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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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Striiv Review – Make Fitness Fun

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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Super Mario 3D Land Game Review

Watch out! Super Mario has arrived for the 3DS!

Nintendo finally released Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS!  The game was a source of great anticipation in my house and didn’t fail to meet the expectations of my kids.  Having Mario pop out at you in 3D while playing an epic game is simply fantastic!

My kids love Tanooki Mario or squirrel as they call him.  The fun really starts to kick in when you grab the Super Leaf and can tail-spin all over 3D Land.   Boomerang Mario is another great addition to the new Super Mario game.  Boomerang Mario has the ability to use his boomerang to take out enemies and get hard-to-reach coins.  How cool is that?!

 

Product Features

  • Mario can perform a rolling somersault attack or run fast with a dash move. Or, as Tanooki Mario, he can use his tail to hover, perform floating jumps or attacks.
  • New enemies include Goombas with tails, tall stacks of Goombas and a Piranha Plant that spits ink to obscure a players view.
  • New and familiar abilities add unique game-play strategies to the adventure
  • 3D visuals make it easier for players to judge the depths and distances in their environments. Players can more accurately judge the jump to the next platform or how far Mario is from a question block.
  • The Circle Pad gives players complete control to confidently move Mario through fun and challenging environments.

Still looking for a new game for the holidays? Pick up the new Super Mario 3D Land game for the 3DS in-store or online.

Make sure to read my review of the Nintendo 3DS to learn if the game system is right for your child.

 

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V-Tech 2-in-1 Discovery Learning Table Review

The 2-in-1 Discovery Table from V-Tech incorporates learning and art in an easily adaptable table.  The desk-themed learning side features gears and buttons with light, sound and color for your child to explore. When you flip the table over, there is plenty of room to draw, doodle and paint.

More about the 2-in-1 Discovery Table:

The 2-in-1 Discovery Table from VTech is an innovative electronic learning toy that easily adapts to your child’s various activities. When your baby is feeling artistic, they can sit at the drawing desk and doodle to their heart’s desire. When they want to play with more guidance, the table easily converts into an activity center featuring a piano key ruler, book, clock, shape buttons, gears, and a turning pencil cup that make sounds and light up with your baby’s touch. Your child will learn about colors, counting, numbers, shapes, and more!

It seems the favorite features of the table are the musical book and piano.  It’s amazing how a 1-year old can find so much amusement in flipping a book back and forth!  The bright colors and sounds definitely attract the attention of young children while teaching shapes, colors & counting.

As a parent, I like that the 2-in-1 Discovery Table minimizes excess toys.  The ability to combine 2 toys is a great feature.  It’s fantastic that once children have gotten bored with the activity center, the table just flips over allowing their artistic side to shine.

The variety of interactive buttons and switches provide learning that lasts for hours!  If you’re still looking for a Holiday gift, the 2-in-1 Discovery Table would make a great gift for a young child.

**The 2-in-1 Discovery Table is best for ages 12 to 36 Months.

You can purchase the 2-in-1 Discovery Table online from V-Tech or Amazon.

Disclosure:  I received a 2-in-1 Discovery Table to review & keep.  Any factual information was obtained from the company website.  All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others.

 

 

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Gourmet Gift Baskets Christmas Gift Basket Review

Are you looking for that perfect Holiday gift?  Do you need gifts for friends, family or co-workers and have no idea what to get them?   Gourmet Gift Baskets has gift baskets for everyone on your List.

I fell in love with the chocolate chip pecan cookies from the Standard Christmas Gift Basket .  I don’t recall ever tasting a cookie that good, ever!  My kids couldn’t get enough of the sweets and (to my surprise) loved the raspberry honey mustard pretzel dip.  It was a gift my entire family enjoyed!

The gift basket also includes gourmet snacks such as chocolate covered cherries, dark chocolate bar, chocolate chip cookies, almond clustered popcorn, raspberry honey mustard pretzel dip along with pretzels and so much more!

You can’t go wrong with giving a Gift Basket from GourmetGiftBaskets.com this holiday season!

 

Do you have blog?   Consider participating in the Military Donation option.  To participate,  just write a review of the selection of Christmas Gifts, http://www.gourmetgiftbaskets.com/Christmas-Gift-Baskets.asp, on your Blog.  The topic of the Blog Post should discuss the Christmas gift selection and how they can be a great gift for someone.  Gourmet Gift Baskets will donate two care packages for every Blog Post written about their Christmas Gifts selection!

The Military Donation Blog Posts should be posted between November 21st and December 9th.  Please email me the URLs of your posts by December 14th to make sure all the Care Packages being donated can reach the soldiers in time for Christmas.  I will forward the list of posts to Gourmet Gift Baskets.

Disclosure:  I received a Christmas Gift Basket to review.  All opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others.

 

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