Archive for September, 2006 Makes the News

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

We wanted to share with everyone that we have been featured in All You Magazine. This magazine is available in Walmart (nationwide) and should be at the front of the cash registers. They did an interview with us and I got the opportunity to share all about our website. The interview is on page 84, so if you have time to browse the magazine (even while waiting in line), I hope that you can check it out!

We also are proud to announce that we have been working with Cascade and we have gotten the opportunity to represent them and their new Cascade 2 in 1 product. Cascade has just issued press releases announcing the spokesperson position and have included it in their press kits. I was given the chance to write tips for their press materials and share on one thing that I enjoy talking about- saving time when cleaning! These print materials will be used to promote their new product and it was such an honor to work with them.

If you get a chance to check out the article, just give us a click on our comments button. It is so exciting to share this with all of our wonderful readers! Advertising Requests

Friday, September 29th, 2006

I have been getting a lot of inquiries on how to advertise with us. If you haven’t noticed our new look, we have added a lot of advertisements by partnering with Women’s Forum. Although I loved being able to offer the advertising myself, it was a lot of work to maintain all of our accounts and we now are allowing Womens Forum to handle our advertising. The advertisements for work-at-home businesses that are currently posted, are only remaining until they expire because we do want to fulfill our advertising agreements with them.

If you are interested in becoming a part of a directory, we are going to take that approach with advertising. I am starting a Work-At-Home Mom directory, a Birthday Party directory, and a Cloth Diapering Directory. The Work-at-Home Mom directory will be listed in the Work-at-Home Ideas article, the Birthday Party directory will be located in our Birthday Party Ideas article, and the Cloth Diapering directory will be located under Cloth Diapering 101. Each of these will list resources at the end of the article. You can include a fifteen word text advertisement and a link to your personal website. The total cost will be $15 to be listed within that article. We will be listing more than one representative from each company so the listing will appear as a first come, first serve in order of appearance. This is a one time fee and will be up as long as we have our site up (which I hope will be keeping me busy until I am old & gray). We accept PayPal payments to [email protected]. Include your website link & a fifteen word text ad within the notes. All other advertising requests (banners, button ads, etc..) must be directed through Womens Forum. These advertisements will say Additional Resources and all links will appear below that.

Thank you all for your continued support with our website. Please let me know if you have any questions about advertising.

Freebie Friday: September 29, 2006

Friday, September 29th, 2006

Thank you for coming each week to my blog. I am surprised by the popularity of Freebie Friday, but am so happy to share these with everyone. It is so nice to see my friends light up when they go to their mailboxes and open it finding something special just for them (instead of those horrible bills).

I did want to remind everyone that it is definitely your choice whether or not you want to sign up for these. I have gotten some hateful emails from people who are unhappy that I am polluting the world by getting everyone to sign up for this stuff. I only post freebies that I would sign up for myself and if you don’t think you will use something- just don’t sign up for it. I have not seen an increase in my junk mail and have really enjoyed getting the samples.

Just think of all the things you can use your samples for. Tuck them in a basket for your guests that come to your house and forget their shampoo or toothpaste. Stick the freebies in your suitcase to help cut down on space instead of carrying giant bottles or purchasing sample size products. Save the samples and give them to someone in need, like a women’s shelter or a homeless shelter. Heck, give them away for Halloween treats. Imagine the children’s delight when they come to your door and receive a sample of Sensodyne toothpaste (this one is just a joke!) I just wanted to share some useful things you can do with your freebies though and feel free to share what you have found uses for in your own home.

Please be sure to send me an email and let me know if you run across any freebies. My email address is [email protected] and I am always looking for new things to add each week.

I did want to add one final reminder that this weekend is the time to use your FREE museum passes. Be sure to print these out and hit that expensive museum that you have been dying to go to! I hope you enjoy the day with your family.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Get your free subscription to Everyday Smart Moves Magazine. Healthier living can be fun. And free. Everyday Smart Moves magazine features family-friendly tips for healthier living, activities to get everyone moving, ideas for better meals and snacks, and a whole lot more. Fill out the information to have a FREE Everyday Smart Moves Magazine mailed directly to your home. If you sign up this week, your subscription will start with their fall issue 2006, arriving in October.

Try a free sample of the new Advil PM. Please allow up to four weeks for delivery.

Get a free sample of Lysol Sanitizing Wipes.

Clorox is giving away a free Classroom Kit and helping expel nasty germs from the classroom. You can request a kit for your classroom (if you are a teacher) or nominate your wonderful teacher to receive the kit.

Complete the form to receive a free sample of Reynolds Parchment Paper.

Receive a free sample of Emergen-C. Please allow up to four weeks for delivery.

Get a free First Aid Kit. Simply enter in the code firstaidkit to request this freebie. You will receive your kit within three weeks.

Receive a free, limited edition, art print featuring Holly Hobbie. There is no purchase necessary. Enter the coupon code HOLLY FRIENDS for this freebie.

The Window Covering Safety Council is offering free retro window kits that help prevent cord accidents from happening. They have two free kits, one for pre-1995 miniblinds/pleated shades & one for post-1995. This is a great freebie for keeping your family safe!

Receive two free issues of Photoshop User Magazine by filling out their registration form.

Receive two free issues (risk free) of Real Simple Magazine (one of the best on the market, in my own humble opinion). This was a special invitation from J. Jill.

This is one of the best freebies out there. State Farm gives away a wonderful book called “Caring For Your Baby Child (Birth to Age 5)”. It is a great book and completely free. I got one of these when we found out we were expecting our daughter. I received no harassing calls from the company and it is full of wonderful information for your family. Enjoy this one or share it with a friend!

Receive a coupon for a free Dr Pepper from Chick-fil-A, just for registering to win their contest. It is possible you might win even more than that, if you play the game. I tried last year and lost, but maybe I will have better luck next year. Either way, you will receive the coupon for the Dr Pepper. Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery. You can enter the contest daily, but will only receive one coupon. This coupon will expire on January 31, 2007.

Receive a free survival kit for children with diabetes (and their parents). You can request a kit for your school/office or for your child. This looks like a wonderful freebie!

Get your free sample of the new Dove Ultimate Clear Deodorant by filling out their form. Look for this freebie in your mailbox soon!

Receive a free sample of Next Step Lipil Formula for the toddler in your life.

Get a free sample of L’Oreal Elvive Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. You will receive this sample shortly.

Last Week’s Freebies

2 Weeks Ago

WFMW: Cleaning Up Yo’ Grill

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Welcome to Works for Me Wednesday. Each week a bunch of us share our solutions for our family with our readers. If you want to get the full experience, please visit Shannon’s blog and you will find hundreds of ideas for your family & simplifying your life.

I have a quick and easy tip if you are looking for an easy solution for cleaning your grill. If you have a self-cleaning oven in your home, simply take the grill grates from your outdoor grill and pop them in with your oven. Run it through the self-cleaning cycle and go to bed. In the morning you will have a shiny clean grill and a shiny clean oven. What could be better than that?

Here is the listing of all my other grand ideas- feel free to browse around and I hope you find this tip helpful!!

Good Ol’ Plastic Bags
Easy Carrying & Storing
Find Just What You Are Looking For
Target Pharmacy
Say No to Hand Cramps
Foamy Soap
Adventures in Shipping
Frugal Exercise Solutions
Microfiber Obsessions
Sand Between Your Toes Blues
Giving the Gift of Magazines (Frugally)
Solution for Cheap Trash Bags
Programming Your Cell Phone
Free Up Pantry Space: Make a Snack
Weeding Through Your Child’s Art Work Creatively
Using the Coffee Maker With Ease
Making Your Spice Rack Usable
Maximizing Space

Our Birthday Party Directory

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Stumped for birthday party ideas this year? You are in luck because we have pulled a list of great places that you can have your next child’s birthday party at. I have created a directory of places that offer children’s birthday parties. Why, you might ask? Well, I had a hard time finding information about who offered parties for children. After researching for our son’s birthday party, we decided to have a McDonald’s birthday party and it has become among the top items searched for that have lead people to our site. I figured that I probably was not the only mom hunting for this information so I put together a list of (mostly) national places that you can host your next birthday party at.

This is not necessarily the most frugal birthday party choice. I have hosted some wonderful birthday parties at our home. For our son’s first birthday party, I made two lasagnas, a tray of baked ziti, and we had a birthday cake (for almost twenty guests- only inviting family). The total cost was around fifty dollars. Our second birthday party cost a mere forty bucks (for almost twenty people). I made a French toast soufflé, two egg casseroles, orange juice, and served Krispy Kreme donuts (that I piped blue and pink decorations onto). This was a very inexpensive “cake” because I had a coupon for buy one dozen, get one dozen free. They were a hit with the kids and a candle fit perfectly into the donut. Our third birthday party was also a home party, costing around fifty bucks for everything. We bought two subs from Walmart, a cake from Walmart, and I made a veggie tray, fruit salad, and a pasta salad. This party was hosted outdoors (cutting down on clean-up).

Party number four was a McDonald’s party and the most enjoyable of the bunch. Sixty bucks total and no clean-up for me. The savings of ten dollars seemed minor after having a second child and feeling drained of energy and creativity.

If you are just not a party type of family, that is fine too! Go out to dinner and treat yourself to some birthday freebies by visiting my blog entry and finding every freebie, known to man, that you can cash in on during your special day.

I hope that you will find some time to visit our birthday party directory. If you have a local or national place that you like to have your parties at, please give me a shout out by hitting my comments button. Please do not give me a shout out if you are trying to advertise your personal business. I will be happy to add any company (or work-at-home mom!!) to our directory for a PayPal payment of fifteen dollars to [email protected]. This is a lifetime spot and we will only have one representative listed from each company, so it is first come first serve. I would love to add your services- clowns, mimes, face painters, juggling acts (wait, don’t we all do this?), and other birthday planning services can be included in our list.

Thank you all for your support of our site and all that we do here!

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Formula

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Head on over to Baby Cheapskate to get the tutorial you need on store brand formula versus the “good stuff.” Are store brand formulas just as good as their brand name competitors or are we being duped? This blog entry has some very valuable information in it.

Now on the market are many organic baby formulas. Just what is the difference between the organic stuff and their other counterparts? Her blog entry shares all of the information you need to justify whether or not you should be buying this expensive formula.

When I had a visit with a dietician a few months ago, for low blood sugar, I was deciding whether or not I wanted to continue nursing my daughter. She was draining me and I have never felt worse in my life. After five bouts of thrush, two cases of mastitis, and plugged milk ducts, low blood sugar, and feeling like I was going to die, I was debating on whether or not I was dedicated enough to continue. Needless to say, the dietician agreed that it might be a good move for me to make the switch to formula. We had children just a few weeks apart and she had switched at six months to formula. Curious to see if being a dietician influenced her decision to buy the brand name versus the store brand, I went ahead and asked her what she purchased. She said that she did extensive label checking and discovered that the store brand that she felt was closest to the big name stuff was…Target store brand formula. Walmart, although cheaper, did not fit the bill as closely as this store brand. I found it interesting information and being as frugal as I am, I am always wanting to know how to get the best stuff for the cheapest price.

I admit, I buy the Walmart brand and my daughter is as healthy as a horse. She is happy and her momma is happy too. We love Parent’s Choice formula and it is the cheapest brand that I have found.

Feel free to share your experience with store brand formula, organic formula, or the brand name stuff.

Monday WAHM Spotlight: CaitiMac Creations

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Name: Carolyn Carter

City/State: Cochranville, PA

Name of Company: CaitiMac Creations

Two or Three Sentences About Your Company:

I own a baby keepsake business specializing in handmade shopping cart covers, clingy cords (my own invention), fleece baby blankets and Boo-boo bags. All of my items are very unique and made w/great attention to detail. I started my business so I could stay at home w/my 19 month old daughter.

Two Tips for Moms Trying to Work-At-Home (these tips can be how you stay organized, how to be successful, how to get started- anything that you feel would help someone just starting out):

Make sure you have work/life balance. I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in my work but I have to remember that my 19 month old needs mommy time.

For me to stay organized I have to write everything thing down. For example: what I have to buy at the store, what I sold, how much it was and who bought it. Always keep a list/journal or your inventory/supplies.

**If you are interested in being featured, we will be selecting a mom for each Monday of my blog. You can read more and apply. Email confirmations are sent to each mom if they are chosen. Please remember to do your own research on these companies. If there are obvious red flags on BBB, I do not post them. Check my scam article to find out more about the potential dangers of work-at-home businesses.**

Birthday Party Ideas

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Build-A-Bear Birthday Party

Pawsome parties start at $10 per guest.  Every scheduled party (of six or more children) includes a party leader to keep your guests entertained throughout the party process, an autograph bear for the guest of honor, party favors for all guests, & printable invitations & thank you cards online.  The $10 price tag includes only the bear (outfits & accessories are not included). They do not allow food or drinks in their store, but most of the malls partner with restaurants, within the food court, and provide discounts on food for the parties. Call 1.877.789.BEAR, visit a store, or visit their website for more information.

Snip-its Birthday Party (for girls)

Snip-its Birthday Parties are fun for kids and easy for parents! Just choose the party that’s right for you, and let the experts at Snip-its do all the work. They provide all supplies, cake and juice, party favors, a special gift for the birthday girl, and a party organizer so you don’t have to lift a finger!  You can style a doll’s hair or have a glamour party, where Snip-its does glamour photos with braids & curls, nail polish, make-up, & dressy clothes. Choose your party package, then call them toll-free at (877) SNIP-ITS, or visit their website for more information.  Pricing is not listed on their website.

Little Gym

Kids love to have their parties at The Little Gym. Every party has the entire gym to themselves, and includes plenty of music, movement, games and fun, created especially for each child. Our facilities and staff are bright, cheerful and child-friendly. A party at The Little Gym is a no stress birthday party for parents, because we handle everything from invitations to clean-up. Kids have a blast and parents rest easy…awesome!

Oogles n Googles

Oogles n Googles offers unique and zany “all inclusive” themed kids birthday party packages. From set-up to clean up, we do the work so you don’t have to. Our birthday parties are activity-based and totally engaging for the children. Our kids parties will razzle and dazzle your guests and at the same time provide your child with an unbelievably memorable birthday party experience. They offer tons of themes  (for both boys & girls). A themed birthday party includes: two-hours of non-stop action led by two Oogles n Googles trained party professionals, postcard style invitations and thank you notes, a structured, well planned party full of imagination, games, and songs. Other services included are a themed Birthday Party Cake, plates, cups, napkins, and flatware, unique party favors that match the theme, and a souvenir photo for each of the children.

Mall of America

The Mall of America has several options for birthday parties (including the Build-a-Bear party listed above). Here are some of the other options for birthday parties:

The Park at MOATM

Birthday party packages include:

  • 5-hour unlimited ride wristband
  • Three arcade tokens
  • Your choice between a cupcake for each guest, or 30% off a decorated birthday cake from Mrs. Rich’s Bakery

The birthday child receives a birthday button and birthday club cards that allows the child to receive one free 6-point pass and three arcade tokens each month following their birthday for a year. The total cost per person is $17.95 and the minimum party size is four guests. No party reservations are needed. Simply purchase your birthday package at Guest Relations located on the second floor on the north side. If choosing the cake option for dessert, please remember to make your cake order 48 hours in advance.

Underwater Adventures® Aquarium in Mall of America

Birthday party package includes:

  • An all day aquarium admission for 10
  • Full-color invitations
  • 1.5 hours of reserved seating in Sharky’s Party Room with decorations, balloons, goody bags and more!
  • Personalized birthday cake and beverages
  • Hands-on activities with aquarium staff
  • A commemorative photo of the group

The birthday party package amounts to $295 for the first 10 guests and $15 per additional child and $10 per additional adult. If you are a member of Underwater Adventures® Aquarium, you save $30. To book your party today, call 952-853-0612.

The Dinosaur Walk Museum

The perfect place for a birthday party or any other kind of celebration. We provide the place (so you don’t have to clean your house). You won’t have to think up any games because we have fun stuff to do. You invite the guests and bring the cake, and we take care of everything else. We provide the dinosaurs, the activities, the dinosaur masks, and the party favors. We even clean up!

We can now offer a catered birthday party! We can provide pizza for up to 10 kids for $15.

We have two party options. To schedule your special occasion, call us at 952-854-6451. A $50 deposit is required for each birthday reservation.

Club Libby Lu at Mall of America

As the V.I.P. (Very Important Princess) birthday girl, you’ll get to choose a Style Studio Makeover. Then, when you and your friends arrive you will be transformed in the makeover of your choice. Each girl then custom designs their own party favors from Club Libby Lu’s “Pick a Mix.” The party continues with the “Wheel of Fame and Fortune Game.” Once each guest has been made over, you will form a musical party train and boogie down to the Club Libby Lu beat. Choose from three different package prices:

  • For $30/guest, the package includes accessories to complete the look, any five items from “Pick a Mix” in a backpack for you to keep and a Fancy Potion Pack or a Super Smooch Lip Gloss Kit.
  • For $25/guest the package includes accessories to complete the look, any five items from “Pick a Mix” in a backpack for you to keep and a “Create your own” Fancy Potion.
  • For $20/guest the package includes accessories to complete the outfit and any five items from “Pick a Mix” in a backpack for you to keep.

To book your party with Club Libby Lu at Mall of America, call 952-858-8550.

Rainforest Café

Book a Wild Bunch Birthday Bash and receive a free Rainforest character with the purchase of a Pacific Rainbow Icee served in the Rainforest’s collectible souvineer cup.

NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway

Compete with your friends and family racing over 200 M.P.H. in authentic NASCAR simulators on the Daytona Speedway. Great for all guests who are 52″ in height or taller. Specific dates and times can be confirmed with groups of five or more drivers. The birthday package includes the following:

  • Four races for the price of three at $19.95 each
  • A complimentary NASCAR driver’s license customized with each driver’s name

After hour parties are available for adult groups of 12 or more drivers. For complete details and availability, contact Sinda Schirra at 952-854-4308.
They also offer even more parties at Glamour, Claire’s, & the LEGO store. Visit this website for more details.
Burn rubber, not candles on your next birthday at the Mall’s famous NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway. Compete with your friends and family racing over 200 M.P.H. in authentic NASCAR simulators on the Daytona Speedway. Great for all guests who are 52″ in height or taller. Specific dates and times can be confirmed with groups of five or more drivers. The birthday package includes the following:

  • Four races for the price of three at $19.95 each
  • A complimentary NASCAR driver’s license customized with each driver’s name

After hour parties are available for adult groups of 12 or more drivers. For complete details and availability, contact Sinda Schirra at 952-854-4308.

For more information on other parties the Mall of America offers, please visit their website.

Michaels Arts & Crafts Store

Choose one of our 11 fun projects or work with our party planner to create one of your own. Our party planner will get everything ready and show the kids how to do each step of the projects. Every child will make something special to take home. Birthday packages are available for ages five through twelve. There is a non-refundable room fee ($25) due at the time of the party reservation. Project prices range between $6-10 per child.  A minimum of six children (which includes the birthday child) is required. Michaels includes, on their site, lots of great themed birthday cakes (to go along with the projects). Please visit their site for more information. Birthday party does not include paper products, cake, or refreshments, but they will clean up for you!

My Gym

A My Gym party includes two hours of nonstop fun (times vary on location), an experienced My Gym teacher who handles everything (including songs & games requested by the birthday child), & exclusive use of their facilities. They do all of the setting up, decorations, cleanup & service of refreshments. The party package includes up to twenty children, with an extra charge for additional children. Party favors are available, but do cost extra. Visit their website for more information.

Chuck E. Cheese’s

A Chuck E. Cheese birthday party includes a decorated table reserved for ninety minutes with party balloons, two slices of pizza with one topping per child plus drink, a birthday cake, sixteen tokens for each child, a birthday gift for the birthday child, a personal visit from Chuck E. Cheese, a host or hostess to wait on you, and a special birthday show performed by Chuck E. Cheese & his friends. Pricing varies by location. Please visit their website for more details.

Freebie Friday: September 22, 2006

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

Before I begin listing the free samples, I just wanted to share with you all that Yahoo is offering a free cup of coffee, from the beloved Dunkin Donuts, for every single person who sets their homepage to today. For more information about this offer please visit or read this article published by Productivity Applications.

Also, a reader tip (from Sharon- thank you!) was sent to me. MOO is offering free Flickr MiniCards for all Flickr Pro users. Please visit this link for more information and to sign up for this freebie. Please keep those reader tips coming, people! This helps me extend even more offers to everyone!

Please share our blog with your friends and let them know that every Friday they can score loads of freebies.

Free sample of Airborne

Get your free sample of Calgon spray in Cotton Candy scent. This sample will arrive in four to six weeks.

One free Klean-To-Go Personal Protection Packet (perfect for all of those road trips!)

Get your free sample of Bar Keepers Friend Powder or Liquid Bar Keepers Friend by visiting this link.

Request a free sample of Oxygen Nutrition Awakening tablets.

Sign up and receive a free sample of Member’s Mark Soy Formula. Please allow one to two weeks for delivery (or this is sent out around your due date, whichever is applicable).

Get your free Eucerin Daily Replenishing Lotion sample by filling out the form.
Sign up and receive a free 3.0 ounce sample of Dove Hand Wash.

Fill out this form to receive a sample of Oil of Olay Total Effects Cleansing Cloths. This sample will arrive in four to six weeks.

Receive a free sample of the new Dove Calming Night Lotion.

Fill out the form for a free sample of Garnier Fructis. This sample will arrive in three to four weeks.

Receive a free sample of Downy Plus Whitening by filling out there quick form. Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery.

Get a free one year subscription to PC World magazine by visiting this link.

Request a free Smart-Memo board sample by filling out their quick form. This sample will arrive shortly.

Get a free one year subscription to Spin Magazine.

Fill out the form to receive a free sample of Always Clean from Procter & Gamble. Please limit to one sample per household. Please allow up to four weeks for delivery.

Fill out this form to receive a free sample of Viactiv. Please limit one sample per household.

Take a fifteen minute survey and receive a one year subscription to Fast Company & Inc. Magazine (remember that this is a timely one!)

WFMW: Good Ol’ Plastic Bags

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

Welcome to my little corner of the world over at Works-For-Me-Wednesday. For more great solutions and ideas for your family, please visit Rocks In My Dryer and click through all of the great participants.

I love plastic grocery bags and use them for just about everything- from carrying my library books to lining our trash cans.

I have a caddy with all of my cleaning supplies in it and I take that from room to room when I do the weekly house cleaning. Within it are two of my favorite free tools- newspaper and plastic trash bags. I take a giant trash bag with me from room to room and pull all of the trash from each room. In the bottom of each trash can, I put three extra trash bags and then line it with a final bag. When the trash is full, it makes it easy to toss and then place one of the empty trash bags (from the bottom) in its place. I also keep one newspaper in my caddy of tools for wiping down windows and mirrors….But I digress.

My favorite use for plastic grocery bags is to line my counters and kitchen sink. Instead of dirtying my counter when I open fresh poultry or beef, I just open the package over the empty grocery bag and dump the juices (and bacteria) directly into the trash can.

They are also really handy when peeling potatoes or carrots. Just line the interior of the kitchen sink and clean-up becomes a cinch when you gather up your bags and toss the vegetable peels in one fell swoop.

I hope this helps save some of you some clean-up time out there! Thanks so much for stopping by. For new visitors, I always include links to my past entries. Feel free to browse around!!

Past Entries:

Easy Carrying & Storing
Find Just What You Are Looking For
Target Pharmacy
Say No to Hand Cramps
Foamy Soap
Adventures in Shipping
Frugal Exercise Solutions
Microfiber Obsessions
Sand Between Your Toes Blues
Giving the Gift of Magazines (Frugally)
Solution for Cheap Trash Bags
Programming Your Cell Phone
Free Up Pantry Space: Make a Snack
Weeding Through Your Child’s Art Work Creatively
Using the Coffee Maker With Ease
Making Your Spice Rack Usable
Maximizing Space