Monday, February 18, 2008

Sharing Time . . .

Are you hungry?
I'm always hungry . . . or so it seems. I had to share. I LOVE Hungry Girl's web site. If you need to lose a few pounds, a lot of pounds, are a Weight Watcher's point person, or just want to eat healthier, you've got to check them out (NO, I swear I am not getting paid for this . . . well, unless someone wants to send me some money). Anyway, they have a great newsletter with "Eat This, Not That" suggestions, news (such as the whole sweetener alternative controversy), recipe alternatives, and one of my favorites, dieting/healthy/alternative food reviews. They also give you the in on great deals on food and the related including coupons, freebies, and more.

Anyway, why am I telling you this? Because I am desperate to get in shape (more on the reason for my desperation--then again, aren't we all a little desperate in this area?--in a later post). (unique gifts, accessories, great deals, home products, and more) is offering free shipping to Hungry Girls. Just enter HGDelight when you check out! The offer ends this Friday. Oh, and click HERE for a buy one get one free coupon Atkins Advantage bars.

Care to win a trip?
Wanna get fit and maybe win a trip to a resort in Mexico? Well, Self is having a contest. What motivation! I'm so big on incentives. And, you know, that whole "I worked out for an hour, I deserve a brownie" philosophy just isn't working. REGISTER for the three-month fit plan and enter the contest!


Want a FREE new car?
OK, this one goes against my healthy theme, but who cares . . . it is American Idol! You can win a Ford Focus and a trip to the AI finale by entering the Pringles Sweeps. There is a tag line on the site that says, "Both Pringles and American Idol promote and support healthy living habits." Hmmm, so maybe I haven't strayed too far from my healthy them after all.

Want FREE stuff?
Have I told you about MyPoints? How many of you are members? If not, you need to be! In the interest of full disclosure, yeah, I might make a few bucks if you sign up through me--but what is really important is that I have been a member for nearly 8 years and in that time I have accumulated hundreds of dollars in gift certificates. I usually opt for Walmart, but I've earned gift certificates to Old Navy, Olive Garden, Amazon, and others! I even used some for Christmas gifts). Believe it or not, it doesn't take long to accumulate points either. First off, it is totally FREE to join and if you don't mind clicking on links in e-mail messages, taking a few surveys, and using them as a gateway to your favorite shopping sites (sometimes you can earn up to 10 points per dollar spent!) then you have to try it! Join MyPoints NOW!

Can you really RENT this stuff?
OK, I time for a "Why the heck didn't I think of that" moment. I was watching the Today show and there is this mom (one SMART mama!) who RENTS toys in the same way Netflix rents DVDs. According to the news segment, there is a cost savings of up to $300 a year (and that is if you are like the average parents who spent upwards of $1000 a year in toys). The site is called Baby Plays. Here's how it works--you visit the site, choose toys to put on your wish list, once you receive them have junior play with them for 30 days or longer, and then ship them back. They provide the tape and label and you use the same box--the only downfall is having to take them to a UPS store. The toys are sanitized, lead-tested, kid-tested (to get the very best toys), shrink-wrapped before you get them!

Here are the plans:

Plan: Silver
Description: 4 Toys per month
Commitment Length: 3 Months
Rate: $36.99

*Considering you will spent an average of $15 per toy, this is a savings of nearly 50%. THAT is if you buy four ($60) toys a month. Regardless, the $36.99 price tag is still a little hard to swallow. But, then again, maybe that is because I buy one toy at a time so I don't see the total cost, which probably closes in on $50+ a month.

Plan: Gold
Description: 6 Toys per month
Commitment Length: 3 Months
Rate: $47.99

Plan: Gold Plus
Description: 6 Toys per month
Commitment Length: 12 Months
Rate: $42.99

Plan: Platinum - Best Value
Description: 10 Toys per month
Commitment Length: 3 Months
Rate: $64.99

Since I'm still working with baby shower toys and toys from friends/family, I haven't had to spend too much just yet, but every time I go to the toy store I get sticker shock. I mean $10 here and $25 there can really add up! I'm all for him playing with my Tupperware and other household toys, but some of these toys are COOL! The jury is still out on this one. If you try it or know someone who has or is (the site just started last October) let us know if it is worth it.

THANK YOU!!! Thanks to all those who voted for me at Rebecca's Writer's Round-About! And a big thanks to Rebecca for hosting it. I won second place which is a . . . drum roll please . . . $50 gift certificate to AMAZON! Woo hoo!!! In the spirit of happiness and charity, I think I may have to hold a contest of my own! I LOVE winning stuff so much (I've won two contests since I started blogging--before that, the only thing I had ever won was a He Man action figure from Bubblicious gum--not kidding--and yes, I proudly claimed my prize.) that I have to share the joy. Stay tuned for details!

And another big THANKS!

Pam at Random Thoughts gave me this lovely bouquet! I simply adore her blog. She's a teacher, like me, and has two adorable children, like me but minus one. Her little boy turned 10 months today! I can't imagine J at 10 months, but then again, I couldn't imagine him at 6 months!

I have to pass these on to Rebecca at Writer's Round-About for hosting that fabulous contest. She is so bright and her site is a must-visit for writers.

Also, I pass this on to Swishy from Waiting for My Real Life to Begin. I LOVE her posts--they make me laugh and go "hmmm..."! She has such a cool perspective on life--and her observations are hilarious!

And finally, although Cecily over at My Chaos My Bliss has enough visitors and awards to choke an elephant, what the heck is one more? She deserves it! So, here's a bouquet from me! She is AWESOME and I love, love, love pics of her little cuties!


Lori said...

love the bits and pieces! check out my blog later (I tagged you!)

Kat said...

Holy buckets! That is a lot of giveaways. Thank for the info!

Congrats on your award! You are a fab bloggy friend! :)

Maria said...

I just saw that toy place on the Today Show this morning! And I'm going to check out that Hungry Girls site.

Rosie said...

Wow! So many recommended blogs. I'm off to check them out. I think I may be becoming addicted to the blogosphere.There are worse things to be addicted to I guess but very little is getting done around the house these days!

PS Thanks for visiting me on the Buzz, I'm really enjoying the community.

Better go!

Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

Aww, thank you so much for the beautiful flowers! You truly earned your prize with a wonderful entry and promotion. :-) Congratulations!

Rebecca Laffar-Smith
The Writer's Round-About

girlymom said...

I saw the toy exchange thing on the Today Show today...isn't that concept kinda like the difference between renting a house vs. buying- you still pay for the stuff, but in the end have nothing to show for it. ??? I guess I need to look into it more because I don't get it. I guess if you are buying toys full price then it would be a good deal...Hmmmm

Congrats on your award~ I always enjoy coming to visit you!

Kamis Khlopchyk said...

Congrats on the award! You are one of my new favourites.

The toy renting sounds great... that way the ones that the kids don't like (99% of what is cluttering up my house) would go and new things would come in...that's gotta be better for the environment too.


Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

I think, depending on your child's attention span it could work out cheaper than buying toys. Kids tend to have new favorite toys every couple of months and toys can pile up or become dated.

My problem would be the likelyhood that these 'rented' toys would get broken or not be cared for. When they're toys I've bought I don't mind my kids destroying them (of course I'd prefer they don't) but rented toys belong to someone else.

That's why we don't bring books home from the library or use the toy mobile. I'd rather spend that little bit extra to own the toy, then if it survives until my kids move onto something else I can donate it to charity, resell it, or put it away until the next phase or next child.

david mcmahon said...

I went to a boarding school and despite the fact that I am now an adult (ostensibly) I am always hungry!!

Fruit is always close at hand, though!!

Aliki2006 said...

50 bucks to Amazon! Congrats to you--what great news!!

Pam said...

Wow! This was a great post full of lots of fabulous information! And thanks for the kind words! You are too sweet! I never win bloggy contest, but I still love to try! So I am excited to see what you have up your sleeve!

Pam said...

Wow! This was a great post full of lots of fabulous information! And thanks for the kind words! You are too sweet! I never win bloggy contest, but I still love to try! So I am excited to see what you have up your sleeve!

Texasholly said...

What fun stuff!

OHmommy said...

Congrats on your awards!

I just saw that baby plays website on TV this morning. Sounds interesting.

Karen said...

Congrats on the award! And thanks for the tip on the food site. As a dieter it's extremely helpful.

Wineplz said...

renting toys, huh? might have to look into that.

oh, and I tagged you at my site. :)

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Wow, what a great compilation of information and giveaways! Congrats on the bling. Woot woot!

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Thanks for all the wonderful and inspiring links!

huddtoo said...

Ok, how are pringles healthy??? The fat free ones will give you the big D if you eat to many. The full fat ones probably aren't all that good for you. But, if I could get a free car out of the deal, I suppose I could call them healthy! hehe

Not sure on the toy rental thing. What if you don't want to send it back? LOL "You've traumatized my child because he wants his toy back but it's out and I can't find it in the store to buy" hehe Although, even on the silver plan, I don't spend that much a year in toys for my kids. However, it is a great way to not have to figure out what to do with the junk after your kids have grown out of them! :)

Congrats on the awards! Whoo Hoo on the Amazon GC!! You deserve them!

Cecily R said...

Heeee. Choke and elephant! You're funny. And sweet. Thank you so much!! Congrats on your awards and rewards too!

Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

@ huddtoo: Well they must work like my local library, if you've "lost" a toy they charge a replacement fee. If I find a book at the library I love and can't bare to give up but can't find a copy to buy then I claim it as "lost" and pay the replacement cost. It is a little more than if I'd been able to buy my own copy from the shop but I'm all for supporting my libraries new book budget.

Opps, should I not admit to that?

xxxx said...

Awwwww!! I am so flattered! That is so sweet. Thank you so much!!

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