Friday, January 28, 2011

Get LOADS of free stuff. :)

While I was pregnant with my son, I was online all the time. I had found how to enter giveaways, and get free things online and I was ALL over it. :) So here is my list of ways to get things FOR FREE. 

Free Samples:
There are plenty of ways to get free samples.

Through social networking sites. If you have a product you enjoy, find them on facebook or twitter. Companies usually have something to give you when you like their page, be it a coupon or a sample of their product. If they don't have this when you like their page, they can have a giveaway for the first people to comment and things like that. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities like this. They arise often, but they go away very fast.

Another way to get free samples is from a retailer's website. One example of this is Walmart. They usually always have free samples from an assortment of companies. Sam's and Costco are two other store websites that have been known to have samples in the past. 

All You (magazine) has a website and every day they post FREE samples. If you subscribe to them by e-mail, every day you will be greeted with "Todays' All You Free Sample!" 

P&G Brand Sampler is a great program to sign up for. You can get a new sample package (I think) every 4-6 weeks?

A reason that it's good to request these free samples, is because you usually get can coupons to buy the product with. So when that product goes on sale, you can use your coupon and get the product that you LOVE at a fraction of the price!
If you don't have the time to keep up with the websites and the social networking sites, a good way to stay up on the samples is through blogs that keep track of these things FOR you. :) Here are a few that I follow that I HIGHLY recommend. 

These blogs are updated constantly. (Several times a day) I follow them through Google Reader, and my reader is constantly filled with free samples. They usually have how many are left, when the sample is shutting down, or if it is already out. They save you a LOT of time and get you right to the sample! They also follow the social networking sites, and let you know when there will be a giveaway. Follow them! They are the best! :D

If you have babies/young children:
Planning Family is a great website to get free stuff! When you sign up they have you go through a list of things you can sign up for. Now you can go to each individual website and sign up for any deals you don't sign up for through Planning Family. BUT the great thing about Planning Family is the e-mails! There are companies that will offer products to you FOR FREE (well, you usually pay shipping but that's like $3-$4 bucks for a $30-$45 product.) I have gotten codes for several sites just because i'm a Planning Family member! I bought 20 nursing pads from Udder Covers for 10 dollars! I got 35 dollars off!! They also have several sweepstakes you can enter, and if you're pregnant you can get a day bag for free! 

Baby Center and The Bump are also great websites to join. You not only get great e-mails with informational articles you also can get discounts from their partners! These e-mails are great while your pregnant, or with your little one because they send you weekly e-mails about your babies progression! They have great articles and helpful tips! These websites also offer sweepstakes, and free things to get from their partners! 

Free Formula/Baby Food/Diapers:
The best way to get free formula and baby food is to sign up with the brand you like!

Sign up for Enfamil's Family Beginning program gets you $250 in FREE stuff! You get samples of formula, a bag and a ice pack for storing bottles in your diaper bag! 

Sign up for Similac Strong Mom's program and you get $329 this also comes with a bag, and their formula!

When you sign up for both of these programs, they will send you $5.00 vouchers in the mail monthly to use as a coupon to buy formula! Great ways to save money on a product you'll be spending a lot of money on! 

When you sign up for Beech Nut's newsletter, they will send you a newsletter customized to your babies age. Filled with coupons and articles relating to how your baby is getting older! 

When you sign up for Gerber (Top right hand corner of the screen), you can get up to $145 in savings. They will send you coupons. :) Also you can always enter your baby in their contest, and get your family and friends to vote for them! 

Publix Baby Club is an extremely helpful club to be apart of, if there is a Publix near you! Membership is free and it's easy to sign up! They send you a huge book Caring For Your Baby and Young Child (really it's huge. It covers up to Age FIVE. What mother doesn't need more books? I love it! :P) and every month you get a newsletter along with COUPONS to use are your local Publix! When you pair these STORE coupons with MANUFACTURER'S coupons you can get these items for a GREAT price! I highly recommend signing up for this program. It's extremely helpful!

Pampers and Huggies don't giveaway things for free, but (since you'll be buying so many of both/either brand) they have codes inside of every package of diapers/wipes you buy. When you get these codes and enter them online, they accumulate and you can use them for things on their website! You can enter sweepstakes, instant win, gift cards, memberships, and to win diapers for a year!! You can also get coupons from these websites! 

Another way to get samples of baby products is from you gynecologist/doctor (that you're seeing throughout your pregnancy) and when you make baby registry's! I signed up at Target and got this cute bag with samples of diapers, butt cream, wipes, lotion and coupons to use at Target! I also got a free bag of goodies from my gynecologist which included free samples of diapers, formula and prenatal vitamins. (which are great because you still need to take them while you're breastfeeding!) 

This is a tough, but great way to win things for free! The only way to win these are through chance, but the more that you enter, the MORE likely you are to win! I have won books, nursing covers, and a nursing pump (I think thats it.. It's all I can think of right now) from blogs! The more you enter one contest, the more likely you are to win. Of course it's all chance, so you could enter 100 times and not win. BUT you could enter 100 times AND win. I would highly recommend having a twitter, Facebook, and good reads (for books) account before you enter giveaways. The more ways that you can spread the word, the more chances you have to win! There are SEVERAL mommy blogs, and companies are constantly giving them products to review and giveaway! Top Mommy Blogs has a list of almost all of the mommy blogs by rank! These are just for you to start following! If you're looking for blogs with content (like actual blogs with advice and stuff) as well as giveaways, here are a few for you to check out (in no particular order).
Those are all the tips I could thing of on how to get things for free, do you guys have any tips/ways to get things for free? I'm always looking for new ways! :) I'd love to hear from you!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review - Campbell's Chunky

With a new baby, who has time to sit down and make three meals a day for yourself? I certainly don't! I try and make sure that I eat three square meals a day, but sometimes I might miss a few meals. I make sure I take my vitamins, but whenever I skip a meal, I know that my breastmilk isn't as rich and my baby is crankier. 

I was walking around the grocery store, trying to find things that would help me make sure that I would have three meals a day. Things that I could just pop in the microwave and eat. Things that didn't require much preparation, but would be delicious and filling. I found Campbell's Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup Bowl, and it is by far the most amazing thing ever.

Campbell products are sold in 120 countries around the globe. (from the Campbell Company website.) They are known for the "Mm Mmm Good" commercial slogan, and I know that they have always tasted great. I have to tell you though, these microwaveable bowls are amazing. All you have to do is remove the metal covering under the red plastic lid, replace the lid, and then pop it in the microwave! They are ready in two minutes and you have a great bowl of flavorful and filling soup!

I bought a few different kinds, but I have to say that the Chunky Chicken Noodle soup is my favorite. I also bought Healthy Choice because they had microwaveable bowls too. I just recently tried that, and it wasn't the same. I've been spoiled by Campbell's! Haha. Healthy Choice (Cheese Tortellini) was easy to make, but the flavor just wasn't there. I've had issues with Healthy Choice in the past (with their frozen meals) but I thought that maybe their soup would be different. I wasn't satisfied with this product at all. 

If you are looking for the "healthy choice" in soups, I would recommend Campbell's Healthy Request soups! They are low in fat, low in cholesterol and lower in sodium! They also taste great! They are available in Chunky, regular and the microwaveable bowls! 

I just wanted to review this product, because I've just recently fallen in love with it, and if anyone else is having the same issue as me. This line of products is something that will take the stress and worry away! 

*I didn't recieve any compensation for this product. I bought this from the grocery store, and wrote this review myself. All opinions are my own!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Babies. Teething. Stress.

Older picture, but you get the idea!

My son is almost four months old, and the treacherous teething has already started! At least, I'm pretty sure it's teething. 

Here is how our mornings typically go:
9:30-11:30 - wake up, talk, cuddle, get out of bed.
Change his diaper, put a new outfit on him, and then feed him.
12:00 - plays with toys, gets tired with one, put another in front of him. Usually lasts about an hour.
1:00 - 2:00 nap time.

But the past couple of days, around the time I try to feed him, he won't take me. (I'm breastfeeding. We haven't had any issues, he latched of perfectly, breast milk supply is great, so nothing to worry about on that end.) So we walk around, I try a couple more toys. Yesterday, I tried massaging his gums, and that seemed to be the issue, so I put some Baby Orajel on his teeth. But this didn't seem to work! I handed him over to my mom, and she was able to walk around and get him to go to sleep. After he woke up, (after about 30 minutes) I fed him, and he was a happier camper.

But about 4-5 hours later, the same routine repeated. His dad and I walked around until he fell asleep, he woke up, ate and then was a happier boy. 

See? Happy! :P
I'm a first time mom, and Brayden has typically been a very happy boy, very easy to please. Is this all because he's teething? Does anyone have any tips for soothing teething babies? I've tried to give him the cold teether's, but  he just gets angry. How long is this gonna last? I just want to be able to soothe my baby boy!!!

Anyways, just sharing how my days have been going. haha. Hope everyone else's are a LOT brighter!! :D

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Flight of Shadows by Sigmund Brouwer - Reviewed

Flight of Shadows
By: Sigmund Brouwer
Published By: WaterBrook Press
ISBN: 978-1-4000-7033-6
Pages: 309 Pages
Received from WaterBrook Press through their Blogging For Books Program.

Back Cover: 
Her genetic secret could change humanity forever. 
Her DNA grants her the ultimate power.  
But all she wants is to disappear. 
Looming buildings rise into the sky of a near-future America, shadowing the desperate poverty of the soovie parks, death doctors, and fear bombs. In this world of walled cities, where status matters most, Caitlyn Brown is desperate to remain invisible, wrongly believing what she needs to hide is the deformity on her back. The powerful want her for so much more.   She’s forced to take flight again, relying on the help of Razor, a street-smart illusionist she can’t trust. Her only hope is to reach friends already tracked by government.   With a twisted bounty hunter in full pursuit, she and Razor begin to learn the unthinkable about her past and the unique gifts of her DNA. It leads Caitlyn to a choice between the two men who love her, and whether to keep her freedom or sacrifice herself to change human destiny.   In this lightning-fast chase through an all-too-plausible future, best-selling author Sigmund  Brouwer is at his best.  Flight of Shadows is a terrifying ride into the heart of compelling moral questions about science and society.

My Review: 
When I first read the back cover of this book, it sounded REALLY interesting. I liked how the whole, "her genetic secret could change humanity forever." It made me think about the missing link. That this girl was the missing link! I love science fiction, but I don't like it when I have to understand the science aspect of it. The science fiction that helps me understand the science aspect, rather than assuming I do, is that kind I enjoy reading. Sadly, this book didn't help me do that. I honestly couldn't get past the second chapter. I tried so long to read this book, but I just couldn't finish it. It didn't grab me in with the prologue and I was just continually bored with it. The first chapter was good, the part that was in Caitlyn's perspective, but right after it went into a guy's perspective. This guy was in a sewer and he was eating rats and sucking out all their blood for survival. It's just not something I want to read about. I know several people enjoyed this book, and I think that's awesome. This book just wasn't my cup of tea. 

You can read more positive reviews here!

About the Author(from the back of the book):
Sigmund Brouwer is the best-selling author of Broken Angel and eighteen other novels, with close to three million books in print. He promotes literacy by giving writing workshops in schools from the Arctic Circle to inner city Los Angeles. Sigmund is married to recording artist Cindy Morgan, has two young daughters, and they split their time between Nashville and red Deer, Alberta.

Authors Website

More Literature from the Author:

Across The Universe by Beth Revis

Across The Universe
By: Beth Revis
Published by: Penguin Teen
Release Date: TODAY! (1/11/11)
Buy it: Amazon, B&N, Borders.
(Use your Gift Cards you got for Christmas!!)

Synposis from GoodReads:
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

I think this book sounds amazing, and it comes out today! I am going to be one of the first in line to buy this  book! I love Science Fiction books, so this one is definitely spot on with what I love to read. I've read so many great reviews about this book, if you haven't seen the book trailer for it, CHECK IT OUT!!!

Now, I have to say that the book trailer is kinda creepy for me. Especially since the first time I saw it, I hadn't read the description first.... Haha! After reading the description, and reading the first chapter (which you can read here) I cannot wait to read this book!!

Another thing I love about this author is that she has an interview that you can watch! I love it when author's get the readers involved, knowing that word of mouth is the best way to sell books!! If you want to watch the interview check it out here!!

I love that she came from a small town, and incorporated that into her book. With Science Fiction and Dystopian/Utopian novels, I love hearing what the authors motivation was behind the book. I think that it's fascinating to know what people think would make a "perfect society" and what technology we could have in the future.

Since today is the books release date there is something AWESOME that is going to happen! will be posting a 111pg review from 11:11 AM EST to 11:11 PM EST! I love the fact that everything that is happening has something to do with one! I love it when days relate to things like the binary code, or math problems(like on 3/6/09 it could be reduced to 1/2/03). :P I may just be a geek like that. Also the website is launching today! I've already gone and checked it out. The site contains a view of the ship, I absolutely love the purple! I spent about 30 mins on the site, just checking out the whole ship! Loved it! You should check it out too. It's a great website design!!

For all the inside scoop of things hapenning with Across The Universe, like their Facebook Fan Page!

Here are some links to get your mind filled with more by Beth Revis!!

Beth Revis’ author website, blog and Twitter:

Here are some links about the publisher of this  book! :D

Penguin Teen website, Twitter, and Facebook:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Update From My Part of the World

I know I said I was going to review Matched after Christmas, and I did read it. I was ready to review it, but the more and more I started thinking about it, the more and more I didn't know how to review it! 

ALSO. I've been spending time with this bundle of joy. So you'll have to excuse my absence. It snowed about 4-6 inches Sunday Night and I took him outside to play around in it!

So I'll have the reviews up in a few days, but now I've got my hands full with a little boy who just wants to be held all the time by his momma. I'm loving it. :) 

I've been reading The Chronicles of Narnia (part of the Off The Shelf Challenge) and I'm LOVING it. I never knew that C.S. Lewis wrote so humorously! I'm almost to the second book, and I can't wait to finish the series!

Hope you all have been having a great start to your new year!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Off The Shelf Challenge

I've seen so many of the blogs that I follow jumping up and signing up for all these challenges, and after looking into a few, like the ones Christi suggested, I decided to sign up for one! I've chosen to be apart of the 
Off The Shelf Challenge!

Off The Shelf!

Are your books multiplying like rabbits before you even get a chance to read them? Trying to keep up with them, but can't stop buying new ones?

Maybe this challenge is for you. I know what it's like. There's so many titles and so many beautiful books out there sometimes it's hard to keep that TBR shelf under control, but if you really want to try why not challenge yourself?

The challenge begins on the 1st of January and ends on the 31st of December 2011 

Note: This challenge is to read those books you own copies of, but have never got around to reading. If you don't have many that you own, but have a massive TBR shelf you're welcome to read those ones as long as you don't add new ones. You don't need to actually get rid of your books after you've read them, this is just to read them.

I have a lot of books that I want to read this year, and since my mom has been a blogger for 2 years already, there are plenty of books in my house for me to read!! 

I'm going to sign up for the Hoarder (76-125 books) slot, since I already have almost 70 or so picked out! I will be reviewing the majority of these books. So I'm pretty excited!

Here is my tenative list:
  1. Reckless by Cornelia Funke
  2. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  3. Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
  4. Frostbite by Richelle Mead
  5. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
  6. Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
  7. Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz
  8. Masquerade by Melissa De La Cruz
  9. Revelations by Melissa De La Cruz
  10. The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa De La Cruz
  11. Captivating by John Eldridge
  12. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  13. Eldest by by Christopher Paolini
  14. Brisinger by Christopher Paolini
  15. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  16. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
  17. Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
  18. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  19. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  20. Stray by Rachel Vincent
  21. Rogue by Rachel Vincent
  22. Pride by Rachel Vincent
  23. Prey by Rachel Vincent
  24. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  25. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
  26. Extras by Scott Westerfeld
  27. Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
  28. Skinned by Robin Wasserman (which is a library book I have lost somewhere in my house! :/)
  29. Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
  30. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  31. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
  32. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  33. White Oleander by Janet Fitch
  34. Vampire Kisses - The Beginning by 

    Ellen Schreiber

  35. Blood and Chocolate  by 

    Annette Curtis Klause
  36. Thirsty by Tracey Bateman
  37. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  38. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
  39. Finding Alice by Melody Carlson
  40. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
  41. Witch and Curse (Wicked Series) by Nancy Holder
  42. Night World #1-3 by L.J. Smith
  43. Night World #4-6 by L.J. Smith
  44. Augusta, Gone by Martha Tod Dudman
  45. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri 
  46. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
  47. The Society of S by Susan Hubbard
  48. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  49. Wake by Lisa McMann
  50. Fade by Lisa McMann
  51. Tithe by Holly Black
  52. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  53. Between a Rock and a Grace Place by Carol Kent
  54. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
  55. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  56. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
  57. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
  58. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
  59. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
  60. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
  61. The Sacred Romance by John Eldredge
  62. Desire by John Edlredge
  63. Evermore by Alyson Noel
  64. Blue Moon by Alyson Noel
  65. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
  66. Riding in Cars with Boys by Beverly Donofrio

I have several more books I can choose from, these were just the ones in my room. I've read a few of these before, but they're in a series and I hate starting with one of these and not remember every little detail. So this should be exciting. :) I'm looking forward to reading all of these books! You should participate in this challenge too! They have several levels, a lot easier ones than what I'm trying to complete, haha! Check it out! Just click on the button that says Off The Shelf! I'll be using this post to keep track of my progress and link up my reviews.

I'm so excited!!! 

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I can't believe 2010 is over! I started off the year pregnant, and very confused. Now I have a beautiful boy, who I love and enjoy more and more every single day! This year has been full of ups and downs, amazing things that I never thought possible in a million years. I've fallen in love and become closer with my family (especially my mom) it's been the year of new beginnings. Everything in the past doesn't matter, It's all about where you go from here.

I've also read so many good books! I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing more books in this upcoming year! I've seen so many challenges all over the blogosphere, I'm not sure which one to participate in. I've never done a challenge before. 

My question for you all is, 
Are you participating in any challenges this year? If so, which ones and why?

I hope you all had an amazing first day of the year. Today we fed my little boy applesauce for the first time. (Beech Nut, Stage 1) He loved it! It was easy on his stomach, and he loved the taste of the fruit. I also saw the movie Tron Legacy today. I had never seen the original Tron movie (spent all last night looking for it! No blockbuster had it!!!) But I saw a preview for it when we got home from the movie...Technology has come SO far!!!

Here's to an another amazing year!!