Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Our Biggest Giveaway Yet from Teddy Bears Personalized! (5 Winners; US/CAN)

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, I don’t have to tell you that I’m a HUGE fan of Teddy Bears Personalized. I just love their super-soft personalized teddy bears and other plush animals. Kids adore them, and they make unique and fun gifts for children and adults. So, I’m thrilled to announce that Teddy Bears Personalized has authorized me to hold our biggest giveaway yet! Five people will win, and here are the prizes:

Grand Prize: One winner will receive a personalized Top Teddy Bear! This extra-large 21-inch teddy bear with personalized hoodie and gift card is valued at $49.99! You pick the bear, the hoodie and the personalization.

First Prize: Two winners will each receive their choice of a Sweater Bear ($29.99 value) or Hoodie Bear ($32.99 value)! These genuine “Flying Bears” Limited Edition 14-inch teddy bears come with a custom knitted sweater or pocket hoodie in your choice of color and personalization.

Second Prize: Two winners will receive a Teddy Bears Personalized keychain! These keychains are just adorable. They’re also great for kids to hang on their backpacks.

Bonus for Loyal Customers: In addition, as you’ll see in the Rafflecopter form below, Teddy Bears Personalized wants to reward their loyal customers by giving extra entries to those who leave a review on any of the 10 review sites they are listed on.

So, let’s get started! Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only and will end at 11:59 PM ET on August 31, 2013.

Pamper Yourself with a Delicious and Healthy Monthly Delivery from Bestowed!

Do you ever feel like most everything you do is for the kids? Most of the things you buy, most of the plans you make … they are usually centered on entertaining or equipping the kids. Of course, as moms, we take it in stride because we know it’s all part of caring for our kids, and we love to see our children happy and well cared for. But we also know deep down inside that we deserve little treats for ourselves, too. When we satisfy our own wants and needs, we feel more nurtured, and consequently are more appreciative of our lives and our families. In short, paying more attention to ourselves will actually make us better moms.

One way in which you can nurture yourself is by sending yourself a box from Bestowed every month! For just $19 a month, they will send you healthy and delicious foods and snacks to try. Check out the huge box of goodies they sent me for review!

This is what my box from Bestowed included:

“Good Eating Salads” recipe book
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts
SeaSnax Roasted Seaweed
Nature’s Bakery All-Natural Raspberry Fig Bar
Matt’s Munchies Premium Fruit Snacks (Island Mango)
Happy Family Happy Squeeze (Acai Grape and Apple)
Hail Merry Almonds (Vanilla Maple)
KIND Nuts and Spices Bar (Dark Chocolate and Chili Almond)
Oloves Pitted Green Olives with Basil and Garlic
Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate
$25 Gift Card to iTRAIN for a downloadable workout program
Coupon for 1 free Amy’s Kitchen product
2 complimentary classes at Physique 57 (NY or CA)

Wow! Each monthly Bestowed box contains items that have been personally selected by celebrity nutritionist Heather Bauer. You might say that Bestowed is a “nutritionist-in-a-box” service! I’ve really been enjoying the products inside and, I must admit, sharing them with my family, too. (When you have an olive-loving son, you can’t resist handing over the package of Oloves! It was an acceptable trade since I made sure that I got the dark chocolate.)

Inside the box, you’ll also find a pamphlet with information on each product and numerous healthy living tips! When you sign up for Bestowed, you’ll look forward to your own special box arriving each month and discovering all the new products inside for a healthier you. I hope you’ll visit today to place your order for just $19 a month, or get a month free when you sign up for a year’s subscription! Follow Bestowed on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Wordless Wednesday: Scenes from a St. Augustine Vacation

Last week, our family traveled to historic St. Augustine, Florida, for a brief vacation. Here are some of the many scenes from our wonderful trip!

Alligator Farm (yes, this guy is real!)

Fun at St. Augustine Beach

Paddleboating on the lake at the KOA

Castillo de San Marcos (fort)

Old Jail

Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Video Game Review: The Smurfs 2 #smurfs2game

About the game:
The Smurfs are planning a surprise birthday party for Smurfette! Unfortunately, Smurfette is kidnapped by Gargamel, the evil wizard, and the Smurfs have to rescue her before they can have their party. Many characters are included from the new Smurfs movie, including Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Clumsy, Brainy, Gutsy, and Grouchy! The Smurfs 2 from Ubisoft is available for Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3. Our family was given the opportunity to review the Nintendo DS version.

The Smurfs 2 video game has two different elements:

1) Picture Book with Voice-Over

Turn the DS sideways so it looks like a book! The words are on the left side, while interactive pictures (on the touch screen) appear on the right. Listen to or read the story on the left side. Touch various objects on the right side, such as balloons and flowers. My boys (age 9-1/2) were a little mature for this feature, but I think it’s fantastic for younger children who are learning to read and want an interactive experience.

2) Mini-Games

There are 9 mini-games to choose from. Players can collect Smurfs figurines as they play through the games!

Smurf Coloring
Match the Smurf
Cake Decorating
Smurfette Dress-Up
Clumsy Kung-Fu
Super Storks
Smurfy Racing
Jokey’s Gem Blast

Plus, play Find the Smurf after each mini-game to collect Smurfs for your collection!

My boys had a lot of fun playing the mini-games. Some are easier than others, so they’re good for kids of all ages. My boys’ favorite games are:

Cake Decorating: Pick your favorite cake, and get creative with the decorations! The best part, of course, is that you get to “eat” the cake after you’ve decorated it!

Clumsy Kung Fu: (One of my boys called this the “karate game”!) Memorize a pattern of models and then repeat them back by touching the arrows with the stylus. After you’ve memorized the model patterns a few times, Clumsy attacks the objects! Since this is a scoring game, you can adjust the difficulty settings.

As you can see, my son really enjoys playing The Smurfs 2! We took it with us on a recent road trip (four hours each way), and it was great entertainment for him and his brother. With the different mini-games, they never got tired of it because there was always something new to explore.

Purchase The Smurfs 2 video game on Amazon, Gamestop, and other places where video games are sold!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Celebrate Christmas in July with an Ugly (or Cute) Christmas Sweater!

If you’re anything like me, you like to capture the Christmas spirit all year long. I pick up Christmas gifts all year when I see something that I know a loved one will like, and I always get a smile when I hear the ice-cream truck playing Christmas carols (yes, the driver plays them in the summer!). So, put a Christmas smile on your face this summer by visiting They have an awesome selection of holiday-themed sweaters and sweatshirts. Now, despite their name, not all of their shirts are “ugly” (at least not in the eyes of this beholder). Some are silly or funny; others are very nice! Here’s a little selection of what you’ll find, from the humorous (okay, raunchy)…

…to the cute and attractive.

I ordered the XOXO Hearts Sweatshirt shown just above, and I love it! It’s of very high quality, made from a Hanes ComfortBlend sweatshirt of 50% cotton and 50% polyester. The design is clear and crisp, the inside of the sweatshirt is super-soft, and it’s generously sized so the fit is flattering. If it weren’t 90 degrees out at the moment, I’d be putting it on now instead of waiting for Christmas!

Now’s the perfect time to get a headstart on your holiday shopping. Head over to to pick out the perfect Christmas sweaters and sweatshirts for your family and friends. They’re available in sizes Small through XXX-Large. And they’re all affordable, ranging in price from $24.95 to $59.99. Some even come with flashing lights! You’ll look forward to the look on everyone’s face when they open their “ugly” sweater this Christmas!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Get a FREE OREO® Mini Milkshake® at Outback! #MiniMilkshakes #BestMates

outback, bloomin onion, military mates, military, operation homefront
Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Outback Steakhouse.

From now through July 31, 2013, when you visit, you can claim a FREE OREO® Mini Milkshake® coupon! The coupon is redeemable at Outback Steakhouse locations until August 7, 2013.*

Outback helps you beat the heat with new Mini Milkshakes®, a delicious treat full of goodness and made to order, with hand-scooped, creamy Blue Bell® Homemade Ice Cream and topped with housemade whipped cream. Served in an adorable mini milk jug, flavors include Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, OREO® and this summer’s seasonal flavor, Banana Pudding. With five flavors to choose from, the choice is all yours ... no need to share! Starting at just $2.99*

Which flavor will you try first? I think I'm going to try the Banana Pudding. Sounds like the perfect summer refreshment!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER. Ends 7/31/13, subject to Official Rules available at Open to legal residents of the 50 US, DEC and PR at least 18 years of age at the time of entry. Offer not valid in California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho or Alaska. Void where prohibited. You understand that you are providing your information to Outback Steakhouse, LLC (“Sponsor”). The information Entrants provide will be used for the receipt of future marketing communications from Sponsor.

VALID FOR LUNCH OR DINNER. Coupon expires Wednesday 8/7/13. Valid for Dine-In only at participating Outback Steakhouse® locations in the US. Free Mini Milkshakes with any purchase. One coupon per table, per visit. Prices and product participation may vary by location. Not valid in California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho or Alaska locations. Not valid for No Worries Wednesday Complete Meal for 2, Bloomin’ Mondays, or in conjunction with any other offer or discount. Coupon must be surrendered upon redemption. Distribution of this coupon belongs exclusively to authorized representatives of Outback Steakhouse of Florida, LLC and /or its affiliates. Outback strictly prohibits the reproduction of this coupon in any form or the sale or exchange of it in any forum. Coupon will not be replaced if lost or stolen. No cash value. Void where prohibited by law.

*Prices & participation may vary. Not available in California, Washington, Oregon or Idaho

OREO and the OREO Wafer Design are registered trademarks of Mondelez International Group.

Disclaimer: As a member of the Outback Best Mates blogger program, I receive gift cards in appreciation for sharing Outback news with my readers.

Just One Vote Will Help Us Become One of the Top 10 Giveaway Blogs at VoiceBoks!

I’m excited to share that Susan Heim on Parenting was selected as one of the Top 50 Giveaway Blogs of 2013 by VoiceBoks! Now, I’m hoping that you will help us make it to the Top 10. All you have to do is vote once. That’s it!

How Do You Vote?

To vote, you will notice a very small, subtle looking “thumbs up” symbol on the right side of each blogger’s profile. All you have to do is click it and you’ve sent your vote! Voting will only be allowed once per IP address.

Please click on the banner above and click on the thumbs up. You’re done!


Voting is between July 29, 2013 12AM to September 1, 2013 at 11:59PM (PST)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Find Unique Modern Furniture at Regency Shop!

I’ve been thinking a lot about furniture lately because one of my sons will be heading back to college in a few weeks, and his apartment this year is unfurnished. So, needless to say, he’s going to need some chairs, tables and more! If you’re in the market for new furniture, too, and your tastes run toward the modern, you’ll definitely want to check out They have a large selection of very unusual pieces that are sure to get attention, like those shown below:

At the Regency Shop, you can also find lamps, dining sets, TV stands, patio furniture, and much more! Use the following discount codes on your purchase at


5% off any clearance item
Clearance item coupon code: 5DISCOUNT

10% off any non-clearance item
Regular item coupon code: 10DISCOUNT

Winners for the Week of July 21, 2013


Congratulations to the winner: Melina R.!


Congratulations to the winner: Anastasia F.!


Congratulations to the winner: Mihaela D.!


Congratulations to the winner: Holly L.!


Congratulations to the winner: Vikki B.!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Join the Tyndale Rewards Program to Earn Points for Free Books, Bibles and More!

If you love faith-based books and/or Bibles, you’ll want to check out the Tyndale Rewards program. It’s designed to provide you with opportunities to receive Tyndale books and Bibles at no cost! As a member of the Tyndale Rewards program, you’ll have access to inspiring literature, Bibles, promotional offers, a free birthday gift, and opportunities to share your own recommendations and feedback about Tyndale products. The more you participate in the program, the more points you earn -- and that means more free stuff!

Check out this brief video to learn all of the super-easy ways you can earn points and redeem them for FREE rewards.

I hope you’ll join me in becoming a member of the Tyndale Rewards program. Your points will never expire!

Disclaimer: I will be entered into a contest to win a Kindle Fire as a thank-you for sharing this information.