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Friday, November 29, 2013

Disney's Frozen movie review

I recently took a couple of my little sisters to see the pre-screening of Disney's newest princess tale, Frozen. It was spectacular! There was so much detail put into the making of this movie. They gave out magnet sets so the kids can "build" their own Olaf,
the lovable snowman who loves "warm hugs" and dreams of summer!
Elsa and Ana are princess sisters living in a warm and inviting kingdom that mimics a village setting from Norway. As children, they are incredibly close. The older sister possesses a power that can make a wintry scene of magical beauty.
But it can also be deadly when it is used in fear. One fateful night, Elsa loses control of her powers and her sister Ana pays the price. In order to save her, her memories must be erased about her sisters' power. Thus the kingdom must undergo some drastic changes. Years go by and the sisters grow apart as Elsa retreats to the safety of her room. Their parents are lost at sea and it comes down to Elsa being crowned Queen. Anna is a simple girl who lets her heart get away when she meets the dashing prince visiting from a neighboring kingdom. One thing leads to another and Elsa is driven out of the kingdom as an icy winter settles over the land.
Anna has to put things right, find her inner strength and learn the hard way about love. The question is, will it be too late?

It was a great, clean, and heart-warming story. I absolutely can't wait to buy this one for my daughters collection of movies. And I look forward to seeing more of Anna and Elsa as they join the Princesses of Disney. Let me know what you think about them!

My "Black Friday" deals

This evening I printed out my 25% off coupons from Walgreens. They emailed them. If you haven't signed up for one of their cards, I suggest you do. CVS too. Its a rewards program and its free.
Anyways... Tonight I stopped in with my coupons. I got some Legos using a 25% off coupon. Then I found some sets that were half off!
Normally in the $15 range, they were a little above $7. I also found the Cars Bath set in a metal tin for $10 that I ended up paying only $7.95 after tax for. This will make a great gift my Cars-loving boys or possibly my little brother...
I did go to Walmart... well, dropped off the guys at least. I didn't want to get into that mess. They had a slammed-full parking lot of people before 2PM. Target had about... 2 cars? Both places were a hot mess though from what I heard. At Walmart, my husband and brother both go the Call of Duty: Ghosts game for $40. Then over to Target where my brother got the Call of Duty: Black Ops II game for $25, my husband got a Camo Xbox 360 Controller for $40, and 3 of the 3 month Gold Live subscription cards for $10 each. Being a gamer is so expensive...
I did get the latest Evanovich book for half off. We found a bedding set and some movies as well. Gifts from Nana and Papa are all taken care of!
What deals did you find? Did you go out for Black Friday?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Free 8x10 from Walgreens!

Free 8x10 Single Image Print now through Saturday, November 30th**
Use Code TURKEY8X10.

Remember that its only free if you choose "store pick-up". Otherwise, you pay for shipping.
Only one coupon code per order. Only one free 8x10 single-image print per household. Coupon code TURKEY8X10 valid for one use per account thru November 30, 2013. Code must be entered at time of checkout to apply discount. Photo cart must include your 8x10 print at time of checkout to qualify. Discount does not apply to collage prints, scrapbook pages, magazine covers, previous purchases, taxes or shipping charges. Order must be placed by logged-in customer by November 30, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time to qualify. Timing will be determined by Walgreens server clock. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Multiple coupon codes may or may not be used based on cart contents. Offer not valid on orders placed in store. Shipping and handling may apply if in store pickup is not available in your area.

Black Friday at Target

I know everyone out there that does Black Friday deals is super excited. Some stores are having some... not too bad, sales. Even I'm planning on hitting up a couple of them. If you can hold off until Friday, I strongly suggest it. Target is promoting a special for Friday only:
If you spend $75 at Target or on Target.com on Friday 11/29/13, you will earn a 20% off Target coupon that can be redeemed December 1st through the 7th.This coupon will be redeemable in-store only!
Purchase must be made in-store on 11/29 from 12:01 to store closing time. Online purchase needs to be made 11/29 at 2:00 am CST – 11/30 at 1:59 CST.   The coupon will be sent via email on 11/30 if you order online.
So why else do I urge you to wait until Friday? In case you forgot, Gray Thursday is still Thanksgiving Day. Its supposed to be a day that you get to rest and spend with family while enjoying great meals and remembering all the things you have to be thankful for. I know, even I plan on going out Thursday night for at least one thing. But that doesn't mean I don't feel guilty about it. If people didn't shop or go to the stores on Thanksgiving, companies wouldn't be open that day. Some companies won't be open. Costco, for sure, is one of them. Target will NOT be price matching ANYTHING for the Black Friday WEEKEND. They will not be retro-acting ANY deals. Once you buy it, that's it. All done. Don't come back look for a deal because it was valid only on that day. No rain checks. For all those stupid enough to not listen when we told them that they couldn't buy an iPad and then return it tomorrow so they could buy it and get the gift card deal.... We won't accept that either. We don't spout off these rules for our health. We can't even buy things (sale or not) unless we are off the clock. So don't even accuse the employees of holding things for themselves. That's automatic job termination, I believe.
If you have to go in on Thanksgiving Day, please be courteous to those who have to work. After all, if it weren't for them you wouldn't be able to go shopping at all. They don't really work because they LOVE their job. They don't pick up after inconsiderate people who leave stuff laying around and change their minds as often as a baby needs their diaper changed, just because its SO much FUN. They do it because its a job. They do it to support loved ones and to be able to pay their bills. Sure, you will probably meet an employee somewhere who is being a grouchy prick. Before you start cursing them out, ask yourself how you would feel in their shoes. They probably got up at the crack of dawn (depending on what time their store opened or their shift started). They may have been able to sleep in a little and had lunch with family before dashing off into the hectic mess we know as Retail. Most people I know who work in retail refer to the holidays at the store as being Hell.
Why? People yell at you if you don't pull the sale item out of you rear and satisfy their need of it, even though we can't control what the corporate level sends to the store. We cannot meet everyone's demands, no matter how hard we might try. We do not take bribes to let you have something before the sale starts, we do not take bribes to hold an item for you (why should we risk our livelihood for $70?!), we cannot make something appear or guarantee something will be there when you finally show up after the sale started 5 hours ago. Think those scenarios are ridiculous? They are real and have happened. Black Friday is that special day every year when retail employees have that burden of smiling at the jerks that are trying to chew them a new one no matter what - slightly lifted from their shoulders. Its the one time when we can throw you out for starting a scene and cutting in the line. You want to act like a stuck-up prick? Be prepared to face some team members who aren't amused or playing along. But its also the worse time for getting put down, yelled at, cursed at, maybe even attacked *ahem* Wal-Mart *ahem*. Basically, you are seen by the people shopping as nothing more than servants there to do their bidding and provide them with everything they request no matter what strings you have to pull to get it. Guess what? I'm not the dirt under your feet, I can't wave a magic wand and make something appear out of thin air, and if I'm not smiling - I'm not enjoying your attitude.
So be nice. Shopping can be fun. We, in the retail business, can get along with everyone even on the busiest holiday. But only if you put forth the effort to treat us as we are - Human.
Have a great day, stay safe and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there!

Reading with your children just got easier!

So as I've mentioned before, US Family Guide teamed up with GenZ Read Together to give you a chance to a free trial subscription. Just use the promo code: A174.
What I've learned so far has been really fun!

Every story you read, comes with activities you can do with your children to promote their learning. You earn Zoints as you complete the activities correctly. The layout of the website could really use some work. Everything is vertical which can makes it hard to read things like directions. So just a heads up, scroll down!

The puzzles they offer are a great concept. I was a little confused until I scrolled down and realized the letters where vertical below it. (Once you try it free, you’ll understand what I mean.) But it’s still fun. And I love that they have a video of news clips about the story at the end. Today’s story was about Captain Chesley Sullenberger, “Sully”, and how he had to land his plane with 155 people into the cold Hudson River after a flock of birds flew into the plane and crashed both the engines. It’s truly amazing how his quick thinking helped so many!
The variety in trivia facts they share are awesome too! I love little trinkets of information that most people don't tend to think about.

One of the awesome facts they shared was, There have been 27 versions of the American flag throughout the nation's history. The current American flag was designed in 1958 by 18-year-old Robert Heft for a class project!

Or how about this one that came after the Treasure Hunter story (one of my favorites),The first formal guide dog program was developed in Germany after World War I, when German Shepherds were trained to aid blinded veterans. References to dogs guiding the blind, however, can be found as far back as the 16th century!

I really hope you sign up for a free subscription! At least try it and give your children the chance to hear about something amazing everyday. Its great for school kids, especially those of the homeschooling variety as it adds to your curriculum. My readers receive a FREE trial subscription, no credit card required, to GenZ Read Together. Just click here and use the Promo Code: A174. Leave me a comment on your thoughts and what you think is the best/worst about this idea.
Information from GenZ:
GenZ Read Together (www.genZreadtogether.com) emails wonderful real-life stories and activities each day to parents’ smartphones, tablets or computers. Whether it's at breakfast, bus stop, or bedtime -- GenZ makes it convenient to read about amazing people, places and things. 
Created by educators and award-winning children's writers, stories are written at two levels, for children in grades K-2 and 3-5.  Titles include:
The Atocha (world's greatest treasure hunter), Captain Sully Saves the Day, The Chilean Miners' Rescue, Wilt Scores 100 Points!, Owen and Mzee - an Unusual Friendship, The Invention of Velcro, and hundreds more!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Reading aid promotion!

Being a part of the US Family Guide blogger program, I was offered the chance to join GenZ Online reading program. Why is this a cool thing? It emails a story every day that I can read to my little ones. Reading with your children every day is very important for their development. This program helps make it easier. This is how it works... GenZ Read Together emails wonderful, real-life stories and activities each day to your smartphone, tablet or computer. Then you can take a couple minutes from your busy day, like during breakfast or at the bus stop - even at bedtime, to read it to/with them. There are questions you can ask to get them to think about the story you just shared. There might be some facts attached on the side as well to further the information. And then lastly there is a trivia to answer. You can open your child's mind to the amazing people, places and things in the world. 
GenZ was created by educators and award-winning children's writers. The stories are written at two levels for children in grades K-2 as well as 3-5. Some of the titles included are: The Atocha (World's Greatest Treasure Hunter), Captain Sully Saves the Day, The Chilean Miners' Rescue, Wilt Scores 100 Points!, Owen and Mzee - an Unusual Friendship, The Invention of Velcro, and so much more!
My readers get the chance to receive a FREE trial subscription (no credit card required) to GenZ Read Together.
This offer is open to everyone, so please share this link and promo code with your friends and family
CLICK HERE and Use Promo Code: A174

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sales and deals are coming! But why on Thanksgiving Thursday?!

I normally hate shopping on Black Friday. And this year, I dread Gray Thursday. I believe families should spend the holidays together. Eat turkey and pass out on moms couch while the kids sit watching the ABC shows (I think they were on ABC) of Rudolph and Frosty. That's how we used to spend our Thanksgiving Day. However, this year may be a little off the beaten track. You see, I'm married to a gamer and have a brother who is quite the gamer too. Don't get me wrong, I play. When I have time... But my husband and brother play way more often. And Wal-Mart is having a deal too good to pass up... Thursday night only! My husband and brother have been wanting Call of Duty: Ghosts so bad, but neither of them wants to pay $60 for it.
Wal-Mart is having a guaranteed, in-stock, hour long sale on it for $39.96.
Target's deal is you buy the game for $59.99 and get a $10 gift card back.
Hmm.... I'd rather deal with Wal-Mart's poor customer service and save $20.

However, that doesn't mean that Target doesn't have deals we plan to look into getting. For instance, Women's boots will be on sale, some as low as $18.
Plus there is a $5 off $20 or more coupon on Target's website. Don't want to wait that long or deal with Black Friday madness? The 4 day sale prior to Black Friday is Buy One Get One 50 % off. Pair that up with the coupons and save.
There are also others like $5 off $25 or more Women's apparel. This can be paired up with Cartwheel discounts! Or go before Black Friday and get in on the 40% off deals. And the jewelry coupon has a Cartwheel offer of 20% that can be paired as well. Christmas deals are everywhere if you look hard enough.

Black Friday deals also include the Fast and Furious movies (Fast Five especially). Cartwheel has a discount offer of 10% off any of the titles 1-5. I really can't wait for Fast and Furious 6 to come out December 10th! Same day as Despicable Me 2... Anyways! Getting off track a little here.
As far as things we want to get from the Target deals... Camo Xbox 360 controller will be $39!
Normally its $54-ish. My husband has wanted one for a couple years now. It can be his early Christmas gift. $10 for a 3 month Live Gold subscription card! Let's see... 4 cards = 12 months = a year for only $40?! SCORE! We play Live together quite often but pay about $60 a year I think. There may be a few Lego deals and we have a couple coupons for $5 off $29 or more.
What else did I find while digging for deals? I love chocolate. Not gonna lie. And I found some Dove deals that don't look too shabby. Target.com has a coupon for Dove chocolates: $1.50/2 bags, plus it can be paired with Cartwheel's 10% off. This week, they are 3 bags for $10.
So I'm looking at getting 3 bags for $7.65 = $2.55 each. Then I'll go on a diet and only allow myself a ration each day to make them last longer since I won't be able to buy more until... New Years?
Last week Target had Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich on sale for a little over $20. I held it together and didn't buy it. Why? Black Friday will have it 50% off!!!
Just a few more days... I'm still trying to finish 19. And I managed to finally pick up a copy of Wicked Appetite at a yard sale for .50. Has anyone read it? Any comments?  
My husband and I use Glade products like the candles and plug-in warmers. Right now I have Target coupons and manufacture coupons to pair up with Cartwheel as well as a sale. Going to do that shopping tomorrow though.
Black Friday will have Barbie in a Christmas Carol for $5. We have begun a collection of the Barbie movies for my little girl and this will also add to the variety of Christmas movies we have built up. Not a bad addition.
I'm super stoked for Red 2! Coming out Tuesday, and you can bet I'm buying it!! It's going to be $20 on sale for the Bluray combo pack (I'll give the DVD version to my folks since they don't do Bluray).
So these are the things I have set up for this weeks shopping trips. While I'm excited, I still don't like going out Thanksgiving night for some of this. And then getting up at 4 AM Friday to finish up shopping at Target before going to work... Target's best deal? Buy $75 or more on Friday and get a 20% off coupon to use in the first week of December. What deals will you be looking for? Are you going out Thursday and/or Friday?

A giveaway you just might want to check out!

How many of you have heard about or seen a post around Christmas time of someone "seeing" Santa? I know of a couple friends who "follow" Santa on Christmas Eve as a website posts his travel from city to city across the globe. Well, another website is offering you the chance to get a special picture of you catching Santa in your own home. Its called iCaughtSanta. For a limited time only, they have given a special promotional code for all you blog readers to use out there. Its #SantaShare. Using this code until December 10th, 2013, you can "catch" Santa or Rudolph and display him for all to see.
I created one to try it out and be able to tell you about it even though I really don't believe in Santa. Simply follow the step-by-step process that guides you through it. Upload a photo, add your Santa/Rudolph character, adjust settings to make it match... and you have a customized photo! At the checkout part, enter the code SantaShare. I had to type it in manually without CAPS and without the # sign. Photos typically cost $9.99, but the code makes them free. You will get an email with your photo in it that can be shared.

Some sample photos that have been created are like this:
My favorite is the last one of the guy sleeping.
Now about the contest... iCaughtSanta is offering everyone the chance to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway to win some amazing prizes such as; an iPad Air or Visa, Starbucks & Amazon Giftcards! There are over $1,500 in prizes. But you better enter soon as the giveaway ends in 36 days. And around this time of year.... time flies. Simply go to this link to access the giveaway directly.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Free magnet offer from Shutterfly!

In case you missed it in the email, Shutterfly is giving away a free magnet! Just pay shipping and possibly tax. It expires on January 31st. And the "fine" print for the offer is as follows:
*Offer expires 1/31/14 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for one free 4x5.5, 3x5, 3x3 or 2x3 magnet at shutterfly.com. Must select one of the four sizes. Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Not valid on other sizes. Click here for more details.

Toys R Us deals

Don't forget to check your emails from Toys R Us as they just sent out 2 coupons. One of them is for BOGO free Chuggington Die-Cast or Stack Track Engines.
The other offer is for $10 off a regular priced Chuggington StackTrack or Die-Cast set.

Walgreens photo offer!

Just in time for Christmas gifts for Nana! Walgreens has a free brag book photo offer. Simply go to Walgreens' website to create your 4.5x6 Brag Book. It has 20 pages and is valued at $6.99. Once you have made your book, proceed to checkout and enter the code: BRAGBOOK. You will have to pay shipping and possibly tax. Mine was only $3.17. This offer ends November 23rd, however, so act fast! Perfect gift for Nana's and Grandma's (or Grandpa!).

Monday, November 18, 2013

20 free 5 x 7 holiday cards from Walgreens!

Need holiday cards to send to family and friends this year? Walgreens is giving away 20 of them free to each person who likes their page on Facebook! 20 free 5x7 Holiday Photo cards! Just like the page, click for the special code, and order by December 7th. Don't forget to order for store pick-up to get it completely free.

Another movie I want to see!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I'm eager to see how things turn out with him. These super hero movies are really getting detailed and more elaborate. Maybe that's not always to their best interest, but sometimes they are great to watch. Here is the trailer for you to check out. Do you think it will be worth seeing? CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER releases in theaters everywhere on April 4, 2014!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Disney Planes is coming out Tuesday!

Mark your calendars if you plan to get the new Disney's Planes movie! My kiddos are so excited. I've printed out the $7 off coupon from Scotts Shared Values. Target is having a deal for it as well. So here's how you get a great deal:
Target has the exclusive Bluray/DVD pack on sale for $22.99.
Plus if you buy the movie, you get a Pull and Fly Buddies plane for 50% off. They are normally $9.99 but take off half and you only pay $4.99. Then you subtract the $7.00 coupon and you have....
Movie 22.99 +
Toy       4.99 -
Coupon 7.00 = $20.98!
Now if you have a smartphone, you can get even more of a discount! Because Cartwheel is offering 10% the Planes DVD/Bluray.
So it will be more like.... $21.93 + 4.99 - 7.00 = $19.92!
Don't forget to use your Redcard (if you have one and take an additional 5% off) = $18.83. Thats the same as getting the toy free and a huge discount on the movie!  
I know, I know... overload on mathematical equations and savings. On top of the movie deals though, Target is also having a sale on the Planes Bedding sets. (Can you tell how much time I've researched this for my little flyers??)
Plus additional 20% off Circo and Licensed Bedsets in Cartwheel.
Disney should count as a "licensed" brand. So $28 goes down to $23.74. Just in time for Christmas gifts that can be stored until time to open....

My Gevalia House Party

Three families came together last night to share in the enjoyment of friendship while sipping the delectable Gevalia Kaffe blends.
I prepared a simple party get-together where the adults could relax and sip on the coffees while the kids ran around playing together.
They are made from real milk and come in 2 easy steps. First, you open the froth packets and pour it into your coffee cup.
Simply place your cup under your single-serve machine and put the K-cup into the top.
Select the 8 ounce size, press and watch the froth swirl to the top! Give it a quick stir when its ready and be prepared for a mini break from all you are striving to accomplish. Its a two-step process that makes something complex, become easy.
I even made a chocolate cake to share.
Being a part of House Party, they sent me a party kit that had the coffee packs, coupons to give out, and some cool stencils to play with while decorating the foam!

The Caramel Macchiato was, out of the three flavors I tried, my favorite! The scent of caramel draws you in and the taste was excellent! Its not heavy on the coffee flavor, which is what I really liked. And its only slightly sweet. I also found that my younger sister was consistently stealing sips when I turned away... I think though, part of my favorite experience with this one was having the froth already added in.

The next flavor that seemed to be enjoyed, was the Mocha Latte.
I asked my dad about his opinions.
He's the family connoisseur of coffees:
Dad: (he was drinking the Mocha Latte) Smells great. My mouth felt a little dry after drinking it. I'm not used to flavored coffee.

I tried the Cappuccino flavor. I don't think I like cappuccino at all now. It was strong and bitter to me. But then, I'm not big on coffee.
Overall, we had a great night with lots of fun memories! Our kids were worn out and promptly ready for bed too. Can't get much better than that!
If you use Cartwheel, you can currently get 30% off a box of Gevalia. Just in time for the holiday parties! This offer ends November 30th though.

Reading Eggs has a free math app, but only for a short time!

Targeting Maths 2 – our motivational math app for the iPad – is available to download for FREE until November 20! Normally $8.99, your friends can also download Targeting Maths 2 for FREE – simply forward them this email!

This offer is for 48 HOURS ONLY so download Targeting Maths 2 today!
- Suitable for children aged 7-8
Includes 81 questions sets that cover 9 topics including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, patterns, shapes, measurement and much more

Multiplayer – up to 4 players can play against each other

- The combination of fun and learning will engage all children, even those that don’t think they are good at math!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Christmas is almost here....

This year has flown by far too quickly! Preparations for Thanksgiving dinner with my family, Christmas celebrations (also with my family), and the little events that fall in between - all add up to the infamous holiday season. What types of things are you planning?
This month includes a Gevalia House Party, where I'll be preparing delicious treats to serve with some gourmet blends. At the end of this month, I'll take my two sisters to the prescreening of Frozen as a girls night out sort of thing. I'm doing my best to be a better role model for them. Especially my teenage sister. I'm sure we all think we were pretty good as teens... I, however, have a journal that tells me what I really thought and did... and wow. What an attitude I sported.
Next month, I will put on my uniform and go with our Sea Cadet unit to lay wreaths on the graves on veterans. In case you haven't heard, there is a shortage on the wreaths. So if you are interested, I suggest finding someone who is hosting a fundraiser for Wreaths Across America. A reader commented this suggestion as well: "Anyone wanting to help may also contribute online. They can put down Mayport Sea Cadets or Carters. Remember this is tax deductible gift to our lost soldiers."
Our unit has been spreading the word here in St. Augustine, Florida and we will proudly assist in the honors. Following this, there will be a Christmas party for our Cadets. And then later in the month, Christmas with my family. I'm already stockpiling gifts for everyone. All the little things I've gotten for free, or nearly free, are going to make excellent stocking stuffers! Of course I'm stumped on what to do for my moms gift... Her birthday is in December before Christmas. So it has to be good.
Right now, is when reflections of times past start to hit home. Did I do well with this year? What might I have done better? I'm not going to hold on to the past, but I do believe I should better my future by seeing where I went wrong before. Its also a time to look forward to a New Year. I don't make New Years Resolutions. Let's face the music, I don't promise myself anything because I don't like breaking promises. Period. Lose those pounds in the belly area? I will try. Be a better friend, mother, daughter? I always strive for such. Eat less chocolate.... eh, no.
No matter what you are doing this season, where you will be, or how your year ends, I hope you look back and smile at all the wonderful times. I hope you see a brighter year coming. And yeah, I hope you keep reading. Especially since giveaways are coming up later this month and next...