#Sponsored: How to Save Money During Back to School Shopping #Zulily #BTS

sponsoredDisclaimer:This is a sponsored post on behalf of Zulily. They provided the information, but any opinions expressed are my own.

As a mom of 8, with 5 kids in school this year, I need all the money saving tips I can get! That’s just one reason why I love zulily. So, when they asked me to share some fabulous money-saving tips from Shawn Anderson, the zulily kids fashion expert, I just had to jump on it! Ok, are you ready? Here are some fantastic tips to help you save money this Back to School Season.

How To Save During Back to School Shopping

To prepare your kids to head back into the classroom, zulily kids fashion expert Shawn Anderson recommends:

  • Plan in advance: Don’t wait until the last minute to start your back to school preparation. Avoid the stress of last-minute shopping by getting started now and finish before all the good deals are gone.
  • Get organized: Pull together a back to school checklist so you don’t forget any of the necessities.
  • Shop online: Sites like zulily.com offer parents a wide variety of back to school essentials for kids, including clothes, shoes, accessories, supplies and toys, at incredible prices. You can find everything your kid needs (and more!) and save money at the same time.
  • Stockpile your favorite items at a discount: When you find something your child loves and needs each year for school at a great price, be sure to buy a few extra. Take advantage of these deals for years to come!
  • Check in with the kids: It is never a good feeling to buy your child new clothes and school supplies, only to find out that their favorite color or cartoon character has changed. Involve your kids in the shopping process so you make sure you’re buying items they like and want to use.

Back to School with Zulily

Why you should download the Zulily App Today:

Using the zulily app is like opening a hand-held treasure chest every day. You never know what you’ll uncover but you know you’re bound to find something great.

Shop back to school for your kids on any mobile device to save money and discover the items you need and want – even when you’re on the go.

zulily App Highlights:

  • Educational Tutorial – after first installing, users are displayed a brief, informative tutorial on how to use the new application.
  • “New Today” Event Accessibility – a clear, easily accessible layout displays a customer’s personalized list of “New Today” events directly through the application.
  • Personalization zulily has built upon its proprietary personalization technology to create a completely individualized homepage view, from top to bottom. The app learns customer’s preferences and then features the most relevant sales events and information front and center for quick, meaningful shopping.
  • Daily Refreshment of New Events – the shopping platform refreshes every morning at 6 a.m. for customers to shop newly curated events.
  • “Bookmarked” Favorites – while browsing zulily’s events, customers have the ability to select favorites and “bookmark” for easy access.  A “bookmark” ribbon will be displayed on the watch application and instantly synced with the “New Today” tab on the existing iPhone application. This feature allows shoppers to easily customize events to shop at a later time on the iPhone app.

I hope these tips help you with your back to school shopping. I know it can be a stressful time, but zulily makes it easier, I promise! If your kiddos have already started back to school, it’s not to late to stock up for new fall fashions, Christmas gifts, or even just something to brighten your child’s day. Don’t miss out on your last chance to save on Back to School Favorites! Head on over to Zulily and start shopping now!

#Sponsored: #TGIBTS with @FruitoftheLoom #Walmart #Giveaway

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Fruit of the Loom. They provided me with a $75 Walmart Gift Card to help with my Back to School Shopping, and will also provide a gift card to one randomly chosen winner. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own, and have not been influenced in any way.


Thank Goodness it’s BACK TO SCHOOL!

If you’re like me, you are ready to send your kids back to school. Of course, my kids started really, really early this year, (August FIRST!), so I wasn’t quite as ready as I thought I would be. I had 5 that are in school this year, so that meant purchasing enough supplies to make lots (and lots!) of teachers happy.

fruit of the loomSending 5 kids back to school has its ups and downs. My oldest is starting her Junior year of high school this year, and I’ve also got one in the middle school, (6th grade), one in the elementary school, (4th grade), and two in the primary school (2nd grade and kindergarten). My kindergartener has been SO excited all summer long that he has asked every single day, “How many more days until school starts?” Now that we’re over 2 weeks into the school year, he still comes home every single day beaming and anxious to tell me all about everything he did that day. I wish all my kids were as eager and excited as he is about school things!

This year for our back to school shopping, I opted not to take all of the kids shopping with me. Last year was exhausting and stressful. And, this year, since I’m pregnant and ready to pop, I just couldn’t handle the thought of all 7 kids in Walmart picking out school supplies. 🙂 So, this year, I just took the two oldest girls. They are my shoppers, and I knew that the three of us could get everything we need and be done in record time.

Aside from the normal school supplies like paper, pencils, markers, and the like, the kids also desperately needed other items that help them feel confident and powerful… things like new socks and underwear! With 7 kids, I need a good value, and I need to feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. That’s why I love the deals I score with the Fruit of the Loom bonus packs.

bonus packsThe Fruit of the Loom bonus packs offer 3 extra items in each package, and they are available in boys and girls sizes, as well as mens and womens sizes for the teens, (like my daughter), who have outgrown the children’s sizes. The best part? All of the bonus packs are available at your local Walmart.

One thing I love is that Walmart makes it SO easy to find the bonus packs. Yes, of course you can find the bonus packs in the aisles with all of the other socks and underwear. But, you can also find some displays set up throughout the store to make it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for. I love when I can instantly find exactly what I want without walking all over the store. And when those items are on rollback, or even cheaper than I expected, it makes my entire trip even better.

Thank you, Fruit of the Loom, for making our Back to School shopping a pleasure again this year! My kids are thrilled with all of their new underwear, socks, and all of the school supplies they were able to get again this year – thanks to you!

To my readers, I hope that you’ll take a moment to connect with Fruit of the Loom in the following ways:

Fruit of the Loom wants to help you with your own Back to School Shopping again this year. Use the rafflecopter gadget below to enter to win a $75 Walmart Gift card and make your shopping even more fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Famous Footwear & Reebok Make a Great Team! #ReebokMom #Sponsored #Review

Sponsored Post
Disclaimer: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Reebok. I received a Famous Footwear gift card to purchase a pair of Reebok shoes to facilitate my review and to thank me for participating.

Famous Footwear

I have been shopping at Famous Footwear for as long as I can remember. When we lived in Ohio, we were just a few blocks away from Famous Footwear. It was where we shopped every time we needed a new pair of shoes. And when it was time to send Ashley back to school every year, there wasn’t any other place I’d rather shop for school shoes.

Reebok ShoesThen, we moved to Georgia. Wait, let me rephrase that. Then, we moved to the middle of nowhere. Our nearest Famous Footwear was suddenly 2+ hours away. It didn’t matter. I knew that I was still going to need a great products at a great price, so we make the trip as often as we can to stock up on new shoes.

Now that I’m exercising every single day, I need a pair of shoes that can keep up with me. I am hard on my shoes, and I need a pair of running shoes that are supportive, comfortable, and it’s a bonus if they look great!

That’s why I love that Famous Footwear carries Reebok shoes in so many fantastic styles! I ended up selecting this shoe: Women’s Reebok Sublite TR in black, grey, and cosmic berry. (You can read my review on the Famous Footwear website by clicking here: BlessedBeyondWords Review.)

These are the most comfortable athletic shoes I’ve owned so far! I cannot get over how lightweight they are, yet they still offer the support I need while I’m out running, walking, playing basketball or volleyball, or whatever I’m doing.

Not only are they so comfortable, but they also look great! I wore them to the park the other day, and I had people commenting the entire time we were there on how awesome the bright pink shoelaces are. 🙂

While I did lots of back to school shopping, and stocked up on lots of new shoes for the kids, it was so nice to actually be able to get a new pair of shoes for myself for a change.

Famous Footwear also had lots of great Reebok styles for the kids. It’s so nice when you’re able to purchase shoes that you know will be able to hold up to the every day stress kids can put on shoes at school and while playing outside.

And since I live so far from my nearest Famous Footwear store, I love that I can have access to their website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to stock up on Reeboks any time I need to! With their fast shipping options, I can have the shoes I need in just a matter of days. That makes living in the country just a little bit easier. 🙂

Before I close out the post, I have to share a few more pictures of my super cute new Reeboks:

Reebok shoes


I love my new shoes! Thanks, Reebok and Famous Footwear for helping me put my best foot forward.

Get Back to School at Target with General Mills & Crayola {Ends 9/13} #MyBlogSpark

There’s lots of talk everywhere about Back to School! I can’t log into Facebook without seeing dozens and dozens of pictures of friends’ kids that are heading back to school and starting the new year.

My favorite place to stock up on Back to School items is Target. They have everything I need – for all 4 of the kids in school this year – in one place. No making 20 trips to different stores. I can get school supplies, book bags, shoes, clothes, and even food for lunches all at my local Target.

During the month of August, Target is making Back to School even easier:

  • Save up to $5 on Crayola products when you purchase specially marked Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Big G Cereal, and Pillsbury Toaster Strudel.
  • Purchase specially marked Crayola 64 count crayons and save on General Mills products.
  • Find a fun Crayola coloring activity on participating Big G cereal boxes.

I also want to encourage you to check out www.GrocerySavvy.com. There you’ll find coupons for more of your back to school needs, recipes, and even a special 2012 “Grocery Savvy Crayola Back to School” Sweepstakes where you could win one of 700 Crayola 8-count Washable Dry Erase Crayons or one of 20 Crayola Zany Play Edition Dry-Erase Activity Centers.

For this spark, MyBlogSpark sent me a Back to School pack that contained a $20 Target Gift Card, A Box of Cheerios, and an 8-count pack of Crayola Dry Erase markers.

The $20 Target Gift card immediately went to my oldest daughter to help her purchase all the items she needed for back to school. (And, thanks to Target’s great prices on back to school supplies, that $20 went a long way!) Parker and Gage devoured the box of Cheerios, and we all love the Crayola Dry Erase Crayons. They’re great for keeping the family organized on our dry erase calendar.

Be sure to check out the following websites for more information, coupons, and more!

Want to win a Back to School prize pack of your own featuring a $20 Target GC, a Box of Cheerios, and Crayola Dry Erase Crayons? Use the Rafflecopter gadget below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by Crayola, Target, and General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Helping My Children to Be Independent (Back to School!)

1st day of school 2012

On Friday, August 3rd, I sent 4 of the kids back to school. As you can tell by the picture above, most of them were ok with the idea. Lucy was thrilled to pieces. But, Jace – well, he had a rough morning.

I drove the kids down to the bus stop and proceeded to put all 4 of them on the bus. There were no tears, from them or from me. Lucy couldn’t quit bouncing up and down, and her excitement just bubbled over. I have never had one so happy to go to school.

I’ve had quite a few parents give me a hard time about the fact that I put my kids on the school bus – especially Lucy who started kindergarten this year. You see, according to them, I should have driven her (if not all of them) to school, walked her in, had breakfast with her, and then taken her to her classroom. It would help her “adjust.”


In Ohio, I was not allowed to accompany Ashley into the school or have breakfast with her. If I drove her to school, she was dropped at the door, and that was it. The teachers wanted a safe environment for the kids, and they wanted the kids to understand that Mommy couldn’t be there to hold their hands, and they needed to be big boys and girls.

Now, this was not easy for me…. at first. I grew up going to Christian school my whole life, and we didn’t have a school bus to pick us up every day. So, the first time I put Ashley on a bus as a 5 year old kindergartener, I was a basket case. And, if I have to be honest, I will admit that I followed the bus to the school for the first week. I did. It was hard to let go. But, I knew I had to. I knew that if I coddled her, she wouldn’t become independent, and she would always think that I would be there to watch her every move and catch her when she fell. We all know life doesn’t work like that, and I think it’s important kids learn that early on.

As I’ve had more children, it’s gotten easier to put them on the bus that first time. Especially this time around with Lucy. Lucy has been so excited about riding the bus, going to kindergarten, and all the wonderful new experiences, that if I had gone with her, it would have taken away from her excitement. This is her first time being allowed to do anything all alone, and she has embraced it. She comes home every day bouncing off the bus just as much as she was bouncing when I put her on the bus.

Maybe it’s because I have so many kids, but I doubt it. I was raised to be independent and do things for myself. I understood that when I went off to work the first day that Mom and Dad weren’t going to bail me out, and I had to be responsible for myself. My actions had consequences. (And believe me, I learned that lesson quickly.)

When it comes to your family, what kind of mom are you? (And by asking that, I don’t believe there is a wrong answer. Every child should be snuggled, cuddled, and loved on as much as possible. I just think they need a little independence as well.)

What are your thoughts?

The First Day of School…

I can’t believe I had to send them back today! It’s way too soon!

School 2011

Ashley’s in 8th, Zander’s in 3rd, and Jace is in 1st grade. I met all their teachers last night, and I think we’re in for a really great year!

When do your kids go back to school?

Back to School with Lysol {Review & Giveaway}

This giveaway will end Saturday, August 27th @ 12:01 AM EST.

My kids go back to school today. Yes, really. {I still can’t figure out why schools down here start so dog-gone early!}

With 3 kids in school, that means I’ve got 3 kids bringing home lots and lots of germs.

Thank heavens for Lysol!no touch soap system

I recently received the Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap System and a container of Lysol Dual Action Disinfecting Wipes to review. I’ve got to say – I am super impressed with both products.

I decided to put the No-Touch Hand Soap System in the kids’ bathroom. Best.Idea.Ever. I never have to remind the kids to wash their hands now. They think it is just the neatest thing that the soap “magically” appears when they put their hand under it. They can’t wait to wash their hands, and I don’t have to worry about germs all over the soap pump any more. It’s fantastic! The soap kills 99.9% of bacteria when it’s used properly, and it’s great for the kitchen or the bathroom. (I am totally picking up another starter kit for the kitchen!)

Another thing I love about the No-Touch Hand Soap System is that the starter kit comes with everything you need – including batteries! And, the refills come in 4great scents:

  • Refreshing Grapefruit Essence
  • Soothing Cucumber Splash
  • Aloe Vera & Vitamin E with Moisturizers
  • Antibacterial Total Care

Here are some helpful links regarding the Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap System:

  • Handwashing Tips – Handwashing is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs. Every time you touch a contaminated surface, you can transfer germs to and from your hands — but proper and thorough hand washing removes most germs from your hands.
  • Handwashing Poster – Make handwashing fun by downloading a handwashing poster to read together and hang by your bathroom sink.
  • Back-To-School Basics: Traditionally, classrooms are breeding ground for germs. Every desktop, pencil sharpener, doorknob and faucet that an infected child touches becomes colonized with germs

lysol wipesNext, I tried the Lysol Dual Action Disinfecting Wipes. These handy little wipes are great to use all over the house! I keep them under the kitchen sink, but I’ve found myself using them in almost every room of the house. They’re perfect for cleaning off the kitchen table after meals. And if the kids have been particularly messy, the scrubbing side is perfect for getting the mess up without falling apart. I’ve also used them in the bathrooms – shower doors, the tub, the sink, even for scrubbing toothpaste off the countertops {and floor, and door, and mirror}. In the bedroom, I’ve used them to wipe out the windowsills and clean off the tops of furniture. It’s amazing how much you can do with one kind of wipe!

You can get the Disinfecting Wipes in Citrus or Crisp Linen scents. {I love how fresh the Citrus scent smells!} And, again, they kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, including cold and flu viruses and Pandemic 2009 H1N1 Influenza A when used properly.

Here are some helpful links about the Lysol Disinfecting Wipes:

  • Establish Before- and After-School Hygiene Habits – As your child adapts to the school-day routine, you can help make hygiene a regular part of the day with some basic actions both before and after school.
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting – Lysol is the expert in killing germs at home. Find everything you need to know about common germs, how they are spread, and how you can help control them.
  • Kitchen Cleaning Tips – Learn how germs spread in the kitchen and how to help protect your family from foodborne illness with simple cleaning and disinfecting tips.
  • Bathroom Cleaning Tips – Reduce the spread of germs and help prevent the growth of mold and mildew in your bathroom with simple cleaning techniques.

Just thinking about all the ways Lysol can help around my house this school year makes me giddy inside! As your kids prepare to go back to school, prepare your home now, and start with Lysol products!

Before I get to the giveaway portion of this post, here are some things you need to know about Lysol:

  • You can learn all about Lysol and the Mission for Health by visiting the Lysol website.
  • Head to the Lysol Facebook Page and enter the Lysol® No-Touch® Stainless Kitchen Sweepstakes. You could win the Grand Prize of Whirlpool® Stainless Steel Kitchen appliances or one of the weekly prizes of a No-Touch Hand Soap System.

Now, for the giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap System and a container of Lysol Dual Action Disinfecting Wipes of their very own! To enter, just use the rafflecopter gadget below!


Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Select on behalf of Lysol. I received the products mentioned above in order to facilitate my honest review. I was not compensated for this post in any other way. Sponsor will fulfill the prize as stated above.

Georgia Tax Free Weekend – August 5th – 7th



Edited to Add: At this time, I am not 100% sure if GA is hosting a tax free weekend or not. I do not want to mislead my readers, so I have contacted the PR rep that forwarded this information to me. If I don’t hear back from her before this goes out to my email subscribers, I want you to know that I’m still looking into this. It is never my intention to give my readers false or misleading information. I will let you know as soon as I hear back. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience.

I love a way to save money, and next weekend, Georgia is once again offering a tax free weekend – just in time for back to school.  (Well, for most people! Since my kids go back on the 4th, I’ll just barely miss the tax free deals.)

But just because I can’t take full advantage of the tax free weekend, doesn’t mean that I want my readers to miss out!

One way to keep your back to school costs even lower is to shop at Walmart.

This year, Walmart is making back-to-school shopping even easier with new store improvements. Back-to-school items are now organized, both in stores and online, in one place and categorized by school age group, so families can quickly and easily shop supplies appropriate for their child’s grade. Many of the most common school supply list items are located down the center of the back-to-school aisle allowing families to quickly check these items off their list.

For those who prefer to shop online, Walmart.com offers free shipping to home on a broad assortment of back-to-school essentials such as school supply bundles, calculators, pens, notebooks, crayons and more.

A sampling of back-to-school items available online at Walmart.com include:

  • School supply value bundles starting at $10 on Walmart.com only; free shipping to home
  • Toddler size school uniform bundles starting at $6.47 – (bundle available only on Walmart.com, individual school uniform items available in select Walmart stores); free shipping to home
  • Toy Story and Cars licensed backpack/lunch bag combo sets – $13 (available only on Walmart.com)

Walmart has everything moms need to find on their child’s school supply list – whether the kids are starting kindergarten or heading off to college. Some of their deals include the following:

  • 70-Sheet, 1-Subject Notebook (wide or college ruled) – 20 cents
  • 100-Sheet Composition Books – 40 cents
  • 150 Sheets of Filler Paper (wide or college ruled) – 75 cents
  • 1-Inch Economy Binder – 92 cents
  • 24-Ct. Dixon No. 2 Pencils – 94 cents
  • 12-Ct. Crayola Colored Pencils or 10-ct. Crayola Markers (fine or broad) – 97 cents
  • 10-Pack of Bic Cristal Pens (Black, Blue or Red) – 97 cents
  • 4-Pack of Sharpie Pocket or Tank-Style Highlighters – $1.47
  • 6-Pack of Elmer’s Glue Sticks – $1.97

For additional back-to-school information including sample shopping lists, back-to-school bundles, tips on hassle-free mornings as well as study tips for new students, please visit http://www.walmart.com/school.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post in any way. Happy tax-free shopping!