Giveaway: Renuzit Sensitive Scents!

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Recently, I was given the opportunity to experience the new Renuzit Sensitive Scents line. It consists of three distinct light scents:

  • Pure White Pear & Lavender: The fresh scent of White Pear compliments the gentle scent of Lavender and creates a balanced fragrance that freshens your home without overpowering.
  • Pure Ocean Breeze: Pure Ocean Breeze is a delightfully fresh, light, and airy scent perfect for your home.
  • Pure Water Blossom & Cucumber: Notes of dewey flower petals and refreshing cucumber complement each other to create this gentle but powerful fragrance, sure to revitalize the freshness in your home.

IMG_3462My favorite is the Pure Water Blossom and Cucumber. The cone is on out hall bathroom- that’s the one that all of our guests and my 4 year old use, so you know it needs freshening! It’s a light scent that doesn’t mask the bed smells- Nothing is worse than an air freshener that just makes the room smell like the bad smell plus something sweet and overpowering!

I like that there are different method of scent “delivery” if you will. Not a Adjustable Cone person? Renuzit also offers Universal Scented oils (they fit in pretty much any oil warming unit). If you need to freshen fabrics or your rug, try the trigger spray. I used the Pure White Pear and Lavender spray on our couch yesterday. It was smelling funky- so a quick vacuum and spritz and it was fresh again!

I want to share the freshness with you! I am giving away coupons for any 1 free Renuzit Sensitive Scents product to three lucky readers. Entering is Easy Peasy! Just leave a comment below with the stinkiest thing in your house- Don’t worry, I won’t judge! I’ll pick a winner at random on March 7th!

Thanks to Renuzit and Social Insiders for the opportunity to sample these products and share them with you. I received no financial compensation and all opinions are my own!

2 Great Freebies from Ralphs!

Right now Ralphs club members can add two great real food freebies to their Ralphs Club Card!

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The first great freebie is  ONE  Free Bfree bakery item – includes loaves, rolls, bagels and wraps. Available ONLY at Ralphs. This deal expires on 02/29/16, so you best hurry!

The second is the usual Free Friday Download, but this week it’s actually something yummy and a little more healthy than the usual fare. Score one Free Kroger Greek Yogurt Pre and Probiotics, any variety (5.3oz). This deal expires 03/13/2016.

One thing that I really like about Ralphs is their Free Friday Download.  If you are new to Free Friday Downloads from Ralph’s, here is more info about how it works:

WHAT IS FREE FRIDAY DOWNLOAD? An exclusive benefit to having an account online at ralphs.com is FREE products (yes, we said FREE!). When you download the free product coupon, it will be loaded directly to your Shopper’s Card and applied at checkout in-store.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Visit this page on Fridays

DOWNLOAD the digital coupon for the free product (make sure to download between 12:01 am and 11:59pm PT). View the coupon under ‘My Coupons’ in your account online or in the mobile app.

You have two weeks to redeem this coupon in store! Pick up the product at your local Ralphs store and digital coupon will automatically apply at checkout.

Don’t forget to check back on Fridays to see if a free product is available for download!

 

I’ll be getting back into the habit of posting the freebies at Ralphs as they pop back up!

Learn a new skill from Craftsy for free!!

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I love Craftsy! I love making stuff and being creative, but sometimes it’s hard to learn a new skill or hone one you already have on a budget. Craftsy to the rescue! They have awesome free classes where you can learn to do all kinds of cool stuff from cooking and baking to knitting!

The free mini classes can be viewed on any device, so you can learn anywhere! Right now there are 47 mini classes that are free. Mini-courses  feature student-led discussions and are shorter in length than regular courses. They are a perfect way to learn new skills and experience the Craftsy platform first-hand.

Here are just a few of the ones I’ve saved to watch and explore:

For the complete list, click here.

Which Mini-Classes are you going to take?

a2 Milk: .29 at Sprouts!

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 9.04.55 PMWho doesn’t love almost free milk?

Right now, you can score a 1/2 gallon of of a2 milk at Sprouts for just .29 after rebate!

Here’s the deal:

  • 1/2 Gallon a2 Milk (any variety): $4.29
  • Use $1/1 printable here, or some local Sprouts have $1/1 Peelies
  • Submit $1/1 Ibotta Rebate
  • Submit $2/1 Shopmium Rebate (Sign up here- please use Code YHFAYCTP to score an extra $2 in your account!).
  • Total after rebates: .29!

Lil’ Man sometimes has tummy troubles with  regular milk, so any time I can pick up a@ milk at a discount, I’m on it!

 

Cutting the Cord: Going without Cable

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Disclaimer: This money saving strategy isn’t for everyone- I’ll admit it. If you HAVE to watch “your shows” or sports games and they aren’t available to stream on the TV channel’s website (FOX, CBS, NBC, and AMC have tons of their shows streaming on their site), this won’t work for you.

We don’t have cable.  Never have. Mr. C watches sports over Antenna TV or he’ll go to the gym and spend time on the treadmill or StairMaster while he watches football!

In my area, cable tv (with Cox Cable) is $61.99/mo for the cheap-o plan.  It’s usually on special for less, or you may get a discount if you bundle it with your home phone (we don’t have one!), but after any introductory rates have expired, the monthly price is $61.99/mo at a minimum.

So, in the 10 years we’ve lived together, we’ve saved roughly $7500 by not having cable. That’s A LOT of money.

There are a few things to consider:

If you want to cut the cord, before you call your cable company and tell them to shove it consider this. How old is your TV?  If it’s older than 3 or 4 years old, you’ll need a digital convertor box.

Why?  In 2009, the FCC made the switch from analog (over the air) TV to digital TV to free up analog airwaves for emergencies.

So if you have an old tv, plug it in and flip the channels, you’ll get static because your TV can’t access the digital airwaves without a convertor box. Convertor boxes run between $40-$60 and can be purchased anywhere that sells electronics. You need one convertor box PER television in your house that is over 3-4 years old.  If you are unsure if your TV has the convertor internally, check online or call the company that manufactured your TV.

Pick up a convertor box.  But you’ll still need one more thing.

An Antenna.  Not a pair of rabbit ears.  Newer antennas plug into your television, and the wall (yup they have an amplified signal, so you’ll get more channels!), and they hang on the wall. You’ll need one for each TV in the house.

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This is what ours look like, it’s a slim, shiny back box that hangs on the wall. They run anywhere from $45-$90 (depending on what type you get)

OK, so Convertor box (if needed)-Check!

Antenna– Check!

Now your are all set.

The directions that come with the antenna will tell you how to set it all up and find your local channels.

Now, you can call the cable company! Remember to return the cable boxes and remotes so you aren’t charged any extra.

Now the next question I get is: How many channels will  I get?

Depending on how strong the signals in your area are, you should be able to receive:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • NBC
  • CW
  • Fox
  • PBS
  • V-me (Spanish PBS)

There are additional networks that are available in various areas of the county.  Here in So Cal, we also get:

Plus we get a few more spanish language channels.

So- the take away is this: depending on how many TV’s you have in your house, and their age, you may spend a few hundred dollars up front to get all set up, but you may be paying a few hundred dollars a month on cable or the dish.  It will pay for itself in just a few months.

You won’t get ESPN or MTV or any of the other eight million other channels. But, you’ll get more quality time as a family.

We’ve never had cable. We’ve lived together for 10 years, and we’ve lived with broadcast TV (over the air with an antenna and converter box), Netflix- Streaming only (a gift from hubby’s parents!), and we have a HuluPlus subscription (at a whopping $7.99/month).

We’re not addicted to TV.  We watch Netflix or a show or two on Hulu at night, and Little Man and I watch PBS in the morning for Sesame Street and many other educational cartoons. We read, talk, or play games while most people are glued to the tube each night for 4-5 hours. We go for to the gym, or for a walk as a family.

 What would you do with an extra $700+ per year? What would you do with the extra time you could have not being glued to the TV each night?

 

 

Pinecone Research is looking for you!

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 11.58.22 AMSQUEEE!!! I am super Super excited to share this with you! If you’ve read the blog for a while, you know I love doing surveys at home to earn extra spending cash. My #1 go to survey company is Pinecone Research.

PineCone Research conducts on-line interviews with consumers from all walks of life to obtain their opinions about new products. To become a panel member, all you need to do is complete the simple form here, This will only take a few minutes of your time.

It’s easy and fun to see and evaluate new product ideas in the comfort of your own home. You will earn points for each completed product survey, which can be exchanged for cash and other rewards. PLUS you will be automatically entered into a bi-weekly Sweepstakes to win additional cash prizes for your time. Each interview usually takes 15-20 minutes of your time. Plus, you are free to leave the panel at any time should you choose to do so.

Pinecone has no crazy high minimum pay out (like some other survey companies)- You only need 300 points to cash out for 1 $3.00 Paypal reward. 300 points is just 1 survey!

Nitty Gritty: Registrants who complete the signup form online and align with the recruit target(s) and are eligible for membership consideration will immediately receive an email invitation containing a link, ID and password to complete the full registration process. The link takes them to a brief “staging” survey (6 minutes or less) to gather some further information about that registrant and their household, and to gain agreement to the terms and conditions for panel membership.

Right now they are primarily looking for Males, or anyone aged 18-24, or Hispanic ethnicity. And here is proof that I make money with Pinecone, here is a screenshot showing that I cashed out points:

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300 points is $3.00, 900 points is $9.00 and 1500 is $15.00. So in the past 3 months, I’ve made $36 in less than a half hour, all told!

Changes coming to SNAP by Groupon!

UGH. Seriously. So many awesome rebate companies have come and gone. And now, RIP to SNAP by Groupon…. Check this out (I posted this on FB this morning too):

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Important Changes Coming To Snap
Valued Snap Customer,

Great news! Starting on March 1, 2016, Snap will be expanding to include Groupon’s inventory of nearly 70,000 digital offers at top retailers in the United States and Canada. With this update, Snap will be transitioning from product-specific to retailer-specific promotions.

Since these new promotions allow for easy redemption and instant savings, we will be sunsetting Snap’s cash back feature.

What does this mean for my existing Snap balance?

If you have a balance of $20 or more, you can still request your check. If your balance is less than $20 on March 1, per the terms of the Cash-Back Program, you’re not entitled to request a check, but we will be giving you promotional Groupon Bucks in an amount equivalent to your Snap balance rounded up to the nearest $5. Those Groupon Bucks will expire on September 1, 2016, so spend them soon.

For more information about how the transition affects your Snap balance and for the terms that apply to Groupon Bucks, please click here. During this process, we will also be converting your Snap account into a new Groupon account. You can opt out of this conversion by clicking here by February 29.

Thank you for being such a valued customer, and we look forward to bringing you even more ways to save extra money online and in store at places where you shop every day. Please feel free to reach out to SnapSupport@groupon.com with any questions.Thanks,

Snap by Groupon

So, there you have it. If you have a least $20 in credit, cash it our ASAP. Otherwise be prepared for a Groupon Bucks reward.

I do like that they are rounding it up to the nearest $5- That’s cool.

But other than that, to quote my four and half year old boy, “LAME!”

 

Another one bites the dust 😦

 

Looking for some new digs? Check out the Grand Opening of Nickel Creek Townhomes in Ramona!

NickelCreek-logoColorSome of you may know that we moved into a condo last January. We house hunted for over 6 months, looking at listings online and driving all over the place. It was nuts. The awesome folks at KirE builders are proud to present the Grand Opening of Nickel Creek Townhomes in Ramona on February 27th. Just in time for those of you starting your house hunt in Eastern San Diego County.

There are so many things I love about living in East County:

  • Great Parks: including parks with cheap or free water fixtures for the kids to play in during the hot months.
  • Small Town Feel: most Eastern San Diego County cities and towns average about 60k residents or less each, but most have a great small town vibe with local activities sponsored by chambers of commerce, civic organizations, and local parks and rec commissions.
  • Many opportunities to Get Into Nature: We love discovering nature!  San Diego has a ton of great trails and ecological preserves, several of them are in Eastern San Diego County, and are family friendly!

Even though we’re not in the market for a new home, I’ll be checking out the Grand Opening of Nickel Creek Townhomes in Ramona. We’ve got some friends that are looking to buy in East County and I’ll be doing leg work for them!

I’m pretty excited! Besides the tours of the new townhomes, there will be lunch, a gourmet dessert truck, face painting, and music will be complimentary for all in attendance starting at 11am!

Bring your kids and they can flex their creative muscle and enter to win! Check out the coloring sheet below that kids can color and turn in that day at Nickel Creek, to win 2 tickets to Disneyland, a Kindle Fire, or a $50 gift card!

coloring sheet FINAL FINAL

 

If you can’t make it, but would like more info, check out the  Nickel Creek Interest List.

NickelCreek-Flyer_Back What I like about Nickel Creek is that even though it’s in Ramona, which is know for being pretty east in East County, it’s near the center of town: Tons of opportunities to shop and dine. Oh, and Ramona has a Dunkin’ Donuts. SHHHH- don’t tell my husband!

NickelCreek-Flyer_Front

 

I’ll be live tweeting and Instagramming from the event, make sure to check it out! And I’ll report back with photos and details!

 

 

Take 5% off Schoola and get $5 Starbucks GC!!

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By this time, you know my love of Schoola! Great gently worn clothes for kids (and women) at a decent price, and they give 40% of each item’s purchase price to local schools!

Right now, they’ve got a great deal! Because you’ve helped us raise money for so many schools, Schoola is treating you to 5% off and $5 to Starbucks! Use the code below now until 2/14 and we’ll email you a Starbucks gift card.

Spend $20, take 5% off  + Free Shipping and Get $5 to Starbucks
Use Code LATTELOVE

Please note, codes are not valid on new-with-tags items. Limited one code per order. Offer for a limited time. Must spend $20 with the code to qualify for the Starbucks gift certificate.

And if you are new to Schoola, when you sign up here, you’ll get $20 in credit to spend (which you can use with the coupon code to save even more!!)

Protein Shake Recipes!

DSC_0824For some of us, our New Year’s Resolution to lose weight has already started to peter off. NOT ME! I’ve got 40-ish lbs to drop to get back down to my pre-bitty Bird weight. I’m using protein shakes to help me.

A few years ago hubs and I did Sharp Weight Management to lose weight and to this day, we still use the protein shakes that are part of their program. HMR shakes are tasty and have a good amount of protein and other nutrients. All of the recipes below use HMR shakes, but you can use whatever kind of protein powder you like best (everyone has their favorite!).

I usually start my day with a coffee based shake!

Hazelnut Mocha: Mix Chocolate protein powder with  tablespoon sugar free chocolate pudding powder, 1 tablespoon Cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons Sugar Free Torani Hazelnut syrup, and 12-20 ounces of strong, hot coffee, When blending hot drinks in the blender make sure to vent the lid or it might pop off! To do this cold, use cold coffee and add 8-10 ice cubes.

Cinnamon Dulce Latte: The same drink at Starbucks (made with Fat Free milk and without whipped cream) has 210 Calories. With my version, you save 40 calories, and score at least 10 more grams of protein- this will vary for you, depending on how many grams of protein your protein shake has. Mix vanilla protein powder with 12-20 ounces of hot coffee (I like a larger drink, so I add more coffee), 2 tablespoons of Torani Syrup Brown Sugar Cinnamon (sugar free), a dash of cinnamon.  When blending hot drinks in the blender make sure to vent the lid or it might pop off! To do this cold, use cold coffee and add 8-10 ice cubes.

Frappacino: If you have leftover coffee after making your morning pot, don’t throw it away, put it in the fridge and make yourself a blended frozen protein shake. They will taste just like a frappacino, but with a lot less calories.  The average ice blended drink from a coffee shop has 300 calories!

The basic Frap recipe is as follows:

  • Protein Powder (the amount indicated on your package for 1 serving)
  • 12-20 oz cold coffee
  • 8-10 ice cubes (add more if you want it more icy)

Add in any of the following:

  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite sugar free syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder, Ovaltine, Sugar Free Pudding powder (your choice of flavors)
  • Use  Walden Farms Calorie Free Chocolate Syrup (or one of their other ice cream syrups- they make caramel and strawberry too) as a drizzle inside the cup and on top to make your drink with more of a Coffee House Flair without adding any calories!

Here are a few more of our favorite shakes. When we did the Weight management program through Sharp, we drank 6-8 a day, so creativity was the key to keep us from becoming bored and deviating from the program. (AKA cheating) These days, I use these shakes as a swap for a higher calorie dessert most of the time. That way my sweet tooth is happy, and I’m consuming WAAAY less calories!

As a note, I usually use a lot more ice to make it more “ice cream-y” and less like a chocolate milk.

Cherry Cheesecake shake: 1 pouch vanilla HMR shake, 6 oz cold water, 6-8 ice cubes, 1 tsp. sugar free cheesecake flavored powdered pudding, 3 pumps (roughly 3 tablespoons) sugar free black cherry Torani Syrup. You can substitute Strawberry syrup in place of the black cherry.

50/50 Bar Shake: 1 pouch vanilla HMR shake, 6 oz cold water, 6-8 ice cubes, 1 tsp. sugar free vanilla flavored powdered pudding, 3 pumps (roughly 3 tablespoons) sugar free orange Torani Syrup.

Eggnog shake:  1 pouch vanilla HMR shake, 6 oz cold water, 6-8 ice cubes, 1 tsp. sugar free cheesecake flavored powdered pudding, 1tsp. rum extract, sprinkle/dash of grated nutmeg. (Mr. C had this on X-mas eve and it was FABU!)

Lemon/Raspberry Shake: 1 pouch vanilla HMR shake, 6 oz cold water, 6-8 ice cubes, 1 tsp. sugar free lemon flavored powdered pudding, 3 pumps (roughly 3 tablespoons) sugar free Raspberry Torani Syrup.

Peanut Butter Cup Shake: 1 pouch chocolate HMR shake, 6 oz cold water, 6-8 ice cubes, 1 tsp. sugar free chocolate flavored powdered pudding, 2 tablespoons of PB2 powder.

Almond Joy Shake: 1 pouch chocolate HMR shake, 6 oz cold water, 6-8 ice cubes, 1 tsp. sugar free chocolate flavored powdered pudding,2 pumps (roughly 2 tablespoons) sugar free Almond Torani Syrup, and 2 pumps (roughly 2 tablespoons) sugar free coconut Torani Syrup . You can use 1 tsp. Almond extract if you prefer in lieu of the almond syrup.

Mounds Shake: 1 pouch chocolate HMR shake, 6 oz cold water, 6-8 ice cubes, 1 tsp. sugar free chocolate flavored powdered pudding,3 pumps (roughly 3 tablespoons)  sugar free coconut Torani Syrup .

Milky Way Shake: 1 pouch chocolate HMR shake, 6 oz cold water, 6-8 ice cubes, 1 tsp. sugar free butterscotch flavored powdered pudding.  To make a snickers shake, add 1-2 Tablespoons of PB2.

Butterfinger: Mix chocolate protein powder with 1 tablespoon PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter, 1 tablespoon sugar free butterscotch pudding powder, 1 tablespoon Cocoa powder, 8-10 ounces of cold water and 8-10 ice cubes. Blend on high until the ice cubes are incorporated.

Mud Pie: Mix chocolate protein powder with 1 tablespoon sugar free chocolate pudding powder, 1 tablespoon Cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon Ovaltine, 8-10 ounces of cold strong coffee and 8-10 ice cubes. Blend on high until the ice cubes are incorporated.

Chocolate Malt:  MIx chocolate protein powder with 1 tablespoon sugar free chocolate pudding powder,  1 tablespoon Ovaltine (choose the malted variety- it’s in the yellow package), 8-10 ounces of cold water and 8-10 ice cubes. Blend on high until the ice cubes are incorporated.

PB&J: Mix vanilla protein powder with 2 tablespoons PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter, 2 pumps of your favorite fruit flavored Torani Syrup (strawberry, grape, raspberry are just a few), and 8-10 ounces of cold water and 8-10 ice cubes. Blend on high until the ice cubes are incorporated. Tastes just like a PB&J!

Later in the week, I’ll be posting my home made protein bar recipe and an oatmeal protein muffin recipe- perfect for keeping you on track!