Monday, December 31, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Sorry for the unplanned blogging absence! I've been having a nice time with my family rather than sitting in front of the computer.

Free Stuff:
Downloads from Amazon Unbox.

Sample of Weird Fragrances (like Ash Tray). Via Fat Wallet.

Photo mug and 20 4×6 prints from Target. Details at ProBargainHunter.

Co-pay card for Lipitor purchases. Via Fat Wallet.

Sample of Friskies cat food at

Contests & Giveaways:
Goal Call Mondays at Go Workout Mom. Every Monday, post a comment with your health-related goal(s) for the week, then the next week comment with your results. You'll be entered in a random drawing for a surprise reward.

The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger at Serious Eats. Ends 1/7.

Tao Gomi Doodle All Year Coloring Books at mod*mom. Ends 1/21.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Freebies, & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of 25 minutes of direct assistance at (new customers only). Via Go Workout Mom.

Compostable Guitar Picks at Green LA Girl. Ends 12/28.

Peter Luger steaks at Serious Eats. Ends 12/27.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Free Stuff, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
8x10 photo at Walgreens with in-store pickup and code VERYNICE. 12/21 only. Via SlickDeals.

Contests & Giveaways:
$500 worth of beauty products at Temptalia. Ends 1/10.

Ornament Storage Box from Sterling Pear at Design Mom. Ends 12/23.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Contests & Giveaways

The Original Mod Squad DVD at Momsational. Ends 1/4.

D'Artangan whole boneless heritage applewood-smoked ham at Serious Eats. Ends 12/20.

Kids music CD at Z Recommends. Ends 12/21.

Photograph of the Year contest at Photography Corner. Ends 1/15.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Redbox DVD rental with code FREEDVD. Expires 12/24. Via SlickDeals.

Contests & Giveaways:
Southside Market Sausage at Serious Eats. Ends 12/19.

Angelina Ballerina: A Star Collection DVD Box Set at Classy Mommy. Ends 12/19.

$50 Amazon Certificate at PF Blog. Help PF Blog set his 2008 financial goals. Ends 12/20.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Just Like Sugar sweetener. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Target coupon for $3.00 off two Huggies products at Baby Cheapskate.

2008 Calendar from Horizon. Freebies 4 Mom

Sample of Head & Shoulders from Wal-Mart.

Dora the Explorer coloring pages at Free Stuff 4 Kids.

Contests & Giveaways:
Zac Posen Abbey Satchel at FabSugar. Ends 12/28. Must be registered to enter.

$50 Zingerman's Gift Certificate at Serious Eats. Ends 12/18.

You Need a Budget at Free Money Finance. Every day through December 31, so check back for the day's post.

An Arctic Tale DVD at Momsational. Ends 1/2.

$20 Amazon certificates daily this week by guessing the closing number of the Dow Jones Index at The Sun's Financial Diary.

Win a Wii at GeekSugar. Must be registered to enter.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix DVD at Goodyblog. Ends 12/19.

Green Goody Box for coming up with the best green new year's resolution at Low Impact Living. Ends 12/27. Via Emerald City.

Martha Stewart Living Cookbook at Serious Eats. Ends 12/24.

$25 Amazon certificate at Wise Bread by sharing your favorite financial web sites. Ends 12/23.

Boon Fluid or Safe Sippy cups at Z Recommends. Ends 12/19.

Wordpress Blog Theme at ProBlogger. Ends 12/22.

Radiant Cut Green Amethyst Pendant worth $699 at Bloggy Giveaways. Ends 12/21.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Quick update: Now I'm sick!

The flu bug that Alex caught early last week is now making its way through the rest of our family. Posting will be slow while I recover, so thank you in advance for your patience!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Huggies.

Sample of Aquaphor. Via The Bargainist.

Sample of Simply Nutrilite Nutrition Bar. Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder.

CVS coupons at Sense to Save.

Sample of Garnier Fructis 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner. Freebies 4 Mom

Contests & Giveaways:
My Mommy's Tote at Parent Hacks. Ends 12/14.

Russ & Daughters NY Nostalgia Package at Serious Eats. Ends 12/14.

$50 Izabella gift certificate at Bloggy Giveaways. Ends 12/17.

BabyGanics Healthy Home Starter Kit at Momsational. Ends 12/21.

French Bull tableware and accessories at Hostess with the Mostess. Ends 12/14.

The Cradle Beta Launch Giveaway. Ends 12/20. Via An Island Review.

Krups Panini Maker at Apartment Therapy. Ends 12/14. Via An Island Review.

Charles Worthington London hair products at Temptalia. Ends 12/17.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gifts for the Star Wars fan:

Marc and I are huge Star Wars fans, so we have quite a few related items in our house. Here are just a few gift ideas (contact me if you want more!):

  • R2-KT, or as I think of it, the pink R2-D2. Check out the web site and buy the actual toy here for only $9.99.
  • Republic Commando novelsby Karen Traviss. I read the first bookin this series when it first came out and it was excellent. Marc gave me the latest bookas a Hanukkah gift, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It's a different look at the clone troopers than was given in the movies, and fans of the Republic Commando video gamewill probably get a special kick out of these books.
  • Star Wars miniaturesare a fun thing to collect, even if you don't play the board games. I don't. I simply display my favorite miniatures on my desk.
  • The Clone War Adventurescomic books are lighter and faster reading than the Republic Commando books, and in the wonderful artistic style featured in the fantastic cartoonversionthat was on the Cartoon Network a couple of years ago.
  • Finally, the Star Wars Kids web site has relatively easy craft projects that you can make to give to the Star Wars fan in your life. I made the Yoda doll last year, and Marc loved it.

Disclosure: The Amazon links are affiliate links, the others are not.

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Reynolds Parchment Paper. Barg

Dropps laundry detergent with mail-in rebate. Fill out this form to get the rebate form by mail. (I’m including this because I’m curious to try Dropps myself.)

Contests & Giveaways:
CC Bright Night LED Night Light Bulb at Green LA Girl. Ends 12/14.

Giveaway a Day at Marie Claire.

Polaroid Pixie Video Camera at Z Recommends. Ends 12/14.

Instructables & CRAFT Contest - Submit your new gift project to the Instructable Homemade Holidays group to be eligible. Ends 1/13/08.

High School Musical 2 DVD at Momsational. Ends 12/21.

Sumo Omni chair at Free Money Finance. Ends "[s]ometime later this week."

HARDWARE handbags at Wardrobe Oxygen. Ends 12/23.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Sun Crystals natural sweetener. Freebies 4 Mom

Sample of Always Clean wipes. Via SlickDeals.

Signed Freakonomics bookplate.

Tissue from CVS. Click through to Freebie Fanatics for links to printable coupons, which expire 12/16.

Sample of Head & Shoulders. Via The Bargainist.

Sample of Mary Beth Soaps. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Contests & Giveaways:
Super Woobee at Parent Hacks. Ends 12/12.

4 Princess Bows $20 gift certificate at Bloggy Giveaways. Ends 12/15.

Interactive books at Momsational. Ends 12/21.

Red iPod Nano at Casa Sugar. Ends 12/18. Registration required.

A World of Adventure game at Z Recommends. Ends 12/13.

Calorie King book at DietHack.

Scholastic Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics sixteen-DVD set at Z Recommends. Ends 12/12.

My Friends Tigger and Pooh: Super Sleuth Christmas Movie at Mom Reviews. Ends 12/14.

Set of Discovery Girls "Fab Girls" books at Momsational. Ends 12/22.

WordPress for Dummies at ProBlogger.

$50 eBay certificate at Momsational. Ends 12/22.

One-year subscription to Dwell at mod*mom. Ends 12/31.

Something Wicked candles at CasaSugar. Must be registered.

$250 REI gift card at FitSugar. Ends 12/17.

K'NEX at Bloggy Giveaways. Ends 12/12.

4 Passes to The Golden Compass movie at GoodyBlog. Ends 12/14.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Update: Things are crazy around here

I'm sorry for the lack of posts! Things have been so crazy around here - mix together an injury requiring a trip to Urgent Care on Saturday evening, a stomach virus, and family birthdays, and you get a whole lot of chaos and a super busy mommy.

So I apologize for not bringing you the usual links to samples and giveaways, and I promise to get back to my usual posting routine as soon as I can. In the meantime, I highly recommend you check PRIZEY for giveaway links, and sign up with Start Sampling for (what else?) samples, which often include one-year magazine subscriptions.

Oh, and there's a huge sale going on at Amazon right now. I got the boys' Christmas gifts for 70% off (just one big toy apiece; they'll get plenty of gifts from their grandparents).

You can use these Amazon search methods at The Consumerist to find great deals, or check out sites like SlickDeals for listings. Happy shopping!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Contests & Giveaways Part II

Prize pack of Parents Magazine-branded toys from 5 Minutes for Mom. Ends 12/9.

Blueflip Art print at Super Punch. Ends 12/7.

$3,000 toward a holiday party from Cascade. Ends 1/6/08.

$3,000 toward new cookware from Dawn. Ends 1/6/08.

Trip to Key West, FL from Mr. Clean. Ends 1/6/08.

Hollywood Getaway from Swiffer. Ends 1/6/08.

Warm Biscuit Bedding at An Island Life. Ends 12/9.

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Dove Hair Care at Wal-Mart.

Sample of Purina Naturals Cat Food at Wal-Mart. ACFF

Contests & Giveaways:
BabyLegs at Parent Hacks.

Olive Kids name tags at Bloggy Giveaways. Ends 12/10.

Whole Foods Immune System Support Gift Basket at mod*mom. Ends 12/24.

Several prizes, including a Canon a570 IS digital camera package at Million Dollar Journey. Ends 12/13.

Olive Kids Personalized Placemats at Momsational. Ends 12/20.

Various prizes for sharing obscure trivia at Neatorama.

Pure Essentials products at An Island Review. Ends 12/10.

$25 Amazon certificate at Baby Cheapskate. Ends 12/9. Comment on how you save money during the holidays.

gabbybaby shirt at Momsational. Ends 12/19.

FlyJane pumps at The Budget Fashionista. Must register to win. Ends 12/10.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Angelina Ballerina plush doll. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Reusable shopping bag from RiceSelect when you join their Flavor Club. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Contests & Giveaways:
Professor Pocket: Our Silly Farm Adventure at Parent Hacks.

Year's Supply of Dropps Free + Clear Laundry Soap Packets at mod*mom. Ends 12/24.

Scholastic Gift Club of the Month at Bloggy Giveaways. Ends 12/8.

Kaboost at Tangled and True. Ends 12/6.

Klutz Make Your Own Shrink Art Jewelry Book at Momsational. Ends 12/18.

The Family Dinner Box of Questions "Eat, Drink, Play and Be Happy" at Momsational. Ends 12/18.

Sonic Underground DVD set at Momsational. Ends 12/18.

Live Earth CD/2-DVD set at Green LA Girl. Ends 12/6.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Signature Spices. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Sample of Dove Advanced Care. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Contests & Giveaways:
30 Minutes a Day: Grade 1 for Homeschooling or extra enrichment book at Momsational. Ends 12/17.

Thg Daring Book for Girls at Parent Hacks. Ends 12/4.

Organic Style Garland and Wreath at CasaSugar. Ends 12/7.

Swim with Amanda Beard Sweepstakes sponsored by Speedo. Ends 1/16/08. Via The Budget Fashionista.

Planet Mom T-shirt at The Mommy Blog. Ends 12/15.

Huge giveaway at Goodyblog (lots of different stuff). Ends 12/14.

$25 Amazon certificate at Baby Cheapskate. Be one of the first 20 people to send Angie an email with the answers to the questions in her post to be eligible for the drawing.

Comfy Easy PC at An Island Review. Ends 12/5.

Kaboodle $25,000 Wish A Day Contest. Ends 12/24.

Beauty Cast Babe kit at Momsational. Ends 12/15.

Alaskan TourSaver at Scribbit (for Alaskans only). Ends 12/7.

Carmen Electra Aerobic Striptease exercise DVDs at Momsational. Ends 12/20.

PictureItPostage personalized stamps at Momsational. Ends 12/15.

Bop-a-Lots DVD at Momsational. Ends 12/15.

M.A.C. Cosmetics Brush Set and Royal Assets Cool Eyes Palette at Beauty and Fashion Tech. Ends 12/12.

Easy Comfy PC at An Island Review. Ends 12/5.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Freebies 4 Mom has a list of pet freebies.

Contests & Giveaways:
$150 gift certificate to Just Be at Design Mom. Ends 11/30.

Avalisa Wall Art and Games at Design Mom. Ends 11/30.

Kailo Chic's Hand Clutch in Blue Damask at Indie Fixx. Ends 11/30.

Win a LeapFrog FLY Fusion Pentop Computer at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/13.

Easy Media Creator at mod*mom. Ends 12/19.

$1,000 weekly at NeatReceipts. Ends 12/28. Via All Financial Matters.

Mabel's Labels "Write On!" Stationery Kit at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/13.

Martha Stewart Crafts Package at Design Mom. Ends 11/30.

Kaboost booster seat at The Mother Load. Ends 11/30.

Lego Big Rig and a Bionicle figure (Plus a key chain for you!) at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/13.

Shrek the Third DVD, "Screamfree Parenting" By Edward Runkel, and Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/13.

Tyson chicken (no, I'm not kidding) at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/12.

Everything's Cool DVD at Green LA Girl. Ends 11/30.

Daily giveaway roundups here and here at An Island Review.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Garnier Fructis Color Shield. FF

Contests & Giveaways:
The Santa Clause 3 DVD at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/12.

Kodak Easyshare 5300 All-in-One Printer at Design Mom. Ends 11/29.

"Cook Once Eat Twice" cookbook, Eco Grocery Tote and T-Shirt at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/12.

Baby Linens from Spongy Feet at Design Mom. Ends 11/29.

LeapFrog WordLaunch Learn-to-Read-It System at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/11.

Andy Meets the Blue Angels DVD at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/11.

SpongeBob Atlantis SquarePantis DVD at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/11.

4GB iPod Nano and 3 personal finance books at Cash Money Life. Must share financial goal (for iPod) or subscribe (for books). Ends 12/4.

My Friends Tigger & Pooh: Super Sleuth Christmas Movie DVD at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/12.

Signed copy of Father Knows Best book at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/12.

Baby Butler Hands-Free Bottle Holder Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/12.

Spice Ring and Dangle Spice Earrings at Design Mom. Ends 11/29.

My 2008 Financial Goal: Pay cash for a new car

Patrick at Cash Money Life is giving away a 4GB iPod Nano as an incentive to get readers to share their 2008 Financial Resolution.

I have several financial goals for 2008, but the one I want to share is my goal to pay cash for a new car. I've mentioned before that we are ready to trade in our 1997 Honda Accord, and that after weighing the pros and cons of a new car versus a used car, we've decided to go ahead with a new car that we'll drive for at least 10 years.

We haven't decided on a model yet, but we have set a budget of $25,000. This means we won't pay more than $25,000 for the car, and hopefully it'll be a few thousand less. (The budget for our 6-cylinder 2003 Nissan Altima was also $25,000, and we got it for a little under $23,000.)

We'll get several thousand for the trade-in. I know we could probably make more money by selling the car ourselves but we just don't want to deal with the hassle, especially because neither of us knows much about cars. With two young boys, minimizing the time and stress spent on things we don't enjoy is high on our list of priorities. Unfortunately, lists the trade-in value at $3,150, while Kelley Blue Book lists the trade-in at $4,485 to $5,520. That's a pretty big difference, but to be conservative, I'll count on a $2,500 trade-in. If we get more, that'll be great.

That leaves us with $22,500 to save up. We've actually started saving already and are saving aggressively for this purchase. In fact, we've cut back on the amount we pay on my student loans in order to beef up our savings for the car.

I'm keeping an open mind, though. With the economy having a rough time, it's possible that we'll be able to get a fantastic financing deal when we buy the car next year. (Our Nissan Altima was financed through the dealer at 1.9% APR.) If that's the case, we'll opt to finance the car and put the cash toward my student loans instead.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Amazon Shopping Tip: Combine PriceDrop with Amazon's 30-Day Price Drop Guarantee

Yesterday, Raising 4 Boys wrote about Amazon's 30-day price drop guarantee, which I was only vaguely familiar with. The Raising 4 Boys post contains a helpful step-by-step guide on how to get a refund. Since I make quite a few purchases there, I was pretty happy to learn how to take advantage of the guarantee. I also remembered that the Firefox extension PriceDrop was made to take advantage of the guarantee. PriceDrop tracks Amazon's price for items you select and notifies you if the price goes down. It's just another reason to use Firefox.

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Maybelline SuperStay Silky Foundation. Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder and Freebie Fanatics.

Sample of Skin Nutrition. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Coupon for free Baskin Robbins ice cream cone at Bebe Reviews.

Contests & Giveaways:
I Love You More book at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/11.

Fable and Lore Coat and Trousers at Design Mom. Ends 11/28.

Julian & Co. necklace at Design Mom. Ends 11/28.

Tracey Clark books at Design Mom. Ends 11/28.

Very Irresistible Givenchy Perfume at The Budget Fashionista. Must register to enter. Ends 11/30.

Jade Horizon Pillows at CasaSugar. Must register to enter. Ends 11/30.

LeapFrog ClickStart with two games at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 12/10.

One year's supply of Dropps laundry detergent at Design Mom. Ends 11/28.

Large Bubbles Necklace at Indie Fixx. Ends 11/28.

Working for the Man: Inspiring and Subversive Projects for Residents of Cubicle Land book at Indie Fixx. Ends 12/4.

Daily giveaway roundup at An Island Review.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways:

Free Stuff:
Samples of Button Store buttons. Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder.

Contests & Giveaways:
Whomi Clarity Agenda at Chief Family Officer. Ends 12/3.

Bella & Lina handbag at Design Mom. Ends 11/27.

The Paper Café goodies at Design Mom. Ends 11/27.

Superhero Designs necklace at Design Mom. Ends 11/27.

$150 Zutano certificate at Design Mom. Ends 11/27.

Belkin Concealed Powerstrip at Productivity 501. (Must sign up for email subscription.)

Allergy Friendly Gift Basket at mod*mom. Ends 12/12.

Ficcare Hair Clips at An Island Review.

$150 Conservation International gift card at mod*mom. Ends 12/12.

Daily giveaway roundup at An Island Review.

As always, more giveaways at PRIZEY.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Freebies & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Free Hallmark Photo Card with code HPCFREE. Via Freebies 4 Mom.

Scholastic Kids Gift-of-the-Month Club at Momsational. Ends 12/10.

$50 Supermaggie gift certificate at Indie Fixx. Ends 11/26.

Giveaway roundup at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Kaboost chair at Classy Mommy. Ends 12/1.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


First, I want to give you a heads up on a giveaway that I'll be doing on CFO. It'll post Monday morning, and it's for something that I've recently started using that I'm excited to share.

Nuclear Nebraska book at Green LA Girl. Ends 11/30.

Pink Loves Brown stationery at Indie Fixx. Ends 11/25.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Giveaways (plus an Amazon sale)

This was the only giveaway I spotted today:

Becky Oh! bolsa clutch at Indie Fixx. Ends 11/24.

I also discovered that Amazon is offering 30% off 3, 5, and 7 stone jewelryfor a limited time. Let's just say I passed along a few links to Marc:

For more giveaways and deals, check out the widgets in the right sidebar.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Turtle Feet, Surfer’s Beat book at Green LA Girl. Ends 11/25.

Nearly Human: The Gorilla’s Guide to Good Living book at Green LA Girl. Ends 11/24.

Carolyn's Kitchen apron at Apron a Day. Ends 11/24. Via PRIZEY, which lists lots of giveaways that you should check out.

DVD giveaway-Captain N and the new Super Mario World at MomReviews.

Wednesday Roundup at An Island Review.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Samples of Gerber breastfeeding products. You'll need to call 1-800-4-GERBER.

Samples of Biz, Kotex, Huggies and more from Kroger.

Sample of Sunsilk.

Contests & Giveaways:
Difficult Conversations book at Being Frugal. Ends 11/25.

Laurel Denise Silent Night Necklace at Indie Fixx. Ends 11/21 at 9 a.m.

The DIY Wedding book at Craft. Ends 11/21 at noon.

Daily giveaway roundup at An Island Review.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Freebies & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Breathe Right strips. Via The Bargainist.

Sample of Fresh Look Color Contacts.

Shutterfly card if you click through and use code PMQ4-CARD. Via SlickDeals.

Sample of Listerine Whitening Strips. Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder.

Fred Flare package at CasaSugar. Ends 11/26.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Free screwdriver at Kobalt Tools. Register for an email newsletter and receive a printable voucher redeemable at Lowe's. Via 2million.

Sample of Village Naturals Therapy Mineral Bath Soak. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Samples of Free samples of Baby Phat Goddess and Shania Starlight fragrances. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Betty Crocker 2008 calender. Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder.

Sample of Maternal Concepts Cooling Care nursing pads. Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder.

Sample of Garnier Fructis Color Shield. Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder.

Sample of Dog Lover's Choice Extra Topping. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Contests & Giveaways:
Your Money or Your Brain book at My Money Blog. Ends 11/23.

$1,000 Shopping Spree at Skechers. Ends 12/31.

Great deal on Parents Magazine

I've quoted from Parents Magazine enough times that regular readers of CFO probably know I'm a regular reader of Parents. I just found a great deal via SlickDeals: a 1-year subscription for $2.08. You can order up to five years for a mere total of $10.40. The deal is at Publication Station, which I've never heard of but looks legit. (Don't hold me liable if you have problems, though!) To get the deal, add the magazine to your cart, and then check out. After you enter your billing info, you'll get to a page where you can enter a coupon code: enter the code PARENTS. For extra security, pay through PayPal (this is what I did, using a credit card) or get a one-time use number for your credit card through the issuer's web site (I didn't do that this time but I've done it before and it's very easy). I renewed my subscription with this deal, so I'm set for many years now!

Or, you can head over to Amazon and pay $9.97 for a one-year subscription:

Boycotting chocolate? Just about!

I love chocolate. If I were a poet, I'd write an ode to it, but since I'm not, let me just say that I have tried to stop eating it but never succeeded for long. Because of chocolate, I understand - at least a little - what it's like to be a smoker trying to give up cigarettes. I know chocolate is harmful to my health, especially in the quantities that I consume over the course of a day, week, month, year. It's certainly part of the reason why I have some pounds to lose. But even knowing that it would be better for my health hasn't been motivation enough for me to stop eating it.

Earlier today, though, I read Adrienne's post about the connection between chocolate and child slavery at Baby Toolkit. And I'm appalled to discover that my chocolate addiction has been facilitating child slavery in Africa.

The remedy? Why, a boycott, of course! Adrienne's asking that people avoid chocolate gifts this holiday season. So I hereby pledge to buy only fair-trade chocolate products from now on (she says those are untainted). Fortunately, Green LA Girl recently directed me to a fair trade chocolate gift basket that I'll be sending to my chocolate-loving friend.

I also promised Adrienne that I will try to get my sons' daycare to terminate their See's Candies fund raisers that are held every Easter/Passover and Christmas/Hanukkah season. I know there are other fund-raising options out there because we've discussed them in the past, so we should be able to find something more compatible with our school's goals.

I'm not giving up chocolate completely, but I am going to do my part to reduce child slavery. Are you?

Originally posted at CFO 11/15.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Freebies & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Bodycology. Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder.

Sample of Mystery Shampoo and Conditioner from P&G. Via SlickDeals.

Willow Bends bracelet at Scribbit. Ends midnight 11/19.

60th Anniversary Edition of It's a Wonderful Life DVD at Momsational. Ends 12/3.

HP Photo Book at Mom Reviews. Ends 11/26.

Daily roundup of giveaways at An Island Review.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Contests & Giveaways

Goal Digger: Lesson Learned From The Rich Men I Dated book at Single Ma's Fabulous Financials. Ends 11/19.

Mod Notecards at mod*mom. Ends 12/1.

Wise Investing Made Simple book at Moolanomy. Ends 11/30.

HP Photobook at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 11/29.

Aliza Darik Shoe Clips Giveaway at Shopdiary. Ends 11/16. Via Sugarloving.

Daily roundup at An Island Review.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Freebies, Giveaways & a Contest

Free Stuff:
Sample of Biz laundry detergent. Via SlickDeals.

Are you buying "stuff" just to buy things to make yourself appear higher on the financial food chain? contest at Dumb Little Man. Prize is a $50 Amazon certificate. Leave a comment by 11/15.

Daily giveaway roundup at An Island Review.

Review: Kellogg's Special K Chocolatey Delight cereal

You may have seen commercials for the new Kellogg's cereal, Special K Chocolatey Delight. The cereal is touted as a dessert substitute to help you avoid greater temptations.

I wouldn't call this cereal dessert, but it is a nice breakfast cereal. I mix it up with some Cheerios, since they're lower in sugar and I have always have some on hand for Tyler. If you like regular Special K and you like chocolate, you'll love this. If you don't like regular Special K but you do like chocolate, you'll probably like this, since there's a good amount of chocolate in it.

Even if you don't like Special K or chocolate but you do like sugary cereal, you'll probably like this. At least, that's my conclusion after watching Marc become the primary Special K Chocolatey Delight eater in our house. I actually started to get a little bit annoyed that he was eating all of *my* cereal.

Especially because Special K Chocolatey Delight is not the cheapest cereal at Target or Ralphs. At Target, it's $3.24 per box, whereas cereals like Cookie Crisp and Frosted Mini-Wheats are $2.34 and $2.54 per box, respectively. At Ralphs, a box of Special K Chocolatey Delight is over $4. I get an occasional coupon from the Sunday paper, but we eat more than an occasional box of cereal.

So I was happy to find a deal at Amazon that works out to $2.74 per box. Amazon has a pack of four boxes for $15.95, which isn't a great deal by itself. But if you buy $29 worth of select Kellogg's products, you get an instant $10 with code HEALTHYB (through Nov. 30). So I bought eight boxes for a total of $21.90, or $2.74 per box.

I realize this isn't the best deal as far as cereal in general goes. But Marc and I are relatively picky eaters, and cereal is a relatively inexpensive breakfast. For us, it's worth it.

Check out the handy widgets in the right sidebar!

There are so many freebies and giveaways out there that I can't keep track of them all personally. I do try to update you on the ones I think you'll find most helpful and interesting, but just in case you want even more, I've added some handy widgets to the right sidebar.

First up is the widget for PRIZEY, which lists lots of giveaways.

Next is Freebies 4 Mom, which lists lots of freebies.

Last but not least is Baby Cheapskate, which lists lots of deals to be had.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Babies R Us 15% Off Coupon

Head over to ProBargainHunter for a printable 15% off Babies R Us coupon. Exclusions include diapers and formula, but you can use it on wipes and clearance items (I bought Alex a pair of sweats for less than $2 early this year using one of these coupons).


Free Stuff via SlickDeals:

Sample of Avery Identification Labels.

Sample of Biz laundry detergent.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Apologies: I'm super busy right now and it's not going to get any better

I apologize for the lack of posts. This is the busiest time of year for me and I have so many things to do. I'll try to get a new list up tomorrow, but in the meantime, head over to PRIZEY for some giveaways to enter and to Freebies 4 Mom for some free stuff.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Freebies & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Page Stationery. Via SlickDeals.

CertainTees Tote Bag at Green LA Girl. Ends 11/11.

DayRunner Family Matters at An Island Review. Ends 11/13.

Dreamin' of Beadin' earrings at Scribbit. Ends 11/12 midnight.

Quicken Premier 2008 at Free Money Finance. Ends 11/12.

Prim and Proper Sign at An Island Life. Ends 11/13.

A roundup of giveaways at An Island Review.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Get a $100 Spa Treatment from Walgreens

I learned about Walgreens Spa Rewards today via Wise Bread. Basically, buying 2 of the participating products manufactured by Wyeth gets you $50 worth of spa treatment and buying 4 products gets you $100 worth. You have to jump through some hoops to redeem the $100, but when I called, the woman said there was no such thing as a "participating spa" and I can choose the spa I go to.

And I know exactly where I want to go: Burke Williams. There's one not too far from my house and the treatments I've gotten there have been very relaxing, even luxurious. I'm not sure what else I'll have done, but I have been longing for a good brow-waxing for a while now.

I don't usually shop at Walgreens, although there's a nice-looking one on the way to my in-laws' house. And Kacie at Sense to Save has piqued my interest in Walgreens with her posts about the great deals to be had there. So I'm going to see if I can find some Advil coupons and then head out to Walgreens before November 24.

Freebies & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Reynolds Parchment Paper.

Pregnancy Calendar. Via Freebie Fanatics.

LeapFrog Leapster Educational Video Game System plus Sonic the Hedgehog Game at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 11/21.

Woobee blanket at Parent Hacks. Ends 11/9.

Haute Hostess apron at YumSugar. Ends 11/14.

Mommy & Me PJ's at Classy Mommy. Each week for the next 7 weeks.

Chocolate Molecule Tee at Chocolate Bytes. Ends 11/30. Via Thrifty Mommy.

Play Foam at My Two Boys. Ends 11/12.

An American Hedge Fund book at Accumulating Money. Ends 11/12.

Wool rug or memory game at mod*mom. Ends 12/5.

Christmas Giveaway at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Ferd Kids boys outfit at My Mom Shops. Ends tonight.

Customized iPod case at Mrs. Micah. Ends 11/9.

Family pack of stuff at Parent Product Reviews. Ends 11/23.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life book at Green LA Girl. Ends 11/9.

Mother and daughter turquoise necklaces at Design Mom. Ends tonight.

Daily roundup at An Island Review.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Irwin Dust-Off Marking Chalk OR Permanent Staining Marking Chalk. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Contests & Giveaways:
Sandbox Threads Tee at My Mom Shops. Ends tonight.

Loop de Lou stationery at Bloggy Giveaways. Ends 11/10.

Recycline products at Rare Bird Finds. Ends tonight.

Holiday giveaway at Indie Fixx. Ends 12/31.

Three-layer puzzle at My Two Boys.

Daily roundup at An Island Review.

Win a Mazda CX-9 in Circuit City's Drive to 65 contest. Ends 12/3.

Boon Baby Feeding Set as well as links to a bunch of other prizes at PRIZEY.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Dangerous Admissions book at Parent Bloggers. Ends 11/20.

Kodak EasyShare All-In-One Printer at Props and Pans. Ends 11/18. Via PRIZEY.

Daily roundup at An Island Review.

I heart guts plush at Babygadget. Ends 11/8. Via Daddy Types.

Organic sheets at CasaSugar.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Gift Idea for a Chocoholic

I mentioned yesterday that Vosges chocolates were extremely disappointing but I found another chocolatier for my chocoholic friend's birthday gift this year. I think Norman Love Confections was a recommendation I came across on the Cooking Light bulletin boards. Unlike the Vosges chocolates, the Norman Love chocolates got rave reviews for both appearance and taste. In fact, I've been tempted to buy some for myself but the price keeps me in check ($22 for a 10-piece box, plus shipping). However, if you're looking for a special holiday gift of chocolates, I highly recommend Norman Love.

Freebies & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
A roundup of freebies at Money Blue Book.

Puj go sling at mod*mom.

I Love You More book at An Island Review. Ends 11/8.

Busy Body Book at An Island Life. Ends 11/8.

CertainTees "Missing Trees" long-sleeved shirt at Green LA Girl. Ends 11/9.

Books: Dangerous Book for Boys or Daring Book for Girls at mod*mom. Ends 11/19.

A roundup of giveaways at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Another roundup at An Island Review.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Bargain Alert: Graco Metrolite less than half-price

I've posted previously that I got a Graco Metrolite when Tyler was born and told you that I really like it. I still do, and I had a "doh!" moment when I realized that it was easy to work around one of the big concerns I had about the stroller, that the five-point harness would be irritatingly difficult to fasten on a regular, constant basis. But now that Tyler sits in the stroller instead of in his infant car seat, I simply fasten only the waist and center straps, leaving the shoulder straps untouched (they don't seem to bother Tyler).

You can now get the Graco Metrolite LXI strollerfor $89.99 plus $7.95 shipping at Amazon (sold by a third-party; list price is $189). I paid $120 for my Metrolite and I'm sure it was a lesser model than this one. Via Baby Cheapskate.

Review: Vosges Chocolates - A tale of disappointment

I've seen Vosges Haut-Chocolat featured on TV several times in the last four or five years, including multiple times on the food network. The founder, Katrina Markoff, has also been a judge on Iron Chef America. Vosges is known for its unique flavor combinations, particularly an unusual use of spices. I have a friend, C., who is a self-described chocoholic and also extremely difficult to shop for since she is one of those people who has everything. Last winter, I hit upon the idea of sending her chocolates for a Christmas gift, and it seemed natural to send her a box of Vosges.

C. was thrilled when the chocolates arrived, but less enthused when I talked to her later. She said they tasted just okay and that See's Candies chocolates were actually better.

Shortly after I placed the order for C., we began receiving Vosges catalogs in the mail. The pictures and descriptions are amazing. Unable to resist the temptation, I headed out to Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills, which sells a few Vosges products. I was hoping for the Caramel Marshmallows and a Macha Tea Exotic Candy Bar but since neither of those were available, I took home a box of Caramel Toffee. It was so disappointing. C.'s friend actually makes much better toffee that disappears in a matter of days in our house. The Vosges toffee lingered for months.

Although I'll never order from Vosges again, we do still enjoy receiving their catalogs - they really are food porn. And the best part is, we're not even tempted anymore.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Paradise Coffee. Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder.

Sample of Life's Abundance Pet Food. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Car Care Guide. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Sample of Purina Cat Chow. Via SlickDeals.

Contests & Giveaways:
Movie Projector rental at Design Mom. Ends 10/31.

Pink Dyson at The Domestic Diva. Ends 10/31. Via Don't Try This At Home.

3-month Hyperstrike membership (virtual personal trainer) at Go Workout Mom. Ends 11/6.

Kailani's roundup at An Island Life.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
25 free prints at Walgreens Photo Online with coupon code TREAT through Nov. 10. Via BebeReviews.

Sample of Bulgari Rose Essentielle fragrance. Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder.

Sample of Post-it Flags, Durable Tabs, and Arrows. Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder.

Sample of Dunkin' Donuts Coffee. Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder.

Sample of Sore No More pain relieving gel. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Juicy Juice product with this printable coupon. Register with Juicy Juice and get a free sippy cup. Via The Bargainist.

Free shipping at I don't normally post promotional codes, but I wanted to share this one because we are huge Lego fans and I've been completely amazed at what Marc and Alex create together (Alex comes up with the idea (garbage truck, forklift, etc.) and Marc executes, quite brilliantly). Via BebeReviews.

Temporary Tattoo. Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder.

Contests & Giveaways:
The Fall, Y'all! Bloggy Giveaway at Bloggy Giveaways. This is a huge list of giveaways (200+)!

Door Prize Giveaway at Like Merchant Ships (she's giving away 3 books). Ends 11/3.

The Complete Tightwad Gazette at Sense to Save. Ends 11/3.

Shop & Confess Video Contest. Via Bargain Hunting Moms.

Another Vision Forum Giveaway at Life in a Shoe. Ends 11/2.

Pack of MOO postcards at GeekSugar. Ends 11/2.

A bunch of giveaways at My Two Boys during the month of November.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Free Stuff:
Sample of Shania Starlight fragrance. Via

Pass It Along Give-Away at Pass It Along Give-Away. Ends 11/5. Via One Money Dummy Getting Smarter.

$25 gift certificate to Sher’s Wares at An Island Life.

Roundup at An Island Review.

LG Video Contest. Ends 11/10. Via mod*mom.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Oxyfresh Toothpaste. Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder.

Sample of Kenneth Cole Reaction fragrance. Via SlickDeals.

Sample of L'Oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss Shampoo and Conditioner at Wal-Mart. Via The Bargainist.

Contests & Giveaways:
CertainTees tote bag at Green LA Girl. Ends 10/28.

Quicken Premier 2008 at Free Money Finance. Ends 10/29.

Vienna Treasures gift certificate at Bloggy Giveaways. Ends 10/30.

Roundup at An Island Review.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Liz Earle Clean & Polish skincare. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Homemade Magazine from Wal-Mart (not sure if it's an issue or a subscription). Via Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder.

Reusable Tote. Via Mod*Mom.

Contests & Giveaways:

Burpee Takee Outee Gift Set at My Mom Shops. Ends tonight.

CertainTees "Octopus: Love" T-shirt at Green LA Girl. Ends 10/26.

Book: Negotiation Genius at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity. Ends 10/31.

Mugwaz Bagz kit at Opinion Mom. Ends 11/2.

Win a gift certificate to the Etsy shops of Cleveland-based sellers. Via Indie Fixx.

Gift Basket at Lounge Luxe. Also via Indie Fixx.

Pomegranate, Inc. Apron, Tea Towels, and Tablecloth or Tablerunner at Design Mom. Ends 10/28.

Method Holiday Gift Basket at Mod*Mom. Ends 11/12.

Epson PictureMate Dash Photo Printer, 60 cute family address labels, The Hoax DVD, and LTDchix T Shirts at Parent Product Reviews.

Freelance Octopus art at Freelance Parent. Ends 10/28.

The usual roundups here and here at An Island Review.

2007 Halloween Costume Contest and Poopasnuffas onesie or kids shirt at An Island Life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Product Review - Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags

My friend Karen turned me on to these microwave sterilizing bagsfrom Medela. I use them mostly for sterilizing pumping equipment at work, but I've also found myself using them at home - they're great! To use them, you put your pumping equipment in the bag, add water, and microwave on high for 1 1/2 to 5 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave. You pour out the water using the hole on one side, then carefully open the bag. I think this is the easiest way to sterilize the tubing from my breast pump. The bags can also be used to sterilize most bottles, nipples and pacifiers. The best part is, they're reasonably priced - I got a box of 5 bags at Target for about $5, and each bag can be used up to 20 times.

I try not to be overly paranoid about sterilizing, because I know a little exposure to germs is actually good for my kids' long-term health. I also keep in mind that the pediatrician said hot water and soap gets everything clean enough, and I microwave the kitchen sponge on high for two minutes every day to kill any bacteria growing inside. But these bags come in really handy when it's not convenient to run the dishwasher.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Freebies, Contests & Giveaways

Free Stuff:
Sample of Purex Natural Elements from Wal-Mart.

Sample of Garnier Nutriste skincare product from Wal-Mart.

Bag of Halloween candy at Kmart with this printable coupon.

T-shirt from Eight 76 Records. Via Freebie Fanatics.

Contests & Giveaways:
Several prizes, including an i-Tunes giftcard at The Digerati Life (which is one of my favorite blogs, so you should definitely check it out).

The Book of SPAM Caption Contest at Neatorama.

M by Mariah Carey at The Budget Fashionista.

The usual roundup at An Island Review

Monday, October 22, 2007

Review: Fisher-Price Rainforest Peek-A-Boo Leaves Musical Mobile vs. Tiny Love Symphony in Motion Mobile

Before Alex was born, I did my research and registered for the Tiny Love Symphony in Motion mobile, which was highly recommended by Baby Bargains. We received it as a gift from kind friends, and indeed, there was a sticker on the box indicating the mobile had won some kind of award. There was an exciting moment when Alex was a few weeks old when Marc turned to me and said, "He's actually looking at it!"

When it came time to set up a mobile in Tyler's crib, we put the Symphony in Motion mobile up and Marc pushed the button to make sure it worked. He listened to the first five notes of Beethoven, turned it off, and turned to me, ashen.

Me: "What's wrong?"

Marc: "We can't have this!"

Me: "Why not?"

Marc: "It reminds me of when Alex was born."

You see, when Alex was first born, life was miserable for us. I was having such a hard time breastfeeding and trying to cope with postpartum depression. Alex was always hungry, cried all the time, and didn't sleep from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. on a daily basis (I can still tell you the TV schedule for those hours). Marc did most of the childcare, since I was either pumping or crying, often both. It wasn't until Alex was about six weeks old that I started taking More Milk Special Blend, my milk supply finally met demand, we put Alex on a two-hour feeding schedule, and things started to look up.

All of this flashed through my mind as I watched the color slowly return to Marc's cheeks. "Okay, honey, let's go get a different mobile."

So off we went to Target, in search of a mobile that had the option of working without music. We couldn't find that option, but we found the Fisher-Price Rainforest Peek-A-Boo Leaves Musical Mobile, which had a "rainforest sounds" option. We took it home, installed it, and Marc let out a huge sigh of relief when he turned it on and heard leaves rustling and birds chirping instead of tinny, melancholy musical notes.

We had to take the mobile down a few months ago, after Tyler started pulling himself up, but we loved this mobile while we used it. It is easy to install, and has two volume options and three music options in addition to the rainforest sounds (though we rarely used those). The animals rotating around the mobile are cuter than the Symphony in Motion creatures (there was one monkey on Alex's mobile that had what can only be described as lobster claws for arms). It comes with a remote control that we never used, but which did turn the mobile on and off from a distance.

I think that perhaps the Symphony in Motion might be better for visual stimulation, with its bright colors and black and white contrast. The scraping sound of the plastic pieces that slide along the arms was grating to Marc and me, but it didn't seem to bother Alex (though who could tell), and perhaps its rhythm is intended to be soothing for baby.

I can't say that one mobile or the other was loved by the child that used it, although Alex frequently asked us to turn on Tyler's mobile. If I were to do it all over again, I would just start with the Fisher-Price rainforest mobile for the rainforest sounds option. You'll have plenty of toys that play awful music all too soon anyway.

Cross-posted at CFO.