Filled Backpack Donation (Help Kids Start the School Year Right)

Disclosure: This post may contain an affiliate link.

Gutzy Gear challenged me to fill a backpack with school supplies for $25.  I feel we all need to work together to help children start off the school year right, so I jumped at the challenge Gutzy Gear proposed.  Couponers know how to find deals and purchase items at rock bottom prices.  Using that knowledge to benefit others, in addition to our family, is a wonderful gift and privilege.

Heading back-to-school can be a hard time for children especially those who can’t afford the appropriate supplies.  I was able fill 2 backpacks for children in need plus donate extra supplies to my children’s school.

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Yoplait Trix Yogurt: Healthy Snacking

Disclosure: This post may contain an affiliate link.

Yogurt is a staple in my house.  It’s one of those foods that we always have on hand.  Breakfast, snack or dessert;  yogurt is a healthy treat for the entire family.

Keeping kids healthy requires an active lifestyle and good nutrition.  After playing outside, riding bikes, and throwing the football, my kids know the only snack they can have is a healthy one  I don’t even have to tell them that yogurt is on the “good for you” list.  They just grab a container from the fridge and chow down.  Luckily, Yoplait Trix Yogurt makes eating yogurt fun and nutritious.

The cute rabbit and fun colors grab kids attention.  While kid friendly flavors leave my kids asking for more.  Our favorite flavor is Cotton Candy.  “When you mix it, the colors make a cool swirl,” is my 8-years response to why he likes Yoplait Trix Yogurt.  LuLu (5) puts it more simply,  “It’s Yummy!”  I think that just about sums it up!

As a Mom, I like that Yoplait Trix Yogurt contains no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.  Trix Yogurt is also gluten free and is made with active yogurt cultures.  Kids might like the taste, but Mom likes the healthy benefits of snacking on lowfat Yoplait Trix Yogurt!

“Trix are for kids” but unwanted additives definitely are not. That’s why Yoplait® Trix® Yogurt comes in silly, swirly flavors kids love, without high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, or sweeteners. It’s still the same bright, fun, colorful snack, only better. You’ll love that they love it!

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by General Mills via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of General Mills

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ET’s Hanging with the Stars Sweepstakes (Ends 05/24/12)

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ET is running fantastic sweepstakes in conjunction with CBS – ET’s Hanging with the Stars Sweepstakes.

The GRAND PRIZE is a trip to Los Angeles, California for the ET’s Exclusive Emmy® Gala Party on Sunday, September 23, 2012!! How awesome would that be?!

The winner and winner’s guest will walk the red carpet at the party and have two seats in the VIP section during the party’s music performance. The value of the Grand Prize is $2200! There are definitely some stars I would love to rub elbows with!

In addition to the Grand Prize, there will be eight Weekly Prizes awarded. A 10 to15 minute private, off-air call with one of Entertainment Tonight’s show talent: Mark Steines or Nancy O’Dell. There will also be twenty Daily Prizes. Each daily prize winner will get at least his or her first name and last initial on Entertainment Tonight in an on-air graphic within the ticker, bumper or end credit.

I entered and it took me all of 5 seconds to submit my information.   Simply enter your first and last name, birthdate and email address and you’ll be registered to win!

Eligibility. Grand Prize winner and traveling companion must be 21 years of age or older and legal residents of one of the fifty (50) United States of America or the District of Columbia.

All Weekly Prize and Daily Prize entrants and winners must be 18 years of age or older and legal residents of one of the fifty (50) United States of America or the District of Columbia

Hurry!  The sweepstakes ends 4:59 PM PDT on Thursday, May 24th, 2012.

Head over to ET Online to enter ET’s Hanging with the Stars Sweepstakes!

Disclosure:  I was compensated or my time writing this post.  All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others.

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Love The Moment in Virginia Beach – The City I Was Raised

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To me, Virginia Beach is home.  I went to high school in Virginia Beach, met my husband in Virginia Beach & fell in love in Virginia Beach. I have lived in or around the city my entire life.

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Museum, Ocean Breeze Waterpark & the Virginia Beach Oceanfront are just a few of my past haunts in this diverse city.  All these years later, I’m making memories with my own children in Virginia Beach.  Sure, things have changed and expanded but it’s still the city I love and remember.

One of my favorite areas (and not as well known) is Shore Drive.  The Bay is less hectic and offers a place for locals and vacationers alike to relax and enjoy the warm summer waters. The restaurants are top notch & have the atmosphere of a small beach community.

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Couponing for Good! Service Project: Ronald McDonald House Donation

Disclosure: This post may contain an affiliate link.

The Couponing for Good! Service Project for Champions for Kids utilizing All You Magazine was a huge success!  I participated in this service project to show how couponers can make a difference in the lives of others.   I believe we have succeeded on the mission!  I have read countless posts from other bloggers participating in the project.  It’s amazing how much has been donated to charities all across the US.

My Walmart shopping trip supplied items to a local Ronald McDonald House.  I chose to donate items to Ronald McDonald House because they provide a “Home Away From Home” for families who want to be near their child receiving medical treatment at local hospitals.   My local Ronald McDonald House is located just a short walk from CHKD in Norfolk. As a parent,  I can only image how beneficial it would be to have a place to stay right next to the hospital that my child was receiving treatment.

I had intended to take my daughter along when I dropped off the donation items, but I ended up going while she was in school.  I was impressed with how homey the inside of Ronald McDonald House actually is.  Driving past, I had only seen the outside of the building with the iconic Ronald McDonald figure on the front porch. Unfortunately with my hands were full of bags,  I forgot to take a picture for this post.

Regardless of the charity you choose to make a donation to;  you can help make a difference!

Make sure to view photos of my #AllYouCFK shopping trip on my Couponing for Good Google Plus Album.

More information about Champions for Kids can be found at:

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others. #CBias

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What Propels You? Saving & Couponing for Family Travel

Disclosure: This post may contain an affiliate link.

I was recently asked the question, ‘What Propels You?’  What are my personal goals?  What inspires and ultimately propels me to achieve those goals?

The answer to that question has changed somewhat over the past couple of years. However, the basis for the answer has remained the same.

My family propels me.

All the decisions I have made since my first child was born over seven years ago was to live well within our means while being a stay-at-home mom.  I want to travel and enjoy life with my family all while saving and planning for our future.

Initially, my goals were to stay at home, live within a budget and get out of debt.  After we learned how to live on a budget through using coupons, spending cash & prioritizing our purchases;  we found that travel was a bit out of our reach.  We went camping, took afternoon bike rides & once took the kids skiing for a night.  We really couldn’t afford the kind of family vacation my husband & I remember taking as children.  We saved, worked hard, and eventually were able to get out of debt.

Now, we are finally in the position to travel as a family.  I still believe in afternoon outings that are free and cheap, but the idea of traveling is no longer a distant dream.

We finally took our first family vacation to Disney World last year.  It was an amazing experience for my entire family.  Not only did we get to FINALLY take a family vacation, we came home without a balance on the credit card!

I’m not expecting to always take big, elaborate vacations.  We just want the ability to head to the beach for a weekend or up to Washington, DC for a night.  It requires saving and planning, but I want those memories for my children.

One thing my husband and I both remember fondly is the family trips we took growing up.  The world is a huge place.  I want my children to experience life in different areas of the country.  I want quality time away from the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life.

My family inspires and ultimately propels me to work hard saving and reducing our spending, so we can afford the extra travel and family time that would otherwise be out of reach.

What Propels You?

Propel Zero – in bottles and convenient powder packs – gives you vitamins C & E, B vitamins, and antioxidants. So you can replenish, energize, and protect with zero calories and no added color.

It’s what keeps you going  – so you can do what moves you. Join the conversation about What Propels You on Facebook now.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Propel Zero via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Propel Zero

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Couponing for Good Champions for Kids All You Magazine Campaign

Disclosure: This post may contain an affiliate link.

I’ve been busy preparing for my Couponing for Good! Service Project for Champions for Kids utilizing All You Magazine.  I headed to Walmart (the only retail location that sells All You Magazine) and shopped for items to donate to my local Ronald McDonald House.

I’m excited to participate in this service project to help show how couponers can make a difference.  It’s extremely important for coupon users to give back to the community. Couponers are uniquely qualified to donate the maximum amount of goods for the least amount of money.  Typically, my donations are made to the Food Bank and  SPCA. I regularly purchase items free or almost free after sales and coupons.  I shop over multiple weeks then make large donations after a few months.  I am able to make a larger impact using coupons than I could ever imagine had I paid full price.

I prepared for my Walmart shopping trip by checking all the available Walmart coupon matchups.  I first looked at the coupon matchups for the February and March All You Magazines then the most recent Walmart coupon matchups to determine which products fit with the Wish List from Ronald McDonald House.  After checking the coupon matchups, I put together a shopping list and clipped all my coupons.  My coupons were obtained from recent issues of the All You Magazine, coupon inserts from the newspaper and printable coupons.

The key aspect to saving with coupons is being prepared.  After preparing for my Couponing for Good! shopping trip.  I took the following items to the store with me:

  1. Shopping List
  2. Clipped Coupons
  3. Coupon Binder (in case I found other deals)
  4. Reusable Shopping Bags
  5. Cell Phone for pictures

During my shopping trip, I purchased a few frozen items, butter, snacks, cleaning supplies and laundry supplies as requested in the Ronald McDonald House Wish List.  I also purchased a can of cranberry sauce and construction paper for myself.  Additionally, I looked at storage containers but didn’t make a purchase.

Some of my purchases were over my goal price; however, I feel that I saved a respectable amount of money using coupons to donate requested items to Ronald McDonald House.  I hope others will see how a little bit of preparation, an All You Magazine, and other coupons can make a difference in someones life.

Make sure to view photos of my #AllYouCFK shopping trip on my Couponing for Good Google Plus Album.

More information about Champions for Kids can be found at:

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others. #CBias

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Eyeglasses From Glasses.com

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Having to wear glasses is not only cumbersome but can get expensive.  I have my eyes examined every year and each time, I need a new prescription.  Not only does my vision change but after wearing my glasses for 365 days a year, I get a little sick of them.  Getting a good price on eyeglasses means that I don’t have to feel guilty about buying a new pair each year.

I was recently told about an online store to get glasses for less.  If you’re looking to save money,  try getting your next pair of eyeglasses at Glasses.com. After browsing the website, I found affordable frames from top designers such as Oakley, Jones New York & Lucky Brand.

Obviously, ordering eyeglasses online can be a challenge.  How do you know the frames you choose will actually look good on YOU?

Glasses.com has 2 options to help you find a perfect pair of glasses.  Simply upload a photo and use the Virtual Try One feature.  Not satisfied with the online option?  Use In Home Try On, which gives you seven days to try on up to five frames before ordering.  And it’s completely FREE.  See how the frames will look with your face shape and complexion before you buy!

Another great feature of Glasses.com is that they offer FREE shipping and free returns.  Your eyeglasses will be shipped to your door within 2 weeks of placing your order at no additional cost to you.

If you’re looking to save money on eyeglasses, browse the selection on Glasses.com and see if you can save on a new look for Spring.

Disclosure:  I was compensated for my time writing this post.  Any factual information was obtained from the company website.  All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others. 

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Pushmo Game Review – New eshop Download for the Nintendo 3DS

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Looking to do more with your Nintendo 3DS? A new eshop game was released in mid-December called Pushmo.

Pushmo lets players try to push, pull and climb their way to the top to solve more than 200 3D puzzles. I don’t know about you, but my kids LOVE puzzles!

You can play as Mallo, the hero of the game. He is small in size but has a big heart and big muscles to match. Players use him to move the giant blocks that make up the Pushmo puzzles. Solving the puzzles will free the kids who were accidentally trapped inside them. There is also a Pushmo puzzle creator so players can make their own puzzles and share them with their friends.

My kids have moved passed level one and found the puzzles to be challenging yet not overly difficult. As a parent, I like that my purchase offers 200 puzzles allowing my children to play the game over a long period of time before they “beat” the game.

The price to purchase Pushmo is reasonable (only about $6) and just requires wi-fi access and a credit card. Make sure you have updated your 3DS before attempting to locate the eshop, though. That was the only issue we faced in obtaining access to the game.

Watch a video to learn more about Pushmo here.

Have you purchased a game through the Nintendo 3DS eshop?

Disclosure: I received a credit to purchase Pushmo to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others.

Striiv Review – Make Fitness Fun

Disclosure: This post may contain an affiliate link.

I have to admit, I’ve gotten a bit lazy.  Once you get out of the habit of hitting the gym everyday, it’s hard to get back into it.

The Striiv is helping to get me back into the groove of exercising.  Striiv is a sleek pedometer video game that makes fitness fun.  Keep the Striiv with you all day as you walk, run or climb stairs.  Your steps and calories will be counted to help you reach your weight loss goals.

In order to keep you motivated, there are Activity-Based Games.   The games are powered by physical activity.  The more you move, the more the enchanted island fills with exotic wildlife and plants.  While I’m more interested in the pedometer itself, the games are nice for when your waiting in the car pool line or sitting in a waiting room.

A fantastic feature of the Striiv is the partnership with GlobalGiving.  Each step counts toward a donation of clean water to a child in South America, a polio vaccine to a child in India, or to conserving a parking-spot size area of Tanzania’s rainforest for one year – at no cost to the user.  This is a great way to get fit and give back to others at no additional cost.

Watch the video below to learn more:

Interested in trying a Striiv?  You can purchase a Striiv for $99.

I received a Striiv to review and keep. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others.

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