Green Your Seasons: New Year's (90 more points)!

Green Your Seasons

Before you toast 2012, be sure and head to seasons.recyclebank.com because the New Year's section of the Green Your Seasons Challenge has just launched!

You can earn another 90 points and learn great new tips-like hosting a greener New Year's party with greener decorations and lots more. Plus, you'll be entered to win from great prizes, including $5000 towards a Kohler dream bathroom, Citizen Eco-Drive watches, thousands of Recyclebank Points and lots more.

Don't miss out, visit seasons.recyclebank.com today!

Brought to you by:
Barnes & Noble, Domtar, KidsKonserve, Living Green Now and The Green Garmento.


Recyclebank: Find a New Way to Gift Wrap

Green Your Seasons

Recyclebank and Kashi are teaming up once again to bring you another great point-earning opportunity. Pledge to save gift bags, ribbons, and fun comic strips to wrap your gifts without using new paper and earn 10 Recyclebank Points!


Dove Make Friends With Your Hair Contest!

Dove recently had a Make Friends With Your Hair Contest, which received so many funny entries! On the Dove Hair Facebook page you can vote on your favorite video and then stay tuned because during the week of December 12th, as they will be revealing the latest lucky Dove Real Woman to appear in a Dove TV ad!  While you’re on the site make sure to check out hair how-to video tutorials featuring Dove Celebrity Stylist Mark Townsend and learn how Rashida Jones finally made friends with her hair.

Dove sent me their new Nourishing Oil Care collection for dry, rough and frizzy hair to try out. This collection features Weightless Nutri-Oil™ technology – a unique bend of natural almond, coconut, and mineral oils – that penetrates hair to nourish without weighing it down for soft, smooth and shiny results. It’s also the only U.S. brand to formulate hair care products with this particular combination of oils. 

After using the Dove Nourishing Oil Care collection for a couple weeks, I've noticed that my hair definitely has more shine and is quite a bit smoother! My favorite products in the collection are the antifrizz serum and the daily treatment conditioner. During winter, I typically experience more frizz from the dry air, however Dove Nourishing Oil Care is helping me tame the frizz and have more manageable and soft hair.

Disclosure: I received free samples from Dove to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. 


Free $10 Credit to RueLaLa!

Right now, new members can get a free $10 credit to RueLaLa! This is one of my favorite online shopping sites and I frequently find awesome deals on clothing, shoes, housewares, and gifts. Shipping is $9.95, but you get unlimited shipping for 30 days!

Disclosure: This post contains an invite link.


New December Coupons from Coupons.com!

Here is the updated list of coupons for December available from Coupons.com. As I try to get back into couponing, I will continue to post offers as I see them!

Coupons.com Grocery Coupons

$1.25 off ONE Reynolds Wrap Product
$1 off one tube Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief
$1.50 off 3 Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough
$0.50 off 2 Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls
$1.00 off two Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough
$0.75 off Wisk Laundry Detergent
$1.00 off 1 Minute Maid Juice Box 10-pk
$1.00 off ONE ICBINB! Tub product
$0.35 off any (1) Tone Bar
$1.00 off Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat
$0.75 off any Delizza Patisserie product
$1.00 off Any Nature Made Product
$1.00 off 1 Minute Maid 12-pk cans, any variety
$1.00 off on any Bayer Advanced Aspirin product
$1.00 off Sundown Naturals Vitamin or Supplement
$2.00 Off One A Day Multivitamin product
$1.00 off one Minute Maid Pure Squeezed
$1.00 off Nature's Bounty Vitamin or Supplement
$1.00 off Arrowhead Brand Sparkling Water
$1.00 off Deer Park Brand Sparkling Water
$1.00 off Ice Mountain Brand Sparkling Water
$1.00 off Ozarka Brand Sparkling Water
$1.00 off Poland Spring Sparkling Water
$1.00 off Zephyrhills Brand Sparkling Water
$2.00 off Kiss PREMIUM EYELASH Product
$0.50 off 5 Campbell's Spaghetti0's pasta
$0.75 off three varieties of Birds Eye Steamfresh
$0.75 off one flavor/variety Muir Glen product
$0.50 off 2 Pillsbury Refrigerated pie crusts
$0.40 off 2 Pillsbury Sweet Rolls
$0.30 off 2 Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits
$0.40 off 2 Pillsbury Italian Meal Breads
$1.00 off 2 Divisional General Mills cereals
$1.00 off two boxes Chex cereals
$0.50 off Bisquick Baking Mix
$5.00 off 8x10 KODAK Photo Book
$3.00 off Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs on DVD
$3.00 off Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
$3.00 off Night at the Museum 2 on Blu-ray™
$3.00 off The A-Team on Blu-ray™
$3.00 off Knight and Day on Blu-ray™
$3.00 off Date Night on Blu-ray™
$2.00 off Miracle on 34th Street on DVD
$2.00 off A Christmas Carol on DVD
$10.00 off The Sound of Music 45th Anniversary
$3.00 off The Princess Bride on Blu-ray™
$1.50 off TWO ICBINB! Tub products
$1.00 off (5) Weight Watchers Smart Ones
$3.00 off John Frieda Precision Foam Colour
$2.00 off full size body wash
$1.00 off any LISTERINE for Kids product
$1.00 off any JOHNSON'S Baby Oil product
$5.00 off on a Mega Bloks Wagon
$1.00 off Glade Scented Oil Candle refills
$1.00 off any 4-Pack of Welch's Fruit Fizz
$1.00 off 2 HORMEL COMPLEATS microwave meals
$1.50 off Maalox Advanced product
$2.00 off any Afrin Nasal Spray
$5.00 off BC178 Infiniti Pro Conair Spin Brush
$1.00 off Your Purchase of Us Weekly
$2.00 off one Coricidin HBP product
$10.00 off 1 Filtrete™ 8 or 12 Cup Water Pitcher
$1.00 off COOKING LIGHT magazine
$1.00 off ANY ZarBee's Product
$0.50 off any Crayola Fab Snaps™
$1.00 off (1) Gas-X Product. Use as directed.
$10.00 off on ONE (1) Filtrete™ Water Station
$5.00 off Thermaluxe Towel Warmer by Conair
$1.50 off on one BOOST Kid Essentials Drink
$1.00 off on Similac large sized powder
$3.00 off 4?x6? digital prints
$5.00 off one Water Jet System from Interplak
$1.00 off DESITIN™ Soothing Rash Bath Treatment
$1.00 off HP ColorLok Paper
2 FREE 5?x7? prints with 35+ prints
$4.00 off the Tassi Ultimate Hair Holder.
$1.00 off any 20ct Nicorette Gum
$0.75 off Effergrip or Efferdent
$1.50 off BISSELL Stomp ?N Go™
$1.00 off December People StyleWatch
$3.00 off ONE Osteo Bi-Flex Caplets Softgel
$1.00 off any Two (2) Fresh Gourmet Crispy Onions
$1.00 off HEALTH magazine
Up To 75% Off On Prescription Medication
BOGO off with 1 a KODAK Greeting Card
$3.00 off two BISSELL Stomp ?N Go™
Up To 75% Off On Prescription Medication
$5.00 off Your $25.00 Order at Vistaprint
FREE Designer Montage & Extra 20% OFF purchase
$2.00 off one Bronkaid product
$1.00 off People Country Music Special
$25.00 off Dish Network-12 months includes $75VISA
$3.00 off Slo-Niacin
$2.00 off any NASALCROM allergy product
$2.00 off the December Essence magazine
$1.00 off any one (1) Delsym Product
$4.00 off ON ONE BOTTLE OF FOCUSfactor
$4.00 off ON ONE BOTTLE OF OMEGA DHA 900 Redeem at
$1.00 off ONE (1) LACTAID Milk Product
$1.00 off Any ONE (1) LACTAID Supplement Product
$1.00 off any LACTAID Ice Cream
$2.00 off AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion
$1.00 off any LACTAID Lowfat Cottage Cheese
$1.00 off any Aleve-D product
$1.00 off any Citracal
$2.00 off Citracal Calcium Gummies / Slow Release


The plan to stay home... again

On November 10th I went back to work in a position that was "part time" meaning it was a minimum of 20 hours a week and up to 39 hours. Well, yesterday I resigned because with the hours varying and after gas, childcare, and other work expenses I was barely breaking even (and could possibly lose money)! With two young children I feel like it's almost impossible for me to find a job where it would actually be worth my time and the sacrifice of being away from my kids. So here I am, back at home again and trying to come up with a plan to make it work. Here are a few things I'm going to focus on that have worked in the past and will hopefully continue to ease the financial burden of being a stay at home mom:

1. Surveys - For the past couple years online surveys have been a great way for me to buy extras, make deposits in the bank account, and even pay for essentials (especially on baby items ordered with Amazon gift cards earned). Typically I can earn an average of $5+ a day on surveys and often get free products.
2. Swagbucks - Swagbucks is an easy way to earn Amazon gift cards or Paypal money simply by using it as a search engine. There are lots of other ways to earn points as well!
3. Groupons - I frequently buy Groupons for eating out, entertainment, shopping, etc. When I see a good deal I also share it with friends and sometimes earn free credits. Some of my other favorite sites are Plum District, Living Social, Eversave, and Scoutmob.
4. Mypoints - I earn gift cards from Mypoints frequently, simply from reading emails or purchasing Groupons and shopping online through Mypoints.
4. Participate in marketing campaigns - A couple of my favorite websites that provide opportunities to try things free are bzzagent.com and houseparty.com. With coupons from Bzzagent, I was able to pick up these items for FREE last week. Bzzagent also rewards you with Mypoints points for activities you complete!

Around the house:
1. Cutting down on utility bills - I'm making a serious effort to unplug things like cell phone chargers when they are not in use, to turn lights off when I am not in the room, and to wear a jacket and socks instead of cranking up the heater.
2. Dusting off the cloth diapers - I stopped cloth diapering for a little while because I needed a break, Jacob was soaking through diapers, and we were on the go a lot and I did not want to deal with it. However, now that I am back home with the boys, I'm going to cloth diaper Elliot during the day. On average 5 cloth diaper changes a day would save me $.80-1.00, so up to $30 a month. That's a really easy way to save money!
3. Clear out the clutter - I know that I can go through my closet, books, baby items, and more to downsize and possibly make a little extra money through Craigslist
4. Re-purpose - I'd love to add some flavor and design to our house but home decor can be pricey! I think in the process of clearing out clutter, I'm going to look for DIY ideas that re-use things I already have. Pinterest is a great place to find ideas :)
5. Clothes swap - I have a couple friends that I swap clothes with and it cuts down on expenses especially for the kids.

1. Coupons - I use some coupons when I shop, however there are a lot of items I buy that there are not coupons available for, such as produce. I also quit getting the Sunday paper because in our efforts to eat healthier, I found that most of the coupons I didn't end up using. Now I mostly print the coupons I want online through Mypoints (so I earn more points) or from finding high value coupons on Facebook.
2. Buying in bulk - I buy items like toilet paper, paper towels, natural laundry soap, and other foods items that we use frequently from Sam's Club. I can also order items from Amazon through their Subscribe & Save discount and save that way.
4. Plan ahead - I want to start freezer cooking, meal planning, and in general using my time more efficiently.

1. Kindle books - I don't have a Kindle so I can't take advantage of the new Kindle library through Amazon. However people are able to personally loan books to others for a couple weeks and they can be viewed on Kindle reading apps. I loaned a book to a friend a few months ago and hopefully I can convince a few friends to loan to me soon. Also there are tons of FREE Kindle books available on Amazon.
2. Groupons, gift card deals, etc. - When going out we use groupons, coupons, and gift cards I've earned online or purchased at a discount.
3. Redbox - Redbox offers free rental codes all the time, this is a great way to save money on movie rentals
4. Ask for a discount - I've been able to get a discount on our Directv and internet bills by calling and asking for a discount. Also when we travel, we always ask for a military discount, or deal through an auto club membership, etc.

Side Jobs:
1. Selling Scentsy - My friends and I purchase Scentsy items, so I figured why not sell it? The start up cost  wasn't too high and it's already paid for itself.
2. Photography - I'm a portrait photographer and have had a steady increase in business over the past year. I think with a little more marketing, things could pick up even more!
3. Offer to help others - Dog sitting, babysitting, etc. I will see if there are other tasks I can assist friends with because trading favors is a wonderful way to help and get help when you need it.

What other tips do you have for me???

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog!


My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbooking Software #Giveaway (11/25)

My Memories Suite version 2 software is a complete digital scrapbooking solution that provides a powerful set of creative tools and multiple sharing options that no other software can offer. Its intuitive workspace and enhanced time-saving features are perfect for a beginner to build an entire album in minutes, or to empower the design pro to build a scrapbook album masterpiece.

My Memories Suite is rated #1 by Amazon and TopTen Reviews. Using this software, anyone can create digital scrapbooks, photobooks, cards, calendars and gifts without having to buy expensive and complicated software programs.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoy using My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbooking Software! I'm not much of a scrapbooker, but I do take tons of photos and like designing photo books. Let's face it though... scrapbooking and making photo books can be expensive! Plus all of the papers and embellishments for scrapbooks take up quite a bit of storage space, which I do not have available. With the My Memories Suite, you get a good variety of album templates and embellishments for only $39.97. From browsing around their website though, I can tell I will probably end up buying a bunch of additional kits. Yet, with most kits costing less than $5 and having the flexibility to be reused over and over (unlike papers and stickers) this is certainly a more frugal option than traditional scrapbooking. My Memories Suite is also quick and easy to use, and gives you the freedom to personalize your work in many different ways. Something in particular that made me really happy is that the various fonts I've downloaded from Dafont.com showed up in the My Memories Suite. This means I can easily personalize my projects with my favorite fonts!

Here is a sample album page that I created using photos I took of my friend's newborn:

I love how it turned out! I need to take a day to go back through my favorite photos of my two boys and create albums for both of them. 

Oh and did I mention that it's easy to share your albums with friends and family? And with the holidays approaching quickly, don't forget that My Memories Suite would make a great present! Sold yet?

Buy It: Head over to www.mymemories.com and get a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite v2.0 with code STMMMS81036

Win It: One of my readers will win a digital download copy of the My Memories Suite v2.0 (a $39.97 value)! To enter, please tell me what you'd like to make using the My Memories software, or one of the digital scrapbooking kits you like.

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 address if it is not visible in your blogger profile.

1. "Like" My Memories on Facebook 
2. Follow My Memories on Twitter
3. Subscribe to Cheap and Creative by email or RSS
4. "Like" Cheap and Creative on Facebook
5. Follow Cheap and Creative on Twitter

6. Tweet about this giveaway: #Win My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software @cheapandcreativ @MyMemoriesSuite http://cheapandcreative.blogspot.com #giveaway
(1 once daily, leave a comment and a link to your tweet)
7. Grab my blog button and comment with the URL of where it's posted (2 entries)

The giveaway ends November 25, 2011 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 contiguous US.

Disclosure: A complimentary software download was provided for review and giveaway by My Memories. No other compensation was received, all opinions are 100% my own. 


Sassy Grow Up Cup Giveaway!

Please check out the Sassy Grow Up Cup review I wrote for Busy Working Mama, and make sure to enter to win your own set of Grow Up Cups before the giveaway ends October 20th!


$5 a Day Challenge: September 2011

September was a slow month for me survey-wise because my husband had the entire month off after returning from his deployment. We did some traveling and had a bunch of family time :)
Here are the $5 a Day Challenge results for September:

EARNINGS: $332.74

Focus Forward - $0
HarrisPoll -$0 (Amazon)*
HCD Surveys: $.50
Inbox Dollars - $0
Ipsos    i-say - $0 (Amazon)*
Mindfield   -   $0 (Paypal)
Mypoints  - ~$2.06 (gift cards)
MySurvey    - $0 (Amazon)*
Nielsen Mobile Survey Panel - $4.05 (gift cards)
Opinion  Outpost -  $6.30 (Amazon)
Pinecone Research - $3 (Paypal)
Synovate - $0 (check)*
SurveySavvy    - $0 (check)
Surveyhead  - $0 (Amazon)
Swagbucks - $0   (Amazon)
Valued Opinions   - $0   (Amazon)
YouData    - $0 (Paypal)
Youth  Confident Panel - $0 (Amazon) (You can sign up directly, please enter my  information under Referrer: Michelle Murphy, mmclean13@gmail.com)

Other survey panels -$5
Blog/Affiliate income - $64.39
Mystery Shopping - $30
Selling items through Craigslist/consignment store - $200
Scentsy - $17.44

*Please  note that I converted points for some sites into dollar value in order to easily calculate my hourly earnings. Some sites  have cash out minimums above what I earned, so my account balance will roll into next   month.

Groceries - $53
Drug Store Deals -$? (I forgot to save the receipt)
Rebate checks -$0
Ebates - $0
Eating Out - $25 (free restaurant.com certificate)
eBay Bucks - $
Local daily deal website: $
Groupon - $160*
*We bought a new mattress set and I mentioned at the store I had seen a $200 Groupon deal for $50, they offered me $150 off and I didn't have to buy the Groupon
Living Social - $20
Mamapedia - $0
DealPulp - $0
Eversave  - $0 Get a free $3 credit for signing up!
Plum District - $0
NoMoreRack - $0
The Mini Social - $0
Totsy - $0
RueLaLa - $0
Modnique - $0 Get a free $5 credit for signing up!
Other Retail - $336.65 (coupons, sales, promo codes, etc.)

Free product and giveaway wins: $0


Disclosure:   This post contains referral links. Thank you for supporting my blog!



The winner of the BCX giveaway is:

#37 T @ The Happy Clipper!

Thank you to all who entered, and to BCX for sponsoring!

Don't forget to enter the Easy Canvas Prints giveaway that ends 9/22!



flipflop wine: "flippin' good deeds challenge"

On September 6th, flipflop Wine is launching the "flippin' good deeds challenge," a program designed for bloggers to encourage their communities to clean out their closets and donate gently worn footwear. Bloggers can host a shoe drive and blog about their “flippin’ good deeds” for a chance to win a trip for two on one of our international distribution trips. For more information, please visit: http://www.soles4souls.org/flippingooddeeds.html


Another awesome deal arrived today!

On August 25th, Eversave was offering a $130 voucher to NuMe.com for $30. They had also given members a $10 credit that was only available for use for a few days. I already had more credit, so for $10 out of pocket I got a $130 voucher! With my voucher I ordered a ton of shampoo and conditioner and a couple of hair treatments for $138 (shipped). BUT wait, to make this an even better deal, I purchased the Eversave voucher through Swagbucks, which gave me ~$2 worth of Amazon credit (only 450 points for a $5 Amazon gift card!)
Which means this was basically $138 of product for $16 out of pocket! Woohoo! Now hopefully it works well on my hair :)

P.S. New members get $3 when they join Eversave!

Disclosure: This post contains referral links. Thank you for supporting my blog!


Deals and freebies of the week!


I was able to order four items from Babyganics for only $8.95 including shipping! I got this deal by purchasing a $20 credit for $1 from OnSale.com. (Still available!)


Melissa & Doug bubble toy FREE from Huggies Enjoy the Ride Rewards. I mainly collect free codes since we don't use Huggies diapers.


Free nail polish from a Facebook sweepstakes and free sample of Cheerios!

SaveMore: $18 worth of reusable bags for $9! Free for new members!

Right now on SaveMore.com you can get $18 worth of eco-friendly reusable bags for $9! Plus new members get a $10 credit when they sign up, making this deal FREE! (Shipping starts at $3.95) This offer ends on Friday.

The voucher will expire March 6, 2012. Redeem online at ReusableBags.tv. Voucher will be available for redemption on 9/6, 12pm CST. Limit 1 voucher per person.
Shipping: $0-$25-$3.95 $26-$54-$5.95 $55+-Free

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link. Thank you for supporting my blog!


Wordless Wednesday: My Sweet Little Boy

Review and Giveaway: Easy Canvas Prints (9/22)

I love photo canvases, so much so, they are starting to cover walls all over our house! I especially love family pictures on canvases (my husband especially dislikes posing for these). When I found out I had the opportunity to review an 8x10 canvas from Easy Canvas Prints, I decided we needed an updated photo. So we headed into my studio and I set up the tripod. The photo below was our best image:


Then I started my canvas order at Easy Canvas Prints. I've ordered from a variety of websites, and Easy Canvas Prints was by far the most straight forward. Here's a screenshot of the ordering process:

One of the features I really appreciate is the image quality checker. I save all my photos with high resolution, so I know that they will print at any enlarged size with no issues. However, because sharing photos online is so easy these days, sometimes low resolution images get mixed in with photos people intend to use for prints and canvases. I was happy to see that Easy Canvas Prints ensures that customers do not order low resolution images unknowingly. Next, I like that I have the ability to adjust how the image fits on the canvas. With the image size adjuster bar, I was able to select how much of the image would be wrapped. I prefer canvases that wrap the image around the sides, but Easy Canvas Prints gives you a couple options, including solid color, mirror image, or wrap.

Fast forward about a week, my canvas arrived and I instantly noticed how rich the color is. Easy Canvas Prints did an excellent job keeping the photo canvas true to the original image in color and detail. I will definitely order from them in the future!

Buy It: Check out Easy Canvas Prints online!

Win It: One reader will win an 8x10 canvas print of their choice! To enter, tell me what you would order a canvas print of. 

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 address if it is not visible in your blogger profile.

1. "Like" Easy Canvas Prints on Facebook 
2. Follow Easy Canvas Prints on Twitter
3. Subscribe to Cheap and Creative by email or RSS
4. "Like" Cheap and Creative on Facebook
5. Follow Cheap and Creative on Twitter

6. Tweet about this giveaway: #Win an 8x10 photo canvas from Easy Canvas Prints! @cheapandcreativ @easycanvas http://cheapandcreative.blogspot.com #giveaway
(1 once daily, leave a comment and a link to your tweet)
7. Grab my blog button and comment with the URL of where it's posted (2 entries)

The giveaway ends September 22nd, 2011 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 contiguous US.

Disclosure: An complimentary canvas was provided for review and giveaway by Easy Canvas Prints. No other compensation was received, all opinions are 100% my own. 


Lots of things going on!

August has been quite a busy month for me!

1. My husband returned from Afghanistan on the 11th after a year-long deployment (Woohoo!)
2. I've started contributing to my friend Aleks' blog: Busy Working Mama
3. As more soldiers here at Ft. Campbell are returning home and babies are being born, Michelle Elise Photography has had quite a few photo sessions!
4. I admit it, I'm addicted to Scentsy, so... I decided why not start selling it?
5. I'm crocheting again and hope to get a few baby blankets finished soon and listed on Etsy.
6. I have a few reviews and giveaways coming up in the very near future!
7. In September, I hope to do a better job tracking my earnings from surveys and swagbucks and post the results at the end of the month. It's been a few months since I have :(

.... and of course these guys always keep me busy!

Plum District: $10 for $20 credit!

I love daily deal sites, especially when they offer discounts on their own deals! 
Well, right now you can get a $20 credit for future offers at Plum District for only $10!


  • Limited quantities apply
  • Plum Dollars will appear in your account 24 hours after purchase
  • $10 in purchased Plum Dollars have no expiration date; additional $10 in "bonus" Plum Dollars expire 6 months of account inactivity as detailed in our FAQs
  • Limit 1 per person
  • Limit 1 per household
  • Plum Dollars may not be used to purchase this Plum Steal 
  • You cannot earn Plum Dollars for referring this Plum Steal 
  • Plum District promotional codes may not be used toward the purchase of this Plum Steal
  • Expires 02/29/12

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, thank you for using my links when taking advantage of a deal!

Eversave: New members get $3!

Eversave has increased their new member credit to $3! Once you sign up, there are a variety of deals to pick from every day, be sure to also input your city so local deals will show up.

Here are a couple of today's online offers:

Pay $5 for a two-year subscription to Parents magazine ($24 value). New members can get this for just $2!

Fun and Sassy Designs

Today's Save:$20 for $40 worth of personalized back-to-school supplies and more at Fun And Sassy Designs

Expires 11:59 PM - Sep 08, 2011
$20 for $40 worth of personalized back-to-school supplies and more at Fun And Sassy Designs

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, thank you for using my links when taking advantage of a deal!


Kashi: Free Sample!

You can request a free sample of Kashi Cinnamon Harvest or a Kashi TLC Peanutty Dark Chocolate layered granola bar by filling out the form here.

Recipe from the garden: Fresh salsa

It seems like every day that I head out to my garden, I return with a bowl full of tomatoes! I've given quite a few away, but hardly used any myself other than for salads. I'm ashamed of myself for this... So today I made some fresh salsa! Next harvest I'm going to make spaghetti sauce or bruschetta, yummy!

Here's what went in my salsa:
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped onion
juice from a lime
1/4 teaspoon salt
Jalapeno (optional) - (I ended up leaving this out because my husband pointed out that our jalapenos are much too small, in other words probably hotter than I can handle)

flipflop Wine Review Part 2

I recently had the opportunity to review three types of flipflop wine and I was pleasantly surprised, especially with the flipflop Riesling! Immediately after writing my review, I picked up a few more bottles at the local wine store, and recommended flipflop to at least a dozen friends. When flipflop wine asked if I would like to sample another three varieties, I said "sign me up!"

Upon arrival, I immediately tasted the flipflop Cabernet Sauvignon. I love a good rich red wine and was very satisfied by the flipflop Cabernet. This type of wine falls on the dry side, yet, I noticed a pleasant hint of chocolate and cherry. Yum! It was easy to enjoy by itself or pair with a meal. I chose to enjoy a glass while preparing a steak with grilled veggies and then had another glass with dinner :)

A few days later, a friend invited me over for dinner and I brought a bottle of flipflop Chardonnay along as my date. It was perfect for our summer dinner of sauteed chicken sausage and vegetables. I like that the flipflop Chardonnay was not overly dry, and it has a hint of sweetness from pineapple and vanilla. Mmm, delicious!

Finally, I tasted the flipflop Merlot. Merlot was once my wine of choice because I enjoy the dark, rich, full flavor. flipflop Merlot is true to the Merlot character and has a nice plum taste, without the bitter aftertaste some Merlot wines have.   

flipflop has certainly mastered the art of balance, with their wine varieties falling precisely at the right place on the sweet to dry scale. Each flipflop wine is unique, memorable, and delicious! There isn't a flipflop wine I've tasted that I don't like, although I do have my favorites. I would have to say the flipflop Riesling takes the #1 spot, followed closely by the Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Now all that is left for me to taste is the flipflop Moscato. I will be heading to the store later in the week to pick up a bottle!

Also, please don't forget that flipflop wine has partnered with Soles4Souls Inc., the international shoe charity dedicated to providing free footwear to those in need. For every bottle of flipflop wine purchased, one pair of flip-flop sandals will be donated (up to 100,000)! To learn more about Soles4Souls, please visit: http://www.soles4souls.org/

Check out flipflop wine on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flipflopwines

Disclosure: I received samples of flipflop wines free of charge in order to facilitate this review. All opinions stated are 100% honest and my own.

Rue La La: Free $10 Credit!

Right now you will receive a free $10 credit when you join Rue La La! The credit will show up in your account within 48 hours and expires on September 18, 2011. You must sign up by August 23rd in order to receive a credit.

A $10 credit means you should be able to score a cheap or possibly free item during one of their sales. I usually check the Sunday Night Saleathon for deals, and have been able to find a few freebies in the past. Or a pair of toddler Saucony shoes for under $10 shipped! Plus shipping is FAST unlike many other invite only sale websites.

Disclosure: This post contains an invite link. Thank you for using my links to sign up for offers!

Complete Skin Care: Great deals on skin care!

As a mom, I know I'm hardly alone when I get excited about saving time and money. This is why the majority of my shopping I do online - even a decent portion of our grocery items. It is hard to beat the convenience, ability to compare products quickly and easily, and discounts. Also my kids only tolerate shopping trips where the cart is constantly moving or I grab what I need and go. If I want to stop and read the ingredients or benefits of a product, they will likely protest. Shopping during nap time has become a more positive alternative.

However, although online shopping tends to be more convenient and peaceful, it can require time and research as well. As a deal hunter, I often "like" a store or brand on Facebook in order to find special promos and coupon codes. Still it would be nice to have the convenience of online shopping combined with the deals found on Facebook, all in one spot. Well, I recently discovered a Facebook page called Complete Skin Care, that allows you to easily compare skin care products and purchase directly through their Facebook page! Using the sorting options on the Complete Skin Care shopping page, I can narrow products down by brand or specific skin care benefit. This tool is a wonderful time saver!

In addition to the Complete Skin Care shopping tool on Facebook, you can also shop the selection at www.CompleteSkinCare.net. I was pleased to find high end brands such as Dermalogica and Murad, up to 30% off! The Murad facial cleanser I use is 15% lower in price than other beauty stores. Previously I've had trouble finding good deals online for a few of the brands I used, so I'd endure a trip to the mall. Well no more! Plus Complete Skin Care offers a large selection of makeup, hair care, beauty tools, and more. All orders over $50 qualify for free shipping! I'm thrilled!

Don't forget to sign up for the Complete Skin Care newsletter to receive coupons and sale notifications!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Complete Skin Care. All opinions are 100% my own.


He's Home!

On Thursday, my husband returned from his year-long deployment in Afghanistan! 
He met Elliot for the first time and Jacob was thrilled to see his daddy!


Review and Giveaway: BCX Apparel (9/15)

I'm embarrassed by my closet, in more ways than one... I admit it, I’m bad about hanging up clean clothes, but I’m also a bit of a pack rat. I've kept a bunch of clothes that that either no longer fit or are definitely no longer in style. A good majority of my outfits are from the days before I even thought about starting a family (late teens-early twenties) and now that I have two little ones under the age of two  it’s time to clean out, donate, and update my style!

After some hard work, I have passed pre-Elliot weight and I’m a few pounds shy of pre-Jacob weight (yay!). I now feel comfortable investing in some new outfits, and it would also be a great way to reward myself. However, I’m picky, and am always on the lookout for fashionable yet budget-friendly clothing.  A brand that I’ve discovered meets my criteria is BCX by Byer, found in Macy’s stores. It’s cute, trendy, and still fits within my budget! Plus since I’m on the petite side, I can still wear many juniors’ sized items, another reason why BCX appeals to me.

Available September 30th, BCX is introducing a new line of Fall apparel. From the previews I’ve seen, I can already tell that I love it! One item that really caught my eye is a plaid button front coat, and it’s hard for me to resist a cute coat! Once fall hits here in Tennessee, the temperature drops quickly and I practically live in coats. I can’t wait to see the entire fall collection from BCX once it hits Macy’s next month!

Buy It: BCX apparel is available at Macy’s stores. The new fall fashions will be available September 30th!

Win It: One reader will win the Plaid button front coat in their choice of size!

To enter: Please comment below about your style or what item would you like to add to your wardrobe? Are you in need of an update as well?

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 address if it is not visible in your blogger profile.

1. "Like" BCX on Facebook. You can also "like" the other Byer brand pages: IZBYER and B WEAR (1 extra entry each, leave separate comments)
2. Subscribe to Cheap and Creative by email or RSS
3. "Like" Cheap and Creative on Facebook
4. Follow Cheap and Creative on Twitter

5. Tweet about this giveaway: Update your wardrobe with BCX apparel! Enter to #win a new coat for fall (9/15) http://tinyurl.com/3frga86 #giveaway  (1 once daily, leave a comment and a link to your tweet)
6. Grab my blog button and comment with the URL of where it's posted (2 entries)

The giveaway ends September 15, 2011 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: An item for review and giveaway item has been provided by BCX/Byer. No other compensation was received, all opinions are 100% my own. 


Giveaway: Parent's Choice Infant Formula (free sample too!)

For 13 years, Parent’s Choice Infant Formula has helped parents like you to save approximately $600 a year on average* per infant, by offering a store brand formula with the nutritional equivalence of national brands for half the cost.

See how much you can save when choosing Parent’s Choice Infant formula by checking out the Parent's Choice $avings Calculator to compare Parent's Choice infant formulas to national brands. It’s no wonder why more and more parents are switching to store brand formula.

Did you know?

  • In the US, all infant formulas are subject to the same regulations for manufacture and ingredients required for the growth of healthy babies under the Infant Formula Act.
  • Store brand formulas sold at major retailers are a premium national substitute at a value price and meet the same FDA nutritional requirements as all of the major brands.
  • The quality and safety of the manufacturing of infant formulas are also inspected by the FDA in the same way.
Now, Parent’s Choice in partnership with PBM Nutritionals, the largest manufacturer of store-brand infant formulas and nutrition products, is helping one family and one student save even more with the “Parent’s Choice Infant Formula” Sweepstakes.

One lucky winner will receive a $10,000 college scholarship in the form of a College Savings 529 Plan. From now until 11:59pm on August 15th, 2011 you can choose to increase your little one’s chances of attending the college of his or her choice, by “liking” Parent’s Choice Infant Formula here on Facebook and filling out the simple form here. Visit this link for official sweepstakes rules.

*Total savings with Parent's Choice Infant Formula calculations based on a price per fl oz comparison of Parent's Choice Infant Formulas and their comparable national brands.

My Thoughts:
With both of my boys, I breastfed as long as I could before my Fibromylagia kicked in and made it painful and nearly impossible to continue. Making the switch to formula was certainly much more challenging on our budget than breastfeeding, which lead me to consider store brand formula. It seems as though there are still negative opinions about the quality of store brand formulas vs. major brands. However, I am confident that not only do the store brands contain the same ingredients and are held to the same standards as major brands, they are also a great way to save money without sacrificing nutrition!  When I received samples and read over the information above, I was surprised to learn that Parent's Choice has been around as long as it has. Knowing more about the company history and how much I can save has definitely made me more likely to continue using Parent's Choice Infant Formula with Elliot!

Buy It: Parent's Choice Infant Formula is available in Walmart stores. You can also request a free sample of Parent's Choice Infant Formula!

Win It: One reader will win a prize pack from Parent's Choice
  • 12.9 oz can of Parent’s Choice Premium to try
  • 12.4 oz can of Parent’s Choice Advantage to try
  • Two $3.00 off coupons for Parent’s Choice Infant Formula (redeemable at all Walmart stores)
  • Parent’s Choice Starter Set – a complete nurser system that includes a variety of bottles, nipples, liners, leak proof caps and retainer rings
To enter: Please comment below on whether or not you've tried Parent's Choice Formula before, or how much would you save (using the calculator) if you did.

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.

1. Subscribe to Cheap and Creative by email or RSS
2. "Like" Cheap and Creative on Facebook
3. Follow Cheap and Creative on Twitter
4. Grab my blog button and comment with the URL of where it's posted (2 entries)

The giveaway ends August 15, 2011 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: The Parent’s Choice Infant Formula product sample, information, and giveaway have been provided by Parent’s Choice through MyBlogSpark.