Strawberry Summer Salad Recipe

June 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Amy, Blog, Food, Sales, Shopping, Stores

Strawberry Chicken Salad Recipe For A Quick Summer Meal

By Amy
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a shopper social amplification for Collective Bias. #GOWalmart #CollectiveBias #WMT2774

Summer Salads #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

I love summer!  Being outside in the sun makes me less than enthusiastic about coming in and heating up the kitchen by cooking a big meal.  Summer salad recipes are the perfect solution.  Fresh produce and minimal cooking make it the perfect summer meal!  I went to the new Walmart Supercenter to shop for a new salad idea that sounded great at this time of year!  Strawberries are in season right now so I couldn’t resist making a lovely salad with the gorgeous strawberries I bought.

Summer Salads #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

This salad was going to be a full meal, so I wanted to add some protein. I purchased chicken, because my family loves it, and it goes great with strawberries.  The price was great, so I purchased a large package.

Summer Salads #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

I wanted to make sure everything about this salad was nice and fresh so I decided to make homemade dressing too.  Here are both of the recipes:

Strawberry Chicken Salad

- Mixed greens (rinsed and chopped)

- Strawberries (washed and sliced)

- 1-2 Grilled Chicken Breasts, diced (depending on amount of protein you’d like)

- Blue Cheese Crumbles

- Glazed Pecans (or any type of “candied” nuts) found near the produce or on the bakery aisle

Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

- 1 cup Diced Strawberries

- 1/4 cup Fresh Lime Juice

- 1/3 cup Sugar (or 6 Tbs Honey)

- 3/4 tsp Sea Salt

- 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

- 1 Tbs Rice Vinegar (you can use white vinegar, but rice vinegar isn’t quite as strong)

- 1/4 cup Canola Oil

- 1/2 Tbs Poppy Seeds

Toss all ingredients, except for oil and poppy seeds into a blender.  Blend until smooth. Turn the blender onto the lowest setting and while blending, slowly add canola oil until mixed. Add poppy seeds and pulse a couple of times until distributed throughout. Be careful not to pulverize the seeds. Be sure to keep it in airtight container, in the refrigerator until ready to use. Plan to use it within a couple of days.

I was really impressed by the quality of produce at Walmart! Everything was fresh and colorful. It’s refreshing to find high quality produce when you shop.

Summer Salads #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

Summer Salads #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

I love strawberries and lime together.  The flavors mesh so well and the colors are magnificent.

Summer Salads #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

I sprinkled salt and pepper on the breasts and grilled them on the stovetop, but grilling outside is always an option.  The chicken was so tender and juicy!

Summer Salads #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

This salad was the perfect summer-time meal.  I even had the leftovers for lunch the next day.  Since the ingredients were so fresh, they still tasted great the day after!  I also had a nice cool glass of  Strawberry Limeade, the perfect drink for this meal.

Summer Salads #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

Be sure to stop by your local Walmart and purchase the supplies for your summer meal. My family was very pleased with this salad and my husband asked me if I could make it again this week.  I consider that a success.

 

 

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Walmart Department- Guessing Game and Giveaway!

Play the Walmart Department Guessing Game and Win!

By Amy
I attended the Walmart Grand Opening as a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a shopper social amplification for Collective Bias and it’s advertiser. #GOWalmart #CollectiveBias #WMT2774

Walmart Department Guessing Game #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

Who doesn’t love a fun guessing game with a giveaway? While I was attending the Walmart Supercenter Grand Opening, I took some closeups of a few items that can be found in the store, and YOU get to guess which department I found them in. If you play the game and enter below, you could be a winner!

Prizes: One of the following.  One GRAND PRIZE of one (1) $500 Walmart gift card, or one of five (5) $50 Walmart Gift cards!  Worth playing for?  I think so!

Before you get started, here are the instructions to play The Walmart Department Guessing Game.

I have posted 5 close up photos from items I found in the new Walmart Supercenter (store #2774), and you need to guess which Department I found the item in.

Here are the different Departments at Walmart:

Grocery , Household, Pets, Pharmacy, Health & Beauty, Crafts & Party Supplies, Photo, Auto, Home Improvement, Sports, Outdoors, Toys, Clothing, Accessories, Shoes, Jewelry, Home Décor, Electronics & Office.  There are a few more sub (smaller) categories like movies, books etc. but we’ll stick with the big ones for this game.

To get you warmed up, here’s one for practice.  Try to guess which department I found the sparkly photo (above) in……  Did you guess?

The answer is: Crafts & Party Supplies!  It’s a big sheet of sticky back sparkly paper.  Are you ready to play?  Ok!  Here are your five pictures to guess from…

1.

636

2.

628

3.

618

4.


613

5.

Walmart Department Guessing Game #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

 

How did you do?  Was it way easy or did I make it too hard?  Well, no matter!  As long as you played, you can enter your guesses on the Rafflecopter below!  Winners will be notified and gift cards sent.  Good luck to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love to all! ~ Amy

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Family Fun Day at the Dublin Walmart Grand Opening

Fun & Food at the Walmart Supercenter Grand Opening!

By Amy
I attended the Walmart Grand Opening as a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a shopper social amplification for Collective Bias and it’s advertiser. #GOWalmart #CollectiveBias #WMT2774

Walmart Family Fun Day #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

The Grand Opening Festivities at the new Walmart Supercenter were a family stop for us today. I brought my children, along with a friend of my daughters, to do a little shopping and enjoy the family friendly games, activities and food. Summer break has begun and we’re in need of some new summer clothes and swimsuits.

Walmart Family Fun Day #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

As soon as we drove into the parking lot, we could see all the activity that was taking place. It was a perfect day for being outside, enjoying the sunshine, some games and a little lunch.

Walmart Family Fun Day #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

I appreciated that they were serving fresh fruit with the hot dogs. The fruit was so tasty and I knew I’d be stopping in the produce department to pick some up to take home. It’s a perfect example to show the kids that fruits are great to go along with any meal.

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My youngest loved the mini cupcakes, and I enjoyed testing out some new products.

Walmart Family Fun Day #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

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Walmart Family Fun Day #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

The kids throughly enjoyed the professional face painter. Hailey chose a “Frozen” theme eye paint.

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The older girls got into the whole face painting!  I was really impressed with the quality and speed she created these designs and it made our Grand Opening adventure very memorable for them.

Walmart Family Fun Day #GOWalmart #WMT2774 #shop

After we finished all the fun outside, we ventured into the store to purchase a few things and we found Chester Cheetah!  Of course we had to get a picture with him.

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I LOVE that they have tankini’s for little girls!  This is the type of swimsuit both my daughters prefer to wear and it has been so hard finding a good selection for my youngest.  She loved every one of these cute suits! It was hard for her to decide on just one.

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If you’re into fishing and camping, this is THE place to shop!  They have a huge camping section and I was enthralled by how many fishing poles they carry!  Note: this picture only shows a small percentage of all the poles they have.

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How can you walk down this aisle and not enjoy all the colors?   Wouldn’t it be fun to buy some of every color and have a whole rainbow of towels at home?

If you’re in the area, make sure to check out this new Walmart in Dublin, Ohio on Sawmill Rd. It’s a Supercenter which means it has it all! Clothing, home goods, electronics, along with a full grocery section too all at their Every day Low Prices!  If you to stop in to check it out, share your visit through Twitter, Facebook & Instagram using the hashtag #GOWalmart.

Love to all! ~ Amy

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Amazing Finds and Walmart Deals at the Sawmill Road Grand Opening!

I Found Some Totally Cool Things At The Walmart Grand Opening In Dublin, Ohio!

By Amy

I attended the Walmart Grand Opening as a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a shopper social amplification for Collective Bias and it’s advertiser. #GOWalmart  #CollectiveBias #WMT2774

Amazing Finds at Walmart #GOWalmart #shop

This morning I attended the Grand Opening of the brand new Walmart Supercenter in Dublin, Ohio!  It is a beautiful 176,000 square foot building in the Olde Sawmill Center.  The new Walmart boasts an entire Grocery Department with Deli and Bakery, clothing for the whole family, Electronics, Home Décor, Pharmacy, Garden Center, and a whole lot more!  I had the opportunity to tour the facility and see what I could find. I felt like I was on a treasure hunt, and let me tell you I found some pretty amazing treasures in that store!  Let me show you a few of my favorites.

Most Amazing Finds-Walmart #GOWalmart #shop

I walked into the Outdoor section and instantly fell in love with this beauty!  Deluxe Orbit Lounger with adjustable head and feet positions!  I can just picture myself next to a pool on this baby.  Well, first I need a pool, THEN I can lounge all day long on this while my lovely perfect children can feed me grapes and massage my feet…. Hahaha!  Yeah right, but still a lovely piece for my patio, where my children can keep bugging me every 5 minutes while I TRY to read a book.

Most Amazing Finds-Walmart #GOWalmart #shop

These took my breath away!  Foxgloves and Delphiniums are two of my favorite garden flowers and as you can see, they are GORGEOUS!  Their Garden Department was filled with lovely blooms and vegetable plants all ready to be planted.

Most Amazing Finds-Walmart #GOWalmart #shop

Oh I wish I had a little one to dress this in for the summer holidays! My youngest is a bit too big for this outfit, but I saw it in the little girl’s section and it just made me smile.

Most Amazing Finds-Walmart #GOWalmart #shop

This Walmart has pink guns!  Well, they also have other normal guns, but they have pink ones too!  Not every location sells rifles and shotguns, but this one does!  Pink Camo?  If I were in the market for a gun, I’d be buying that one!

Most Amazing Finds-Walmart #GOWalmart #shop

I was walking down the dishes aisle and this color stopped me dead in my tracks!  These dishes are hand crafted and look at that color!  B-E-A-Utiful! I could handle eating off of these babies every day for the rest of my life.

Most Amazing Finds-Walmart #GOWalmart #shop

You know, I’ve decided it’s the simple things in life that make me happy, and this is exactly one of those things.  My kids are needing new laundry hampers and these are what I’m buying!  I also love that it has wheels!

Most Amazing Finds-Walmart #GOWalmart #shop

And last but certainly not least, we must end our tour of Amazing Finds at Walmart with dessert, of course!  These scrumptious Dessert Shots are the same kind of little desserts  you overpay for at one of those fancy schmancy restaurants with the expensive meals and snooty waiters.  Just grab these delights, and once you’re home and the kids are all in bed, treat yourself to one, two or ALL of these puppies because who needs to share?

Now it’s YOUR turn to go find some Amazing things at your local Walmart!  Let me know what Amazing Things YOU find, I’d love to hear!

Love to all! ~ Amy

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Walmart Grand Opening on Sawmill Road in Dublin, Ohio!

May 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Amy, Blog, Sales, Shopping, Stores

Don’t Miss the Grand Opening of the Walmart Supercenter in Columbus/Dublin!

By Amy

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. #GOWalmart  #CollectiveBias Walmart Grand Opening #GOWalmart #shop

We’ve got a new Walmart coming to town!  Walmart is officially opening it’s brand new doors on Friday May 30th on Sawmill Road in Columbus, Ohio!  This Walmart is a Supercenter which means it will be offering groceries with fresh produce and meat, clothing, home goods, pharmacy, toys and more all at their Every Day Low Prices, and will be open 24 hours a day.  So if you get a hankering for some double chocolate ice cream at 2am, they’ve got you covered!

Join me this weekend in welcoming Walmart to the community by stopping by (7730 Sawmill Rd. Columbus, OH) and sharing the great news through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #GOWalmart.  You can also head over to  their Facebook page .  Make sure to check out the press release from This Week Community News.  I read something in the article about surprise giveaways and sampling Root Beer floats…yum!

Come support our newest business in town this Grand Opening weekend. Be sure to let your friends know too!  I’ll be posting more through the weekend about some amazing finds at the store, hosting a guessing game with a drawing for Walmart Gift Cards, and posting up a new recipe. Keep checking in with us to see what all we can do with Walmart!
Love to all! ~ Amy

 

 

 

 

 

I have been married for 24 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening, yoga, walking and saving money! I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Christmas Gift Ideas For Gamers with Forza Motorsport 5 and M&M’s #FueledbyMM #shop

Forza Motorsport 5 and M&M’s this Christmas.

By Amy

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and it’s client.  All pictures and opinions are 100% my own.

Some people can be pretty hard to buy for, for the holidays. Teens for instance, or maybe a husband?  I’ve got one, my hubby.  He’s not a big gamer, but he does like car racing games and the new Forza Motorsport 5 for Xbox One is the perfect gift to put under the tree.  He’s also not big on candy, but he loves the Pretzel M&M’s!  Their not too sweet and have the perfect crunch that he loves.  Perfect for a stocking stuffer!

I stopped at our local Walmart to purchase both items since they are offering a special Buy Snap Redeem Promotion.  Buy both the Forza 5 game and participating M&M’s in the same transaction,  snap a photo of the qualifying items on your receipt using your phone, and text it to 811811.  You’ll get a text back with a reward code for a $10 eGift to Walmart!

The newly released Forza Motorsport game is exclusively for the brand new Xbox One System.  With over 200 cars to choose from and continuing “add on” packs. you’ll never get bored racing the same cars over and over.  It has “Unprecedented Visual Realism” with all new graphics and” hundreds of cars perfectly recreated”.

My whole family loves the Pretzel M&M’s, so I bought the BIG bag!

#FueledbyMM #shop

Since I got such a huge bag of M&M’s, I needed to somehow divide it up AND fit them into everyone’s stockings without them just rolling around loose in there.   All I did was fill some small cellophane bags and top with a cute ribbon.  The perfect stocking stuffer!

#FueledbyMM #shop

M&Ms is also hosting an  M&M’s  Pixel Art Sweepstakes through Instagram.   Join me and tons of other Instagram fans to create your own pixel art, for a chance to win an XBOX One game system, the Forza 5 Motorsport Game, and a 14oz bag of M&Ms candies!

Simply create your own Pixel Art using M&Ms candies, snap a photo with your smartphone, and upload it to Instagram, using the hashtags #FueledbyMM and #Contest to enter.  The contest is open until December 18th!

#FueledbyMM #shop

I can’t wait for Christmas now that I have the perfect gift under the tree for my hubby and the tastiest stocking stuffer for all our stockings!

#FueledbyMM #shop

Love to all and Merry Christmas!  ~Amy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been married for 23 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening, yoga, walking and saving money! I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

 

 

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Odwalla and Champions for Kids Fighting Hunger in the Summer

Odwalla + Champions For Kids Simple Service Project

by Amy Trauntvein

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®, Odwalla, and Champions for Kids.  However, all opinions are my own. #cbias #SocialFabric #Odwalla4Kids

Too many kids (and families) are hungry in America.  When school is out for the summer, many children lose access to the school breakfasts, lunches and after-school snacks they receive during the regular school year.  Low-income families with children face even more challenges during the summer when they stretch their food budget to provide additional meals for their children.
Odwalla has teamed up with Champions For Kids to help fight hunger in the summer campaign.  My family was recently asked to help in the fight against hunger by purchasing Odwalla nutrition bars at Walmart and donating them to our Local Food Pantry.  We were able to purchase over 50 bars!
Odwalla Simple Servie Project

These wholesome snack bars taste great and are an easy way to fill kids’ hungry bellies while giving them the nutrition they need.

Odwalla Simple Service Project

Along with the Odwalla bars, we donated  several other food & non-food items that we had in surplus at our home.

Odwalla Simple Service Project

With the couponing I do, I also have plenty of non-food items that I purchase for donations and since our local food pantry also accepts these things, we gathered them up as well.  If someone doesn’t have to buy shampoo, soap or other toiletries, then they can have more money to purchase food for their families.

Odwalla Simple Service Project

Here are our donations packed up and ready to be given to those in need.

Odwalla Simple Service Project

 

Odwalla Simple Service Project

When I arrived at our Community Food Pantry, I noticed how empty their shelves were.

Odwalla Simple Service Project

After talking with Ruth, the coordinator, and Angela, her assistant, they said that the need keeps rising and also with summer coming, the need will be even greater with kids not getting school breakfasts and lunches.  This small pantry helped over 129 families in April and are tracking to help even more this month.  They receive no funding or government assistance, they only rely on the goodness and generosity of the community.

Angela and Ruth of the Johnstown Community Food Pantry

Odwalla Simple Service Project

Ways YOU Can Help! -by Champions For Kids Simple Service Project

GATHER your friends, family and co-workers to fight hunger in the summer by hosting a food drive in your community.  Nutritious snacks like Odwalla Kids Bars and Juice Boxes would be great to give!  Consider giving out prizes to the person who donates the most food at you office or community organization!

LEARN about the needs of children in your community by asking a food pantry volunteer, school nurse, or social worker to talk with your group about their experiences.

GIVE the food items that you collect to a food bank in your community so that children and families will have enough to eat this summer.

SHARE your story with us at www.championsforkids.org/share so that we can celebrate your participation!  How many people were involved, and how many items did you collect?  Please let us know that you are ONE of Millions who helped reach our goal to mobilize 20 Million people by 2020 to become Champions For Kids!

Be sure to check out Odwalla on Facebook, Twitter and Odwalla.com!

Love To All! ~Amy

 

 

 

 

 

I have been married for 23 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening, yoga, walking and saving money! I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Spicy Southwest 5 Cheese Dip with Kraft #FreshTake

May 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Amy, Blog, Food, Sales, Shopping, Stores

If You Like A Spicy Kick, You’ve Got To Try This Dip!

By Amy Trauntvein

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Kraft Foods #FreshTake #cbias #SocialFabric. All opinions, ideas, and photos are my own.

My family loves Mexican food and spicy South-of-the-border flavors so when Kraft Foods asked me to create a new recipe using one of their Fresh Take flavors, I knew which one I wanted to try and what recipe I would make.  Spicy Southwest 5 Cheese Dip using Kraft Fresh Take Southwest 3 Cheese.

Kraft Fresh Take

I took the kids to Walmart to find the Kraft Fresh Take and a few other ingredients.  It was easily found among the cheeses in the Deli Section and had a variety of flavors to choose from.  Also, if you go to the Meat Department, there will be and IRC (immediately redeemable coupon) stuck on packages of chicken.  The coupon takes off $1 for one package of chicken when purchased with Fresh Take.  The coupons will run until 7/31/13.

Kraft Fresh Take

I love Kraft Fresh Take and have been using it to make some pretty tasty dinners lately.  It’s easy to use and the cheeses and spices are a perfect compliment with chicken no matter what flavor packet you buy.  Since I’ve enjoyed the Fresh Takes flavors, I knew adding it to a dip recipe would turn it from “It was alright” to “Wow, how did you make this? I need your recipe!”  Just look at the yumminess on the package, and it already contains 3 of the 5 cheeses for my dip recipe!  How easy it that?

Kraft Fresh Take

Now back home for the creation of the spicy, cheesy, ooey gooey goodness!

Recipe for Spicy Southwest 5 Cheese Dip

  • 1 Package Kraft Fresh Take Southwest 3 Cheese Flavor
  • 1 8 oz Package Kraft Cream Cheese
  • 1/3 cup Kraft Mayo
  • 1 cup shredded Kraft Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 Jalapeno chopped finely with seeds removed.

If you like things really spicy, use 2 peppers.  Go ahead, I dare ya!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut Jalapeno in half and scrape out seeds. Chop finely.

Kraft Fresh Take

Warm cream cheese in in microwave until soft.  Add mayo, monterey jack cheese and jalapeno.  Open package of Fresh Take and mix the cheeses and breadcrumbs together.  Reserve 1/2 cup of Fresh Take for Topping, and add the rest of the Fresh Take to the other ingredients.  Mix well.  If mixture seems a bit dry, add more mayo by tablespoons until mixture looks nice and creamy.  I just mixed it all in the actual baking dish (to save me from dirtying another bowl).  Once mixed well, smooth out the top.

Kraft Fresh Take

Toss into oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Pull out and stir.  Now add the reserved 1/2 cup of Fresh take to the top and toss back into oven for another 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Kraft Fresh Take
Serve with chips or crackers of your choosing.  I liked mine with Pita Chips for their “heftiness”.  This cheesy, hot and gooey dip is a perfect compliment to any Mexican, Tex Mex or Southwestern meal, or a perfect appetizer to your next party.  Your guests will beg you on bended knees for the recipe!  I mean, how can anyone go wrong  with 5 cheeses???  Yep, it’s a winner!  And Thanks to Kraft Fresh Take for taking it to the next level of yumminess!

Kraft Fresh Take

Watch for the Kraft Possibilities Tour truck which will be making stops across the country to the end of July.  To see if they are making a spot in your town, you can check their website Fresh Take Possibilities Tour.

Love To All! ~Amy

 

 

 

 

 

I have been married for 23 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening, yoga, walking and saving money! I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

 

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Colorful Street Nails with Sally Hansen

Getting The Popular “Street Look” With Your Nails Is Easy With Sally Hansen!

by Amy Trauntvein

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and COTY. All opinions are my own. #cbias #SocialFabric.  All opinions are my own.

Street Nails w/#SallyHansen

It’s spring and with the wonderful warm weather, it’s time to break out the bright colors of our wardrobes, and that includes our nail color!  Right now I’m seeing a big trend in “Street Look” nails.  Lots of bright colors and funky designs.  So much fun to create and the possibilities are endless!  I was given the opportunity by Sally Hansen to create one of these trending looks for the season and I couldn’t wait to get started! But first we needed to find some inspiration…

We loved the this black and white design with a pop of color on the bottom left. (Source-Pinterest)

Street Nails

We also love this Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real nail Polish Strips with the black and white geometric designs.

Sally Hansen

I grabbed my teenage daughter and we headed over to Walgreens with my new Balance Reward Card.  Look how fun this display is! Love all the bright colors for spring and fabulous ideas right on the display! #IHeartMyNailArt

 

Sally Hansen Street Nails

Walgreens has some great sales going on right now for Sally Hansen products.  Xtreme, Salon Effects, Diamond and Insta-Dri polishes are $1 off, Magnetic and Crackle Polishes are $5.99 and Complete Salon Manicure Polish on sale 2/$10.  All prices good through 5/25.

First we put a base coat of each color on and let dry.  I let my daughter pick out the colors she wanted for her nails.  Here are some more awesome color choices Pop Art and Off The Chain.

Sally Hansen

Next, we applied the Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips making sure we applied them 1/4 the way up the nail bed so the base color showed.  Just follow the easy directions on the package for application.

Sally Hansen

We then painted thin strips of the same base coat colors on top of the nail polish strips.  We used a thin paint brush and cleaned it in between colors. Two different colors per nail.

Sally Hansen Street Nails

And finally we sealed the nail art with Sally Hansen No Chip Top Coat to extend the life of the manicure and prevent chipping.

Sally Hansen Street Nails

The final Product!  She LOVES her new “Street Nails” and so do all of her friends!

Street Nails w/#SallyHansen

Don’t let the fun stop here, head on over to the Sally Hansen Pinterest Party going on right now!  One winner will receive a year supply of Sally Hansen Products!

Be sure to check out Sally Hansen on Facebook too for more sweet nail art ideas and products!

#IHeartMyNailArt

Love To All! ~Amy

 

 

 

 

 

I have been married for 23 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening, yoga, walking and saving money! I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Loved Mariano’s in Chicago

Wish We Had A Mariano’s In Columbus!

I had the opportunity to have a tour of the grand opening of the Harwood Heights Mariano’s Fresh Market last week. I walked out of that store really wishing that I would be able to shop there regularly.  Of course, that isn’t an option for me since I don’t live in Chicago, but I’d love Mariano’s to come this way!

marianos

The feel of the store was nice. It was very crowded since it was the grand opening and you could feel the energy and excitement that everyone had. What makes the store different?  There were many differences from stores I’m familiar with.

They have a $6 meal that you can purchase to take home, or eat in the store. You can pick the main course and a couple sides for a $6 or $10 meal. These foods looked like awesome home cooked meals. We were going to ate lunch while we were there and everything I saw, I was thinking… oh, I want to get THAT for lunch! Look at those pot pies! They were huge! I’ll tell you what, you wouldn’t be able to pick out these meals at a restaurant for $6!

Marianos

The bakery was incredible. Have you heard of Fruit Loop or bacon donuts? Look at some of the goodies.

marianos bread

They have their cake decorators work where you can watch them. I really loved that.

marianos

They have creativity rights to create fun! These little 5″ cakes were darling. Loved the cupcake cake!

marianos

I SO wanted to try one of these cream puffs, but I did refrain.

bakery

They had a grill set up in between the seafood and meat departments. You could ask them to take a salmon or steak and grill it for you right then!

grill

polish sausage

They have an extensive wine department. You can also create your own six pack of beer. I thought that was really unique. This particular stores has an extensive couple of international aisles.

international aisle

We were able to meet Mr. Mariano, the CEO of Mariano’s. He loves visiting the stores and stopping to talk to families shopping. He wasn’t too sure what “bloggers” were, but we helped to fill him in. It was nice to see him in the store, and was really friendly.

bob marianos

There is an huge floral department and the flowers were absolutely beautiful.

flower department

Sushi anyone? They had a sushi bar. I’ll admit that I didn’t try it myself. But they were making it fresh as it was ordered.

marianos sushi bar

It sure was pretty though, and three of the bloggers did have sushi for their lunch and loved it.

marianos sushi

Melissa @ConsumerQueen and I had a fresh salad and fresh fruit.

consumerqueen

Vivian King was our tour guide, and we’ve been working with her through Collective Bias. It was great to meet her in person. She had the ribs that were so awesome! There is a BBQ department that prepares them fresh in the store. We were able to try samples of them earlier. She said that she normally always gets the sushi at the grand openings, but she was straying from her normal today.

vivian king

This is what I really wanted to try for lunch, but from the samples that they had throughout the store, I was actually a little too full to get one for lunch. They had individual pizzas that they would make to order for you. I wanted a mushroom, onion one… my fav! Maybe next visit to Chicago!

marianos 20

Look at this monster sandwich! It looked, omg good!

marianos 19

I have never thought about “eating” a meal at a grocery store before. But that is very much the norm at Mariano’s.  You can come in for a glass of wine, pick out your meal and eat in the cafe. I will certainly be stopping back by to try some more of their meals on my next visit to Chicago.

I am an employee of Collective Bias and Mariano’s is our client.  I went on the tour to see the store, and took a lot (almost 300) photos while there. I decided to create a post because I was so impressed with the store, I was not asked to write a post, nor expected to. I just wanted to share with you all!

 

 

 

 

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The Perfect Dress….

You CAN Find The Perfect Dress At eShakti.com!

By Amy Trauntvein

eShakti

Picture it… You need/want to find a new dress.  Maybe for an upcoming occasion (wedding, graduation, party etc.) or you just want to update your wardrobe and a new dress would be wonderful.  So you head over to your favorite department store and after looking through racks and racks of dresses and skirts, you find a few that you liked, but need to try on.  In the dressing room, you try on the first dress in which the hemline is way too short.  Nope. Back on the hanger it goes.  After you zip up the second one, you turn around to see how great it looks just to notice the neckline is waaaay to low.  Yep, not gonna happen.  Now comes the third dress.  You like it ok, but wish the sleeves were a bit shorter and/or the hemline again doesn’t look right for your height.  Three dresses that just don’t work, because even though you like the style/fabric/color, there’s something wrong with them all.  Sound all too familiar?  Me too!  But I have the perfect solution…. eShakti.com

eShakti

At eShakti every dress on their website is customizable!  You have the option to lower or heighten the hemline, you can add or take away sleeves, you can change the sleeves, you can change the collar and so much more!  You even give them your measurements (including your height) so the dress will fit you perfectly!  And even better, it costs only $7.50 more per garment to customize your dress in every way.  You can make any number of custom changes and the total charge will remain only $7.50!  Try and have a dressmaker to that for you!

eShakti

This is the same dress, just customized in different ways.  I love the options!

eShakti

It literally took me forever to decide which dress I wanted to try.  So many choices, styles and colors to choose from.  I had chosen a dozen, but had to narrow it down to one.  Man, it was hard!  Finally I chose the cream colored Pin Dot Dress.  It was so me!  I loved the double hemline and sash…  I left it sleeveless so I could add a little pop of black on the top to bring out the tiny black dots in the fabric.  I gave them my height so the dress would hit me mid-calf perfectly!  It was perfect!  Am I using that word a lot?

eShakti

 

I adore the pockets which can be added to most of their dresses.

eShakti

And on this dress, the back is elasticized (is that a word?) for even more comfort!  Love it!

eShakti

eShakti specializes in “Vintage inspired women’s clothing 1950′s and 60′s fashion, updated in retro modern style clothing.”  The styles are classic, high end, yet modern.

I can’t resist…. I just HAVE to show you a few more of their dresses.  Aren’t they adorable???

eShakti

They literally have hundreds of dresses to choose from, including bridesmaid dresses.  They also make tops and skirts too!  Check them out on their website at eShakti.com and also on Facebook, you won’t be disappointed!  Don’t forget to stop in and take a peek at their Customer Gallery. Everyday women in all shapes and sizes who love their clothes. “Real fashion for Real People”.  Happy Shopping everyone!

Love To All!  ~Amy

*Although I was compensated with the product for this review, all opinions are honest and my own.

 

 

 

 

 

I have been married for 23 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening and puttering around my yard. I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Labeling Christmas Gifts

November 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Holidays & Special Events, Sales, Shopping, Stores

How to Keep Christmas Gifts a Secret

We often want to wrap the Christmas gifts prior to Christmas Eve (although I do know a couple people that don’t wrap anything until Christmas Eve), but you know that the shape, size or weight of the gift will be a dead give away?

christmas gifts

Maybe your kids aren’t as interested as mine were/are but they like to check out all the gifts under the tree prior to Christmas. I remember my brother and I spending all kinds of time under the tree looking at the boxes that were ours and trying to figure out what they were.

There are times that if I have a “dead giveaway” gift, such as a DVD or CD, then I will put it in a larger box, so you can’t tell what it is. I don’t always have the boxes or inclination to do this though. One nice thing about the smaller gifts like that is that they don’t take up as much wrapping paper, and you can often use scrapes to wrap them.

I came up with this system when my four boys were young. We have done it every year and after I married Dave, we have used it for my step children also.

Make Up Goofy Pseudo Names.
Make up fake names for your kids and label the gifts that way. You have to make a key for yourself (and don’t lose it!!) ahead of time. If you have 4 kids I pick out 8 names. I give them each 2 names so they will have no chance on figuring out their gifts. It may look something like this:
1) Joe – Dasher / Mary Poppins
2) Drew – Batman / Spiderman
3) John – Snow White / Elf
4) Tim – Belle / Hulk

Don’t make them gender basis either. Give the boys girl characters and the girls boy characters. That will throw them off even more!
My boys have been used to this since they were small. Dave’s kids just started it 5 Christmas ago when we were first together. They think it’s great and keep asking if we are going to do the “names” again on the presents.
That is my job today, to wrap gifts and come up with the code list. (That’s the hardest part for me coming up with 16 fake names)

Then on Christmas morning you announce what their pseudo names are and hand out the gifts.

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Black Friday Shopping

November 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Sales, Shopping, Stores, Time Managment

Organizing for Black Friday Shopping

Are you a Black Friday shopper? Do you set your alarm for 3am and have the drive in the dark and sometimes snow. Standing out in the line that you can’t believe is already THAT long? If you have never experienced the craziness…you are actually missing some fun.

I always like seeing The Salvation Army bell ringers out, although I think at that time in the morning and with those crowds, they don’t come out until it’s safe. lol

black friday shopping

  I don’t shop every year on Black Friday am, only if there are things that it will benefit me and I am in the right frame of reference to do so.

But I love to do it and usually make it about 75% of the time.
But I think once you get yourself on the road (the getting up is no fun), then you feel like you are off to tackle a battle and its really fun.
I usually go to Walmart because I would rather wait inside..thank you very much. They just have all the “door busters” covered up and you are guessing at which big covered thing in the middle of the aisles is what you want. Then at the given time of the sale there is supposed to be an employee by each one…they tear them off and everyone starts diving for them. I have never been in a situation where people are literally fighting or pushing or calling names. I know it happens, but usually everyone is friendly and tend to help each other out. You are there on the same mission.
But it is easy to get caught up in the frenzy and buy too much. You may go with one thing in mind, but if you don’t have your shopping trip planned you may walk away with oodles of things you really didn’t budget for or you may walk away without any of the deals you went for.

Before you go

1) Make your list on Thanksgiving day with the sales ads in hand. If you know the
layout of the store, mark down a map of where you plan to go.
2) Plan which stores you are going to go to and at what time (plan early for
your first store). Some stores match prices so you can take your K-mart ad into
Walmart with the exact same item and if there is a given price (you can’t use a
percentage off, they won’t honor that)during the hours of the sales, they will
match that. (Check to make sure your store matches prices)
3) Get to your store early (everyone else will too) Make sure you have your list
with you AND the store ads. (keep them in a folder)
4) Go for your most important item first. Then try your best to stick to your plan.
5) Try to resist grabbing the last ticket for that 52″ big screen that you don’t
need or want just because you are in the right place at the right time.
6) Go light hearted and plan to have fun. Having a positive attitude can make
your experience an adventure instead of a disaster!

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Loved the Daisy Outdoor Tour!

Love The Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun?

You’ll be jealous then, because I got to tour the plant and build one myself!  I love being able to see how things are made. I think it’s so interesting!  Daisy Outdoor is a client of Collective Bias and when I was at our corporate office this last week in Bentonville, AR, Kim Janocko and I had the chance to go on a tour. We both were thrilled.

daisy outdoor

This was in the lobby of their offices. I thought it looked cool.  I also found out how Daisy got it’s name. You can find this info on the Daisy Outdoor site, under “History” 

“On March 6, 1888, Hamilton approached the windmill company with an all-metal airgun of his own design. He chose to take it to the windmill company because they had blast furnaces and they were equipped to mold and stamp the metal parts necessary to build his gun. The gun was passed around to members of the board. General Manager L.C. Hough test fired the gun and exclaimed, “Boy, that’s a Daisy.” ‘”It’s a Daisy” was a colloquialism of the time.) So the little gun was named Daisy.”

daisy

We went back in their warehouse where they assemble all the guns.  This space is 80,000 sq feet (I think he said) If that isn’t correct, I just know the place is huge! lol

daisy outdoor

The parts to the guns aren’t made here, they are shipped in pieces and the guns are assembled in this space.

daisy

There are many stations that are used to assemble the guns.  They can put one of the guns together in less than one minute.  They said they move their employees around to different assignments to prevent work related injuries like carpel tunnel syndrome.

bb gun

We loved the barrels full of BB’s!  They were just plain fun.

bb's

Jon was in his happy place in these barrel of bb’s. lol  They do feel really cool when you put your hands in them.

jon lemire

We learned that there are 2.4 million BB’s in a 55 gallon barrel. I know I sure wouldn’t try to lift a barrel either! Wow… 2,200 lbs!

Daisy Outdoor makes practice BB guns for the military. Who knew? They are the exact weight, feel and action of the real guns.

daisy outdoor

They also make BB guns for competition shooting.

bb guns

This was something I was totally shocked over.  I had no idea they made BB guns that look and feel just like the real thing. This pist0l is made for Winchester. It’s just like the Colt 1911 handgun.  It is heavy, and looks just like the real thing. I texted a picture of this to my husband and he knew which gun it was designed from immediately.

colt 1911 BB gun

We learned that Daisy Outdoor utilizes the help of some Special Needs adults to help pack BB’s. I love when I hear of a company that helps out this group of adults. They do a great job and love being able to have a job to earn money and give their lives a sense of purpose. Kudos to you Daisy!

Cool huh? I’m not sure what model of pistal this is.

daisy outdoor

Here is the Powerline 880 kit. They said this is their best seller.  I can see why. It’s larger than their Red Ryder gun, but still a reasonable size for a young adult. I’m thinking it might make a great gift for the triplets for Christmas.

daisy outdoor

I learned that they do a lot of quality testing of their guns.  They shoot a gun from each batch 10,000 times to check their products.

One of the things that is a necessity is to always wear eye protection when shooting. After all, you wouldn’t want to “shoot your eye out” or anything!

eyewear

Kim and I went back the next day so that we could make our own Red Ryder BB gun. Paula was kind enough to guide us through making one. I’m amazed that she is able to make one of these in less than 1 minute. I think it took me about 8 or 9 minutes to do mine.

daisy outdoor

Each piece is put into place.

red ryder

The screw guns are cool. You just put them into the screw and put a little pressure down on them and they work fast… really fast!

daisy

Here is my finished product.  They made an engraved forearm for us. Mine said “The Jenney Family”. How cool is that? The triplets will be so excited!  Since we were flying home, we had to ship the guns. We couldn’t put them in our luggage, even though we were checking the luggage.

sandy jenney at daisy outdoor

I decided I wanted to guy Dave one of the Winchester 1911 pistols.  I was told that I could find them at a local sporting goods store called Academy Sports, so Kim and I went that evening to check it out. We found a big assortment of Daisy Outdoor products.

daisy

I found the BB gun I wanted to buy Dave. It was $89.00.  If you think about it, it is a great way to save money in ammunition. Right now ammunition is really expensive and actually hard to find. So this will be a wonderful way for him to get some target practice in.

colt 1911

What I also like about it is that he will be able to set up a target in our back yard. He is very safety conscious (thank goodness) and has taught gun safety before.  He knows that he’ll have to find a place that he won’t have to worry about what is behind the target.

daisy outdoor

The gun was heavy enough that I decided not to buy it at the store and ship it home. I asked someone at the store about being able to buy it online and if he knew what shipping prices were like. He said it would be a much better deal for me to buy it online. That their shipping was either free or just $5.00.  Cool!

As soon as we got back that evening, I got online and purchased this gun and a large container full of BB’s for Dave for Christmas! (shhhh!)  I am going to talk to him to have him help me decide which gun we’ll get the triplets for Christmas!

Thanks Daisy Outdoor for the tour! I had a blast. I also thank you so much for the Red Ryder gun that you had engraved and let me build for my family.

I am an employee of Collective Bias and Daisy Outdoor is a client of Collective Bias.  I was not asked or expected to do a post, I just wanted to share my experience and excitement for the Daisy Outdoor products.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Organize Your Coupons

November 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Amy, Blog, Food, How To Organize, Paper, Sales, Shopping, Stores

Organizing Coupons Continued…

by Amy Trautvein

Today we are going to talk about clipping coupons, when to pull out expired, and how to organize a shopping trip with your coupon binder.  Are you as excited as I am?  Good!

I only get one Sunday paper, believe it or not.  I don’t want to spend hours cutting coupons and I can get some great coupons on the internet anyway to help bulk up my binder a bit and get some coupons that you won’t see in the Sunday ads.  Every Sunday night, or Monday morning I pull out the coupon inserts, have a seat on my couch, turn on the TV and cut away.  As I’m cutting, I stack the coupons into my categories so it saves much time putting them into my binder.  A must do! Here are my coupons after they ‘ve all been cut and are ready to be filed.  Classy, huh!?coupons
REALITY CHECK:  Do NOT clip every coupon that is printed. Only clip coupons for products you regulary use, would like to buy if it was on sale, and/or are willing to try.  If you’re not sure, say to yourself, “Would I buy this if it was a steal?”  If your answer is yes, then clip it.  I don’t have babies in the house anymore, so why clip coupons for baby products?  I don’t drink coffee, so I obviously pass by the coffee coupons, there are certain products (that I won’t name) that I’ve tried and not enjoyed, and even if it were a steal I wouldn’t waste my time so those get trashed too.  I know it’s just common sense, but I’ve talked to a lot of people to clip every coupon that is in the insert.  Don’t, just don’t.

Internet coupons are great, but it can be overwhelming.  There are SO many places you can go.  My suggestion is to pick your 2 favorite coupon sites and just stick with those.  My top favorite is coupon.com. They have a wide range of coupons from grocery to nonfoods and you don’t have to give your name, address, phone number, first born to print them, and it’s free.  You are also allowed to print up to 2 of each one you want.  I’m not a huge fan of clipping services because you are having to PAY for coupons to then save you money?  Plus like I said, I’m not a shelf clearer and don’t recommend it either. Why would somone need 50 coupons of ketchup?  Here are my internet coupons from this week.  They reset and add new coupons at the beginning of the month so that’s why I have such a stack for this week.  They had some good ones this time.  :)couponsNow back to filing your coupons into your binder…  Just start at the front of your binder and go to your first category, mine is the breakfast asile.  Before  you add any new coupons, go through that section and pull any expired ones.  Then add your new coupons into any empty slots. Do this every week!  It saves time in the long run and saves you from trying to use a coupon that expired a week ago at the reigister.  No need to organize by expiration date.  That adds TONS of time shuffling all your coupons up to the front and adding new ones to the back and doing it all over again week after week.  Remember, you only have 2-4 pages in each section to go through.  Why create more work for yourself?  See how nice and pretty?  coupons
*One other thing I do that is a good idea:  As I’m putting coupons in my binder I keep a sitcky note list of high value coupons that I want to use, but the product may not be in any of your sale ads.  That way, while you’re at the store, it’s easy to take a look at those products, see what the price is and decide, at the store, if they are worth using that day.  My rule: it needs to be more than half off for me to consider, OR just a really great coupon that I don’t want to forget about.  I then put the sticky note on my list for easy reference.

Now you can go through your store adds for the week and compare with the coupons you’ve got.  As you find coupons to use on sale items, pull them out and paper clip them together.  I only do 2 grocery stores and one drug store.  That’s as much as I can handle without having to run around alot.  Also, some weeks are way better than others.  If I find that I’ve only found 2 or 3 good deals for a store, I scratch it and don’t even go.  It’s not worth my time and gas to only save on a couple items.

First, I list how many items I want to get, then I list the product, next the sale price, then my coupon amount (double it if your store doubles coupons, which mine do) and then the final price.  Once you’ve gone through all your ads, put your list into the front of your binder for east reference and marking off as you put it in your cart.  Here’s what it all should look like.  My list of “on sale” products with coupons and final prices, my sticky note of high value coupons, and my paper clipped piles of coupons I know I will be using this week.  Just keep those in the front pocket of your binder.coupons
**Don’t forget about digital coupons either.  Most stores let you add electronic coupons from their website to your store card AND they let you also use a paper coupon fro the same item!  Double the savings!  The only store I know of that does NOT do this is Kroger, but check your stores coupon policy just to be sure.  Also, some stores let you combine a store coupon and a manufacture coupon together for ONE item (CVS, Target to name a couple), also double the savings!  So yes, please check their coupon policy, you may be missing out on saving even more than you thought!

Now you are ready to shop and save!  And be organized so you can save time AND money!  Just remember, this is what works for me.  You may need to do some tweaking for what works for you.  There’s no one right way to do it, just do it!  Let me know how you coupon, I’d love to hear from you!

Love to all!  ~Amy

 

 

 

 

 

I have been married for 22 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep my young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening and puttering around my yard. I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Coupon Organization

November 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Amy, Blog, Food, How To Organize, Sales, Shopping, Stores

Organizing Your Coupons

by Amy Trauntvein

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I love, live and breathe coupons.  Even though I have been couponing for over 20 years, I am not what some people call an Extreme Couponer.  I do not keep stacks of coupon inserts nor do I clear shelves.  I coupon to save money, and yes, slowly add to my stock of food and nonfood items in my home.  I wouldn’t call it a stockpile either, just some extras to have on hand when I get a great deal so I don’t have to buy it at full price when we run out.  And if I find that I’m starting to “pile” my stock, I spread the love by donating items to various organizations and/or give away to friends who can use it.

So let’s start organizing those coupons!  For years, I used an accordion coupon organizer and thought it was great, but it took me a LONG time to grocery shop since every time I wanted to grab something off the shelf, I had to pull out the pile from one section and sift through it all to find the one coupon I thought I might have, but couldn’t remember.  It finally came time to swtich over to the binder system.  Here’s my lovely binder…Coupon Organization
When looking for a binder, it MUST have a zipper closure and a handle.  Ease for carrying and also, if you drop it (like me), you won’t have coupons flying everywhere.  Been there done that. I found mine at Staples for around $12, but you can buy one at most places that have a school supply aisle. The next thing you need is a zippered pencil pouch.  Enclosed I keep a calculator, pencils, and paper clips.  The front pouch on the left holds general store coupons that don’t really belong in any of my categories (example: $5 off $50 grocery purchase).Coupon Organization
The next essential supply you need for your coupon binder are Tab Dividers.

REALITY CHECK: I actually had a bunch of tab dividers from school supply shopping for my kids so I just used those.  Some were used but still in great condition and they don’t match, but it’s ok!  You don’t need to go spend a bunch of money just to make it look cute when you’re trying to save money!  Use what you’ve got and then purchase only if you have to.  Notice mine don’t even match.  Some are solid colors while the ones in the back have designs.  Truthfully, this helps me find the category faster since I know what all my nonfood category tab dividers look like.  :)Coupon Organization
Finally you need Baseball card inserts. You can find these and any discount store (Walmart, Target etc) wherever they sell baseball cards. Just ask any associate, they’ll point the way. You can usually find boxes of 25-30 pages for around $5. This is what keeps your coupons nice and clutter free!  Can you tell mine are well used?Coupon Organization
When putting your coupons in, many times they need to be folded to fit.  Just try to fold it so you can easily see, 1. the product 2. the amount off 3. the expiration date.  If its too big, just do your best.  Many of my coupons are folded so #1 and #2 are on the front, but #3 is on the back, but it’s ok because you can just flip the page to see the exp. date on the back.  Also, one great thing about these pages is that you are constantly looking at all your coupons so it is easier to remember if you have a coupon for a certain item.  It’s amazing what you remember when you are looking at them all the time!  Here is what it should look like once your coupons are in.Coupon Organization
Now…What categories do you choose for your dividers?  I have 19 different categories.  I have chosen to divide my categories into “aisles” meaning, how the grocery store aisles are usually set up.  That way, as I’m heading down an aisle, I normally only need to open up one category and flip through 2-4 pages of coupons.  I know some people have a tab divider for EVERYTHING like; (Breakfast aisle) cold cereal, hot cereal, granola bars, fruit snacks, on-the-go breakfast bars/pouches for 1 aisle so they are flipping through 5 categories in 1 aisle!  I just keep all “breakfast aisle” coupons in one section.  Remember, I’m still only having to look through 2-4 pages instead of 1-2 pages of 5 categories! Plus, by dividing everything up in the sub categories you have even more dividers and baseball card inserts you have to flip through and it makes your binder thicker and heavier with all those extra pages.  Just simplify, please.  Here are the categories that I use and work for me.

1. Breakfast/Fruit Snacks/Granola

2. Fruit/Vegetables/Juices ( includes fresh produce)

3. Cookies/Chips/Crackers

4. Condiments/Soup/Dinners (Mac & Cheese, Box Potatoes etc.)

5. Baking/PB&J/Breads

6. Inernational foods

7. Frozen

8. Deli/Dairy/Meat (basically the refrigerated section)

9. Candy/Nuts and Popcorn/Drinks

10. Paper Products (includes sanitary items)

11. Cleaning Supplies

12. Laundry

13. Pets

14. Body (Lotion, Shaving men and women, shower gel etc.)

15. Hair (shampoo, style)

16. Face (makeup, contact soluction, face wash, fingernail polish since it is with makeup)

17. Meds/First Aid (includes vitamins)

18. Teeth

19. Office supplies/Clothing/Misc. (include batteries)

Work with the categories and adjust to what works for you or how your favorite stores are set up.  It took me a few months of moving coupons here and there and creating new and taking out hardly used categories.  These 19 work great for me!

In the very back of my binder I keep a copy of my favorite stores’ coupon policies.  Very nice to have on hand when you need to win an argument with a checkout employee who is not familiar with their policies.  I’ve been glad I’ve had them for a few occasions.  Just to the stores website and you can find a link to  their printable coupon policy near the bottom of the home page.  If not, just use their “seach” box at the top.  Keep updated around twice a year and reprint the new policies as needed.Coupon Organization

One other “coupon divider” I do still use for my purse is a small accordion coupon folder for those stores that I DON’T need to haul my binder in with, but I DO have a coupon for.  Clothing stores, for example.

Coupon Organization

This little one also holds any gift card I have, and any TOTALLY FREE coupons (that aren’t for groceries) I need to use.  I’ve found they can get kind of lost in my big binder and forgotten since I don’t want to carry my big binder into clothing stores etc.  Notice my pile of CVS Extra Care Bucks! Those are like cash so I keep them in my little binder right in the front so I don’t forget about them and can see them and their expiration date clearly.  I keep the FREE coupons in the front also according to expiration date.  And then other coupons in the other sections.Coupon Organization
I hope this post has gotten you converted to a binder system if you haven’t switched yet.  It’s not that hard, and in the end, it WILL save you time AND money!  Later this week I will do a post on coupon clipping, when to pull expired coupons and which coupons you should and shouldn’t clip and more.  Stay Tuned…..! Love to all! ~Amy

 

 

 

 

 

I have been married for 22 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep my young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening and puttering around my yard. I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Be Sure To Pre Order Your Spiderman Movie Now! #SpidermanWMT #cbias

The Spiderman Movie Is Coming Out Soon!

I had heard that I could pre-order the Spiderman movie and also get a free Vudu copy of it… all before it came out to everyone else! The kids would love it! So I went on a search today at our local Walmart.

I set out early this morning to pick it up and surprise the kids. They would get a kick out of watching the trailers and knowing that they’d get to see the Vudu version on the 30th of October, followed by the DVD around November 9th.  It was a beautiful autumn morning this morning!

autumn day

I had my travel mug of hot coffee in hand and I was heading to Walmart to pick up some milk and the pre-order Spiderman movie.

spiderman

I had seen the display when I was in AR last month, so I knew what I was looking for.. or so I thought.  I got to the first Walmart and after looking all over, I asked an employee who informed me they no longer had it in their store.

spiderman

I found the display shelf where it should have been. I guess it was too popular and they sold out of it. Of course this made me want it even more!! Funny how that works isn’t it? lol

walmart

Oh, I did stop to look for the new version of the Chris Mann Christmas CD. Chris was on The Voice, and is a friend I’ve met through our blogging conferences. It’s been so fun to watch him on TV and see how well he is doing. It was the only copy of his CD in the store too.

chris mann

So off I went to another Walmart that was across town from this one.

walmart

I arrived at this store without any issues. It was still early, so there were no crowds. I went to the back of the store and started looking for the display.

walmart

I was seeing many other DVD’s..

walmart

walmart

I did spot the Spiderman section in the toys… and so I decided to walk over there and get some “Spidey Inspiration”. Where would Spidey look?

spiderman

I went back and decided to ask for help finding it.  He went right over to the shelf near the counter and grabbed a copy.  Can you spot it on the rack? Look hard… even though the light is reflecting off of it. It’s in the top left corner. There were about 4 copies of it left. Yay… I found it! Mission accomplished! No big displays, signs, or any other labels that stuck out and made it easy to find. But I found it.. all by myself. Ok, so not really, I only found it because I asked for it.  It was $24.96.

walmart

Here it is… in my hot little hand! They didn’t have the movie set with the mask, but I was happy to get the pre-order copy.

dvd

Now I had to get some “pre-movie candy”, don’t you know!? Just being able to give the kids a movie snack while we looked at the trailers, would increase their excitement, until we got the vudu copy.

candy

Ok.. I’m ready to go.

candy

 

I did see these darling Brutus the Buckeye loofas from Mascotwear on the way out. I had to pick up one for my Ohio State Buckeye nut son!

mascotwear

Once I got home, I was anxious to see how this pre-order of the DVD worked.

spidermanIt say  right on the package . Buy – Redeem – Watch

dvd

So I opened it up and this is what I found.  There was a cardboard “DVD” shaped instruction sheet. It had the redemption code on it.

dvd

I got on the computer and went to VUDU.com/theamazingspiderman and it walked me through the steps.  I first entered the redemption code and hit “submit”

spiderman

I clicked on the left side where it said to sign up for the free version.

sign up

I signed up for an account.

Then it switched over to this Ultraviolet page. It’s a place that allows you to store your digital movie collection. I also did the free version.

After a couple more screens, it came to a payment information page. It ask for your billing address and then your mailing address (so they know where to ship your DVD).

Because there was nothing to pay I picked the option to skip the credit card info. Just go to the gray box on the bottom right. They have this, so that if you order additional movies in the future, they’ll have your info.  You do not need to put any credit card information in to retrieve your vudu copy or your DVD. So no worries there.

I finally got to this page. I went to “Go to Movie”

spiderman

I was able to watch the trailer clips today.

spiderman

Just watching a few trailers .. really gets you even more psyched for the real thing!

spiderman

The triplets were so excited when they got home from school. Elise wasn’t here for this picture.. but the boys were more than happy to let me take a picture! Of course they wanted to watch the whole movie today. They were really excited when I told them we could watch it on vudu on the 30th.. and that would be before their friends got to see it! And of course the pre-movie candy sure didn’t hurt! lol

You can look for the pre-order copy of the Spiderman movie in your Walmart store. (I would suggest calling your store to be sure they have it, before driving there). You can also order it right from the Walmart.com site.

You can also follow along on twitter if you follow the #SpidermanWMT hashtag and also the @SpidermanMovie Twitter handle

 

I am an employee of  Collective Bias®. This product has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment #CBias  All opinions stated are true and my own.

 

 

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Fav Pinterest Pin Friday – Linky Party

Link Up A Post You Would Like Pinned on Pinterest

Do you want something pinned on pinterest? Helping each other is considered teamwork. Link it up! Also check out other posts that people want pinned and help them pin theirs.

pinterest linky party

If you are going to help pin on this post, please only pin my Fav Friday Badge (which I would really appreciate).  I do not want anyone pinning pictures that aren’t mine.  I did link the pictures up to my pinterest board where they are located. I would love for you to go and repin those, and that will help the person who originally pinned the item.

 

Look at the awesome use of space under these stairs.  I love this.  You do have to have the proper set up to be able to use this space. In my home, you can’t get under the stairs like this, so I couldn’t do it.

But I have also seen this used in basements (and the shelves hold extra pantry goods or such). I’ve seen it in a garage /workshop where there was an upstairs room.  He had his tools and had organized containers to hold his supplies and had them on the stairs.

 

pinterest

 

If you know me, you know I have shoe envy.  I can’t wear these, but I sure do appreciate and love them!

heels

 

Aren’t these darling?  Someone pinned them as Valentine boxes for boys, but I went to the web site where she made them. They are actually Tattle Monster boxes.  She made these for the teachers, and the kids can put their “tattles of other children” in here, to help reduce the tattling in the classroom.

pinterest

Guidelines

1) Add a link from one of your blog post you want pinned.
2) Be sure to use the picture you want pinned for the picture we see on here.
3) Would love for you to tweet this out, or stumble or pin it. lol
4) Be sure to pin a couple other pins you see on here too!

If you like the pinterest parties you can go to Kim’s at Crafty Mama of 4. She has Pin it Friday 

If you need some help knowing how to link up, this link party tutorial should help.

If you would like an invitation to join Pinterest, please let me know in the comments and I’ll invite you.

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Giant Eagle Market District in Pittsburgh

Visit to Giant Eagle Market District in Pittsburgh

I drove about 3 hours to Pittsburgh PA last December 2010 to go to the Giant Eagle Market District Store.  I wasn’t even sure that it was the actual grocery store that I was going to, until I was there. (shows what a dingy I am).  I just knew it was called the Market District and I also knew that I was going to do some cooking!  There were five bloggers,  Kim from www.Crafty Mama of 4.com and Beth from www.The Plus Size Mommy.com were both there, and they were from the Pittsburgh area.

giant eagle

I loved the candy section, can you tell?

candyand one more!

Sugar Daddy candyOk… now for some healthy stuff!

Giant Eagle growing lettuceThe store was pretty amazing.  Of course you had your normal food items, but then there were so many speciality foods – get this… they grow their own lettuce there!!  They also sell other lettuce, but isn’t this cool?

sugar caneHow often have you seen sugar cane at your grocery store?  Beth was laughing because her husband is from Jamaica and she said she wanted to get him one for Christmas.

giant eagle sausageJust how items were displayed was unique. I loved this sausage … it reminded me of garland.  Maybe I’m just a little too much into the Christmas decorations right now?

coffee beansThis was a bin of coffee beans…oh did it smell good there.  There are things like oil and vinegar bars there. You purchase your bottle and you can come back and refill it from all the different kinds of oil and vinegar. Who knew?  Not I…. I don’t use enough oil and vinegar to even think about it.  Obviously…. gourmet cook I’m not.

cheese wheelThere is an entire area for cheese!  I looked at what looked like some really crazy fancy dessert and asked about it.. it was a dessert cheese! Never would have thought!  I am realizing I am just a regular ol’ gal! LOL

picklesJust had to take this picture!!  I just thought it would be a cool picture.  Big barrel of pickles….. now I do know what those are!

We toured around this massive grocery store, stopping at the beginning of our tour for a smoothie. I got a peach one and had supplements added of antioxidants and protein.  It tasted pretty good… maybe a little too yogurtery for me (in other words…. it had that healthy taste to it – although it was still very good)

There is a restaurant in the store. You can sit down and eat a meal – tour the open food bars, get a piece of pizza or make a crepe – and then sit down with a glass of wine and eat.  In Pittsburgh being able to buy alcohol in grocery stores is something unusual. But they got a permit with some very stringent regulations. The alcohol has to be rung up on separate cash registers and there has to be a separate entrance – those are just two of them, I’m sure there are others.

After our tour we went up to the cooking school as you saw on the video. That is something that I would take advantage of if I lived close. What a fun evening for a group of ladies or several couples to have a date night. They also have kid classes – we saw the beginnings of the gingerbread houses that were going to be decorated the next day by the young class.
filet mignon sous vide
Our cooking class was fun! There were two teams of 4 people each. We each had our own stove tops and food trays. I did some cooking, but I was having too much fun taking pictures to cook much.
risotto
My favorite was the Porcini scented mushroom risotto. I’ve never made it. After you sweat (yes sweat.. a new cooking term for me too) the shallots – you add the Arborio rice. It has to toast and the shell start to crack….you then add in the broth slowly… I mean really slowly. You add 1/2 cup and then stir, until it soaks in… another 1/2 cup…and so on and so forth – until you add 4 cups. It took us about 20 minutes to make it. Then you add in heavy whipping cream and Parmesan cheese.
Then cooking sous vide was of course all new too. Sealing your food in a bag… then cooking in a hot moving water bath… just seems almost simple to me. I mean, it makes me think of cooking frozen food – like vegetables. But the water bath units are very expensive, and they move the water around. The advantages – you can cook the food all the way through evenly adn uniform every time. So for the filet mignon, if 4 people want medium rare steaks – you just set the temperature to the specific temp to get that done and they will all cook the same, all the way through.
Donna from Giant Eagle and Chef Scott
Donna was such a great hostess to us! As we toured Giant Eagle we had several people behind the counters telling us we couldn’t take pictures. All I had to say was, “I’m with Donna” and point to her. They would all say, oh.. ok. LOL
Collective Bias crew
I always love to do things with Kim and Beth. We have such a good time together.

Disclosure: I was sponsored to go to the Pittsburgh store for the night I had to stay over by Giant Eagle.  I also received a gift bag.  I did not receive any cash compensation for the actual traveling to and from Pittsburgh. The pictures, video and thoughts are all my own.

(Reposted from 1/9/12)

 

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School Supply Shopping

Purchase Yours & Help Others Too

school supplies

Have you done your school supply shopping yet?  Hard to believe we are talking about going back to school already isn’t it?  But it is coming up very fast! Within weeks for most of us.

The kids get so excited to go and get school supplies. But they can get very expensive.  As expensive as they are for us, have you thought of the families that can’t afford them at all?  Have you ever considered buying extras to give to families that need help?

school supplies

But don’t necessarily think of kids over seas or in the inner city. There are more than likely many families in your own school district that need help.  They might be the families that really need help, but don’t qualify for all the government programs.  Call your school principal and ask them if they can anonymously donate for you.

We were lucky enough last year to be involved in a program through Elmer’s, called Bag it Forward.   We were able to purchase supplies to outfit two full book bags of supplies.  We called the principal of our school and she knew of a couple of families that could use them.

school supplies

My suggestion would be to actually go to a different school than your kids go to. The last thing you would want would be for your kids to realize that was “the school bag they donated” and tell the kids or tell other kids.  I had a discussion with the kids over this and explained how donating without others knowing is a really cool thing and that they wouldn’t want to embarrass any other children.

school suppliesEven if you can’t do an entire book bag… what about just getting some extras of certain things?  I just found spiral notebooks at Walmart for $.20 each. I mean wow!

school suppliesSo consider why you are buying your supplies this year – if you are able to spare some extra, consider helping others while you get your kids school supplies this year.

 

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