Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Earth Day Giveaway Event Coming Up!

There is no better time to be eco-friendly than now! Join me in the Earth Day Event hosted by ShePromotes and Way2Goodlife and sponsored by Eco-Foil from April 12, 12:01 EST to  April 22 11:59 PM EST. Click here for more info.

WINNING Wednesday: Nature's Hand Granola & Growum's Garden

Congratulation to the following winners!

Growums Garden
#275 Maggie

Nature's Hand Granola
#4 Marnley

Winner have 48 hours to respond with full name, address & phone number in order to receive their prizes. Failure to respond in this time frame will result in another winner being picked. Winners are emailed at the email address they provide to the Rafflecopter form.

Wordless Wednesday #4

GIVEAWAY & Review: Celtic Woman Signed CD and Signed DVD

I had the opportunity to review the Celtic Woman Believe CD and the Celtic Woman: Believe Live DVD. My daughter loved watching the DVD and seeing these beautiful woman in their beautiful gowns singing these beautiful songs (ok, so maybe beautiful is my word, I believe she said "pretty".) Many of the songs on the DVD and CD are ones that most people would be familiar with like "Ave Maria", "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "You'll Never Walk Alone". And there were also many that were unfamiliar to me. I especially liked listening to "A Tribute to Broadway", which brought up memories of when my husband and I saw Les Miserables (it's been so many years that I almost forgot.) "A Tribute to Broadway" is one of four extra songs that appear in the DVD and not on the CD. I do have to admit that this was my first exposure to Celtic Woman and I did enjoy listening to it.

I would love for you to preview the song Teir Abhaile Riu and tell me what you think! A preview of the DVD Believe Live is available here. Are you already a Celtic Woman fan or do you think you might become one? Or maybe you know someone who already is a Celtic Woman fan! Then be sure to enter the giveaway below. I have 2 prizes for 2 winner. One winner will receive a signed copy of the CD and another winner will receive a signed copy of the DVD. 

Want to see Celtic Woman Live? All of their Tour Dates are listed here! Their Believe North American Tour kicked off at the beginning of this month in Nashville and continues through the end of April in Las Vegas. They will be in concert in St. Paul, MN at the Xcel Energy Center on April 1st & tickets are already on sale!

Readers in both the US and Canada are eligible to enter.

I was gifted with a promotional copy of the CD and DVD in order to preview it and write my review. I did not receive monetary compensation. All views, opinions expressed and photos used are my own.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

GIVEAWAY and Book Review: The Guardian Duke

The Guardian Duke is a newly released book that was published on February 1, 2012. It is the first in a series of three books that will be coming out in the coming months.

This was my first experience reading a book that was labeled a Christian novel. I thought the content and plot sounded interesting enough that I would see what exactly made it a Christian novel and what I thought about it.

The book referenced God, having faith in God and his plan and that he will provide for us on many occasions, but other than that it keep Christianity beliefs contained to those basic statements. I realized that I never really a fiction book that referenced God in any way.

I was taken in by the plot and interested in the characters. When I finished the book I was really hoping I had the second and third in my hand to start reading (which is what I did with two recent trilogies I have read that were made in to a movie series as well.) I hope the second book (and third) are written quickly so that I can continue reading about what happens to the Duke and Lady Alexandria.

About the Book: The Guardian Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel is award-winning novelist Jamie Carie’s most exciting story yet, a uniquely arranged Regency-era romantic adventure where hero and heroine know each other through written letters but have yet to meet. Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, is ordered by the King to take guardianship over Lady Alexandria Featherstone whose parents are presumed dead after failing to return from a high profile treasure hunt. But Alexandria ignores this royal reassignment, believing her parents are still alive and duly following clues that may lead to their whereabouts. Gabriel, pressured by what are actually the King’s ulterior motives, pursues her across windswept England and the rolling green hills of Ireland but is always one step behind.

 To find out more about The Guardian Duke, please check out: FacebookLive Action Book TrailerOne Sheet and USA Today Review.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Recycle an Old Cell Phone & Get Free Admission to the MN Zoo

Have an old cell phone laying around that you don't use anymore? We do! So, I am pretty excited that the MN Zoo is offering FREE ADMISSION  if you donate a used cell phone.

I was very excited when I saw a friend post about this promotion because after watching "Dolphin Tale" this weekend and seeing how excited my son was about watching the Dolphin jump in the air I told my husband we should take him to the MN Zoo to see them. My son qualifies for free admission already because he is 2, but my admission would be $18. So, now it will be free and I just need to pay $5 parking fee.

Free Admission is March 1-16 only.

If you would like to know more about Recycle for Rainforests, click here.

Make-It Monday: Matching Game & Other ECFE Activities

 I wish I could take credit for these ideas, but the only idea of mine was to "laminate" the memory cards. All of these crafty activities my son did at our Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) class. I am not sure if any other states have ECFE as part of their public education systems, but Minnestoa does. Basically they are like a Mommy & Me class with a parent education component that are available to all families regardless of income (financial assistance is provided to those that need it in order to make these classes available to them.) It really is a great program, but this isn't a post to tell you all about ECFE.

 The top project was making a memory game to take home to play. They provided us with the rectangles & colored circles already cut out and kids just needed to glue the circles on and make matching pairs.

Once we were home I decided to "laminate" them using clear contact paper (a roll - which will last quite a long time - was just under $6 at Target). I did this so that the cards would become tear-proof and water-proof and we will be able to play them more than once. The other project we were laminating is something I will tell you about on Friday!

 The two painting projects were done using different objects as tools to paint with. The top picture might be hard to figure out what they are prints off, so I will tell you. They are prints of  re-purposed nylon stockings filled with different objects (un-popped corn, rice, lentils, & beans). The kids would dip the filled nylon stocking in some paint and then plop it on the paper and see what kind of print it would make.

The picture on the left was made my making prints from several different items including: a spool a wine cork, a toilet paper tube, a plastic cap and a small box (part of a toy).
And finally, we have a fun project where kids took eye droppers of water dyed with food coloring and dropped it on paper towels cut in to shapes (we have also done this on coffee filters - my daughter and I have also first cut out snowflakes from the coffee filters and then make colorful snowflakes.)

One of the fun things about this activity is you can teach kids about mixing colors with it. When my son did this one only yellow, blue & red water was available.

GIVEAWAY and Review: Mighty Macs

I was recently give the opportunity to review the movie The Mighty Macs with my family and I also have ONE COPY TO GIVEAWAY! The movie was just released to DVD on February 21st, less than a week ago!

We watched this as a family and it is a perfect family movie. There is no questionable content of any kind and it made me feel good about watching it with my young children. My daughter has just become interested in watching family movies with people (rather than animated characters) in them and this was a great choice. She said she liked it and is interested in watching it again and again.

Don't forget to Like Might Macs on Facebook and Follow Might Macs on Twitter!

About the Movie:

It's 1971. Cathy Rush is a woman ahead of her time ... and she's about to embark on an adventure for the ages. A new era is dawning in the country and in collegiate athletics, where a national champion will be crowned for the first time in women's basketball.
In the lead up to this historical season, major universities are preparing their game plans to win that first title. Meanwhile a tiny all-women's Catholic college in Philadelphia has a more modest goal: find a coach before the season begins. Providentially, Cathy Rush is about to find Immaculata College.
Recently married, Cathy is dealing with the aftermath of a truncated playing career. While cultural norms would have her staying at home, she's willing to do the hard work necessary to help her new team reach their goals—or perhaps she's just trying to achieve her unfulfilled dreams through them.
From the beginning, her challenges are as imposing as the big-school teams Immaculata will face on the court. Cathy learns there is no gymnasium on campus, she receives little support from the school's Mother Superior, and the school is in dire financial straits. To top it off, she may not even have enough players to field a team!
While it appears the Macs don't have a prayer, all hope is not lost. With the help of Sister Sunday—a spunky assistant coach—and the support of a booster club of elderly nuns, Coach Rush creates a new game plan that just might bring the team—and the school—together.
Will this pioneer buck cultural norms and spur her rag-tag team to unexpected heights? Or will her hard-driving ways create a wedge between the coach and everyone around her? One thing's for certain: there's never been anyone like Cathy Rush at Immaculata!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Free Sample of eBoost Natural Energy Booster

FREE SAMPLE OF eBoost Natural Energy Booster from their website.

I received a few of these packets in my February Cravebox, but have not had a chance to try them yet. I plan to try one tomorrow before the gym and can let you know what I think.

They give you the option of 4 different samples to pick from to try. I requested the Acai Pomegranate.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Review: Woolite & $2 COUPON

I was given a the chance to review a bottle of Woolite Complete from Smiley360. I had never tried Woolite before and to be honest I always thought Woolite was a detergent for delicates (and I don't like having detergents for one type of clothing, I want it to be multi-purpose.) Wherever I got that impression it stuck with me until I received this bottle and could read the instructions and guess what I learned WOOLITE COMPLETE IS MULTI-PURPOSE.

There is a scent and it is very light in the bottle, which meant it was even lighter once the clothes were washed and dried. I do not like a strong scent on my clothes from detergent, so this has worked well. It cleaned just as well as my normal detergent.

Click here if you would like a $2 OFF COUPON for Woolite. When Woolite® reaches 50,000 $2 OFF coupon downloads on Facebook, you will be entered into a weekly drawing for a chance to win a $100 online gift card! Click here for full sweepstakes details and rules.

Important Links
  • Click here to check out Woolite® on YouTube
  • Click here to “Like” Woolite® on Facebook
  • Click here to purchase Woolite® COMPLETE at
  • Click here for more information about Woolite® COMPLETE

If you would the opportunity to sample free products from Smiley360, please click here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Easy to Make Candy Pops

Candy pops are simple to make. You just need a mold, sticks, and candy melts

Follow instructions on the candy melts to make them in the microwave. It took me about 1.5 minutes at 50% power to melt enough candy melts to make 4 pops.

These are simple enough that you can get the kids involved in  placing in the sticks, and even scooping in the melted candy (if you don't make the mixture too hot.)

Let the pops cool (you can pop them in the freezer or fridge to make them harden faster), but they really don't take all that long to harden if left on the counter. Don't worry about going over the edges. That stuff that goes over will be easily broken off when you pop them out.

And there you have your own semi-homemade candy pops.  What is great about making your own is that you can  buy molds in so many different things. You can buy them in the pop form, like I did for these or just in a regular candy form. You can buy flavors to add to the melts, you can buy candy melts in a variety of colors or in just plain chocolate or white chocolate. You can customize these to virtually any occasion.

These ones I made to includes the in fabric valentine envelopes I made for my kids with the valentine puzzle card.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Recipe: Strawberry Peach Muffins

Strawberry Peach Muffins

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup diced peaches (be sure to drain if you use canned)
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line or grease muffin tins totaling to 24 muffins.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk and 1/2 cup of melted butter until well blended. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until just blended. Fold in the strawberries and peaches. Fill muffin cups with batter.
Bake for 16 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Brush muffins with 2T melted butter, and sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture. Cool in the pan over a wire rack.            

Keep Your Bed Warm!

Winter seems to have finally arrived in MN! I hope you had not given up on winter and put away all those warm weather clothes and woolies.

To learn how to make a Bed Warmer (or a Hot/Cold Pad), then head on over to check out my latest post on Northern Cheapskate!

These are simple to make with minimal sewing skills needed. We have a hot pad like this that my mom made me years ago that we have been using for years. She included lavender petals in one she made to give it a relaxing scent.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Horizon Organic Dairy Products (3 free coupons)

What could be better than bringing home than the bacon than bringing home free milk (or cheese, sour cream, eggs, half & half, whipping cream, yogurt, or cream cheese) made by Horizon Organic.

Remember how I told you about how you enter to win a trip to Jamaica from Horizon Organic. There is still time! You can still enter to win a trip to Jamaica!

Now you have a chance to also win a prize pack from Horizon Organic that includes 3 FREE PRODUCT COUPONS (up to $4.99), a pen, a booklet, and a reusable bag (with a coin pouch attached inside.) The above prize pack is the one I was gifted with in order to try their products and shows my readers what they can win. No other compensation was received. All thoughts, opinions and pictures in this post are mine.

If you don't want to wait to win your free coupons, you can sign up on their website to get a 55-cent off coupon.

Unfortunately, dairy regulations in CO, LA, ME, MO and ND prevent us from distributing coupons in these states, so readers in those states are not eligible.

Please go check out my other giveaways and enter some others too!

Wordless Wednesday #3

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

WINNING Wednesday: Books By You, Smarty Had a Party, & Saline Soothers

All winner have been notified by the emails they provided upon entry. Winner will have 48 hours to reply with full name, address & phone # in order to claim their prize. Failure to reply within a timely manner will result in a new winner being picked.

Books By You Book:
1) #62 Sunnie (Leave a Blog Post Comment)

Smarty Had a Party Cloth Napkins:
1) #237 Amy (Leave a Blog Post Comment)

Saline Soothers Full Size Pack:
1) #9 Anna (Easy Entry)
2) #16 Allison (Did You Take the Survey?)

If you are local to me and would like some of these pictures to color, please let me know. If you send in this picture with 3 Empty Boogie Wipes packages, they will send you you your own Boogie Buddy. The expiration says it has passed, but they are still honoring them because supplies have lasted past expiration date. If you are not local to me, please email me at and I will email you a scanned in copy of this picture.

GIVEAWAY and Review: Growums Garden

My kids and I love to garden. It is such a great way to teach kids about growing their own food, plant life cycles, and replenishing our earth and bodies. We were given the opportunity to review a Growums Herb Garden, which is one of 6 garden varieties they offer. Our garden includes basil, oregano, parsley, and cilantro. My daughter was very excited about the cilantro because she is a cilantro fanatic. She eats it straight from the garden.

 The other gardens Growums offers are: pizza garden, salad garden, taco garden, ratatouille garden and stir-fry garden. I am hungry just typing out all the different types of gardens. Individuals can purchase Growums from their website.

 These kits are just the right size and all you need to supply is a flat container to put the pellets in (they suggest a pie tin - way to reuse them!) and water.

My 5 year old daughter did this kit from start to finish with minimal assistance (mainly I just told her when they pellets were big enough). (Yes, she is wearing a hat she made at the recent 100th day of school - she if often wearing costumes when she is at home. Oh to be a kid again!)

1st step - Arrange the 8 pellets in  flat container.

2nd step - Pour warm water over the pellets to re-hydrate them and allow them to expand.

3rd step - Insert 3 seeds in each hydrated pellet and push in slightly. Insert plant markers in the appropriate pellet.

Each packet of seeds says it contains a minimum of 20 seeds, which allows for you to plant more later on.

And that's it! Sit back and watch them begin to grow and then transplant when ready.

We are growing an herb garden with cilantro, oregano, parsley and basil.

I think it would be fun to try any of the garden and think they would make wonderful gifts to give to kids. I just love the idea of a theme garden so that you are planting everything you need (for a salad, tacos, stir-fry, ratatouille or pizza.)

They also offer a fundraising opportunity for schools and organizations. You can read more information about this fundraising opportunity on this brochure. The fundraiser is tied to a new Growums Goes To The Fair Blue Ribbon Program hosted by state and county fairs around the country. As students across America become recognized for growing their own food, they will all become true BLUE RIBBON WINNERS!

Reminder - Lowe's Build & Grow (Car)

 Just a reminder to SIGN UP to have your (grand)children make a Rumblin' Race Car on Saturday, February 25th!

Our family loves going to these Build & Grow Clinics.

Monday, February 20, 2012

GIVEAWAY and Review: Nature's Hand Granola

I am very excited to tell you about the granola our family has been eating from Nature's Hand. I was given the opportunity to try two different flavors that they sent to me and was also gifted with a storage bowl and a coupon to go buy my own bag. We tried the Maple Pecan and the Original Vanilla Almond. I am so excited to use my coupon to try one of the other (seven total) varieties: Cranberry Delight, French Vanilla Almond, Raisin Hazelnut, Cinnamon Apple, and Wild Blueberry.

You can also find Nature's Hand on Facebook and Twitter.

One winner will have the opportunity to pick out TWO flavors of granola that will be sent to them from Nature's Hand.

This granola is so good. It have been eating it in a variety of forms all week. The picture to the right is eating it with milk and some berries and the picture below is eating it paired with yogurt and berries. I have even just grabbed a handful of dry granola to eat as a snack. It is good no matter which way I ate it. So, I can highly recommend this granola to you.

Create a Cardboard Play Mailbox

With three pieces of cardboard containers, some tissue paper, glue & paint, you can make this mail box meant for indoor play. All you need is some craft foam and a brad fastener to mail the flag for it and some more craft foam to make some letters to play with.

My son helped me make this and loves to play with it. 
 All I did to make these was cut pieces of craft foam in half and write names & addresses on them. Other than this top one, I used the names of our friends who were over for our play date, so it would be fun for them to read their name on the letters.

You can also check out the fabric valentine envelopes I made for the kids too.
 The top of the mailbox is created by using a juice box with the top cut in three sides and the spout cut off. I think put packing tape over the enter lid and pulled the tape taut so that there was smooth sides to cover.
 Here is all the supplies I used to create the structure of the mailbox.
 I filled the base (rectangular box) half full with rocks from our landscaping. This will enable to to stay still and not be knocked over when kids are playing with it.
 I then traced around the mailing tube used as the pole so that I could cut a hole in the top of the box and insert the tube.
 By inserting the tube in to the box I helped created a sturdier base. I then placed tape around the outside of the pole on to the base.
 The next step was to a glue/water mixture and cut strips of tissue paper.
 We did paper mache over the entire project. I would have not been able to paint successfully over the juice container or the tape, so a layer of paper was needed so that the paint could "stick" to something. Let this dry completely before painting.
My son helped with the painting and he thought that each of the three pieces needed each of the three colors.

I ended up using acrylic paints on this because tempura paints would not cover thick enough and printing on the packaging would show through. This could be remedied by doing another layer or two of paper mache if you wanted to use tempura paints, or doing 2 coats of acrylic paint worked just fine too.

To make the flag, all I did was cut out a flag from crafting foam and then used the end of a scissors to poke a hole in the mail box and flag, then attached it with a brad fastener.

There will be lot so much imaginative fun to be had!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: Ghirardelli Squares (Milk & Truffle)

The timing on this review was perfect. In my mailbox on Valentine's Day was a full-size sample of Ghirardelli Squares in the Milk & Truffle variety.

The other varieties of Ghirardelli squares include: Milk Caramel, Dark, Mint, Raspberry, Twilight Delight and Luxe Milk Squares. I have also had them in Peanut Butter, but I wonder if that was a seasonal item or if maybe they rotate flavors a bit.

These were so tasty. I (not-so) willing shared them with my family. My son would take nibbles and savor each morsel. I wish I could do that. I think I ate three squares before he had even finished half of his. I guess that means there was more for me! I thought the smooth truffle layer in the middle was just heavenly.

I was given the chance to review and sample this product from I was not compensated for this post. All views and opinions expressed are my own. All photos are my own.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My New Fun Crafty Tool - Straw Weaving

It's fun to get a new crafty toy to make stuff with. This fun little gadget is the Knifty Knitter Straw Loom. You can use up to 7 straws to weave around to make head bands, belts & scarves. In this picture, I am only using 3 straws to make the pink headband pictured below.

This is a scarf that I made for my son to match his hat that I knit him for Christmas. I used all seven straws on this project. It took me approximately 2 hours to make this scarf. Since he is a toddler and doesn't need a really long scarf & I used wool-ease yarn (which is a thicker yarn), so it was a quick project.

These are headbands I made for my daughter and myself. The blue one is a very fine yarn with sequins in it, so it took me longer than I had anticipated, plus it was my first project with the weaving straws. It took about 1.5 hours to make it on 4 straws. The pink headband was made with 3 straws and I used some classic Red Heart 4-ply yarn to make it. I make that one during my daughter's dance class (1 hour, with taking breaks to help my daughter change her tap/ballet shoes & periodically watch her practice.) Then I just hand stitched some elastic on the bottom of hers since she would not be able to tie it on her own as of yet, and hand stitched on some felt pieces for leaves and buttons to look like flowers.

I am in the process of making a scarf for my daughter that matches the hat I made her too.

This post does contain an affiliate link.