Archives for March 2010

Kewlbites.com – Get Healthy, Be "Kewl" (Review)

As a mom of 5, I want my kids to be healthy. I want them to eat right, get plenty of exercise, and get the recommended 8 – 10 hours of sleep every night, and I want them to make the right choices in everything they do. (I’m not asking too much, right?)

Luckily, Reed Alexander (“Nevel Paperman” on Nickelodeon’s popular show “iCarly”), has created an interactive site called KewlBites.com that offers kids “bites” of healthy information, including how to eat well, the importance of exercise and rest, and additional information to help them make the right choices about their health.

Here are some facts you need to know:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17% of American children ages 2-19, are overweight and according to kidshealth.org “the percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate, with 1 out of 3 kids now considered overweight or obese.”

With these alarming statistics for children and teens, now is the time for a site like Kewlbites.com

Some information on Kewlbites.com:

With Kewlbites.com, families can adopt “KEWL” new healthy recipes, eating tips and exercises that worked for Reed. A bonus…kids and parents can spend time together learning on kewbites.com.   Tweens and teens can become empowered by having kewbites.com as their destination of choice to start their healthy lifestyle. Through the site kids will learn that living a healthier lifestyle filled with nutritious foods and exercise can be rewarding, fun, and easy.

Reed Alexander is known for his role as “Nevel Paperman” on Nicklodeon’s popular show “iCarly”. He recently lost weight (15 lbs) on a diet plan that he created for himself and he was so inspired by his own success that he decided to reach out to other tweens/teens via the Internet to share his knowledge.

My Review of Kewlbites.com
I took some time to look around KewlBites.com and was quite impressed with what I saw. It’s a fun, interactive site that really gets kids in on the action and excited about being healthy.

My favorite section of the site is where they’ve got the kewl recipes posted. I can’t wait to try some of those with my kids. (I’m making the turkey lettuce wraps for lunch today!)

I let Ashley play around on the site for awhile, and asked her what she thought. She told me that she learned a lot about why she should eat healthy and how important it is to get exercise every single day. She also told me that she learned she shouldn’t skip meals or go for a long time without eating. (I’ve been telling her that for months, but it took this website for her to finally get it.)

Here’s an Overview of Kewlbites.com:

Nutritional bites: bites of information about healthy foods and nutrition
Kewl at School: Tips for eating healthy during the school day, ranging from the importance of breakfast to delicious healthy snacks to the virtues of lunchtime favorites, and more.
Mini Bites: Bites of information about various topics: sleep, doctor visits, related categories that naturally compliment and play in a central role in living a healthy lifestyle.
Kewl Recipes: Delicious healthy recipes and tips
Exercise Tid Bites: Great exercise tips that can involve the entire family.

Kids can learn tons of really great stuff just by visiting KewlBites.com. Overall, I am quite impressed with the kewlbites website and will let Ash stop by and visit as often as she likes. Kewlbites.com, you’ve earned the 5 Vinez Monkeys seal of approval. Thanks for helping me keep my kids just a little bit healthier!

Please note: Reed Alexander is NOT a recognized nutritionist. His goal is to share this weight loss vision with other tween/teens who are struggling with their weight and body image. Following along the lines of First Lady Michelle Obama’s vision of healthier American children Reeds hopes that his message resonates with his young fans and their parents that this is the year for  “a healthier and happy KEWL NEW YOU”! 

Disclaimer: I was contacted by Much and House Public Relations on behalf of kewlbites.com. I asked to check out the website and share my thoughts with my readers. I was in no way compensated for this post. Please note that the thoughts and opinions expressed above are strictly my own, and other users my have different results or opinions when using the website.

Wordless Wednesday: Flashback to 1999

(That’s me and Ashley many moons ago!)

If you’re participating in Wordless Wednesday, sign in here:

Spread Easter Cheer with Bunny Pancakes and Aunt Jemima! (Closed – Winners Posted)

Live Giveaway – Closed – Winners Announced Below

This year, you can make a fun and festive Easter breakfast in minutes! Hop into the kitchen and get creative making bunny shaped pancakes even the tiniest pair of hands in your family can help decorate. Aunt Jemima Frozen Pancakes make it possible for even the most novice cooks or time-starved parents to prepare a warm, delicious Easter themed breakfast. 

Aunt Jemima Frozen Pancakes has a variety for every family member including Homestyle, Buttermilk, Low Fat Buttermilk, Whole Grain, Mini, Blueberry and the newest flavor in the frozen pancake family –Confetti. Aunt Jemima Frozen Pancakes can be found on store shelves across the country for a suggested retail price of $2.59.

For a fun way to bring Easter cheer to the breakfast table, try this tasty Easter Bunny pancake design. For more information on Aunt Jemima Frozen, log onto http://www.auntjemimafrozen.com/.

Easter Bunny Pancake
Ingredients
  • 1 Aunt Jemima Frozen Pancakes
  • 2 slices of cantaloupe
  • 2 blueberries
  • 1 strawberry
  • 1 teaspoon syrup
  • 2 mini marshmallows
Directions
1.)    Heat up 1 Aunt Jemima Frozen Pancake
2.)    Cut two thin slices of cantaloupe for the ears, fold over the tip of one slice to make the floppy ear
3.)    Add two blueberries for the eyes
4.)    Cut a strawberry in half and place flat side down for the nose
5.)    Drizzle syrup for the mouth
6.)    Add two mini marshmallows for the teeth

This is a fun, easy way to get your kids to eat more fruit! My kids wouldn’t touch cantaloupe until I made these pancakes. Now they’ve discovered how tasty it is, and they want more! The bunny pancakes are super easy to make and too cute for words. Plus, you can mix things up and let the kids make their own creations and silly faces. And with Aunt Jemima, there’s no mixing or messy clean up. Who doesn’t love that?

I want you to have as much fun as I did, so I’m going to give 2 lucky winners 2 coupons each of the Aunt Jemima® products needed to make these too-cute bunny face pancakes.

Since this is a live giveaway,we’re going to make things easy – and fun!

To Enter: You MUST visit the Aunt Jemima® website. Then, come back here and leave a comment telling me one other product you would like to try.

Once you have done that, you can earn extra entries by doing any of the following:

  • Tweet about the giveaway. (Leave a link)
  • Spread the word on Facebook about the giveaway. (Leave a link)
  • Email 3 friends, telling them about the giveaway. (Make sure you BCC me in that email: angie {at} 5vinezmonkeys {dot} com.)

Once you have shared the giveaway (doesn’t matter how), you can leave as many comments as you want, BUT, the comments have to revolve around Aunt Jemima®. (Talk about pancakes, waffles, or how Aunt Jemima products make your life easier.) Just keep it family friendly, and follow the rules.

At 3pm EST, I will end the giveaway and lock the post. Then, I’ll head to Random.org and pick 2 winners. (Make sure you have a valid email address in your profile or your comment.) I’ll post the winners below, and will send an email to the winners. You will have until tomorrow morning at 8am EST to claim your prize.

Ready? Set. Go!

Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for this post. I was contacted by a rep from Bender Hammerling Group on behalf of Aunt Jemima®. They will be fulfilling the winner’s prizes.

Random.org picked the following numbers:

Here are your random numbers:
28 33

Timestamp: 2010-03-31 19:11:28 UTC

Congratulations to our winners………

#28 Rebecca O said… I like their Whole Grains pancakes the best.

#33 Stephanie said… Tweet: http://twitter.com/sgrant2005/status/11379316747
 



“Hello Cupcake!™” Easter Eggs from Duncan Hines (Closed – Winners Posted)

Live Giveaway – Closed – Winners Announced Below

This spring, say goodbye to frost and hello to frosting with delicious desserts. Transform your traditional Easter celebration into an even sweeter experience with creative treats the whole family will enjoy baking and indulging in together. Duncan Hines® helps you create delicious family moments with decadent recipes even the tiniest pair of hands in your family can help make. Baking at home with family creates unforgettable moments and fills the holidays with that priceless feeling of togetherness.

These versatile recipes are perfect for your Easter breakfasts, brunches, or desserts and enable you to entertain on a shoestring. Store-bought sweets can be expensive, and economic times call for easy and budget-friendly ideas. Below is just one recipe that is sure to bring Easter cheer to the table. (For more fun, tasty recipes, check out the Duncan Hines® website.

“HELLO  CUPCAKE!™” EASTER EGGS

Created by the authors of the popular cupcake decorating book Hello Cupcake!™. This is a fun Easter project to make with the kids or with your baking friends. All it takes are easy-to-find ingredients, fun food dye colors and delicious frosting. Easter Egg Cupcakes aren’t hard to make — but they’re sure to impress as gifts, or to decorate your holiday table.

Ingredients:

Baking Instructions:

  1. Tint 2 cups of the frosting light green. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the light green frosting into a zippered plastic bag. Tint 1/2 cup each of vanilla frosting pink, light blue, light purple, orange, and yellow. Spoon 2 tablespoons each into zippered plastic bags. Press out the excess air in each of the bags, seal, and set aside.
  2. Using a serrated knife, trim the graham crackers into an egg shape 3 1/2 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Snip a small corner (1/4 inch) from the bag with the 1 1/2 cups of green frosting and pipe a small dollop on top of each cupcake and place a graham cracker on top, pressing down to secure. The cracker will hang over the edge of the cupcake. Freeze the cupcakes for 10 to 15 minutes to set.
  3. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of each tinted frosting into a separate microwavable bowl. Working with one color at a time, microwave the frosting, stirring frequently, until it is the texture of lightly whipped cream, 20 to 30 seconds. Holding a chilled cupcake by the paper liner dip the graham cracker into the melted frosting to coat, turn right side up and let stand. Continue with all of the cupcakes and graham crackers making two eggs of each color.
  4. Snip very small corners (1/8 inch) from the bags with the 2 tablespoons of frosting. Pipe decorative dots, lines, and dashes on top of the frosting-coated crackers. Using the bag with the 1 1/2 cups of light green frosting, pipe dots of frosting around base of each egg always pulling the peak away from the egg (be sure to cover any exposed cupcake).
  5. While the frosting is still wet add candy decors to create decorative patterns.

I recently tested out this recipe on my kids, and while mine weren’t near as pretty as what’s pictured above, they did taste great! The kids loved them, and we all had so much fun making them together.

Now, I want to spread the same joy to you and your family. I’m going to give 2 lucky winners the Duncan Hines® ingredients needed to make these super-delicious cupcakes.

Since this is a live giveaway,we’re going to make things easy – and fun!

To Enter: You MUST visit the Duncan Hines® website. Then, come back here and leave a comment telling me one other recipe you would like to try.

Once you have done that, you can earn extra entries by doing any of the following:

  • Tweet about the giveaway. (Leave a link)
  • Spread the word on Facebook about the giveaway. (Leave a link)
  • Email 3 friends, telling them about the giveaway. (Make sure you BCC me in that email: angie {at} 5vinezmonkeys {dot} com.)

Once you have shared the giveaway (doesn’t matter how), you can leave as many comments as you want, BUT, the comments have to revolve around Duncan Hines®. (Talk about cupcakes, talk about frosting, talk about things you’ve made with your kids using to Duncan Hines®.) Just keep it family friendly, and follow the rules.

At 3pm EST, I will end the giveaway and lock the post. Then, I’ll head to Random.org and pick 2 winners. (Make sure you have a valid email address in your profile or your comment.) I’ll post the winners below, and will send an email to the winners. You will have until tomorrow morning at 8am EST to claim your prize.

Ready? Set. Go!

Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for this post. I was contacted by a rep from Bender Hammerling Group on behalf of Duncan Hines®. They will be fulfilling the winner’s prizes.

Random.org picked the following numbers:

Here are your random numbers:
23 28

Timestamp: 2010-03-31 19:05:54 UTC

Congratulations to our winners………

#23  Atreau said… I’d like to try the Butterscotch Spice Cookie recipe.

#28ladcraig said…  Sunshine Lemon Bars look delicious!

Congratulations! Check your email soon!

Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel on DVD


This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Alvin and the Chipmunks. All opinions are 100% mine.
Visit my sponsor: Alvin and the Chipmunks:

My kids are huge fans of Alvin and the Chipmunks. They absolutely loved the first movie, and I will never forget catching Jace sing “Don’t You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me” at church one evening. I grew up watching Alvin and the Chipmunks on tv, and their cartoon was one of my favorites. I owned all their records and cassette tapes. (Gosh, I’m old!) I even had a stuffed Alvin doll that sat on my bed all the time. I loved that silly little toy. Years later, it’s funny to see how far the Chipmunks have come, and I love that my kids love Alvin and the Chipmunks as much as I did when I was their age.

 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel is available for purchase. You can get it on DVD, Blu-Ray or Digital Download. (Click here to buy it now.) Since no one in my family has seen it yet, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy! I figured this would make the perfect Easter basket stuffer, especially since the Easter Bunny won’t be bringing candy to our house this year.

I ended up purchasing the Double DVD Pack available that includes The Squeak Along bonus disc. Since my 3 year old, Lucy, is such a performer, I knew it would be perfect for her. And at just a couple of dollars more than the single dvd, it didn’t break the bank, and I’m certain it will bring hours of laughter and enjoyment to all the kids.

If you want even More Munk Mayhem, you need to head over to http://www.foxfamilyflicks.com. They’ve got games, activities, and tons more. Your kids will be entertained for hours.

You can also head to http://www.munkyourself.com and Munk Yourself. This is a hoot! My kids are having way too much fun making new chipmunks over and over again. Here’s the chipmunk I created:

I can’t wait to see the look on my kids’ faces when they see what the Easter Bunny brought them this year! And I know what we’ll be watching together Sunday night!

I’m A Medela Mom Maven!

I found out this morning that I have been selected to be a Medela Mom Maven. How exciting!

So what does that mean for you? Well, it means that I want to help you learn to breastfeed and pump successfully.

It’s not easy. I know. I’ve breastfed 4 of my children, and I’ve had complications, struggles, and lots of joy in all of my years of breastfeeding. I’m actually still nursing Parker, because he refuses to wean. But, I have to look at the bright side and realize that every ounce of breastmilk he gets is doing him good.

Here are some of the benefits of breastfeeding:

  • Research shows breastfed babies have a reduced risk of:

    • Respiratory-tract infections
    • Ear infections
    • Asthma
    • Food allergy
    • Obesity
    • Lymphoma
    • Diabetes
    • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Breastfeeding helps a mom’s uterus return to its pre-pregnancy state more quickly
  • Breastfeeding decreases the risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis for moms
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months, and continuing to provide breastmilk for at least the first year

For more information visit: http://usbreastfeeding.org/Issue-Papers/Benefits.pdf or http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;115/2/496#SEC6

If you ever have any questions about breastfeeding, pumping, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact me.I want to encourage you and support you all in any way that I can. I may also start a new section of the blog that’s completely devoted to breastfeeding – or I may start a new blog altogether that’s all about breastfeeding, pumping, and being successful. Which would you prefer to see?

I’m excited to be a part of this wonderful program that Medala has started.

Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own.

Speed Up Your Computer with System Mechanic (Closed)

Has your computer become so slow that you turn it on in the morning, grab a cup a coffee and a shower, and then come back to find out it’s still not up and running yet? There is nothing more frustrating than sitting and waiting for your computer to get done “thinking” and complete a task. But who can afford to rush out and just buy a new computer in this economy?

Lucky for us, there’s a product out there that’s designed to help speed up and maintain our computers. It’s called System Mechanic.


More about System Mechanic (from their website) :

System Mechanic is a software designs to clean, fix, speed up, and maintain PCs so they run like new forever. Currently the #1 best selling PC tune-up product, the software combines more than 40 robust tools enabling novices and experts alike to clean out their computers and keep them in peak condition. It is essentially getting three brand new computers for under $50. It has won numerous awards and has helped over 23 million users worldwide experience that new PC feeling, over and over again.

My Review of System Mechanic

I received a free download of SSystem Mechanic to test out and see what I thought. It took just minutes to install. Let me interject and tell you that my computer is not that old. In fact, it will celebrate it’s first birthday early next month. But, the silly thing crashes all the time, and there are days when I will wait forever for it to complete one simple task. It is extremely frustrating, and this busy mom of 5 just doesn’t always want to deal with it.

I installed and ran System Mechanic – which was really easy to do. As soon as I opened the program, it asked me to run a quick analysis of my computer. It only took a few minutes, and it found 6 big problems. Then, it offered the solution to fix those problems. With one click, I was able to repair those problems in just minutes. (Note: The picture to the left is a screenshot of the issues it found on my computer.)

I rebooted my computer, and WOW! It was like I’d just pulled this thing out of the box and hooked it back up. My internet is faster, programs are saving faster, and – knock on wood – I haven’t crashed my computer once. I can’t believe how easy it was for System Mechanic to resolve the problems and get my computer zipping along again. No more waiting around for my computer, I’ve got things to do!


Overall, I am quite impressed with System Mechanic, and would recommend this product to anyone who is frustrated with a slow computer. I can’t believe the difference it’s made on my system. System Mechanic has made my week, and I’m proud to award it the 5 Vinez Monkeys Seal of Approval.

Want to Try System Mechanic for Yourself?
To Buy: You can purchase System Mechanic on their website 24/7. It sells for $49.95, but a little birdie told me that they are always having some kind of a special on there. (For example, at the time this post is being published, it’s on sale for $39.95!)

You Can WIN! That’s right! I’ve got FIVE (5) copies of System Mechanic that I can give away. Want to speed up your computer and get on with your life? Then you need to enter this giveaway!

To Enter
Head over to System Mechanic’s website and take a look around. Then, come back here and leave a comment telling me why this product would help you out.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win.

Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway by copying and pasting the following (5 extra entries) :


    No one likes a slow computer. But who can afford to buy a new computer every time their current machine starts to slow down? Angie at 5 Vinez Monkeys and 
    System Mechanic have teamed up to give 5 lucky readers a copy of System Mechanic to help refresh their current machines and get them running like new again. If you’re tired of waiting for your computer to finish the job, stop by before 11:59pm ET on April 21st, get all the details, and enter to win this fantastic giveaway!

  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries. Subscribing to feed in a reader no longer counts.)
  • **New** Write a review of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Alexa. (3 extra entries. Leave your Alexa profile name, please.)
  • Follow 5 Vinez Monkeys on twitter. (Leave your twitter id here, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY.)
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
  • Add me as a Friend on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please! If we’re already friends, give yourself the extra point.)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted.)
  • Click any of the buttons at the bottom of the post to share this giveaway. (Unlimited – Just let me know which one{s} you shared through.)

Fine Print: Contest is open to ALL. If you already do any of the above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete. However, you must first leave the required comment as stated above. Giveaway will end on April 21st at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Disclaimer: I was contacted by a representative of iolo, the makers of System Mechanic. They provided the free download for my honest and unbiased review, and they will be fulfilling the winners’ prizes as well. I was in no other way compensated for this post, and the free products in no way influenced my opinion of the product. Others my have different results or opinions after using this product.

Please note: Survey Bonus Entries may ONLY be used in ONE Giveaway.

Tropicana Juicy Rewards: Claimed My 3 Point Reward

TropicanaI posted a couple of weeks ago that I’m a Juicy Insider in the Tropicana Juicy Rewards program thanks to Mom Central and Tropicana.

During my time in the program, I’ve racked up 23 points. (12 of those points were courtesy of Mom Central and Tropicana.) I’ve been anxious to start spending those points and reaping the reward of the program.

I was a little disappointed over the lack of rewards in my area. In fact, many of the friends that I’ve talked about with the program were also disappointed that there just wasn’t anything near us. I honestly couldn’t be too surprised, though, because I do live in a very rural area.

Luckily, there are some fantastic websites participating in the Tropicana Juicy Rewards program including Coleman and Adidas. I ended up claiming a 3 point reward for 15% off of any purchase on the Coleman website. (Not including sale items.)

As a mom of 5, I keep safety as a top priority. That includes always having a First Aid Kit in the car or diaper bag at all time. My first aid supplies were starting to run low, so I knew exactly what I was going to purchase. I opted for the Medium First Aid Kit. Priced at just $14.99, and full of safety essentials, I knew it was exactly what I needed to replenish my first aid kit that I keep in the car. Better yet, the Juicy Reward points I redeemed brought my total down to just $12.74. I love saving money!

And look at everything I’ll get in this kit:
First Aid Kit(10) mini bandages;
(10) 3/4″ x 3″ bandages;
(1) extra large bandage;
(2) knuckle bandage;
(1) 1/2″ tape roll;
(2) gauze pad;
(2) large gauze pad;
(10) prep pad;
(6) towelette;
(1) tweezers;
(1) scissors;
(2) gloves;
(1) carabiner and carry case

Everything I’ll need to have on hand, just in case. I got a fabulous product at a really great price.

So, see. Even if there aren’t a ton of option for things to do in the area, there are still some great deals that you can get thanks to the Tropicana Juicy Rewards program.

TropicnaIf you haven’t signed up yet, let me encourage you to do so. It’s really easy to do, and I’ll even give you a code that will help you get your first point.

Here’s how to register and get your bonus point:

  • Head to www.tropicana.com
  • Set up your Tropicana Juicy Rewards account. (It only takes a minute!)
  • Click on the “Enter Codes” link on the site, and insert the code MOMCE-NTRAL

Please note:  This one-time use code is valid for new accounts ONLY, and it must be entered within 6 hours of creating your account.

And don’t forget to Follow and fan Tropicana on Facebook and Twitter:

In a few weeks, I’ll tell you how I spent my next set of points. And if you get a really great deal thanks to the Juicy Rewards Program, I want to hear about it!

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in the Tropicana Juicy Insiders Ambassador program by Mom Central on behalf of Tropicana. I received 12 free Juicy Rewards points and a $50 Visa gift card to use in redemption of the points and to facilitate my review.

A Step Above Stables (Closed)

My oldest daughter, Ashley, loves horses. She swears up and down that her first job will be at a stable taking care of horses. Living in the North Georgia mountains, we have some of the most beautiful trails and land you’ve ever seen. Taking in the sites on horseback is truly an experience you will never forget.

That’s why I’m so excited to offer up this giveaway to those of you in the North GA mountain area courtesy of A Step Above Stables.

Here’s some information about A Step Above Stables:

A Step Above Stables is the PREMIER full service horse facility, offering a wide variety of services. From instruction in riding techniques, to boarding, trail riding, breeding, showing & sales. We sell OVER 100 Quality horses per year & offer the BEST guarantee in the business.

Nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Georgia, our 90 acre 25,000 square foot facility is located just 4.5 miles north west of Blairsville, Ga off Hwy 19/129 N. Our knowledgeable & courteous staff can help you meet your equestrian goals, whether for a leisurely afternoon trail ride or consistent training for competition.

Some of the services we provide:

Come experience the difference and you will see why they call us “A Step Above.”

Want to Try A Step Above Stables for Yourself?
You can always set up an appointment for your own trail ride. Contact A Step Above Stables today:
3839 South Mauney Road
Blairsville, GA 30512
(706) 745-9051
(706) 994-9100
www.astepabovestables.com

You Can WIN! I get to pull 4 lucky winners for this giveaway. Here’s what you can win:

  • 1 Hour Trail Ride for Beginners for 2 people. (2 winners)
  • 2 Hour Trail Ride for those who have ridden a bit before. (2 winners)

Also, the winners can bring up to 2 friends along for the trail ride, and those friends can ride for 1/2 off. (That’s just $15/each for the 1 hour trail ride, and $30/each for the 2 hour ride.)

To Enter
Head over to A Step Above Stables and take a look around. Then, come back here and leave a comment telling me which Trail Ride listed above you’d like to win. (1 hour or 2 hour.)
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win. 

Want Extra Entries?

  • Add me as a Friend on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please! If we’re already friends, give yourself the extra point.)
  • Add a Step Above Stables as a friend on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted.)
  • Blog About this Giveaway by copying and pasting the following (5 extra entries) :

    Celebrate the return of Spring with Angie at 5 Vinez Monkeys and a horseback ride from A Step Above Stables located in the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Blairsville, GA.
    There will be 4 lucky winners in this giveaway! 
    Here’s what you can win:

    • 1 Hour Trail Ride for Beginners for 2 people. (2 winners)
    • 2 Hour Trail Ride for those who have ridden a bit before. (2 winners)

    Also, each winner can bring up to 2 friends along for the trail ride, and those friends can ride for 1/2 off. (That’s just $15/each for the 1 hour trail ride, and $30/each for the 2 hour ride.)
    Stop by before 11:59pm ET on April 20th, get all the details, and enter to win!

  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries. Subscribing to feed in a reader no longer counts.)
  • Follow 5 Vinez Monkeys on twitter. (Leave your twitter id here, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY.)
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
  • Click any of the buttons at the bottom of the post to share this giveaway. (Unlimited – Just let me know which one{s} you shared through.)

Fine Print: Contest is open to residents in and around the Blairsville, GA area. (Including all surrounding areas of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee.) You must be able to get to the stables to claim your prize. If you already do any of the extra entries above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete or qualify for. However, you must first leave the required comment as stated above. Giveaway will end on April 20th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Disclaimer: I was contacted by A Step Above Stables about doing this giveaway. They are providing the free trail rides to the winners. I was in no way compensated for this post.

Please note: Survey Bonus Entries may ONLY be used in ONE Giveaway.

Blockbuster Express Kiosks (Rent One Get One Free Code)

Every mom knows that sometimes there is nothing that will calm your kids down faster than popping in a DVD that the kids haven’t seen a million times. Whether you’re entertaining fidgety kids on a long trip or just trying to cure the rainy day blues, there are times when renting a DVD can be any busy mom’s secret weapon.

As a busy mom myself, I know how stressful it can be to lug the whole crew down to the local movie rental place. By the time you get home, the kids have got you so stressed out that by the time you get home, you’re too exhausted to even watch the movie that you rented. What started as a great idea has now become a chore.

Luckily, there’s a solution for all the busy moms out there! BLOCKBUSTER Express™ kiosks. They make renting DVDs fast, easy, and affordable! You can rent DVDs online for only $1/nigh at blockbusterexpress.com. Want to know the best part? You don’t even need a membership to do it!

Through the rent online feature at blockbusterexpress.com, you can create a favorites list, browse available movies at your preferred kiosk, complete the rental of up to three movies at once online and then pick up the DVDs from the kiosk at your convenience. Now you can spend less time renting and more time enjoying your DVDs with your family.

I want to make your next movie night even more fun with a special Rent One Get One code courtesy of Mom Select and Blockbuster Express. Just use coupon code 565G13B on blockbusterexpress.com.

When you rent a movie at the regular price using the code above*, you’ll receive the first night’s rental on the second movie FREE. This offer expires on 3/31, so make sure to take advantage of it soon! Don’t wait to plan your next movie night, start doing it now.

Head on over to blockbusterexpress.com to check out their great new releases! From family friendly features like The Princess and The Frog and The Blind Side to date night picks like Twilight: New Moon and Did You Hear About the Morgans?, there’s sure to be a title for even the pickiest movie watcher!

For all of the latest news on BLOCKBUSTER Express you can follow them on Twitter and on Facebook.

*Code is valid thru 3/31/2010. When you rent a movie at the regular price, you’ll receive the first night’s rental on the second movie FREE. Extra night charges and taxes apply. Limit one per customer. May not be combined with any other offer. Rental terms and conditions apply. Not valid at Blockbuster store locations. 

Disclaimer: I was contacted by Mom Select on behalf of Blockbuster Express and asked to share the coupon code with my readers. I was in no way compensated for this post.

PhotoWorks! (Review & $50 GC Giveaway – 4/18)

Do you love making photo cards, books, calendars and other fun gifts? Then the newly renovated PhotoWorks is just for you! PhotoWorks, the photo site brought to you by American Greetings, has relaunched with all new updates making the site easier to navigate and final products easier to edit.

Here’s some information about PhotoWorks:

PhotoWorks, an American Greetings Corp. (NYSE: AM) company, has re-launched its Web site with a fresh look, enhanced navigation, and great new products. The popular site makes it easy for shoppers to personalize and create unique, high quality cards, books, calendars and other gifts with their favorite digital photos.

Consumers come to the site looking to capture a moment in time, and create a beautiful gift to commemorate it.  The great product variety that shoppers have come to expect from PhotoWorks is uniquely accentuated with the creativity of American Greetings artists, and now new tools and a strategic re-organization make finding that perfect gift as simple as ever.
“Our consumers are looking for an easy way to make something that is truly unique, and the combination of American Greetings creativity and the personal touch of consumer’s favorite photos offers the perfect solution,” said Sally Babcock, senior vice president and general manager at PhotoWorks. “Now with the updates we have made, browsing for and creating these memorable gifts is even easier, and more enjoyable.”

These updates required the skills of a cross-functional team willing to think outside the box to come up with solutions that would really enhance the experience for shoppers. To ensure success, the team utilized a variety of initiatives including usability testing, customer feedback, and an analysis of industry best practices to determine where improvements where needed.

Specific updates include improved navigation, a new search function to make finding products a snap, easier access to help, more robust merchandising to guide product selection, faster uploads, simplified photo sharing, streamlined ordering and much more.

In addition to the fresh look and increased efficiency, the site also features creative new products for shoppers to enjoy.  With the holiday season right around the corner, original photo gifts are being introduced that are perfect for any recipient. Highlights include an exclusive collection of Papyrus photo cards, featuring elegant designs from the popular greeting card brand, along with new photo books, calendars, holiday cards, coffee mugs, mouse pads, cutting boards and more.

If you haven’t stopped by to check out the refreshed site, you simply must head there now:  www.photoworks.com.

My Review of PhotoWorks
Thanks to my rep at M80, I was able to try out the new PhotoWorks website. I was given a $50 Gift Certificate to order and give my honest review. Thank you to both M80 and PhotoWorks for allowing me to do so.

I started the process late last Thursday night. And by late, I mean that I started browsing the PhotoWorks website around 11:30pm. I was blown away by all of their choices. Photo Mugs, Photo Woven Throws, Photo Paper Cards, even Studio Books. And that’s just the start! There were so many things to choose from that I had the hardest time deciding. Plus, I was really surprised at how reasonable their prices were. With the $50 gift certificate, I could afford to get several things. I love that!

Photo products make great gifts. And as a mom and a photographer, I love to put my photos onto products and send them to family as gifts. Because most of our family still lives in Ohio, they don’t get t see the kids very often. Photo gifts are a great way to keep them feeling close, even when they’re not.

After much debate and back-and-forth, I finally settled on several items. I ordered 2 identical Photo Mouse Pads to give as gifts, a Tapered Photo Mug for hubby’s birthday, (don’t tell him!), and a photo magnet for myself. (I wasn’t leaving the site empty handed!) It was really, really easy (and quick!) to upload photos, place them where I wanted in the products, and review my masterpieces before placing them in my shopping cart.

I placed the order at 1:36am on Friday, March 19th, and immediately got an email confirmation. In the email, it told me that my products would take approximately 4 days to create, and then I should expect a few more days for shipping. Imagine my surprise when I received another email at 5:51pm that very same day telling me that my order had shipped! And it arrived in record time, arriving on my porch on Tuesday afternoon – just 4 days after I had placed the order.

The items are all absolutely perfect, too. I can’t wait to give the mousepads as gifts, and hubby is going to love his new mug to go with his new coffeemaker that I’m giving him next week. And the magnet? Too cute for words, and is hanging on my fridge as we speak.

Overall, I am completely impressed with the PhotoWorks website, ordering process, and products. These are high class items on a budget. I will definitely be going back to PhotoWorks in the future, and will be ordering lots more family gifts – and things for me!! – from them. PhotoWorks definitely gets the 5 Vinez Monkeys Seal of Approval!

Want to Try PhotoWorks for Yourself?
Shop Online: You can head to the PhotoWorks website and shop 24/7. There are tons of products, and right now, you can get 20% off your order with the code SPRINGCLEAN.

You Can WIN! I’ve got a $50 Gift Certificate to PhotoWorks that I can giveaway to one lucky reader. Imagine the possibilities!

To Enter
Head over to PhotoWorks and take a look around. Tell me at least one item that you’d purchase with the $50 Gift Certificate.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win.

Want Extra Entries?

  • Sign up for the newsletter at PhotoWorks – it’s in the bottom right corner of the homepage. (Please leave the email address that you signed up with so that I can confirm the account was made.) 
  • Blog About this Giveaway by copying and pasting the following (5 extra entries) :

    Photo Gifts make the best gifts. At least that’s what Angie at 5 Vinez Monkeys says. She wants to prove it to you by offering one lucky reader a $50 Gift Certificate to PhotoWorks. With tons of items to pick from, like Photo Mugs, Photo Woven Throws, Photo Paper Cards, and even Studio Books, there’s something for every taste – and every budget! Stop by before 11:59pm ET on April 18th, get all the details, and enter to win!

  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries. Subscribing to feed in a reader no longer counts.)
  • **New** Write a review of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Alexa. (3 extra entries. Leave your Alexa profile name, please.)
  • Follow 5 Vinez Monkeys on twitter. (Leave your twitter id here, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY.)
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
  • Add me as a Friend on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please! If we’re already friends, give yourself the extra point.)
  • Become a fan of PhotoWorks on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted.)
  • Click any of the buttons at the bottom of the post to share this giveaway. (Unlimited – Just let me know which one{s} you shared through.)

Fine Print: Contest is open to US Residents. If you already do any of the above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete. However, you must first leave the required comment as stated above. Giveaway will end on April 18th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Disclaimer: I was contacted by M80 on behalf of PhotoWorks. They provided the $50 Gift Certificate for my honest and unbiased review, and will be fulfilling the winner’s prize as well. I was in no other way compensated for this post, and the free products in no way boosted my review. All opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. Others may have different results or opinions after using this product.

Please note: Survey Bonus Entries may ONLY be used in ONE Giveaway.

The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half (CLOSED)

We’ve all heard that clipping coupons can save you money, right? But is it really worth it to find the coupons, clip them, and then use them? Really, how much money can you save?

Stephanie Nelson, the founder of couponmom.com, has written a new book called The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half. The book offers money-saving techniques for busy, rookie, and varsity shoppers.

Here’s a bit of information about the book:

A book that pays for itself! The creator of couponmom.com, with 1.6 million subscribers and counting, shares her strategic money-saving techniques for saving big while living well

Americans are hungry for bargains these days, but one woman has developed the ultimate strategy for enjoying a feast of savings. Taking the nation by storm, with appearances ranging from The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today and Good Morning America, Stephanie Nelson has shown countless women and men how to save thousands of dollars by becoming savvy coupon clippers-without sacrificing nutrition or quality. Now, in The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half, Nelson demonstrates all of the tricks of the trade-beyond coupons and tailor-made for a variety of shopper lifestyles. Whether you’re a “busy” shopper and have only a small amount of time each week to devote to finding the best deal; a “rookie” shopper who is ready to put more effort into cutting bills; or a seasoned “varsity” shopper who is looking for new ways to get the deepest discounts possible, this book offers techniques that will make it easy to save money at any level and on any timetable.

Extending her Strategic Shopping protocols to mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs, natural-food stores, drugstores, and other retailers, Nelson proves that value and variety can go hand in hand. With meal- planning tips, recipes, and cost-comparison guides, as well as inspiring real-life stories from the phenomenal Coupon Mom movement, this is a priceless guide to turning the checkout lane into a road of riches.

About the Author
Stephanie Nelson, AKA The Coupon Mom, has been featured widely in the media-from The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today, and Good Morning America to The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal and The Seattle Times. She holds a degree in finance and has worked in marketing at Procter & Gamble and Marriott.

Sounds fabulous, right? After all, we all want to save more money!

My Review of The Coupon Mom’s Guide
I received a copy of The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half to get my opinion of it. I read the entire book cover to cover in one sitting. As a busy mom of 5, with a very modest income, I am desperate to enter the world of couponing and learn how to save money on every trip to the grocery store. I needed to know if it really is worth it to find the coupons (and print them if necessary) and then cut them out, and then actually purchase the items.

I’ve used coupons in the past – here and there. But the problem I was having was that I would buy things that I didn’t really need. (There are always great coupons for cookies and junk food. Have you noticed that?) So, I stopped using coupons altogether, because I was convinced I could never use them the way I see other moms using them.

Then I read the book The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half. I learned a ton of tricks to really help me save money. For example – and while it sounds so simple – I really did notice a difference: Combine coupons with the store’s discount card and watch the savings rack up.

I will tell you that normally, I don’t take a list to the grocery store with me. In fact, I don’t even plan what I’m going to buy. I walk in – usually with 5 kids in tow – and buy enough food to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week. If something’s on sale at the store, I count it as a bonus, but I never went with a purpose or plan – or with a goal of trying to save money. It was always get in, get out, and get with the day.

I decided to actually plan for my shopping trip after reading Stephanie Nelson’s book. I went to her site – couponmom.com – and printed off a ton of coupons. Literally. I couldn’t get the coupons to Red Plum to work, but I was still armed with pages and pages of coupons I had printed out.

receipt savingsI enlisted Ashley – my 12 year old – to help me cut out the coupons while I wrote up our shopping list. As she would cut out the coupons, I would decide if it was “list” worthy or not. If it was, I would add the item to my list and place the coupon in an envelope. I also went through the store’s weekly ad to see what items they would have on sale. After I had my entire list written up, I went through the envelope of coupons and sorted them in order of store aisles. (It helps to have a husband who worked the night shift stocking the shelves of our grocery store!)

All in all, it took me almost 2 hours to plan for this grocery shopping trip. That’s a long time for a busy mom. But, when I got to the checkout line, and the kid scanned in all of my coupons, I almost dropped to the floor. I saved $71.33 that that trip. Turns out that our local grocery store will double coupons automatically – and the more you spend, the more coupons they’ll double. Plus, I didn’t leave the store with a bunch of junk, either. I got plenty of food to feed my family for the week, and saved a ton of money in the process. I’m hooked!

Now, I’m not saying that I’m a coupon queen or anything. I still have a lot to learn. But, I have dog-eared a ton of pages in The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half that I’m constantly going back to. I will say that there is a lot of common sense information in the book, but sometimes we all need a refresher course. But, all in all, Stephanie Nelson gives clear, concise, easy-to-follow, and easy-to-practice information all throughout her book. And while some of her money-saving tips are never anything I’ll use, (like making my own yogurt – ick!), there are others in there that are really great. (I cleaned my oven in no time with baking soda thanks to her tips!)

I also loved that she has an entire chapter dedicated to saving on Organic Products. When I think of coupons, I think of junk or processed food. Stephanie gives real tips on how you can even save money on organic food – and they don’t all include growing it yourself. (Although she does mention that.) 🙂

Overall, this book is fabulous, and it is a resource that I will go back to time and time again. I have a feeling that as time goes on, and I study the book and the couponing process even more, I will be saving even more. (And hopefully it won’t take me 2 hours to write up my shopping list every time, either!) I’m giving The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half the 5 Vinez Monkeys Seal of Approval.


Want to try The Coupon Mom’s Guide for Yourself?
To Buy: The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half can be purchased on the following websites:

You can WIN! I get to giveaway a copy of The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half to one lucky winner!

To Enter
Head over to couponmom.com and take a look around. Then, come back here and tell me one thing you found interesting or that you learned while on their website.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win.

Want Extra Entries?

  • Sign up for a free membership at couponmom.com. (Please leave the email address that you signed up with so that I can confirm the account was made.) 
  • Blog About this Giveaway by copying and pasting the following (5 extra entries) :

    As a mom of 5, Angie at 5 Vinez Monkeys is always looking for ways to cut costs and save money. To help her readers learn ways to save their own money, she is giving a copy of Stephanie Nelson’s (founder of couponmom.com) new book:  The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half to one lucky winner! If you like to save money, this is one giveaway you won’t want to miss out on! Stop by before 11:59pm ET on April 14th, get all the details, and enter to win!

  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries. Subscribing to feed in a reader no longer counts.)
  • **New** Write a review of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Alexa. (3 extra entries. Leave your Alexa profile name, please.)
  • Follow 5 Vinez Monkeys and CouponMom on twitter. (Leave your twitter id here, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY.)
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
  • Add me as a Friend on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please!)
  • Become a fan of Coupon Mom on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Join the CouponMom Group on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted.)
  • Click any of the buttons at the bottom of the post to share this giveaway. (Unlimited – Just let me know which one{s} you shared through.)

Fine Print: Contest is open to US Residents. If you already do any of the above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete. However, you must first take the survey and leave the required comment as stated above. Giveaway will end on April 14th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Disclaimer:I was contacted by a representative of The Penguin Group on behalf of Stephanie Nelson and The Coupon Mom. They provided the free copy of the book for my honest and unbiased review, and will be fulfilling the winner’s book as well. I was in no other way compensated for this post, and the free book in no way boosted my review. All opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. Others may have different results or opinions after using this product.

Also note: This review can also be found on Super Mom Sanctuary, and you can enter to win a copy there as well. 
 

Please note: Survey Bonus Entries may ONLY be used in ONE Giveaway.

Wordless Wednesday: Majestic Beauty

Hawaiian Black Sand Beach

If you’re participating in Wordless Wednesday, sign in here:

Family Updates: Good News All Around!

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve done any family updates. And since I’m being hounded by family and friends, I need to catch ya’all up on all of us.

Homeschooling is going really, really well this year. We didn’t start until October, but we’ve worked really hard, and we’ve passed the 100 days of school mark. Ashley is excelling in math and science, and is even starting to do really well in Grammar, too, which was one of her weakest subjects last year. She’s still struggling with spelling, and her book reports have caused her some trouble, but other than that, I’m super proud of her. And then there’s Zander. Mr. Smartypants. He blows me away every day with what he is learning. He can now quote 60 Catechisms, learns Bible verses in minutes (and remembers them from that moment on), and can read Ashley’s 7th grade reading books. He still doesn’t like math, and struggles with timed tests, but he is getting better. And art is still his favorite subject.

I’m doing the Itty Bitty Bookworm curriculum for both Jace and Lucy. They’re both learning lots, and Lucy gets *so* excited to “go” to “school” at the kitchen table every day. Parker’s not quite as interested as Jace and Lucy, but he will sit and watch, and always participates in any activities that we do. Homeschooling is getting so much easier now that he’s getting bigger.

I took Jace to the doctor yesterday, and he was diagnosed with asthma. Finally. I’ve been telling the doctors for years that I was certain he had asthma, but none of them would listen. But, after yet another trip to the ER, another breathing treatment, and another steroid shot to open up his airways, his pediatrician took note and wants to get him on the road to healing. He’s now on a controller medicine as well as a rescue inhaler, but it’s good to finally have some answers. (By the way, cold air is what triggers Jace’s asthma. Not allergies, dust, or a tough workout. Just cold air. All those years of croup and alternating the cold air and steam, we were actually doing more harm than good.) At least now we know, and we can correct the problem.

In other news, hubby got a promotion! I am so excited about this, I can hardly stand it. The best part is, he is OFF the night shift! After almost 8 years of marriage – and almost 8 years of having him on night shift – I couldn’t be happier. I’m not going to know what to do when I don’t have to “shush” the kids all day because Daddy is sleeping. God is so good, and when we are patient, He answers our prayers. Please pray that Gene does well in his new position. He’s nervous, but I know he’ll do just fine.

As for me, not much to catch you up on. Homeschooling, the kids, the housework, church, MOPS, and my business have got me going, going, going…. but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Oh! By the way – did you see I added an “About Me” page? Now you can know everything you may – or may not! – want to know about me. 🙂

Thanks for letting me get a little personal today, and catch my friends and family up on the latest news. I’ll be starting another giveaway on Thursday, so make sure you check back soon. And don’t forget to enter the other giveaways I’ve already got going on:

Have a great day!

Gain 10 Extra Entries in Any Giveaway (Plus A Bonus Giveaway – 5/2)

I love my readers, and I love getting to know the wonderful people who stop by. Now I need to know more about you! So, let’s shake things up a bit, and I’m going to reward my wonderful readers at the same time.

I’ve created a survey. It’s just a quick little survey – only 10 questions. I just need to know some things about you. Should only take you a couple of minutes to complete.

To thank you for taking the survey, I’m giving you 10 extra entries into any ONE of my current giveaways.

I’m going to make this as easy as possible (and as fair!) for everyone. At the end of the survey, I will ask you to give me a “secret” word or phrase. This can be anything – “Fuzzy pickles” “daisies” “your blog rocks” – I don’t care what you put, I just need you to put something. Then, once you have submitted the survey, head to the giveaway post that you want extra entries in. Leave 10 additional comments, and make sure you leave your “secret” word in each of those extra comments. That way, I can verify that you’ve taken the survey, and you can claim your extra entries.

Sounds like fun, right? Well, let’s sweeten the pot even more!

Angela Vinez DesignsI’m going to give one lucky survey taker the chance to win a $75 Gift Certificate to  Angela Vinez Designs

Need a new blog design? How about a Complete Networking Set Up? Or maybe professional business cards or postcards designed? (Imagine how much your readers would love a note from you on stationery that reflects your blog design. Wouldn’t they be more likely to remember you, and come back again?) The possibilities are endless with a $75 Gift Certificate to  Angela Vinez Designs.

And, yes! You can use your 10 extra entries in this giveaway if you want to.

To Enter:
You MUST take the survey. Then, come back here and let me know what your “secret” word was.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win. If you want to use your 10 extra entries for this giveaway, please be sure to leave your “secret” word in a total of 11 comments.

Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway by copying and pasting the following (5 extra entries) :

    Angie at 5 Vinez Monkeys wants to get to know her readers better. Not only can you earn 10 extra entries into any giveaway she’s hosting, you can also enter the bonus giveaway and get the chance to win a $75 Gift Certificate to Angela Vinez Designs! You won’t want to miss this survey or this giveaway! Stop by before 11:59pm ET on May 2nd, get all the details, and enter to win!

  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries. Subscribing to feed in a reader no longer counts.)
  • Follow 5 Vinez Monkeys on twitter. (Leave your twitter id here, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY.)
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
  • Add me as a Friend on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please!)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted.)
  • Become a Fan of Angela Vinez Designs on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please!)
  • Visit Angela Vinez Designs and tell me how you’d spend the $75 Gift Certificate. (1 time)
  • Click any of the buttons at the bottom of the post to share this giveaway. (Unlimited – Just let me know which one{s} you shared through.)

    Fine Print: Contest is open to everyone. If you already do any of the above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete. However, you must first take the survey and leave the required comment as stated above. Giveaway will end on Sunday, May 2nd at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.  

    Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for this post. This is my way of thanking my readers for taking the time to complete my survey.

Please note: Survey Bonus Entries may ONLY be used in ONE Giveaway.

Over or Under? Do You Agree? (Giveaway – 24pk Cottonelle & $50 Walmart GC -CLOSED)

How do you roll? Over or Under? I must admit, I am pretty anal-retentive about this. If I am out somewhere and the toilet paper doesn’t roll over the roll, I will take the roll off the holder and put it back on properly. Pathetic, I know. Apparently, we all have a bit of Adrian Monk in us. Mine just happens to revolve around toilet paper. (Are you laughing yet? OMG. What my readers must think of me now!)

Well, I am pleased to announce that after months of deliberation, the votes have been tallied and the results of Cottonelle brand’s Roll Poll are in. When asked how they prefer to roll their toilet paper – over or under – 72 percent of Americans said they roll over(YAY us!)

Another among those who roll over: Tori Spelling.

The brand enlisted Tori, a firm believer in rolling over, and her husband Dean McDermott, a notorious “under,” to get the country invested in the great toilet paper debate. Because they’ve battled over toilet paper preferences in their own home for years to no avail, they vowed to put the decision to America and roll with the majority.

“I am thrilled that America has spoken and advised us to roll over,” says Tori. “I’m glad to know that others are as passionate about this as I am. Rest assured that my loving husband will have the honor of flipping all the under-facing rolls in the house this weekend!”

A perplexed Dean admits, “I’ve always rolled under. I can’t believe only 28 percent of us see eye to eye on this. But if nothing else, this experience has helped me realize that no matter which way I’m inclined to roll, Tori’s way is (almost) always the right way!”

To celebrate the end of the great debate and the fact that the country has rallied around a typically taboo subject, Cottonelle toilet paper is introducing an improved product fondly named Cottonelle brand Roll Over. No matter how you roll it, it was designed to roll with America’s preference for softness and strength.

What Does Rolling Over Say About Americans?
The vote to roll over says more about Americans than just their toilet paper placement style. To gain insight into how America rolls and why, the brand commissioned a survey of 1,000 Americans ages 18-65+ and found that:

  • Those who prefer hanging their toilet paper over are more likely to have engaged in flipping the direction of the roll at a friend’s home, with 27 percent of “overs” admitting to doing so. (Oh! That’s me! That’s me!)
  • In addition to being more apt to switch the way the roll hangs at friends’ homes, those who prefer to roll over seem to be more particular about the whole subject. For instance:
    • “Overs” are most likely to notice the direction the toilet paper is hanging (74 percent). (Yep. Every time.)
    •  “Overs” are more likely to be annoyed when the roll is the wrong way (24 percent). (Ok, so that’s totally me too. Oy.)

Cottonelle brand consulted Dr. Gilda Carle, psychotherapist and internationally renowned relationship expert, for her observations on basic character traits associated with how people roll. According to Dr. Gilda, “People who roll over like taking charge, crave organization and are likely to overachieve. It seems to me that Americans are passionate about rolling over due to the sense of control that it gives them.”

Whichever way you roll, just about everyone agrees that the best toilet paper is soft, strong and there when you need it. To learn more about Cottonelle brand products and the great debate campaign, visit www.CottonelleRollPoll.com.

To Celebrate the Victory of the “Overs” – I am giving one lucky winner a 24 Pack of the new Cottonelle Toilet Tissue and a $50 Walmart Gift Card.

To Enter:
Visit www.CottonelleRollPoll.com and then come back here and tell me one thing you learned, or something that you found interesting.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win.

Want Extra Entries?

  • Head to Walmart.com, then come back here and tell me what you would spend the money on for yourself. (No groceries or stuff you need. Forget about all that and tell me what YOU want.
  • Tell me: Are you happy that “over” won out? Why or Why Not?
  • Blog About this Giveaway by copying and pasting the following (5 extra entries) :

    Angie at 5 Vinez Monkeys has admitted that she rolls “over” and is part of the winning decision on www.CottonelleRollPoll.com. To celebrate the victory for the overs, she’s giving one lucky winner a 24 pack of the new Cottonelle brand Roll Over Bathroom Tissue and a $50 Walmart Gift Card. You won’t want to miss this fantastic giveaway. Stop by before 11:59pm ET on April 11th, get all the details, and enter to win!

  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries. Subscribing to feed in a reader no longer counts.)
  • Follow 5 Vinez Monkeys and Cottonelle on twitter. (Leave your twitter id here, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY.)
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
  • Add me as a Friend on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please!)
  • Become a fan of Cottonelle on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted.)
  • Click any of the buttons at the bottom of the post to share this giveaway. (Unlimited – Just let me know which one{s} you shared through.)
  • **New** Write a review of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Alexa. (3 extra entries. Leave your Alexa profile name, please.) 

    Fine Print: Contest is open to US Residents. If you already do any of the above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete. However, you must first take the survey and leave the required comment as stated above. Giveaway will end on Sunday, April 11th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.  

    Disclaimer: I was contacted by M80 on behalf of Cottonelle. They offered the toilet tissue and the $50 Walmart Gift Certificate for my readers. I was in no other way compensated for this post.

Please note: Survey Bonus Entries may ONLY be used in ONE Giveaway.

Easy Way to Get Extra Entries

I am going to be starting some very fabulous giveaways over the next few days. To help you get some extra entries in those giveaways, every day from now until March 31st, you can nominate me in the Dick’s Sporting Goods #startinglineup and earn 2 additional entries for every giveaway. Nominate me once per day, and you automatically get 2 entries in every single giveaway. Couldn’t be easier!

Here’s how to nominate me…

You’ll see this at the bottom of every giveaway post in the “Extra Entries” section:
Nominate or vote for me in the Dick’s Sporting Goods #starting lineup – @angievinez and leave your tweet link.

Finish this tweet:  @dickssportcmo I nominate @angievinez for the #startinglineup because…  (2 Extra Entries – 1 tweet per DAY)

Just finish that sentence and tweet it, then, leave 2 comments with a link to the tweet on every giveaway you want to enter. And you can do this every day until March 31st.

I always offer lots of extra ways for you to gain extra entries, but I wanted to make sure you knew about how you can get 2 extra entries every day!

Good luck. And be checking back over the next few days to see what I’ve got up my sleeves for ya!

Macy’s Fashion Director Daily Fashion Challenge (Closed)

Anyone who stops by this blog knows what a fan I am of Macy’s. They have some of the best clothes out there, plus, they are often running some really great campaigns. (Remember the recent Go Red for Women campaign? Stuff we can really stand behind and support!)

Well, they’ve done it again. Another fabulous campaign, and this time, they’re giving away a $500 gift card once a day for 30 days! WOW!

I know you want to know the details, so here you go…

Macy’s FASHION DIRECTOR DAILY FASHION CHALLENGE is a 30-day contest that lets fashionistas put it all together.  By mixing and matching the right pieces around a daily theme, participants get the chance to win a $500 gift card every day. The interactive outfit maker at www.macys.com/fashiondirector lets you combine the season’s hottest fashions and accessories to style, shop, and share the perfect look. From putting together an outfit for a blind date to selecting the perfect look for a big work presentation, the challenges will mirror everyday situations, as well as special occasions.

Using the mix and match tool, participants can virtually select pieces to create a unique outfits ideal for the challenge of the day. Suggested pieces from Macy’s Spring 2010 collections will help those in need of guidance.

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Here is how it works –

  • Build the perfect outfit by dragging pieces to the virtual canvas until you are satisfied with the look
  • Once completed, click submit to enter your outfit into the voting gallery
  • Share your look on Facebook and Twitter and invite your friends and family to vote for your outfit
  • The outfit that gets the most votes each day will win that day’s challenge and a $500 Macy’s gift card!

Macy’s key style makers, including Martha Stewart, Donald Trump, Clinton Kelly, and Rachel Roy got in on the challenge with a series of mockumentary-style short films called “Fashion Interventions”. You’ll be able to check out the how-to videos debuting over the next several weeks.

To help celebrate the Macy’s Fashion Director Campaign, I get to give away a $25 Macy’s Gift Card to one lucky reader!

To Enter:
Visit the Macy’s Fashion Director website, then come back here leave a comment telling one thing you learned or found interesting about the site.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win.

Want Extra Entries?

  • Create an outfit, and then share it with your friends. (Leave me a link to your tweet about your outfit or your facebook post about it. 1 point for each that you do. May be done daily.)
  • Blog About this Giveaway by copying and pasting the following (5 extra entries) :

    Calling all Fashionistas! Macy’s wants to see you put your best foot forward with their new Fashion Director Daily Fashion Challenge. To help celebrate the launch of this exciting campaign (where you could win a $500 Macy’s Gift Card!), Angie at 5 Vinez Monkeys is hosting a giveaway on her blog to give one of her readers a $25 Macy’s Gift Card. You won’t want to miss this giveaway! Stop by before 11:59pm ET on April 4th, get all the details, and enter to win!

  • Subscribe to us via email or reader. (Leave a comment for each that you do.)
  • Follow 5 Vinez Monkeys on twitter. (Leave your twitter id here, please!)
  • Follow Macy’s on Twitter. (Leave your twitter handle here, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY.)
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. Leave a comment for each one that you do.
  • Become a Fan of Macy’s on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook handle, please!)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted.)
  • Click any of the buttons at the bottom of the post to share this giveaway. (Unlimited – Just let me know which one{s} you shared through.)
  • **New** Write a review of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Alexa. (3 extra entries. Leave your Alexa profile name, please.)

    Fine Print: Contest is open to residents of the US. If you already do any of the above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete. However, you must first leave the required comment as stated above. Giveaway will end on Sunday, April 4th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.  

    Disclaimer: I was contacted by M80 on behalf of Macy’s. They offered the $25 Gift Certificate for my readers. I was in no other way compensated for this post.

Please note: Survey Bonus Entries may ONLY be used in ONE Giveaway.

Follow Friday: Week 27

Fab Find FoodieThis week, I want to introduce you to Angela of “Fab Find Foodie.” New to the blogging world, Angela’s blog has really skyrocketed. I never would have guessed that her blog has only bee around since December. She’s like an old pro at blogging.

Aside from having a super-cool name, (because anyone named Angela is cool in my book), she also has a super-cool blog. This is not your typical “Mom Blog” though. Her blog is all about the kitchen – food and drink, gadgets, recipes – you name it, she’s got it. Along with really fabulous reviews and giveaways.

Now, you all know how much I love the kitchen. (Note: Sarcasm) The fact that I set my oven on fire last Thursday, and then proceeded to catch my microwave on fire two days ago tells you how much time I should really spend in the kitchen. Cooking is not my forte. Obviously. But, it is something that I would love to learn (if I don’t kill us all in the process), and I’m always looking for blogs that give me tips, tricks, and gadgets to make my time in the kitchen easier. (Because, Lord knows, I need all the help I can get!)

So, if you’re looking for a fun, new, totally cool blog, stop by Fab Find Foodie today and become a follower. Take some time to check out her reviews and giveaways, and get to know her in the process.

Angela, I have had so much fun getting to know you and reading your blog over the last few days. You are so sweet, and so hysterical! Thanks for making me smile. 🙂 I’d love to have you post this on your blog, if you’d like:


If you’re participating in Follow Friday this week, post a link to your blog of choice here:

Care.com – Free Weekend!

Have you heard of Care.com? It’s a website where you can find caregivers near you. They offer mom-reviewed profiles and free background checks. They offer services to help you find a babysitter or nanny, senior care providers, pet sitters, dog walkers, housekeepers, or you can even place your own ad and find a care job!

Normally, you have to pay for their services. (Which is normally $30/month.) However, I have wonderful news: Care.com is running a Free Weekend March 19-21st. (That’s this weekend! It starts today.) They are opening up their entire site to everyone for absolutely no cost!

From today through Sunday, anyone can search for caregivers, post jobs, and get contact information. It’s a great opportunity to try out the site, and find a caregiver.

No excuses! Head to care.com and get searching today!

Disclaimer: I was contacted by a representative of care.com and asked if I would share this with my readers. I was in no way compensated for this post. Also, please note that I have never used care.com, and cannot give any kind of review of their services. I can simply tell you what I’ve found on their website.