Best Gift Ideas for this #HintingSeason

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Need some last minute gift ideas? There are some fabulous tech gifts available at Best Buy like the Xbox One, JBL speakers and headphones, Garmin and TomTom that are sure to please everyone on your holiday gift list. There are several different Garmin and TomTom GPS units available with terrific features like bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, large touchscreen displays, traffic and weather updates, lane assist, lifetime traffic and map updates, voice recognition technology and spoken turn-by-turn directions.

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The Xbox One was at the top of my kids’ wish list last year, it was built by gamers, for gamers and has lots of great game titles, many exclusive, like Halo, Sunset Overdrive, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Madden 15, Just Dance 15, and the kids’ favorite Skylanders. In addition to being a great gaming console, Xbox one connects you to the latest TV shows and movies through your favorite apps.

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Portable bluetooth speakers from JBL are a fabulous idea for all the music lovers on your gift list. Use them indoors and outdoors and have your favorite music everywhere you go. We like to use ours while we’re grilling out, it’s got a great sound, super long battery life, and you can even charge another device like your phone or MP3 player with the speaker while listening to music. Your friends and loved ones will be thrilled that got them one of these hot gifts from Best Buy!

Great Home Theater Gifts from Best Buy

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Home Theater at Best Buy

I’m already in full Christmas gift shopping mode – with five kids and a large extended family on a not so large budget I have to do lots of planning and I can’t wait until the last minute to do my shopping or I’ll inadvertently leave someone out or end up breaking the budget. One of the things that makes my gift list a little easier to handle is knowing in advance where I can get the best deals on the best products, narrowing the shopping down to just a few places takes a lot of stress out of the season for me. Another great strategy is to have a plan in place for how much I can spend on each person and when it comes to the kids, who expect to get more than a gift or two, how to divide up their portion of the gift budget.

Santa Claus still brings the kids gifts and he brings me gifts too because I wouldn’t want the kids to think I’d been bad during the year, but I always make sure the best gifts come from mommy. I also like to get at least one “household” gift, something big for the whole family to share. A few months ago a lightning strike took out our living room television so I’m thinking this year’s “big” family gift is going to be a new TV and boy do they have some great choices at Best Buy!

Home Theater at Best Buy

I am really impressed with LG’s  new technology, the LG OLED TV, featuring picture quality including  Infinite contrast ratio. Check out this stunning color that gives a greater sense of realism and depth. Plus the TV has a super thin design at only 0.21″ thick at its thinnest point and the intuitive webOS™Smart TV interface that lets you find content faster. The LG OLED TV retails for $3,999.99 but you can save $500 with Best Buy’s everyday low price of $3,499.99 so I’m definitely thinking “Santa” will be bringing us one this year!

 

Record Your Adventures with a GoPro Hero Camera

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

GoPro Hero Lifestyle

Whether you are into extreme sports or if you just take your family to the amusement park on occasion, you could really use a GoPro Hero camera to record all the action! With five young kids and a full time job I feel like I’m constantly on the go and never have enough hands. The kids are growing up so quickly though, and I really enjoy getting to do stuff with them so I love the idea of getting to record all our fun activities with a GoPro.

GoPro Hero Lifestyle

We are saving up for a Disney trip in the not too far future, but in the meanwhile we have a local water park and a small local amusement park that the kids absolutely love to visit, in addition to our beautiful beaches. Being able to wear or mount a GoPro action camera is huge when you don’t have your hands free, plus they’re super easy to use – you can just view, tap and swipe the screen. There is even a GoPro app that allows you to control the camera remotely from  your phone, as well as view and share your content.

GoPro Hero4 Black

This GoPro HERO4 Black is the most advanced GoPro ever. It features improved image quality and a 2x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates1, HERO4 Black takes award‐winning GoPro performance to a whole new level.

GoPro Hero4 Silver

The GoPro HERO4 Silver is the first-ever GoPro to feature a built-in touch display. It makes controlling the camera easy so you can play back footage and adjust settings quickly and conveniently – just view, tap and swipe the screen. With 1080p60 and 720p120 video, and 12MP photos at a whopping 30 frames per second, the HERO4 Silver combines powerful, pro-quality image capture with the convenience of a touch display.

GoPro Hero

The original GoPro HERO features high‐quality 1080p30 and 720p60 video, and 5MP photos up to 5 fps. HERO captures the same immersive footage that’s made GoPro one of the best-selling cameras in the world.

GoPro Hero Lifestyle

I love to shop at Best Buy because they have such a huge selection of the latest cameras and camcorders, including the full line of new GoPro cameras, plus a wide assortment of accessories. GoPro cameras make perfect holiday gifts for everyone, from kids and teens, to gadget gurus. GoPro’s new line of cameras allow you to beautifully and authentically capture and share the experiences that bring purpose, adventure, and joy to your life. Learn more at www.bestbuy.com/GoPro or visit your local Best Buy to check out the latest cameras in person.

Get 40,000 Movies and TV Shows Free with Amazon Prime!

I’ve been an Amazon Prime member for a couple of years and I’m absolutely thrilled with the benefits I receive. I did most of my Christmas shopping through Amazon and I love that I get free two day shipping on almost everything. The best part though is all the free movies and TV shows that I have access to through Amazon Prime. We have tons of cable channels but it still seems like there is never anything good to watch so we stream lots of great stuff through Amazon. Here are a few of the benefits of membership:

* Instantly watch over 40,000 movies and TV episodes with titles for everyone

* Borrow books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

* Get unlimited FREE two-day shipping with no minimum order size

The good news is that you can try Amazon Prime with a Free 30-day Free Trial so check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

Get Great TV Programs for Kids and a Chance to Win a Tablet!

Disclosure – I participated in a Blog Blast program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Kidoodle.TV. I received a promotional item and a free trial as a thank you for participating.”

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Even though my five kids are all pretty much the same age, 8 year old quadruplets and a 9 year old big brother, they all want to watch different things on television. With them scattered throughout the house watching different things and arguing about whose turn it is with the remote it can sometimes be difficult to monitor what they’re watching.

I was thrilled to find out about Kidoodle.tv where I have setup themed accounts for all five kiddos. They have different icons, different color schemes and personalized content that they can watch on the computers I have setup for them in the family room. This way they can all watch they want and I know they’re not viewing Miley Cyrus videos on YouTube!

You can try out Kidoodle.tv for free through the end of December and if you sign up for a free account during that period you’ll also be entered to win 1 of 10 tablets or a year long subscription to Kidoodle.tv! You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Beyond Ready for a Girl’s Night Out?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hpnotiq for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Beyond Ready for Girl's Night Out with Hpnotiq

The holiday season was so busy with all of the usual work and family obligations, but now that the holidays are over I’m beyond ready for a girl’s night out. How about you? Before you get ready for your next girl’s night out, you should check out the Hpnotiq website where you’ll find everything you need to prepare for your big night.

While you Primp & Prep with your girlfriends, you’ll see lots of fabulous style and beauty tips, great cocktail and drink recipes and there’s even a Pandora music player so you can listen to all your favorite dance tunes. There are also tips for guys on things like what not to do at the bar, and how to catch the attention of the hottie across the club.

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I’ve been checking out the yummy drink recipes, like this Hpnotiq Blue Breeze Fishbowl, or the Stilleto Sangria made from Hpnotiq Harmonie (in the pink bottle). I also really dig the girlfriend themed ecards that you can send from the site, and the ‘customize your photo’ feature is pretty neat too. You can drag cool shapes and symbols onto your picture, then share with your friends or upload them to Facebook if you want.

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So hair down music up! Grab your girls and head over to Hpnotiq, five o’clock will be here before we know it! You must be 21 years or older to drink alcoholic beverages, and as always, please remember to drink responsibly.

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Girlfriend Get Togethers that Won’t Break the Bank!

Girlfriend Get Togethers that Won’t Break the Bank!

One of the most cost effective ways to get a sanity break is to spend some time with friends. Getting together does NOT have to be expensive. We don’t have to shell out big bucks at an expensive restaurant or a trendy club to have a good time and spend some time with the girls. Here are a few less expensive ideas:

1) An Accessory Swap

We all have those accessories that simply take up space because we never use them. Host an accessory swap, and everyone wins! Pull out the items you’re tired of or bought and never worn, and have your girlfriends do the same. Think costume jewelry, scarves, barrettes, headbands, inexpensive watches, etc. If you aren’t using them, maybe someone else can! This concept also works for clothing if you and your friends wear similar sizes. It’s a win-win—everyone has a good time, gets rid of things they don’t use AND scores some “new to them” items that will have a new life!

2) A Cooking Party

Everyone has to eat, so someone has to cook. Choose an entrée that everyone likes, then get together and make enough for everyone to take home to their families. Have everyone bring some of the ingredients and an appropriate pan or dish to take the meal home in, and share in doing the work. You’ll have a great time AND come away with a meal ready for a busy night!

3) Pajama Party

Remember the slumber parties we all went to as young girls? They were always so much fun, even if there was no “slumbering” actually happening! Try a grown-up version. Invite the ladies to come over in comfy jammies (or change into them at your home if they don’t really feel like driving in their flannel pj’s!) and do the things we did as kids: pop some popcorn and watch movies, maybe try out a few new hairstyles from the current magazines, play “Light as a Feather.” Sounds silly, but sometimes channeling our inner child and being silly is just what we all need!

4) Wine Tasting

If your group of friends enjoys a nice glass of wine, a wine tasting may be just the ticket. Have everyone bring a bottle of their favorite wine, break out the wine glasses and enjoy trying each other’s picks. If you want to get serious about it, check out some books from the local library to help educate everyone on the various types of wines.

5) Picnic in the Park

This is especially nice if you have young children because you can take them along and let them have a blast together too! Pack a cooler with some sandwiches and snacks, grab a blanket to sit on and your favorite pals, and you have the makings of a wonderful afternoon! Bring a camera—you can always get some great candid shots of the kids playing in the park!

Photo Credit: iClipart

The Odd Life of Timothy Green Premiers 8/15

Last weekend during the BlogHer conference in New York City I had the opportunity to see an early screening of the new Disney movie The Odd Life of Timothy Green and it was wonderful! I wasn’t at all sure what to expect based on the title alone as I hadn’t seen any previews and I thought that it was a children’s movie, but it turned out to be a movie that the whole family can enjoy.

Starring Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, Diane Wiest and CJ Adams as Timothy, the movie deals with the struggles and triumphs of a family and an entire town. Cindy and Jim Green (Garner and Edgerton) are anxious to start their family but can only dream about the child they might have when Timothy shows up on their doorstep one stormy night.

This movie will tug at your heart, inspire you to try harder, and make you appreciate your loved ones even more. Check out the trailer above and then grab your whole family and head to the movies to see The Odd Life of Timothy Green when it premiers next Wednesday, August 15th. I can’t wait to see it again and take my family with me this time!

Disclosure – I was treated to a screening of The Odd Life of Timothy Green and provided with information and images by Disney Home Entertainment. I received no compensation and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hot Money Maker on Enjoy The City Books!

This is a super hot MONEY MAKER deal on the Enjoy The City books! There are Enjoy The City coupon books available for the whole country and you can see what coupons are in each local book here. The books regularly retail for $20 each, but you can grab FIVE books right now for just $25 with free shipping when you use promo code FRIEND at checkout. Since I live on state line between Florida and Alabama there are actually two local books that I can choose from and each one has four of these $5/$30 Winn Dixie coupons inside. Because my local Publix considers Winn Dixie a competitor I can also use these coupons at Publix. With five books I can get a total of $100 off grocery purchases and the coupons don’t expire until the end of December!

Last time these were on sale I bought five of the Baldwin County Alabama books and we’ve already used a number of the restaurant coupons inside, plus we took the kids to the Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile and two of them got in free with coupons found in the book. Today I just bought five more of the Pensacola, Florida books and I’m sure we’ll use some of the Sam’s Fun City coupons this summer in addition to lots of the restaurant coupons. The best part is that all I have to do is use the grocery coupons to actually make $75 back on this deal. Any additional coupons we use will just be more money back in our pockets! Hurry over to get your books – this deal ends on May 29th and orders are limited to 100 books.  If you have several couponing friends or belong to a group that could use these, you can get an even better deal – when you order 20 or more books your order will be doubled for free!

6 Cheap Entertainment Ideas at Practically No Cost

Are you on a limited budget and out of entertainment ideas? Sure, many forms of entertainment are expensive—but there’s no rule that says you can’t have fun on a limited budget.

1)  Rent movies.

Why not rent a movie instead of watch one at the theater? The RedBox kiosks allow you to rent a movie for just $1 a day. Get hold of a rental code and you’ll get an even better deal on your movie rental. Don’t have a RedBox kiosk in your area? Then keep an eye out for a Blockbuster Express kiosk. You can also try websites such as Hulu and Netflix, which are jam-packed with TV shows and movies or you can check out movies from the library for free.

2) Play board games.

When was the last time you and your friends (or family) brought out the board games? Dust off the old Monopoly set or borrow your cousin’s Cranium set. Board games are guaranteed to provide hours of fun!

3)  Take a peek at the community calendar.

Check out your community center or city hall and take a look at the schedule of activities lined up for the month. Your community center will likely have a wide selection of free or inexpensive classes and ongoing programs you can take part in.

4)  Check out the museums.

Are you up for a little culture? Surf the net and see if there are any exhibits that interest you. Many museums offer free admission on certain days of the week, while other museums are free all year long.

5)  Get your friends together.

Why not call up your friends and get a game of frisbee, basketball or football going? If sports aren’t your thing, then why not hold a potluck picnic in a nearby park or play some video games at home? It doesn’t really matter what you do—hanging out with friends is always fun and it doesn’t have to cost a thing.

6)  Take advantage of your surroundings.

Take your location into consideration. Do you live near the beach? Why not spend the day working on your tan or going fishing? If you’re near the mountains, go skiing or sledding! It’s easy to forget about what’s easily accessible.

These are just some of the many, many things you can do that are either free or inexpensive. You don’t always have to spend cash in order to enjoy yourself. These activities may not be the obvious choice for entertainment, but they’re just as fun!

Photo Credit: iClipart