Friday, August 27, 2010

Ten Tips for Planning a Unique Baby Shower

Twittermoms has kept me busy today.  As my followers know I've had some lapses in between posts at times.  I love that Twittermoms inspires me and introduces me to new products.  Twittermoms is teaming up with Tiny Prints to challenge bloggers to share their 10 tips for planning a unique baby shower.

This is one of my favorite designs and can be found at Tiny Prints by clicking here .


It's been a little while since I've had to plan a shower but I love that baby shower's are changing with the times and incorporating the father more.

  1. Think outside the box.
  2. Include Dad and other male relatives incl. children.  Having a baby is so exciting for the entire family you must share this shower with everyone.
  3. Recruit helpers and delegate tasks.  Most of the time you will find plenty of people willing to help if you just ask.
  4. Don't break the bank.  Money spent on decorations may be better spent on gifts for the new mom.  Consider a theme that you can use household items or toys you already have to decorate with.  You can also use the nursery theme as your parties decorations.  If the Mom to be has registered for a particular pattern, you can use your gift as the decoration.
  5. Focus on the Mom to be.  Again, don't break the bank.  Have someone make the cake, ask close family members to bring items and assign them to bring nuts, mints, finger sandwiches etc.  Don't underestimate that Aunt So and So may be more than willing to help out.
  6. Secure a place to hold the shower that will accommodate the guests comfortably.  Family homes, Churches, recreation centers etc may be available for low or no cost.
  7. Order invitations from Tiny Prints for as low as 59cents/each! Here Below are two examples of the awesome options available.











8. Don't forget to go GREEN just like Tiny Prints "In addition, our high quality cardstock is made with fine craftsmanship using luxurious materials that are also easy on the environment."  Consider using towels, receiving blankets etc. in lieu of wrapping paper.

9. Playing games may be old school for showers but you can mix it up by posting guests guesses as to arrival date, sex, weight, length etc. on a decorative poster and take it to the hospital when the baby arrives to decorate the room with and to help the winner boast!

10.  Have fun and go with the flow!  Is that a unique tip?  It is if you are a perfectionist like I am.  Be sure to plan as much as you can and expect little things may come up but if you have utilized your volunteers Aunt ? last minute change of food she brings won't be noticed.

I haven't ordered from Tiny Prints personally but have read many blog posts about them and haven't seen a negative review yet.  Check out their Baby Shower Invitations for yourself.  You can even order samples before making your decision.

Not having a baby shower?  Visit  http://www.tinyprints.com/  to see their selection of cards for all occasions!  I hope to send out Christmas Cards this year and to have a family picture for one of Tiny Prints beautiful choices.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a Tiny Prints gift code worth $50, plus 25 FREE Tiny Prints greeting cards—a total gift value of $149.75! For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Five Simple Things you can do for your Child to help keep their Smiles Healthy and Bright

TwitterMoms and Trident have teamed up and challenged twittermoms to post five simple things that you can do for your child to keep their smiles healthy and bright.  You can see the challenge here: http://www.twittermoms.com/forum/topics/share-five-simple-things-you

  1. Start dental care early.  It is best to start when your child first gets their teeth.  Since this happens early you will have to take responsibility for brushing and assist then through the toddler years to insure proper brushing.
  2. Encourage brushing.  We have our daughter brush after every meal. 
  3. Make brushing fun.  We have used minute times, music etc to keep brushing fun as well as to encourage brushing correctly.
  4. Offer healthy eating habits.  Snacking on veggies and fruits are best for teeth.  Don't forget to brush after those blueberries and staining fruits!
  5. Floss:   Make sure your child flosses daily.  Parents who practice good oral hygiene habits help their children pick up these good habits.  There are plenty of flosser gadgets and flavors of flosses to help keep your child motivated to floss.
I've always been a gum chewer especially when I am out and not able to brush after a meal.  But I learned from Trident and Twittermoms that I am actually I am practicing good oral hygiene by doing so.  Here are some facts they shared:

"Chewing Trident sugar free gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help fight cavities.

Xylitol, a sugar free sweetener in Trident, has been shown to loosen plaque."

For more information:


Visit Trident on Facebook and click our ‘Chew 4 Smiles’ tab
Visit the website
Check out the latest Trident commercials on YouTube
Get some Trident Gum Coupons


My husband always purchases Trident by the case at our local warehouse club.  Thanks to Trident and Twittermoms I know that this isn't just a treat that satisfies our sweet tooth but a treat that is good for our oral hygiene.  I can tell you that we love the White variety of Trident and I am convinced it really works.  I am an avid coffee and tea drinker but Trident actually keeps my teeth white.  We always have a pack in our car, my purse at home.  We have Trident stashed everywhere!  I can say that I'm disheartened that they no longer allow gum chewing at my daughter's school as it is perfect for after lunch since there is no time to brush at school.  I will provide the school with the benefits of gum chewing when brushing isn't an option and see if they will review their policy.  Trident's website offers abundant information to advocate for gum chewing.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Trident blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Tips and Recipes for Flavorful Low-sodium Family Meals

I know I've said this before but I love Twittermoms.  They are teaming up this time with Mrs. Dash and asking that we tweet about flavorful low-sodium meals.  Low sodium meals are very important to me since there is a family history of high blood pressure in my family.  I want to lower the sodium in our meals without sacrificing taste and Mrs Dash helps to do that.

I have a pretty generic quiche recipe and it is a perfect example of something I can use Mrs. Dash in depending on the other ingredients that I am using.
Recipe:
Ingredients:
  • 1- Deep dish frozen pie crust
  • 1-12oz can Evaporated Milk
  • 8oz Shredded Cheese of your choice ( I prefer the mixed blends)
  • 2tbs All purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite vegetable
  • 1/2 cup of another vegetable or meat
  • Season to taste with your favorite Mrs. Dash Blend
1Can 12 oz Evaporated milk
3egs
2tbs all purpose flour
Seasoning of choice-Mrs Dash Original is perfect for this one.
Wisk in bowl together
You will need to line a deep dish pie crust with 4cups cheese.  Then start layering your ingredients.  Tonight we chose turkey, broccoli and onions.  Cover with 4 cups of cheese then pour egg mixture over it and bake 45min at 350 until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

With Summer in full swing and all the fresh vegetables coming in now consider trying Mrs. Dash on them instead of salt.  One of my mother's favorites is home grown green beans seasoned with the original Mrs. Dash.

Are you using those fresh vegetables in a Salad?  Forget the salt, spice things up with Mrs. Dash.  Making Pasta Salad?  Why not use Mrs. Dash Italian Medley?
I love this recipe b/c the options are endless.  Imagine a bacon tomatoe quicke with Mrs. Dash Tomatoe Basil Garlic blend.  Better yet a ham and cheese with Mrs. Dash Onion and Herb.  The possibilities are endless.

Mrs Dash also has an Extra Spicy Seasoning for those who like a little bit of kick with their food.  The possiblilities are just endless.

I bet you won't even miss the salt!  My family doesn't.

Visit the Mrs. Dash site for recipes to help you reduce your family's sodium intake.  Be sure to check out http://www.mrsdash.com/ .  I have been a Mrs. Dash email subscriber for several yrs now and love the monthly newsletter which is full of tips and recipes.  For those followers who love contests like I do, Mrs Dash also holds great online contest from time to time so stay in the know by signing up for their newsletter.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mrs. Dash and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here (make sure to link to: http://mrsdash.twittermoms.com/about)"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Webkinz fans~ Excellent Deal on Webkinz Series 1 Trading Cards

Amazon.com currently has 2 very similar offers that are a GREAT price for Webkinz Series 1 Trading cards.  36pks of trading cards are available in each box making them an EXCELLENT gift idea for party favors, stockings, chore rewards etc!  These are also both eligible for Free Super Saver Shipping but are just shy of $25.  You can search for filler items but you also might try one of these.

I had another item to order but if you are stuck without a filler item to take advantage of free super saver shipping, you may consider :
Books for Filler Items Most are listed for $1.50 and include sticker books. These also qualify for the current for our 4-for-3 promotion.
Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Please welcome Fun Smart!

Some of you may have noticed a new blog listed under my profile.  My tween has started her own blog giving reviews and posts from a tween perspective.  Please check it out and follow if you haven't already done so.  Welcome aboard Fun Smart!  http://funsmartreviews.blogspot.com/

Saturday, August 14, 2010

ZoomPanel

There are several sites that advertise rewards in exchange for completing surveys.  Some of the sites get tons of information from you then tell you that you don't qualify so they won't have to reward you.  That is NOT the case with Zoompanel.  If you do not qualify for a particular survey you still get 5 zoom points for your account.  I like Zoompanel for a few reasons: they are legit, surveys are quick and easy, there is a good variety of rewards available, they don't spam and zoom points do not expire!  If you are not a member of Zoompanel, consider signing up today.  I would love for you to tell them StuffSmart sent you by clicking here to sign up.
With the holidays around the corner this would be a great way to save money by earning gifts!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tips for getting your kids ready to go back to school

Twittermoms and Harper Collins Books challenged members to blog about "tips for getting your kids ready to go back to school".  I jumped at the opportunity since we LOVE Twittermoms & Harper Collins Books.

StuffSmart's Ten tips for getting your kids ready to go back to school
  1. Keep reading through the summer.  Many retailers and local libraries offer summer reading programs.
  2. Sneek in educational games to keep math, history and other subjects fresh in your child's mind.
  3. Have you child make a memory box of the past school years' work and accomplishments.  This can be fun and serve as a review.
  4. Check the school website and make sure to keep up with school supply lists, dress codes etc.
  5. Involve your child in gathering supplies for back to school.
  6. Make sure to fit your child's backpack and stock it with needed supplies.
  7. Designate a place for your child's coat, backpack etc so there is no searching when the first day of school gets here or for the entire school year.
  8. Go through clothing and decide what is needed to shop for school clothes meeting the dress code requirements.
  9. Purchase needed supplies (see previous post)
  10. Get your child back on schedule a few wks before school starts by resuming school bedtime, wake for school and eating breakfast/lunch at times that will be followed during the school year.
A little about Harper Collins from Twittermoms website:

About HarperCollins Children's Books:


HarperCollins Children’s Books is one of the leading publishers of children’s books. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality books for children, HarperCollins is home to many of the classics of children's literature, including Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, The Giving Tree, Charlotte's Web, Ramona, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, the I Can Read! beginning reader series and countless award-winning titles. HarperCollins Children's Books is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, one of the leading English-language publishers in the world. Visit HarperCollins Children's Books at http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get a HarperCollins book set. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

10 tips for saving money during the back-to-school season

Staples and TwitterMoms have challenged me to list 10 tips for saving money during the back-to-school season.

  1. Utilize after season sales to buy for the next yr.
  2. Take advantage from Loss Leader specials.  Many stores have .05 deals!
  3. If your state offers a tax free holiday consider making purchases then.
  4. Make clothing purchases in moderation.  Children grow quickly so don't blow the budget for a new back to school wardrobe all at once.
  5. Use what you have.  Many of us buy in bulk.  If your school asks for paper products etc.  Share your stock.
  6. Take advantage of your fellow bloggers to make sure you are in the know about sales.  Same goes for yourself.  Post those deals!
  7. Re-use.  Invest in a good quality backpack and reuseable lunch system that will travel with your child through the grades.
  8. Plan to pack your child's lunch.
  9. Consider hosting clothing swaps, garage sales, craig's list etc for savings on clothing.
  10. Don't overbuy.  This may sound silly but sometimes we can get excited and try to buy everything.  Stick to your child's school classroom list.
“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”