Contest – Frugal Novice
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Snap an #UltraHug Selfie & Spread the Love with Walmart Huggies Snug & Dry


Summer is here, and my kids are thrilled. They’re looking forward to all sorts of fun, and we’ve already been enjoying evenings playing all together out in the yard. I have lots of great memories of summers during my childhood, and it makes me really happy to think of my kids having wonderful summer moments, too.

I do think, though, of kids for whom summer isn’t all great. There are some kids who rely on breakfasts and lunches at school, and when school is out these kids might very well go without food. No Kid Hungry Texas is a program that helps combat this issue, and it’s an organization I’m proud to support.

Huggies is hosting a great initiative right now, awarding 10 community organizations $2,000 each! All you have to do to nominate your community project is upload a selfie of you and your baby to Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #UltraHug.

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Enter your “That’s My Kid” Moment in the VTech #SmartWatchSweeps

Note: The information included in this post, and a gift card, have been provided to me by VTech.


Does your child have dreams of becoming the next Mozart? Next President? Or a secret spy? Do they leave you in stitches or keep you constantly on your toes?

Kids love to show off their playful personalities and so do their parents! That’s why VTech® wants parents and caregivers to share their “that’s my kid” moments on social media. Using the hashtag #smartwatchsweeps, parents and caregivers can share and submit images of their children showing off one-of-kind kid moments, for a chance to win a VTech Kidizoom® Smartwatch of their very own!

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How to Enter

Take a pic/video of your kids showing off their silly antics for a chance to win a VTech Kidizoom® Smartwatch! You can upload your photo to to submit your entry or tag your photo with the hashtag #smartwatchsweeps when posting it to Twitter and/or Instagram.

At the end of every week, five entries will be selected at random to receive a Smartwatch and will be highlighted as one of VTech’s “Smartwatch Kids of the Week” on their social media channels.

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Here’s all the information you need, plus ways to keep up with VTech on their social media channels:

#GetGoing with Jif To Go & You could Win $1,000!

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

I feel like our family is almost always on the go, and I know we’re not alone. It’s easy to be busy all the time, isn’t it? I have to set reminders in my phone all the time so I don’t forget things. And we’re not even in the midst of a sports season with the kids yet! I know when the boys were playing baseball, practice days meant picking up the kids, rushing home to let the dogs out, throwing on cleats and rushing to the practice fields. I’m sure many of you can relate to that!

And of course we’ve probably all had those weeks at work where we’ve had to work through lunch to meet a deadline. I know I have, and it is not easy concentrating on an empty stomach! My work stocks some snacks, but many of the items are things like chips and cookies, things that won’t fill me up long-term (and definitely can’t help subsitute for missing lunch!). Thankfully there’s now Jif To go dippers, which are portable snack solutions that are easy for me to keep in my purse, in the car, or anywhere we might need a quick and filling snack. Each one has peanut butter packaged in portable 1.5 oz. cups, paired with pretzels. SO good!

Speaking of being on the go, Jif To Go is actually celebrating life on-the-go right now by asking fans to share a picture of how you get going in the #GetGoing photo promotion! You can enter each week for a chance to win $1,000 to use for your next adventure. The contest started August 20 and runs through October 1, so #GetGoing and go enter now!




I’m totally going to enter this  contest; I’d love to win $1,000 for another family trip! Although road trips with three kids can be… loud… they’re also a chance to make all sorts of memories, too. For our next trip, I think it’d be great to take a road trip over to California and visit Disneyland. None of us have ever been, and I think it’d be a blast! I’d like us to make some stops in New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona along the way.  It’d be a lot of driving, for sure – but we can stock up on Jif To Go in case we get hungry (or hangry) while on the road.

I hope you’ll enter, too! Remember, you can enter on the Jif site, or via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Here’s the Jif info all easy right at your fingertips for you:

Jif Website: | Facebook:

Twitter: | Instagram:

And here’s all the Jif To Go Dippers photo competition details and guidelines:

How do you #GetGoing?

Six Flags Pokemon Trainer Challenge

Note: I received Pokemon toys to thank me for my post. I was not compensated monetarily for the post, and all opinions are honest and are my own.



My boys LOVE Pokemon. Their favorite activity this summer has been taking Pokemon cards to day care and trading them with their friends.

Did you know Six Flags loves Pokemon, too?

Join Six Flags on Sunday, August 10 at 3 p.m. at participating Six Flags parks (Chicago, NJ, Dallas, Atlanta and LA) for the Pokémon Trainer Challenge and a chance to win FOUR Six Flags season passes PLUS a Pokémon toy prize pack!

Guests can visit the Pokémon Trainer Station tent* inside the park beginning at 11 a.m. for contest info and to sign up.  You can also practice your trainer skills, check out some of the hottest new Pokémon toys and take your photo with Ash!

At 2:45 p.m., 10 lucky guests** will be selected from the eligible contest entry forms to take the Pokémon Trainer Challenge for the chance to win four 2015 season passes to Six Flags, and over $250 worth of Pokémon toys!

Pokémon Trainer Challenge – Contest Details

Date: Sunday, August 10, 2014
Location: Next to the Pokémon Tent inside participating Six Flags parks
Schedule: 11:00 a.m. Pokémon Trainer Station tent opens
2:45 p.m. Contestant selection
3:00 p.m. Pokémon Trainer Challenge begins!

For more information on the Pokémon toys, check out is external)

*Tent locations vary by park. Additional details will be available inside the park on the event date.

**The contest is open to guests age 8 to 13 at the park on August 10. All guests must submit a contest entry form by 2:30 pm to be eligible for participation. Entry forms and contest rules are available at guest relations and at the Pokémon tent inside the park on August 10.

Entrant selection begins promptly at 2:45 p.m. and all guests must be present at the designated Pokémon tent at this time to for a chance to participate. The contest will take place at 3 p.m.

Participating Six Flags parks include:
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Great America
Six Flags Over Georgia
Six Flags Great Adventure

One prize will be awarded at each participating park. Click here for Official Rules.

Share What’s Good with Welch’s Photo Contest!

Note: I received compensation for participating in this campaign through MomCentral Consulting.

As a busy mom to three kids who also works full-time outside of the home, finding quality family moments is very important to me! We try to make sure and have real conversations with the kids at the dinner table, so we can hear what really went on during their day. Everyone (mom & dad too!) has to share their best and worst moments of the day, and that usually opens up the floor for more conversation from the kids.

Another way our family has quality time is with stories before bed. This is a favorite photo of mine from one of those story times:



Welch’s believes in the magic of “kitchen table” moments, and has been helping families enjoy them for generations. In the time it takes to drink a glass of juice or share a sandwich, a special moment can happen. That’s why Welch’s just launched a new movement called “Share what’s good™” It’s all about sharing those special moments that occur each day with family, friends and loved ones – whether it’s at home or on the go. At you’ll find a variety of great content from fun family ideas to delicious recipes. You can share photos of your every-day moments and see how others are doing the same.

As part of the Share what’s good campaign, Welch’s has launched the “Share Your Moments” photo contest! From 9/16 to 10/25 upload a photo of your favorite family moment for a chance to win $5,000! While there is only one grand prize, everyone who enters will get a $1.50 coupon for Welch’s 100% Grape Juice – or $2.00 if you share the news. to enter. Post your photos to Twitter & Instagram, too, and use the hashtag #sharewhatsgood with your image.


Be sure and keep up with Welch’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too!

Get Your Dishes Sparkling with Cascade Platinum Pacs – and Enter the “My Platinum” Instagram Contest!


“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

With three children, our dishwasher is pretty much always full, and is a vital component of our kitchen. I remember when Brian and I were newlyweds living in our first house with – GASP – no dishwasher! We were thrilled when we moved and finally had one, and now it’s a must-have for whatever home we’re in.

Of course, even with a dishwasher you can still end up with dishes that aren’t as clean as you’d like, if you’re not using the right detergent. We’ve used some in the past that have left a film on our dishes, which particularly shows up on our cobalt blue Fiesta Ware. Not the most appealing look, especially when we’re entertaining friends!


I was thrilled to learn about Cascade Platinum Pacs, which have a triple action “recipe” that will leave my dishes pretty much spot-free. The unique liquid-top dual surfactant system delivers exceptional shine for dishes AND helps keep your dishwasher sparkling – that’s a huge thing for me, too (no one wants a dingy dishwasher)! The Platinum Pacs also:

  • Power away tough, 24 hour stuck-on food
  • Eliminate the need to pre-wash dishes
  • Help maintain the look of new machines and help prevent additional hard-water film build-up
  • Deliver exceptional dishware shine

Just stick one in the detergent area of your dishwasher, close the lid, start your dishwasher, and voila! Easy, clean, sparkling dishes.


I’m thrilled to have Cascade Platinum Pacs to use in our dishwasher. We’ll be moving soon to a new construction home, and I love the idea of starting off the use of the dishwasher with these pacs to keep my dishes AND my dishwasher fresh. And of course, when you move to a new house part of the fun is having friends over for dinner, and I’ll look forward to serving them on sparkling plates, with ice cold sweet tea in crystal-clear glasses. After all, people eat not just with their mouths, but with their eyes too – if something doesn’t look appealing, it’s a whole lot harder to enjoy it!

Top Chef judge, and editor of Food + Wine magazine Gail Simmons has partnered with Cascade to discuss why presentation is just as important as preparation. She says, “The easiest recipes pop with unexpected, gourmet presentations. Drizzle bright sauces on sparkling white plates or layer desserts in crystal-clean glassware. Keep your presentation sparkling with Cascade Platinum, which keeps dishes perfect for anytime entertaining and impromptu guests.”

Check out some plating tips from Gail in this video:

Also, I’m sure you noticed the word “contest” in my post title above – this is a fun, easy Instagram contest you should definitely enter! Visit the contest landing page for info on how to enter and submit images. Each week, two contestants will be selected to receive a brand new Whirlpool dishwasher. Awesome, right? Additionally, one lucky grand prize winner will receive a Platinum kitchen makeover! To win, be sure you register and that your photos are tagged with #MyPlatinum and @MyCascade. Week 1’s theme was “My Platinum Plate” – here are the remaining themes so you can get to brainstorming!

  • Week 2: My Platinum Bite – Show your best bite and most creative use of sparkling silverware! (June 10-16)
  • Week 3: My Platinum Clink – Show how you serve up creative concoctions in sparkling glasses. Cheers! (June 17-23)
  • Week 4: My Platinum Table – Show your sparkling tablescape for your most special celebrations! (June 24-30)

Again, click here to get to the Instagram contest details. Be sure and keep up with Cascade on Facebook, too!

Crayola’s Big Colorful Birthday Adventure



Our boys LOVE to color. I bought them the Crayola tower of crayons a while back, and they have had a field day each filling pages of their own drawing pad. It’s so much fun seeing their creativity come out, and I can remember my own love of drawing and coloring first starting as a child. Crayola has been around for a long time impacting kids and helping them be creative!


To celebrate their 110th birthday, the 8 original crayons are throwing a birthday bash at the new fun-omenal Crayola Experience, the world’s only interactive Crayola family attraction. Right now, they’re out on a colorful adventure to spread the news, and you’re invited to join the fun!

How can you join in on the fun? You can FOLLOW the crayons on their adventure, LEARN more about each color and enter to WIN a trip for 4 to celebrate their birthday and the Grand Opening of the all new Crayola Experience this coming May, 2013!

Visit the Crayola Facebook page and click “enter now” for your chance to be first in line when the Crayola Experience reopens.

The new Crayola Experience features four floors of new interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind attractions that will bring the magic of color and your child’s creativity to life! The winner will be among the first to experience the fun, along with a three- night, all-expenses paid stay. It’s an experience your kids will never forget – and neither will you!

Note: Crayola provided information for this post. I am receiving a pack of crayons as thanks for this post. I am not being compensated monetarily. 

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway


It’s getting to be that time of year again where we’re all on the hunt for gifts our kids will love. Well, Melissa & Doug is taking away some of the guesswork for you by providing a “Terrific Twenty” list of great gift ideas! 

There are toys for boys and girls and for a variety of ages. I think my boys would love this big rig building truck – isn’t it cool?

Starting today, Melissa & Doug is holding a giveaway on their Facebook page.  Every day they’ll be giving away one item from their Terrific Twenty list to at least one of their lucky Facebook fans! So, be sure to Like them on Facebook and get in on the chance to win!

Note: I am being provided a toy from the list to facilitate an upcoming review, and will be provide a toy for giveaway as well. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Fun Shutterfly Contest – Win a Trip to the Bahamas!

I’m a big Shutterfly fan to begin with (have you seen all their photo products? Their photo books are my favorite – and I’m a BIG fan of vacations, so it only seemed fitting to share this contest with y’all.

Long Live Summer Facebook Photo Contest Details: July 9 – August 12  – Multi-week summer themed photo sweepstakes with instant win prizes!

Win a trip for four to The Bahamas and a professional photo shoot so you’ll remember your vacation forever.  All you need to do is upload your favorite photo and caption based on the theme of the week.  Get a gift from Shutterfly just for entering! You can enter at any point during the 5-week sweepstakes period.


•       Week 1(7/9): Americana

•       Week 2 (7/16): Great Outdoors

•       Week 3 (7/23): Water Fun

•       Week 4 (7/30): Sports & Activities

•       Week 5 (8/6): Parties & Celebrations


•       Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!

•       Weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time/week)

•       Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page and awarded a $500 gift card on Shutterfly and a copy of the new Lonely Planet travel photography book.

•       Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo shoot

Shutterfly Sweepstakes – Official Rules

Note: I am receiving a promotional item to thank me for this post.

What to Expect: Playtex Baby Contest

I’m now expecting #3 (that’s NOT me above, btw!) but I can still remember the “magic” of the first time I was pregnant. Everything was so new! This time around, with three years between this and my last pregnancy, there are some things that seem almost new again – like how the baby’s first kicks feel. Such an awesome experience, am I right?

What did you least expect when you were pregnant or a new Mom? We all have great stories to share, and Playtex Baby wants to hear them! Playtex Baby is holding a contest on their Facebook page, asking Moms to share candid, unexpected moments of pregnancy and motherhood. They will be selecting daily winners, as well as a grand prize winner who will be flown to LA for the premiere of What To Expect When You’re Expecting. The film will feature Playtex Baby products including the Playtex Nurser with Drop-Ins Liners and the Playtex Diaper Genie Disposal System! So what are you waiting for – log on and share your story today!

Note: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Playtex Baby. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Give the Gift of Organization with Rubbermaid’s New Contest!

At Rubbermaid, they know first-hand that organization can give you more time to give back to the community, yet it can be hard getting started. They wanted to reward those who give everything to others and help them get more organized so they have a little peace of mind. That is why they are offering a $5,000 organization makeover to someone deserving. Check out the contest and nominate someone who has made a difference in your life. You can learn more and enter here!

Please Vote!

Today is the last day for voting in the Better Homes and Gardens State Cookie Contest! I’m currently in fifth place with my Mississippi Mud cookie recipe.

All top five recipes win a prize, so I really want to hang on to top 5. Please take a minute to go vote, and then pop over to my blog post about the cookies and get the recipe to try these yourself. They’re a sure crowd pleaser!

Thank you guys! I really appreciate everyone who has voted for me over the course of this contest!