Practical Frugality - 7/21 - Save where you can, so you can splurge where you want!

Eric Carle Collection available at Gymboree

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Making a purchase after clicking through a link in this post helps support this site. Thank You :)

Eric Carle is the beloved illustrator of such children’s classics as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The partnership brings two iconic, parent-trusted brands together and builds on Gymboree’s rich heritage in colorful, quality sleepwear that parents love and children never want to change out of.

Have you heard about the new Eric Carle Collection available at Gymboree?

Be sure to follow Kdkaren

on Pinterest, and my Eric Carle Pinterest Board, full of activities for kids Pre-school through Grade 4, Author Unit Study’s, Craft Projects, Writer’s Workshop Ideas, and more.

Follow Karen Puleski’s board Eric Carle Kids Books Activities on Pinterest.


Eric Carle Collection available at Gymboree

Santander #SoccerScholars Sweepstakes

In celebration of back-to-school, Santander Bank and the New England Revolution officially launched their “Soccer Scholars” sweepstakes where they are inviting parents to submit 100 words or less highlighting their child’s finest academic accomplishments from the 2013 school year. Submissions are accepted through September 19, and with every submission, each parent will be entered for a chance to win a spot for his or her child in an exclusive clinic on September 28 at Gillette Stadium.

Press Release



 Parents Invited to Share Child’s Outstanding Academic Accomplishments for Chance to Win Spot in Santander/Revolution “Soccer Scholars” Clinic

BOSTON, August 28, 2014 – To celebrate the back to school season, Santander Bank, N.A. today announced a new “Soccer Scholars” sweepstakes in partnership with the New England Revolution as part of the Bank’s sponsorship of the Major League Soccer team.

Between August 28 and September 19, 2014, parents are invited to submit 100 words or less highlighting their child’s finest academic accomplishments from the 2013 school year using the sweepstakes nomination page, With every entry, the parent will be entered for a chance to win a spot for his or her child in an exclusive soccer clinic led by Revolution Academy coaches and New England Revolution players in the Dana-Farber Field House at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, September 28.

The fifty “Soccer Scholars” winners will be randomly selected to participate, where the children, accompanied by their parents, will engage in various soccer skills, drills and scrimmages and interact with professional soccer players.

“As a bank that celebrates ideas, we’re committed to supporting programs that support educational excellence in the communities in which we operate and we’re excited to partner with the New England Revolution to recognize the outstanding academic achievements of New England students,” said Michael Bruno, Santander region president for Northeastern New England.

Santander has a long-standing commitment to education at all levels – from elementary through post-secondary. Through its Santander Universities division, Santander provided over $10 million in scholarships and grants in 2013 to 28 colleges and universities in the United States, including 14 institutions in Massachusetts.

Santander is the Official Bank of the New England Revolution.

“We’re always focused on creating new ways to engage with our fans, and are especially excited to do so in a way that emphasizes the importance of education,” said New England Revolution president Brian Bilello. “We are pleased to work with our partner Santander to reward the students’ significant academic achievements with the once in a lifetime opportunity to play soccer with some of their favorite players.”

To enter, visit Parents who are residents of the six New England States (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) can submit an entry from August 28 to September 19, with a limit of one entry per child. Contest ends on Friday, September 19 at 11:59 p.m. To be eligible for the “Soccer Scholars” sweepstakes, children must be between the ages of seven and 17. Winners will be selected at random.

About Us

Santander Bank, N.A. is one of the largest retail banks in the United States by deposits. Its main corporate offices are in Boston and it operates principally in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Santander’s 9,469 employees serve its 1.8 million customers through the Bank’s 706 branches, 2,074 ATMs, call centers, website and mobile app. Supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Santander in the United States is a wholly- owned, financially autonomous subsidiary of Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN), a global commercial and retail bank. For more information about Santander, visit or call 877-768-2265. Santander, Santander Bank and the Flame Logo are registered trademarks, and Santander Universities is a service mark, of Banco Santander, S.A. or its affiliates or subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.


Disclosure: BodyArmor sent me a generous box of their products to sample and facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
Body Armor

All three of my kids are active in sports activities, and I was joking with their dad that he needs to buy me a TAXI sign for my car, because I now spend more time shuttling them around than I do anywhere else! The kids are in 2 different schools, with different start and dismissal times, across town from one another. Morning carpool isn’t too bad, but once the afternoon trip starts around 2, I am on the go with them until about 9 each night, and the weekends are an entirely different level. Often, their dad and I find ourselves in 2 different towns across the state with kids competing in their respective sports AT THE SAME TIME. We both try to make every game for every child, but logistically that isn’t always possible. In fact, there are days that one of them has to ride with a teammate, coach, or friend, because with 3 kids we can get outnumbered and it is logistically impossible to be in three places at the same time.

Body Armor To help us all make the healthiest and wisest choices, we keep coolers in our vehicles filled with healthy snacks, bottles of water, and sports drinks. Hydration is very important, and even though we aren’t in a state that has extreme high temperatures very often, we do get high humidity, which can be taxing on an athletes body, in addition to the typical re-hydration needs that athletes deal with.

Body Armor It’s important to us to ensure that their electrolytes are being properly replenished, but try to avoid artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners whenever possible. The middle child had an allergic reaction after drinking a leading sports drink a couple of years ago, and we are careful to monitor ingredients on food and drink he ingests, to prevent a recurrence.

As you can see from the pictures above, BodyArmor sent us each of their 6 flavors to sample. I took some small disposable cups with us to practice on an extra humid day this week, and during each water break I opened a new flavor and poured some in a cup for each child so we could all sample each flavor. Every single one was a hit! We all especially liked that it didn’t taste as salty as other brands we’ve tried in the past. As I was preparing to write this, I kept trying to decide which flavor was my favorite, and honestly, there were several. I kept changing my mind, thinking: “Strawberry Banana. No! Mixed Berry. Wait! Tropical Punch. But the Orange Mango. Don’t forget that one, it was so good!” (The grape and Fruit Punch were good too, I can’t leave them out!).

Body Armor BODYARMOR has more electrolytes than the leading sports drink, coconut water, and vitamins and contains NO artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. BODYARMOR is also low in sodium and high in potassium. Many of the top professional athletes have chosen BODYARMOR over all other sports drinks, including Andrew Luck, Richard Sherman, Mike Trout and James Harden – and Kobe Bryant is a major investor in the brand. We think that it’s time to educate all athletes – big and little, young and old – that there is a better for you sports drink out there.

For more information on BodyArmor, be sure to visit their website, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

***Take Care Chat TODAY at 1 PM EST***

I am sharing the following PSA on behalf of Bloggin’ Mamas, who work with Element Associates, the Ad Council and Get Covered America to raise awareness about the Health Insurance Marketplace and the financial assistance available.

#GetCovered #TakeCareChat September 3rd, 2014 at 1pm EST

More than half of all uninsured Americans can get covered for under $100 a month. And 4 in 5 people, who have already signed up, got help paying for their insurance. The uninsured are exposed to significant financial risk from medical issues, accidents or emergencies. Even young and healthy individuals are at-risk. One trip to the emergency room for a broken arm or a bad ear infection could cost thousands of dollars.

Open enrollment is set to begin again in the fall, but special enrollment is ongoing. As with other elements of the health care law, many of those eligible for coverage don’t understand all the details.

While the Health Insurance Marketplaces don’t open until November 15th, certain “qualifying life events” (like getting married, having a baby, adopting a child, moving, losing your current health insurance, losing insurance when you turn 26 if you were covered under a parent’s healthcare plan, losing insurance after graduation if you were covered under your college’s healthcare plan, and more) could allow you to get covered now.

Many people are unaware of their health plan options, so we are hosting a Twitter Chat on September 3 from 1-2pm Eastern using #TakeCareChat to learn more about Get Covered America and your options under the ACA. This chat will be held in English and Spanish. For more info and resources, please refer to the Get Covered America website:

Here’s an interactive Q&A session about “qualifying life events” and healthcare enrollment led by Annette Raveneau, the National Latino Press Secretary for Enroll America’s “Get Covered America” campaign:

Disclosure: I am participating in this Bloggin’ Mamas Social Good Campaign and sharing a pre-written PSA in support of sharing information to the public that will help them make informed decisions. Any opinions expressed are my own and not that of Bloggin’ Mamas, Element Associates, the Ad Council or Get Covered America. I was not compensated by the Ad Council or Get Covered America for this post.

Sweet September $500 Paypal Cash #Giveaway {Ends 9/16}


Welcome to the $500 Sweet September Cash Giveaway!

We have joined forces with a fantastic group of bloggers to bring you this great giveaway. One lucky person will win $500 cash.

Enter to win $500 cash via PayPal.

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.

Refer your friends using your unique link to earn even more chances to win.

Open Worldwide.
Ends at 11:59pm ET on September 16th, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was coordinated by Giveaway Promote.
If you love entering giveaways, visit Giveaway Promote to find the greatest giveaways listed in one place.

$25 Amazon GC #Giveaway #Spa4Ma {CLOSED}

Spa for Ma

Welcome to the 4th annual Spa for Ma Giveaway Hop hosted by Measuring Flower and Homemaking Hacks! I have teamed up with some incredible bloggers to bring you prizes that help mom to get some much awaited R&R after the kids head back to school!

If you’re unfamiliar with what a giveaway hop is, here’s how it works. After you enter my giveaway below, you can “hop” on to the next participating blog to enter their giveaway as well. You can find links to all the blogs towards the bottom of this post.


People Entered: 576

Total Entries: 39932

Entry Dates: 9/1/14-9/15/14

One winner, open to US ONLY, selected by


Also, don’t forget to enter to win the grand prize! It is for an incredible $300 gift card to Kohl’s! Enter HERE!

Kohls Gift Card

September is for Sequels #Giveaway {Ends 9/9}

SeptemberSequels Giveaway

My kids started back to school today (HOORAY!!!) and part of their nightly homework is to read for a minimum of 20 minutes. It’s something that is district wide, in every grade, to encourage kids to learn to love and appreciate reading, in addition to increasing their reading skills. My kids take after and my reading OCD when it comes to books in a series, we all like to start with BOOK 1 and read our way through in order. They have several series that they enjoy, and I thought I’d offer the current installment from three of their favorites as a prize in this hop. First up, we have The Hungry Toilet – Part 2: The sequel to the hugely successful best selling book The Hungry Toilet, next we have Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, and finally we have The Heroes of Olympus Book Five: The Blood of Olympus.

To enter, just complete the giveaway form below:

Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set #Giveaway {Ends 9/21}

Welcome to the Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set Giveaway Event!

We have come together with our hosts Everything Mommyhood and Mom To Bed by 8 to offer our readers a Tree House Swing Set giveaway from Little Tikes.

Special thanks to our co-hosts Budget Earth and Bayou City Mamas.


A backyard “tree” house with swing set that includes a climbing wall, sliding board and more! Kids can climb to the platform two different ways, the climbing wall or by climbing the tree trunk then they can slide down and do it again and again! Your kids will get years of enjoyment from this fun and durable swing set. Perfect for children ages 3-8 years old.

Little Tikes TreeHouse Collage

Lookout tree with steering wheel
Climbing wall
Kids can climb the tree trunk
Grab handles molded into the tree trunk
Fun slide
Swingset extension
Maximum number of kids on climber: 4
Maximum child per swing: 1
Weight limit up to 81lbs. per child
The Tree House Swing Set must be anchored
Accessories included: Anchor kit and 2 Swings
Assembly Required

You can check out Everything Mommyhood’s more in depth review with more pictures here – Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set Review.

Now for the giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set, retail $499.99.
Open to US Residents, 18 and up only.
One entry per household/IP Address.
Void where prohibited.
Winner will be chosen randomly via the Giveaway Tools entry form and will be emailed.
Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize before a new winner is chosen.
Giveaway ends 9/21/14 at 11:59pm Eastern.


Disclosure: Everything Mommyhood received the item mentioned above in exchange for her honest review & giveaway. We were not compensated for this posting. All thoughts and opinions are those of our own and were not influenced in any way. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and any other social media are not affiliated with this posting or giveaway. Everything Mommyhood and contributing bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment or shipment. Little Tikes is responsible for fulfillment of prize. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. If you have any questions about this event or would like to see your event hosted by Everything Mommyhood, please email

$25 Amazon GC {Ends 9/15} #Ready2Pop


Welcome to the Ready to POP! [a Labor Day inspired Giveaway Hop] hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network!

This year we’re celebrating Labor Day in a totally fun way – by offering fabulous giveaways for Mamas and Babies who have done some of the hardest labor out there! Each blogger in this Hop has a fabulous Mama or Baby prize for you to enter to win – so be sure to hop around to them all after you’ve entered to win the fabulous Grand Prize, featuring Buttons Diapers and Beautiful Earth!


So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Ready to POP! participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

VTech Care Line SN6197 Phone #VTechCareLine

VTech Care Line SN6197 PhoneDisclosure: VTech sent me the VTech Care Line SN6197 Phone to review, but they haven’t reviewed or approved what I wrote below.

While this phone is meant to be a product that we can give to our parents and/or grandparents to help them remain safe and secure, yet independent as they age, it’s also a product that we have begun to use in our own home after I tested it out, and I intend to continue to use it. I’ll share with you the features, and why it’s a phone I’d like for my parents and grandparents to have, then share why it’s a good fit for my immediate family as well.

As you can see from the photo above, this phone features BIG buttons that are easy to use, 4 buttons for quick dial that can be replaced with a photo of the person you are trying to call, a corded base phone, and a large display area. What you can’t see in this particular photo is that there is also a wireless handset that can be placed in another room, and a portable pendant that you can wear for easy calling or answering from anywhere in the home. It also has a feature that will voice announce the Caller ID information so you know who is calling, and you can use the voice amplification feature to raise the volume up to 40 decibels, all with no monthly monitoring fees.

Grandparents Month is in September, and this would make an excellent gift for any grandparents in your life. As we age, most of us encounter a variety of medical issues from time to time. My parents are in their early 60’s, so they don’t necessarily need all of these features just yet, but they do spend time around their property tending to things, and I think particularly the portable pendant would be helpful for them to have. Definitely if they had an emergency it would come in handy, but also if they are gardening, etc and just don’t want to carry around an entire handset.

My grandparents though are in their 80’s, and my grandmother has fallen, as have many of her friends. Fortunately she was ok, and had people nearby to assist her and call for help, but when she is home alone, I do worry that she might not be able to call for help if needed. She is supposed to use a walker to aid her walking, but isn’t a fan of the walker, especially because it’s quite hard to carry anything while using it.

As for my personal use, I don’t speak about my medical issues here often, but I do have some, and it’s a nice security blanket to know that I can call for assistance easily, should it be needed. My hearing is diminished and I love that the volume can be increased more than on my former phone so I can actually hear people on the telephone. I also love the large buttons and easy to use quick dial buttons so my kids can quickly and easily call myself or their dad, if needed. They also speak to their grandparents daily, and now, with the push of one button, they can call anytime they want, without assistance.

If you’d like Specific product information, or Overall CareLine system information on how easy this system makes it to communicate with family, friends, and other loved ones, I encourage you to visit those links for additional information. Be sure to follow VTech at:

VTech CareLine Website
VTech Facebook Page
VTech Twitter Account
VTech Google+ Account
VTech YouTube Account

Thomas the Tank Engine Toddler Bed #Giveaway {Ends 9/10}


Welcome to the Step2 Thomas the Tank Engine™ Toddler Bed™ Giveaway,
hosted by Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro and sponsored by Step2!

Is your little one ready to transition to a toddler bed? Have another baby coming and need to free up your crib? Let Thomas the Tank help your child drift off into dreamland!

Details of the Step2 Thomas the Tank Engine™ Toddler Bed™ (obtained from the Step2 website):

All aboard to dreamland in the Thomas the Tank Engine™ Toddler Bed™ by Step2. Little train conductors will love that this bed resembles their favorite tank engine. This train bed promotes imaginative play as kids pretend to go on an adventure with Thomas along the island of Sodor. The Thomas the Tank Engine™ Toddler Bed is the cutest train bed you’ve ever seen! Made in USA with imported parts.

  • Three dimensional friendly face
  • Realistic train decals
  • Storage compartment behind the smoke stack
  • Fits standard toddler/crib mattress making the transition from crib to bed easy and fun!
  • Adult assembly required
  • Recommended for ages 2 and up
  • Available exclusively at Toys “R” Us for $199.99

Check out this fun bed in action!

One lucky reader will WIN the Step2 Thomas the Tank Engine™ Toddler Bed™!

Open to the Continental US only. Ends 9/10/14 at 11:59 PM EST.
Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good Luck!

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by the Step2 Company. Viva Veltoro, Thrifty Nifty Mommy, and the participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, or Instagram. Please contact vivaveltoro{at} with any questions about this giveaway.

Little Twig & Sparrow Pajama #Giveaway {Ends 9/8}

Little Twig & Sparrow Pajama Giveaway

Welcome to the Little Twig & Sparrow Pajama Giveaway

Hosted by Miss Frugal Mommy & Sponsored by Little Twig & Sparrow

About Little Twig & Sparrow

“Little Twig & Sparrow stands out through unique style and in keeping with unique values: Cool, Fashion and Comfort. We bring you the most exclusive line of children’s sleepwear without compromising on comfort or style. Enjoy!”

You can discover more about these amazing pajamas in Miss Frugal Mommy’s review!

Now for the exciting part! One lucky fan is going to win their very own set of  Twig & Sparrow pajamas (RV $40.)  This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older. Enter to win in the giveaway tools below, all entries will be verified, one entrant per household or you will immediately be disqualified. Winner will be contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the sponsor and not the participating bloggers. Good Luck!!!

Top 5 Wedding Dresses Under $200 #LightInTheBoxWedding

This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me by Coupons. com. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic.

Top 5 Wedding Dresses Under $200Some of my close friends have been  HUGE fans of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo since the show first aired. Every time we talk, one particular friend talks about how much she loves watching the show and following along on Twitter during the broadcast. She finally convinced me to watch and we have a blast watching and texting during the show. On the recent season finale, which aired Aug. 14, Anna Shannon wore a wedding dress she bought from Light in the Box for just $212!

Image Credit: DCL

Image Credit: DCL

You can see the video of it HERE.

I’ve heard of Light in the Box before, and have seen photos of celebrities who’ve found dresses there. It inspired me to take a look and see what other wedding dresses I could find for under $200. Weddings can be expensive, so if a bride is able to find the fashionable dress of her dreams at an affordable price, it can help her keep expenses under control, or even allow her to splurge in another area! Don’t forget to check for Light in The Box coupons on to help stretch your budget dollars even further. There are also many other wedding items from Light in the Box available, such as Wedding Party Dresses, Mother of the Bride/Groom Dresses, Flower Girl Dresses, Ring Bearer Suits, Wedding Guest Dresses, and items for the Groom and Groomsmen. I am also excited to share with you two exclusive discount codes that expire on 9/5/14!

  • $12 off $100 with code HoneyBoo12

  • $24 off $200 with code HoneyBoo24

I have to tell you, it was REALLY hard to narrow this list down. There are some gorgeous, affordable dresses available. However, after several hours, I narrowed it down, and here are the Top 5 Wedding Dresses Under $200 that I found at Light in the Box:

  • Top 5 Wedding Dresses Under $200

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest, and check out my boards on Wedding/Shower Ideas and Wedding Dresses for ideas you might want to pin for someone in your life or share with a friend who might have someone close to them planning their special day!

You can find Light in the Box on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube; and on Facebook, and Twitter.

$500 Southwest GC #Giveaway {Ends 9/19}

southwestWelcome to the MPM BTS Transportation Sweepstakes

Organized by: Mom to Bed by 8 – Special thank you to our supporting co-host bloggers: A Medic’s World, My So Called Balanced Life, Life with 5 monkies, Reviews 411, Monica’s Rants, Raves & Reviews, Michigan Saving and More and Plum Crazy About Coupons.

One winner will receive a $500 Southwest Gift Card.

Giveaway ends September 19th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. Excludes Quebec. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact if you have any additional questions or comments.