Monday, October 28, 2013

What were you doing one year ago today during Hurricane Sandy? Get Ready, Get Safe with these helpful ideas.

It's been one year. One year since the wind and rain came upon us and washed away homes, belongings, and so much more. Were you ready for Sandy? What did you do to get ready?

Have you done anything to be more ready for the next disaster since Hurricane Sandy?

Start here at Get Ready, Get Safe.  Prepare now for the next disaster and be ready. What would you do if there was no phone service, cell or land line? Make a plan to tell your family to watch the news or listen to the radio.

Make a list and check it twice, get free downloadable list from Save The Children Be ready and plan ahead.

Make sure your family has a plan. Communicate with them on where to meet, what to do, and how to stay together during a disaster. Keep your contact numbers and information current. Visit the National Emergency Locator System here and National Emergency Child Locate System here,  and become familiar with the procedure in case you ever need to use the system to locate someone.

visit to learn more about being ready for a disaster.

See how children are still affected from the storm:


Free Sample Monday

send a free COKE and picture to someone with this facebook app here

get a free pass for B.J.'s Wholesale Club here,  just in time to do your holiday shopping.

get a free cup of coffee from Denny's here.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Paper or Plastic? How about Fabric. Wrap your holiday gifts in Reusable Fabric Gift Bags from VZ Wraps and let the trees have a rest.

The count down is on until trick or treat night, the treat bags are made, and Santa is checking the Christmas list. Wait, what, Santa? There are two big holidays until Christmas, but that doesn't stop stores from being ready now. I have to turn my head and not look at all the decorated trees, lights, and rolls of wrapping paper neatly stacked in boxes.

I have a weakness for wrapping paper, gift bags, and ribbon. I even have a wrapping counter in my basement. It is so nice at Christmas time to be able to have all the ribbon, paper, and gift tags at the ready. I've been de-wrapping the area the past few years and going for reusable gift bags and containers. I like the idea of giving a reusable bag with the gift inside, plus it just gives it a personal touch.

My favorite gift bags come from VZ Wraps. They are made in Pennsylvania, USA. The owner, Isabelle Vesey makes these reusable fabric gift bags in a variety of sizes, shapes, and the cutest patterns I've seen. I met her last year at an event and love her gift bags.  Take a look at her web site and you'll know what I am talking about.

The Christmas line is my favorite. The bag, Christmas Critters has that vintage look I like. From cute to fancy, from Christmas bags, to bridal shower bags VZ Wraps offers reusable fabric gift bags in styles to fit any occasion.  VZ Wraps also does custom orders.

The bags come with a ribbon attached. The material is 100% cotton or organic cotton, and the ribbon is Eco-grosgrain or Eco-satin made of 100% recycled material in most bags.

Choose from sizes such as:
  • Mini/Gift Card Holder
  • Wine Bottle Bag, shown below in Snowflakes. Open the bag, drop in the bottle, tie the bag shut and off you go!

  • Standard: (10"x15") Shown below in Christmas Cookies. Drop in your gift, tie the bag shut and your are finished wrapping in no time flat!

  • Medium: (17"x19")Shown below in Candy Canes: this bag is big enough to hold a big pile of books or board game or even a laptop.

  • Large size (21'x27") see what fits inside here. It's roomy enough  for a shoe box, a small appliance and more.
  • This holiday season go reusable with VZ Wraps for your gift wrapping needs. The bag can be used over and over again and the ribbon is sewed onto the bag so you won't have to buy or hunt for your spool of ribbon.
Make your list and order your gift bags now. Your gift wrapping will be so easy you can go out and play in the snow with the kids.

See what's new with VZ Wraps on their facebook page at
Find them on

Disclosure: I was sent promotional samples for this review. The comments and views are my own.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Teachers can fill their desks with free materials from Colgate, Elmer's, SchoolMate and Classroom Economy from Vanguard.

Get free materials from Colgate's Bright Smiles, Bright Future program here.

Join Elmer's Glue Teacher's club for free and get news, samples, and more here.

Get a free planner and folder from SchoolMate  here

Get free classroom materials from Vanguard's Classroom Economy program here.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How to make Johnsonville Ultimate Party Meatballs in less than 30 minutes so you can enjoy your party.

Here in New Jersey you can find Cranberry bogs as you travel closer to the ocean. During harvest time, the Cranberry fields are purposely flooded with water to make the cranberries float so they can be gathered up and sent to market. I've never seen this done and don't know much about the harvesting of the cranberries, but I like anything baked or cooked with cranberries.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditional times to find cranberry sauce or relish on the tables of many American households. I made a recipe that is so easy, yet so tasty and fills my cranberry fix until Thanksgiving dinner.

The recipe is called "Ultimate Party Meatballs"
It's three ingredients mixed together in less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

1  14 ounce can of Ocean Spray ® Jellied Cranberry Sauce
1  12 ounce bottle of Heinz® Chili Sauce
1   24 ounce package of frozen, fully cooked Johnsonville® Classic Italian Meatballs.

In a large saucepan combine the chili sauce and cranberry sauce, on medium-low heat stir until smooth. It will look something like this, and smell way better than this computer screen.

Next, add the meatballs, cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes or so until the meatballs are heated through. Stir occasionally to coat and keep from burning the sauce.
You can also go the slow cooker route:
Place the meatballs in the slow cooker
combine the chili and cranberry sauce in a separate bowl or heat in a pan first.
Pour the sauces over the meatballs
Cook for 4 hours on high setting.
Another big thing happening in New Jersey besides cranberries growing is that the Super Bowl will be held in New Jersey this year. Ultimate Party Meatballs make the big game cheering even better! Use your team's colors with toothpicks for easy finger food. From board game nights to movie nights,potluck dinners, holiday open houses, reunions, or neighborhood get together this recipe for Ultimate Party Meatballs is easy to prepare, and easy to serve
You can add more chili or cranberry sauce if you like more sauce for dipping or add your favorite spices to the mix like cumin and Cayenne pepper.
The great thing about this recipe is that it is only 3 ingredients. The 3 ingredients you can keep on hand in your kitchen. Buy a couple bottles of Heinz Chili Sauce and Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce for your pantry, and a buy a few bags of Johnsonville classic Italian Meatballs for your freezer. This way you'll always have a go to recipe for get togethers, family movie night or for unexpected company.
Heinz Chili Sauce is great for burgers, fries, and recipes. I use it to make sloppy Joe's.
New fully cooked Johnsonville Classic Italian, Three Cheese or Home style meatballs are made only with premium cuts of meat. There is no MSG,  no artificial colors or flavors. Look for dinner sized meatballs for spaghetti or other meals.
Ocean Spray cranberry sauce has been coming to the holiday table for generations. It's sweet and tangy and my favorite.
Look for all three of these food items at your grocery store, mass merchandise stores, even drug stores these days.
Disclosure: I received Heinz®, Johnsonville®, and Ocean Spray® products in exchange for sharing this recipe. The comments and views are my own.
here is a quick and easy guide to making the Ultimate Party Meatballs:

Do you hear a meow in your house? Get free a can of cat food from Sheba and from Wellness.

Get a free can of Sheba cat food from WalMart by filling out this form here with your shipping information.

Get a free can of Wellness cat food from Petco here. Print out the coupon and take it to Petco. You'll need your Petco card to redeem the coupon. If you don't have a Petco card yet, sign up for one in store before you redeem the coupon. See coupon for terms and conditions.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Moneyless Monday: Order your free ASPCA window decal and magnet kit, and get a free sample of Garnier Triple Nutrition.

get a free ASPCA window decal and magnet. Fill out the easy form here to get yours sent to your address.

get a free sample of Garnier Triple Nutrition here.
My sample came in the mail today, three individual packs to try, shampoo, conditioner, and deep conditioner are in the free sample.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Freebies for Thursday: Atkins bars and kit, a "Got Science" sticker, and Smokey Bear classroom resources.

Three freebies for Thursday:

1, get a free "Got Science" sticker from Union of Concerned Scientist Take the easy quiz, then fill out the form to get yours. Great for your kids teacher or yourself.

2. get free teaching resources from Smokey Bear, classroom materials, and curriculum information.

3. get a free Atkins  quick start kit and 3 free bars from their facebook page.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bring the aroma of fresh made Caramel Corn inside with Werther's Original Caramel Popcorn this Fall.

I received free Werther's® Original® products for this post.

Nothing says a warm Summer's night than a stroll on the boardwalk and the aroma of fresh cooked caramel corn wafting over the families strolling along.  And nothing says Fall like the aroma of fresh cooked caramel corn at a Fall Festival. The cool day, sun flickering through the trees, and a warm bag of caramel corn to munch on as you shop the vendors and craft stands.

Now you can have that fresh taste of caramel corn with Werther's® Original® Caramel Popcorn anytime of the year.  It's made with real butter and fresh cream. It was voted #1 in a blind taste. I'll agree, it is tasty. Way better than I thought it was going to be. It has a nice crunch, fresh taste, and is not sticky or sweet.

I was able to invite a few friends over to try Werther's® Original Caramel Popcorn and watch the DVD Soul Surfer. I had some diner style baskets that worked great for each person to have their own stash of popcorn.

The film is the story of Bethany Hamilton who lost her arm in a shark attack.Her determination and faith brought her back to her champion standing. It's a really good movie and has a cast of Helen Hunt, Carrie Underwood, Dennis Quaid and others. Pick up a copy and have a family movie night with Werther's Original Caramel Popcorn and you can feel like a Summer night on the boardwalk watching the movie, less the sharks!

Jazz up your popcorn bowl with Chocolate Caramel Clusters:

you will need:
12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 cups of Werthers' original Caramel Popcorn
sprinkles, shredded coconut or whatever your favorite topping is

line a mini muffin pan with paper liners
melt the chocolate chips
place the popcorn in a large bowl and pour over the melted chocolate, stir until it's coated
place spoonful of the mixture in each muffin space and then decorate
refrigerate for 20 mins or so until the clusters are set.

After the movie and popcorn fun, each guest was able to take home a bag of Werther's Original popcorn, recipe cards, and coupons.

You can get a coupons, recipes, and more info over on Werther's Original® site.

If you are hosting a Halloween or holiday party add some fun activities to the party with Werther's® Original Popcorn like: guess how many pieces of popcorn are in a glass jar, make you own popcorn bag by decorating plain paper bags, have a popcorn toss using buckets and teams to see who can get the most pieces of popcorn tossed into the bucket.

Disclosure: I received free Werther's® Original® products in order to host the Werther's® Original® Sponsored MommyParty. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, October 11, 2013

How to get free samples of coffee, pizza, shampoo, and books

get a free sample of real cup coffee for your K cup machine from their facebook page
get a free small plate and beverage when you join California Pizza Kitchen pizza dough club

get a free sample of  L'Oreal Advanced HairCare Vibrancy

get a free book and more from Katie Woo Captsone book club facebook page 

What freebies did you get this week?
My mailbox freebies this week were:


Thursday, October 10, 2013

THE FIFTH ESTATE opens in theaters 10/18, here is your chance to see clips from the film before the movie opens!

Do you remember WikiLeaks? This movie is based on real events.
There is a lot of information out there...

take a look at these three clips:


Triggering our age of high-stakes secrecy, explosive news leaks and the trafficking of classified information, WikiLeaks forever changed the game. Now, in a dramatic thriller based on real events, “The Fifth Estate” reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization. The story begins as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) team up to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. On a shoestring, they create a platform that allows whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data, shining a light on the dark recesses of government secrets and corporate crimes. Soon, they are breaking more hard news than the world’s most legendary media organizations combined. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society—and what are the costs of exposing them?"

“The Fifth Estate” is presented by DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment in association with Participant Media and is produced by Steve Golin and Michael Sugar, with Bill Condon directing. The screenplay is by Josh Singer, based on the book “Inside WikiLeaks” by Daniel Domscheit-Berg and the Guardian book “WikiLeaks” by David Leigh and Luke Harding. The film will be released in U.S. theaters on October 18, 2013.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

See and hear the music video from Kathleen Grace's new album "No Place to Fall"

Kathleen Grace introduces her new album with cover of Townes of Van Zandt

Upcoming Tour Dates

11/9 - San Luis Obispo, CA @ Steynberg Gallery
11/3 - Los Angeles, California @ Blue Whare
12/7- Mendocino CA @ Mendocino Music Festival Fundraiser


see and hear more on You Tube

visit her Facebook page
follow her on Twitter

Free FROZEN printables to get ready for the November 27th opening in theaters



Walt Disney Animation Studios, the studio behind “Tangled” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” presents “Frozen,” a stunning big-screen comedy adventure. Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven—to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. The film is directed by Chris Buck (“Tarzan,” “Surf’s Up”) and Jennifer Lee (screenwriter, “Wreck-It Ralph”), and produced by Peter Del Vecho (“Winnie the Pooh,” “The Princess and the Frog”). Featuring music from Tony® winner Robert Lopez (“The Book of Mormon,” “Avenue Q”) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“In Transit”), “Frozen” is in theaters in 3D on November 27, 2013. For more information, check out, like us on Facebook: and follow us on Twitter:

Print out this fun Memory Card game from FROZEN 


Monday, October 7, 2013

Nine Allegry Tips to help you manage your children's allergies from Children's Claritin®

Now that the first month of school is over, it's time to get ready for Trick or Treating  fun, raking leaves and jumping in that big pile of leaves. Outdoor fun can lead to itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and coughing symptoms from pollen. To keep my kids allergy symptoms at bay they take Children's Claritin®  daily for their indoor and outdoor allergies.
 Know the allergy forecast before you send the kids to school each day
You can check the allergy forecast on Children's Claritin by typing in your zip code in the box on the right of the page. If the pollen count is high that day you might want to limit outdoor time. 
You can also print out coupons for savings on Children's Claritin (and coupons for Claritin for moms and dads too) also has allergy tips, a symptom checker, and product descriptions to help you manage your families allergies.
Back to School Allergy Tips:

1. Be sure to have Children's Claritin on hand. Did you know Children's Claritin is the #1 pediatrician-recommended non-drowsy allergy brand.

2. Take a multi-vitamin. Did you know multi-vitamins are the building blocks to having a strong immune system.

3. Open your curtains. Did you know mold doesn't like sunlight, so open your curtains in the daytime.

4. Keep your pillows clean. Did you know that pillows trap allergens, dust mites, and bacteria. Replace your pillows as necessary.

5. When your doing laundry, take the wet clothes out and machine or line dry as soon as possible. Did you know wet clothes sitting in the washer allow mold to grow quickly.

6. Monitor pollen counts before and after school activities. Did you know dry, windy days the pollen count can be particularly high in pollen.

7. Take your shower or bath at night time. Did you know bating at the end of the day can be helpful in removing allergens from your hair and body surfaces.

8. Drink your water. Send a bottle of water to school with the kids to keep them hydrated throughout the day. Did you know drinking lost of clear fluids through the day can help get rid of toxins and flush your body out.

9. Plan your outside activities when the pollen production is low. Did you know that early morning hours is when the pollen production typically occurs.

Help a school in need of accessible playground equipement

You can help a school in need of an accessible and creative place for children to play by voting in a national program with Claritin and KaBOOM.  Cast your vote for one of the 12 finalist schools at until October 31, 2013 for the schools being considered to win Imagination Playground tm and equipment.

Disclosure: As a remember of Children's®  Claritin Mom's Crew, I receive product samples and promotional items to share and use as I see fit. No monetary compensation has taken place and any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect  my actual experience.


Friday, October 4, 2013

ONE BOWL BAKING: Simple, from Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts by Yvonne Ruperti

Are you a baker? I like to bake, but I don't really bake that much. The reason is the preparation and clean up. My pantry had a few easy baking mixes for brownies, corn bread, a cake or two, and muffin mixes, but one day this Summer I gave my youngest daughter free reign to clean out the pantry. She took our all the cookies, crackers, and baking mixes. I'd been keeping baking mixes on hand for school events, holidays, and birthdays. It's so easy to add a few eggs, oil, and water to a mix and call it homemade. But what are all those other ingredients in the nutrition panel?

October is baking season in my mind. Pumpkin breads, pies, muffins, and cookies are my all time favorite baked good. The problem now is I don't have any baking mixes to make these yummy Fall treats. And yes, I could go buy mixes, but why would I want to do that and clutter up the cleaned out pantry!

My television viewing of  cooking shows might convince me that baking is not as hard as it looks. The baker has all the needed ingredients measured into cute little bowls, and at the ready. I'm not the type to do that, I like to measure as I go and put the food item right back in the shelf or refrigerator. My mom, who was a home economics teacher, taught us to clean up as we go. That is some great mom advice. Put the bottle of cooking oil, the butter, eggs or whatever back where it belongs in the kitchen right after you used the amount needed for the recipe. Don't pre-measure, that's more time and more clean up. My kitchen doesn't have a full staff getting my baking or cooking ingredients all laid out for me, how about yours?

I've been reading ONE BOWL BAKING: Simple, from Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts by Yvonne Ruperti   (Running Press)  this month and love the baking style in the book, it's just like the title states, simple, from scratch delicious deserts. In her book Yvonne Ruperti talks about her Grandmother's style of cooking, as simple without appliances to mix, chop, blend, or fold. Her Grandmother cooked simple because she did not own much, but anything she baked was well received by the family.

One Bowl Baking recipes are designed to use natural ingredients, like flour, sugar, butter, eggs, fruits, nuts, spices and more. The recipes are also designed for one bowl mixing-you don't have to mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another, use one bowl and have less clean up too. Using basic kitchen tools to do general mixing methods you'll find simple recipes to make for your family or bake sale at the kids school or church bake sale.

Yvonne Ruperti has listed the basic ingredient to keep on hand and the basic tools to keep in your kitchen pantry to make the recipes in the book. You won't need to haul out your monster size food processor, mixer, blender or chopper.  I'm not one for owning extra kitchen appliances because of the space they take up and the infrequent use. Presently we do not have a microwave-we had a small one big enough to reheat a small casserole dish, make popcorn, or melt butter or chocolate. I'm not planning on replacing it. It's been a little inconvenient to the kids, but I think they are getting over the lack of microwave.

So if you have some baking to do this year for school bake sales, holiday get togethers, or even just to warm your house up and let the smells of fresh hand made, home made deserts calling the family to the kitchen  then go get your copy of  ONE BOWL BAKING: Simple, From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Deserts. Look for it in your favorite book store available this October. There are over 100 recipes covering muffins, scones, cupcakes, layer cakes, cheesecakes, tarts, biscuits, treats, and bars.

I'm planning on making the glazed coconut bundt cake on page 150 this Sunday because we have been so busy this week and are ready for a day at home.  The cake batter for this recipe is simple: butter, sugar, salt, eggs, coconut milk, shredded coconut, vanilla extract, cake flour, baking powder, and for the glaze, confectioners sugar, coconut milk, shredded coconut. I already have most of these ingredients so it will actually be simple to mix this all in one bowl and let our house fill up with the delicious smells coming form the oven. 

If you like simple, delicious baking, then this book is for you. Most recipes can be mixed and in the oven in 15 minutes. There are pages of beautiful photos of the foods, and pages of baking tools and ingredients used in the recipes. There are no appliances needed to plug in or extra clean up of appliances. Just one bowl, basic kitchen tools like measuring spoons, and cups, baking pans, ( some recipes you can even mix right in the baking pan and skip the bowl) cup cake liners, and a few other tools you probably already have in your kitchen drawer.

Yvonne Ruperti has been on America's Test Kitchen for three seasons, was a recipe developer and writer for Cooks' Illustrated magazine, Visit her on her blog and on the blog: Serious Eats, and follow her on tiwtter @Yvonneruperti.

Disclosure: I received a copy of One Bowl Baking: Simple, from Scratch recipes for Delicious Dessert for this review. The comments and views are my own.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Into The Woods begins production for a December 2014 release.

INTO THE WOODS is turning into a movie with an all-star ensemble cast including: Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick and more.

The movie opens in theatres everywhere on December 25th
“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.



Diane Birch new album track list and tour dates here and hear the single too

Diane Birch's album "Speak A Little Louder" is out on October 15, 2013 on S-Curve records.

Diane Birch


Brooklyn singer and songwriter Diane Birch returns with her highly anticipated sophomore album, Speak A Little Louder out October 15 on S-Curve Records. An assured evolution from her 2009 debut, Bible Belt, Speak A Little Louder represents a creative metamorphosis for the singer, inspired by both her  journey into womanhood, and the many emotional and spiritual challenges she has faced over the last four years.

'Speak A Little Louder' Track List:
1. Speak A Little Louder
2. Lighthouse
3. All the Love You Got
4. Tell Me Tomorrow
5. Superstars
6. Pretty In Pain
7. Frozen Over
8. Love and War
9. Diamonds in the Dust
10. Unfkd
11. It Plays On

Upcoming Tour Dates
9/17 - New York, NY @ WFUV/ City Winery
10/1 - New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall
10/10  - Philadelphia, PA  @ World Café*
10/11 - Providence, RI @ Fete Lounge*
10/13 - Washington, DC @ Jammin Java*
10/15 - Boston, MA @ Great Scott*
10/16 - 18 New York, NY @ CMJ - TBD
10/22 - Chicago, IL @ Subterranean*
10/23 - Minneapolis, MN @ Turf Club*
10/26 - Seattle, WA  @ Barboza*
10/27 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir*
10/28 - San Francisco, CA @ Café Du Nord*
10/30 - Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour*
* with Kodaline
visit Diane Birch on her social sites:


ARM&HAMMER™ has a new Foot Care collection. It's cool mist of relief.

It's the season of hot and humid weather. Hot weather and I are just not friends. Arm and Hammer has two new invisible sprays, one for...