Ebates ~ where it pays to shop online

So have you heard of/tried out Ebates.com yet? It’s a really cool website where you can get coupons and cash back from shopping online! All you have to do is any time you’re about to make an online purchase check in and see if you can get to the site through Ebates and they’ll give your percentages off or cash back–pretty awesome if you’re like me and do a ton of shopping online anyways! It’s also free and they don’t spam you at all–so SIGN UP HERE and give it a try!! (and if you’re even a little bit  curious just do it for me purdy please–if I get 3 people to sign up I’ll get $30, woot woot!)

Gorton’s Seafood January Grilled Facebook Giveaway!

I will be doing a review and giveaway from Gorton’s very soon but I wanted to let you know about this so you could get in on it!!

One thousand (1000) FREE grilled product coupons will be given out in four (4) Drawings of two-hundred fifty coupons (250) on: January 10, 2011; January 17, 2011; January 24, 2011; January 31, 2011. One (1) Grand Prize: Xbox 360 Console with Kinect (Retail Value $300.00) to be drawn on January 31, 2011.

My Belle Boutique *Review & Giveaway*

***this giveaway is now CLOSED congrats to Atreau who won***

I absolutely love My Belle Boutique! You might remember the previous Review and Giveaway I did for her shop. If not then go check it out! This time I received these *gorgeous* earrings and bracelet! It’s so funny because I was just telling hubby how much I loved colored pearls and then these showed up in the mail–she’s a mind reader! For Christmas I ordered my mom this necklace and she absolutely loves it! My bestie Lara has also order quite a bit from My Belle now as well and she loves their adorable flowers hairbow clip set–her daughter wants to wear one all the time to ballet she told me! 🙂 All of their stuff is gorgeous, high quality, and very affordable! If you check out her Facebook Fan Page you can find her great fundraisers, auctions, and weekly commenting game.

One Lucky Reader will receive the gorgeous hand-stamped necklace in the picture above!
As always be sure I have a way to get your email address so I can tell you that you won! If I don’t have an easy way to get it (in your comment, google profile, etc) I will automatically choose a new winner. A new winner will also automatically be chosen if any of the entries are not followed specifically (such as doing the mandatory entry). Also leave a separate comment for each additional entry that you do! One comment = one entry!
**Mandatory Entry**
This must be done in order for any other entry to count
Visit My Belle Boutique and tell me what your favorite item is!
**Additional Entries**
Because who wouldn’t want this necklace?!
1 Entry each ~ Follow me through Google Friend Connect, Subscribe to my RSS feed (Ramblings For You on left sidebar), or subscribe to me via email (Ramblings to Your Inbox on left sidebar) –You only have to do one but each counts as an extra entry–come on, you know you want to!!! 😉
1 Entry **Daily** Follow Me (I follow back!) on Twitter and Tweet. Be sure to leave me the link! You may copy/paste the following:
Win a gorgeous #handmade hand-stamped necklace from My Belle Boutique! @coastiewife321 http://tinyurl.com/6zg7st8 2/7 Pls RT! #giveaway
1 Entry ~ Snag my blog button, isn’t it cute?! Leave me the url so I can come visit your blog!
1 Entry ~ Blog about this and be sure to link back to this post, leave me the URL to the post, you know you wanna share the love!
1 Entry ~ Get up and do a *happy dance*

 

This Giveaway will end 2/12/11 at 11:59 p.m. EST

I will choose the winner via random.org contact them via email and post them on this blog. They have 48 hours to claim their win before a new winner is chosen.
Good Luck!!!

Chloraseptic Lozenges & Sore Throat Spray

Right after we all got over our nasty colds a few months ago I received Cholraseptic spray and lozenges to review. The good news is that none of us have had a cold since! The bad news is that it’s hard to do reviews of cold medicine if you’re not sick! So instead of sharing my review (because I’m *hoping* I won’t have to use them for awhile longer!) I decided to just go ahead and share this press release with you so you could find out about them in case your family is not quite so lucky as we’ve been the past few months! (Oh–and I have definitely gotten a sore throat from screaming over football before–haha!)

The 2011 Survey on Sore Throats

AIR TRAVEL, EXCESSIVE SCREAMING AND CERTAIN PROFESSIONS ARE AMONG TODAY’S LEADING CAUSES FOR SORE THROATS

SCREAMING FOOTBALL FANS BE READY FOR SUPER BOWL

Irvington, NY (January 2011)—The makers of Chloraseptic® sore throat relief products, in conjunction with TABS Group, an independent consumer analytics company, today announced the findings of the 2011 Survey on Sore Throats. The study of nearly 1,000 people was commissioned to explore today’s wide-ranging causes of sore throat pain and the remedies people use to treat them. The study findings come at a critical time of year when people are at the highest risk for the flu and colds, which are known to often be accompanied by sore throats.

Despite the seasonal effects that cause sore throat pain, the survey revealed information about other causes—non-medical and activity-based causes of sore throat pain. Whereas 72% of respondents listed cold and the flu as having caused sore throats, the prevalence of activity-based sore throats was not far behind.

The survey suggests that football fans, Oprah fans and screaming parents should be armed with sore throat remedies as well. Twenty-eight percent of respondents suffered from sore throat pain due to cheering and screaming. Perhaps that’s why Steve Johnson of the Chicago Tribune pointed out in a recent article that Oprah should have also given her audience a sample of “Chloraseptic spray, to soothe throats raw from screaming” on her famous “Favorite Things” episodes.

In addition to screaming, the survey showed that individuals associated with certain professions are susceptible to sore throats. As for the careers most commonly associated with sore throat pain, near the top were singers (53%) and auctioneers (40%), perhaps because of the strain they often put on their voices. Healthcare workers (47%) and teachers (37%) are also perceived to be at risk possibly due to their constant exposure to airborne-illnesses.

The survey also found that 54% percent of respondents have sore throat pain caused by dry air. The winter season is a busy time for flights, ski trips and other outdoor and high-altitude activities. Those activities, combined with heated environments, heighten people’s exposure to dryness resulting in sore throats.

“The findings are a testament to the fact that during winter months, colds and the flu are not the only causes for sore throat pain; rather there are many other causes as well,” said Jean Boyko, PhD., Vice President Science & Technology for Prestige Brands, maker of Chloraseptic® products. “That is why it is important to always have OTC products like sore throat lozenges and sprays on hand.”

The 2011Chloraseptic® Survey on Sore Throats polled a representative sample of 903 respondents, 444 of whom were male, 459 of whom were female. Here are other key findings:

• People under 30 are over 80% more likely to have sore throat pain caused by too much partying

• Dry air was the most commonly-cited cause for sore throats outside of any cold or the flu, as listed by 65% of respondents

• Dehydration was cited by 18% of respondents

• 55% of respondents listed throat pain relief as the top reason for buying a particular sore throat remedy brand, followed by 38% saying they buy a particular brand because it works instantly

According to the makers of Chloraseptic® products, sore throats can be eased by a number of at-home and over-the-counter solutions. For treating sore throat pain:

• Use Chloraseptic® Lozenges or Chloraseptic® Sore Throat Spray to relieve sore throat pain

• Increase fluid intake to decrease throat irritation and stay hydrated

• Gargle with warm salt water

• Add honey to warm beverages or use OTC products that contain honey to soothe sore throat pain, especially for children ages 1 to 4, for whom medicines are contraindicated

About the Products


Chloraseptic®, the # 1 pharmacist-recommended brand of sore throat liquid and lozenges, has a line of easy-to-use over the counter (OTC) products. Chloraseptic® Sore Throat Lozenges have a solid shell and a soothing liquid center containing benzocaine and menthol. The lozenges are available in Cherry, Citrus, Honey Lemon and Green Tea, as well as a diabetic-friendly, sugar-free formula and a maximum strength Wild Berries flavor. The Chloraseptic® sprays come in great flavors such as Cherry, Menthol and Soothing Citrus in a 6.0 oz bottle. The line also includes a grape-flavored kids’ strength formula as well as a smaller Maximum Strength spray that comes in a 1.0 oz portable bottle.


About Prestige Brands Holdings, Inc. (NYSE-PBH)


Prestige Brands Holdings, Inc. markets well-known over-the-counter healthcare and household cleaning products. Key brands include Chloraseptic® sore throat relief products, Clear Eyes® and Murine® eye and ear care products, Compound W® wart treatments, the Little Remedies® line of pediatric over-the-counter products, The Doctor’s® NightGuard® dental protector, New-Skin® liquid bandages, Efferdent® and Effergrip® denture care products, Luden’s® cough drops, PediaCare® children’s OTC products, Nasalcrom® allergy treatments and Comet® and Spic and Span® household cleaners. The Company’s products are sold throughout the U.S. and Canada, and in certain international markets.


For more information, go to www.prestigebrandsinc.com

My Belle Boutique Fundraiser

So I will be posting a new review & giveaway for My Belle Boutique *very* soon but in case I can’t get to it today I wanted to post about the Fundraiser she’s doing right now. Originally it was so a little girl at her son’s preschool could go to Disneyland as her final wish but she just got the horrible news that the 3 year old girl just passed away :'( Makes me tear up just thinking about it. Now the money from the fundraiser will go to help the family with the funeral costs. PLEASE go bid on something to help this family out!! There’s all kinds of gorgeous stuff and most of the bids are very low!

Click HERE to go to the fundraiser

Becoming a "Real" Military Spouse

Sadly I found out this week that Today’s Military Spouse (the online magazine I wrote for occasionally) is shutting down. So I’m transferring my articles from there onto here so that I don’t lose them! This article was from the day before Amber ended up being admitted into the hospital–talk about a brutal initiation in the life of a “real military spouse”!!!!
It was bound to happen.

I knew that you couldn’t live the life of a military spouse without really living it sooner or later. Somehow I’d managed to dodge the bullet until this point though.

Oh, I’m not saying that we have always been together–we spent our 6 month engagement 2,000 miles apart and only saw each other for one entire day of it. Then there was A school where for 3 months I saw my husband briefly for a few hours each weekend, then filled up the rest of my days with chick flicks, World of Warcraft, and my part time job in DC where I didn’t know anyone well enough to visit with them so spent the time in our apartment all alone. And of course how can I forget him missing our daughter’s first Christmas and her first birthday! But that’s another story…

Now, thanks to my husband being in the Coast Guard and our luck at landing 2 land units back to back, the separations have been few and far between. In fact up until this point at times he worked less than any civilian would have, and we both got used to a M-F 8-3 kind of life style our last unit provided. Good hours, however, mean you have a less than glamorous job. As in your official title should be “Osprey nest knocker off-er/Bird Poop cleaner-upper Man”. With an AA in Criminal Justice, it’s no surprise that the job quickly lost its appeal for hubby. When the option to lateral to the CG new rating, Maritime Enforcement, came up-he jumped at it.

Fast forward a couple of months to today.

Here I sit bleary eyed and crazy haired. I don’t think I got anything that could be considered sleep last night between my poor little girl who had a fever of 103.2 and my fussy 5 week old who I’m praying doesn’t catch it. I was so stressed out and sleep deprived yesterday that I pulled away from the Wendy’s drive through without my debit card and the poor guy came racing around the entire building chasing my car, waving it in the air.

This is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be!!!!!

And yet, I think about all the thousands of women who are going through this same scenario right now, many have been going through it for a year like one of my best friends who also has a toddler & a baby and her husband is in Afghanistan. Pretty much all these women I know seem to have it so together, they’re so strong and positive and just do what needs to be done–because that’s what they’ve got to do! Now I know that behind closed doors they’re probably sitting close to tears as their toddler & newborn cry at the same time and they just wish their husband could be there to run to the store to pick up medicine because they just realized they’re all out.

So to all of you wives out there, for the first time I really get what you’re going through and just know that you’re not alone, you’re absolutely amazing for doing what you do day in and day out…

I applaud you!

How To Make a Fabric Wreath

I’m a very odd mix of crafty and un-crafty genes. My dad is an amazing artist and I inherited some of that from him. My mom is very not crafty and I inherited a little of that from her too. The result is that I love art, am decent at doodling, good at photography, a scrapbooking fool, but can’t sew to save my life! I always admire girls who are totally talented and come up with amazing crafts all on their own! My fellow Coastie wife Brittany is one of these girls and when I saw her beyond adorable fabric wreaths I just had to know how to make one! I haven’t gotten the chance to make one for myself but I thought you might like the chance to try and Brittany was so sweet to send me the instructions and give me permission to share them and her pictures with you. I love the idea of using one of your hubbies old, ratty BDU/ODUs to make a completely personalized military wreath!!! According to Brittany these are very easy to make but take about 5 hours to complete.

Items Needed:

1) 3 yards of fabric (doesn’t have to be anything fancy- keep in mind that you wont see the pattern much once you cut it up, so mostly focus on the colors) or one old ODU/BDU

2) Scissors or Rotary cutter.

3) a 12” wire wreath frame (they sell them at Michael’s, you can use different sizes but 3 yards of fabric is perfect for this size)

4) Wire or string and/or hot glue gun to attack ribbons and decorations

5) a yard stick (preferably, it will just work easier for you to keep straight lines when you are cutting) , or a ruler will do.

***The following are the exact items Brittany uses in case you want to get serious about making these:

~ OLFA 45mm Rotary Cutter – has a tungsten steel blade which can be re-sharpened or replaced easily. (Hancock Fabrics, Michaels, JoAnne Fabrics)

~ OLFA Rotary Mat – 18×24 is a great universal size for various crafts. It works well especially with this project. (To be used w/ rotary cutter so you do not penetrate your workspace surface.)

~Omnigrid Quilting Ruler – 6×24 is a perfect size for this project.

~Premium Titanium Coated Fabric Scissors – Any brand will do. (Just a little Tip: MIL taught me to always keep craft scissors separated. Scissors used for quilting or fabric projects should not be used with scrapbooking or paper projects b/c paper is made of wood and will dull your scissors, making it difficult to cut fabric.)

~ I prefer clear glue sticks rather than the ‘cloudy/white’ ones. So you will not see the dried glue on your finished project.

*All materials listed above are available in various sizes to fit your needs and/or craft space. They can be purchased at Hancock Fabrics, Michaels, JoAnne Fabrics, or many other craft suppliers.

Instructions:

1) Cut fabric into 1” x 6” strips. Easiest way to do this is unfold your yard of fabric (so its still doubled up) and cut a HUGE 6” strip, then cut that 6” piece into a bunch of 1×6” strips.

2) when you have piles of your strips, I like to separate 6 even piles (if I’m using several different fabrics), one pile for each section of the wire frame, just so that i can keep track that I am not using too much of one fabric and then run out at the end..

3) Then just literally tie each strip onto the wire frame, one by one, on each wire, all the way around. Do one complete section at a time, then move onto the next ‘section’.
4) Attach your ribbon, twine, or decorations

5) You can either tie a piece of string, ribbon, or strip of fabric to hang, OR you could just hang it by one of the outer wires of the frame (that’s what I do and it works perfectly)

There you go! In case you are totally not crafty or just don’t have the time to make one of these great wreaths yourself, Brittany makes wreaths and all sorts of other amazing, crafty items in her Etsy Shop Coast 2 Coast Crafts

Coast Guard PCS Tips

Home is where the _______ sends us.

If you’re a military spouse you have heard this phrase many times, and might even have it hanging up in wherever your current home might be! In the five years that I’ve been a military spouse, home has been Washington D.C., North Carolina, Wyoming, North Carolina (again), and currently Boston, MA.

Five out of state moves in five years has forced me to become somewhat of an expert when it comes to PCS moves! Our last move took place while I was 7 months pregnant no less!

When you PCS with the Coast Guard one of the biggest things you have to decide is what to do about housing. Unlike other military branches, very few Coast Guard bases have on base housing. You have to either rent on the economy or live on the base of a different branch of service. Our family has always chosen to live on the economy.

Living in a hotel room for a week while frantically searching for a new home is not my idea of a good time, especially with a toddler and while pregnant! Thankfully, during this move I came across a valuable resource I wish I’d known about sooner! Coastie Chicks is a wonderful forum/website filled with great resources and sweet, helpful people! I was able to get a ton of information about the Boston area, and we even ended up renting our new apartment, sight unseen, because I was able to talk to a Coastie wife who was currently living in the complex. She gave me the run down on how much utilities cost her each month to what the best grocery store was to shop at. We absolutely love our new place and we wouldn’t have gotten it if it hadn’t been for the site!

Although Coastie Chicks is only for those affiliated with the Coast Guard, there are many support sites across the Internet. From Facebook groups, to complete websites, you can find and network with other military spouses. Nothing can be more valuable than information from someone living the life you’re about to live!

So get out there, get involved, and pick up some tips! Who knows, you might just have friends waiting for you in your new home when you arrive. What could be more valuable than that?!

My Ideal U.S. family great getaway

My ideal, great family get-away location is my one and only beloved home state—Wyoming! Although extremely rural (it does have the lowest population of all the states!) it’s the perfect place for families who are looking for a great “get away from it all” location! This time of year there is every kind of great winter weather activity to be found. Around the Jackson Hole area you can find great skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and snow machining activities all nestled next to the breathtaking Teton Mountain range and Teton National park. There’s also the Elk Refugee that is the winter grounds for hundreds of these beautiful creatures and you can take a sleigh ride to get up close and personal to see them! Jackson Hole itself is an amazing tourist town with great dining (I love the ribs at Bubbas) and several 4.5 star hotels so you can go relaxing in luxury after “roughing it” all day long.

During the summer a trip to Wyoming can’t be beat as well! Teton National Park is breathtaking during the summer with many gorgeous lakes, waterfalls, and hiking trails (and of course those amazing mountains!) A trip to the Bar J Wranglers ranch provides awesome and unique family friendly entertainment and of course the famous Yellowstone National Park is also located in that area. Yellowstone has amazing wildlife, beautiful wildflowers, and dazzling hot pots and geysers. Many of these places have lodges to rent so you don’t need to bring a tent or be able to have a camp trailer to go.

If you’re looking to avoid the Yellow stone crowds a great spot for a vacation that would be easily over looked is where I spent the first 19 years of my life—South Western Wyoming. Often passed over as “ugly and barren” it is a treasure trove of adventure if you just know where to look. A trip out to the awesome Sand Dunes and Boars Tusk—(the inner core of an ancient volcano) along with the ancient Indian petroglyphs provides for at least one full day of excitement and adventure and could easily be stretched over into a couple of days. You can also go on rides to look for all the wildlife SW Wyoming has to offer which include thousands of antelope, mule tail deer, and beautiful elk. The Flaming Gorge is a great spot to go for a day of fishing, wading, wildlife viewing, and lizard chasing.

I’ve lived all over the East Coast and driven all over the United States the past few years and I’ve been to and seen many wonderful places. In my opinion, however, there is no better place to visit than Wyoming!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

The Club No One Wanted To Join-Madoff Victims In Their Own Words *Review & Giveaway*

***This giveaway is now CLOSED Congrats to SalanderServant who won***

I posted this a few days ago as a review but was offered a copy to giveaway so be sure to join! 😀

The Club No One Wanted To Join-Madoff Victims In Their Own Words

 The Club No One Wanted To Join-Madoff Victims In Their Own Words was unlike any other book I have ever read. As you can tell by my reviews I normally go for Christian Romance as my typical genre. It’s always nice to break out of your box, however, so I was interested when Alexandra wrote and asked me if I’d like to review this book.  Although I remembered hearing about Madoff and his ponzi scheme at the time it was just another big headline about the newest big guy gone bad. I didn’t know anyone who was effected by his corruption so quickly forgot about it.
This book explained what happened in detail and since it was written by the victims of the scam it was moving and compelling. It really is shocking to me that people who worked their entire lives to save for retirement could lose everything in the blink of an eye. It helped show me how fragile life is and if I learned one thing it is that when you’re saving or investing money you need to make sure to diversify even if you are completely positive the person you’re investing/saving with is wonderful and the best!
I thought it was interesting how in a couple of the stories it was couples who were affected and each wrote their side of what happened. I found comparing the different points of view extremely interesting.
The book isn’t all gloom and doom though. Many of the people say that they came out richer as they realized the wealth of family and friends surrounding them, and that money is not the greatest thing in life.
I would recommend this book because it helps you focus on the fragility of life and that anything you hold onto for security, other than God, could be snatched away from you in a second so you need to treat it as such. I also think it’s good to educate people and to try to help these victims who were so mercilessly preyed upon!

One Winner will receive their own copy of The Club No One Wanted To Join!

As always be sure I have a way to get your email address so I can tell you that you won! If I don’t have an easy way to get it (in your comment, google profile, etc) I will automatically choose a new winner. A new winner will also automatically be chosen if any of the entries are not followed specifically (such as doing the mandatory entry). Also leave a separate comment for each additional entry that you do! One comment = one entry!

**Mandatory Entry**
This must be done in order for any other entry to count
Tell me if you know what a Ponzi scheme is. (and if you don’t then you need to read this book 🙂 )

**Additional Entries**
Because it’s good to be aware of what really happened!

1 Entry each ~ Follow me through Google Friend Connect, Subscribe to my RSS feed (Ramblings For You on left sidebar), or subscribe to me via email (Ramblings to Your Inbox on left sidebar) –You only have to do one but each counts as an extra entry–come on, you know you want to!!! 😉

1 Entry **Daily** Follow Me (I follow back!) on Twitter and Tweet. Be sure to leave me the link! You may copy/paste the following:

Win a copy of the thought provoking The Club No One Wanted to Join! @coastiewife321 http://tinyurl.com/4nq6hr9 ends 2/7 Pls RT! #giveaway

1 Entry ~ Snag my blog button, isn’t it cute?! Leave me the url so I can come visit your blog!

1 Entry ~ Blog about this and be sure to link back to this post, leave me the URL to the post, you know you wanna share the love!

1 Entry ~ Say “You’re a dirty crook Madoff” outloud. Dont’ explain yourself unless asked to! 😉

This Giveaway will end 2/7/11 at 11:59 p.m. EST

I will choose the winner via random.org contact them via email and post them on this blog. They have 48 hours to claim their win before a new winner is chosen.

Good Luck!!!