I Found My New Love, Personalized Flip Flops From Havaianas!

3:04 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma



Anyone that knows me knows that I live in flip-flops.  Its part of my mom-iform.  Tank top, yoga pants and flip-flops.  This is what I live in all year round.  Which is why I love the spring and summer months because living in the Northwest I kinda look like a lunatic wearing tank tops and flip-flops even in the soggy fall and winter months.  Summer is my time to shine and I celebrate by purchasing tons of pairs of flip-flops to kick off the season.  I was recently introduced to Havaianas and after checking out their online store I am gonna stock up!

Being the flip-flop loving mom that I am I was surprised to find out that Havaianas have been around since 1962!  In 1970 Havaianas were made famous for the fact that they don't lose their shape, they don't smell and the straps won't come loose.  I have to say that the straps coming loose is my number one pet peeve about flip-flops.  Its horrible when your favorite pair becomes unwearable because one of them refuses to stay on your foot as you walk.  As I perused the Havaianas site I got more and more excited with what I found.  I decided, I HAVE to own a pair, if not several, as soon as possible!

Havaianas offers several styles of Women's Sandals, Men's Sandals, Kids/Baby and even Limited Edition.  But my very favorite style options available are the Make Your Own and the Bridal flip-flops.  I love them!!!  I swear, I saw each of these and literally fell head over heels in love.  Let me show you how cool the Make Your Own flip-flops are:



First, you choose the gender and size, then the sandal color, then the strap color and if you like you can add some bling!  I thought these were so cool because if you know me than you know I also love personalized gifts.  These would make such a great gift for any flip-flop lover.  How cool would it be to have your initials on your flip-flops?  While you are completing each customization step you can also select from different angles to view your creation from to make sure that it looks exactly the way that you want it.  Above you can see that I went with a Pretty Pink Momma themed flip-flop - which would be so fun to wear to BlogHer 2011!

I love the bling option, which by the way Havaianas refers to the bling as pins, which is why I also fell in love with the Bridal collection.  Besides the fact that I love a little everyday sparkle I connected with this product because during my wedding ceremony I wore my heels and suffered through my vows.  As soon as I said "I do" and was out of sight from the guests I ripped off my fancy shoes and slipped into my fancy flip-flops.  I could not have made it through my reception without them.  Even though they were technically my wedding flip-flops I wore them whenever I could because I loved how much they sparkled.  So when I was checking out the bridal section I instantly adored and drooled over these beauties:



If you are not sold on these you have to go to Havaianas site and see them yourself.  When you mouse over them you can see the bling up close and I think that the tiny charm hanging off the side is perfect.  My only issue with these flip-flops is the price.  I couldn't ever justify to my husband spending $148 on a pair of flip-flops.  He just wouldn't understand or appreciate them.  Which is probably why they are in the Bridal collection because we all know that a bride gets whatever she wants.  Period.  Us old married ladies have to justify it to our husbands.  But these are so awesome that I may just have to sneak this one by him... Shh, don't tell!

So if you are like me and totally obsessed with flip-flops you simply have to get your hands on a pair of Havaianas.  I'm going to order a few pairs for myself and figure out who on my gift list loves flip-flops just as much as I do.  Seeing as this isn't a review, all though I wish it was, I can't speak for the feel but I will definitely be sure to write an update as soon as I get my first pair.  I can't wait!






Kimberly
*All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  The links in this post are sponsored. Please refer to my disclosure policy or email me if you have any questions.*
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How Often Do You Upgrade Your Entertainment Center?

2:17 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma



Recently I wrote a post about our family toy clean up.  The clean up primarily involved the toy storage that has been taking over our family entertainment system.  I have always wanted to update, or better yet upgrade, my entertainment center.  The one in our family room has been in my family for over 20 years!  I even remember when my parents brought it home from Levitz and I watched as my dad put it together.  Don't get me wrong, this type of entertainment center was very popular in the eighties, even the nineties perhaps.  You know the kind - solid oak with a cut out in the bottom half that is a perfect fit for your tube television.  Back then we preferred our televisions as close to the floor as possible - who knew that one day they would be hung on our walls as pretty as a picture?  Below is a picture of my well loved family entertainment center:



Even though it still looks like that classic eighties solid oak I have managed to make a few updates to it.  First off I removed those ugly tinted glass doors and let it be open.  Then I spent about $150 on matching wicker baskets of varying shapes and sizes to fill the gaps.  These baskets have come in quite handy for hiding toys, games and art supplies out of sight.  The biggest problem space is the spot for the tube tv on the bottom.  I have a pretty big basket there and it still has a huge gap.  This has been the biggest eye sore for me.

This solid oak has held up really great over the years so I really have no complaints when it comes to durability.  I think that is one of my biggest fears about buying a new entertainment center.  Most that I can afford right now are made of cheap pressboard and are trashed in only a couple of years.  I know that my trusty oak beauty has held up through the test of time and I would hate to part with it for one that falls apart so quickly.

Being a woman of style I have often dreamed of what I envision replacing my old entertainment center.  I have always been a fan of the corner entertainment center.  I really like how they look and that by minimizing itself in the corner it opens the rest of the room up.  Plus it tend to hide excess cords really well too.  The biggest problem with a corner unit in my opinion is that we couldn't hang our LCD TV on the wall directly behind, we would have to put it on its stand.  I really like how the TV looks on the wall so this is the deal breaker for me.  All though if  I could find a gorgeous corner TV stand with mount to place the TV on that would solve my problem.  However, its hard to find this combination and in a setup that I like.  Most are very small and I want a big one.



If I could pick any new entertainment center I would most likely go with a Walker Edison stand, like the one pictured above.  It's solid wood so it would be sturdy and built to last longer than cheap pressboard.  I love that it has storage options that are visible as well as hidden.  I can also use the top for other components and it would look great with my TV hanging on the wall above or on setting on the stand itself.  This Walker Edison stand in particular can hold a 52 inch TV, which one day we hope to get, so that aligns perfectly with what my husband envisions for the family room.  When he and I can agree on something that is always a bonus!

For now, I think my old oak entertainment center will do just fine.  Its a love/hate relationship that I have with it.  I love that its durable, hate that its ugly.  I love that my boys can do anything to it and I won't gasp in shock at their attempts to destroy it, hate that it's ugly.  Oh wait, I said that all ready.  I have to say though that its such a part of my personal family history, that no matter what, it will be a sad day when I actually have to post it for sale on Craigslist. *sniff*

So what about you?  How often do you upgrade your entertainment center?  Is it an eighties throw back like mine or a sleek and sophisticated one like my dream entertainment center? 

 





Kimberly

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Shop to Make the World a Better Place with GiveBack.org

12:34 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma



Shop to Make the World a Better Place with GiveBack.org
By Alison Ashton, GiveBack.org Outreach Team

You already love the convenience (and fun!) of shopping online. Did you know that almost every purchase you make can also support your favorite charities? All you have to do is launch your own charitable foundation at GiveBack.org.

Founded by Stephen Paletta, the winner of Oprah’s Big Give contest in 2008, GiveBack.org is a digital platform that makes it easy to set up a personal foundation and organize all your charitable donations in one place. Charities range from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the ASPCA and Share Our Strength to many small, local nonprofits.

Even better, you can rack up donations by shopping online with any of GiveBack.org’s 400 partner merchants. In less time than it takes to order mascara at Sephora.com or buy back-to-school clothes for the kids at Gap.com (yep, both are part of GiveBack’s merchant network), you can set up a foundation and populate it with your favorite charities. Up to 15% of every purchase goes toward your foundation.

Your online purchases will go even further if you start your foundation now and enter GiveBack.org’s "100 Days of Giving" contest. One member wins $1,000 for his or her foundation every day until July 16. The person with the most Impact Points by July 17 will win the $50,000 grand prize! GiveBack.org’s Impact Zone makes it easy to collect Impact Points:

     10 points for every charity you add to your foundation
     20 points for every day you shop from GiveBack’s 400 online partner merchants, such as Red Envelope, Target.com or World Market.
     25 points for each day you share GiveBack’s message with friends via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail
     50 points for each day you make a donation (for as little as $1!)
     100 points for telling us the story about your GiveBack charities (plus a chance to win an extra $500 for your foundation)

Visit GiveBack.org for more details, to launch your own foundation and start shopping and check out this video to find out more about how Giveback works!





*This guest post content was created and sponsored by Giveback.org*
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Check Out This Great Father's Day Poem and Gift Idea - Simple and Heartfelt

12:00 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma




One of my husband's most treasured Father's Day gifts was created by my son when he was in preschool.  It's simply a heartfelt poem accompanied with my son's footprint.  He received it two years in a row and loves each one equally because they represent two totally different years for our son.


























This special gift is easy to recreate and will be sure to warm any Dad's heart.  There are so many ways to make this gift and personalize it.  The simplest would be to print the poem out on card stock or  any paper that you like as long as its big enough to leave room for a child's foot print either above, below or to the side of it.  You could also make this a group gift from all of your children and have room for each one of their footprints.

Then grab some non toxic finger paint and paint up your child's foot and then carefully place it on your printout.  Once its dry you can either give it as is or you can find a gorgeous frame that will protect it forever.



Walk a Little Slower Daddy

"Walk a Little slower, Daddy." said a little child so small.
I'm following in your footsteps and I don't want to fall.

Sometimes your steps are very fast, sometimes they're hard to see;
So walk a little slower Daddy, for you are leading me.

Someday when I'm all grown up, You're what I want to be.
Then I will have a little child who'll want to follow me.

And I would want to lead just right, and know that I was true;
So, walk a little slower, Daddy, for I must follow you!!

- Author Unknown



The perfect way to wrap it up is with homemade wrapping paper.  My six year old just delivered his gift in this paper that he made himself.  It's great when the wrapping paper becomes a keepsake itself.









Kimberly
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Decorting Solutions That Help to Ease the Burden of Allergens

1:39 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma








I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour conducted by Clever Girls Collective on behalf of Claritin®;. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program.









I can always tell when the allergy season has arrived because my husband sneezes just about every two seconds.  He sneezes so much that I completely stop the polite "bless you"'s and start saying "shut up!" and "are you done yet?".  It's really annoying for me to listen to, or even worse, be caught in the crossfire.  It may not sound like it but I am totally unsympathetic to what he is going through.  I know it must be awful for him to have to sneeze so much and endure the itchy, watery eyes and phlegm build up each day until the season passes.  Which is why I try my best to find easy decorating solutions that will ease the burden that allergens create.
 

Allergy Friendly Decorating Solutions



  • In the bedroom layer your bed with thinner decorative blankets and throws as opposed to one heavy down comforter.  The down collects dander and dust mites and is harder to wash.  The light weight blankets can be washed often.
  • Whether on the bed or the living room sofas decorate with quality accent pillows that have a removable, washable cover.  It helps to change up and brighten designs as well as wash away built up dust and dander. 
  • Decorate your home with a few items that pop versus many items that tend to clutter.  The minimal design elements will cut down the clutter and there will be less items that will collect dust.
  • If you need to use an area rug go for smaller accent rugs that are low pile and that are washable or low maintenance.  This will cut down on dust mites and dander that hide in high pile rugs.
  • Choose architectural details over decorative fabrics or window treatments to add flair to windows and doors.  This creates clean lines and minimizes dust. 
  • When airing out the house choose to keep windows closed during peak pollen production in the mornings and open them in the afternoon instead.
  • Use air purifying house plants to add color and life to any room such as chinese evergreens,  a peace lily or spider plants.

For more tips on relieving allergies visit www.Facebook.com/Claritin. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.



Kimberly

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Find Affordable Health and Beauty Offers at Wahanda

11:48 PM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma







It's not a secret that I love to pamper myself.  If money wasn't an issue you would find me lounging at the nearest spa every day.  From manicures, pedicures, massages and more I love a relaxing retreat.  Heck, with three crazy boys mowing me down everyday, I deserve it. 

Since moving from a bustling city to a laid back small town my Pamper Weekends have disappeared all together.  One of the reasons is that living in a new town I had no idea where to go for my pampering.  I don't know anyone in town that could recommend anything and it was hard to find one that was open late enough for me to get in after my husband got off of work. 

Well last week I was on my way to a conference and I was in desperate need of a pedicure.  So I found a nail salon in a nearby town that would take a late appointment - I was really excited!  When it comes to pedicures each salon is different and I have had great ones but I have also had horrible ones.  I have to say though my visit to this nail spa in particular was the BEST pedicure I have EVER had.  It was like I was at a five star spa, I couldn't believe the fantastic treatment that I had received in this small town. 

I had such a great experience there it got me thinking about what other great Spa Offers I was missing out on in my new area.  I just learned about this great site called Wahanda that shares advice, tips and deals about health and beauty treatments and facilities.  You can search your city or a particular service and tons of info pops right up.  I was surprised to see that there were even beauty and health related businesses listed from my tiny, tiny town. 

So if you are looking for a great deal, reviews on a new spa or weight loss advice check out Wahanda for all the latest scoop!







Kimberly
*The links within this post are sponsored.  Please refer to my disclosure policy or email me if you have any questions.*
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Enjoy 100% Natural Lipton Iced Teas This Summer - Review

1:47 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma



Summer is quickly approaching and I am certainly looking forward to fun in the sun!  I can't wait for those care-free lazy days, enjoying a refreshing drink on the patio while I'm watching the kids play in the backyard.  For many this summer that refreshing drink will no doubt be an ice cold, 100% Natural Lipton Iced Tea.

I have to admit, I have never been a fan of iced tea.  I actually hate the flavor.  My husband and his family absolutely adore iced tea and they guzzle it all summer long.  In the interest of being a joiner this summer in the family fun I opted in for a review of the new 100% Natural Lipton Iced Teas.  I really wanted to try them because it would be so great to finally enjoy iced tea like the rest of the family.  Plus my hubby loves to try new drinks and I knew that he would more than excited to try a variety of iced teas.


New 100% Natural Lipton® Iced Tea Fast Facts

Lipton Iced Tea has unveiled a new 100% Natural line featuring a simple, all-natural
ingredient list, which includes the finest-quality Lipton tea, real sugar and natural flavors
with no preservatives, no artificial colors and no artificial flavors. Lipton also has two
new delicious diet flavors, free of artificial colors and flavors.


  • Iced Tea with Blueberry Pomegranate: A classic iced tea, made with the finest leaves from around the world, is complemented by a bright blend of natural blueberry and pomegranate flavors for a tea that will wake up your taste buds. 
  • Green Tea with Passionfruit Mango: This tea gets a tropical boost with the addition of natural passionfruit and mango flavors. It’s green tea with a hint of the exotic. 
  • Iced Tea with Lemon: A natural twist on the classic combination of smooth black tea and zesty lemon flavor. A favorite iced tea blend without anything artificial for an exceptional taste. 
  • Green Tea with Citrus: Hints of lemon zest and crisp citrus flavors give this natural green tea a boost for a uniquely refreshing taste. 
  • Diet Green Tea with Watermelon: This new fl avor blends the delicate and refreshing taste of green tea, without the calories, with a fruity hint of watermelon. It’s a light green tea that sums up summer in a sip. 
  • Diet Green Tea with Citrus: Made with natural green tea leaves, this green tea mingles with natural citrus fl avors for a refreshing taste—without the calories.

Nutritional Information: 100% Natural Lipton Iced Tea has 50–70 calories per serving, depending on the flavor.  Lipton Diet Green Teas have 0 calories and 0 grams of sugar.

Suggested Retail Price: $.99–$1.59

Lipton Online: www.facebook.com/liptonicedtea, www.twitter.com/lipton

I tried each flavor offered and I was amazed to find that I really liked them all, except one.  The only one I didn't care for was the Iced Tea with Lemon flavor.  It just tasted the most like regular iced tea and I couldn't get over the flavor.  My husband on the other hand loved it and gave it a big thumbs up.  He also really enjoyed all the flavors.  Even the diet flavors, which for him is huge.  I liked the diet flavors too.  I thought that they tasted like a lighter version of the non-diet flavors.  All of them were refreshing but my absolute favorite flavor is the Green Tea with Passionfruit Mango, I was so surprised at how much I really loved it.  I can definitely envision my self kicking back enjoying the summer with this drink in my hand.

In celebration of the new Lipton line of 100% Natural Iced Teas Lipton is treating tea drinkers to summer programming on Pandora internet radio that will allow them to experience music in an unplugged, natural way.  "The Natural Side of Music" will feature interviews from popular artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Usher and Bon Jovi to name a few, sharing what natural music means to them.  To check it out for yourself visit Pandora.com.





Kimberly
*I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Gen-Yknot on behalf of Lipton and received Lipton product samples and a subscription to Pandora One to facilitate my candid review. Gen-Yknot also sent me a promotional item to thank me for my time.*
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Need Great Gift Ideas? Check Out Red Envelope, They Have Tons of Father's Day Gifts - Review & Giveaway

2:27 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma



I love personalized things, but what I love even more is giving a personalized gift.  There is just a warm and fuzzy fantastic feeling that washes over your body when you receive a gift that someone has taken the time to personalize just for you.  I love making people warm and fuzzy - its just who I am.

There is another great reason for giving personalized gifts though.  They make a perfect gift for that hard to buy person on your list.  You know who I am talking about, that person that has everything.  Well, even if they do I bet they don't have one personalized!

This can be a common problem when it comes to Father's Day too.  So if your in a rut and can't think of a great gift idea for Dad you really should see what Red Envelope has to offer.  They have tons of Great Gifts For Dad to choose from.  Below are some of my favorites!

beer loving dad – beer holster + wallet bottle opener

#1 Dad tie

family handprint frame


personalized grill master cutting board


See what I mean?  And this is just a small handful of the Father's Day Fun that they have in store for you at Red Envelope!  I think that you could find a gift for any Dad no matter how unique and how hard to shop for they are if you check out Red Envelope.

Love the gifts but not sure what Dad will think?  Check out the customer rating for the gift before buying it.  Each item has a customer rating as wells as reviews.  You can read them beforehand and see how it worked out for other people and read their thoughts and opinions on the quality of the gift.  This is one of my favorite features!

For all the latest updates you can catch Red Envelope on Facebook.


The Review

Of course I couldn't recommend that you shop there until I tried them out for myself first!  I chose to review a Jewelry Portfolio.  Last year when all of our luggage was stolen so was my travel jewelry case - along with a ton of my best jewelry!  We have a lot of trips coming up this summer and I desperately needed somewhere to secure store my jewelry when traviling.






  • lined with LusterLoc™ faux suede to prevent your jewelry from tarnishing






  • 10 3/4" x 6 1/2" x1 1/4"H






  • polished-nickel pull tab may be engraved with up to three initials





  • created by Wolf Designs




  • I love this jewelry portfolio!  It is soft both inside and out and it has tons of compartments that will keep your goods safe and sound.  I also really like that it has snaps to secure the jewelry and holes to secure earring posts.  It is a bit on the large side but it will still fit into most medium sized purses and definitely into a tote.

    I love that the clasp can be personalized too.  I think I just like stamping my initials on stuff!  I tried to take a picture of the clasp that I had personalized with my initals, KAO, but it was tough because the flash kept reflecting off of it. This ending up being the best picture I got but you can definitely see how nice it looks.



    I also have to say that it came beautifully boxed and I felt like it was Christmas as I was opening up the package!  This would also make a great gift for dad too if he happen to need a place to store watches and cuff links when traveling. The style is very unisex and would work well for both men and women alike.






    Win It!

    Red Envelope is offering one super lucky Pretty Pink Momma reader a $50 gift code to use towards the purchase of any item available at Red Envelope.  The gift code expires 12/31/2011.


    How to Enter:  Visit the Red Envelope Facebook Page and "like" them.  Please don't leave any comments on the site like "Pretty Pink Momma sent me", its not necessary and looks spammy.  Once you have "liked" Red Envelope simply comment on this post telling me that you did.
     
    Giveaway open to US and Canada only.

    Congratulations Jamie @ I Am A Money Magnet!


    Get Extra Entries!

    • Get TWO Extra entries for becoming a Facebook Fan of Pretty Pink Momma
    • Get ONE Extra entry for following Pretty Pink Momma with Google Friend Connect, if you all ready follow just put that in one of your two comments
    • Get FOUR Extra entries if you Subscribe to Pretty Pink Momma posts via email or a reader, leave four comments - you must activate your email subscription for these entries to count.
    • Get THREE Extra entries if you Follow PrettyPinkMomma on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Leave the tweet url in one of your three comments. Please copy and paste this into your tweet:
    • Get ONE extra entry per day for tweeting, - leave the tweet url in your comment for each extra tweet

    Good Luck to all that enter! This giveaway is open until Sunday June 12th, 2011. One winner will be chosen using the Truly Random Number Generator widget located in the footer. The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen.



    Kimberly
    *I received this product for review purposes only. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and no other monetary compensation took place Please refer to my disclosure policy or email me if you have any questions.*
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    If you are leaving a comment because you are entering a giveaway please make sure that your email is present on your blogger profile or that you leave your email address in your comment. If you can't be reached you can't win. Also, please be sure to check your emails carefully just incase I try to notify you and it ends up in your spam folder. Thanks for entering and Good Luck!

    I Just Came Back from Bloggy Boot Camp Seattle 2011!

    12:13 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma

    Photobucket



    This weekend I attended the SITS girls Bloggy Boot Camp in Seattle.  I was really excited to go to this because it's officially the first conference that I have been to.  I'm viewing it as my warm up to BlogHer in August.  I loved that it was in Seattle and I that I got to spend some time in my old neighborhood.  Plus you know a weekend away from the husband and kids was really refreshing.  I have missed having the me time.

    I went with my good friend Tammy, from Tammy's Two Cents.  We shared a room and it was reminiscent of those good old slumber party days.  Beyond learning ways to improve my blog I also was really looking forward to meeting lots of new bloggy friends.  I have been waiting forever to meet a group of bloggers in person.


    I was in a hurry so I stole this pic from my new BFF Kristen from Our Ordinary Life, who is the lovely lady standing next to me on the left.  On my other side is Jenny, from Jenny on the Spot.  She was a speaker, frickin' awesome one too, and I had heard a ton of great things about her from Tammy so I was excited to finally meet her.  Next in line is Tammy, my roomie.  Then Tina from Mad Hatter Mom - who I loved meeting!  I feel like such a dork but I can't for the life of me remember the gal on the ends name! Yes, I suck. Or it could be that I have had ZERO sleep in the last couple of days. She was so nice and she hasn't not yet started her blog yet but I know that I will definitely want to keep in contact with her when she does. 

    Obviously this was just a small handful but I just had to share my new favorite bloggers because I had so much fun meeting them.  I loved it hanging out with all of these wonderful ladies!!!

    Later in the week I will do a post on some of the things I learned at Bloggy Boot Camp.  Like I mentioned earlier my brain is fried so I couldn't throw together a decent post if I tried.  So for now I'm gonna get some sleep and just try to soak in all the great things I learned.






    Kimberly

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    Shopping Online - I Finally Jumped On the Band Wagon!

    1:17 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma



    Thank you to BING for sponsoring my writing today. To learn more about BING
    Shopping Rewards, click here.  I was selected for this sponsorship by the
    Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.



    I have always been a city girl, a hard core mall groupie to the core.  I LOVE to shop.  I love the entire experience, looking at everything, trying things on and my personal favorite - seeing what's on the clearance racks!  My whole life I have lived within minutes of a mall.  The mall, my escape, my indulgence, my "me time".  Thanks to my husband's promotion, my "me time" has had to make a move from the mall to the internet.

    My husband's promotion moved us to a small town in central Oregon where the nearest decent mall is over an hour away.  And when I say decent, I mean mediocre at best.  Nothing compared to what I am used to.  Only a few of my favorite stores and the chance of finding something in my size is slim to none.  This circumstance has left me to find alternate forms of shopping, which in this day and age means resorting to the internet. 

    Don't get me wrong, its not that I hate online shopping it just doesn't hold the same allure as the instant gratification I get when I pick out something in person.  For starters, whatever I buy at a mall I get to take home with me seconds after I purchase it.  I know exactly what I am getting and I know I won't be disappointed with it when I put it on or see it in person.  When it comes to online shopping there are great deals to be had but I hate that waiting period that has to happen after I check out.  Heaven forbid something finally shows up and in person I hate everything about it.  Then I have to figure how to send it back, blah, blah, blah.  Yeah, even talking about it I've lost interest.  But since there is no other way I have had to succumb to the fact that if I want to shop whenever I want that online is my only option.

    Since I have to shop online I might as well get rewards for doing it.  I recently discovered how easy it is to shop online and search for items using Bing.  I just used Bing to shop for some new dresses that I want to wear on business trips I'm taking this summer and it was so easy to find what I was looking for!  I also like that using Bing social search I can see the stores that my friends are fans of too.  Anything that you publicly like on Facebook will show up in your friends social searches.  For a newbie online shopper that's pretty cool in my opinion.

    My first experience with this social search feature was actually with my mom.  She sent me a message on facebook to let me know that she was searching jeans skirts on Bing and as she scrolled down the page to her surprise she came across my face!  I hadn't heard of this feature at this point so I searched it too and there I was!  I took a screen shot of it too cause I thought it was kind of cool.


    The best part about searching online using Bing is their Rewards Preview Program.  Now I can actually earn rewards for searching and exploring different features of Bing.  Once my credits begin to add up I can then redeem them towards gift cards, buying merchandise and even donating to charity.

    There are two easy ways to start earning and tracking your credits:
    1. Go the Bing Bar route. Just install the Bing Bar toolbar onto your browser and register, and you can watch the Rewards credit counter climb.
    2. Head to Bing.com on the Web. Just complete the registration form and track your progress by checking the Rewards credit counter located on the top right of the Bing.com header.
    And, upon signing up, you’ll automatically start with 250 credits.


    Sign up here and start racking up those credits for your next shopping spree!








    Kimberly

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    Celebrate National Dairy Month this June at Safeway!

    3:56 AM Posted by Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma



    I don’t know about you but in our house we are huge dairy fanatics.  I love milk, and one thing I miss the most since we moved having our milk delivered fresh from the farm each week.  Our new town is very small and too far out for any milk service to deliver so it’s been a bit of an adjustment to remember to shop for milk each week.  And we go through a lot – three gallons each week!

    This month is National Dairy Month and in celebration I will be making a dish from a recipe that I found at Safeway.com.  I have wanted to learn how to make a delicious artichoke and spinach dip because I love ordering it whenever I eat out at restaurants.  Since moving I don’t go out as much as I used to because most great restaurants are an hour or more away and the only way to satisfy my craving is to learn to make it myself.  Seeing as I have never made an artichoke spinach dip before I consulted the recipe index at Safeway.com.  

    I searched the recipes and to my surprise there were several recipes to choose from.  What made it easier for me to select one was the fact that they had star rating next to them and I could see how many people rated it.  So I settled on a really popular one that received 5 stars and had over 1200 reviews.  It was the Restaurant Style Artichoke Spinach Dip II submitted by Tiffany Brennan.  This sounded just like what I was looking for! 
    So I made my list and off I went to my local Safeway to do my regular shopping as well as pick up the ingredients I needed for the dip.




    When I go shopping luckily no one has any food allergies in our family so I just pick what I like.  I pick items based on brand loyalty, sale prices and caloric values per serving.  Depending upon the item my choice varies.  Sometimes I also just like to try something new that has no bearing on past experiences, cost or nutritional value.  Basically I am a shopper with ADD.

    Shopping at this Safeway is still new to me.  It’s the only store in town that we shop at but usually I text my hubby a list and send him right after work because he works right across the street from the store.  Plus, I hate taking my boys because they run down the aisles like crazy drunken midgets and it’s just too embarrassing in a small town to be known as THAT mom.

    Anyways, this Safeway is a bit different from the Safeway that we shopped at when we lived in our old town.  It is much smaller and there isn’t as much variety as I am used to.  Things aren’t in the same places that I am used to finding them or there are some products that just aren’t carried here at all.  This trip was only my third trip in the store so my plan of attack until I know where everything can be found is to go one aisle at a time. 
    When I was done shopping I racked up a bill of $200!  Needless to say I got a little carried away with this trip and I indulged myself quite a bit.  Here is a shot of my cart right before I unloaded all the goodies:

    Photobucket


    The Recipe




    The next day I was ready to create a delicious hot, creamy artichoke and spinach dip!  I hadn’t had any in a while so I was looking forward to seeing how well it would turn out.  After I preheated the oven and greased the baking dish I was ready to get started.  I got all of my ingredients together and I was ready to get a mixing!



    Step 1 – First I combined all the ingredients together minus the spinach and the artichoke hearts


    Then I added in the spinach and the artichoke hearts.  Except I messed up on the artichoke hearts.  After I drained the can I just started to add them in – THEN I realized that I was supposed to dice them up BEFORE I added them into the mixture.   Luckily I only added small portion so I picked them out and then dumped the rest of the can on the cutting board and chopped away.  THEN I started to add the artichokes back in and all was right in the world again.  This is what my dip then looked like:


    Step 2 – Transfer all the ingredients into a greased baking dish



    Then I topped it with mozzarella cheese



    Then I baked it until it was bubby and light brown.  Well, maybe a little darker but I like a bit of baked on cheese.

    Photobucket


    Once it was ready I was more than ready to get started on chowing it down.  One garnish that I added to it that was not included in the recipe was a red onion.  After I spooned up the dip into the platter I added some diced red onion on top and then sprinkled it with some romano cheese.  After I put the blue and yellow corn chips on to the platter it definitely look restaurant style!  I could not wait to dig in!

    Photobucket


    One of the best parts about this recipe is that I was able to share it with my husband and my oldest son.  I love being able to make something that we can enjoy together and it’s so nice to see my son expanding his foodie horizons.  He had his own little bowl minus the onions.



    For more great recipes and ideas on how you can celebrate National Dairy Month visit Safeway.com.


    Happy Shopping!







    Kimberly

    *All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  This post is sponsored by #SafewayDairy and Social Fabric and I received a stipend for my time. Please refer to my disclosure policy or email me if you have any questions.*
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