Baskets of Love for Mom Giveaway

Welcome to the Baskets of Love for Mom Giveaway, hosted by Bea's Gift Baskets, Mommy's Memorandum and Clipping Money and sponsored by some amazing blogs! Mother's Day is almost here! We know Mom is special and even if she is the mom that has it all, this giveaway is sure to be a winner with a $200 Amazon.com Gift Card, a Bea's Gift Baskets and Gifts Gift Basket (up to $50) as the grand prize! It's a GREAT gift for your Mom, your Grandmother - OR - hey, we won't judge if you just want to win it for yourself !
Good luck to all and Happy Mother's Day!
Grand Prize:
$ 200 Amazon Gift Code and Bea's Gift Baskets and Gifts Basket (Up to $50)
Second Prize:
Bea's Gift Baskets and Gifts Basket (up to $50)
Third Prize:
Thirty-One Utility Tote
The fun doesn't stop here. Bea's Gift Baskets and Gifts is also sponsoring TWO awesome parties to kick off this event, with the opportunity to win more great baskets!

Join us:
Twitter Party:
Monday, April 23
Prize: Bea's Gift Basket (up to $50)
Follow: @basketsender, @clippingmoney and @jonbonjovious

Facebook Party:
Tuesday, April 24
Prize: Bea's Gift Basket (up to $50)
Here: Bea's Gift Baskets and Gifts

Special Thanks to the following blogs for making this event possible:
Bea's Gift Baskets, Mommy's Memorandum, Clipping Money, Mom Saves Money, Freebie Spot, Babes and Kids Review, For Him and My Family, Coupons with Q, Esavingsblog, Celebrate Woman Today, Daily Mom Deal, Fishful Thinking, Our Full House, Home Grown Families, The Frugal Free Gal, Giveaway Bandit, The Ultimate Baby Shower, U.S. Coupons and Deals, Spilled Milkshake Designs, Planet Weidknecht, Free Makeup & Beauty Samples, OHBROTHER, Plum Crazy About Coupons, Making Time For You, Frugal-Shopping, Angie's Wraps, CountryLife4Me, DeDa Studios, Shop with Me Mama, Mama Does It All, the Crazy Nuts Mom, Krazy Coupon Club, A Life Full of Laughter

This event will end May 6th at 12:01am.
US Residents ONLY.
To enter use the rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: This giveaway is a self-sponsored group collaborative effort in order to provide a cash prize. Each participant has provided funds in order to present this giveaway. This event is in no way sponsored or affiliated with any company or other individual(s) other than those included within the Rafflecopter widget.

Prodigy Skincare - Review

Welcome to the Mom ME Time Giveaway Event coordinated by The Maven of Social Media, Formula Mom, and Tales From the Nursery! This event will take place from 12:01am EST on April 22nd through 11:59pm EST on April 28th, 2012.

Mother's Day is fast approaching and we want to help YOU find the perfect gift for that special woman in your life (or to treat yourself - we won't judge)! Every blog participating in this event will feature awesome gifts that are perfect for giving to moms on Mother's Day. Each prize will be valued at $25+ plus we have a couple awesome grand prizes that are available for a couple lucky readers. We really want to help all our fellow mamas out there to get a little bit of ME time and hopefully these prizes will help do just that!

Two lucky winners will receive (1) $100 Spa and Wellness Gift Cards by Spa Week to help pamper themselves and massage the stress away. Spa and Wellness Gift Cards are accepted at over 5,000 spa locations across North America. A third lucky winner will receive a Godiva coffee and breakfast gift basket sure to pamper their taste buds. The gift cards are open to US and Canada, while the gift basket is open to US only. Be sure to enter for the Grand Prizes!

My Prize is a Prodigy Skincare Set
~ Advanced Moisturizing Firming Eye Cream ~
~ Advanced Moisturizing Soothing Gel ~
(Total ARV $124.00)
Prodigy is a hot new skin care line that provides deep hydration, using precious botanical extracts. They are oil free, fragrance free, and designed for all skin types. The Prodigy Advanced Moisturizing Firming Eye Cream reduces morning puffiness, fine lines, and wrinkles. It also helps protect against environmental damages. I've been smoothing it around my eyes for the past couple of days and it is definitely providing me more moisture and less puffiness. It doesn't feel greasy at all around my eyes.
The Prodigy Advanced Moisturizing Soothing Gel is a clear, lightweight gel that instantly soothes irritated skin and provides needed hydration, giving skin a luminous glow. I put it on my face after washing and it felt so good on my skin. Washing always dries my skin just a bit, making my forehead a bit itchy. The Soothing Gel took care of that instantly. I really like these products and I hope YOU win them in my giveaway!
You can purchase Prodigy at http://www.prodigyskincare.com
They are also on Facebook!
To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to US. Then be sure to hop around to the other participating blogs and enter their giveaways too! Ends at midnight ET on 4/28/2012. Good luck!

Beanfields Bean and Rice Chips - Recipe and Review

When I was a kid, I ate far too many potato chips and corn chips. I'm so glad to have healthy snacks to choose for myself and my kids now! Beanfields Bean and Rice Chips are corn free, gluten free, and non-GMO verified. A one ounce serving has 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of complete protein. There are five flavors available - Naturally Unsalted, Pico de Gall, Sea Salt, Sea Salt and Pepper, and Nacho.
I opened the Naturally Unsalted bag of chips first. My husband and I both tasted them. I like the taste, but they are a bit plain for me. My husband said, "But the reason I eat chips is for the salt!" I especially like how crispy these chips are. This particular chip flavor has only 3 ingredients...beans, rice and safflower oil.
The Sea Salt and Pepper chips tasted even better. I love the idea of using pepper as a flavoring on chips. Beanfields chips are free of all the FDA's eight most common ingredients that trigger food allergies. Plus the 4 grams of fiber in a serving size is equal to a 4 ounce serving of milk!
The Sea Salt chips would be a great base ingredient for a tex-mex meal or snack. There is just enough sea salt on them without leaving a heavy salty taste in your mouth. I decided to make my Quick Nachos for Two recipe for you.
Arrange Beanfields Sea Salt Bean and Rice Chips on a plate. Sprinkle with shredded Four-Cheese Mexican Cheese and top with sliced black olives. Place plate in microwave for 45 seconds, then top with Cilantro Salsa. Enjoy!

One of the BEST things about using Beanfields for Quick Nachos is that they STAY CRISPY. Every other chip I ever used with this recipe got soggy in the microwave. My Quick Nachos for Two turned out perfect and my husband and I both really liked it.
The Pico de Gallo flavor is amazing. We both really liked this flavor. It's got enough kick to it, without being overpowering. This would be the bag of chips I'd grab for snacking while watching television. I also want to give Beanfields a high-five for using ONLY American farmed beans and rice. I will definitely be buying Beanfields chips.
I saved the Nacho chips for last because I read that it won "Best of Show" by VegNews at the 2012 Natural Products Expo West. New Hope Media named them one of the top 15 best new vegan products of the show. Natural Solutions Magazine called them a top 10 best overall product pick at the Expo West. I have to agree with them all. These chips are absolutely delicious and cheesy tasting, but are dairy-free. Find out where you can buy Beanfields HERE and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter!
Disclosure: I received these products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Big List of New Winners

Pink Swirly Cookie Collection - Edward P.
Smart Snacks Alpha Pops - Cynthia L.
Piczzle Photo Puzzle - Michele P.
Brownie Sampler - Catie R.
CharCrust Dry-Rub Seasonings - Autumn K.
CoreBamboo Bucket Bowl - Misty W.

Thanks to all who entered!
Enter my current giveaways HERE!

Outdoorsy Moms Need a LoopRope

When I graduated from high school, my parents bought me a pink tool kit. I still have it. It makes me smile every time I get to use a pink tool. I guess in my heart, I'm a bit of a girly-girl, but in my head, I'm the "I can do it myself" kind of girl too. The original LoopRope now comes in pink too!
The LoopRope is easy to use, comes in different lengths and colors, and comes with two metal clips that are not going to let go unless you want them to. The clips can be used anywhere up and down the LoopRope, so I can adjust it to whatever size I need at the time. This handy tie-down can be used in so many different ways...check out dozens of uses HERE. I love how EASY it is to use!
My favorite use so far is to use them on my husband's truck to keep my gallon jugs of milk and orange juice from sliding around in the back on my weekly shopping haul. Doesn't he look happy that I put a pink LoopRope on his truck??
The pink LoopRope is the perfect Mother's Day Gift for moms that love the outdoors, camping, hiking, and climbing. You could even loop together a couple of pink and red ones to make a LoopRope bouquet! You can buy them HERE. Check them out on Facebook too!


Planet Weidknecht Weekend Hop

It's Friday! It's Friday! It's Friday!
Come hop with me this weekend?
Be sure to enter my 10K Fan-apalooza while you're here too!
Thanks for stopping by!
Hosted by Planet Weidknecht and Beck Valley Books

Mannatech NutriVerus Real-Food Nutritional Supplement - Review

Do you take a daily vitamin? Processed foods don't provide us with enough nutrition, so something like 150 million people in the US take vitamin/mineral supplements. I spent last weekend in Fort Worth, Texas, learning all about Mannatech products. The things I learned at the conference barely scratched the surface of all there is to know. One of the most important things I learned was that by taking synthetic supplements, I really wasn't doing my body any favors. Reading the ingredients list on your nutritional supplements will tell you a lot about what you are putting in your body.
Ninety-five percent of nutritional supplements sold in America are synthetic. Synthetic vitamins and minerals are man-made attempts to recreate what is already in plants. I didn't know this, but COAL TAR, PETROLEUM, and ROCKS are common ingredients in synthetic nutritional supplements. If you look at the photo below, you can see four items to the left and three items to the right. The four on the left are synthetic supplements the three on the right are made with REAL FOOD. All of these supplements were put into an oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. The three on the right browned, because that is what food does when you cook it. The four on the left are oozing coal tar and petroleum after cooking for 15 minutes. Isn't that absolutely DISGUSTING???
Spending the weekend learning about Mannatech taught me about several of their many products. I spoke to dozens of people, including Sam Caster the founder of the company, scientists, and people who have seen amazing improvements in their health and wellness from using Mannatech products. One of the most wonderful things I learned was that the company is dedicated to providing FREE nutritional supplements to children around the world through MannaRelief, founded by Sam Caster. One of the most exciting things I learned was that Mannatech is about to launch another breakthrough product and I was given the product to try!!! It's called NutriVerus and it's an all-encompassing nutritional supplement, sort of like the best of all the Mannatech products combined into one. It won't be available for purchase until May 1st.
By nature I am a skeptical person and even though I was fully convinced by the science behind Mannatech products I did not jump to sign up as an Associate, even though they have a great compensation program. I need to try products before I can recommend them. I'm generally a healthy person, so I'm not expecting huge miracles by using NutriVerus but I am definitely eager to see what it might do for me. NutriVerus comes in a powdered form and can be mixed with any food or drink, or even just sprinkled on top like a seasoning.
It's recommended to use two scoopfuls of NutriVerus daily to get all the basic foundational building blocks of nutrition into my body. Since I'm currently on the Nutrisystem weight loss program, I just add NutriVerus to two of my food products each day. I wanted to try a variety of foods to see if it changes the taste. I put a scoopful into my morning Nutrisystem protein shake, which is powdered protein, flavoring, two ice cubes and water. I shook it up and drank it. It made the consistency of this vanilla shake just a bit thicker but did not change the taste at all.
Later in the day, I mixed the NutriVerus into a glass of orange juice, stirred it up with a spoon and drank it. Again, it just barely changed the consistency, but not the taste. I did some surfing around their website and realized they actually have quite a few products, from gummy MannaBears for kids' nutrition (which my daycare kids and I loved) to athlete trial-tested and endorsed fitness supplements, and even skin care products!
The company even has patents on several products and their Ambrotose products are based on a scientific discovery about aloe vera that provides the body with glyconutrients to promote cellular structure, the loss of which can cause some serious health problems, and something most of us are not getting in the foods we eat.
One of my breakfast meals from Nutrisystem is a garden vegetable omelet. I dumped a scoop of NutriVerus on top and decided the best way to mix it was to cut the omelet and toss the food a bit, sort of like a salad. The powder didn't absorb into the food but did absorb some of the moisture from the eggs, cheese, and veggies.
I didn't notice any change in taste and even having the "seasoning" of the NutriVerus on top didn't detract from the meal at all. With everything that NutriVerus provides my body, it's likely the most nutritious omelet I've ever eaten. NutriVerus is also gluten-free!
Dinner was a Mushroom Risotta meal, topped with a scoop of NutriVerus, mixed in before I ate it. I'm now convinced that I can add it to just about anything, although I probably won't add it to my Nutrisystem ice cream bars. You could add it to your family's meals without them even knowing they are getting an awesome real food nutrition product!
You might be wondering if I'm seeing any differences since I've started including it in my daily meals. (I started it on Tuesday, so I've been using it for four days now.) It hasn't made me lose twenty pounds this week, nor has it cured my hypothyroid (not that it claims to), but I have to admit I actually feel like I have had more energy this week than normal. I promise I will keep you updated on my experience with Mannatech NutriVerus!
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
You could WIN a month's supply of NutriVerus to try for yourself!
TWO lucky Planet Weidknecht winners will win a 5.3 oz container of NutriVerus from Mannatech! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway will end on 5/1/2012 at midnight ET.

Do You Love to Get Flowers?

Thinking of getting flowers for your mom this Mother's Day? Take a look at this gorgeous Pink Celebration Bouquet for Moms! Pink roses, hot pink daisies, and Asiatic lilies are all tucked into a pretty pink fluted vase, then tied with a pink bow. It must be such a great job to deliver flowers. To ring the bell or knock on the door and surprise someone with a stunning floral arrangement, to see the big smile, to hear the excited thanks from the recipient, must be a joyful occupation.
Send flowers to your mom this year to show her how much you love and appreciate all those years of her putting up with you. When you order flowers through www.sendflowers.com the bouquet is arranged and delivered fresh by a local florist. Imagine the look on your mom's face when she opens the door!
UPDATE: One of the closed lilies opened, and I just had to show you how beautiful it is:
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Book Review: Sister of Silence by Daleen Berry

Daleen Berry's "Sister of Silence" really impacted me. She tells her story, starting with a sad story of sexual abuse as a young teen that changed the core of her being. Even more heart-wrenching, the abuser eventually becomes her spouse. She shares how he mentally, physically and financially controls her. Together they have four children and she struggles with depression, anger, and despair. Throughout the story he manipulates her and the children, swinging from violent rage to seemingly apologetic behavior. As her children grow older and her marriage becomes worse, she realizes that she must do something to change her and her children's lives. After seeking counseling with him, she realizes that she must make some major changes. As a survivor of an emotionally and physically abusive marriage, I found myself transported back to times when I felt the same kinds of fear and desperation she describes. As the story goes on to show how Daleen moves forward in her life, I also remembered the sense of accomplishment I felt as I discovered all that I was capable of doing, in spite of the experiences I had during those difficult years. I read the entire book in less than three hours because I was unable to put it down. I admire the author for being able to put her story into written form and I pray that her bravery will help women step out of abusive relationships, because they are far more common that most people realize. I encourage you to read it! You can purchase it at the link below.
Disclosure: I received this book at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Motherhood Exaggerated by Judith Hannan

Judith Hannan's memoir "Motherhood Exaggerated" is a heart-filled story about the medical journey she and her daughter traveled. Childhood cancer appeared in their family and Judith's story chronicles the nightmare, the struggle and the eventual triumph of her daughter. The emotions simply pour out of this book and I was brought to tears through her story. She shares a lot about the relationship between her and her daughter, as well as many interactions with the other members of her family. We also hear about frightful doctor appointments, chemotherapy sessions, and the heart-wrenching effects. Throughout the book Judith sees past the cancer in her daughter and is determined to help lead her out of the illness. The book grabs you from page one and doesn't let go. I loved reading this book and was blessed with their story.
Disclosure: I received this book at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Baskin-Robbins Mother's Day Ice Cream Cake - Review

This is a perfect Mother's Day gift that the entire family can enjoy! Baskin-Robbins has created a special "Petals and Pearls" cake to celebrate moms this year. It's beautifully designed with bright blue reminiscent of a famous jewelry box, then decorated with white rose icing petals and buttercream pearl accents.
Inside the cake is another surprise! It's not just a cake. It's not just an ice cream cake. It's BOTH! The bottom layer of this one is chocolate cake, with a top layer of chocolate chip ice cream. After taking it out of the freezer, we let it sit for about 15 minutes on the counter, to soften the ice cream just enough for easy cutting.
Best of all, this Petals and Pearls cake absolutely delicious! The high quality of this ice cream cake is exactly what we've all come to expect from Baskin-Robbins. Make mom's day extra special with either a 6 inch round or 9 inch round ice cream cake! What's YOUR mom's favorite flavor?
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Snatch That Cat by Larry Buttram

Larry Buttram has created a wonderful children's story about a spoiled little girl named Susie Bipp who gets everything she wants, except for the cat that lives down the street. Snatch That Cat is all about her repeated adventures to do just that. The cat is quite happy in his current home and manages to get away from her several times, but she finally gets him into her room. Simon, the cat, teaches Susie a very important lesson.
I read this story aloud to my group of daycare children, ages 2-5 years, and they absolutely loved it. This rhyming story flows very well and is fun to read. After I read it to them twice, they wanted to "read" it themselves. It's really cute to watch them retelling the story. They also learned that "snatch" means to grab, so the story introduced a new word to them.
The author did a great job with the story and the illustrations by Paul Richardson are simply charming. Five stars for Snatch That Cat!
Disclosure: I received this book at no charge in exchange for my honest review.


Key Lime Cheesecake Bars - Recipe and Review

I've never made cheesecake. I always figured it was one of those delicacies that escaped my baking skills. Luckily for me, Plentiful Pantry has made it simple for me! I received this adorable box with the mix for Key Lime Cheesecake Bars. Inside the box was the cookie crumb mix and the key lime cheesecake mix. All I needed to add was one cup of hot water, two eight ounce packages of cream cheese, and five tablespoons of butter.
I set the cream cheese and butter out early in the morning so they would soften up. Then I took plastic wrap and lined an 8x8 baking dish, leaving just enough plastic hanging over the edges to make handles for lifting it out later (nice little tip on the box). The plastic wrap really wanted to fight with me, but I finally won. I melted the five tablespoons of butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave and mixed the cookie crust mix with it.
I scooped the buttered cookie mix into the baking dish and used a silicone spatula to press it down firmly and evenly. It was really easy to work with. Then I took another bowl and dumped in the key lime cheesecake mix, the two packages of softened cream cheese, and a cup of hot water. My stupid little cheap hand mixer doesn't have a low setting, so I got some batter on my shirt when I turned the mixer on. Once it got going, I mixed it for about three minutes.
Once it was creamy, I poured it on top of the cookie crust and put it in the refrigerator for just over an hour. No baking is required. As a side note, the little box made an excellent countertop trash can while I was making the bars. I then took it out of the fridge and using the plastic wrap, I lifted out the firmed up cheesecake. It worked a lot easier than I thought it was going to work, but I did have to jiggle it just a bit to loosen it from the baking dish.
Once it was flat on the table, I used a large knife to cut it into bars. The recipe suggested 16 bars, but I cut it into 12 so the bars were bigger. The crust was nice and crunchy, held together perfectly and the cheesecake consistency was just right.
Then it was time for the taste test. These Key Lime Cheesecake Bars are absolutely scrumptious! It was able to maintain my composure and only eat one bar (so far). They turned out so perfectly that I can hardly believe I made them myself!
Plentiful Pantry has many different dessert mixes, from Peach Cobbler to Cherry Chocolate Hot Fudge Cake. They also have Dips, Pasta Kits, Soups, and more! These would be wonderful housewarming gifts and Mother's Day Gifts.
A Delicious Giveaway for You!
One lucky Planet Weidknecht reader will win a Key Lime Cheesecake Bar mix! To enter just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway ends on 4/30/12 at midnight ET. Good luck to everyone!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.