Monday, September 15, 2014

Special Savings at Staples and a Giveaway #savex3

This is a sponsored post, however all opinions are my own.

Do you need HP Toner? There is no better time to buy it at Staples.

What could be better than buying something you need for your printer and getting a free $15 itunes gift card? With my free gift card I am going to take the easy way out. My husband has a birthday in a few weeks and I am going to include the itunes gift card with his gift... which at this rate just might be HP toner from Staples... unless I find a way to add an extra hour onto each day in the meantime.

I am always a sucker for triple dip savings offers like this. In this economy, every little extra savings or reward adds up and can make a big difference.  We aren't completely out of toner yet, but I know I am going to have to buy it at some time in the near future, so it makes sense to buy now and save while I can.

Now through 9/27, savvy Staples shoppers can triple dip on savings when they purchase HP toner!

Here’s How It Works
1. Promotional Offer: Staples is offering a BONUS $15 iTunes gift card with a $75  purchase in HP ink
2. Earn Staples Rewards: Staples offers a loyalty program where customers can earn up to 5% in rewards to use at Staples stores and online.
3. Earn Credit Card Rewards: By using your favorite rewards credit card to purchase gift cards, you can earn points, miles or a percentage back on your purchase. Some credit cards even offer increased rewards for purchases office supply stores!

Let's see how the rewards add up!
1. $15 iTunes card – When you purchase $75 in HP toner.
2. $3.75 in Staples Rewards – If you are a Premier Staples Rewards members earning 5% back on purchases. ($75 x 5% = $3.75).
3. Up to 4x credit card reward points - If your credit card offers increased rewards for office supply purchases.

What will you do with your $15 itunes gift card? Give it to someone special or keep it for yourself?

I know I just gave you good news, but it gets even better! I have teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers to bring you a great giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Chewy Cherry-Nut Bar

We love healthy snacks that we can grab and go. With 2 very busy kids and a schedule that never stops I have to make choices that can satisfy the family and that can be eaten easily {as little mess as possible}. We love cereal. We can't resist the chance to try recipes that are made with cereal. I think you will enjoy this recipe too. It is perfect for back to school breakfast or an after school snack.

Chewy Cherry-Nut Bar

1 cup Great Grains Crunchy Pecan cereal
Nonstick organic canola oil spray
2/3 cup whole raw almonds, very coarsely chopped
2/3 cup raw pecans, very coarsely copped
2/3 cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons golden flaxseeds
1/4 teaspoon fine-grained sea salt
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup agave syrup

Baking Instructions
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 275 degrees fahrenheit. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, allowing some foil to hang over the edges of the pan, then spray the foil with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine the cereal, nuts, cherries, flaxseeds, and salt. Mix in the orange zest. Add the syrup and stir to coat. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, gently stirring the mixture occasionally with a silicone spatula to coat with the syrup. Pat the mixture firmly into the pan with a metal spatula. Continue baking (without stirring) until the mixture is golden brown and still pliable, about 40 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a rack for 25 minutes. Using the overhanging sides of the foil, lift the mixture out of the pan and press firmly on the mixture to help compact it on all sides. Then, using the bottom of the pan, gently press on the top of the mixture to compact it more. Cool on the rack until barely warm, about 10 minutes.

With the foil still attached, cut the nut and cereal sheet into 12 bars with a large sharp knife. Allow the bars to cool completely on the rack.

Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature. Remove the foil before serving.

Makes 12 bars.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Thanks to my friends at Post Foods for sending the recipe and inspiring me to share it with you.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Travel With Kids: What to Do in Richland County Ohio

My family had the chance to visit Richland County last month. This was a big step for us, to be branching out into the arena of family travel. Once upon a time, my husband and I could throw a few items in a bag and hit the open road, a trip to the beach {700 miles...} no problem... now we have 2 kids. Our traveling has up until this point has been limited to the time frame of 15 minutes between stops to wipe a nose, find a binky, retrieve a lost toy. Richland County was the perfect place to start our travel adventures as a family. Let me tell you why.

First off, Richland County offers so many possibilities for family entertainment and activities! My kids were thrilled to visit the Mansfield Fire Museum. The display of working firetrucks of the past had my son so excited he could not contain himself. My husband and I enjoyed learning about the history of the area, the fire chiefs of the past and the replicated scenes from Mansfield.

One of the many fire trucks on display at the Mansfield Fire Museum

My daughter adored the trip to the Richland Carousel Park in downtown Mansfield, but my son went wild for it. This is a lovely carousel that has the distinction of being the only new, hand carved carousel to be made in the USA since the 1930's. The animals are lovely, beautifully detailed. The ride goes surprisingly fast to the delight of kids. The music? Classic! It completes the experience in a wonderful way. We loved the gift shop as well, they had tons of great trinkets and toys to make ideal souvenirs.  We loved that the rides are affordable and the carousel was truly a work of art.

Girls just wanna have fun on the carousel...
funny faces for selfies anyone?

He loved it! He wanted to do it again and again! 
Roo loved the carousel. He is still talking about it!

Malabar Farm was the home of famed author Louis Bromfield, this is a lovely property with a rich history. Unfortunately I cannot share much of that with you, we found that the house tour and wagon ride of the property were not child friendly. At least not for our fussy kids. I managed to get a few photos before being effectively sent on my way with my squawking kids. My husband and I agreed we would love to return, without the kids someday. Either way, we are going to try to visit again for Heritage Days this month.

The desk of Bromfield

Papers still in the drawer of the desk.

I will be featuring the Ohio State Reformatory in a post later this week, as well as the scoop on where to stay and what to eat while you are in town with the kids. Have you ever been to Mansfield or Richland County? If so, give us the goods on what is good, what is fun and where feels like home!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sppoktacular Pony Tales #MLP

My son has started preschool and someone told him he could bring his Mommy on Halloween to help with the party. So for a week and a half all I have heard about is Halloween and how he wants me to come and say "Hi, how are you?" to his class. {Aww, sweet huh?!}

With Halloween madness in full swing the kids were excited to check out My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Spooktacular Pony Tales. This dvd has 6 fun spooky episodes, a full color poster and fun stencils for pumpkin carving time.

Episodes on the disc include Boast Buster, Stare Master, Luna Eclipsed, Sleepless in Ponyville, Castle Mane-ia and Bats! A fun sing along bonus is also included.

Both of my kids were enthralled by this My Little Pony dvd. It is cute, colorful and imaginative. My kids were hooked on the idea of talking ponies and Halloween fun combined. The dvd runs for 132 minutes and contains all of the characters that you know and love.

I have a feeling we will watch this fun #MLP dvd a dozen more times before Halloween. The dvd is a fun way to introduce small children to Halloween without over doing it in the scare department. The dvd is available in stores on September 9th, make sure to grab a copy for your little ones!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Candy Club to the Rescue

Thanks to Candy Club for saving the day and inspiring me to write this post by sending Roo some sweets.

Candy, what a magical thing candy is! Sweet, yummy and usually fun to eat, candy is universal. Smiles are shared over candy, sometimes confidences are too. When a day has been rough, a piece of candy can change my attitude.

My 4 year old feels the same way. Candy, oh glorious candy! My son would jump through hoops all day long if there were a promise of candy. One day last month we had gone to the bank, but the teller didn't give him a lollipop. To say he was disappointed is an understatement. He cried "Mommy! I want a sucker!" He stuck his little lip out in a pout. I tried to soothe him, he wasn't giving up, he had been good. He was patient at the bank. He thought he had earned a sucker. After a few minutes of his very sad face I suggested we walk to the drug store across the street, I told him he could pick out any lollipop he wanted. That changed his attitude until we discovered they were having an issue and could not take debit cards, and despite having been at the bank moments earlier, guess who had no cash? Yep, me. What I did have was a crushed little boy.

We went home and my son was not to be tricked with fruit snacks. He had his heart set on a sucker and he had been shot down twice.

Later in the day, the mailman knocked on our door. He handed my little helper the package and said "This looks like a fun box to get buddy." Roo handed me the box and I told him the mailman brought him a box of candy. His face lit up, smiling with a twinkle in his eye Roo said "Open it Mommy!"

When I opened it and he saw it was in fact a box of candy, he was so happy. I was so thankful for the perfect timing of The Candy Club. They saved the day, a pouting 4 year old isn't really much fun.

The box contained salt water taffy, Peach Buds, Haribo Gummy Techno Bears {think fun colors and cherry, apple and sour raspberry flavors... YUM!}, Sour Power Wild Cherry Belts, and Gimbal's Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans.

My son loved everything in the box. He happily munched on candy for over 2 weeks. I was impressed with how much candy was included, and everything was very fresh. Perfect for sharing a sweet treat with someone special. {If you didn't want to share I wouldn't judge you.}

Candy Club is a fun way to get treats delivered to your door, and insure smiles from your kids too. While I don't get too crazy for sour candy or gummy things, my son is absolutely into things like that. He was thrilled with his Candy Club box, which means I was equally as happy.

Connect with Candy Club to learn more or to order a box of yum for yourself.