Saturday, February 08, 2014

10 Freebies for new mothers and those of us who have earned our stripes..

One thing companies love to do is give you free samples in hopes you will love their product and become a loyal consumer. One of the best times to take advantage of the Free samples is when you are pregnant, a new mom or when you have little kids..

While you can do a web search to find these offers I thought I would list of some of the better offers and some you might not even know about.

1) Want free formula samples & coupons? Join the Similac Strong moms club. Not only will you receive emails with tips & tools about your baby's development during your pregnancy, but you will receive:

  • Free Shutterfly Pregnancy Journal photo book*, a $35 value
  • Up to $329 in membership rewards and partner offers. Also, free infant

    formula and coupons delivered to your door after your baby is born.
  • Monthly emails about baby's growth and development
  • Live nutritional support from our Feeding Expert team at 800-986-8800

2) For those of you who live in the South you can join the Publix Baby Club. You will receive coupons, newsletters and first time parents receive American Academy of Pediatrics' complete guide to raising a child, "Caring for Your Baby and Young Child"—a $20 value.

Publix also offers a Preschool pals club for children 2-4 and for pet lovers you can join their Publix Paws club.  Publix is also a member of the Upromise program. Through this program you can save money for college just by buying groceries, etc. 

3) When you head to the hospital don't forget to take your certificate for your free Gerber baby nutrition kit.  Each kit includes free samples, coupons & offers, literature and a free gift. Not sure if your hospital offers the Gerber kit? Use the hospital locator to see if yours feature the free Gerber kit.

4) It's great, it's terrific, it's the best show on earth.. It's the circus.. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Baby’s First Circus offers parents of newborns up to the age of 12 months a free ticket to a circus performance. 

5) LOVE IKEA? Then you will want to join IKEA FAMILY - the member benefits program that gives you money-saving discounts, in-store special events, insider scoops and sneak previews. And best of all, it’s FREE to join!

Some perks include:

  • Product Discounts
  • Additional discounts in our restaurant*
  • A chance to win a $100 IKEA Gift Card 
    every time you scan your card in the store**
  • FREE coffee or hot tea at 
    our restaurant*
  • More SmÃ¥land*** time for the kids—
    30 extra minutes (capacity-depending)
  • Free frozen yogurt with a 
    purchase of one at regular
    price when you pick up your
  • 90 Day Price Protection

6) Does your child LOVE lego? Join LEGO CLUB & get free issues of LEGO magazine. Each issue features:

- Exclusive content online at!!
- A monthly email newsletter with exclusive LEGO Club newsbuilding steps and contests. You can unsubscribe at anytime.
- Club Codes to unlock cool stuff on the website.

7) Another Source of free formula & coupons is the Enfamil family beginnings program.  You'll receive free gifts, coupons and information. Not expecting? New moms & those w/ toddlers are also invited to join.

8) Does your little one wear disposable diapers? Both Pampers & Huggies offer bonus point clubs. Pampers Rewards you earn points for the things you buy. These points can then be used for various rewards; free Shutterfly merchandise, toys and more.

Huggie Rewards also offers you points to cash in for rewards. You can enter sweepstakes, shop the reward catalog and use your points to help moms in need receive diapers. 

9) Other grocery stores have Baby Clubs you can join. Here are just a few you can check out.

These are just a few of the many things available for FREE on the internet. Do you know of any good freebies? Site you want to share? Let me know..I'd love to check them out.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Toddler in the dark? Help them reach the moon..

My 2 year old has been potty trained for a while now. Yet, she refuses to use it by herself because she is afraid of the dark bathroom & she is too short to turn on and off the bathroom light. She has a stool that she uses to climb on the potty, so we thought perhaps she could use that to turn on the light. However, that takes TOO much time. She has to move the stool to the switch, turn on the light & then move the stool back to the potty. By the time she has done all of this it is too late & an accident had occurred. 

So I set out to find an alternative way of her turning on the light unassisted. After checking some parent sites & googling the topic I stumbled upon the "KidSwitch". It's a glow in the dark light switch extender that allows your toddler to turn on and off the light by themselves. The description said, "KidSwitch can be installed and used on any single, double, triple,or more toggle or decora style switch plate. (For decora switches, the adapter is required).​

"KidSwitch"  extends down 12" from the switch, allowing toddlers to safely reach and operate room lights.​"

I was SO excited that I had found something that would allow her to use the potty w/ out having to wait for help from someone else. However, that excitement soon fizzled out when I received the package in the mail, opened it & headed right to the bathroom to install it. 

The "KidSwitch" is designed to go on a light switch which flips on and off vertically. However, the switch in our bathroom turns on and off horizontally. Sigh.. Imagine my disappointment.. Here I thought I found the answer only to be denied a solution. 

Now what? I began to look for a place in the house where the "KidSwitch"  would function properly and that my 2 yo would need to turn on/off the light. It had never crossed my mind this wouldn't work for what I needed it for. Since we have an older house, many of the switches in the house while flipping vertically on/off, are difficult to turn operate due to their age. After combing the house for just the right switch, which fit all the above criteria, we decided upon a bedroom light switch. 

Following the simple instructions I installed the "KidSwitch"  on the light switch cover and over the toggle switch. I removed the existing switch plate screws, and replace them with the "KidSwitch"  screw sets.​ The whole installation only required a screwdriver. To operate it simply push the moon handle up or down. 

I was worried that maybe because the original switch was so high off the ground that she wouldn't be able to reach it, but that was not a problem. It was easy for her to use and she was quick to figure it out. 

While it didn't work for my initial intention, I think it's a great solution to avoid dangerous climbing by toddlers. If the switch in our bathroom would have be a vertical one it certainly would have solved our bathroom issue.. Now I have a new problem.. my 2 yo can't decide if the light should be on or off.. :)

To learn more about or purchase the KidSwitch visit @ their website: 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Healthified Sausage-Stuffed Shells


jumbo pasta shells (from 12-oz box)
lb lean Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
container (15 oz) light ricotta cheese
cups shredded reduced-fat Italian cheese blend (8 oz)
box (9 oz) Green Giant® frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
teaspoon dried basil leaves
cup finely shredded carrots (1 medium)
jar (25.5 oz) Muir Glen® organic Italian herb pasta sauce

  • Step1Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package, omitting salt.
  • Step2In 10-inch nonstick skillet, crumble sausage. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until no longer pink; drain.
  • Step3In medium bowl, stir ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the Italian cheese blend, the spinach and basil until well mixed. Stir in carrots and sausage.
  • Step4Spread about 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce over bottom of baking dish. Spoon about 3 tablespoonfuls sausage mixture into each pasta shell. Arrange shells, filled sides up, on sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining pasta sauce over stuffed shells. Spray 15-inch piece of foil with cooking spray; cover shells with foil.
  • Step5Bake 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup Italian cheese blend. Bake uncovered 5 to 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
    • Prep Time 30 min
    • Total Time 1 hr 20 min
    • Servings 12

16 weeks and counting...

By some of the changes being made to my blog, (like the name) I am in fact pregnant once again. This will be #7 for us. It's always exciting when a new little one is on the way, it's also a shock to the system after having moved away from the "baby" stage to the toddler. The thought of starting all over can be overwhelming, but as soon as the new little one arrives it just all falls back into place. 

I'm trying to get everything ready ahead of time & to get rid of the excess kid clothes/stuff that we just don't need. The only thing that is really holding me back is we don't know yet, what gender the baby will be. So I don't want to purge the girl clothes & then we have a new sister in the house... 

This has been a different pregnancy. I have spent much of the time tired & feeling sick to my stomach. Seems like this baby is a picky eater. Also things just don't taste the same, things I would normally love are off limits & things I wouldn't normally eat seem to be more included in my diet. 

I think one of the hardest things is to decide on a name for the baby. I always try to find a name that isn't mainstream, something that is classy, traditional & most of all unique. This time seems to be difficult because many of the names I may have considered in the past have moved back to being mainstream. 

Anyways, that is just is just some thoughts, etc about what is currently going on w/ me.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Healthified Hearty Vegetable Beef Stew

From LiveBetterAmerica

320 fewer calories • 80% less sat fat than the original recipe. At last, a nutritious, veggie packed stew that won't have you asking "where's the beef?"

Healthified Hearty Vegetable Beef Stew


Nonstick cooking spray
pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat
ounces tiny new potatoes, quartered
medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
medium onion, cut into wedges
can (10.75 oz) reduced-fat and reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup
cup lower-sodium beef broth
teaspoon dried marjoram or dried thyme, crushed
cups frozen cut green beans (about 9 ounces)


  • Step1Cut beef into 1-inch cubes. Coat an unheated large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat over medium-high heat. Add half of the beef cubes. Cook and stir until browned; remove from skillet. Add remaining beef cubes; cook and stir until browned. Drain off fat from beef.
  • Step2Place beef in a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Add potatoes, carrots, onion, cream of mushroom soup, beef broth, and marjoram. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 41/2 hours.
  • Step3If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in green beans. Cover and cook about 30 minutes more or just until green beans are tender.
    • Prep Time 30 min
    • Total Time 9 hr 0 min
    • Servings 6