November 30, 2010

Five helpful tips for holiday tech shopping.

The thought of braving hoards of Black Friday shoppers is enough to fill me with me with dread. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a good bargain. I'm not a big fan of standing outside in the freezing cold at three in the morning. I've compiled a list of my top five helpful tips for holiday tech shopping. There are definitely ways to get those must have items on your list, without spending all of your hard-earned cash.

  1. Research, research, research. If you want to save the big bucks on your tech purchases you have to know what you're looking for. Sometimes you don't need a name brand in order to have a quality product. Investigate consumer and professional reviews to find out which product best suits your needs. I like to read the consumer reviews on the retailer's website. I like to check CNET for tech reviews. If you're not going to use your TV to connect to the internet, then there's no need to buy a television with that capability. Just because it has all the bells and whistles, doesn't mean that it's what you need - you may be spending money for unnecessary features. 
  2. Comparison Shop. One of my favorite tools to comparison shop is All you have to do is enter the name of the product and Google will pull up the stores that carry the item and the price they're asking. It can be a tremendous time-saver when you can have all of the information in one convenient place. 
  3. Check out Craigslist and E-bay. Sometimes you can find great buys on used products by checking out sites like Craigslist and E-bay. Just make sure that the seller is reputable, and NEVER send money over Craigslist for an item you've never seen. It's best to meet the seller in a public place to look at the item before purchasing, I like to take my husband or a friend along for safety sake. 
  4. Many places will price match competitor's ads. If your local store has sold out of the hot discounted TV you've had your eye on, try the store next door. Many places will match or even BEAT the advertised price - just make sure that it's for the same exact item. 
  5. Take advantage of holiday specials. I heard on the news this week that the best time to buy a TV was in mid-December. Many stores are anxious to receive your holiday spending money. Pay attention to online and print advertisements. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are obviously key bargain shopping times, but great deals can be found throughout the holiday season if your looking. There are tons of fabulous blogs devoted to these bargain hunting quests. A quick Google search should pull up some great resources.
I'd love to hear about your favorite money-saving tips! Do you have a favorite bargain-hunting website? Where do you find the best deals for those on your Christmas list?


“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible for a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

November 10, 2010

Brooks Christmas Monogram

Family Wall Red Christmas Card
Make a statement with custom Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

November 9, 2010

Holiday Cards from Shutterfly

I love having a kid. I'll admit it has it's challenges, but it is also one of life's sweetest blessings. I have hundreds . . . no, thousands of pictures of my little man, and the holidays are the perfect time for sharing them with family and friends. Shutterfly's holiday collection offers HUNDREDS of photo card options to fit all of your family's needs. There are so many neat cards to choose from, it was hard to pick my favorites.
I love their religious collection. After all, that's what Christmas truly is about - the birth of Christ.

They also have a great assortment of customizable family cards. I love the wide variety of layouts and colors. You really can tailor the cards to fit your family's needs. I think this is the layout I will be using for this year's holiday card. I love the family monogram and the ability to add TONS of photos, now I just have to limit to my top six. That is going to take some time . . .

Are you hosting a holiday shindig? You can even create custom invitations online and wow your guests before they even show up at the door. I think this is such a neat idea.

If you are looking for a great way to share your family's holiday joy, check out the selections at Shutterfly.

Want to hear some great news? If you're a blogger, Shutterfly is offering you 50 free cards for spreading the word about their products. Follow the link for more info.


I will be receiving 50 free photo cards for sharing about Shutterfly's new holiday collection.

Sweet Sunday Moments - Pillsbury Flaky Cinnamon Rolls Prize Pack Giveaway

I absolutely love the holidays. I love the sights, sounds, and smells. I love time spent with family and friends. Some of my favorite family memories have involved time spent together around the kitchen table. The folks at Pillsbury understand the value of food and family togetherness.

Their Flaky Cinnamon Rolls make Sunday morning meals a breeze. I'm not a big breakfast maker. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times I've made an elaborate breakfast for my family, but I love these Cinnamon Rolls. They're super easy to make and they taste delicious!

Pillsbury is currently offering a coupon for $0.70 off a can of Pillsbury Flaky Cinnamon Rolls with Butter Cream Icing.

One lucky reader will ALSO win a wonderful prize pack which includes the following:

  • Scrapbooking kit - featuring an album, paper, and accessories
  • Scrapbooking supplies like scrapbook scissors and glue 
  • A coupon for the new Pillsbury® Flaky Cinnamon Rolls to help bring your family together to indulge in a delicious Sunday morning breakfast.

How to enter:

Mandatory Entry:

  • Share one of your family's favorite "Sweet Sunday Moments."
Extra Entry:
  • Follow Mommy's Minute on GFC, Twitter, or Facebook (one entry EACH)
  • Tweet this giveaway (Daily entry)
  • Share the giveaway on Facebook or your blog (1 Entry)
Giveaway open to US 18+. Giveaway ends 11/18 at 11:59 PM Mountain time. Winner will be selected through Winner will be notified by e-mail. Please make sure your e-mail is available in your comment or in  your public profile. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning notification or an alternate winner will be selected. 


I received a complimentary prize pack (same shown above) from Pillsbury and MyBlogSpark to facilitate my review and giveaway.

"Almost Heaven" by Chris Fabry *Book Review (Free copies available)

Almost Heaven

Life is like an intricate tapestry. We earthbound humans can see only the tangled underside. We are unable to see things from the topside, where interwoven threads and colors create a grander picture. To outsiders, Billy Allman is a hillbilly genius - a gifted mandolin player and a talented musical engineer. Almost Heaven allows readers to see the bigger picture of Allman's life. His humble beginning, painful childhood, and adult struggles are placed on display for the reader, but it's not until the end of the novel that we are able to see the grander purpose and plan for Allman's life.

In a unique twist, the story allows us the perspective of Allman's guardian angel, Malachi in addition to Allman's own thoughts. It was a helpful reminder that there is more going on than what we can see with human eyes.

The story was well-written. The characters were well-developed and the plot was interesting. I have a great appreciation for Christian Fiction with imperfect heroes. Billy Allman is far from perfect, but his story is an inspiring reminder of the difference one life can make.  

Beautiful story. I would definitely recommend it.

FYI: Almost Heaven Kindle Version is currently FREE at You seriously cannot beat that! Download it and enjoy! Don't have a Kindle? You can download software that allows you to read Kindle books on your computer, iPod Touch or iPhone.


I received a complimentary copy of the book to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my own honest thoughts of the story.

November 2, 2010

10 Tips for New Moms Bringing Baby Home

Bringing a newborn baby home for the first time can be a scary and daunting experience, especially for a first-time mother. The hospital seems like such a safe and sanitary environment. A home is . . . well, lived in and not quite a sterile environment. How do you make your home safe for your new bundle of joy? Here are ten tips for new mamas and their new bundles of joy.

  1. Wash all of your baby's toys before you give them to your child. For the first year of his/her life, everything is going to go straight to the mouth. Give toys a gentle bath in warm, soapy water. Imagine all the hands that handled the toy in the store before you received it. 
  2. There is nothing wrong with asking visitors to wash their hands before handling your child. A newborn's immune system is still developing during the first several months of life. It's sometimes helpful to carry around hand-sanitizer in your diaper bag for this very reason. You don't have to be rude, simply say "hey, would you like some hand sanitizer?" Very few people will say no. 
  3. Invest in a "Kind Sign." When my little one was born, I didn't mind friends or family handling the baby, but I was seriously bothered when complete strangers would come up and touch and kiss my baby. I had NO idea what germs they carried, and didn't appreciate them invading my child's space. I now own a kind sign that says "Your germs are bigger than I am, please wash your hands before touching mine." The signs easily attach to infant car seat carriers. 
  4. There are many cute infant carrier covers on the market these days. I always liked to cover my child when we were in public places, especially Wal-Mart during flu season. It helps create a calm environment for the child and protects from stray coughs and sneezes.
  5. I loved microwavable sterilizer bags. I used them for bottles, pacifiers, and my breast pump equipment. add a little bit of water to the bag and place it in the microwave. The steam helps to kill the germs on your baby's items.
  6. Be mindful of what chemicals you are introducing into your baby's environment. I have been trying more and more to use natural materials when I clean my home. It's amazing how many things you can clean with baking soda and vinegar. 
  7. Clean the hard surfaces of the nursery before the baby arrives. It will help cut down on dust and eliminate any potential fungus or germs lingering on the surface. Read your crib's manufacturer's instructions for tips on how to properly clean and maintain your child's bed. 
  8. I am a baby-wearing mom. I always recommend that new moms invest in a comfortable baby carrier that fits their lifestyle. I wore a Moby Wrap with my first one, and it was a life saver. It enables your baby to feel safe, snug and secure, while still enabling you to get things done around the house.
  9. A little bit off subject, but I definitely recommend that you practice adjusting the straps on your infant car seat. We made the mistake of not looking into it before we were ready to head home from the hospital. We spent about ten minutes in the hospital parking lot trying to figure out how to loosen and tighten the straps. It will make the whole "going home" process a lot easier if you've had a trial run. 
  10. I know it's off the subject of "germs" but one of the BEST tips for a new mom would be to accept ANY help that is offered. You will never be more exhausted, more hormonally all over the place than you are during those first weeks of life. If someone offers to pick up some groceries, drop your pride and let them.  
You can do it. It may feel daunting at times. After all, it's the most precious thing you'll probably bring home. It's a lot of common sense and a lot of practical advice. Never be afraid to call a girlfriend or a mom. We're here as women to support and encourage one another in the mothering process. Kiss that baby and cherish every moment. 


I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Lysol® Wee Wisdom blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

November 1, 2010

Photocard Creations - $50 Giftcard Giveaway!

A few months ago I had the opportunity to review some custom photo cards from the folks at Photo Card Creations. I was very pleased with the quality and customer service. With the holiday season just around the corner, many families are shopping around for photo cards to share with family and friends. Photo Card Creations may have the card you're looking for.

Here's some information about the Photo Card Creations:
Photo Card Creations is a leading online retailer of premium custom photo cards, announcements, and invitations. They specialize in wedding, baby & holiday cards. They offer hundreds of card designs, a variety of paper types to choose from, many of which are hard to find elsewhere. Their cards are printed on the highest quality paper using leading edge printing technologies. With a professional graphic designer personally handling each order, they offer a more hands-on approach to customer service than many of their competitors. They’ve added dozens of new Photo Holiday Card designs for the 2010 season, including their unique Die Cut Ornate and Scallop shaped cards and their cool Circle Ornament Cards.

They offer cards for Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, even corporate cards. The cards are customizable and are worked on by a graphic designer. You have the opportunity to approve the proofs before they are printed and shipped!

The generous folks at Photo Card Creations have offered one lucky reader a $50 gift card to use on the card/cards of their choice! Beautiful cards for free . . . you can't beat a deal like that.

Here's how to win:

Mandatory Entry
Extra Entries
  • Follow Mommy's Minute on GFC, Twitter, or Facebook (one entry each)
  • Tweet the giveaway (daily entry)