About Me

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I am 26 and live in a little city. I am married to an amazing man -- Chris. I have a beautiful, spunky 4 year-old, Alexandria (Lexie) and a little boy, Cameryn (Cam). I am a photographer. I have a passion for arts and crafts. I get a high from party planning and decorating. I have an addiction with getting freebies and entering giveaways/instant win games. I coupon, and I am always hard at work searching for local deals. I love finding new places that my family and friends can enjoy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

UNREAL (TM) Candy Review (for BzzAgent)


Recently, I was able to try the new candy from UNREAL. UNREAL candy has no artificials, no corn syrup, and no hydrogenated oils. I know I have been trying to eat better, and get my family to eat better, but it is hard to rule out candy. This brand helps me feel a little better about them eating candy.

Right now, they have 5 different kinds of candy:

UN 5 - Chocolate caramel nougat bar
UN 8 - Chocolate caramel peanuts nougat bar
UN 41 - Chocolate candy shell
UN 54 - Chocolate candy shell peanuts
UN 77 - Chocolate peanut butter cups

Check out Get UNREAL for more information

So far, I have tried UN 41, UN 54, and UN 77. I very much enjoyed them. They are not as sweet are their name brand counterparts, but still good. They are very chocolatey. I found myself having to drink a glass of milk while eating them. I would recommend them to anyone. I feel good about my children eating them.

As of right now, I can only find them at CVS. I do not know if they will be available in more places in the future, but I sure do hope so.

Now, a recipe that you could use UN 77 in!

This recipe requires UN 77, Pre-squared Cookie Dough (or mix) , Brownie Mix, and Baking Pan with Individual (Square or Round) Sections.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Pull apart cookie dough and line the bottom of cupcake pan or square individual brownie pan.
  3. Top the cookie dough with UN 77 peanut butter cup (upside down)
  4. Top peanut butter cup with brownie mix. 
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!!!

 “If you want to grow up to be a big, strong pea, you have to eat your candy," Papa Pea would say.”
Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Little Pea

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Free (and Almost Free) Goodies for Mommies and Mommies-to-be!



Mommy FREEBIES and other great goodies!

I will try to update this if anything changes. I will try to update it with freebies and offers that are long lasting. I won't update it with freebies that are for a limited time.

Free Pregnancy Wristband

I've ordered this wristband back in 2008 when I was pregnant with my first child. Then I ordered it last year when I was pregnant with my second. Just last month, I ordered another on for a family member who is expecting her first. I have received all 3 of them each time. They are cute, and can be a fun gift, too! They are blue on one side, and pink on the other, so if will work for any mommy-to-be!

I order one of these back in 2008 when I was pregnant with my first. I recived a bowl, bib, and coupons for free products. It has been 4 years, so I don't know what the kit has in stored. I just placed my order for another one for Cam, so I will update when I get it with what it has!

Beech-Nut Rewards Program

This is something that is new to me, but the website states this:
Buy any 2 Beech-Nut Cereals to receive 3 coupons for $1 off any 2 Beech-Nut Cereals
Buy any 40 Beech-Nut Baby Food Jars to receive 5 coupons for $1 off any 8 Beech-Nut Baby Food Jars
Buy any 10 Stage-4 or Stage-5 items to receive 5 coupons for $1 off any 2 Stage-4 or Stage-5 Items

I have never ordered one of these, but friends who have received coupons for free products by mail, and they received some coupons by email.

Pampers Gifts to Grow Rewards

Even if you do not buy Pampers diapers, this is still a great program to sign up for. You save up your points for cool prizes. They release as free code once or twice (sometimes 3 times) a month. You can always find there free code through their emails, or on freebie websites. Also, Pampers will send you free offers to your email, such as coupons, free song downloads, and free offers from Shutterfly. Below are some other codes that may still work:

Huggies Enjoy the Ride

If you buy Huggies diaper, they have reward codes inside them that you can enter at this site. You can them save your points up for cold prizes or enter them in to instant win games for free Huggies products.

Free Honey Suckle Milk Storage Bags

These are great for mommies that are breast feeding! They will send you a couple sample bags to try out for free. Their Facebook page even had suggestions on what else you can use them for if you do not need them to store breast milk, such storing homemade baby food or baby's snacks.

Two Free Size 2 Diapers for You and Two Friends from Naty

Sign up to be a Naty Ambassador, and you will be allowed to send a link to 3 friends' emails for a free gift (the diapers). Make sure one of the emails you put in is your own email. After that, check your email, and you will have the link to sign up for the two free size 2 diapers!

Free Items from Similac Strong Moms

Even if you are breast feeding, you can still sign up for this. You can get sample cans of Simlac formula (which are good to donate!), formula checks, and free offer in your email from places like Shutterfly.

Free Formula Checks/Coupons from Gerber

I have only received formula checks from them. Still, this is great if your are formula feeding, or for donation if you are breast feeding!

Free Items from Enfamil

Enfamil will send you free formula samples, formula checks, and special offers in you email!

$3 off Coupon on Any Enfamil Product

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Just click the link to print (print only) up to two coupons for $3 off any Enfamil product.

Free Subscription to American Baby Magazine

I get this magazine once a months, and sometimes it has coupons for baby stuff, stuff just for mom's, and discounts to clothing/baby stores! Plus, great tips and stories for you and your baby!

Disney Movie Rewards

You can sign up for great rewards from Disney! Even if you don't buy a lot of Disney movies, they still offer points in other ways, such as surveys and bonus points in emails. I have gotten a Cars 2 lunch box and a $5 gift card to Starbucks from Disney Movie Rewards. I only put in one code a from a Disney movie. The rest of the points came from the surveys and bonus points!

50 Free 4X6 Photo Prints from Shutterfly.com

You love your kids, and you love taking tons of photos of them! So lets get some of the pretty pictures printed! Sign up for a free Shutterfly account, and you get 50 free prints! You still have to pay shipping and handling, but last I did it, the S&H was around $3 something. Not too shabby for 50 prints!

25 Free 4X6 Photo Prints from Walmart.com

Sign up for a new membership at Walmart.com's photo section and get 25 free prints that you can pick up for free at you local Walmart! No paying S&H, and no waiting several days for them to come in them mail!

Free Goodie Bag with Babies-R-Us Registry (In-Store Offer)

If you are ready to make your baby shower registry, stop by your local Babies-R-Us, you will receive a free goodie bag for opening up one with them! I got one, and it had free samples, coupons, and great information about things my baby will need!

 Free Personalized Song by Elmo

Click the link to get your child a free song by Elmo with his/her own name in it! Just enter the code myelmo to get your free song! I made one for my little girl, and she was beyond ecstatic! You can also get a free personalize VeggieTales song by entering the code veggie.

"A mother's happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories." -Honoré de Balzac

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Free Tip Tuesday: Vacation Coupons and Deals!

 Frugal Vacationing

I know fall is soon approaching, and this post would have been more appropriate at the beginning of summer, but I always say "Better late than never". Plus with the miserable summers we have been having, fall is a lot better time to go on a vacation if you plan to be out in the open.

So, lets say you have planned a vacation for fall break and you want to make the most of it. Of course you do your research on places to stay and eat. You look up fun places to visit and sight-see. You may get so caught up in the excitement of planning your vacation you may not realize that you are missing an opportunity to save money on your trip.

Tip 1:
Once you have decided where you are going, request a travel catalog or brochure. When hubby and I were trying to decide where to go on our honeymoon we order several free catalogs and brochures for more information on the destinations. A lot of the brochures had coupons for local restaurants and tourist attractions. When you go a vacation you could save money buy only eating food from a local grocery store for breakfast and lunch. You can always eat cheap at a well known fast food restaurant, but when dinner rolls around, you want to try what the local cuisine has in stored. Which leads me to tip number 2.

Tip 2:
Google search restaurants around you vacation area for printable/mobile coupons. Bigger cities have more mobile coupon opportunities. Sign up for email notifications (you can make a special vacation email if you are worried about spam), and mobile notification (you should always be able to opt out once you are done with your vacay).

Tip 3:
Always stop at rest stops/tourist centers as you are entering you destination. When my family was going to the Memphis zoo, we stopped at a tourist center to used to restroom. They offered a discount on ticket to the zoo if you bought them through them. Be sure to research prices a head of time to be sure you are really getting a deal. We were able to save almost $2 per person. That's not a lot, but every bit counts when you are on a budget... more for souvenirs!! Also, look around the rest. They will have brochures that may have local coupons.

Tip 4:
Once again, you are going to want to sample the local cuisine once you hit your destination. When you are on the open road it's hard not to eat every snack food you see at a gas station or rest stop. But highway gas stations and rest stops will gouge you for the convenience. I paid $2 for a pack of M&M's at a rest stop outside of Chicago. When we were leaving Florida to come home, my dad pack us a traveling foods and snacks. This was a 12 hour drive, so we were going to have to eat a some points. My dad bought us a cheap styrofoam cooler (if you take care of them, you can re-use them), filled it with ice, and packed it with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ham sandwiches, and drinks. He also got us candy packs and chips. Buying them from a grocery store is always cheaper than a gas station. By doing this we had extra money to stop in Nashville and enjoy a nice dinner at Hard Rock Cafe and stroll the gift shops.

Tip 5:
If you sign up for freebies/samples like I do, go through them before heading out to buy toiletries for your trip. Sometimes even I forget what types of freebies/samples I have on hand, so going through them to see it you have something with SPF in it, or shampoo/conditioner that you wouldn't be too upset about if it got left behind. Lets be truthful ladies, you really don't want to use that over-drying hotel soap and shampoo (but we still take it home, hahaha!).

Tip 5:
If you live in a big tourist area, request catalogs and brochures for your city. You could find coupons and discounts to place you frequent or have always wanted to try right in your area! I requested brochures to local Kentucky hot spots, and some of them had coupons for water parks and restaurants that I live within 2 hours of. Cheap mini-vacay! Hehehe!

Tip 6:
My last tip is an obscure one, but it is to help those with kids at theme parks, such as Disney World. If you are heading to a theme park with character, your child/children might want an autograph. BRING YOUR OWN PEN! Bring several cheap pens. Otherwise you will pay close to $5 for an ink pen that you more than likely wind up losing (I know from experience), and then have to buy a new one.

Please comment below if you know of any great money saving tips to add to the list!

"Vacations are the coupons on the bonds of industry" - Harry Van Denmark | The Texas Magazine, July 1911

Brew Over Ice Review (For BzzAgent)

Today I am going to review 4 different drinks from Keurig Brew Over Ice line: Green Mountain Hazelnut Iced Coffee, Green Mountain Nantucket Blend Iced Coffee, Celestial Seasonings Perfect Iced Tea Southern Sweet Black Tea, and Celestial Seasonings Perfect Iced Tea Half & Half Black Tea & Lemonade.

First I would like to say, I love my Keurig! I’ve had it for around 2 years. It’s convenient and easy to use. I don’t drink a lot of coffee in one sitting. That is why I love that the Kuerig make single serve cups, because I don’t have to brew a full 6 or 8 cup pot of coffee. I also love that it brews straight into whatever cup I want to use. I recommend the Keurig to anyone.

Now, let’s get the ball rolling on the drink reviews!

Green Mountain Hazelnut Iced Coffee – I really liked the Hazelnut Iced Coffee. I think having the coffee with flavor already in it helps when adding more flavor to it. I am used to pre-made iced coffees. A lot of premade iced coffees you can buy in the store taste very sweet… more like a chocolate of vanilla drink with coffee flavoring. This gives you more of the coffee flavor. Also, in the long run, these are way cheaper (but not cheap in quality) to buy than an iced coffee from an actual cafĂ© or coffeehouse. You can add a little fun by freezing milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate chips to add to your iced coffee.

Green Mountain Nantucket Blend Iced Coffee – I was not a fan of the Nantucket Iced Coffee. It tasted bitter. I added sugar and cream, but I still was not impressed. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Like I said before, with the hazelnut iced coffee, it already had a flavored base, and I think that really helps with the flavor. A way to make this drink better is to add syrups and not flavored creamers. In the coffee isle of your favorite grocery store there are coffee syrups. I think these add flavor without making it too thick and creamy like what happens when you add too much creamer. Too much creamer takes away from the coffee flavor, makes it to thick and sweet, and kind of coats your mouth.

Celestial Seasonings Perfect Iced Tea Southern Sweet Black Tea – So refreshing. Better than buying already made tea from the store, and it’s easy that making a whole pot of tea. When tea is fresh brewed, it’s always better. I froze lemon slices for extra flavor. I recommend taking the lemon skin off before doing this, or you will get a bitter lemon tastes from the skin.

Celestial Seasonings Perfect Iced Tea Half & Half Black Tea & Lemonade – This is so yummy. No need for the frozen lemon slices. It’s the perfect blend of lemon and tea. It’s great for those days when you are being very indecisive. You can always freeze other fruits for an even more indulgent treat, i.e. oranges, strawberries, raspberries, etc. Once again, I recommend removing any skins, and I also recommend cutting up the bigger fruits. By doing this it will allow the juices to slowly infuse with the drink as the fruit thaws.

Why stop drinking iced coffee at the end of summer?

Maybe you could take a whole new spin on it for Christmas. I know hot chocolate is a major staple for the holiday season, but with cozy sweaters, hot fires, and warm cuddles from family and loved ones, most of us need a little cooling off! That’s where I came up with Mint Chocolate Chip Iced Coffee. Plus, the extra caffeine will help with all the present shopping!

Always remember to brew your iced drinks into plastic, never glass. Take your favorite Green Mountain Iced Coffee (doesn’t matter if it already has flavor) and brew over iced just like you normally do. Go ahead and add International Delights York Peppermint Patty coffee creamer to the coffee. Next, take chocolate chips (or even mint chocolate chips if you want the extra mint flavor) and ice and chop them up in a blender. By blending them together will help keep the chocolate chips cool so that won’t melt if you add them too early to the coffee. Add your ice/chocolate chip blend to a tumbler, and poor your iced coffee over the mixture. You can then top the iced coffee with whipped cream. I have found a blog that has a recipe for peppermint whipped cream.

Peppermint Whipped Cream
6  red and white peppermint candy canes or 24 red and white mini peppermint candy canes
2  cups of whipping cream
  1.  Unwrap your candy canes and place them in a blender or food processor. I like to break them into pieces as I add them to the blender.
  2. Process until the candy canes until they are a fairly fine powder.
  3. In another bowl, whip cream until firm. No need to add sugar. The sweetness will come from the candy canes.
  4. Fold in the candy cane powder in the cream. Use immediately to top you cocoa if you like little pieces of crunchy candy cane in it (This is the way I like it). Or place in the refrigerator for 2 hours and allow the candy canes to completely dissolve.
This minty topping might be too much, but that is up for you to decide! Have fun with it, make it your own, and enjoy!

Join the Brew Over Iced Tumbler Nation by going to their Facebook page at facebook.com/brewoverice 

 "There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea."  - Bernard-Paul Heroux

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Day After the Anniversary and the Birth of Mylah Denise!

Yesterday was mine and my husband's 1 year wedding anniversary! We didn't do much yesterday, but today we had a ball. Of course, we have a 4 year old and a 2 month old, so we have to do thing that involve them.

First we enjoyed a nice lunch with them and my best friend Laura. We are super broke at the moment because of the move we made at the beginning of June, but I was able to afford it with Jingit. (Check out my "Favorite Websites" page for more information on Jingit)

Then we went to the mall, where we ran into Laura's brother and his family. Laura then treated Lexie, Mia (her niece), herself, and me to a mall train ride! If only the train would take you from store to store to shop. After that was a stop at Dillard's for free perfume! Not kidding. Full size bottles of the good stuff... but they were testers. BUT we got them for free, and they had a good majority of their perfume. Not going to complain. I got Harajuku Lovers Music, which still goes for $30 on some online stores.

At home we excitedly awaited word on the arrival of Chris' cousin Allie's baby, Mylah Denise! Haven't gotten to see her yet, but seen pictures. She is beautiful! She has dark hair and looks like her daddy. (I mean she is half Hispanic. How could she not be beautiful!) Mylah has great, level-headed parents and an amazing, loving family! She is going to have the good life!

Mylah Denise Gonzalez 9 lb 1 oz, 21.5 inches long born July 31 at 7:50 pm

"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for." - Unknown

Monday, July 30, 2012

Freebies for the weeks of July 16th - 22nd & 23rd - 29th

Week of July 16th - 22nd:
- 4 count sample pack of Brew over Ice K-Cups
- A coupon for $1 of Meow Mix
- A coupon for a free cup of Meow Mix Pate Toppers
- A coupon for a free pint of Edy's ice cream
- A sample of Bissel carpet cleaning solution
- 4 sample packs and reusable wash cloths from ProForce cleaning solutions
- A free tee shirt from Hershey's/Reese's for their NCAA March Madness promotion
- Febreze Set & Refresh from a Febreze giveaway
- 6 hair care samples for curly hair from Miss Jessie
- Dove deodorant sample from Costco
- 2 full size bottles of Bio True multipurpouse contact solution
- 2 samples of seasoned macadamia nuts from Island Princess
- Sample of chocolate covered coffee beans from Island Princess

Week Of July 23rd - 29th:
- A coupon for a free Nivea lip care product
- 2 coupons for $1 off any Nivea lotion
- Rubber bracelet that says "Mommy to be" (for a family member)
- Free greeting cards (that whole pile of white envelopes and the two that are open)
- Babytalk magazine (free subscription)
- Family Fun magazine (free subscription)
- 2 samples of Fekkai hair care products
- A tube of Neutrogena sun block
- 4 sample packets of Enfamil baby formula
- Sample of Perfectly Simple by Zone Perfect peanut crunch bar with $1 off coupon
- Pink BIC permanent marker with $2 off coupon
- A coupon for $1 off Snuggle fabric softner
- A coupon for $1.50 off Children Advil
- Revlon ColorBurst lipstick sample
- Target coupon book
- A bottle of TRESemme shampoo and bottle of TRESemme conditioner
- A bottle of Aveeno daily detox scrub
- Fructis shampoo and conditioner samples
- Blue make-up bag from Target beauty bag giveaway (which most of the beauty freebies from this week came in)

Not Pictured:
Free sweet tea from McAlister's Deli

Always remember: freebies are a privileged, not a right. Never get mad or upset at a company/brand over a freebie or giveaway. It's not worth the stress, and it's very immature. If you get a freebie, awesome. If you don't there will always be more! Companies do not have to give anything away to anyone for free, so always thank them when the chance arises.

"Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts."  - Alan Cohen

Mommy/Daughter Crafts on a Rainy Day

Clay was made with flour, salt, water. Very simple to make. The baking part... eh... Took about 4 hours at 250. Also, you would think that since baking in a hot oven makes them hard that the heat from sitting in a car would effect them... nope... wrong. They will get soft and try to fall apart. Only one of them had to suffer, but the rest got to their destinations before that horrible fate.

“You cannot help but learn more as you take the world into your hands. Take it up reverently, for it is an old piece of clay, with millions of thumbprints on it.” - John Updike