Thursday, December 18, 2014

Say "Thank You" with Tiny Prints' Personalized Thank You Cards ~ 50% Off! #affiliate

It's almost time to say "thank you."

Your boss, your spouse, your co-workers ... anyone who got you a Christmas gift (or for whom you are thankful this year). In a week, it will be time to thank them for their wonderful (and even not so wonderful) gifts.

Tiny Prints has the perfect way to say "thank you" at an incredible price. For one day only, from 9:00am PT today through 8:00am PT tomorrow, they are selling their amazing thank you cards at 50% off!

These are not your run-of-the-mill thank you cards either. They are awesome. From the paper quality to the ability to personalize them with pictures and your own text, these cards are sure to leave a lasting impression ... and maybe even result in a better gift next year.

Who do you need to thank this year? Check out Tiny Prints right away and say "thank you" in style this year. And remember to use promo code 1218DEAL to save 50%!
P.S. You don't need to get a gift from someone to let them know you're thankful for them!

This post contains my affiliate link.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: ʼTwas the Late Night of Christmas, by Ann Whitford Paul

Everyone knows what happens the night before Christmas, but what happens on Christmas night after all of the gifts have been opened and the dinner’s been served? Answer: Mom’s exhausted! That’s the premise in the humorous book by Ann Whitford Paul, ʼTwas the Late Night of Christmas. Whiny children are marched off to bed by their father, and their mother is left to survey the house filled with toys, wrapping paper, boxes and ribbons, dirty dishes, and more. Fortunately, help is on the way in the form of Mrs. Saint Nick! She arrives in her own sleigh and sets right to work cleaning up the house while Mom sips a cup of tea. What bliss!

Check out the book’s trailer, which features Malcolm in the Middle's Jane Kaczmarek!

Oh, how I wish Mrs. Saint Nick were coming to my house this year! But I can do the next best thing and dream about her arrival while I read ʼTwas the Late Night of Christmas, sip a cup of tea, and let the mess sit for another day while I enjoy the peace that ensues after the children have gone to bed. Now, that would be the best Christmas ever!

I hope you’ll pick up a copy of ʼTwas the Late Night of Christmas to enjoy with your family this year and every year. And be sure to visit Mrs. Saint Nick’s blog at Find out more about author Ann Whitford Paul, as well as her other books, at

CLICK HERE for some fun coloring pages from the book!


One lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of ʼTwas the Late Night of Christmas, by Ann Whitford Paul. (Note: This will arrive after Christmas, but be sure to make reading it a Christmas tradition every year!) This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on December 31, 2014. Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

Skylanders Unveils New Light and Dark Elements, Plus a Funny Video for the Holidays!

Skylanders fans will be thrilled to hear that two new Skylanders elements -- Light & Dark -- will be available for the first time since the franchise’s launch in 2011! With the special Light and Dark Elemental Quest Packs, Portal Masters will explore new levels within Skylands, where they will find never-before-seen villains to capture and environments to explore.

Each Elemental Quest Pack contains a Trap Master, a special Trap capable of capturing either Light or Dark villains, as well as a location piece that unlocks a special level in the game. The introduction of Light and Dark elements reveals additional backstory of the Skylanders universe for fans to explore. Long ago, Knight Light and Knight Mare were both protectors of Skylands until being sealed off in other realms. Now that they have joined the Trap Masters, Knight Light wields his TraptaniumTM Blade and Knight Mare unleashes her deadly Traptanium Lance to bring down evil everywhere!

The Light Quest Expansion Pack will be sold in limited quantities at Toys ‘R’ Us stores on December 21. Expansion Quest Packs for both elements will be sold at all major retailers beginning December 22.

For some added holiday cheer, check out this hilarious ’12 Days of Christmas’ video from Skylanders developer, Toys for Bob. The kids will absolutely love this one!

Order Your Personalized New Year's Party Invitations from Tiny Prints and Save 30%! #affiliate

Should auld acquaintance be forgot ... 2015 is almost here! 

Are you having a New Year's party? If so, I have the perfect place to order some amazing invitations, Tiny Prints. Check out the invitation on the right, one of their more popular ones. These are top-of-the-line invitations, sure to impress.

You can completely personalize them, change font sizes, add your own text, and even use their Online RSVP Manager. They'll make you a FREE RSVP website! How cool is that?

Ordering them is simple. 

1. Visit Tiny Prints and look through their selection of New Year's party invitations. 
2. Add your information for the invitations.
3. Review them for accuracy (take your time here!).
4. Complete your order. If you need them fast, use their Super Rush shipping and you will have them in two days! (If you use the code SRSAVE10 before midnight on 12/17, you'll save $10 on your $100+ super rush order.) 
5. Use the code SW30DEAL to save 30% on your entire order.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Choosing the Right Light Bulb for All Your Household Needs!

Thanks to GE for providing this information and the light bulbs I will reviewing in an upcoming post.

With so many bulb options out there, it can be confusing to understand which ones will fulfill your household needs. We’ve all been at the store – standing in front of row after row of light bulbs, wondering which bulb is the right one.
These three infographics and videos can help you compare bulb longevity, energy savings, light quality, and more. When you know what to look for, choosing the right light bulb can be easy if you remember these four steps:
Step 1 - Choose the Right Fit:
Pay attention to the shape of the bulb – do you need a standard bulb for your lamp, a candle shaped bulb for your ceiling fan or chandelier, perhaps large globe-shaped bulbs for your bathroom vanity, or indoor flood lights for your kitchen? Check out this video to see examples of the different bulb varieties and shapes offered by GE.
Step 2 - Choose the Right Brightness:
It used to be that the number of watts on a package told you how bright that bulb would be. That’s not the case today. You can get the same brightness from fewer watts of energy.  Instead, if you want to know how bright a bulb will be, check the lumens, which is the technical measure of brightness. Knowing the difference between wattage and lumens will help you save money, as 80% of the cost of lighting your home isn’t because of the bulbs, it’s the electricity!  See more amazing statistics in this video on finding the right brightness.
Step 3 - Select Energy Savings & Lifetime:
There are a few other technological features to consider when choosing the right bulb, like durability and how long you want the bulbs to last for fixtures that are hard to reach. Look for “Long Life” bulbs so you don’t have to change hard to reach bulbs as often or “Energy Saving” bulbs for lights left on over long periods. GE’s LED bulbs provide the durability, long life, and cost efficiency you’re looking for.  But what is an LED bulb? The “A Revolution in Lighting” infographic shows how LEDs are made, work, and how they compare to other bulbs when it comes to savings energy and money.
Step 4 – Choose the Right Color & Effect:
Next it’s time to consider the color and effect as each color of light gives each room in your home a different appearance.  Soft white bulbs provide warm, comfy light, while GE reveal® bulbs provide clean white light to make colors and patterns pop.  Check out the infographic “Which Soft White Option is Best for You?” that compares today’s incandescent bulbs and LED bulbs to help you better understand the facts between their cost efficiency plus which fixtures and rooms they work best in.
With GE reveal® bulbs, patterns and colors “pop.” Check out the “GE reveal® Light Brings Your Home To Life” infographic to see how the switch of a bulb can makeover an entire room. To get a quick visual demonstration on color & effect, check out this video.

Please visit the GE website for more information.

Stay tuned for my upcoming review and giveaway ~ with the largest prize equaling $200 worth of light bulbs!

A Mom Mentors Collection from Graham Blanchard: Insights from 2014 (Free eBook)

I had so much fun in 2014 being part of Graham Blanchard's Mom Mentors panel. I loved reading all of the insights and advice from my fellow mentors about raising our families. We have embraced and tackled some tough questions on faith and family over the past year! In celebration of the Christmas season, Graham Blanchard has collected the Mom Mentors' insights in one place, so you can reflect on your year and what resonates with your life. So, make a cup of coffee or tea and curl up with the words from seven women you would be happy to call your friends. CLICK HERE to start reading!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Introducing "Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting," by Leon Scott Baxter: Giveaway for a Signed Book!

Welcome to the tour for the new book, Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting ~ Raising Happy and Successful Children: The Common Denominator, by Leon Scott Baxter! Read on to learn more about this book and the author, read an excerpt, and enter to win an autographed copy!

About the book:
As parents, we all want success for our children. The reason: we want them to be happy. Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting shows us how to raise happy, successful children.

America’s Relationship Guru, Leon Scott Baxter, uses personal stories, humor, research, eighteen years as a teacher, fifteen years as a parent as well as interviews with happy, successful children and their families to find the common denominator among them. The secrets are bottled and served for parents in the chapters of Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting.

Safety-Netting is the next generation in parenting. This book offers hands-on strategies that can be used immediately with toddlers through teens and answers questions from today’s parents. If you are a parent and you want your child to be happy and successful, it’s time to start “safety-netting.”

An Excerpt from Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting:

Safety Net Parent

Safety Net Parents are the ones who respect their children’s autonomy while also enforcing discipline and control. They are involved in their children’s lives, responsive and encouraging, while also allowing them to make mistakes that they can learn from.

Safety Net Parents notice their children’s improvements, even if they haven’t yet reached their goals and praise the effort knowing that it motivates their children to carry on. They do not do for their children what they are capable (or nearly capable) of doing on their own. They don’t force. They guide. They don’t make excuses for their children. They help them find a solution.

The Best of Each Style

I think few parents fall 100% into any one parenting category. We may be a bit of a Tiger Parents when it comes to sports, but more of a Free Range Parent with regard to playing with friends in the neighborhood. I definitely have to fight my own Tiger Parent tendencies as well as my Helicopter Dad ways at times. But it all comes back to what I logically know is best for my girls.

The truth is, Safety Net Parents borrow the best from the other parenting techniques and combine them into the ultimate parent mash-up since Carol said, “I do” to Mike Brady.

Helicopter Parents step in to help their children. Safety Net Parents borrow this technique from the “hoverers,” but only step in after their children experience some discomfort in order for them to avoid a stumble the next time around.

Like Snow Plow Parents, Safety Net Parents want their children to have a clear path to success, but instead of clearing the path for them Safety Net Parents show their children the best way to do it for themselves (there’s satisfaction in action).

Free Range Parents, like Safety Net Parents, offer their children opportunities where they have the freedom to fail, but unlike Free Range Parents, Safety Net Parents will let them fall only so much, but will be there to avoid a crash.

And, like Tiger Parents, Safety Net Parents have high expectations for their children. Tiger Parents push for excellence, whereas Safety Net Parents know when a push is a necessary reminder to get their children back on track.

Walking That Rope

At the tight rope walk of life, a Helicopter Parent is the harness attached to the child that’s there the moment she slips. That harness pulls her back so the fall is never experienced. The Free Range Parent is the one who removes the balance bar, takes down the net, blows kisses, says, “I love you,” then crosses his fingers. The Snow Plow Parent puts the rope on the ground so there’s no chance of any mishap. And, the Tiger Parent pushes the kid up the ladder and on to the rope although the child has never expressed any interest in the circus life.

The Safety Net Parent, on the other hand, secures her child’s rope before the walk. She encourages him along the way. She lets her child stumble and even fall, but is there to catch him before any serious damage ensues. The Safety Net Parent advises her tight-rope walker how to improve his feat, dusts him off and sends him back up for another go round.

Connect So They’ll Suit Up

A big part of being a successful Safety Net Parent is creating a strong connection with our children. We need to forge trust and communication so that when we have to put our foot down, they know it’s because we love them, and when they need to express their needs and feelings, they’ll feel comfortable opening up to us.

When my daughter Grace was five she was in ballet class. She loved it. She’d wear her pink tutu and dance to the Nutcracker. She’d practiced for months. My wife, Mary, and I would trade off picking her up and dropping her off, but I never stayed for practice.

At the end of November, Grace’s dance teacher announced to the girls that they’d be performing their dance at a holiday show in a few weeks. Grace was having none of it. She suffered from severe stage fright and vowed she was not going to dance at the recital.

Well, that didn’t jive with me. I believe you face your fears, you finish what you start and you don’t leave your team hanging. I was upset and frustrated. I expected more from Grace.

The thing is, I knew Grace didn’t think the way I did (or she wouldn’t have dropped out of the dance). So, I didn’t force her to perform. I didn’t threaten her or even guilt the kid (that was a hard one for me). Instead, I told her that I understood that she’d already made up her mind and that was her decision. But, I was disappointed because I’d never seen the dance performance. I told her how desperately I would have loved to see all she had worked on these past few months (not to mention getting a little something for her dance tuition … it’s hard for me to let go).

We told Grace she had to come to the recital. Like an injured player, she still needed to suit up (tutu and bow) and sit on the bench backstage as her team hit the floor.

Her number was up and out came five ballerinas in pink. A moment later a sixth one scurried on to the stage with a grin from ear to ear. It was Grace. Mary and I both gasped so loudly that parents in front of us were forced to look back at us to be sure we hadn’t fainted.

After the program, Grace came running to me, “I wanted to surprise you. I knew you wanted to see our dance. Did you like it, Papa?” I loved it.

Threats and rewards would have made no difference in this situation with Grace. But having that connection and respect for one another led to Grace’s success on stage. Build that connection.

About the author:
Leon Scott Baxter is the author of three other books on relationships: Out of the Doghouse: A Man’s Secret Survival Guide to Romance, A Labor with Love, and The Finance of Romance. He’s written numerous parenting pieces for magazines and websites, and has been a guest for scores of radio and blog shows across the nation.

Baxter has been married to his college sweetheart, Mary, since 1992, has two happy and successful daughters, Riley and Grace, and an honorary third happy, successful daughter, Lucy, his boxer/terrier mix.

Leon Scott Baxter lives in Southern California where he has been a grade-school teacher for eighteen years, plays basketball, writes, and skim-boards.

Visit the author’s comprehensive new website,, and take the "What Kind of Parent Are You?" quiz! Be sure to check out the resources available, the community page, stories of incredible kids who were parented well, and much more. You can also visit the author’s new YouTube Channel, where he answers parenting questions in a no-nonsense way.


One lucky winner will receive an autographed copy of Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting ~ Raising Happy and Successful Children: The Common Denominator, by Leon Scott Baxter. Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Monday, December 29, 2014.

Tiny Prints: Last Day to Ship in Time for Christmas! #affiliate

Today is the last day to get an awesome photo gift from Tiny Prints in time for Christmas ... at least without paying an arm and a leg for shipping.
If you order today, you can still get your order shipped by Christmas Eve, guaranteed in the lower 48 states. And if your order is more than $49, your shipping is free with the code FREESHIP49.
After today, you'll have to use upgraded shipping in most of the country, so get your order in today.
They have tons of gifts to choose from and they're all personalized. For most of them, you can add photos, customize your text, choose from different colors, etc.
Here are just some of the cool gift ideas you should check out:
So check them out and also make sure to use the code 30SWDEAL to save up to 30% on your entire order!

Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate link.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Make a Difference When You Make a Purchase at Shop to Change a Life! (GIVEAWAY)

The holiday season is a time for giving, and what better way to give than to support people who are in need. That is the goal on the website, Shop to Change a Life. Author Samira Rao features Fair Trade Products on her website that are imported from India. In 2009, Matr Boomie, a fair trade wholesaler that Samira supports, was contacted by Sana, the young daughter of an artisan in group, who was dissatisfied with the exploitative treatment of her family and community by local tradesmen. Since their Fair Trade partnership began, their earnings have doubled, they have upgraded to a better workspace, and children are staying in school longer. In fact, Sana became the first girl in her village to attend college!

Samira donates 6% of the net sales of the Fair Trade Products sold on Shop to Change a Life to Chinmaya Vijaya, a girls’ orphanage in Vijayawada, India, and to The Child Evaluation Clinic (for sexual abuse in children) at the McLaren Regional Medical Center in Flint, Michigan.

Check out some of the unique products on her site:

Mommy’s Music Angel Children’s Journal

Does your child like to write? Journals are a wonderful way to record and remember new experiences, good times with friends and family, and wishes and dreams. This charming 30-page journal has an embroidered angel on the cover. The 100% recycled, tree-free cotton paper is made by artisans in India. The entire process is tree-free, non-toxic, and conserves and filters water for re-use in irrigation. It comes gift-wrapped in a recycled Sari Pouch.

Wooden Tank Truck

This unique wooden truck will delight your child (3+) with its rolling wheels and moving parts. The traditional craft of woodcarving plays an important role for many artisan communities in small towns and agricultural villages in north central India. Each artisan uses hand tools to skillfully carve blocks of sustainable Indian Rosewood into fine treasures. Artisans finish and detail each item with natural wax, non-toxic paints and lead-free varnish. Gift wrapped in a recycled Sari Pouch.

Visit Shop to Change a Life and make a purchase to help support these worthy charities. Their beautiful jewelry, handbags and scarves, children’s toys, decorative accessories, and more make treasured gifts, not only for the holidays but all year long!


Samira is generously donating a Mommy’s Music Angel Children’s Journal and a Wooden Tank Truck for a giveaway. One winner will receive the journal; a second winner will receive the truck. Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, December 28, 2014.

Enjoy These "Santa Tells All" Videos from Tree Classics with Your Family!

Have you ever wondered whether Santa wears boxers or briefs or if he texts? Now, Santa has opened the doors to his elusive North Pole home to shed some light on the mystery! In a series of sit-down interviews with Tree Classics, Santa tells all, answering questions, including:
  • Santa, boxers or briefs?
  • Santa, even if it doesn't snow for Christmas, will you still be able to fly on your sleigh?
  • Santa, why can't every day be like Christmas?
  • Santa, what is your ideal cookie to milk ratio?
  • Santa, what is your favorite cookie?
  • Santa, what do your reindeer eat?
  • Santa, what do you say to those who don't believe in Santa?
  • Santa, how much sleep do you need leading up to the big night?
  • Santa, how long have you been growing your beard?
  • Santa, how do you get in homes if there isn't a chimney or fireplace?
  • Santa, do you text?
I love the following video that answers the question: Santa, why is your suit red?

CLICK HERE to access all of the Santa Tells All videos from Tree Classics…

…and then head over to to see the beautiful artificial Christmas trees and wreaths they have available. They have some fantastic prices on their high-quality products!

Winners for the Week of December 7, 2014

Southwest Beverages Prize Pack: Sippity Hot Cocoa Mixes & Kemosabe Coffees

Congratulations to the winner: Anthony C.!

Free Netflix 3-Month Membership

Congratulations to the winner: Richard H.!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

LEVEL Life Peanut Butter Cups and Peanut Turtle Bars: Less Sugar; More Deliciousness! (GIVEAWAY)

A few months ago, I told you all about LEVEL Life’s protein bars, shakes, and glucose gels. Packed with protein and other good things, they’re not only good for diabetics, but also for athletes! My son the swimmer loves to take LEVEL Life products to practices and meets. Besides being a swimmer, my son is also a candy lover, so he was excited to hear that LEVEL Life also makes some sweet snacks: Peanut Butter Cups and Peanut Turtle Bars! He absolutely loves the way they taste, and I love that they have significantly less sugar than leading candy bars.

Benefits include:
Delicious taste
Low glycemic
Low carbs

Knowing that my son has a real sweet tooth, I feel much better about letting him have the snacks from LEVEL Life than I do all the candy he’s still fishing out of his Halloween bag! If you’re looking for a sweet snack that has more nutritional benefits than regular candy bars, I suggest you check out Learn more about their products and find retailers near you. Finally, enjoy the following promotional code when you order online!


Use promo code TRYLEVEL25 to save 25% off LEVEL Life snacks when you spend $20+ at

Visit Level Foods at:


One lucky winner will receive a premier bundle pack of LEVEL Life’s new sweet snacks valued at $50! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, December 28, 2014.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (December 13, 2014)

Welcome to the Super Saturday Giveaway Linky. The holidays are coming up fast! I hope that while you're doing the decorating, baking and shopping, you'll be able to take a little time to relax and enjoy the magic of the season. And if you sneak in a few contest entries in that time, even better! Check out the terrific giveaways I've listed on my right sidebar, as well as those in the linky below. And if you're hosting a giveaway on your blog, please share it with us in the linky and tell your Twitter and Facebook followers about this page. Happy holidays!

Tiny Prints Sitewide Sale: 30% Off Everything! #affiliate

If you haven't ordered your Christmas cards or gifts yet, it's not too late!

Check out the sitewide sale on Tiny Prints going on right now -- 30% off everything, from the fun to the aesthetic. It's the best remaining sitewide sale of the season, so don't miss it.

When you go to Tiny Prints and place your order, just use the promo code SW30SALE and you'll save 30% on your purchase.

Terms: Offer expires 12/14/2014 (11:59 P.M. PT). Save 30% off all orders sing the code SW30SALE at checkout. This promotion code cannot be combined with other offers. Offer is not applicable to previously placed orders, shipping, taxes, rush processing charges, calendars, photo books, gift certificates, personalized postage stamps and Erin Condren weekly planners. Offer is only valid on and is not applicable on third party or partner websites. To prevent fraud or abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer or cancel any order.

Disclosure: This post contains my affiliate link.