$1,000 Cash *Giveaway*

I’m super excited to be participating in the $1,000 Cash Giveaway!  Be sure you follow and visit all of the wonderful blogs involved-many are my good friends! 🙂

One lucky winner will get a head start on their  shopping (or splurge on yourself at a spa) and have $1000 deposited directly into their Paypal account!! How does that sound to you??!!

This giveaway is sponsored by 50 incredible businesses and blogs – and you’ll love getting the chance to check them out. To enter, You are REQUIRED to simply follow each of the steps using the Rafflecopter form below! Also, go check out the fabulous business owners and bloggers involved in this event. Giveaway starts 10/31 at 12:00 am EST and ends 11/11 at 11:59 pm EST. Good Luck!

We Love our Readers, You deserve to win $1000!

The cash giveaway is open to all worldwide (paid in US dollars) and will be paid directly into your PayPal account.

This giveaway is brought to you by:

Little Looster
Living Your Moment
Twenty 70 Hosting
Outnumbered Mama
The Work At Home Woman
A Well Being
Blog With Mom
Making Time For Mommy
Sunshine and Sippy Cups
Non Mom
Sprinkle Me Pink
Our Mom Spot
A String of Pearls
The Frugal Buffalonian
El Belle Fashion Accessories
The Boy’s Store
More 4 Moms Buck
November Sunflower
This Mama Can Cook
Mommy Powers
My 5 Minutes a Day
Cutie Pa Tutus
Linnell Media Group
The Crafty Charlestonian
The Ordinary Aunt
Sample Momma
Mark Your Saving With E
Wyoming Girl turned Coastie Wife
Dallas Single Mom
Keeping Up With The Rheinlander’s
The Family That
Sports Action Board
Merciful Blessings
Happiness Delivered
It’s Free at Last
Choosing Love
Arizona Moms Network
Bear Haven Boutique
Mommy’s Coupon Train
The Mommy Shops
Shonda’s Git Shop
Callista’s Ramblings
Mommy Bag Marketing
MariLee Parrish

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What to do with Photo Christmas Cards

It’s definitely the time of year to be turning your thoughts towards the holidays-or at least the preparations for them! Fall is the perfect time to get your holiday cards out of the way, photo shoot done, cards ordered, and if you begin addressing them a few at a time you’ll have one less huge hassle the beginning of December!

As Christmas comes closer you’ll begin to get cards from everyone else. I’ve heard several friends express that they don’t know what to do with all these photo holiday cards once they arrive, and then again once Christmas is over. I wanted to address this issue and hopefully give you a few good ideas!

As you’re putting up your holiday decorations choose a specific spot to leave bare. As Christmas cards flow in put them up proudly on display. Great ideas are a bare spot in your hall, around a door frame, or even just clear off the front of your fridge completely and make a Christmas Card gallery on it!

Once Christmas is over don’t just toss those pictures! I have a cheap magnetic photo album that I put all the school pictures, birth announcements, and photo cards that I get into. These pictures are some of the only ones I have of my cousins, my friends, and their families now that we’re all grown up and live far away-it’s also fun to have one picture from each year of them.

Not a photo album kind of person? If you have a crafty bent take the photo and re-use it–for the person who sent it! Chances are that the photo they used is one of their all time favorites, and since it’s on a card it’s printed on durable material. Google “photo craft ideas” and have at it! Just some of the top of my head are transferring it to a mirror, distressing it and putting it into a frame, making photo jewelry out of it, use it as the front of the thank you card you send to them for the Christmas present they sent.

With just a little ingenuity or time you can take all those photo Christmas cards and turn them into masterpieces to treasure!

Still looking for your holiday card this year? Be sure to check out Tiny Prints great Christmas Card Selection! You can use the handy filter to narrow your search down (I used “modern” to help me find the gorgeous card I included in the post!) This post is thanks to them, I am highly leaning towards this or one of their gorgeous black and white cards for it!

Burts Bees Sensitive Skin Line *Review & Coupons*

This might come as a little shocking but for someone who cares a lot about their makeup routine I usually use nothing but water and a wash rag to clean my face at night–yepp, you heard me right!

The reason for this is that it seems like once I got out of my teen years the stuff for oily skin made my cheeks all dry and patchy, while most “combination skin” products left me with teenage zits all around my nose–yuck. So it was just good old water for me.

The Burts Bees Sensitive Skin Facial Cleaner and Moisturizer didn’t leave me with either of the above problems-I was so impressed! My skin just feels soft and clean. An extra bonus is that it did a great job of removing the heavy duty new mascara I just bought! The fact that it is 99% natural is great too, I don’t have sensitive skin myself, but the fact that both of my kids have eczema has really opened my eyes to being careful about what I’m putting on my and their skin!

Thanks to BzzAgent I have several $1 off coupons as well as samples for the Burts Bees Natural Skin Care Line, they also offer Night Cream and Eye Cream in the line as well! Just leave a comment if you’d like me to mail you a coupon or sample! 

You can “Like” Burts Bees on Facebook Here

Your turn-please comment, I love hearing from you!

What do you normally use to wash your face with? Have you ever tried Burts Bees? Do you like them or not?

Winnie The Pooh on DVD and Blu-Ray *Giveaway*

When I was growing up some of my all time favorite movies was the classic Winnie The Pooh VHS ones! Piglet was always my favorite character, though I loved them all. My mom kept the VHS tapes and all this summer Amber has come to love Pooh, Tigger, and Rabbit in their adventures in The Hundred Acre Woods–it’s one of her favorites now as well!

I’m excited to get the chance to provide a giveaway for Winnie The Pooh on DVD and Blu-Ray combo pack which is being released tomorrow October 25 (though I want a copy myself–you bet I’m going to enter for this on other blogs!!!)

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Man Shoes *Review & Giveaway*

Man Shoes is the story of Tom Watson’s challenging and inspirational life. Although it is an autobiography it is written in a style that is engaging and extremely easy to read. I found the things that happened in his life and the people that helped him through them to be incredible. I loved how he put a song for the beginning of each chapter-as a fellow country music lover I knew most of the songs he referred to and it was really neat to see how each one tied into that chapter. He gives many great points and tips, along with help and encouragement about the hard and sensitive topic of suicide-which I thought was wonderful. We need more books like this for all those reasons!

That being said I did have a few nit picky things about it that would keep me from giving it a “full five stars” Because of all that he did manage to go through I would have thought the book would have been more “God focused” yes I truly believe Tom is a Christian as he writes as one and his actions show that he is, and yes he does mention God, Jesus, and his faith throughout the book. Still many things left me feeling God was not the central focus of the writing. You might argue that because this is a story of Tom’s life that is why. I also was a little put off by the fact that he cusses once, mentions drinking several times, and the biggest part of their Christmas traditions was a big to-do about Santa instead of focusing on the Savior who came to sacrifice His life.

I know–I told you it was nit picky 😉 All of that is just my own personal tastes and of course if someone is writing of their lifestyle I wouldn’t expect it to line up exactly with my own.

All in all it is a powerful and inspirational book-and I appreciate that he is so completely honest that you can see exactly who he is-even more so with the nitpicky things I spoke of above 😉 I would recommend it! It made me smile and it made me cry-you cannot read it and not be moved!

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Married Mom, Solo Parent — A Life Changing Read

There are few books that I’ve read that have actually impacted me to the point of changing my life and thinking. In fact other than the Bible I can only think of three other books that have done this for me–this book is that kind of a book! As many of you know I have been a Married Mom, Solo Parent for the past almost 7 months now-8 if you include the time away in Florida spent in training.

The truth is, though, I’ve been a solo parent several different times since Amber was born-that’s just the nature of military life.

Throughout this deployment I’ve struggled with explaining what I’m going through or even what term to use to call myself. I used “single mom” in quotations but that never seemed right–as I’m *not* single, I’m married, but I’m most definitely alone in raising my children. I love the phrase married mom solo parent and Carla hits the nail slam down hard on so many different topics of this lifestyle. There were a few things I couldn’t completely relate to–but almost through the entire book I found myself wanting to yell, Yes yes!!!! You understand, that is so me!” What a blessing and what a challenge and what a help this book has been to me over the past few weeks. She is not afraid to lay things out and just plain out straight tell it how it is, no mincing words, no smoothing over feelings, no avoiding the toughest of topics. This book is a must read, most definitely for every woman who has an absent husband, but even for any mom. I passed this along to my own mom to read (who has not been apart from her husband for more than a week in their 25+ years of marriage) and she was challenged and very blessed by it as well. You will not regret reading this book!

You can purchase Married Mom, Solo Parent On Amazon Here–it’s just $2.99 for the Kindle Format!


Unique Affordable Marketing for your Small Business

In addition to being a *fabulous* blogger (please note a very teasing tone right there 😉 ) busy mommy, and military spouse, I am also the administrative assistant for Mommy Bag Marketing Inc. I know that I’ve mentioned this before, but perhaps you’ve found yourself wondering–what on earth *is* a “Mommy Bag?” Today I wanted to take a few moments to talk about them and what make the company so wonderful! Mommy Resource Bags are basically what I like to refer to as goodie bags. We make sure they’re full of fun samples, big discount coupons, and great swag (notice the awesome oven mitt up above!!!) They are totally free to the people we pass them out to-which includes many different Christian events such as Women’s retreats, Moms Groups, Homeschool groups and so much more! (if you’d like some bags for an event in your area please sign up here!) Cool right?! Also very cool is the fact that every single company in our bag is ran by Christian business owners.

The even cooler thing is that if you run a small business it should be apparent to you why this kind of grass roots marketing would be so beneficial. I know as a consumer I’m way more likely to buy something if I’ve tried a sample of it-or if I have a coupon. We use that mentality, combined with the fact that moms are one of the largest purchasing groups out there, and use it to turn sales and build your brand. By using unique marketing items you can create lasting impressions in moms minds. I know that I tune out most traditional advertising means because it’s old hat by now.  Any time I get a unique or fun sample like amsterdamprinting promotional pens with the company’s information imprinted on it I’m much more likely to purchase from them whenever I need something that falls in their line later on.

Time for your take on this as my reader–please comment, I value your feedback! 

As a small business owner what have you found that has been effective in advertising? As a mom what kind of advertising makes you most likely to purchase a product?

fibi & clo sandals *Review*

First off I want to know what girl alive doesn’t enjoy cute shoes?! I’m not what I would consider as a “shoe person” all in total I only own about 10 pairs-including older ones that I never wear. I have a cousin who has 300+ pairs of shoes and was totally taken back that I didn’t own more. The way I am is that I find a pair of shoes that I *LOVE* and then I wear them to death! I’m a total flip flop and sandals girl, they’re so comfy! Many times flip flops aren’t so attractive though, and Bob gets annoyed by the flop flop flop sound they make if we’re walking around the mall. fibi and clo sandals  are the big glam sisters of the lowly flip flops. They fit and feel like flip flops, except for the fact that they wrap around the back as well so that you avoid that flop flop flopping. I was sent the Smoke Cascade sandals and I *love* them! I’m also not a gold person–at all–ask anyone that knows me! These sandals are gorgeous though-even with the gold! They also offer several pairs in silver (gotta get me some of those…..) At first I was afraid that these would be too “blingy” as I’m not much of a over the top bling kind of gal. The stones were beautiful and delicate and I love the design and how it wraps around my foot. My mom and sister think they’re adorable as well! They dressed up my jeans and are pretty enough to wear to church or for a night out. I wore them around the house, to McDonalds, up into the McDonalds play place to rescue Amber, and chasing Tyler around. Even though I hadn’t even broken them in yet they felt great all day!

Here is a little bit about the company right from them–I am SO excited that they are reaching out to AAFES, it and the commissary on Hanscom Air Force Base are where I do virtually all of my shopping when we’re home!

fibi & clo is an exclusive direct sales company that offers sandals and accessories. We are based in Texas but we design the shoes in New York City. We sell the sandals for $45 at at-home parties and online only. We have turned down offers by department stores and high end boutiques to carry our sandals. We have agreed to partner with AAFES because we respect the armed forces, also we have agreed to offer the sandals at a discounted price of $34.99. They are only offered online to members of the armed forces and their immediate family, and as you probably already know, AAFES offers free shipping! The latest style to be featured online is the Turquoise Sun. You can check out the shoes on our website

What kind of shoes are your favorite? Do you like my new shoes?

The Mighty Macs *Review*

Several of my favorite movies are ones that are based upon true events. I love that “the truth is often stranger than fiction” and more inspiring too! I especially love sports movies that are based on true events and underdogs that rise to the challenge! The Might Macs is just such a movie, and I was thrilled to be invited to do a pre-release screening of it! It provided great family friendly entertainment that was light and fun. I thought that the transitions of attitude in the movie were rather abrupt, and wish we had gotten to know all the girls on the team as individuals a little better. The quality of acting and production, as well as the rest of the storyline were top notch, however. The humor in it was also on point and very cute. All in all it was a very entertaining and good movie, and I would highly recommend going and seeing it in theaters when it releases on October 21st. We need to strongly show Hollywood that these kinds of movies are what we want more of! Check out The Mighty Mac Website Here to view the trailer, “Like” the Movie on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and check out their additional videos on Youtube

Happy Movie Watching!

Out of Control by Mary Connealy *Review*

As I’ve mentioned before my absolutely favorite genre is Christian Historical Fiction Romance. (say that 10 times fast, just kidding) anyways, my favorite books usually fall into this category, but oftentimes they all start to read the same after a bit. I’m so excited that new authors are finding ways to make the genre new and fresh to read once again! Out of Control (The Kincaid Brides) was a great example of this with unique characters and a complex plot line that is interesting yet easy to follow. It kept me engaged and I finished it in about 5 days of reading it at night, I enjoy a book that takes me a *bit* longer to get through, but not too long-this was just right! It wrapped up nicely but as the first book in a series also leaves you wanting to come back and find out more about the other characters in the book whose situations aren’t resolved. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series!