7 on a Shoestring - 10K Facebook Fans and 1 Year Blogiversary Celebration

May 21, 2012 was officially 1 year since I moved my old blogspot blog over to WordPress and became 7 on a Shoestring. The past year has been an amazing ride! I have done things I could have never imagined and have been to places I would never have thought possible. Plus, the friends I have met along the way have been incredible and I am excited about continuing the journey.

10K Facebook Fans and 1 Year Blogiversary Celebration

Therefore in honor of hitting 10K Facebook Fans {and then some} and my 1 Year Blogiversary, I am celebrating by giving each of you the chance to win some great prizes from some of the gracious sponsors who have joined me in commemorating the event. Not only do you have a chance to win the great prizes below, but you can also enter to win from the 7 Giveaway-A-Day sweepstakes from over the past week. Our sponsors have been awesome and all deserve much appreciation as well!

Sponsors for the Grand Prize Event

Each of the sponsors below have included a prize in the Grand Prize event. On the Giveaway Tools form you will find each of their Social Media accounts listed in order to support them as well. I will draw 6 winners, 1 for each prize. You MUST tell me your 1st and 2nd choice in prizes and you MUST like the sponsors Facebook page in order to be eligible for that prize. I believe it is only fair to the brand. Secondly, a HUGE thank you to the 143 other bloggers that have joined me in promoting this celebration! My blogging community has been amazing and I could do not have gotten where I am without your support. Therefore, other than liking them on Facebook or following them on Twitter, please make sure to include the blog's name or URL where you are entering so I can personally thank them for their hard work!

Enter to Win

Are you ready? Here are the prizes up for grabs and the sponsors offering them:
VTech - Safe and Sound Digital Audio Monitor
Clipa- Polished Silver Handbag Hanger
BabbaCo - The BabbaBox
Bling Bling by Cyndi- $25 Gift Certificate
Rubbermaid - Clean and Dry Plunger
Build a Dream Playhouses - Choice of The Cosmic Cruiser or The Dream Machine
Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below. Make sure to show your support for the sponsors and bloggers in the event. And THANK YOU for making the past year a success. Good luck!

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Disclaimer: No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are clearly based on the number of entries received. This promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter. This giveaway is compliant with Facebook TOS. To qualify to win, you must fill out the entry form and follow all rules above. Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond. You must be 18 years old to enter and live in the continental US only! Please understand that 7 on a Shoestring and other participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that fail to fulfill their prizes. Please allow 4-6 weeks for shipping.

Easy Canvas Prints - Review

I love the look of canvas prints. The additional texture and depth added to a favorite photograph makes it look so much more elegant. Special events like my daughter's college graduation are perfect opportunities to add this extra flair to my home decor. EasyCanvasPrints.com made it so simple to order, with their instant upload and online designer program.
The photo is printed on a high quality canvas, carefully wrapped around the frame, and secured by their experts. They even added the picture hanger so all I had to do was put a single nail in the wall. It was very carefully packaged, so even though the delivery service did their best to try to ignore the "fragile, handle with care" sticker, my Easy Canvas Print was in perfect condition when it arrived.
EasyCanvasPrints.com offers lots of sizes of canvas prints and several thickness of wrap frames. You can upload your favorite photos, children's art, or even your own paintings. Easily customize it to match the personality of your home decor. This would make a wonderful Father's Day Gift. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter so you're first to hear about special discount offers!
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

$50 Friday Winner for 5/25

Enter more of my awesome giveaways HERE!

PursePlus Touch - Review

Summertime is often filled with theme parks, country fairs, and other exciting events where I just don't want to take a big handbag. Sometimes I just need a purse big enough for my phone, my license, my debit card, my money, sunglasses, and a lip balm. Charm14 New York has created a brand new line of charming purses called PursePlus Touch, with a big zipper pocket, a big velcro pocket and a smart phone pocket with a touch screen. I don't even have to take my smart phone out to use my touch screen!
This small purse is big enough for all my necessities (with quite a surprising bit of room left over) and comes with a long, adjustable strap so I can wear it over my shoulder, around my waist, or cross-body style. My phone will even fit in the secure phone pocket with a phone case on it. PursePlus touch comes in lots of different colors and prints - four animal prints, two camo prints, three plaid prints, ten solid color prints, fourteen designer prints, a black classic leatherette, and even MLB prints!
If you have a different size or shape of cell phone, or you don't have a touch phone, you can easily use the velcro flip up pocket to carry it in the PursePlus Touch. This great little purse is perfect for spring or summer excursions. It would also be great for students because it can easily be clipped onto a backpack or another purse for easy access to necessities. I love my new PursePlus Touch! You can buy these great little purses at http://store.charm14.com. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter too.
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Five lucky Planet Weidknecht winners will choose a PursePlus Touch!
To enter to win your choice of a PursePlus Touch, fill in the Rafflecopter form below. US only, at least 18 years old. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries increase your chances to win. Giveaway ends at midnight ET on 6/9/12. Good luck!

Score: Lowe's 1 - Home Depot 0

On Thursday afternoon, I logged onto Home Depot's website, purchased a new dishwasher, selected Saturday as my delivery date, paid for it, and printed my receipt. I was excited at how easy it was. My receipt said I'd get a confirmation via email. It also said I'd get a phone call on Saturday morning, confirming my delivery. We woke up around 10:30 this morning. I'd still not received an email or phone call, so we called Home Depot delivery. The lady on the phone said our delivery date was set for the 31st, which is Thursday. No, our receipt says Saturday the 26th. She says, well the computer system was having trouble verifying the Home Depot payment of my Home Depot credit card, but that it had nothing to do with my account. She said it took five times to get the verification, the last time being this morning, so our delivery date was pushed out to Thursday. I checked my email and their confirmation hit my email just before 9:00 this morning. So, why didn't I receive a phone call on Thursday? Why didn't I receive a  phone call on Friday? I don't want delivery on Thursday, I expected it today since that what my receipt says. Guess what? Home Depot you can cancel my $600 order for a dishwasher.

We called Lowe's. Do you have item number xxxxxx in stock? Not at the Pflugerville store, but there are three in stock at the Hutto store, the next town over? Oh, and it's $100 less there? Wonderful, we'll be there in ten minutes with our truck. Thank you Lowe's, I love my new dishwasher!


Huge List of Current Giveaways

Memorial Day Weekend Blog Hop

Welcome to the weekend!
Please pause to remember all those
Americans who ensure our country
stands for FREEDOM!
Then hop around and follow
some new bloggers!

Men in Black 3 - MIB3 - Movie Review

Men in Black 3 is a great movie. The favorite characters of Agents J and K are back with a whole new story line. Agent J must travel through time to save humanity. Best seen in 3D, the special effects are exciting and surprising. Filled with humor, MIB3 will make you laugh out loud. I loved the little "feel good" twist at the end of the movie too! Starts tonight at movies across America. Don't miss it!

Mannatech LIFT Skin Care Winner

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It's Time for $50 Friday

 TODAY ONLY - enter to WIN $50!!! Woo hoo!

$3 Coupon AmeriGas Cylinder

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Adora Chocolate Calcium Supplement - Review

May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention month. Women fall short on calcium by at least 20%, getting only 500-700 mg per day, significantly less than the recommended amount, putting them at risk of osteoporosis. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 10 million Americans are estimated to have osteoporosis and almost 34 million more are estimated to have low bone density. Nutritionist Heather Bauer, RD, CDN, author of Bread is the Devil (Amazon link below) offers these tips to decrease risk of osteoporosis:
  • Think of your bones as living, breathing tissue. They can be built up and broken down with certain determining factors. These factors include daily intake of at least 1,000mg of calcium supplemented with Vitamin D for optimal absorption and weight-bearing exercise.
  • Get your dose of calcium and sweetness with Adora Calcium Supplement discs made from rich, all-natural premium chocolate. They’ll satisfy a sweet tooth for milk or dark chocolate and provide your daily calcium requirements at only 30 calories per serving. Calcium is best absorbed in several doses, rather than all at once - this gives you a reason to indulge in an Adora treat morning and night!
  • By the time we hit our 30s, we stop naturally building bone mass and start losing it. Counteract this with anything that forces your body to defy gravity. Activities include dancing, jogging, tennis, even stair climbing. Make sure to avoid escalators and elevators!
  • Lifting weights at the gym gives you muscle tone, right? Well, calcium acts in the same way to keep your blood vessels toned. Calcium rich foods like milk, cheese, sardines, figs, and dark leafy greens like spinach can be tough to eat a lot of, so consider a calcium supplement (like Adora) if you’re not meeting the recommended daily value.
Adora Calcium Supplement in rich, premium, all-natural chocolate is produced by Thompson Brands, a chocolate company that has been renowned for great tasting quality chocolates since 1879. Thompson’s process for manufacturing Adora Calcium Supplements meets the utmost quality control and standards and is regulated by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration. The high quality calcium carbonate, vitamin D3, and magnesium all meet United States Pharmacopeia standards.
But how does it taste? Absolutely delicious! I definitely crave my calcium supplements now. I love both milk chocolate and dark chocolate, so I can't say either one is better than the other. Both just taste like candy to me. To get the daily calcium equal to two Adora, I'd have to eat 200 almonds every day, or 27 broccoli florets every day, or three glasses of milk every day. Although I like almonds and broccoli, I would much rather have two pieces of Adora rich, premium, all natural chocolate.
You can buy Adora Calcium Supplement at http://adoracalcium.com, at Whole Foods, at The Vitamin Shoppe, and other fine retailers. Be sure to follow Adora on Facebook and Twitter too!
Disclosure: I received these products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Ten Tips for Boating with Kids

1. Life Jackets Save Lives…Be sure all kids wear a life jacket when the boat is moving. In most states, this is not just sound advice; it's the law. The U.S. Coast Guard requires that all children under 13 years of age must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while the vessel is being operated unless the child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin onboard. Children’s life jackets come in different sizes appropriate to the child's body weight.

2. …But Only if You Wear Them! Kids often complain about having to wear their life jackets on a hot day. Here are some ways to encourage them to "wear it" without a fuss.
  • Get the kids “invested” in their life jacket by taking them to a marine retail store and letting them pick one out for themselves. There are lots of designs and colors to choose from.
  • Make sure the life jacket fits the child properly, both for comfort and safety's sake.
  • Be a good role model. If the kids see you wearing your life jacket, they'll be more likely to want to wear theirs.
3. Safety Starts Ashore: Get the kids in the habit of putting on sunblock and a hat even before you get to the boat. If you have small children, put them in their life jackets in the parking lot. That way, they’re protected if they accidentally tumble off the dock into the water.
4. Clear the Decks: When you climb aboard, have everyone stow their gear and any water toys away neatly, but keep the life jackets on. Be sure there are no loose lines, mops, buckets, etc. on deck that someone might trip over.

5. The Captain's in Charge: The adult who is driving the boat should give the kids a safety lesson before leaving the dock. Make it a point to tell them that there can only be one captain, and it’s important to follow his or her orders quickly and quietly. Set a few basic rules, including:
  • No running on deck.
  • No sitting on the side rails, foredeck, dashboard, aft sunpad or swim platform when the boat is under way. 
  • Advise them to leave "one hand for themselves and one for the boat" by using grabrails to steady themselves if the boat rocks. 
  • Instruct children not to walk around while the boat is in motion.
6. Ahoy, Matey: Kids get a bigger kick out of a boat trip when you make them your First Mate. Before you leave, show them where you’re going on a chart. While under way, have them keep a lookout for marker buoys. Teach them how to work the chart plotter and find your GPS coordinates.

7. Radio Check: Be sure everyone knows how to operate the boat’s VHF radio in case of an emergency. A good way to practice is to call Sea Tow's Automated Radio Check service. This will not only show the kids how to key the microphone and talk over the VHF, it also lets you know if the radio is in good working order. To find the Automated Radio Check VHF channel in your boating area, visit http://www.seatow.com/boating-safety/automated-radio-checks.

8. Toys for Girls and Boys: When you tow kids behind the boat on inflatable water toys, water skis or a wakeboard, be sure to designate an adult or teen to be the official watcher, keeping his or her eyes on the towed rider at all times. Teach the kids hand signals they can use to tell you to speed up, go slower or stop. Be sure they wear their life jackets while skiing, boarding or riding.

9. Where the Fish Are Biting: Angling is another fun family pastime, and it's even more fun on a boat. However, it's important to establish a few safety procedures for this activity as well. Teach kids to be careful with fishhooks, as well as reels and line when a fish is "on". Have them take turns so they don't cross their lines. Remember, kids have a shorter attention span; on a slow day, take a snack break or knock off early and go swimming.

10. Places, Please! Give the kids assigned seats on the boat while docking, so that they don't accidentally block the driver's view. Make sure they know to keep their fingers and toes inside during this process!

These basic guidelines will help you ensure everyone stays safe on board. But the most important tip for your family boating adventure is this: Have fun!
Source: http://www.boatingsafety.com/

Kally Tea Review with Pressure Cooker Giveaway

The October issue of Harvard Women's Health Watch recognizes the healthy power of tea. Kally Tea already knew that tea is good for you and they make delicious loose teas that you are going to love! They sent me a sample pack of six different loose teas and I was so impressed when I opened the packets. The aroma is so pleasing and I could easily see the quality of the contents.
There is actually enough loose tea in each packet for me to get a couple of drinks out of them. I used my steeping mug; I filled the top with loose tea and ran hot water through it. Then I screwed on the lid and turned the mug upside down to steep.
I first tried the Citrus Chamomile and it's a very light tasting tea with just a touch of lemony citrus flavor. I absolutely loved it. Kally Teas taste as delicious as they smell.
I could hardly wait to try the Simply Strawberry. It's got real freeze-dried strawberry in it! It's a green tea so it steeps a bit darker, plus I used a little more in this concoction. It is one of the best teas I've ever tasted. Delicious and healthy - what a great combination!
I also received Tropical Heaven Oolong, Ceylon Lover's Leap, Silver Needle Jasmine Supreme, and Almond Fondant. These gourmet teas are so good that they guarantee you will love it or you get your money back! My readers will also get a 15% discount for any order placed through June 30, 2012. Just enter KALLY4MOM at the time of check out. You can buy Kally Tea at http://www.kallytea.com/. You can follow them on Twitter too!
Disclosure: I received these products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Kally Tea focuses on healthy, green living and is generously sponsoring a giveaway on my blog. You could win a Fagor Duo 6-qt. pressure cooker, valued at $99.99. This wonderful pressure cooker can help you serve delicious, mouth-watering, healthier meals to your family. You can read the full description of this pressure cooker HERE.
Enter to win on the form below!
This giveaway is open to US residents ages 18 and up. To enter, fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Only the first entry is mandatory; all bonus entries will increase your chances to win. Ends on 6/9/12 at midnight ET. Good luck!

Covenant Cookies - Review

Ever wonder who writes the little notes we find in fortune cookies? Well, now YOU can! Covenant Cookies is the home of the Inspirational Cookie and these are no ordinary fortune cookies. They have giant fortune cookies covered with frosting and sprinkles. They have chocolate, peanut butter, toffee and more. Plus you have the opportunity to write the fortune that goes inside.
This Giant Mother's Day Inspirational cookie was the perfect centerpiece and quite a conversation starter! It was very well packaged and arrived safely at my door. They also offer cookie bouquets and gift baskets.
I also received this darling take out box of assorted chocolate dipped fortune cookies. These delicious cookie make a very unique gift for any special occasion. What a wonderful way to wish someone good fortune! There are even themed inspirational cookies for weddings, birthdays, and holidays.
My kids could hardly wait to try them. They are delicious and everyone in my family loves them. They giggled over the fortunes and wondered why there were no lottery numbers on the back. I especially love that you can choose from a variety of traditional inspirational sayings or even Bible verses.
Order your inspirational cookies at http://www.covenantcookies.com. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter too. You're going to love them!
Disclosure: I received these products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
 Win a Father's Day Giant Inspirational Cookie!
One lucky Planet Weidknecht reader will receive the Father's Day Giant Inspirational Cookie, ARV $29.99, and all you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Only the first entry is mandatory, but all additional entries are bonus entries to increase your chances of winning! US only; Winner must be at least 18 years old. Ends June 9 at midnight ET. Good luck my friends!


Master of the Veil - Book Blast

Life can't get much better for Sam Lock. Popular, good-looking, and with a future as a professional football player. every guy at Stanton High School wishes he were Sam. That is, until his championship football game, when Sam accidentally links with an ancient source of energy known as the Veil and reveals his potential to become a powerful sorcerer. Sam is whisked off to Atlas Crown, a community of sorcerers who utilize the Veil as a part of everyday life. Once there, he trains beside a mute boy who speaks through music, an eternal sage who's the eyes and ears of the Veil, and a beautiful girl who's pretty sure Sam's an idiot. As it becomes clear Sam's meant for power magic-the most feared and misunderstood form of sorcery-people beyond Atlas Crown learn of his dangerous potential. An exiled group of power sorcerers are eager to recruit Sam, believing that he is destined to help them achieve their long-held goal. If they succeed, they could bring about the downfall of not only Atlas Crown, but all humankind.

"This Book was brilliant, creative, and completely magical. If you want an amazing book to read in 2012, I would suggest you go to the bookstore and pick up a copy of Masters of the Veil."
~Julia @Inkbitten

"I loved this book. I could list all the reasons, but there is one piece of praise I think sums up the book best. My son grabbed it as soon as I was finished reading it and hasn't put it down since. Dan Cohen has a winner with this series."
~Author Michelle Pickett

"A funny, imaginative, and delightful read!"
~Author Kate Kaynak




Author Daniel A. Cohen
Daniel A. Cohen was just your average business student. Microeconomics, finance, marketing… you name it, he had to do a PowerPoint presentation on it. One dark and stormy night, he was bitten by the radioactive realization that memorizing business jargon could possibly be the most boring activity known to man.

After gaining eagle-eye vision, abs that could grate cheese, and a talent for imagining things (including his cheese-grating abs), he wrote his first novel and began his epic battle against the formidable business jargon. He continues to fight the good fight by playing saxophone and writing YA fantasy, forever hoping his Veil trilogy will help inspire others to join his cause.

Giveaway Details
Author Daniel Cohen is offering one lucky person a $100 Amazon.com Gift Card.
Last day to enter is May 31st.

Guess The Movie

Tonight I saw a prescreening of......

any guesses?

I'll tell you Friday!!!!

Family Travel to Los Angeles

Check out the new TRAVEL LITE family package available at W Los Angeles - Westwood!

Now, parents and families staying in Los Angeles can alleviate some of the stresses that come with traveling with children.

Starting at $699, this package is available from June 1 - December 30, 2012 and includes:

  • A luxurious stay in a Mega Suite
  • Quinny Modd Stroller for use during your stay
  • Welcome Basket with a Skip Hop Bib, Baby Einstein Rainstick Pal, and $25 gift card to Traveling Tikes
  • Choice of 4 hours of babysitting service, or full day poolside cabana rental
  • $100 Food and Beverage Credit at NINETHIRTY and The Backyard Restaurants
  • Complimentary valet and WiFi

Friday is Worth $50 to the Winner

Everyone loves cash, right? How would you like a chance to win $50 EVERY FRIDAY? Well, I am very excited that I have joined with an amazing group of bloggers to offer you a WEEKLY cash giveaway! Cool, yes? Well, there is only one catch, the giveaway begins THIS FRIDAY and is ONLY opened from 12:01 am and will close at 12:01am on Saturday, so it is only OPENED ONE DAY!

Custom Vinyl Banners BuildASign.com - Review

Graduation is a big deal regardless of how old you are when you finish. Celebrating my husband's graduation and my daughter's graduation within 7 days of each other was quite exhausting, but well worth it. We decided to invite friends and family to a pool party for some fun and relaxation.
This was the perfect occasion to order a sign! We chose a vinyl banner since it would be hanging near the pool. It was so easy to order by using the online designer at http://www.buildasign.com/. I was able to choose the colors I wanted, add and change the text and images, and even order it with metal grommets on the corners! It arrived quickly and was packaged well.
BuildASign.com also offers signs, bumper stickers, car magnets, and even business cards. The printing on our banner turned out perfectly and the quality of the vinyl banner is excellent. Everyone who came to our party loved the graduation banner and I will be able to use it again next year when my two sons graduate from high school!
You can order your custom signs at http://www.buildasign.com/.
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Wedne$day Wealth Giveaway Linkup

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Testing My-Kap to Reuse Keurig K-Cups

by Phil Busk

I love my Keurig K-Cup machine because it makes a strong cup of coffee fast. Last year, trying to save money, I tried Keurig’s reusable My K Cup.  I was disappointed. Water ran out quickly through the bottom and sides of the cup and I ended up with weak coffee. After that I tried another refill product called My-Kap for K-Cups.

I admired the simplicity of My-Kap.  The way it works is that you washed out a previously used K-cup, fill with ground coffee, and apply the cap. Although some people prefer to replace the used filters I just washed it out with hot water and refilled the used K-cups. I reuse them about 6-7 times before brewing with a new K-cup and then reusing that cup. That way my filters stay fresh and I don’t have to cut and fold filters.

The only real issues I discovered using the My-Kap is, as previously mentioned, k-cups need filters. Cutting and folding them was challenging. Given I rarely use a new filter, it’s not a problem for me.  I know, there are people reading this saying you have to have a new filter. Because I drink the same coffee all the time the reused filter just doesn’t make that big of a difference. People complain grounds escape from the My-Kap and get in the coffeemaker. Yes a few grounds do get in the machine but it just wasn’t a big deal.

After I make my coffee, I dump the grounds on my compost pile and clean the cup. Later I refill 4 to 6 cups at a time. I grind the coffee beans of my choice, add a scoop in the cup, put on the My-Kap, enjoy my choice of coffee, and save money. 

Memorial Day Weekend Savings at Shoe Carnival


Famous Footwear 20% Off Coupon

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Butterfly Bakery Gluten-Free - Review

The idea for Butterfly Bakery was born from a daughter's desire to provide bakery items her mother could enjoy despite her diabetes. This delicious line of baked goods includes: sugar free, no sugar added, gluten free, low calorie, and whole grain selections. All are made with 100% love and each specialization is color-coded to make it easy to find the one you want (i.e. gluten-free treat packages display a red flower design).
The Sliced Espresso Creme Cake is moist and scrumptious. Made from superior artisan whole grain Teff flour, it's loaded with Potassium and vitamin B. It's naturally sweet and light. Even the preschoolers and toddlers loved this cake!
The Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies are also delicious. They are soft and sweet, made from Teff whole grain flour. Teff has 14% more protein than regular wheat flour and contains lots of fiber. The children don't even realize they are eating cookies that are good for them! All their gluten-free baked goods are made in a separate gluten-free area.
Butterfly Bakery goods are easily available through Amazon.com! Their gluten-free products include a variety of flavors of mini muffins, large muffins, creme cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. If you need specially baked goods, I highly encourage you to check out Butterfly Bakery! You can purchase a 6-pack of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies at the link below.
Disclosure: I received these products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.