.  Next up, Doc.

Doc is my candy aficionado.  He's been eating candy all his life.  I'm pretty sure he thinks it is one of the most important food groups.   While he doesn't love UNREAL candy as much as the girls and I do, he definitely likes it.  I don't think it would take him long to make a permanent switch to UNREAL.  His actual comment was, "I could get used to eating this instead."  

Armed with their opinions and some great facts about UNREAL candy, I was ready for my party.

So, here are some of the facts about UNREAL candy:
    • Made with Real Cane Sugar
    • No Corn Syrup
    • More Cacao
    • No Artificial Preservatives
    • No Hydrogenated Oils/Fats
    • No Artificial Colors/Flavors
    • More Protein and Fiber
    • Made with Real Milk from Grass Fed Cows (without artificial hormones and antibiotics)
    I don't know about you, but almost all of my friends have different opinions.  From food to politics, I think I have at least one friend that believes in just about everything.  I have one friend that is ultra health conscious.  I have a couple of friends that are junk food junkies.  Most of my friends are somewhere in between.  They try to be good most of the time, but don't feel too guilty if they are bad on occasion.  Because of the dynamics of our friendships,  I hosted this party a little differently.  We had a tailgate before the Friday night football game where the candy was available to try.  In addition, everyone was given a goodie bag with a couple of the UNREAL candy bars and the information sheets.  I asked everyone to read the information, try the candy, and let me know what they thought when we got together in a couple of days for our regularly scheduled girls' night in. 

    Real Reviews from my friends about UNREAL:

     "Surprisingly delicious!" 
    "Everyone in my family found something they loved!" 
    "I didn't even share with the kids!"
    "My husband claims he doesn't even like chocolate, but the candy disappeared overnight!" 
    "Two-thumbs up!" 
    "Got any more?" 

    Of all of my friends, only two had anything negative to say.  One friend didn't like the peanut butter cups.  She wasn't sure what was "wrong" with them, but they just didn't taste right to her.  Another friend said, "Even though it is a better choice, it still isn't a good choice."  (This was my very healthy friend.)  Overall though, I'd have to say that UNREAL candy was a real hit with my friends!

    So, here's my only problem with UNREAL.  It was very difficult to find where I live.  I am generally a Kroger shopper.  I looked for several weeks at my local Kroger for UNREAL candy, but couldn't find it.  One week, I needed more mouthwash and happened upon UNREAL candy by the toothpaste.  Really?!  I contacted Kroger to ask them about it.  They are looking into it (but it is still by the toothpaste as of this afternoon).  So, if you want to give a company like this a chance, look for it in your local stores (even in the unlikely places).  If it isn't there, ask for it.  Even if you aren't interested in UNREAL candy, you may be interested in unjunking other food products.  If we can take the "junk" out of candy and make it taste good, then I think we can probably unjunk just about anything!

    Disclosure:  Products and compensation were provided by Global Influence.  All thoughts and opinions are my own (and those of my friends/family).

    Freschetta's The Strength of 1 Campaign

    It is October, which means that it is breast cancer awareness month.  Because of that, you will see pink just about everywhere you look.  From yogurt tops to cracker boxes and car ads, pink is the color of the month.  To be completely honest, the pinkness overwhelms me a bit.  I don't know which organizations are for profit and which are non-profit.  I have a hard time figuring out who is genuinely concerned with awareness, and who is trying to take advantage of people and their generosity.  So, I try to stick with supporting companies that I'm familiar with.   So, when I saw that Freschetta was sponsoring Bright Pink, I was interested to learn more.

    Now through the end of October, 2012, the makers of Freschetta® pizza are helping to promote breast cancer awareness through their new The Strength of 1™ campaign, which includes sponsoring Bright Pink, the only national non-profit organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women, while providing support to high-risk individuals. The mission of this The Strength of 1™ initiative is to inspire everyone to realize they can make a difference in some way in the fight against breast cancer.

    You can participate in the Freschetta and Bright Pink The Strength of 1 campaign.  All you have to do is  share a story about how someone has made a difference; take The Strength of 1™ pledge on Facebook; or help spread the word on Twitter.

    Disclosure:  I occasionally receive compensation in the form of products for posts. However, the opinions I share are solely my own.  Information was given to me by Freschetta through sheblogs.org.