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Showing posts from September, 2009

Febreeze Home Collection - Review & $20 Walmart Gift Card Giveaway

This Giveaway has ended: Congratulations to #162, Mike. 

Have you seen the new line of home fragrances from Febreze? I'm embarrassed to admit that I hadn't until My Blog Spark sent me an amazing box filled with Febreeze goodies.

I don't use a lot of fragrances in our home, but when I do, I tend to lean toward the apple cinnamon side. The Febreze home collection scents are a step above apple cinnamon. The scents include:
Green Tea Citrus, Pomegranate Mango, Cranberry Pear, and Willow Blossom.

You can see more about the Febreze home collection and get decorating tips at www.walmart.com/febrezehomecollection.

Febreze sent me an entire collection from their new premium scents collection. Take a look below to see what they sent:

Let me share what I loved about these products:
I love, love, loved the Green Tea Citrus scent. It's so different from what I usually select, but it was so peaceful and calming.

Two of the products are flameless. What mom doesn't love that? The…

I Joined the Shredding Revolution!

If you've been around the mommy blogosphere, you've probably noticed that quite a few moms have jumped on the "shred wagon." After much inner debate, I was finally convinced while reading one mom's blog as she described "walking push-ups" and that her "a$$ cheeks were sore."

Actually, it was the last part that got me. I'm almost never sore anymore. When I first started actively working out (over a year ago, can you believe it?) I used to be sore. But I only get sore now when I do some extreme turbulence training or run more than 4 1/2 miles with hills.

So....I caved. And I bought The 30 Day Shred. I bought it used on ebay for $7. When it arrived at my house, it was clear that the DVD itself had been shredded. lolBut it played fine.

I instantly recognized the level 1 video. I've did it once before when it was free on exercise tv. But I decided to follow the rules and start with level 1.

My thoughts? It's a good workout. Short and to…

Hurry and Print Your Coupons before they Reset

It's almost the end of September and you know what that means! The coupons at Coupons.com
are about to reset!
Go to Coupons.com and print out any coupons you might want to hold on to because they may be gone on October 1st. Then come back in October to see what's new. :)

10,000 Steps a Day!

When two pedometers arrived in my mailbox the other day, I took it as a hint. Over the last year, I have accumulated 7 pedometers. All arrived at my home, through no effort of my own. But I believe all things happen for a reason, so I decided to slap one on today. I've also decided to give my other 6 to random friends and/or strangers. :)


I'm sure you've seen the commercials recommending we get 10,000 steps per day. I've always wondered how many steps I take, so today I mapped it out and even kept a record of my activity.

Here's a rundown of my day (try not to fall asleep...my days can be a little lame.)

>>Made breakfast and got my son ready for Kindergarten
>>Walked son to bus stop
>>Checked my email
>>Took daughter to dance class (I sat and watched)
>>Stopped at a grocery store
>>Unloaded groceries and made lunch
>>Picked son up at bus stop
>>Pruned raspberry canes, picked cherry tomatoes, and put kids summer toys away
>>…

Monday Giveaways - Link up and Enter to Win!

Link up your giveaways here! Then come back and check out some of these great giveaways! Lots of fun opportunities to win!

Don't forget to check out my giveaways for this week:$20 Walmart Gift Card from Febreze
$50 Cover Your Hair Giveaway
$50 Quote the Walls Gift Card
Harry Connick Jr CD - Your Songs!

There will be even more to win next week!
You may also find great giveaways here:Sweepstakes Advantage - Free Online Sweepstakes Win
Instantly!


Sneaking Fruits & Veggies into your Child's Diet

Do you sneak fruits and veggies into your children's diet? I've read a lot about pureeing veggies and adding them to baked goods.
I've sometimes substituted Sweet Potatoes or Applesauce for a certain portion of oil in a recipe, but not with the intent to "hide" anything.
Our motto is: Out in the Open! That's how I get my kids exposed to fruits and veggies. We keep all of our produce (except lettuces) out in the open. Sure, that does make them spoil faster, but that's all the faster we need to eat them!
When my kids are hungry for something, the first thing they see is the produce up on the counter. But that doesn't mean we don't have challenges at dinner time.
For meals, we have 1 simple rule. You may not have seconds or dessert until you've finished your firsts. So they would need to finish their veggie servings before they could have anything else. Sometimes, they choose to eat nothing, but most often they will eat everything so they have a chan…

Cover Your Hair: Review and $50 Giveaway!

This giveaway has ended! Congratulations to #79, Crystal (3 stairs). Please check your email.

Cover Your Hair is a one-stop shop where you can find all sorts of amazing things to cover (or put on/in) your hair. And they want to offer one Suburban Jungle reader a prize pack filled with hair coverings worth $50!

For our review, I selected the Cotton Candy Pre Tied Headband. Yes, I selected it for me but as soon as my daughter saw me wearing it, it quickly became hers. Well...ours.

Let me tell you want I loved about it. It was comfy. It held my hair out of my face (super bonus points!) And I thought it looked pretty cool. My daughter loved it because it actually stayed on her head. We can't keep clips or regular headbands in her hair and this one stayed. And it kept back all the little pieces that like to escape. She was in heaven. And she's been wearing it ever since.

I also got to review the Studded Stoned Pony Holder. It was really pretty. My daughter also claimed dibs to this, …

One Lovely Blog - A blog award!

A special Thank you to The Penny-Pinching Mama and Ruminations of a Twenty Something Momma for both giving me the "One Lovely Blog Award!" Two awards in one day. Yay!
The rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award" are:
Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Here are my 15 lovely blog picks: Minnesota Must Haves Coupon WAHM Mom For Him All that and a Box of Rocks Suburban Saving Mama Dealightfully Frugal Over Thirty Mommy Getting All My Ducks in A Row Lunch Box Limbo Foodie Footsteps Baby Makin(g) Machine Riding with Jessica One Day, One Dollar at a Time Smart Cents Mom A Few Shortcuts

Free Sample of Dunkin' Donuts Coffee

Click on the image above to get a free sample of Dunkin' Donuts coffee. I usually feed these to my plants, but have come across some great chocolate recipes lately that call for coffee, so I was happy to find this free sample.

A blast from the Past ~ Me 9 Years ago!

Nine years ago...I was at a crossroads in my life. I had just taken my first job (out of college), my boyfriend of almost 4 years had broken up with me, and I had moved to a new town (for the job). It was an emotional time for me, mostly because all my plans went out the window. I had thought I would marry this boyfriend and I was working toward finding a job where I could move back closer to where he lived.

But all that changed. I had to redefine who I was and what I wanted. It reminds me of how I've recently been changing my life. So what did I do? Lots of things!

I moved on with my life. I bought my first house and made it my own.

I taught myself to rollerblade! I never had rollerblades as a kid (we had dirt roads) and I didn't think I could be athletic because of my asthma. But that didn't stop me. After I got the hang of skates, I went to the doctor to get preventative asthma medication. And I signed up for a marathon. A real marathon...26.2 miles....on skates! I'…

Shopping for 4 - Under $23!

This week's grocery total came to $22.96. A 65% savings. Surely, you're thinking a family can't survive on just what I bought this week. And you're right. But there is a method to this madness.
There's a reason why I bought 5 boxes of crackers, 5 boxes of cereal, 4 packages of deli meat, and 10lbs of apples. ;) They were either free or close to it.
I try to only buy what's on sale and if it's a really great deal, I stock up on it. Check out last week's shopping to see one of my stock up days (I spent $82!!! For $239 worth of food!)
Our pantry and freezer are full of things saved when they were on extreme discount.
My main pantry stock up items are noodles, canned tomatoes, beans, baking supplies, crackers, snack items, dried fruit, nuts, and cereal.
Our freezer is stocked full of salmon, LOTS of frozen berries, tomatoes, veggies, bread, cheese, and meats.
Click here to see my weekly shopping trips and find out how you can save money on your groceries.

3 Free Swagbucks!

Today is Mega Swagbucks Friday! When you search on Fridays, you have the chance to win Mega swagbucks. They give out 10,000 swagbucks in Mega denominations (3, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100).

If you haven't signed up for swagbucks yet, you can do so here and get 3 free swagbucks just for signing up!

Harry Connick Jr - Your Songs - Review & Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed. The winner is #89 theyyyguy@yahoo.com with the Mancrush, lol. Please check your email so I can send your info to get this great CD out to you.

I was recently sent Harry Connick Jr's new CD, Your Songs, to review. I gotta tell you, I LOVED this album!


This album is a compilation of 14 classic songs from artists like Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles, Tony Bennett and more.


My daughter ran into the room to dance with me as soon as she heard the music start. She commented that this was "really beautiful wedding music."


I don't even have the words to describe this music, except maybe romantic. The instrumentals were amazing, the voice was fantastic, and the songs are classic. I had no choice but to lay on the floor and become entranced in the music.


My favorite song was "The way you look tonight." I felt beautiful listening to that song, even in my jammies.


Here is the track list(Originally performed by):

All The Way (Fr…

A Chipmunk Caught in The Net

Today, I went outside with a scissors to gather some more nature pieces for my wreath. I found some great rose hips to add, and then decided to venture back to the garden. I instantly noticed my raspberry bushes bobbing up and down like a fishing pole. I thought it was odd but went back to what I was doing. Then I heard some extreme rustling.
So I went down the hill into the raspberry patch. And there I saw him...the chipmunk. He was tangled in the nets. By his neck. At this point, I realized I had a scissors in my pocket. What are the odds that I would have a scissors (and a good one at that) in my pocket in the backyard?
The nets are strong, and meant to keep animals out, so they don't cut easily. I needed to get him out. The irony of my post yesterday was not lost on me. I felt like this was a test to see what I would really do. This was my garden robber. The one who gets all my berries and tomatoes.
Would I let him strangle? No. I went right to work trying to cut him loose. As s…

Teach Your Child To Read- Part 1

The following is a guest post from Jessica at Mom For Him.It can be pretty unnerving to think about how to teach your child to read. There are lots of different methods, programs, and books out there to assist you, which is great, but it can also be overwhelming as you try to figure out which is right for your child. Each child is unique and may learn best with different methods, but I wanted to share with you what has worked for us.

I started with the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" by Siegfried Engelmann. This paperback book is laid out kind of like a workbook, but what is nice about it is it tells the parent what to say to the child in red type. So you don't even have to think about how to present the material to your child, just read the book along with them. It starts by introducing a few sounds and making games with them. It adds more sounds in each lesson, while reviewing the other sounds, then starts putting them together into short words, so the chi…

Become a Fishful Thinking Ambassador

I try to sign up to be on company panels and review teams whenever possible. Why? Because you get to be on the front lines on some of the coolest new products. And they usually send you free samples and coupons.
I just became a Fishful Thinking Ambassador yesterday. Wahoo! It reminds me a lot of Buzz Agent. They are sending a kit filled with goldfish and I get to spread the word. We have a bunch of play dates coming up, so this is perfect timing.
Spaces are limited and they are only accepting moms with young kids (at least one has to be under 6 if I remember right from the questionnaire.) You must also be a member of repnation (like buzz agent.)
Remember when I found grapes this spring? Well...I guess we finally know what color they were meant to be. ;)

When in Rome....don't kill the Romans!

I've hesitated to post about this because it's caused so much neighborhood and even marital strife, but I've got to get it off my chest.

Our entire neighborhood is built on/near a large forest preserve. We are surrounded by acres and acres of forest, and it is so beautiful. We're like the horrible people in Evan Almighty that built on the fringe. Except that I really do love the forest and try my best to care for it.
Even when our garden was ravaged by chipmunks and deer, I still didn't want to kill them (well maybe for a second, but I value them more than a few fruits and veggies.)
And this is where I differ with pretty much all of my other neighbors. It turns out our neighbors got together and hired a big killing company to come out and eradicate our neighborhood of chipmunks, voles, moles, wasps, ladybugs, and boxelder bugs. I'm sure there were more, but those are the ones I remember.
I was approached by 17 different families urging me to join their crusade. I …

Still harvesting from the garden

We're still harvesting produce from the garden on a daily basis. Today's haul? We gathered a bunch of tomatoes, some beans, spinach and fresh basil. We gobbled this up in one day and had 2 nearly free meals. :)
We're getting a few handfuls of raspberries too, but you'll never see them in a picture. They never make it that far.
I'm loving my fall garden. Next year I'm buying extra packets of spinach dedicated just to fall planting.

Our Outdoor Wreath Goes Organic!

Since it's officially fall, I pulled out our annual wreath from storage and realize it was a little crusty. I bought this wreath years ago....at 90% off on an after season sale. It's lasted for years but every season it loses some color and a few pieces.
But today, we revived it by adding some sunflowers from our garden! And it looks so much better! We'll be off in the forest tomorrow to get some more leaves and grasses to make it bigger and better. I'm so glad we found a way to give it new life rather than tossing it out.
Next season, I'll most likely pull out all the faded old pieces and use the frame and some bits form nature to reform this wreath entirely. At the end of each season, I will just remove the pieces and throw them in the compost. Now that's green decorating. ;)

My blog was given an Award!

A special thanks to Coupon Teacher for giving my Blog this really cool award! She bestowed on me the" Over the Top Award."
Here are the rules for the Over the Top Award:
Use only ONE word to answer the following questions! You may copy and change the answers to suit you and pass it on. Once you have filed it out be sure to pass it on to 6 of your favorite bloggers. Alert them that they have been awarded! Have fun!
-
1. Where is your cell phone? Lost
2. Your hair? Blah
3. Your mother? Absent
4. Your father? Puzzles
5. Your favorite food? Berries
6. Your dream last night? Running
7. Your favorite drink? Water
8. Your dream/goal? Snowshoes
9. What room are you in? Kitchen
10. Your hobby? Fitness
11. Your fear? Debt
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home
13. Where were you last night? Forest
14. Something that you aren’t? Organized
15. Muffins? Raspberry
16. Wish list item? Ripstick
17. Where did you grow up? California
18. Last thing you did? ate
19. What are you wearing? Capris
20. Your TV? te…

The Biggest Loser Recap

Did you watch The Biggest Loser last night? Oh how I love that show. But it seems different this season and I wanted to chat about that for a second.

>> Does it seem like the workouts just aren't as an intense this season? It seems like Bob and Jillian just aren't pushing the contestants very hard this time around. Sure, they're yelling and swearing (which is overdone and annoying) but the contestants are walking slowly, pedaling slowly, lifting slowly...
There have been no hikes up the mountain, no runs to Subway to get lunch, no ultimate wall squat challenges.... Maybe I'm just expecting too much too soon, but I hope they get to some extreme fitness soon.
>>Does it seem like the contestants this season are just way too emotional? Hasn't everyone on the show cried at least once already? Weren't they super crazy about calling home, and it was only the second week! There's been a lot of man crying and that just makes me uncomfortable. Sorry, that&…

Holding on to my little girl

She says she'll live with me forever. I have it on tape! She's very loving and wants to be at my side day and night. In fact, if it were possible, I almost guarantee she would jump at the chance to be sewn together.
Well....I'll take it! Sure I need my space, but I was once a teenage girl. And I know I've got limited years of this sweet little girl left.
How rude?!!? Nope. She's going to be a dangerous combination of her daddy's quick wit and her mommy's good looks. lol. That was funny, right? Am I seriously the only one laughing? Okay...moving on!
She loves to talk, she's very social, she's stubborn and she's very quick with her words. We're in for a firestorm when she's a teen. And we'll have other issues with her brother. Oh man! Is it weird to be freaking out 10 years in advance??
Probably, but looking ahead, I know I've got to focus right where I am and hold on to that little girl (and that little boy) while I still can.

Teaching Preschoolers to Spell - Biggest Loser Style

It's no secret that The Biggest Loser is my all time favorite show.....in the whole world. I couldn't help but laugh today when we were working on a spelling lesson, when my kids said "look, we're just like the biggest loser."



I had them each work on writing out our sight words using our great drawing pad from Trix. My daughter used a Blue marker and my son a Black marker, so they were the blue and black team.

Obviously, neither of my children are rock stars when it comes to penmanship, but they were happy to face off as biggest loser contestants...all in the name of good spelling. :)

24/7 Free Website Monitoring

Have you ever wondered what your blog looks like to others? I once read a review of my blog where the person wrote that they were inundated with pop-ups the entire time. What??
I don't have any pop-up or pop-under software embedded in my blog. What was happening? What about when your site is down? Or does your site take an incredibly long time to load?
One of my favorite blogs takes an incredibly long time to load. I've struggled with whether or not to visit the site, but have stuck it out. According to most sources, long load time causes a big loss in readers. I wonder if she knows her site takes so long to load? Well...now we can know all of those answers. And for FREE!
Do you remember my Got Free Cards review? Well, the same people that run Got Free Cards, have 247webmonitoring.com.
I just signed up for free website monitoring and am awaiting the results. I'll update this post when I have more information.
What do they monitor? When your site is down, they will email you…

My Bucket List ~ Always a work in progress

My Bucket List ~ A list of things I hope to accomplish before, well...kicking the bucket! These are the things I would focus on if I only had one month left. And you never know how many minutes you have left, so I'm focusing now. Some are easy and some are hard. But I'm working toward all of them (except the maybes).
I'm hoping to have years to finish these, but in any event, these are the things I'd like to accomplish.
1. Finish the Tour du Mont Blanc
2. Visit the Green and Black sand beaches of Hawaii
3. Swim with Dolphins
4. Swim in a hot spring heated by volcanoes
5. Ride in a hot air balloon
6. Have so many berries that I have to give them away
7. See the Glaciers in Alaska
8. Leave a legacy of joy and contentment
9. Notarize my will
10. Never stop saying I love you (it's easy to forget)
11. See the pyramids and see the Nile
12. Forgive my mom
13. Pick an olive and eat it
14. Hug a super old tree at Yosemite and/or Redwood national park (then my husband can legitimately cal…

How to Make Cruise Ship Towel Animals

I posted earlier about how I made these cute little towel animals, but I forgot to include any how-to's. Instead of videotaping myself, I thought I'd give you the links I followed.

How to make a Dog Towel Animal How to make a Turtle or Frog Towel Animal How to make an Elephant Towel Animal.
Happy folding everyone!


The links in this post may be affiliate links and products are often received for review purposes. Read the full disclosure and the privacy policy.

Win a Freezer full of Organic Food! Plus $$ for a freezer!

Enter here to win 365 Meals from Blue Horizon Organic Foods. That's one meal a day - or a Year's worth of Blue Horizon Food! If you are selected as the winner, you may select from their skillet meals, breaded shrimp, spring rolls, seafood bites and more.
Plus, the winner will receive $500 toward the purchase of a freezer!

You'll also have the opportunity to print a $2 coupon just for entering.

Thank you Organic Deals!

Link & Win Mondays: Stop in to List and Win Tons of Giveaways!

I'm going to start something new and see if people would like to link up their giveaways here. Just add your giveaway to the Mr Linky below.

If you don't have a blog giveaway, come here to search some great giveaways.



Recycling Batteries and CFL bulbs

We don't use a lot of batteries in our home, but we do end up replacing 1 or 2 each month. What do I do with them? I save them in this old plastic bag (from a pillowcase set) and leave them in our junk drawer until we go to the library. The batteries come with us every time, then the bag goes back in the drawer and waits for more batteries. Why are there rechargeables in the bag? Because after 7 years of reuse, they finally died.
Next time you are at Lowes, Home Depot or Best Buy, look to see if they have any recycling boxes. The CFL boxes are behind customer service (nobody wants one of those to accidentally break!) And check your library. You just never know. Otherwise, google it. Somebody, somewhere will dispose of them properly for you. Phew. Glad I got that off my chest!

Our new pet!

Today my son was so excited to find 2 of these beauties in our garden. He was so happy and immediately started gathering food and supplies to make them a home.

He rejoiced at "finally being able to have a pet!" Since he has so many allergies, pets are out of the question. And although he may not be allergic to rodents, I am allergic to their beady little eyes.

So we started preparing a home for our new slugs when all of a sudden I heard him cry out "mom, part of their bodies are coming off!"

He had been smoothing them and showing them love, but their poor little bodies couldn't take it. And our venture into pet ownership ended....just like that. Phew!

Winner is up! Outfit Additions Review & $50 Giveaway

The winner of the Outfit Additions $50 Giveaway is up on the original post. Thank you to all who entered. There is still time to win a $50 gift certificate to Quote the Walls.

Wondering why I post a link back to the original giveaway? It's so I can delete this posting a week later and not have it pop up in the linkwithin, confusing people about old giveaways. I know it's annoying, but I'm trying to declutter the links.

Microfiber ~ An amazing organic cleaner

The only cleaners used in our home are for our dishwasher, toilets and our washing machine. When I clean our counters, mirrors, floors, furniture, or sinks, I do not use any chemicals!

I know what you're thinking...it totally shows! Ha! My house is actually very clean and we hardly ever get sick. But surely I do something to clean up any bloody meat messes or milk spills, right? Nope!

It all started when we moved into our house and I had to figure out how to clean granite. Have you ever cleaned granite? If not, you've never had to fight with endless streaking. All polished surfaces (granite, glass, stainless steel, hardwood...all the really beautiful surfaces) streak if you wash them with just a regular dish towel and ordinary cleaning methods.

But being the cheapo that I am, and also the health fanatic (so named by my husband), I'm not a fan of extra cleaners. Then by some act of divine mercy, I found this book, Speed Cleaning 101: Cut Your Cleaning Time in Half! and learne…

I added a blog roll!

I finally added a blog roll! I'm always a little slow in the html department. lol

Quote the Walls -Review and $50 Giveaway

This giveaway has ended: Congratulations to #33, Jessica. Please check your email!

When we moved 2 years ago, we worked hard to decorate every square inch of our home. But we missed one room. Our guest room. Sure it has a bed and dresser, but that's about it.

Decorating should be a mix of all the things you love, not just frames on the wall, and I really wanted to venture into the world of wall quotes. That's where Quotethewalls.com came to our rescue. They sent me the perfect quote for our guest room.

Here's a look at our guest room before we added our quote:



Pretty stale, I know. But I had run out of ideas for this room. I love quotes and have seen them in other people's homes. Yet for some reason I thought they were too difficult for me to deal with.

I couldn't have been more wrong. The installation is surprisingly simple and quick. The most difficult part was deciding on which quote to use! This is definitely a quick home improvement!

My husband and I worked o…