3 Little Things: Shoebuy, Uber and Good Job, Brain

Shoebuy Uber Good Job Brain
Happy Friday! This was the first week I felt back on a regular schedule (of course, that’s out the window next week because the kids have Monday off school for a teacher workday). Has fall come quickly in your neighborhood, too? The trees are changing colors already, and there’s a lot of fall and Halloween decor out. I love it! Our 4th of July wreath is still on the door, but still. It’s always the season to be patriotic, right?

This week, for my 3 Little Things, I’m sharing another FUN podcast that keeps me smiling and laughing (perfect for those 5:45am drives to swim practice) and two services I’ve enjoyed recently. In the comments below, I’d love to hear what little things are making you happy this week–what do you listen to? What’s your favorite online store?

 

Shoebuy Sneakers for Back to School #BTS

Shoebuy
At the TypeA Parent Conference I went to last weekend, I was constantly being complimented on my shoes. That was new to me! I’ve always been so self-conscious about my feet. Ever since middle school, they’ve been huge, then after I had my twins they really got wonky. They’re now a half-size and wide (in addition to BIG), so it’s incredibly difficult to find shoes that fit. It’s so disappointing to go to a local shoe store and not even find my size, let alone wide shoes, and a decent variety. So for many years now, I’ve been shoe shopping online with Shoebuy. They have so many different brands in such a wide variety of sizes–and I find that the prizes are very reasonable (I always shop when there’s a coupon code and use a cash back site). I buy several pairs at a time, have them shipped FREE to my home, and try them on. Then I send back the ones that don’t fit, easy because with just a few clicks, you can print out a FREE return label. If you have problem feet like me (or even if you don’t), I highly recommend Shoebuy.

 

Uber Logo

Uber

I tried Uber for the first time in Atlanta last weekend. We were told to use it in Santa Barbara to get around from the hotel to the wedding events, but we chickened out and ended up renting a car (and thank goodness because it made the hotel mishap easier to resolve). I’m glad I gave it a shot. We took it from the Atlanta airport to our hotel, and our driver Larry took the opportunity to tell us all about Atlanta, all about the traffic we’d encounter during the weekend, and some tips about using Uber. It was great! Anyone can get $30 off their first ride at Uber, so I used that credit and it made the trip super-cheap. Uber is generally less expensive than cabs, and I like how you get a quoted price for your ride before you accept it. You can track the car right on the app, and the whole process was easier than I thought it would be. You put your credit card info into the app, so you don’t need any cash (which was very handy while traveling). If you give it a try, please use my referral code ginal132 to get $30 off your first ride. Thanks!

 

Good Job Brain Podcast

Good Job, Brain Podcast

I’m sharing another fun podcast for days when you need to laugh and relax. Good Job, Brain, is a group of four fun people out of the Bay Area who have been a pub quiz team for years. A little over a year ago, they started a podcast. Each episode has a theme, and most are a combination of trivia and stories along with a quiz. Then, every fifth episode is an “All-Quiz Bonanza,” which are our favorites (check out the most recent one, episode 125). They’re just fun quizzes on all topics. It’s almost always family-friendly, and my 11-year-old son loves it as much as we do. He learns a lot, too. You can find Good Job, Brain streaming on both iTunes and Stitcher. Get all the details at their website: Good Job, Brain.

 

What’s making you happy this week?

 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend what I love. Thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms at no additional cost to you.

See more 3 Little Things over at MomAdvice.

$550 in Prizes at #FastDrySaveTime Twitter Party 10/3

CBias Disclosure Sept 2014
#FastDrySaveTime Twitter Party 10-3 at 1pm EST for Suavitel Fabric Softener

Do you love a good Twitter Party?  You know I do and I’m excited to co-host a party about Suavitel® Fast Dry™, a new fabric softener that saves you time in the laundry room. On Friday, October 3rd, at 1:00 pm ET, please join us for the #FastDrySaveTime Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing turning laundry time into your favorite time and giving you a chance to win prizes.

How often do you do laundry? For our family of five, I do a little every day! Let’s make this laundry chore easier so you can do something more fun with your time. Introducing Suavitel® Fast Dry™ fabric softener, which can dry clothes 30% faster! At the #FastDrySaveTime Twitter Party, we’ll talk about ways to save time and energy, and you have a great chance to be one of the six gift card prize winners.

SoFabChats party guests who RSVP for the #FastDrySaveTime Twitter party can opt-in to receive an exclusive $1.00 off coupon on one bottle of Suavitel® Fast Dry™ Fabric Conditioner (50oz or larger) via postal service. You will not receive any brand emails or mail beyond this point. We only have 300 so it is first come, first serve and one per person.

Join me and RSVP for the #FastDrySaveTime Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

 

DATE:  Friday, October 3, 2014

TIME:  1:00 to 2:00 pm ET

PRIZES:  5 – (1) $100 Walmart Gift Cards

EARLY BIRD PRIZE:  1 – $50 Walmart Gift Card

HOSTS:  @Freebies4Mom, @LaughWithUsBlog, @MoneywiseMoms, @iamthemaven, @_Karen

RULES:  #FastDrySaveTime Twitter Party Official Rules

RSVP & PARTY GRID:  #FastDrySaveTime Twitter Party Page

PLEASE RETWEET:

https://twitter.com/MoneywiseMoms/status/514858311943217154

 

How To Participate In A Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

TIP:  How to join a Twitter Party – sign in! Before party starts, click on the green “Sign In On Twitter” bar at the top of the page!

TIP: Who to follow at a Twitter Party? Follow the Party Team by clicking on the Twitter handle links on the RSVP page!

TIP: Want to win Twitter Party prizes? RSVP by clicking on RSVP button before you join the party, follow everyone on the Party Team, and tweet with the party hashtag during the party to be eligible!

TIP: How to win the Early Bird prize? Watch for chance to share a tweet when you RSVP for chance to win!

TIP: Special deals and brand coupons? Keep that options checked when you RSVP for the party!

TIP: New to Twitter parties? Watch your column and Party Team tweet columns – they are slower paced and easier to follow!

TIP: Where to find Twitter Parties? Check out the SoFabChats Twitter Party Calendar to find more fun parties to attend!

Find more helpful Twitter Party Tips on SoFabChats!

Taking Care of Me (with Walgreens Adult Immunizations)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GetAShot #CollectiveBias

With the kids back to school, I’m focused on taking better care of me. I’m drinking more water every day, re-committing to the 10,000 steps/day goal, and having all my yearly appointments (optometrist, gynecologist, regular physical, etc.). I got my seasonal flu shot, too! Preventative care is a key way to take care of yourself, and it’s so important when you’re a mom. I don’t know about your house, but at mine, I can’t be down for too long without things going haywire. It’s the perfect time to get caught up on your adult immunizations at Walgreens.

Walgreens #GetaShot Give a Shot immunizations | MoneywiseMoms
 

I love that the Walgreens Get a Shot. Give a Shot. program makes it so easy for you to help others by doing something you would do anyway. When you get a seasonal flu shot or other immunizations at Walgreens, you’re helping to provide a lifesaving vaccine to a child in a developing country through the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life program. They make it it really convenient!

 

Walgreens Get a Shot, Give a Shot immunizations #GetAShot #shop | MoneywiseMoms
I’m already loving the Walgreens mobile app for its paperless coupons and tracking my healthy habits to earn Balance Rewards. Next time you’re out and about, check the app to find your nearest Walgreens, and pop in for your seasonal flu shot. You can schedule an appointment via the app, or just walk in (talk about convenient!).

Walgreens Get a Shot, Give a Shot immunizations #GetAShot #shop | MoneywiseMoms

Head to the pharmacy in the back of the store. If you’re already a Walgreens pharmacy customer, they’ll have your info in their computer system. If not, it will just take a moment to get registered. Then, you complete a tiny piece of paperwork before you receive your immunization.

The pharmacist took me into one of their health clinic rooms and gave me the seasonal flu shot. Easy peasy! I was off to the rest of my day, just like that.

Walgreens Get a Shot, Give a Shot immunizations #GetAShot #shop | MoneywiseMoms
I really hope you’ll consider getting your seasonal flu shot or other adult immunizations at Walgreens before October 13th as part of Get a Shot, Give a Shot–it’s a great way to help others! Even though immunization is one of the world’s biggest public health success stories, there are still 1 in 5 children around the world lacking access to lifesaving immunizations. Walgreens and Shot@Life are partnered to make significant progress.

 

Get a Shot, Give a Shot – and take care of YOU! 

Walgreens Get a Shot, Give a Shot immunizations #GetAShot #shop | MoneywiseMoms

How We Lost Our Second Car

How We Lost Our Second Car | MoneywiseMoms
Our first car…that’s a story for another day. But our second car? It was a new shiny blue Saturn sedan, back when that company was brand new and so exciting. And to be honest–our choice was not based on price, safety, or manufacturer–just if my 6’5″ tall husband could fit his legs under the steering wheel. They did!

So we drove it. A lot. And a couple of times my husband dinged the mirrors on the sides of the garage. And somehow it got a dent in the bumper (this was 1995, I truly don’t remember). It was a normal amount of wear and tear, I’d say.

Until…

We came home from the grocery store one night, and it was dark, so as we were unloading the trunk, a can of orange juice concentrate somehow escaped and rolled into a crevice in the trunk.

And stayed there.

And about a week later we noticed a very bad smell in the trunk. Very bad. Like orange beer. Like super stinky orange beer.

The orange juice had fermented. Big time.

“No problem!” we said. We pulled out the mats and trunk fabric and washed them as best we could with carpet cleaner. And we sprayed Febreze. A lot of Febreze. And we washed the mats again. And we sprayed Lysol. A lot of Lysol.

But it smelled exactly the same. Which was a very BAD smell, if you recall.

When I drove to work, I had to keep the windows open just so I could breathe. It was like that episode of Seinfeld with the smelly car.

Every day when I drove to work I was worried that if I was pulled over by a police officer, the smell of (orange) beer would drift out of the car and it would be assumed I was driving drunk or with open containers or whatever that smell would insinuate.

But mostly it was just insufferable.

Until…

My husband took the car one morning to drive to court (he was in law school at the time), and during stop-and-go traffic on the Pasadena Freeway he was bumped from behind, which pushed him into the car in front of him. Even with really low speed, BAM. The front of the car crumpled. The air bags deployed. He was not hurt at all (thank goodness). No one was; it was tiny fender-bender. But our car was totaled. TOTALED. From that? I couldn’t believe it.*

And immediately our insurance declared the car totaled. And paid us full Kelley Blue Book for the car. Which was like 10 times what the car was worth in its present state–with dents, scratches, crunched mirrors, and OH YEAH WHAT’S THAT HORRIBLE SMELL?

So that worked out nicely. Really couldn’t have gone better.

 

What crazy convenient thing has happened to you? 

 

*Speaking of “couldn’t believe it,” the glove box of the car was smashed shut in the accident, so my husband was unable to show the police officer proof of insurance at the scene. So she wrote him a ticket. Which he ended up using hours and hours and HOURS to clear up, including having to go to court to show a tiny piece of paper (which we have forevermore carried in our wallets instead of the glove box, just in case).

3 Little Things: A Wedding, Dolphins, and TypeACon

3 little things making me happy - MoneywiseMoms

Oh, if there was ever a week to slow down, stop, and focus on the good things, this is it! After not flying in an airplane for years, I’ve flown three times in a week, so now my head is exploding with allergies and my body is jetlagged. Today I’m looking back at the great parts of this week and will rest up to recover for a more normal week starting Monday.

Wedding Collage
A Wedding
My husband and I flew to Santa Barbara for a whirlwind trip (four days, but two were travel!) for our best friend’s wedding. It was out on a terrace over the water–absolutely beautiful! As a bonus, I have never been so entertained as a wedding guest. The groom is a movie producer, and the bride is a Broadway actress/director. So the rehearsal dinner and reception were filled with personalized songs, dance numbers, a short film, and tons of great toasts and tributes. I was smiling and laughing for hours, plus we got to catch up with friends we hadn’t seen since moving away from California after the twins were born. It was a rushed weekend but so lovely. We got to walk on the beach, eat great food, and oh, yeah…no kids!

Dolphins in Santa Barbara
Dolphins!
The weekend started off with a bad surprise but ended with a great one. Friday evening while we were picking up my husband’s tux, the hotel called to say, “So they dropped off a goodie bag for you but we don’t have a reservation for you.” Huh?! Why didn’t I have a reservation? I made a reservation back in February! Apparently, I made a reservation for the following weekend and never looked at the dates again. Oops. After a few hours of stress, we found a great place to stay (shout out to The Inn at East Beach, who treated us so well, fed us fabulously, and the manager Frank was quite a character!). And on our last morning, we had a quick half hour to say goodbye to everyone and rush-rush-rush to the airport. Thankfully, we stopped and slowed down, and it was then that we saw the dolphins. Out in the Pacific Ocean, just across from the hotel balcony, was a big pod of dolphins playing in the surf. It was so much fun watching them play for 10 minutes, just jumping over each other, and I’ve never seen anything like it.

Type A Parent Conference 2014 Badge
TypeACon
This weekend I’m in Atlanta with a wonderful group of bloggers at the Type A Parent Conference. This is a great conference for new bloggers (I always recommend it for newbies because it’s a small group), but even for vets like me, the value is in the learning and the connections. The sessions are packed with expert advice, and I always love meeting bloggers in person that I’ve only known online. It’s also a great environment for connecting with brands and small businesses to create partnerships. You can follow along in my Twitter feed with the hashtag #TypeACon.

 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend planned. What 3 Little Things are making you happy this week?

 

Linked up to MomAdvice.

Pley.com Subscription (Lego Rental Service) Giveaway

Pley.com Giveaway at MoneywiseMoms

It’s been three months now, and we’re still thoroughly enjoying our experience with Pley.com. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a Lego rental service, sort of like Netflix + Lego. Sets come to your house, you build them (as many times as you like), then send it back and get the next one on your queue.

 

The last few sets haven’t even made it to the kids, I have to admit. One was the Technic Racer, a 24-inch long race car that my husband took days to build. He let them help a little, but it was his project. Our current set is the Palace Cinema, which we’re only 2/3 of the way through building. It’s been so much fun as a family to work a little, go on with our day, then come back to it. Everyone is getting a kick out of all the little details, like the old-fashioned film camera, the theater seats and the popcorn machine.

Lego Theater | Pley.com Giveaway at MoneywiseMoms  

I really want you to try Pley! It’s such a great way to try out Lego sets without buying them. You can try out several sets a month for less than the price of one.

 

One lucky MoneywiseMoms reader will win a 6-month Super Fan Membership, one will win a 3-month Super Fan Membership, and everyone who enters will get a promo code for one FREE Month so you can try it for yourself. I’m using a Rafflecopter widget for this Pley.com giveaway, so be sure and check out all four ways you can enter the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends at midnight ET on Friday, September 26th. If you’re reading this in an email, you’ll need to click over to the blog to see the Rafflecopter entry form.

 

Disclosure: Pley is providing the prizes for this giveaway.

Tuscan Chicken Soup {Slow Cooker}

I’m so glad we’re heading into fall. While I use my slow cooker all year round, I do avoid soups and stews during most of the year. With some cooler temps, it’s a great time to try some new soup recipes. This Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Soup has become a new favorite at my house–filled with my family’s favorite vegetables like red peppers, mushrooms and spinach. It’s a very easy recipe that makes a great healthy dinner!

Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Soup

5.0 from 2 reviews
Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Soup
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken, cubed
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 7oz jar roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz fresh baby spinach, chopped
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except spinach to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  3. Add spinach, stir, and cover. Cook for 10 more minutes or until spinach is wilted.

I usually serve soups with carbs on the side (like one of these 10 Sensations Sides for Soups & Stews). That way, the kids can carb-load while the adults take it easily. Alternately, you could add cubed potatoes for a more stew-like broth, or serve this soup with cooked rice or pasta.

Looking for more easy Slow Cooker Meals? Follow my Slow Cooker & Crockpot Pinterest Board.

Linked up to Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now, Wow Me Wednesday at Ginger Snap Crafts, Whimsy Wednesday at Smart School House, Fluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster, Too Cute Tuesday at Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Pinterest Foodie at Real: The Kitchen and Beyond, Real Food Recipes Roundup at Musings of a Housewife and Made by You Mondays at Skip to My Lou.

Tortellini Chickpea Pasta Salad {Cookbook Giveaway}

Tortellini Chickpea Pasta Salad
 

Easy, healthy meals on a budget–it’s a goal for many of us. I’m excited to share a great new cookbook with you–GoodCheapEats by Jessica Fisher–to help you meet this goal around your busy family. You may already be familiar with Jessica Fisher from the blogs Good Cheap Eats and Life As Mom. She’s all about making the most of what you have, whether that’s time with family, money in the bank, or food on hand. She has six kids and is passionate about budget-friendly meals that taste good. I received a copy of GoodCheapEats for review and have been working my way through the recipes, to my family’s delight.

Good Cheap Eats - budget friendly meals |MoneywiseMoms
GoodCheapEats is filled with strategies and tips alongside the great recipes, all focusing on how to shop smart and eat well on a budget. My family just loved this Tortellini Chickpea Pasta Salad, found on page 268 (or print it below). It’s the kind of pasta salad that’s tasty either warm or chilled. It will store in the fridge for up to four days.

 

4.4 from 5 reviews
Tortellini-Chickpea Pasta Salad
Author: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 12oz. cheese tortellini (fresh, dried or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas (rinsed & drained if canned)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 (10oz) package grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped peeled carrots
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the tortellini according tot he package directions. Drain and let cool slightly.
  2. In a small jar or bowl, combine the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Place the lid on the jar and shake well or whisk until smooth. Add the olive oil and shake or whisk again to emulsify.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the tortellini, chickpeas, spinach, tomatoes, and carrots. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Adjust the seasonings as desired. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

The GoodCheapEats Cookbook is out right now! Find it at Amazon, and purchase a copy in paperback or for Kindle.

Win the GoodCheapEats Cookbook
One lucky MoneywiseMoms reader will get a copy of the brand new GoodCheapEats cookbook. For a chance to win, just check out this preview PDF of the book, and pick one of the recipes you’l like to try:

To enter, take a look at GoodCheapEats’ Table of Contents and tell me one recipe you’d like to try.

If you’re reading this in an email subscription, you’ll need to click over to the blog to enter. One entry per person, please. This giveaway ends Wednesday, September 17th, at midnight EST. Good luck!

 

Linked up to Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less, Thrifty Thursday at The Thrifty Couple, Show & Tell at Gingerly Made, Inspire Me Wednesday at seventhirtythree, the Real Food Recipe Roundup at Sassy Moms in the City and Pinterest Foodie at Real: The Kitchen and Beyond.

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher for review. The publisher is providing the prize for this giveaway. I’ve also used an affiliate link to Amazon; thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms at no additional cost to you!

Walgreens #ShotAtLife Twitter Party 9/17

#GetAShot flu vaccine
#GetAShot #TwitterParty 9-17 flu vaccine #shop

Do you love a good Twitter Party? You know I do, and I’m excited to co-host a party about how you can Give a Shot when you Get a Shot at Walgreens! On Wednesday, September 17th, at 1:00pm ET, please join us for the #GetAShot Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing this wonderful opportunity to give back to children in need and giving you a chance to win prizes!

If you need a flu vaccine, I hope you’ll consider getting it at Walgreens because of the Get a Shot, Give a Shot program. Through mid-October, when you get flu or other immunizations at Walgreens, they will donate a lifesaving vaccine to a child in need through the United Nations Foundation Shot@Life program. This is such a great opportunity to give back by doing something you would do anyway, taking care of your own health. Let’s chat more at the #GetAShot Twitter Party on September 17th. You have a great chance to win a Walgreens gift card!

Join me and RSVP for the #GetAShot Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

 

DATE:  Wednesday, September 17, 2014

TIME:  1:00 to 2:00 pm ET

EARLY BIRD PRIZE:  1 – $50 Walgreens Gift Card

PRIZES:  5 – $100 Walgreens Gift Cards

HOSTS:  @Freebies4Mom, @MoneywiseMoms, @comebackmomma, @mattdantodd@JManMillerBug

SPECIAL GUEST:  @Walgreens

RULES:  #GetAShot Twitter Party Official Rules

RSVP & PARTY GRID:  #GetAShot Twitter Party Page

PLEASE RETWEET:

 

How To Participate In A Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

TIP:  How to join a Twitter Party – sign in! Before party starts, click on the green “Sign In On Twitter” bar at the top of the page!

TIP: Who to follow at a Twitter Party? Follow the Party Team by clicking on the Twitter handle links on the RSVP page!

TIP: Want to win Twitter Party prizes? RSVP by clicking on RSVP button before you join the party, follow everyone on the Party Team, and tweet with the party hashtag during the party to be eligible!

TIP: How to win the Early Bird prize? Watch for chance to share a tweet when you RSVP for chance to win!

TIP: Special deals and brand coupons? Keep that options checked when you RSVP for the party!

TIP: New to Twitter parties? Watch your column and Party Team tweet columns – they are slower paced and easier to follow!

TIP: Where to find Twitter Parties? Check out the SoFabChats Twitter Party Calendarto find more fun parties to attend!

Find more helpful Twitter Party Tips on SoFabChats!