6.29.2010

$1 off Garden of Eatin' Chips



Go here to print a coupon for $1 off one bag of Garden of Eatin' Chips.

Gourmet Pasture Beef Jerky



I recently raved about how much I LOVE Gourmet Pasture Beef, and shared a coupon code with my readers (still valid!). Well now they are offering beef jerky! Plus if you order 3 bags by July 31st, you will also get FREE SHIPPING!

Lazy Green Mama

 

There is a new green blog I'd like to introduce you to: Lazy Green Mama!

This week, the Lazy Green Mama is kicking off the start of her blog with 6 great reviews/GIVEAWAYS!  Head over here and read how you can earn extra entries in the giveaways. 
The Giveaways include:  a Thirsties Duo Diaper, wooden toys, a drum (your ears will actually thank you for this one!), organic bath & body products for kids, ReUsies lunch bags & Nellie’s laundry detergent. 

The Complain-Free Day

I don't consider myself much of a complainer. However, I do get frustrated easily and I worry or imagine negative outcomes (mainly related to my husband's deployment). It's easy to get in the habit of being negative, and when others around you are the same way, it becomes a cycle, or even a contest over who has it worst.

In general, I am optimistic, but negative thoughts spread quickly and can take over in seconds, clouding my vision and outlook. Before going down that road today or in the next year, I have decided to consciously make a habit of being positive. Even more specifically, to be content with what I've been dealt now, instead of thinking "things will be better when..." or "I wish that..."

This is a habit that I want to stick before my husband leaves and before everything seems to fall apart (which I hear is frequently the case as soon as the deployment starts). So when I get sick and I'm exhausted, I will think that I'm thankful I'm healthy most of the time. When the car breaks down, I'm thankful we have a car. When I'm eating dinner without my husband, I'm thankful that Jacob is there to keep me company.

Optimism is a learned trait. And the lesson for today is: can I go a day without complaining about something...anything? When a negative thought or idea slips out of my mouth can I catch it and re-frame it positively? Yes, I can do that. (There, I started the day off positive already!)

6.28.2010

Upcoming Review: CSN Stores


A few days ago, CSN Stores asked me if I'd like to review a product from one of their 200+ stores, and I jumped at the opportunity! There's been a lot of buzz around the blogging community about CSN Stores, and I can see why considering they carry almost EVERYTHING, including many eco-friendly items (which especially got my attention). I've been looking over the large variety of items available from CSN Stores and making a little wishlist, a few things I noticed are the wall sconces, stainless steel cookware, sandboxes, and other baby furniture. Plus they offer free shipping on almost everything and their prices are budget-friendly! If you haven't visited them online yet, I recommend that you check out CSN Stores. Also, check back soon for my review!

Cooking with a Crockpot

I'm officially using a crockpot for the first time today! I've been talking about getting one for about a year and finally did two weeks ago. It's not that I was being lazy, it's mainly that I had to talk my husband into letting me get one. He generally dislikes all of my kitchen gadgets and the space they take up, especially since we have very little counter space, so they get piled in the pantry. Yet, last month we purchased a fresh chicken at the farmer's market and it was HIS IDEA to cook it in a crockpot, much to my surprise.


I'm experimenting on the recipe since I haven't done this kind of cooking before... I ended up pouring some chicken broth over the chicken, tossing some lemon slices in, and adding a lemon pepper marinade on top. Now I have to patiently wait 6-7 hours (which is the hardest part for me!) I hope it turns out yummy!

Mailbox Monday: June 28th

I just realized that I haven't posted about what arrives in the mail for a long time!
Today was a good day for mail so I wanted to share :)


Here's what I got:
Full size bottle of Samy Deep Conditioning treatment (I'm guessing it was a sample I signed up for and forgot about)
Samples of Crystal Light PureFitness from Vocalpoint
Single Check Rebate from Rite Aid
$5 from a survey company for testing a product at home*


*I've been getting A LOT of products to test lately! The companies that send me products most often are Pinecone Research, Ipsos I-Say, and Lightspeed. To sign up for surveys and product testing visit this post.

6.27.2010

It's photos like this...

I've mentioned a few times that my husband is leaving for Afghanistan soon... and I've been trying to take as many photos and videos as I can so Jacob and I have something to cheer us up when we miss daddy. I think it's photos like this that are going to make the year go by a little faster :)

Home! Now it's time to catch up!

We had a great vacation in California and Jacob did pretty well on both flights yesterday, which was a relief because I was pooped...
I'll be posting pictures as soon as I upload and sort through all 698 of them (yes, I'm one of those people).

The first thing on the agenda is to read through the 275 emails I missed (in just one of my accounts)!

In unrelated news, I discovered these beauties in the garden this morning!

HAPPYBABY and YoBaby Winners!

The winner of the HAPPYBABY prize pack is:



#33 Tabathia



The YoBaby prize pack winner is:


#65 trixx



Congrats! I will be emailing you both this morning... after I feed my little one breakfast :)
Thanks for entering everyone! Thank you HAPPYBABY and YoBaby for sponsoring this giveaway!

Update: What I learned from traveling with a baby

In May I posted a few items that are very helpful to pack when traveling with a baby. After the most recent trip, I have more items to add to the list:


Taking a chance, I ordered this travel high chair from Amazon before our trip, and it worked wonderfully! Jacob was not thrilled about being strapped into it, but there were many times when I needed a secure option for feeding him and there wasn't a high chair available. It also folds easily into a pouch and takes up little space in your bag.



I usually keep a reusable bag in my purse for running errands, and I'm glad I left it in there for the trip! We don't use a diaper bag because most of the time I can throw a few items I need in my large purse and we're set for a couple hours. Yet when we left the hotel for the entire day I had more items to carry for Jacob than my purse would allow, so I used my reusable bag to carry everything we needed for the day. I have the bag pictured above from Envirosax, and I recommend it because the bag is sturdy, spacious, and compact!


Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.

6.20.2010

Headed to California!



Our little family is headed to California to visit family and friends before my husband deploys to Afghanistan. While I'm gone don't forget to enter the HAPPYBABY and YoBaby giveaway that ends on June 26th!

6.18.2010

Horizon Organic Coupon


Register or login here for $.55 off one half gallon of Horizon Organic Milk Plus DHA Omega-3!

Alice.com: HAPPYBABY products!


Alice.com is now carrying HAPPYBABY products at great prices!

Organic puffs $2.89
Yogurt melts $2.99
Stage 2 foods $.89
Stage 3 foods $1.19
HAPPY BELLIES cereal $3.79

There are tons of other green and organic items available on alice.com, to find them quickly, click the button at the top right of their page that says "Other ways to shop" and then select "green & organic."
Alice.com is really convenient because there are no coupons to clip, shipping is FREE (with minimum number of items), and after you spend $50 you get a $10 credit!


Disclosure: This post contains a referral link. 

6.17.2010

Kidelicious: $25 credit for taking a survey


There is a new online kids store coming soon called Kidelicious! When you take the Kidelicious survey, you will be emailed a $25 credit to use on your first order! The site is not live yet and won't be until at least January 2011, but when it opens up you'll have $25 to spend! I filled out the survey this morning and received my credit within minutes (in my spam folder).

6.16.2010

Garden: First Tomato!

I just picked the first tomato from our garden, and a few others will be ready tomorrow! 

 A couple pumpkins are almost baseball size. 

The yellow squash are growing quickly too.

I hope it rains while we are gone next week!

Shortcuts: $.75 off Snikiddy Baked Snacks



Shortcuts.com has a new electronic coupon for $.75 off Snikiddy Baked Fries or Cheese Puffs!

When you register and enter your grocery store savings card info on Shortcuts.com, you can add electronic coupons to your card. Next time you shop and your card is scanned, the coupons are automatically deducted, no printing required!

9 months

Today my noisy, one-toothed, carpet lint eating, crawling little monster is 9 months old! And it was yesterday that he made some expression, or something about the way he was sitting and looking around, or maybe just the fact that he seems so tall already...something about him made me realize that he is starting to look more about more like a child and less and less like a baby. I'm completely fine with it, you aren't going to hear me talking about how much I miss when he was tiny, or how quickly he's grown up and how it makes me sad, because I don't feel sad about it. Growing up a bit is fine by me, because up until a few weeks ago we were still feeding a few times a night, and now I am finally getting to sleep through the night more nights than not! I enjoyed the good parts about those stages and we've moved on to new things. I like this stage, Jacob has quite a personality and he cracks me up, but I'm sure tomorrow there will be something new about him that amazes me. That's the part I enjoy, being surprised each day. Happy 9 months Jacob, I couldn't imagine life without you :)

6.15.2010

Burt's Bees Grab Bags are Back!


A couple times a year Burt's Bees offers a grab bag of over $50 worth of product for $24.99!
I ordered one before Christmas and was very pleased with everything that came in the grab bag, plus it's an incredible deal! You'll get 5 full-sized products, 14 mini-size products, and 5 special gifts! The assortment includes a lip balm, lip shimmer, lip gloss, body lotion, facial cleanser, hand cream, face cream, and more. To order one before they sell out, click here.

$1 off Burt's Bees Toothpaste

Coupons.com has a new coupon available for $1 off Burt's Bees natural toothpaste!

A few other coupons that can still be printed are:
$1 off one Muir Glen product
$1.50 off any Kiss My Face product
$1 off any Cascadian Farm product

6.14.2010

Lavender, Vanilla & Honey Face Scrub


A couple weeks ago, I came across this recipe for Lavender, Vanilla & Honey face scrub that sounded wonderful. After picking up some dried lavender at the farmer's market on Saturday, and making the trip to Trader Joe's in Nashville yesterday for some Almond oil (which they didn't have so I got grapeseed oil), I finally had all of the ingredients I needed!


Here's what you need:

1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried lavender
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond oil (or other light facial-grade oil such as jojoba or grapeseed)
1 tablespoon honey

First mix the sugars, then stir in the vanilla and lavender. Gently crush the bulbs between your fingers as you add them to the mix. Stir in the oil and honey. The mixture will form a thick paste (at this point I decided to add a little extra oil to get the ingredients to stick together better). Store it in an airtight container.

Directions for use:  Gently massage a small amount of scrub in circular motions over clean skin, avoiding sensitive eye and lip areas. Rinse with warm water, followed by a cool water splash. Pat dry. Follow with moisturizer if desired.


A jar of this sugar scrub would make a great gift! You can get cute and crafty with the label and container too!

Note: I doubled the recipe to get the amount shown in the glass jar. I also added a few drops of Lavender essential oil.

6.11.2010

Save $.75 on Earthbound Farm Organic Baby Spinach


Go here to print a coupon for $.75 off Earthbound Farm Organic Baby Spinach!

Swagbucks Surveys!



I'm VERY excited that Swagbucks is now rewarding members for completing surveys! I earn the bulk of my money online by completing surveys from a variety of companies. This money helps pay for essentials and extras that I get from Amazon, or if the earnings go to my paypal account, I can transfer it directly to my bank. Well now that Swagbucks has surveys I think it will be even easier for me to meet my $5 a Day Challenge goals!

Swagbucks is a site that works primarily as a search engine, and rewards you randomly for searches, and for a bunch of other things (like shopping online, referring friends, and now surverys!) You can read more about Swagbucks' Trusted Surveys here. Surveys can be accessed under the "Ways to earn" tab on Swagbucks.


If you aren't using  Swagbucks yet, this is just one more great reason why you should join! I typically earn about $15-20 a month in Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks!



Disclosure: This post contains a referral link.

Review and Giveaway: HAPPYBABY and YoBaby (Two Winners!)


One of the first things that peaked my interest in HAPPYBABY products, is that they are recommended by Dr. Sears. Not only is he one of my favorite parenting experts, due to his credibility, when Dr. Robert Sears stands behind something you know it's good! He even teamed up with HAPPYBABY to write an organic guide for infant and toddlers (see my thoughts about the book here)!

HAPPYBABY is committed to providing families with the healthiest, most optimal nutrition possible. Besides using the best organic ingredients, they also incorporate the best nature has to offer when it comes to added nutrition. Some of their added nutrients include their sustainable source of DHA, pre and probiotics, and supergrains like Salba and Quinoa.

HAPPYBABY has partnered with Dr. Sears to ensure the healthiest formulations possible for baby's growing body. They work together to create products that he feels good about recommending to his patients and you.

HAPPYBABY has made a "No Junk" promise to ensure that their foods are safe, of the highest quality, without added sugar, trans fats, anything artificial, and always in the safest BPA free packaging.

HAPPYBABY is constantly working to reduce their carbon footprint, and use green sourcing and packaging.

HAPPYBABY works with Project Peanut Butter to help feed starving children in Malawi. Every package purchased contributes to this effort.

HAPPYBABY wants to feed your mind as well as your tummy. They offer tips and tricks from our experts as well as other moms, dads and caregivers on their website, as well as in the nutrition guide co-authored by Dr. Sears.

HAPPYBABY products are USDA organic. They believe that children deserve delicious foods free from chemicals, pesticides, artificial ingredients, and preservatives.


My family was introduced to HAPPYBABY products several months ago. Actually, the first solid bite of food (beyond purees) my son had was a HAPPYMELTS yogurt melt. At first I was nervous about him choking on it or thought he would just spit the melt back out. Thankfully neither happened and it turned out my son really likes eating HAPPYMELTS. The melts contain pre and probiotics to support digestion, and they are preservative free. Each bite is the perfect size for his little fingers as they are learning to pick up foods, and the melts dissolve quickly in his mouth. Now I keep a pouch of them in purse or diaper bag for when we are out running errands or eating dinner in a restaurant, or for whenever when we are in need of a convenient and healthy snack.

I contacted HAPPYBABY and told them how much we love the HAPPYMELTS and they asked me to try out and review a few of their other products. For this review we tried HAPPYBABY's baby food, puffs, melts, bellies, and asked a friend to have her toddler try the bites.


We sampled the HAPPYBABY Puffs in the apple flavor and banana flavor. HAPPYBABY Puffs also come in a greens flavor that we have yet to try. The puffs are made with whole grains, and are supplemented with vitamins and minerals. They also have half the sugar as other similar products on the market.

The cool thing about the packaging is that the containers were originally designed for Method wipes, but Method had a surplus of hundred of thousands of the containers, made from 25% post-consumer recycled plastic. So HAPPYBABY made the containers the home of their Puffs, which reduced their carbon footprint and the amount of packaging used. As an added bonus for you, the containers have 40% more puffs than other brands = savings for you!


When Jacob first started eating HAPPYBABY Puffs, he didn't quite have his aim down and they were flying all over the place as he eagerly tried to eat them. Yet by the next day when I poured a few on his highchair tray his eyes grew huge and he started laughing, then he instantly grabbed a hand full and shoved them in his mouth. I guess he mastered feeding himself very quickly because he wanted those puffs in his belly as fast as possible! I've concluded that my son is obsessed with HAPPYBABY Puffs because he practically demands them. Jacob's love for the puffs is pretty amusing, he will be throwing a fit and screaming then I shake the container and it stops immediately.

Jacob almost always refuses to eat cereal by itself, and sometimes altogether. Luckily, when I mixed a HAPPYBABY fruit cube in with a few tablespoons of HAPPYBELLIES cereal and formula, there were no protests. He even made a little "mmmm..." sound after each bite! His favorite is the Multi-grain cereal. Feeding Jacob HAPPYBELLIES gives me a feeling of confidence that he is starting his day off right! HAPPYBELLIES has DHA and is the only baby cereal with probiotics to support immunity. Additionally it is mineral enriched so I know that his other nutritional needs are being met with iron, and vitamins.


HAPPYBABY frozen baby food is great because it stores easily and neatly in the freezer. Because each cube is one ounce, I don't have to worry about wasted portions if my son only eats a small amount of food at a time. To prepare, you just pop a cube out of the tray (they pop out easier than ice from an ice cube tray!) and heat it for about 30 seconds to defrost. I also like that I can create interesting meal combinations for my son by mixing different fruits, veggies, or meat. Of course, and most importantly, Jacob approved of the taste! HAPPYBABY baby food also comes in pouches, stage 1-3.


My son isn't eating many table foods yet, so I asked a friend to try out the HAPPYBABY Bites with her son. She told me that while he was a little skeptical of the new foods at first, after a few minutes he dug right in and really seemed to enjoy them! He especially liked the mac & cheese!


I'm impressed that HAPPYBABY not only offers high quality organic products, but that they also practice environmental and social responsibility! Not only do I feel confident feeding my son HAPPYBABY products because of their taste and quality, I also feel great supporting the company.


YoBaby from Stonyfield is certified organic, which means it's made without the use of pesticides. It is also free of  synthetic growth hormones or antibiotics. YoBaby is made from whole milk that helps support healthy brain development. One serving of YoBaby provides 25% of your baby’s daily need for zinc, the mineral that helps support a healthy immune system, and at least 25% of your baby’s daily needs for calcium, protein, and vitamin D, plus other nutrients essential for babies' growth. Like all Stonyfield yogurts, YoBaby contains an exclusive blend of six cultures, including the probiotic L. rhamnosus. YoBaby is for babies 6 months and up and is recommended by Dr. Bill Sears.

Jacob also sampled two flavors of YoBaby organic yogurt. He loved both the apple and blueberry yogurt, and the portion size was perfect for him! When I tasted them, I was happy that they weren't overly sweet and the consistency is similar to baby food purees rather than being too thick.


Buy It: To find a store near you that carries HAPPYBABY products, click here, and for YoBaby/Stonyfield products, click here.

Giveaway: This giveaway will have TWO WINNERS! One winner will receive a HAPPYBABY prize pack, and the other will receive a YoBaby prize pack.

HAPPYBABY Prize Pack
2 free trial coupons for each of our product lines:  Bellies, Baby, Puffs, Melts, Bites
1 FAQ on Probiotics & DHA
1 Infant & Toddler Nutrition Guide, co-authored by Dr. Sears
1 HAPPYFAMILY Recipes

YoBaby Prize Pack
2 free trial coupons for YoBaby 4-packs
1 Eric Carle Growth Chart

Win It: To enter to win one of the prize packs, leave a comment below stating if you have a preference for either prize AND something you learned by visiting the HAPPYBABY or YoBaby online.

Extra Entries:
You must complete the mandatory entry above before you qualify for any extra entries! Post a comment below for each entry you complete, along with your email if it isn't visible in your blogger profile.
6) Subscribe to the HAPPYBABY Newsletter
7) Subscribe to the Stonyfield Newsletter
8) Subscribe to Cheap and Creative by email or RSS
11) Grab my blog button and comment with the URL of where it's posted (2 entries)
12) Vote for Cheap and Creative on Top Mommy Blogs, just click the link on the right sidebar (1 entry per day)
13) Comment on another blog post (1 entry each, leave separate comments for each entry below)
14) Tweet about this giveaway and comment with your tweet URL (1 entry per day), you can use this tweet:

#Win a prize pack from HAPPYBABY or YoBaby! 2 Winners! @cheapandcreativ @happybabyfood @Stonyfield http://tinyurl.com/33hvxyd ~ Ends 6/26! 

15) Share about this giveaway in your Facebook status along with a link, then comment below with the status URL (you get this by clicking on the time of your status update) for 1 extra entry per day. 


The giveaway ends June 26th at 11:59pm CT. One winner will be selected using random.org and notified by email. The winner must respond to the email within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Open to readers in the US.

Disclosure: I received sample product from HAPPYBABY and Stonyfield in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. This post is based on my own personal opinions and experiences. Thank you to HAPPYBABY and Stonyfield for sponsoring this review and giveaway!

6.10.2010

Free Sample of eos Shave Cream!



You can request a free sample of the new ultra moisturizing shave cream from eos. This shave cream leaves your skin very soft! (read my review on it here)

I Wish WIC Saw the Value in Organic

As a single income family, we qualify for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) government program. It has really helped ease the cost of feeding my son, especially since I wasn't able to continue breastfeeding after issues with my Fibromyalgia. Yet, it's also been a source of frustration for me because I feel like WIC doesn't support eating organic, or even understand it.

Yesterday Jacob and I went to our WIC appointment and sat through the "nutrition class" before getting our vouchers. The class is really a joke because all the nutritionist does is open the time up for questions, and only one other girl besides me out of 9 of us had a question. Feeding my baby organic food is important to me, so I ask questions (many of which I'm not really seeking an answer to) in order to bring the topic into the room. I'm surprised though by how little the nutritionists seem to know about organic foods and their value, especially for babies.

The lady agreed that the USDA has strict regulations for anything with an organic label on it, but then said that if you buy multiple ingredient baby foods that it isn't as stringent and it may not even be organic. What is she basing that information on? If you have a mixture of apples and bananas and each is grown organically, how is a pesticide slipping in when they are mixed in a jar, that isn't there when I buy them separately? Sounds to me like a lame effort to discredit the importance of giving your baby organic foods!

Next she made a comment that yogurt products aren't that healthy for babies because of the sugar content, and because it's not that healthy in general. Yogurt is not healthy? When did that memo go out? What about the protein, acidophilus, calcium, and other vitamins? Her example was a Gerber shelf-stable yogurt, which I agree is not healthy, but what about other yogurt? So I mentioned YoBaby products that are organic, made with whole milk, and have active cultures in them. Her response was to feed them occasionally and that their nutritional value is minuscule compared to other foods. Again, I'm wondering where this lady got certified as a nutritionist.

When the topic of juice comes up and I'm the only one in the room not giving my child juice I get weird looks. I've tried giving my son homemade organic juices and he didn't seem interested, so why should I push it? What would he get out of juice that he can't get from eating the fruit directly? Why does that make me a weirdo and no one gives the woman, that says she lets her son has as much juice as he wants, a second thought.

Before my next appointment, I need to create a solid case for organics give it to her in writing, because I'm bothered by the way she is painting the picture to moms that aren't sold on organics already, like I am. It'd be nice too if the "class" actually involved some helpful information like recipes.

Ideally, I want WIC to let me choose to buy organic by providing a dollar amount voucher that can be used toward the brand I choose. Even better if I also got a voucher for actual produce and I could use it to make my own organic baby food! At this point, I'm only using vouchers for baby food purees of fruits and veggies that are not on the dirty dozen list (i.e. mangoes or bananas) and buying the rest organic or making my own.

I'm not asking WIC to make everyone feed their baby organic (but that would be wonderful), I would like them to get their facts straight, and present more information to moms so they can choose. I want them to support it, rather than completely discredit it!

The FruitGuys Winner!


The winner of the organic fruit and veggies case from The FruitGuys is:

#51 Ariane!

Thank you to everyone who entered! 
Thank you to The FruitGuys for sponsoring this giveaway!


6.09.2010

Garden Update

Everything in my garden is growing REALLY well! I'm thankful for all of the rain we've had because the plants stay nice and watered.
 

The pumpkins seem to be dominating and need to be trimmed back soon. Lesson learned is that I should have planted less seeds in the pumpkin box and I should have allowed them more space in the garden. I honestly didn't expect things to do as well as they have, that's the difference between gardening in Tennessee, and California (where I was always killing plants).

Below is the small mixed box, it has carrots, bell peppers, and basil. I think I am going to try moving it this coming weekend so the pumpkins don't swallow it up!



I ended up replacing the tomato seedlings a month ago with store bought plants because the seedlings were trampled by my dogs while I was gone for a weekend. We picked up some cherry tomato plants at a farmer's market two weeks ago and today I spotted a few tomatoes on the plant that are nearly ripe! The box in front have a couple types of squash, which are also growing well.



I think my dog Orion is proud of the garden because he stands guard around it during the day.