Instantly Add Beauty to Your Walls and Home

When we moved into our new home, I knew it was time to cover those bare beige walls with some beautiful pieces of artwork. I've noticed just how picky we've become when attempting to finding decor that fits our tastes and rightly so! We want to make our home welcoming, beautiful, and modern.

Just recently I was looking for decorative wall clocks for our living room, which proved much more difficult than I expected, but when I found the right website and clock, I knew! I especially love the pendulum wall clocks and think they immediately upgrade any living space from dull to brilliant!

 Once we found the perfect clock for our family room, I still wanted to find the perfect kitchen wall clock. I do, after all, spend a great deal of time in the kitchen and am always looking for the time, whether for timing a dish or just to keep up with naps, meals, and other parental duties! My mom always had themed kitchens and, well, so do I. It's fun and really livens up the kitchen, giving it a personality. What's my theme? I do live in the country so, I love anything relating to chickens, roosters, and other similarly themed items. So, I was very excited to find an adorable country chicken clock. Isn't it cute?
It's easy to find the perfect clocks once you know where to look! Do you have a space in your home that needs some extra decoration? Is that wall in your living room looking bare? Think about adding a wall clock. You'll notice the difference immediately and so will your guests.

Help Your Children Find Their Strengths & Passions With Kidzmet

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kidzmet for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I remember, as a child, wanting to register for just about any extracurricular activity I heard about. I wanted to be a cheerleader and after a week I was ready to quit. Then, I wanted to take dance classes, but quickly realized ballet was not for me. The problem with this was the amount of money my parents put into these activities, which meant I was stuck completing them, being miserable until the very last lesson. I would cry, fake sickness, and hide each week. It was torture! Finally, I found my passion for sports when I signed up for softball and basketball! My mom was so relieved and, quite frankly, so was I.

Is this destined to happen with my own children? After finding Kidzmet this week, I'm confident that we may skip all the torturous trial and error after all! Kidzmet shares a unique vision and an online resource of passionate teachers who want to help children not only succeed, but to find their passions, strive for goals, and, most importantly, to be happy! All you need to do is sign up for a free family account and fill out a Pairing Portrait for each child. The Pairing Portrait evaluates each child's personality type, strengths, talents, and learning style. Then, each child's profile is matched with teachers who can help them build on their strengths! 

When you sign up for your account, you will also receive a monthly newsletter via email with many activity suggestions completely custom-made to fit your child's personality from the Pairing Portrait! In addition, parents will receive an email with information about local teachers, called MentorMatches, who are paired with your child based on similar interests and can help them reach their potential and help their passions in life blossom. The local MentorMatches even offer free trial classes for your children to try out before committing and spending money on an extracurricular activity they may not enjoy! Is that awesome or what?

I just signed up for my account and filled out Josiah's Pairing Portrait. Since we live in a rural area, I have struggled to find some fun, educational activities that Josiah would enjoy so, I cannot wait to see what Kidzmet comes up with and what fun suggestions the newsletter provides each month!

Sign up for your account, fill out your child's Pairing Portrait and then, you will have a chance to win a $400 summer enrichment scholarship! Wow! Plus, 50 runners-up will receive a Kidzmet activity tote! Pairing Portraits must be completed by 4/24/2011 to be eligible for the drawing.

Visit Sponsor's Site


Family Happiness & Weekend Mini-Vacations

Once we started our family, my pre-Mama days of staying up late, going out with friends and taking weekend trips across the country were out the window. Don't get me wrong, I love being a Mama, but sitting at home, being quiet, and being patient really aren't my strong suits. I knew something had to give sooner or later... and was hoping for sooner!

Now that my husband works about 60 hours a week and the kids are getting older, we knew it was time to kick the monotony and do something that makes the entire family happy, but what would it be? Well, my husband and I have always enjoyed traveling and the kids actually do very well on car trips so, we decided to take weekend trips every month or two! This decision ended up helping all of us in ways we'd never imagine.

Since my husband works most of the time, I often break from my usual stay-at-home-Mama schedule to go online and search for fun trip ideas. I also really enjoy searching for deals, coupons, and freebies so, I could put my expertise to test. I never even thought our weekend trips would help break up the everyday boredom, but it sure did! Plus, Josiah often searches with me, offering his own suggestions. I've also noticed how easily the excitement builds closer to our trip time! My husband counts down the days to the weekend and for our mini-vacations and so do we.

We live up in the mountains, which is actually the perfect place because we are close to other fun mountain towns, fun fall festivals, and also close to major cities. We can easily hop in the car and be somewhere new and exciting in only an hour or two, sometimes less! So, for our first outing, we chose the Atlanta Aquarium. It was only 45 minutes away, Josiah hadn't been in several years, and Liam had never been. Plus, we found $15 tickets when searching online, which is less than half price and an awesome deal! Since then, we have visited several other places on our weekend vacays, including the Chattanooga Aquarium, UGA, and several children's museums! Cory and Josiah are actually taking a father-son weekend trip together next weekend to the Tennessee Children's Museum. Josiah can't wait and keeps asking me if it's time to go. So cute!

Who knew something so simple could make us all so very happy? I love being with my family and seeing my boys experience new and exciting adventures. I know they will grow up all too quickly so, I love being able to make so many wonderful memories. I am positive our little weekend trips will continue on for years to come and, as the boys get even older, the outings will become more and more adventurous!

What do you and your family do to stay happy?

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Farm Rich blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

About Farm Rich
Farm Rich® products have been setting the standard for delicious, easy-to-prepare food the whole family loves. Farm Rich® foods taste like nothing else because they're made like nothing else – with 100% real ingredients like real cheese, high-quality meats, and fresh vegetables. Our snacks, appetizers, and breakfast foods are quick-frozen and carefully packaged so busy families can prepare great-tasting food within minutes. Farm Rich® is a Rich's Consumer Brand, which brings to market some of the food industry's leading retail brands including SeaPak® Shrimp Co., Casa Di Bertacchi®, and more. From early-morning breakfasts to midnight snacks, we're proud to say Farm Rich® products have become synonymous with high quality and great taste.

Upgrade Your Wardrobe With the Season's Sexiest Swimwear

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Express for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Last week the warm weather hit the upper 80s for the very first time, signifying the Spring season really is here! No more cold weather, sweaters, and heavy coats. Say hello to shorts, tank tops and, of course, the Express Spring 2011 Swim Collection! If you are like me, you are jumping up for joy right now! I love picking out new clothes, especially for Spring and Summer. I am finally back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 114 and, yes, I am very proud. I cannot wait to show off my hot Mama body on the beach and at the pool this year! Our first trip to the beach this year will be at the beginning of May so, I am ready to pick out a new swimsuit. The new line of women's swimwear by Express includes a variety of colors, prints, and styles to fit anyone's tastes and body shape. Fashionable swim shorts are also available for men.

The new collection of swim suits includes their very popular monokini, sexy string bikini, strapless and halter bikini styles! A  variety of graphic prints, bright solids, reversible style, metallic colors, and even nautical-inspired striped swimwear make this season's collection fun and memorable! Glam it up with beaded embellishments,choose a flirty bikinis with ruffles, or get sexy with self-tie sides (my personal favorite). The picture to the right features one of my favorite swimsuits of the season, the Soft Bandeau Bikini Top & matching Soft Bikini Bottom. I am amazed at how many great choices their really are! I love that each piece is sold separately, which is great when your top is smaller than your bottom or vice versa! Each of the two piece swimwear separates range from only $24-$49 so, you can look great without spending a ton of money.

Don't forget to sign up for the Express e-mail for a chance to win one of ten $200 Express Gift Cards! Wow! That would buy a beautiful swimsuit, matching sandals, sunglasses, and much more to make your entire wardrobe completely unforgettable!

The sweepstakes ends 4.30.11 at 11:59pm, EST. Read all about the sweepstakes rules, in interested in more details. Advertisement

Visit Sponsor's Site


Beso Review And &25 Giveaway To ANY Store *Winner's Choice

 Imagine a place online where you could easily browse all of your favorite stores and brands, a place where you can keep up with the latest fashions, and a place where you can find exclusive boutiques. Yes, all in one place! Not only can you browse thousands of stores from beso, but  you can tailor your the website to reveal only your favorite brands and stores or explore it all just by a click of a button. It's easy and exciting! You never know what new item you will find next and what great deals are hiding right around the corner.

 My Thoughts

I was so excited to discover beso and take a look around. It's tough to know where to begin when there are so many wonderful shops and brands! I'm always looking for beautiful dresses and found so many at great prices. My favorite dress is the Adrianna Papell Faux Wrap Chiffon Dress. I then had to take a peek at the Kids' Shoes. I love boutique children's shoes and am very picky about what goes on my children's feet.  and was very excited to see a wide variety of my favorites, See Kai Run, some of which were on sale for great prices!

Win It
  One Lucky Children Teaching Mama Will Win A $25 Gift Card To Any Store- Winner's Choice!

How To Enter
**Remember to include your email address if it is NOT visible in your profile so I will know how to contact you!The initial entry is mandatory! Be sure to answer that question before earning extra entries listed below! Each bullet is worth one extra entry unless specified. Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry you earn and include your email address is at least one entry.
Additional Entries
  •  Leave A Comment Below Telling Me What You Would Purchase If You Won the $250 Contest!
  • "Like" beso on Facebook
  • Follow Beso on Twitter!
  • Tweet by clicking the button below:
Plenty of opportunities to increase your chance of winning! This Giveaway is open to US Residents and Ends April 19th at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be drawn by random.org. An announcement will be made on the blog and the winner will also be contacted by email. The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen.

This post was written for beso.com and is a paid post for my honest review & to inform others about their $250 contest. All opinions provided are 100% honest and completely mine.


Purex Complete with Zout Review & Giveaway

 I have two very rambunctious little boys who love to play in the dirt, dig up worms, and roll around in the grass. I swear they try to test my stain removers and detergents to the fullest and have, many times, beaten them badly. I'm always looking for a detergent that does it all- leaves clothing fresh, clean, and looking like new. If it doesn't, it's not for us, that's for sure!

I am a Purex Insider and recently received Purex Complete with Zout to review. I knew the boys would put it to the test, especially after a day of being in the garden, planting strawberries. Purex, one of my favorite detergents is combined with Zout, a triple-enzyme stain-fighting stain remover! The enzymes work to remove three types of  stains: proteins like grass and blood, starches like tomatoes and chocolate, and guar, which is a sticky thickening agent used in many sauces, ice cream, and salad dressings!

Purex Complete with Zout is available in two scents: Fresh Morning Burst and Free & Clear, the hypoallergenic formula for sensitive skin. It is also specially made to work in any washer, regular and HE. At only $3.49-$7.99, Purex is a great value, too! It is now available in select retailers, but will be available nationwide by the end of March.

My Thoughts

I couldn't wait to get Purex Complete with Zout a try. It's not only the stains that give me trouble, but smells. I have to admit, since having Liam, I've had the worst body odor for some reason. Really attractive, I know, but it's true. I've had to wash my clothes several times and include vinegar with the wash to get it out in the past weeks. Plus, Josiah is still trying to become fully potty trained and has poop accidents occasionally in his big boy undies. Eck!

I knew the clothes would smell nice and clean because, as they washed and dried, I could smell the freshness drifting up the stairs. I love the smell of clean laundry!  So, the end result? Purex Complete with Zout did a great job of removing stains and getting the laundry smelling wonderful. I especially love the fragrance! You bet I give this my seal of approval and recommend it to other Mamas with messy children like mine.

Purex Freebie Alert!

Want your Free Sample of Purex Complete With Zout? Just Click HERE, fill out the form, and wait for it to appear in your mailbox!

Win It
Thanks to Purex not 1 but 2 Freebie Junkie readers will each win a coupon for one free Purex Complete with Zout detergent

How To Enter
What Do You Think Is The Hardest Type of Stain To get Out (dirt, spaghetti, oil, etc.)?
** Be Sure To Include Your Email Address In At Least One Entry So I Know How to Contact You!** 
Additional Entries
  • Like Purex on Facebook! 
  • Follow Purex on Twitter!
  •   Follow CTM Via GFC & Leave Your Username
  • Sign-up For the CTM Newsletter (top left sidebar)
  •  Place the CTM Button On Your Blog/Website (Leave URL)
  • Follow "Deal'irious Diva via GFC & Leave Username 
  •    Please Click Below to Tweet About This Review/Giveaway OR Click at The Top of The Post Writing Your Own Tweet Using @ChildrenTeach & @Purex 
Plenty of opportunities to increase your chance of winning! This Giveaway is open to US Residents and Ends Monday, April 18th at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be drawn by random.org. An announcement will be made on the blog and the winner will also be contacted by email. The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen.

I received the Purex Complete w/ Zout as part of the Purex Insider Program. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% honest.

SC Johnson Smart & Easy Spring Cleaning

 I recently mentioned BzzAgent, which is a wonderful website allowing others to try new products and share them with friends and family! If you are a blogger, you can blog about the products and services you try, tweet about them, and even post about them on facebook!

I just recently received a box of SC Johnson brand products from the Smart & Easy Spring Cleaning campaign through BzzAgent. I was so excited because spring is, of course, just around the corner! The days are longer now, the weather is getting warmer, and, of course, the pollen is starting to coat everything. It's time to clean like nobody's business, wipe up those mid-winter germs, and start fresh.

I received everything needed to get our house clean and smelling wonderful, which included:
If I send my husband to the store, he always brings home some sort of Scrubbing Bubbles so, he was more than excited to try out the new foam cleaner. You just spray it on, wait two minutes, and wipe it off to reveal a shiny clean surface. The Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel is even easier. You just stamp a gel disc inside the top of the toilet bowl and it does all of the work keeping the toilet clean and smelling fresh for up to one week! Scrubbing Bubbles makes life especially easy, which is something worthwhile for busy parents.

Next, I tried out the Lemon Clean Pledge. Okay, I have to admit something. My mom used Lemon Pledge when I was growing up and I have always used it, too. Nothing, in my opinion, makes a house smell as clean. We always used my old cloth diaper material to wipe all the furniture clean and I still do the same today. Pledge wipes surfaces clean and leaves a lasting scent behind that screams, "I'm Fresh and CLEAN"!

After the house is nice and clean, it's time to keep it smelling as clean as it is. That's where Glade products step in! They currently have special Spring edition scents, including Sparkle of Clean, Bring On the Blossoms, and Jump For Joy. The Sparkle of Clean candle smells of fresh lime and is, indeed, very Springy! PlugIns give that additional kick with heated, scented oil that fills the house with long-lasting scents. 

I was very, very pleased with all of the wonderful SC Johnson products we received and definitely recommend them all! We also received a booklet of wonderful coupons, which I have shared with other family members. For other freebies and coupons, be sure to follow these products on facebook:

I received a BzzKit box filled with SC Johnson products for the purpose of reviewing. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are 100% mine and only mine.


How To Successfully Promote your Business

Just last month I participated in my very first parenting expo. It was a very exciting experience and I learned a great deal. Now I feel much more prepared for what's in store next time and I know what's needed to adequately advertise my business. The most valuable lesson I learned was the importance of providing promotional items that people are most likely to use. You don't want to give them something they will just throw away or look at once a year, right?

Well, I just recently came across a great online store called GoPromos.com and found a huge amount of perfect promotional items, such as promo mugs. That is perfect for advertisement because everyone needs a coffee mug, water bottle, or travel mug. Plus, people get excited to receive nice items like this. Another great item would be custom notepads! Everyone uses note pads and sticky pads. I know I use them on a daily basis to make grocery lists and jot notes.

There are many ways to come up with unique promotional ideas. Just think about what people like to use frequently in life. What else? Promotional pens, of course! Take a look at the Mont Blanc blog for more information about pens.

So, what items do you use to promote your business? Any suggestions?

Life, Death, & Things In Between

Before getting married and having children, I worked during the day, went out with friends at night, and never thought about the future. I lived for the moment, went on random road trips, and had a blast. I didn't have health insurance, life insurance, a will, or anything like that. Nothing! I didn't even think about it.

Now that I am a little older and have two children, I still don't like to think about the inevitable. I'd rather focus on the positive, wear my rose-tinted glasses, and live in my little world. The difference between my life then and now is that I have to address death to make sure my children are taken care of if, God forbid, anything were to happen.

Just like our parents before us, we have researched affordable life insurance plans and found something that works for us, according to our lifestyles, our ages, and what we can afford. We even found the perfect child life insurance, which has been imperative considering Liam's health issues. One of the most interesting and helpful insurance plans we found was the "no medical exam life insurance", which only requires you to answer a few questions to qualify for coverage. You really can't beat that, especially if you are on a budget!

Like I said, it's not a subject I like to talk about, but I do not take it lightly either. It's important not only for yourself, but for your family. Do you have life insurance and/or  funeral insurance? If not, don't you think it's time? Don't wait for an accident to occur. Protect you and your family today. For those searching for information on Dialetic Behavior Therapy, please go to DBTSelfHelp.com.


Puristics Totally Ageless Skin Care Review

Scerene Healthcare has now produced a new line of unique personal care products made from pure, naturally occuring ingredients and compounds! Just recently, they have launched three new lines of their Puristics personal care products: Totally Ageless skin care, Pure Protection feminine products,and Baby Care products. 

Available at Drugstore.com, and your local Harris Teeter and Rite Aid, Puristics are free of toxic and harmful chemicals, such as dyes, perfumes, and preservatives. They are recommended for all types of skin and have proven to be very effective! In a recent study for Totally Ageless, 100% of participating women reported noticeably reduced wrinkles and fine lines! 

You can learn more about the pure ingredients and proven effectiveness of Puristics by visiting their website, or following them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the Scerene blog, PureTalk.

My Thoughts

Puristics Totally Ageless Daily Anti-Aging Lotion SPF 15, 1.7 fl ozI received the line of Puristics Totally Ageless Skin care products, including the Night Recovery Cream, Intensive Eye Treatment, and the Advanced Skin Rejuvenating Lotion! I just turned 31 this weekend and, growing up the 80s, I definitely did my amount of time in the sun without sunscreen... Yes, the fine lines are slowly, but surely creeping in. Maybe it isn't too noticeable just yet, but they will be in a few years. That's exactly why it's important for me to find a lotion that not only rejuvenates my skin, but also contains non-toxic products. I only want the best for my body, after all!

The first time I used the Night Recovery Cream, I used too much. You will know when you have because it will start to peel as you rub it on. That was actually a good thing, though, because I learned just how long the bottles of lotion will last... a very long time, actually! 

Puristics Totally Ageless Revitalizing Eye Cream, .5 fl ozThe lotion was not greasy or gross feeling and actually immediately absorbed into my skin, leaving it feeling soft and natural. Just follow the instructions and, within a week's time, you will definitely notice healthier skin. Even after the first time, I could tell a difference in my skin, honestly. It looked shinier, moisturized, and revived. In return, I felt exuberant! 31! Ha! I feel like I'm still 25 so, why not look like it, too? 

Ready to give Puristics a try? All Puristics products are available online at Drugstore.com at prices starting at only $3.99! Wow!
Shinso Skin Care harnesses deep sea waters to bring you beautiful, all-natural skin.

This post was written for Scerene Healthcare. I received products to review and no other compensation. All opinions provided are completely and 100% mine and only mine.

Maybelline SuperStay 24™ 2-Step Lipcolor Review

Maybelline is one of my very favorite make-up brands so, I was really excited to hear about the new Maybelline SuperStay24 2-Step Lipcolor! What's so special about it? Well, the special 2-step process provides all-day moisture and color for your lips. The Micro-Flex formula glides on lips smoothly and softly.

 Maybelline SuperStay 24™ 2-Step Lipcolor formula also guarantees no crumbling, caking, fading, feathering, or transferring! Wow! Available now in 30 long-lasting shades, how can you resist the urge to give it a try?
How to Use

Apply the liquid color to your clean, bare lips.  Allow a full two minutes to dry, then apply ultra-conditioning balm to seal in softness. Reapply balm as needed. Remove with an oil-based makeup remover. 

My Thoughts
I love reviewing lipcolor so, I couldn't wait to receive my package. I received 3 different Maybelline SuperStay 24™ 2-Step Lipcolors. The reason I provided the "how to use" instructions above was because I didn't follow them at first and I messed up! You definitely have to follow the instructions for the SuperStay 24 to work the way it should.

After I used the lipcolor correctly, it looked beautiful. I hate when lipsticks leave cracks and crumbles. That's the worst and many of my past lipcolors have definitely done that. It looks awful and defeats the purpose of using lipcolor in the first place, right?

I put Maybelline SuperStay 24™ 2-Step Lipcolor to the test! I am happy to report that it definitely did not crack, cake, or crumble, just as the product promised to do. As if that isn't reason enough to purchase it, the SuperStay 24 also stood the test of time, lasting for over 8 hours, through lunch, several coffees and drinks, and kissing my boys! I was very, very impressed.

I highly recommend Maybelline SuperStay 24™ 2-Step Lipcolor and guarantee you will love it! Click HERE to receive a $2 off coupon!

I was actually selected through BzzAgent to review the Maybelline SuperStay 24™ 2-Step Lipcolor. Do you like reviewing products and helping spread the word about innovative products? Sign up for your BzzAgent account today!

This review was written for BzzAgent, in conjunction with Maybelline New York. The items received were for review purposes and no other compensation was received. All opinions are completely and 100% mine.

Maamam Aacua Towel Review

Picture this: It's the end of the day, you are tired, the kids are tired, but you know they really need a bath. Ugh! You already know what's in store with water splashing everywhere, your back breaking trying to multi-task, slipping on the water, and then your poor baby freezing when you are trying to pull him/her out of the water! It's tiring for everyone involved The aacua towel by maamam was created for these very reasons! As soon as I saw an advertisement about the aacua, I had to have one and was so excited to review it!

What is aacua?

aacua is THE new generation bath item that transforms bath time with your children into a more relaxing safe and fun experience! Combining safety and functioning, aacua is an innovative product that nurtures and grows with your children to meet their needs and yours!

First, aacua acts as an apron by tying around you while giving your child(ren) a bath. This protects your clothes from getting soaked. Since aacua wraps around as an apron, it's already there when your child(ren) get(s) out of the bath. This is when many accidents happen and these can be eliminated with aacua!  For babies, aacua actually works as a swaddler. Just pick up your baby and wrap them up in the cuddly 100% terry cloth.  If you have a toddler, aacua acts as a bath wrap, with a hoodie to keep their heads from getting cold, too!

My Thoughts

One night, when my first son, Josiah, was still a baby, I had him in the bathtub. He has always loved taking a bath and, as usual, was having a great time splashing and playing with toys. I turned my head slightly, reached to get the towel and, all of a sudden, I heard a splash. Poor Josiah slipped and got water all in his ears, eyes, and nose. Then came the crying that just breaks my heart, especially because the accident was completely my fault. This was one of the 'bad parent' moments of my life. All of this could have ben avoided with an aacua!

One of my major issues with baby towels is how thin and flimsy they are. The aacua is exactly what a baby towel should be: thick, soft, and comforting. In the past, I've had to use two baby towels at a time just to keep our babies warm, especially in the winter, but, with aacua, this is not necessary!

I am completely impressed with maamam's products and love accua. I can't imagine using any other towel. accua is the perfect gift for parents-to-be, too. I am definitely purchasing accua for my sister-in-law, who is due in May. She has yet to experience the difficulty of washing baby and is a bit nervous since she's a first-time mom. I know accua will definitely make life much easier for her and baby!

Buy It
So, are you ready to purchase accua? You can purchase an aacua in the maamam shop for only $42.00! What a deal for such a wonderful multi-purpose item!

This review was written for maamam. The product was received for review purposes and no other compensation was given. All opinions are completely and 100% mine.


Back to Blogging!

Hi, everyone! I hope you enjoyed the Spring Fling Blog Hop! I decided not to list any reviews/giveaways during the event because I didn't want anyone to miss out on some other great products. So, starting today, more giveaways will be listed. :) All the winners for the event have been chosen and emailed, along with all of the ones from the last month, and I will post those as soon as I hear from everyone.

Now, in other news, I have favors to ask from you, as always! First, I am getting a late start in the Mom Central voting, but am trying to win their $2,000 grant! Please take a look when you can and vote for me.You can vote every single day! :)

Secondly, I am still in the running to receive sponsorship from Prilosec OTC! Please vote for me there when you have a minute, too. Unlike the other entry, this one takes a bit more time because you must register an account, but you can vote every day!

Thanks, again, for being a part of my blog! Have a great week!


Twitter Follows For the March Extreme Cash Giveaway Event

Spring Into Action With Pier 1 Imports Outdoor Décor

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
It's that time of year again when the days are longer, warmer, and the leaves are beginning to green, along with the blooming flowers. It's time to come out of hibernation and get ready for Spring! This is the perfect time of the year to invite friends over, grill out, just sit back and enjoy life.
Today, I was outdoors planting strawberries when I took a look over at my deck. It's our entertaining area where we always sit, cookout, and watch the kids playing on the playground. After the long winter, it sure does look bare and, quite frankly, depressing. My first thought was to head over to Pier 1. For years, they have been my go-to store for livening up my home. As a college student, I had my Pier 1 Imports papasan chair, which served me well for many years, candles around the apartment and paper lanterns strung across our porch.

Looking around the Pier 1 Imports website for ideas, I found they have an amazing amount of decoration ideas for all different types of themes and individual tastes. This year, we badly need updated outdoor furniture and I found the most perfect matching white wicker sets, including the wicker rocker, armchair, and end table, which I love with the Deluxe Charis Blue Chair Cushions. We also need a new table because our glass-top table cracked over winter and I the table I have get is the Green Paisley Bistro Table. It's beautiful and will match everything perfectly!
It's amazing how easily you can update your outdoor look with some new items, especially with the help of Pier 1 Imports. Top your table with some colorful accessories at great prices. Even if you don't need new furniture, add some color with new cushions! Top your table with the Outdoor Bombay Hanging Lantern Set, on sale now for only $12.99, and some cute Mint Daylily Napkin Rings for only $2.36 each!
Now that you've read a little more about Pier 1 Imports, don't you think it's time you check out their website and/or locations near you? Just keep in mind the top 3 reasons you are going:
1. Their products can liven up any room of the house and outdoor area!
2. They always have some amazing sale prizes both in-store on on the website! Actually, this weekend, March 18-20th, there will be some wonderful Spring sale prices. Sign-Up to receive the Pier 1 Outdoor newsletterPier 1 Tweetups and receive a special in-store offer for this coming weekend! I just signed up and can't wait to see what the surprise will be! Click HERE to find a location near you!
3. Many Pier 1 Imports products can be used indoor and outdoor! For instance, you can move your Double Papasan Chair outdoors for a party or keep it indoors for extra seating.
Also, if you are a Twitter user, like me, you should attend the Pier 1 Tweetups, which will be held in the following locations:
Dallas: March 22nd
Atlanta: April 5th
NYC: April 20th

Click HERE to learn more about the Tweet Up Events! I am hoping to attend the Atlanta Tweet Up and would love to meet some of my followers there. Let me know if you want to go!


Pretty Neat: The Buttoned-Up Way to Get Organized and Let Go of Perfection Review & Giveaway

Pretty Neat: The Buttoned-Up Way to Get Organized and Let Go of Perfection 
My husband comes home, walks into the room and his face inevitably drops when he sees the toys strewn across the floor once again. "Did you wash my work pants?," he asks knowingly. I am frustrated, tired, and ready to throw a toy upside his head by this point, but instead, go plunk myself on the bed and watch How I Met Your Mother. 

I get depressed and sometimes think my house could appear on Horders some days and, all weekend, I spend time trying to make up for the week's messiness. Toys, toys, and more toys seem to appear out of nowhere and, no matter where I try to stuff and hide them, they keep showing up. Is Santa hiding in my chimney?! I know there must be an easier way to get everything organized without the stress, but how? How is it possible to manage everything and bundle everything into storybook perfection?

The truth is, there is no way to manage everything. That's where Pretty Neat: The Buttoned-Up Way to Get Organized and Let Go of Perfection comes in. Yes, we spend time beating ourselves up and fantasizing about a compact and neat home, but things just don't seem to work out that way. Finally, there is a book that takes into account our on-the-go lifestyle, the ever-changing day-to-day havoc our children reek on us, and the expectations of those around us being completely overwhelming and ridiculous.

My Thoughts

The authors, Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore have put together an amazingly hilarious and intelligently written book, which not only encourages us to straighten up, but gives great advice on how to do so. From budgeting to storage and cleaning up your desk to making time to run errands, Pretty Neat is well put together and a must-read, especially for moms!

I rarely have time to sit down and read a book, but once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. As I was reading the book I realized if I could make time for the book, I had to let go of my excuse that I never have time to wash the dishes or clean up the house. I hate to admit it, but I think they just might be onto something with all of their organizational suggestions. I'm horrible at time management and really needed some positive encouragement instead of the usual negative reactions my husband often gives.

Only time will tell if this book helps me get more organized, but one thing is certain, it definitely gave me some great tools to begin, encouragement, and a really good laugh (many times throughout the book)! This is a wonderful edition to anyone's bookshelf seeking to improve their organizational skills. Heck, even if you aren't, you'd probably still get a kick out of it, honestly!

Buy It
So, are you ready to add this to your book collection? Purchase Pretty Neat today for only $10.17 on Amazon.com! That's a great price!

Win It
One Lucky CTM Reader Will Win Their Own Copy of Pretty Neat: The Buttoned-Up Way to Get Organized and Let Go of Perfection
How To Enter
Leave A Comment Below Telling Me One Way (Or More) You Really Need To Get Organized (Home, Car, Life, Budget, etc.)!
** Be Sure To Include Your Email Address In At Least One Entry So I Know How to Contact You!**

Additional Entries
  • Follow CTM on GFC (leave GFC name)
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  • "Like" the "Deal"irious Diva Facebook Page!
  • Tweet (Up to 2x daily) By Clicking The Tweet Button Above And Entering The Info Below OR Go To Twitter!  You can use this tweet:
Get Organized W/ Pretty Neat Book @ChildrenTeach  http://tinyurl.com/4pnffl5 #giveaways

Plenty of opportunities to increase your chance of winning! This Giveaway is open to US Residents and Ends March 18th at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be drawn by random.org. An announcement will be made on the blog and the winner will also be contacted by email. The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen.


Update: The Mini Social Deal- Get 5 Friends To Sign Up, Get $20 Credit

I just joined a daily deal site called The Mini Social!

I shared this with you guys a few days ago and am amazed because they are still honoring this promo! They have a great campaign going on for only ONE week! Refer 5 friends and get a $20 credit to your account! They do NOT have to make any purchases, just sign up with their email addresses and you get the $20 instantly! Plus, when a person you refer makes an order, you get an additional $10 credit.
They really have some cute items- clothing, hats, shoes, toys, and much more for children. I've already made one purchase.

Spring Fling: Novica Review & $60 Giveaway

I first saw a review for Novica last year and, after I took a look at the website, I fell in love. For people who love traveling and exotic, foreign gifts, Novica is a wonderful place to find something unique and special. Novica has partnered with National Geographic, offering artists and artisans around the world a chance to showcase their talents and creativity. You will everything from home items and handmade jewelry to beautiful silk scarves and paintings. You may have never traveled to Brazil or Thailand, but no one needs to know that! As part of Novica's mission reads, The World Is Your Market!
Silver Wrap Necklace "Foliage"

My Thoughts
I was given $60 credit to pick out an item on Novica and couldn't wait. Little did I know, finding something would be very, very difficult because there is just so much from which to choose! Everything in the store is selected for it's artistic quality and uniqueness, making it near impossible to just purchase one thing, but after much debate, I decided on the Burgundy Dreams Cotton WrapAround Dress made by Dewa Porto in Bali.

The dress came so beautifully wrapped, I really hated to open it. I even took a few pictures of it before taking it apart. This amazingly came along with the purchase and didn't cost anything extra! The purchase also came with a story card about Dewa, the artisan.
 When I saw this dress in the pictures, I immediately wanted it. I could picture myself wearing it pretty much all year. It's nice and cool for a summer dress, but also pretty enough for a winter party dress. I was struck by how beautiful the color is, almost metallic looking, though it is cotton and super-soft! The dress is available without the bow, but I thought it added something to the look. It can be tied on the side, but also around the back if you want it out of the way.

Now that I've discovered Novica, they've made a fan for life. I can't even call their items products because they are really all pieces of art and make perfect gifts for any occasion. I love this store and highly recommend it. Keep in mind that many of the pieces are being shipped from overseas so, it takes a few weeks to receive them, but, believe me, it's well worth the wait!

Buy It
Although the Burgundy Dreams Dress is Currently Unavailable, The Beautiful Turquoise Version Is! Purchase the Turquoise Dreams Wraparound Dress Today For Only $62.95!

Win It
 One Lucky Reader Will Win A $60 Gift Card to Novica.com! 

**Novica is Part of the CTM Spring Fling Prize Package! This is Your Chance to Earn Early Entries Into The Giveaway Event Beginning on March 13th! **

 How To Earn Early Entries For The Giveaway Package:
 Just complete the list of entry options below, just like with normal giveaways! Then, once the Spring Fling Event ends, your early entries will be combined with all of the entries during the event. So, the more entries you put in now, the more of a chance you have to win later because you can complete even more entries during the event! :) 

Mandatory Entry
  •   Visit Novica and Take A Look Around! Then, Leave A Comment Below About Your Favorite Item!
 **(Remember to Include Your Email Address IF it Is Not Visible Through Your Profile)**

Additional Early Entries
  • "Like" Novica on Facebook!
  • "Follow" Novica on Twitter!
  • Make a purchase at Novica from now until 3/20  from their online store.  Save your confirmation email or receipt as I will confirm the purchase if you win (10 entries)
  • "Follow" My New Daily Deals Blog "Dealirious Diva" via GFC!
  • "Like" the "Deal"irious Diva Facebook Page!
  • Tweet (Up to 2x daily) By Clicking The Tweet Button Above And Entering The Info Below OR Go To Twitter!  You can use this tweet:
#Win @Novica $60 Gift Credit @ChildrenTeach Spring Fling http://tinyurl.com/62lqahq #SFGive #giveaways 
Plenty of opportunities to increase your chance of winning! These Early Entries are open to US Residents and Ends March 19th at 11:59pm, which is when the huge Spring Fling Blog Hop Event ends! Good Luck!!

10 Ways To Have An Unforgettable Vacation On A Budget

Ever since I was a little girl, I've loved to travel. Back then, my parents saved up their money all year for our annual trip to Florida. It was the vacation we looked forward to all year and couldn't wait to go. Now that I'm a parent, I know firsthand what it's really like when needing to scrimp and save, especially when we are planning trips. We always go to the beach for a week and the hubs and I always go away for a weekend to celebrate our anniversary. In between, we sometimes stay in hotels when driving to visit my parents out of state. 

I'm a stay at home mom and my husband is a state employee (enough said, I'm sure) so, we are always cutting coupons, buying things on sale, and trying to save money any way we possibly can. That's why it's been particularly important for us to learn the tricks to saving money when traveling! It's taken a few years, but we do have a few tips to share so, here are my 10 tips for a nice trip or vacation without breaking the bank:

1. Take Advantage of Paypal- We actually sell things on Ebay throughout the year to make some extra money and the payments immediately go to Paypal. By the time a trip comes around, we have a great amount of money saved up because we never cash it out. With Paypal, you can purchase trips, cruises, and hotels at a discounted price with your Paypal money! Even if you don't find a deal you like, you've saved up some money and can cash it out to your checking account free of charge. 

2. Be Watchful of Good Deals- We are members of several daily deal sites and receive emails on a daily basis with all of their great deals. Some sell vacations and hotel room while others sell things like gift cards and store credit. You could possibly find a great vacation and find gift cards for restaurants and other fun activities in the area you wish to vacation!

3. One Word: Priceline - I honestly cannot say enough about Priceline. They often have great deals listed, but you can also name your own price. We've gotten 4-Star Hotels for amazing prices. Last month we stayed at the W Atlanta, one of my favorite hotels, for only $45 a night! Usually rooms run at prices around $200+! 

4. The Earlier You Start Looking, The Better! You may not be going on vacation for another 3 months, but that's ok. You may find some random deal somewhere. Plus, if you use Priceline, you can name your own price with the same requirements every single day so, if you don't get the price you want one day, you may get it the next day!

5. There's A Good Reason For Going Off-Season! We actually learned this just last year. My parents liked to go to the beach on the 4th of July, the peak season when prices are at their highest. My Mom-In-Law wanted a trip with the grandkids and had a break in September, which happened to work out amazingly. Many beach hotels and resorts run Buy 3 Nights, Get 1 Free specials during this time of year. We actually ended up with a wonderful oceanfront resort for 4 days at only about $65 a night! I was amazed because the resort was brand new, too!

6. Go To BiddingForTravel.com Before Purchasing Or Bidding! A friend just recently told me about this website and it's awesome. Basically, people who bid on hotels through places like Priceline.com list their deals on the BiddingForTravel.com forum. So, you can go look around to see how much hotels are going for around the places you want to vacation. You may be planning on bidding $80 for a hotel room and see that they are actually going for only $50. It's a great money saver!

7. Delicious Meals at Discounted Prices! Restaurant.com is the way to go for great deals on restaurants across the U.S.! I have a few tips regarding this service and my experiences. 1. Don't ever purchase the deals at regular price on the website. There are always codes for 80% off somewhere so you can get a $25 gift certificate for about $3. If there isn't a sale running that day, chances are there will be within a few days. They are always sending me emails with special codes so, sign up to start getting those codes. 2. Read all of the instructions for the gift certificate BEFORE purchasing it. You may think you are getting a great deal, paying $6 for a $50 gift credit, but they often require you purchasing at least $100 worth of food, which is near impossible at some restaurants! (Yes, this happened to me and we ended up gorging ourselves to reach the $100. lol!) 

8. Don't Eat Out, Dine In! You can spend so much money eating out at restaurants on vacation. In stead of eating out, get a condo or extended stay hotel with a kitchen(ette). You could go out to an Italian restaurant and purchase spaghetti for $19.95 per person OR make it at your condo for all of $6 total. It's a no brainer for someone with a big family. 

9. Don't Use Gas, Get A Pass! If you fly somewhere, consider NOT getting a rental car. There are many other cheaper options. You will probably pay at least $50 a day for your rental when you could easily get a transit pass (bus, train, underground, metro, etc.) for much cheaper. Depending which city/country you are in, this can not only be less expensive, but the preferred, quicker way to travel around. 

10. Just Cruisin'? If you want to save a ton of money, but want to go somewhere out of the ordinary, consider a cruise. You can find really great deals, especially if you are booking in advanced or even last minute. A few years ago I went through a travel agent several months before my cruise and ended up booking a suite with a balcony and seperate living area for only about $700 a person. That's $100 a day for everything- food, drinks (non-alcoholic), entertainment, and much more. Of course, there are expensive parts of the cruise, too, but there are ways to save money there, too. When looking for deals on a cruise, look for those that also include on-board credits! We booked through Travelocity once and got $200 in credit for the cruise!

So, what do you do to save money when vacationing? I'm always up for learning more tips about saving. We have definitely saved a ton of money from planning and just thinking ahead. Even when you save $1 through coupons, you may not think it's much, but  it honestly adds up very quickly! So, get out there and start planning your next vacation! Spring and summer will soon be here! Yay!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


Lucky Life With My Family

Tonight I was so tired and in a bad mood, but had to go out to Kroger for Liam's medicine. Yes, he has yet another ear infection! Per usual, as I left the store, my attention turned to the big red box over to my left. I'm sure you've seen and used Redbox before, too. How can you really resist $1 rentals? However, did you know you could reserve your rentals online? I had no idea until I recently heard about a new program through Redbox called Lucky to Have Friends Like You. Through your online Redbox account you can get a web address specifically for your friends. You email them, send it through facebook, twitter, etc. and every time one of your friends uses that specific link to reserve a movie, you get a free rental! Wow! It's a wonderful promotion and very easy to earn free rentals. Just sign up here if you don't already have an account.

Anyways, after I was happy with my Redbox selection for the night and, of course  another wonderful Scooby Doo dvd for Josiah, I hopped in the car. I was on my way home when a car stalled in the middle of the intersection. The entire family got out of the car and was trying to push it over to the side when another car pulled up from behind, got out of the car and started helping them. I was so surprised and so grateful to live in a place where people are so thoughtful and caring.

Here in the mountains of north Georgia, life is a bit slower than that of the city. People make small talk with each other in the store even if they don't know each other. We all wave at each other when driving past and there is just this feeling of being at home. Unlike Macon, where we lived when my husband was in law school, Jasper is safe and welcoming. You don't have to look over your shoulder when walking to your car alone. Many of us don't even lock our front doors when leaving the house.

As I was driving home, all of this was going through my mind and I realized really how lucky we are to live in such a nice place. In Macon, many children were home schooled or went to private school, not for better education necessarily, but for safety concerns. Gangs plagued the public schools and we heard about crimes every day on the news. Here, the public schools are some of the best in Georgia and safety is not really a concern.

I am grateful for my husband, my two boys, and my in-laws who are always around to help, but I'm also very grateful to be able to live a life with my family without fear. I'm lucky to live in such a beautiful place, surrounded by mountains and peaceful skies, with the people I love. Regardless of all the other things going on in our lives, it's nice to sit back and realize just how lucky we are.
A Snowy Day In Our Little Mountain Town

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and redbox blogging program, for a $25 Walmart gift card from redbox. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Chance Of A Lifetime & Changes Made

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Thank you to P&G’s Have You Tried This Yet? program and Kroger for sponsoring my writing about trying new things and breaking out of my everyday routine. Click here to find great savings on high-performing P&G products at a Kroger store near you. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.
 It's true that, as a Mama, days and weeks can become routine and, yes, mundane. It's tough sometimes, especially to those of us who were always on the go before. When I had my first son, Josiah, I was very timid about my parenting skills and my ability to survive without the help of my husband and family. I never went anywhere, especially out of town without some help for the first year of Josiah's life, but then something totally changed...

Moving Into Our New House
I was accepted into graduate school... away from my husband who was in law school. I had a choice: I could stay and wait until he finished a year later, risking my acceptance and assistantship OR I could move away for one year and he would visit on the weekends until he finished. I'd already lived away from home for 2 years, with only a part-time job, was very bored, and decided it was time for me to do something for myself, which is, unfortunately, not something I often do. Of course, Josiah (1 yr old at the time) was coming with me so, in July of 2008, we moved to Canton, GA for me to begin graduate school.

At Siah's Daycare Fall Festival 09'
I was definitely scared and nervous, especially when the hubs went back to school in August and left me alone with the little stinker. I quickly learned how hard my schedule was. Josiah would stay at daycare while I went to classes, my internship and/or my assistantship (which paid for my classes). Luckily, I had relatives nearby to help pick him up since my classes sometimes didn't get out until 9:30pm!

Our first weekend trip w/o the hubs!
I was challenged during this year, to say the least, with classes, work and Josiah. It was tough, but I learned something about myself much more valuable than the education I received. I learned that I could be independent, I could take care of myself and my child(ren), and that even though I do depend on my husband, I still have the ability to stand on my own. This was something I'd forgotten after 2 years of being married and away from home.

Papa's Home!
Many friends and family members definitely questioned my decision to go back to school and to be away from the hubs, but I tried something new and learned so much about myself I never could have otherwise. In addition, I learned to appreciate every little second I spent with my son. Before, I was going crazy spending 24 hours a day at home!

Oh, and I forgot to mention the biggest change from this decision... I got pregnant in the spring of 2009 with my second son, Liam! This year we spent apart made lasting impressions on all of us and, as a stay at home mom, I am now very, very thankful for the time I get to spend with my children. Josiah starts preschool this fall and I'm in denial right now so, we are just enjoying our time together!
Our little family!

What about you? What have you done in your life to break out of the mundane? Did it have a positive effect?