Saturday, September 29, 2012

Goat Milk Stuff $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway - ends 10/13

I'm please to participate in another multi-blogger event for a fantastic and eco-friendly prize. Read on below for the review and enter for a chance to win a gift certificate of your own!

Kara is a loyal body wash user. You will almost never catch her using bar soap. You can imagine her skepticism when she found out she would get to try out some goat milk soap from Goat Milk Stuff. However, she is always excited to try a new product. It was no different with this product, despite the hesitation.

Kara received vanilla, clean cotton, Luv Spell, oatmeal milk & honey, pink sugary, baby powder, purity, and patchouli. Goat Milk Stuff has many other scents as well. It was fun choosing which ones to try. Goat Milk Stuff is primarily run out of a rural southern Indiana home, just a few short hours from where Kara currently resides. It is a family business with a mom, dad, and eight kids each contributing in their own ways.

Not only does Goat Milk Stuff carry soap, they also have insect repellant, lip balms, lotion sticks, and more. The products have many benefits, which Kara discovered were completely accurate after trying out the soap. The unprocessed goat milk they use contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids, which aid in removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Goat milk also contains vitamins, minerals, and cream. You won't find the chemicals that are in other soaps. The soap is great for those with excema and psoriasis. Be sure to read Kara's full review of Goat Milk Stuff products on her blog, Kara's Deals and Steals. Sign up for the Goat Milk Stuff newsletter and you will receive a 20% off coupon code to try their stuff yourself. Goat Milk Stuff has been kind enough to provide a $25 gift certificate to give away to one lucky winner. The giveaway will run from 9/29-10/13 and is open to U.S. residents. Please enter on the Rafflecopter below. a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: Kara's Deals and Steals received free products through Sublime Media Connection for review. This giveaway was brought to you by the Sublime Media Connection. The participating bloggers cannot be held responsible for the delivery of this item, as that is the responsibility of the sponsor. If you have any questions regarding the delivery of the prize please email

Friday, September 28, 2012

Aveeno Baby Care Giveaway - ends 10/13

Do you have sensitive skin or eczema?  Aveeno is definitely a company that understands sensitive skin and they have a great line of products for children and adults alike. I'm excited to join in a multi-blogger event to offer TEN of you a chance to win this awesome prize! The only question is.....will you keep it or give it to someone as a gift?

Whether you're an expectant mom planning a skin care regimen, a new mom seeking information on relieving the irritation and discomfort of diaper rash or eczema, or an experienced mom interested in toddler skin care, AVEENO Baby has a skin care and hair care solution!

AVEENO Baby Daily Moisture Lotion is a non-greasy formula that contains natural colloidal oatmeal and rich emollients to soothe, heal and protect your baby’s delicate, dry skin. It is formulated to moisturize for a full 24 hours and can be used every day to help keep your baby’s skin soft, smooth and healthy.
  • Tear-Free: AVEENOâ BabyÔ Wash & Shampoo provides gentle, tear-free cleansing for hair and body.
  • Gentle to eyes and skin: AVEENOâ BabyÔ Wash & Shampoo is soap-free, tear-free and cleans without drying or irritating.
  • Lightly fragranced: AVEENOâ BabyÔ Wash & Shampoo provides a light, soft and clean fragrance.
  • Two-in-one: AVEENOâ BabyÔ Wash & Shampoo allows for maximum convenience since both hair and body can be washed with one easy-to-use product.
  • Doctor recommended: BabyÔ Wash & Shampoo is formulated with natural oatmeal -- known for it’s soothing properties. It is part of the AVEENOâ Brand, recommended by doctors for more than 50 years.
Where to buy: Nationwide – Food, Drug and Mass Merchandisers

Victorio VKP1010 Apple/Potato Peeler, Slicer, and Corer

I have to confess.....I'm a lover of kitchen gadgets!  I am not one of those people who buy gadgets just because they're cool, I buy them if I really believe the product will make my life easier and is affordable (a cost-benefit analysis, if you will).  I recently bought this Victorio VKP1010 apple peeler from Amazon because I've heard of a bunch of people talking about them and the reviews are great.  For $20, I decided it was worth a try.  Boy was I happy I did....this is easily one of the best things I've purchased for my kitchen.
This was so super easy to set up and to use.  If you read the directions first (and I notice most who fussed about the product obviously didn't do this step) there is only a couple of minutes worth of setup and familiarization with the device.  I was peeling apples in less than 5 minutes after opening the box.  I peeled an apple start to finish in under 6 seconds and did it without a single jam or problem.  I couldn't believe how easy it was and how much less apple waste it created than when I peeled them by hand with a paring knife.  I didn't use the corer or slicer part of the machine yet because I plan on coring and cutting the apples into wedges with my other favorite product....the apple wedger from Pampered Chef (although others bought from Walmart work fine too).
My son thought the contraption looked stupid, my daughter thought it looked old-timey and hubby just thought I was weird for getting this and that it couldn't possibly work or be worth $20.  Well I don't care if it looks dumb or old-timey, but hubby's getting a challenge this weekend.  I told him he's peeling 15 apples by hand and then can use this weird contraption for the next 15 and let him make up his own mind.  
At this point, I'm just mad at myself for not knowing about this thing last year when I was canning applesauce, apple butter, and apple slices!!  What about you have any kitchen gadgets that you can't live without?  Please share!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Step2 LifeStyle Legacy Kitchen Giveaway Event 10/8-10/30

I am participating in the FREE LifeStyle Legacy Kitchen giveaway event hosted by Real Mom Reviews. One super lucky reader will win a Step2 LifeStyle Legacy Kitchen  
Cost: Free with announcement post or 3.00 with out.  
Giveaway Open to: US only.  
The event dates: October 8th-October 30th.
Free Link Option: Facebook  
Optional Paid Link Options: $2.00 for Twitter or Pinterest To sign up for this event click here.

Yankee Candle Giveaway - ends 10/19

Yay!!! I'm participating in yet another awesome multi-blogger giveaway.  I love scented candles, and Yankee candles are by far the best.  Come join the fun and good luck!!

Welcome to the Yankee Candle Fall Festival Giveaway! Real Mom Reviews has teamed with an awesome group of bloggers to bring one super lucky reader three large Yankee Candle Jars in fall scents. The traditional design of Yankee Canndle signature jar candles reflect a warm, relaxed sense of style that's always at home. Convenient and easy to use, the large Housewarmer Jar Candles provides 110 to 150 hours of true fragrance enjoyment! The seasonal candles one reader will win help celebrate the best of fall with fragrances inspired by the beauty of nature and the bounty of harvest. Apple Cider is a welcoming aroma of hot cider spiced with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg! Spiced Pumpkin will quickly fill your home with the smell of fresh pumpkins baked in simmering spices of clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and sweetened with brown sugar. Autumn Leaves provides a vibrant scent medley of birch and maple leaves with pomegranate, juniper berry, and orange blossom that will leave your whole house smelling like fall! One lucky reader will win them all! Giveaway is open to US and Canada. Entering is simple, simply read over the giveaway rules and then enter using the Rafflecopter form below!

Tasty Thursday 9/27/12

As an update on last week's post, the venison tenderloin wrapped in bacon.....I made them Sunday night and everyone loved them.  They also reheat incredibly well.  I did make a few adjustments though...

* I marinated in apple juice with a couple packets of spiced cider drink mix included because I couldn't find apple cider at my store.
* I cut each strip of bacon in half and then wrapped.
* I skewered the chunks (5-6 to a skewer) and grilled that was much easier to control and I didn't have to use a ton of toothpicks.
* I only used 1 bottle of bbq sauce because 2 seemed like it was going to be too much.

Here's the final outcome!!

This is my next new recipe to make......

Crock-Pot Baked Apples  
Recipe and photo courtesy of

Baked ApplesIngredients
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons trans-fat free margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 Gala or Macintosh apples, cored
1/2 cup apple juice or apple cider

Preheat a large crock-pot on high heat and preset it for 3 hours. In a large bowl, mix brown sugar, walnuts, margarine, and cinnamon. Fill the apples with the filling and place them in the crock-pot. Pour in the apple juice or cider. Cover and cook 2 1/2 to 3 hours on high heat until the apples are soft and begin to collapse.

Get the original recipe here:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pepsi Twitter Followers - Get $1.29 Amazon MP3 Credit

It's back again.......just follow @Pepsi on twitter, and send a tweet to them with what song your listening to now along with the hashtag #PepsiMusicNow and they'll direct message you a credit for $1.29 MP3 on Amazon!  You can do this once per week and it starts over each Tuesday.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Free Blogger Opp: Sign up now for an upcoming $50+ Paypal giveaway!

All About the Mommies is celebrating their 10,000 Facebook fans and new website launch! To show appreciation to all of our great fans, we're going to have a $50 Paypal Cash Giveaway! Or maybe more?!?! Blogger sign ups are starting now! Here are the details:
  • Bloggers get one free link (Facebook or Twitter) for posting an announcement post about the sign ups or you may pay $5 if you do not wish to publish. Here is a link to a pre-written announcement post for you to use:
  • You may purchase additional links for $2 each. Links include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reclip.It, RSS/Email, and Picket Fence.
  • Co-host spots are available. The co-host fee is $20. You get a backlink on all participating bloggers websites plus 2 additional free links on the RC ~ so 3 free links total!
  • Page host spots are also available. The page host spot fee is $5. You will host a page (not a blog post) with a list of the follows. You will get the additional page views associated with this giveaway. This option will be deleted from the sign up form when we have enough people hosting.
  • Blogger sign up dates: 9/20-10/17.
  • Giveaway dates are 10/22-11/12.
  • Open WW, 18+, void where prohibited.
  • The prize: minimum of $50 paypal cash. Depending on how many paying bloggers sign up, we will increase the prize amount or add additional prizes for multiple winners.
  • Blogger incentive: The blogger that drives the most entrants to the giveaway will get $20 Paypal cash! (There will be an entry on the RC to write what blog you are entering from.)
Ready to sign up? Click here!

Guest post: Being Environmentally Friendly & Frugal- Recipes Included

I posted a short while ago about being environmentally friendly AND frugal when it comes to cleaners, eir fresheners, etc in the home.  A wonderful reader of mine offered to share some of her wisdom, findings, and recipes to us so we can make a greener home and save money at the same time.  Well, here it is.....without further ado, here's a guest post from Heather at Sneaky Green:

A question was posed the other day asking if it is possible to be both environmentally friendly and frugal. I am going show you guys that it is not only possible to go green and be frugal, but it's easy, and *gasp* fun! There are many good organic cleaning products on the market, but they are not the most cost conscious options. So let's get down to the nitty gritty.

You Already Own Eco-friendly Cleaning Supplies!

That's right. You have the safest and best cleaning supply already hidden in your pantry. It only costs a few dollars for a copious amount, has literally hundreds of uses, is completely safe for use by adults and children, and it is the biggest weapon in my green cleaning supplies arsenal. It's a true multi-tasker that, bar none, gives you the best bang for your buck. Without further ado, I would like to introduce you to.... VINEGAR! Plain ole distilled vinegar is the #1 supply that I couldn't live without. I use it for all purpose-cleaning, window cleaning, as a dishwasher rinse aid, fabric softener, and as a base for tons of other cleaning recipes. But probably the best part of it is that you don't have to go on a wild goose chase to find it... you already own it!

My second favorite household product is baking soda. I bought a gigantic bag (see picture) last summer, and I am still using that same bag, in spite of the many times I have employed it's uses. From a deodorizing carpet sprinkle, to backing up vinegar in my window cleaner, to a 100 % safe drain cleaner, baking soda reaches from the cooking world, into the cleaning realm, and straight through to health and beauty products. Every time I Google baking soda I am shocked to find more and more uses that I was unaware of. Another really great buy to stock your cleaning supplies closet.

The Rest of the Cast

The remainder of the ingredients I use in making my green cleaning supplies might be lesser known, but all are cost effective, easy to find, and non-toxic. If there is anything you are having trouble locating comment and I will be sure to respond!

  • Borax (NOT boric acid) - Found on the laundry aisle in every Wal-Mart, Target, and even grocery stores
  • Washing Soda - Also found in the laundry aisle, usually right alongside Borax.
  • Castille Soap - At my local Wal-Mart the castille soap is Dr. Bronner's brand. Don't baulk at the price, the liquid is very concentrated and for most jobs you only need a few drops. The bar soaps are more affordable, but I prefer the liquid because it is so versatile.
  • Fels Naptha Soap - Another laundry aisle product, this is used in my laundry detergent.
  • Citrus - Sometimes I use the juice, sometimes I need the oils, and for dishwasher detergent you need citric acid (found in the canning aisle of your store).
  • Essential Oils - These are completely optional, but add the yummy smells and give your cleaning solutions lots of added benefits. I have a small collection, but if you were only going to buy ONE eo I would recommend Tea Tree Oil. It has a crisp clean scent (in my opinion, the natural alternative to a pine-sol smell) and can be employed in health, beauty, and cleaning implements. It is antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti fungal, and antibacterial making it the perfect addition to any cleaner or detergent. You can find EO at most big box stores and pharmacies now (Wal-mart, Target, K-Mart, Walgreen, etc) but if you are having trouble you can order it online through Mountain Rose Herbs, Amazon, or any other number of retailers.
  • Rubbing Alcohol - I only use this for one thing, window cleaner. But thankfully it's something 99% of people have in their cabinet already, you know where to buy it, you know it's cheap, but it makes for some darn shiny glass!
  • Cornstarch - Again, this is only for glass cleaner, but chances are you already have it. It eliminates the streaking that a normal vinegar and water cleaner would leave behind.

And.... and that's it! If you compare the number of products in my list of cleaning ingredients to the number of substances included in ONE bottle of a traditional cleaner, you'll see just how much toxic, unrecognizable stuff you've been using around your home.

It was the birth of my first child that spurred my interest in going green. As parents we are always looking to protect our kiddos, keep them healthy, and surround them with good things. Every. Single. Bottle of traditional cleaner has a warning about using around children and a list of horrible things that can happen to your child should they get hold of it. You won't ever have to call Poison Control if you child swallows one of my homemade cleaners. The one exception is the glass cleaner, as rubbing alcohol is dangerous when ingested, and painful if gotten in the eyes. BUT, when you're making your supplies yourself takes seconds to put together a fresh batch of window cleaner right before you need it, and then you never have a dangerous substance lying around. Even if you make a fresh batch every time you're still saving time over driving to the store to buy a bottle. 

Recipes To Make

Are you interested yet? Do you feel like this is something you can and would like to try? I hope so! Here are my favorite tried and true recipes.

Citrus Vinegar
  • Citrus Peels
  • Vinegar
The base for my All Purpose Cleaner and Carpet Cleaner are one in the same. Fill a glass jar with citrus peels (lemon, orange, tangerine, lime, I've even heard you can use pineapple, although I haven't tried that myself) and fill the container to cover the peels with vinegar. Let it sit for 2 weeks so that the vinegar can extract the cleaning power of the oils in the citrus rind. Until this is ready plain ole vinegar and water, mixed at a 50-50 ratio, and scented with some essential oils works fabulous!

All Purpose Cleaner
  • 1/2 cup citrus vinegar
  • water
Pour 1/2 cup of citrus vinegar into a clean spray bottle and fill the rest of the way with water. 

Carpet Cleaner
  • 1 cup citrus vinegar
  • 1 Tbs liquid castille soap
  • 1 gallon hot water
Mix all 3 ingredients in a bucket and this make a magical carpet cleaner! It will power off stuck on materials, erase yucky smells, and get out your toughest stains. There is a vinegar smell while the carpet is wet, but it will dissipate once the carpet dries. Bronner's makes a peppermint liquid castille soap that improves the scent!

Alvincorn - Window Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup alcohol
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch
  • 2 cups water
Combine in spray bottle, shake it up, spray, wipe, and look at your beautiful sparkly glass! There is a great article over at Crunchy Betty, that compares the results of several homemade glass cleaners. 

Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • 1 bar felths naphtha soap, grated
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • water
  • 5 gallon bucket with lid

Cook the bar of soap with 4 cups water, then fill a 5 gallon bucket half full with water. Add soap, soda, and borax. Stir well, fill up the rest of the way with water. Let it sit overnight to thicken. you can pour it into a smaller container to make it manageable on a daily basis, and use 1/4 cup per load. If you prefer powder detergent use the same amounts, but just mix them together without cooking.

Carpet Fresh Sprinkle
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 10-15 drops essential oil of your choice
Pour the baking soda in an empty spaghetti sauce jar, drop in the essential oil to get a scent you love, put the lid on and shake it up. Once it's thoroughly mixed poke holes in the lid of the jar and sprinkle on your carpet. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, and vacuum!

No-Scratch Scrubby Powder
  • Baking soda
That's it! Just pour baking soda in your sink, on your grimy pan, where ever you need it and go to town with a damp washcloth. Baking soda will grab onto the grease, won't scratch your pans, and does an amazing job.

No-Touch Toilet Bowl Cleaner (aka Safe Drain Cleaner)
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
For the toilet, pour about a cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl, follow up with several generous glugs of vinegar and watch the magic happen. The vinegar and baking soda will start reacting to each other and foaming up, scrubbing the yuckies out of your toilet bowl at the same time. The same principal can clear a slow drain. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda down the drain, follow up with vinegar, and watch them go to work on your sludgy pipes!

I would love to hear your feedback on these recipes, so leave a comment and let me know how they're working for you. If you have any questions I'll definitely be hanging around to answer. Have a blessed day, and don't forget it's not only possible to be green and frugal, it's fun too!

Heather is a blogging wife to 1, mama to 4, and doula to the masses. She shares tips and reviews on how to make going green fun and easy. You can find out more about Heather and how to sneak some green into your life by visiting Sneaky Green.  Also find her in Facebook, Twitter, or for questions send an email.

Heather Shields Sneaky Green

Neckties from - Review

I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a review of a beautiful necktie from  We received this dark blue tie made by Cavallieri.  Their website says that this brand of ties are made with the finest silk and usually retail for about $50-$60, but they carry them for just $24.90.

Image from Bows-N-Ties SB2418
The tie I received is a navy blue with a gentle pattern on it.  The first thing I noticed was that the tie was a great length for my husband.  He is 6'1", so most ties we find are way to short for him.  This one is 58" long and 3.5" wide.  The tie is also very substantial-it's not something that's going to disintegrate in just a couple of years.  It is thicker than your average discount store tie and feels great.

This tie also stands up very well to abuse.  My husband used a tie tack with his tie, but inadvertently put it on through the label.  Like I said before, this tie is a heavier weight that he's used to and when he put the tie tack through both parts, and the tag, it jammed up the release mechanism for the tie tack.  He couldn't manage to get the tie tack off when we got back from church.  I had to loosen the tie, get the shirt off of him and then pry the back of the tie tack off with a couple pairs of pliers.  The back went shooting off and the tie tack had entrenched itself with a barb into the tie.  After getting it off of the tie, I was sure that it was going to have damaged it beyond repair, but it didn't.  The silk didn't snag like I expected and the hole created by the event smoothed out so nice that you can't even see it.

It's for sure that we won't be buying $10 Wal-Mart ties any has found themselves a new customer.  My husband loves the way it fits and feels and I love the way it looks on him.  I highly encourage you to take a look around their site to see all the colors and patterns they have.  I'd bet you can find a tie to suit any style you want.  I found ties from under $10 on their site that looked really good and shipping starts at $4.90, but is free with orders over $100.

As a special offer to my readers, has offered a special discount code good for 20% off your entire order!  Just use code TR239YU at checkout.  If my math is correct and you get one $24.90 tie, this discount code makes your shipping basically free!

You can check out Bows-N-Ties yourself on the following social media platforms:
Follow them on Twitter:
Like them on Facebook:
Check out their website:

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ready for a Yankee Candle Giveaway? Bloggers sign up now!

I am participating in the FREE Yankee Candle giveaway event hosted by Real Mom Reviews. One super lucky reader will win three large jar fall fragrance Yankee Candles!  

Cost: Free with announcement post or 3.00 with out.  
Giveaway Open to: US and Canada.  
The event dates: September 28th-October 19th.  
Free Link Option: Facebook  
Optional Paid Link Options: $2.00 for Twitter or Pinterest To sign up for this event click here!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tasty Thursday 9/20/12

Fall is moving in, and around Virginia that means deer hunting season is close at hand.  We are very much about self sufficiency and doing what we can to live off of the land.  I garden each year and can my own vegetables and fruits.  My husband is an avid deer hunter and I normally freeze stew meat, roasts, tenderloin, and ground venison.  I often find that I don't really know what to do with it all other than pot roasts and tenderloin steaks breaded and fried.  This year I plan on canning a lot more of the stew meat and making my own deer/pork sausage.  One recipe I found this week is from (my fave recipe site) and it sounds like a super yummy twist on the boring ole tenderloin.

Grilled Venison Backstrap by TIKCUF99 ~ 

Grilled Venison Backstrap Recipe    
Photo credit from Cyndi at

Basically, you're marinating tenderloin chunks twice, once in apple cider and once in bbq sauce. Then you wrap it in bacon and cook on the grill!  I think I'd love ANYTHING wrapped in bacon! I couldn't find apple cider at my grocery store, so hopefully it'll still be okay with 100% apple juice.....we'll see.  I love this recipe because it's taking the healthy venison (which is practically fat free) and wrapping it in heavenly bacon . By grilling it, you're not letting the bacon and tenderloin sit in the bacon fat, it's wrapped enough to flavor it, but a lot of the fat burns off during cooking and goes down into the nasty grease pit under your grill!


  • 2 pounds venison backstrap, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 1 1/2 pounds thick sliced bacon
  • 2 (12 ounce) bottles barbecue sauce, your choice


  1. Place chunks of venison into a shallow baking dish, and pour enough apple cider in to cover them. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove, and pat dry. Discard apple cider, and return venison to the dish. Pour barbeque sauce over the chunks, cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 more hours.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Remove meat from the refrigerator, and let stand for 30 minutes, or until no longer chilled. Wrap each chunk of venison in a slice of bacon, and secure with toothpicks.
  3. Brush the grill grate with olive oil when hot, and place venison pieces on the grill so they are not touching. The bacon will kick up some flames, so be ready. Grill, turning occasionally, until the bacon becomes slightly burnt, 15 to 20 minutes. 
 Do you all have any good venison recipes to share?

Gift Hulk Giveaway - $50 and $25 Paypal or Amazon - 2 Winners! Ends 9/30

I have teamed up with Gift Hulk, Happy Mothering and the Green Moms Network to bring my readers a chance to win $75 in PayPal Cash or Amazon Gift Cards! One reader will win $50 and another will win $25! Who couldn’t use that? If you aren’t familiar with Gift Hulk, it’s an online rewards program that lets you earn prizes for the same activities you take part in every day. You can earn rewards by doing things you do anyways, like searching the internet, watching videos (think YouTube videos), taking surveys and referring friends. They have a great selection of gifts (like Amazon gift cards and PayPal cash) and there’s no minimum before you can cash out. It’s free to join Gift Hulk, and you can even log in with your Facebook account, which I find extremely convenient so I don’t have to remember a password. Gift Hulk is currently open to members from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand (the giveaway is also open to these same countries). Gift Hulk has sponsored this awesome giveaway to help spread the word about their rewards community. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway will end on September 30 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Good luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Environmentally Friendly AND Frugal: Is it possible?

So, is it possible to be environmentally friendly and frugal at the same time?  I have been reading a lot lately about ways to reuse instead of sending to the landfill, reusable household items, and DIY cleaners and other household products.  I have to admit, I am not the best at making my home completely environmentally friendly, but I think that every little step we take makes an overall impact.  For instance, I no longer use sponges or paper towels.  I cut a was cloth in half and use it in the kitchen.  When it's dirty, it goes in the washing machine.  I recycle my cans and bottles, have a compost pile that I put vacuum contents and dryer lint into, I have chickens and goats that love to eat our non-meat scraps and dogs that love the meat scraps.  I grow a lot of my own veggies and can them for the year, I support local farmers by buying produce and veggies at local produce stands, and my husband deer hunts to help with the overpopulation and we get a natural, unadulterated source of meat.  I make my own bread and eat our chicken eggs, we have a homemade meal most every night instead of unhealthy pre-packaged foods, and we try and have left over nights so we don't waste food.

The one area I haven't really delved into is homemade solutions like detergents, air fresheners, and cleaner alternatives.  I know Pinterest has a million pins about these issues, but honestly I feel it's hard to sift through them all.  I also find a lot of "recipes" that call for odd items that I've never seen or heard of.  I want to be environmentally friendly, but I'm also wanting to be practical, frugal, and have things that really work.

To that end, I'm on the hunt for environmentally friendly, yet frugal and practical ways to green up my home.  I'd love any suggestions or pointers!  I'll be getting together some of the best finds from Pinterest and the blog world and hopefully be getting some guest writers to let us all know their secrets too.  I hope you all get as much out of this as I do.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Glade Expressions Collection Review

I recently was given the opportunity to try the new Glade Expressions Collection Oil Diffuser and
Fragrance Mist.  This collection comes in Fuji Apple & Cardamom Spice, Lavender & Juniper Berry, Pineapple & Mangosteen, and Cotton & Italian Mandarin  (fragrance mist only). 

I had some trouble finding the exact scent I wanted in both Walmart and Kroger, but I was able to get the Pineapple & Mangosteen scent in both items.  I tried the Fragrance Mist first and was really pleased with the fruity and inviting scent.  It was like my home became a tropical island paradise without the bothersome sand all over the floor!  Hubby likes the apple and spice scents better, but he was pleased with how well the fragrance enveloped our home while not becoming overpowering.  I was trying to cover some wet dog smell and this did just the trick.  Walmart had the starter kit priced at $2.98 and you can find $2.00 off coupons for them right now on  That makes a great deal for some wonderful scents in your home.  The only thing I think may be a negative on this mist is that the way you squeeze the two halves together to spray seems to be a little fragile.  I heard a couple of popping and cracking when I used it the first few times and I'm worried that if I put too much force on it, the permanent spray holder will be broke and I'll need to buy a new starter kit again.  This could be a unnecessary worry and it'll hold up for a long time, but it's just something that seemed like a potential issue.

The next one I tried was the Oil Diffuser.  Again, I couldn't get the scent I originally wanted, but at least my two scents are the same so they won't clash with each other when used together.  The oil diffuser starter kit comes with a very pretty wooden lattice and the oil is in the base below the two lattices.  There is a diffuser wick that's just shy of the width and height of the lattice holder, so it's not sticking out the sides or tacky.  I really like that the wick snaps into place in the oil container so I don't accidentally spill it when I move it around.  We could tell the scent was moving through the room after only about 30 minutes of having it together.  It's a very subtle scent and not at all obvious or overpowering.  It just gives you enough scent to fill the room gently.  I guess if you put it in a smaller room than a living room, you'd probably have a stronger constant scent.  As it stands, I really like that it's subtle and lasting.  The pretty holder goes perfect with my decor too, so that's an added bonus.  It'd be nice if they came out with several different styles of holders so different tastes and decor can be covered.  The Oil Diffuser starter kit was $8.49 at Kroger, but I am sure it'd be cheaper at Walmart or somewhere like that.  There's currently a $4.00 off coupon for the starter kit on

All in all, I really liked these products and will probably get the refills in the future to keep these wonderful scents going!  Have you tried these yet??  What did you think of them and what scent did you get?

As a BzzAgent, I was provided with coupons for a free item of each product in exchange for my honest reviewAll of the opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and honest.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Weight Loss: When you only have a little to lose

So, I am embarking on a journey to lose 10 pounds.  I am not "overweight", but I do have about 10 extra pounds I am having a hard time losing.  I'm finding the further I get into the 30's, the harder it is to lose anything.  I avoid fast food, make our family meals most every night and eat left overs for lunch.  I eat oatmeal for breakfast and I stay away from candy bars, cookies, etc.  Yet, those pesky pounds just won't come off.  I tried running a mile each day, drinking more water, and did some minor weight training at home.......NOTHING.  I have been very frustrated to say the least.

I don't have the time, money, nor inclination to join a gym and spend an hour there each day.  I have a hubby and kids who would boycott if I tried to put all of us on a strict diet.  I don't eat bad, I'm not a lazy bum, and I still can't seem to get the right combination to make the weight go away.  What's a girl to do?

Well, I'm on a journey to find out.  I know all the diet cliche's: don't starve yourself, it takes willpower, treat yourself, etc.  So far, I've started making little changes:

  • Drink even more water, get rid of the diet sodas :(
  • Watch the snacking.  I need to lose the mid-morning and mid-day snack of peanut butter crackers....those cost you 190 calories and 9 grams of fat each.
  • Don't get rid of dessert, just cut down the portion....1/2 c of low fat ice cream and 1/2 of a homemade cookie is better than a whole bowl of ice cream or 3 cookies, right?
  • Refuse to give into boredom eating.  Ah....that's my biggest problem.  Just because the fruit snacks are 80 calories and fat free doesn't mean you need to eat 3 of them just to have something to chew on.  Drink water when you get the urge or chew sugar free gum.
  • Smaller portions at dinner time.  That's something I've learned years ago when I lost weight doing a modified, self-starting WW plan......but keep an eye on it because the portion sizes do creep back up.
  • Stop adding extras.  Do I really need that much dressing?  Do I need that extra roll or that much butter?  Save money and skip the appetizer on date room for some frozen yogurt and fruit instead.
  • Exercise a little at a time.  If I don't have the inclination or time to run or do an activity that really gets my heart rate up, at least do some squats at work or while brushing my teeth.  Get some leg lifts in at the stove.
I've been searching Pinterest and for healthy options to my fave foods and I've added a bunch to my recipe box.  I love to find economical ways to do things, and losing weight isn't any different.  Have you ever had this problem of needing to lose just a little but being unable to?  What are some of your suggestions?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tasty Thursday 9/13/12

I'd like to start a new feature on my blog, called Tasty Thursday, to share great recipes I've found this week.  I would love it if you'd share some of your faves as well!  You can put a link to the recipe or to your Pinterest pin, or just lay out the full recipe for us in the comments field!  I hope everyone loves this feature and look forward to hearing your comments on it.

I've been trying to shed a few pounds recently and have found that it's pretty hard at my age to drop even 3 or 4 pounds without making major changes.  Since I don't really have the motivation to make any life altering changes, and have under 10 pounds to lose, I thought I'd look at how I can make small daily changes that will make an impact over time.  My biggest problem is snacking and dessert (shocker, right)!

I came upon this awesome recipe yesterday on a blog that uses only 2 ingredients to make delicious muffins or brownies!  Click on the title to go to the original blog post where I found the recipes at.

Yum Yum Brownie Muffins

The Devil Made Me Chew It
Photo credit:

1 box Devil's Food cake mix
1 can pumpkin, 15 oz

Mix well (batter will be thick, don't try and thin it)
Bake at 400 for 20 minutes
Yeild: 12 muffins or 36 mini muffins

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

Photo credit:

1 box yellow cake mix
1 can pumpkin, 15 oz

Mix well (batter will be thick, don't try and thin it)
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes
Yeild: 12 muffins or 36 mini muffins

I plan on making these pumpkin muffins this weekend using spice cake mix to give it an extra little zing.  These don't use oil, eggs, or sugar.  You just use your basic cake mix and add a can of pumpkin to it.  These are also apparently really good for the Weight Watchers Points Plus program also! says: (1 Muffin, or 3 minis - 181 calories, 3.5g fat, 37g carbs, 2g fiber, 2g protein -- PointsPlus® value 5*)

Have you ever made these 2 ingredient treats?  Do you have a fave recipe this week to share?

American Family Keurig Giveaway Event 10/8 - 10/29

I am pleased to be participating in another multi-blogger giveaway event for a fantastic prize....a Keurig V700 Vue Brewer! Please be sure and watch for the giveaway announcement when it goes live and come back here to enter!!

The American Family Keurig Event is hosted by Mom Powered Media.

Prize: Keurig V700 Vue Brewer

The event dates: 10/8 - 10/29

Free Event ~ Sign-Up Here – Bloggers Wanted American Family Event

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Women of Faith: Cultivating Contentment Bible Study Giveaway - Ends 9/26

I'm taking part in a multi-blogger giveaway for a wonderful Bible study tool for women. Please enter and let others know to enter as well. If you have any comments about the Bible study featured here or if you know of other great Bible study tools for women, please feel free to comment on this post!

Women of Faith study guide series offers a series of bible studies to fulfill the needs of today's women. In this bible study;Cultivating Contentment, the author teaches you how to find satisfaction in daily living, while avoiding the pitfalls along the way. Each chapter includes a main scripture, a short paragraph and then addition scripture to review and reflect upon. This bible study can be used alone or with a group.


I am giving away one copy of the Women of Faith study guide book "Cultivating Contentment". For your chance to win, please enter below. This giveaway starts on September 12th and runs through September 26th. Good Luck! Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by The Sue Review, who is an independent blogger and is in no way associated with Women of Faith or Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Progresso Recipe Starters Review

I don't know about you, but I love to fix my family a homemade meal most every night.  It can get hard on weeknights after I've worked and driven back home, but it's something that I feel is important and good for my family.  I don't like pre-packaged meals, freezer entrees, or things like that, but I do love a little help here and there in sauces and gravies that can make a boring meal exciting.  Enter, Progresso Recipe Starters!  It's not a pre-packaged meal, it's a helpful tool to get your dinner that extra pizazz it needs to make it tasty and different.

Recipe Starters come in five delicious flavors:
  • Creamy Parmesan Basil Sauce
  • Creamy Three Cheese Sauce
  • Creamy Portabella Mushroom Sauce
  • Creamy Roasted Garlic Sauce
  • Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce
Not sure how to use these?  No problem......Progresso set up their very own website that gives you tons of ideas and recipes.  You can either scan the QR code found on the back of each can, use the recipe printed on the can, or go to their website to look up recipes.  Either way you choose, you're going to get some fun and tasty recipes that you can easily cook on any weeknight.

I chose the Fire Roasted Tomato sauce and made the Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe that I found on their website.  I made a couple of substitutions to their recipe....I used black beans that I made in the crock pot instead of canned, and I used 3 cups of chicken because that's how much I pulled off of the rotisserie I bought.  I'll probably use chicken that I've precooked, shredded and frozen next time because it's cheaper than buying one already cooked.  I think this soup would also be good with about a cup of corn added as well.

Here's my ingredients gathered together to start and my recipe ready to roll from my Kindle.

Everything is ready to come together in the pot.  They said to use a 3qt pot, but you may want to go a little bigger if you plan on putting any extras in there.

I used a pizza cutter to make the tortilla strips and then put them in the oven as directed while the soup was cooking.

The finished product, with avocado, green onions, and cubed fresh tomatoes.  I also put a little shredded cheese on after the photo.

This was an extremely easy meal to make and I will definitely make it again.  My husband thought the base sauce was a little too sweet, but I liked it just fine. I can't wait to have this today for lunch!!

You can purchase these in the soup aisle of your grocery store and Kroger in my area has them for $2.19 (sale $1.99).  Throw in the $0.50/1 coupon you can find in recent inserts or on their website and you have a really good deal, especially if your store doubles coupons!  Have you tried the Recipe Starters yet?  If so, did you use one of their recipes or develop your own?  Please share....I'd love to know what you thought of it.  I have bought the Parmesan Basil sauce to use just to find a good recipe for it!

As a BzzAgent, I was provided a can of Progresso Recipe Starters at no cost in exchange for my honest reviewI purchased the remaining ingredients and additional can of Recipe Starters on my own and all of the opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and honest.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Free Music - Jeremy Camp on Facebook- Ends 9/7

Jeremy Camp Live - CD

Today only, get some free music from Jeremy Camp, a great Christian artist.  Go here to his Facebook page, like him and fill out the short form.  You'll then be able to immediately download his live album (looks like you only get 10 of the 15 songs on the actual album, but 10 free is better than nothing)!

Cellfire Coupons - September 2012

These offers are valid at Kroger and Kroger subsidiaries, Carrs, Genuardi's, Randall's, Tom Thumb, Shop 'n Save, Foodtown, and Harps. These offers will be available from 9/1 - 9/30 and they expire on 10/15/12.

Go HERE to load these to your card.

PB Rolled Pie Crusts Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy TWO packages of Pillsbury® Rolled Refrigerated Pie Crusts.

Totinos® Party Pizza Save $1
Save $1.00 when you buy FIVE any flavor/variety Totino’s® Crisp Crust Party Pizza® Products.

PB Sweet Rolls Save $.40
Save $0.40 when you buy any TWO Pillsbury® Sweet Rolls OR Grands!® Sweet Rolls.

Pillsbury® Crescents Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy any TWO Pillsbury® Crescent Dinner Rolls.

Totinos® Pizza Rolls Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy THREE PACKAGES any flavor/variety Totino’s® Rolls Snacks.

PB Cookie Dough Save $1
Save $1.00 when you buy TWO PACKAGES any variety Pillsbury® Refrigerated Cookie Dough.

Old El Paso® Save $.60
Save $0.60 when you buy THREE Old El Paso® products (Excludes Old El Paso® Refrigerated, Frozen OR Soup products).

Nature Valley® Bars Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy TWO BOXES any Nature Valley® Granola Bars (5 count or larger) OR Nature Valley® Granola Thins.

BC Cookie Mix Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE POUCH any flavor 17.5 OZ. OR LARGER Betty Crocker® Cookie Mix.

Cheerios® Cereal Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE BOX Original Cheerios® cereal (the one in the yellow box).

Lucky Charms® Cereal Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE BOX Lucky Charms® cereal.

Golden Grahams® Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy ONE BOX Golden Grahams® cereal.

PB Toaster Strudel® Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy THREE any flavor/variety Pillsbury® Toaster Strudel® OR Toaster Scrambles® Pastries OR Pillsbury® Pancakes.

PB Refrig'd Grands! Save $.40
Save $0.40 when you buy THREE CANS any size/variety Pillsbury® Refrigerated Grands!® or Grands! Jr. ® Biscuits.

Gogurt, Trix, Splitz Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy TWO any flavor Yoplait® products listed: Yoplait® Go-GURT® Yogurt Yoplait® Kids Cup Yogurt Yoplait® Trix® Multipack Yogurt Yoplait® Splitz® Yogurt.

Bisquick® Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE 20 OZ. OR LARGER Original Bisquick® OR Bisquick Heart Smart® Baking Mix, OR 10.6 OZ. Bisquick® Shake ’n Pour® Pancake Mix.

GG Valley Steamers® Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy TWO any variety Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers® frozen vegetables (11 oz. or 12 oz. only).

GM Snack Mix Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy any ONE BAG 4.5 OZ. OR LARGER Bugles® Corn Snacks, Chex Mix®, Pillsbury® Baguette Chips OR Gardetto’s® Snack Mix.

BC Muffin Mix Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE BOX any flavor/variety Betty Crocker® Box Muffin Mix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch ™ Muffin Mix, Cocoa Puffs ™ Muffin Mix, Reese’s Puffs™ Muffin Mix OR Fiber One® Box Muffin Mix.

Yoplait® Greek Yogurt Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy TWO CUPS any flavor Yoplait® Greek yogurt.

Fiber One® 90Cal Brwn Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE BOX any flavor Fiber One® 90 Calorie Brownies.

Mountain High® Yogrt Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy any flavor 32 OZ. Mountain High® Yoghurt.

NV Protein Bars Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE BOX any 5 count or larger Nature Valley® Protein Chewy Bars.

GG Seasoned Steamers™ Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy any variety Green Giant® Seasoned Steamers™

Progresso® Recipe Starters Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE CAN any flavor Progresso™ Recipe Starters™ Cooking Sauce.

Yoplait® Cups Save $.40
Save $0.40 when you buy SIX CUPS any variety Yoplait® Yogurt (Includes Original, Light, Light Thick & Creamy, Thick & Creamy, Whips!®, Lactose Free, OR Simplait™).

PB Baguette Chips Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE PACKAGE any flavor 7 OZ. OR LARGER Pillsbury® Baguette Chips.

BC® Shake-N-Pour™ Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE any flavor/variety Betty Crocker® Shake-N-Pour™ Desserts.

Fiber One® Chewy Bar Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE BOX any flavor Fiber One® Chewy Bars.

GM Fruit Snacks Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy TWO BOXES any flavor/variety Betty Crocker® Fruit Shapes, Fruit by the Foot®, Fruit Gushers® or Fruit Roll-Ups® Fruit Flavored Snacks; Ocean Spray® Fruit Flavored Snacks, Mott’s® Fruit Flavored Snacks OR Sunkist® Fruit Flavored Snacks.

Yoplait® Fruplait™ Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy any flavor Yoplait® Fruplait™ Yogurt Multipacks.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

*HOT* $5 Amazon MP3 Credit

I'm sure this won't last long, so you better get it while it's still there!  Check out Hip2Save's post on how to get this awesome credit for some free tunes!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

FLASH GIVEAWAY - $50 Target, ends 9/8

Anyone ready for another great giveaway? If so, I've teamed up with some great bloggers to host this 72 hour Target giveaway. This giveaway starts 9/6/12 at 12:01 AM, so come back tomorrow and get your entries in!

One lucky winner will receive a $50 Target Gift Card.

Giveaway ends September 8th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Give Thanks Rachael Ray Cookware Event 10/31-11/14

I'll be a part of this multi-blogger giveaway event. Come back and enter on 10/31! If you're a blogger and would like to be a part of this event, click the button to sign up below!

Thanksgiving Give Thanks Event is hosted by Mom Blog Society.

Prize: Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel II Nonstick Cookware Set, 10-Piece

The event dates: 10/31 - 11/14

Free Event ~ Sign-Up Here

Ultimate Sack Giveaway - ends 9/19

I love the pink fur cover for the 6' bean's so bright and fun. My son loves to lounge around in a bean bag to watch YouTube videos, read a book, or just to watch TV with us in the living room. You haven't experienced comfort until you've kicked back in an Ultimate Sack giant bean bag chair! Each Ultimate Sack is filled with high-quality, shredded foam that conforms to your body. They adjust to every curve, giving you the most relaxing spot to settle down in. Available in 3 different sizes; 4 foot, 5 foot, and 6 foot. Plus, 10 standard suede color covers, 9 fur covers and 6 passion suede colored covers. To learn more about Ultimate Sack bean bag chairs, check out my recent review.

Want to get your hands on one of these amazing chairs?

Enter to win one below...

This event is hosted by Bella Savvy! Co-hosted by Dixielands Deals, Stay A Stay At Home Mom, and Schmoozing with Betsy.
Sponsored by Ultimate Sack!
PRIZE: One giant 6 foot bean bag chair with fur cover to one lucky reader in the color of their choice ($389 value). Giveaway is open to US residents, ages 18+ and ends September 19, 2012. To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below.


A huge "THANK YOU" to all of the lovely bloggers who are helping to promote this awesome giveaway!
~ Disclosure: I received no compensation for this promotion. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of other consumers. Bella Savvy is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. ~ a Rafflecopter giveaway

PLEASE NOTE:  As stated on the rafflecopter form at the bottom in the rules section, tweets need to be spaced out at least every 60 minutes in order to count as valid entries. If you are tweeting 3 times in a row (one right after the other) the last two will not count as valid entries and will be removed by the host of the giveaway.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Nice 'n Easy Non-Permanent Hair Color Review

I was given the opportunity as a VocalPoint blogger to try out the new Non-Permanent Hair Color from Nice 'n Easy.  This non-permanent hair color lets you date a new hair color before you commit. It gradually washes out within 28 shampoos so you can flirt with a handsome new shade before you get (hair) tied down.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and fuss-free it was to apply this hair coloring.  There was no chemical smell, no lengthy time you had to leave it in your hair, and no complicated instructions for how to finish the job.  You mix, glove up, apply, wait 15 minutes and then rinse.  That's it!!!!  They don't have a good selection of shades to choose from.....this non-permanent hair color seems to be for people that are looking to make a total color change (brown to black, blond to brown, etc).  At the CVS I shopped at, there were only 5 selections: blond, light brown, medium brown, dark brown, and black.  There aren't highlights or anything like that in these try-it-out colors, but the coloring you do get is very nice and well balanced.

I think this product would be perfectly suited to people looking to go for a totally different color than their natural one.  Although I didn't go with a drastic color difference than my own during this trial, the fact that it gradually washes out seems perfect for those wanting to see what they'd look like with a new color but not wanting to have it stripped to get back to their natural color.

If you'd like to find out more information, please visit here:

Twitter Hashtag: #FlirtWithHairColor
Follow: @ClairolColor

I received a coupon from VocalPoint to purchase a box of Nice 'n Easy non-permanent hair color in exchange for my honest review.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Nature Pals Giveaway - Ends 9/19

Tiny Love Nature Pals Giveaway Sponsored by: Tiny Love and Mom Blog Society OPEN TO US ONLY: Giveaway starts September 4, 12:01 am est and ends September 19th 12:01
Allow your baby to enjoy the soft-lights movement emanating from the toys dangling above her to keep her content and help stimulate her sense of sight.
Once the time for mobiles is over, remove the arm and leave the music box only. Soon enough your baby will learn how to activate the music box by himself, boosting his sense of independence.
1-3 months
Move nature pals within baby's reach and allow him to explore their smiling expressions and take his first batting attempts.
6-9 months
Let baby enjoy the stimulating features of the baby-activated Lights & Music Caterpillar, which plays 30 min of continuous music and 10 different tunes.
Simply enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. GOOD LUCK!
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