Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Nutrisystem’s My Way Plan: Fast 5 ~ Week 1 Results!

In exchange for participating in the Nutrisystem #NSNation Blogger Program, I will receive the Nutrisystem My Way program, free of charge, which includes food and support services for three consecutive months.  All opinions are my own.


One week ago, I began my weight loss journey with Nutrisystem Fast 5!  I will admit that I was 100% ready to make a change and think that it helped me succeed and make it through the week.  After all, starting is always the most difficult step.

When you order a 28-day Nutrisystem My Way plan, you receive a Fast 5 kit for free. It includes an extra 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 7 dinners.  The “Fast 5″ contains 7 days of a very low calorie diet, no snacking program to help kick-start your body and prepare it for weight loss mode!

In additions, there were 2 different types of shakes.  That's right, SHAKES... 7 EnergiZING shakes to boost your metabolism in the morning and 7 Craving Crusher shakes to fight off hunger and cravings in the afternoon.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Most Popular Reasons for Using Barcodes in Business

There are a number of distinct reasons why implementing a barcode system for your business would be the best move for increasing productivity and profits over time. Companies such as Shopify understand the need for a barcode scanner and printer combination that you can count on to institute and manage your barcode system. But why are barcode systems so good at making businesses more profitable and effective? Let's take a look at their most popular benefits. 

Ease of Use 

In any industry, having skilled staff means that the processes that your business runs on occur in a more efficient manner. Barcodes are surprisingly easy to use and that means that staff do not need to be trained extensively to use a brand new barcode system. Implementation of the system usually goes a lot quicker if the staff doesn't require learning to use the assorted hardware and software components. This translates into less downtime after the new system is implemented before it can be up and running efficiently. Systems that include barcode scanners are almost intuitive in the way they are used to manipulate data. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Swagbucks for FREE Gift Cards, Christmas Gifts & More!

Just moments ago, I cashed out for my 100th, $5 Amazon.com e-gift card from Swagbucks!  That adds up to $500 for FREE!!   There is absolutely NO CATCH, I promise! 

I currently earn between $15 and $20 each month and it really adds up.  Simply by searching the web like I normally do each day!  Once I redeem my Swagbucks for a prize, it takes about a week for it to arrive, sometimes less.  I'm always impressed with how quickly they send our rewards.

I "bank" and save my rewards all year long and redeem them for "FREE" Christmas gifts for the kids!  The kids are always thrilled with their gifts and I'm happy that I was able to stick to our holiday budget and not break the bank!

There are LOTS of other great prizes, rewards and gift cards to choose from as well!  So, you aren't limited to just the Amazon gift cards (although it is my reward of choice).  Rewards also include: books, magazines, apparel, video games, electronics, music and so much more!

COME ON... JOIN ME on Swagbucks!  I guarantee you will love the freebies! You have nothing to lose!  And absolutely everything to gain!


Monday, September 22, 2014

LOVE is Bigger Than HATE ~ Stand Up Against Bullying!

Did you hear about the horrific ALS Ice Bucket Challenge prank that was played on a 14 year old autistic boy in Bay Village?  As a mother and a teacher, I must say that I was disgusted by the actions of the other children involved and immediately turned my thoughts towards the parents.  What did these parents NOT teach their children and allow them to get away with?

When GiveForward heard the details, they were outraged and new they had to do something positive to help this young boy.  They wanted this boy to know that love is bigger than hate and that people were going to stand up for him and help put a stop to bullying!

When people don't stand around being bystanders, magic can happen. We saw it when a bomb exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and this nation made a collective decision that they were going to do something about it.

GiveForward wants this magic to happen for the 14 year old boy that was subject to terrible bullying and a disgusting prank. We need to teach people, especially our children, that there is a place to turn when we see tragedy or injustice in the world!  One small step can truly make a difference and change the world!

Typically, when we see a tragedy or injustice on the news, we say "what a shame" and then we simply flip the channel and proceed to do NOTHING about it, as we expect someone else will step up and help.

Blog Forward Challenge #3 ~ Time to Recharge and Renew! (ZonePerfect "Well Being" Essentials Kit Giveaway)


You may have read my first two Blog Forward challenge posts earlier this year when I talked about my New Year's resolutions and making better choices this year.  My main focus for 2014 is to lose weight and become more active. I'm still faithfully working toward that goal. 
I've received complimentary ZonePerfect bars for participating in the Blog Forward Challenge this year. I will also be entered into a contest when I complete all of the ZonePerfect Blog Forward challenges for a chance to win additional prizes for myself and my readers.


In order to recharge and renew my excitement and commitment that I made to myself earlier this year, I decided to join a "summer slim" program at the gym.  It consisted of 12 weeks of personal training with a group of 5 other ladies, two nights a week for 30 minutes.

During the course of our 3 month program, there were sessions where I thought I was going to die, my legs were going to collapse, and that I would surely not be able to make it through to the end...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Enjoy a Fall Treat from Starbucks for FREE!

Why not head to your local Starbucks and enjoy a treat with someone special!  My son and husband are at a wrestling camp today, so I'm going to take my daughter.


From 2 – 6 pm. Buy one (1) Pumpkin Spice Latte, Salted Caramel Mocha or Teavana® Oprah Chai Tea Latte and get one (1) absolutely free. Free beverage must be of equal or lesser value. At participating Starbucks® stores.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nutrisystem’s My Way Plan ~ My #NSNation Journey Begins on Monday

As a #NSNation Blogger, I will be receiving the Nutrisystem My Way Plan free of share for the next three months.  This includes 28 days of nutritious food delivered right to my door and a personal Nutrisystem counselor to help in my weight loss journey.  All opinions are my own.

I'm proud to be a #NSNationBlogger. Click here to start your weight loss journey!

The ALL-NEW Nutrisystem My Way program is designed to help you lose weight, look great, and feel fabulous!  Whether you're battling baby weight, desk job damage, or the simple truth of aging, My Way factors your personal goals and metabolism into the winning weight loss solution for you. 
With the My Way Plan, you also receive the Fast 5 Kit for free! This includes 7 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, 7 EnergiZING Shakes, and 7 Craving Crusher shakes to help you lose 5 pounds your first week.

My ultimate goal is to lose an average of 2 pounds per week, for a total weight loss of 24 pounds.  Can I do it?

You can follow my 12 week weight loss journey on Nutrisystem through weekly updates... STAY TUNED!  My journey begins on Monday!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Suave Split End Rescue ~ Beautiful Hair for Less!

This post has been sponsored by Global Influence.  All opinions are my own.


Did you know that over 70% of women have damaged hair and split ends?  In addition to not getting enough moisture, the things we do to our hair on a daily basis cause damage. Harsh shampoos and other chemicals, sun exposure, blow drying, and straightening are all leading causes of hair damage.  When our hair becomes dry and brittle, it breaks even when we comb or brush it.

My daughter and I both have very long hair, so keeping it looking healthy is important.

Here are a few ways we treat and fight split ends:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Nutrisystem “Get Back in the Picture” ~ Get Back Into the Family Photo!

Do you dread the words “family photo”? Do you catch yourself grabbing the camera to take the photo instead of wanting to be in it? 

Trust me.  I've been there!  I began using Nutrisystem in July 2012 and in just 7 months, I lost 56.5 pounds and 41 1/2 inches!  Now, I don't shy away from the camera and it feels great!


This holiday season, Nutrisystem doesn’t want you to miss out on the family holiday photo this year! No matter your reason for standing behind the camera, we they are here to help you regain the confidence you need to get back in the photo.

That's right! Nutrisystem is running the “Get Back in the Picture” beginning on September 15th through September 25th. Head over to their Facebook page to share why you want to get back into the picture!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus ~ Super Circus Heroes!


Hey Spokane!  Did you know that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus is in town this weekend?  If you haven't already purchased your tickets toe the show, there is still plenty of time! The Being Frugal and Making it Work family received free tickets to The Greatest Show on Earth. No other compensation was received and all thoughts are all my own, based on my family's personal experience. 


My family attended the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus "Super Circus Heroes" show opening night and we all had a fabulous time!  This fun packed show embraced the hero inside all of us, including Mr. Boredom!

We arrived about 45 minutes prior to show time, so we could walk around the Arena and look at all the fun souvenirs the vendors had for sale, and to find our seats early.  The floor was open to everyone for an all access pre-show.  Our first stop was at the mini circus wardrobe where the kids could try on some of the sparkly circus attire!


Several of the circus acts and entertainers came out and performed for the early crowd, and even got them out into the ring to try the stunts on their own.  They were really catering to the crowd and encouraging their participation.  They even brought one of the elephants out to make a one-of-a-kind footprint that was later given away to one lucky audience member.

"Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Super Circus Heroes, showcasing wonders from the marvelous to the magnificent, every day is extraordinary in this action-packed super circus, filled with superhuman athleticism, power and pageantry that will have children of all ages discovering their own superhuman strength. Amazing elephants, horses, camels and more alongside astonishing acrobats, awe-inspiring aerialists and some over-the-top clowns that will have audiences in stitches... of laughter of course!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My 12 Week "Summer Slim" Workout Results ~ Because I'm Worth It!


During the first week of summer vacation, two friends and I stepped out of our comfort zones and accepted a challenge to get fit!  Together, we joined a 12 week program at the gym with a personal trainer.  We would meet for training two nights a week and focus on getting fit: cardio, weight training, and nutrition.

I will admit that when I singed up, I was nervous, scared, and excited.  I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to do what our trainer asked me to do.  I was scared that I wouldn't be able to finish.  I was worried that other members at the gym would stare at me.  Honestly, I was scared most about failing!  Could I do it?  But, at the same time, I was excited for the journey, where it would lead and the results that I would see at the end!

Would it be worth it?

I missed two training sessions due to our family summer vacation.  I knew that in order to make my team (and myself proud), I couldn't take time off ~ even though I was on vacation.  So, during our normal class time, I made it my goal to get my workout in at the beach.  At one point, my son and I raced up a flight of 53 stairs... FOR FUN!


Who knew working out could be so much fun?  Even though my son beat me to the top ( I knew he would), I stayed close behind him.  The fact is that a year ago I could barely walk up a flight of stairs... let alone race up them!

Throughout our 12 week "Summer Slim" program, our trainer gave us several daily challenges and held us accountable! I have a reminder on my mirror that I see every morning when I wake up...

Friday, September 5, 2014

Cascade Platinum - How to Achieve Immaculately Clean Dishes Every Load!

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Cascade. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine. 


When I open my dishwasher in the morning, I expect my dishes to come out clean.  I can't even begin to describe my frustration when I find my "clean dishes" left with stuck on food left one them.  I also find it disgusting when I pour a drink, only to find food and grime in the bottom of the glass - especially after I'm finished drinking it!

What would you say if I told you I was going to let you in on a little secret?  Would you like to be equipped with the knowledge and tools to achieve immaculately clean dishes every time you run your dishwasher – saving you time, and helping to make the chore of dishwashing less daunting?

Pure and simple... Cascade Platinum!  It's Cascade’s  most premium product.  Designed to achieve a clean so powerful it helps to keep the dishwasher sparkling, while also delivering immaculately clean dishes each and every time. It even powers through tough 24-hour stuck-on food!

A couple of my favorite perks of using Cascade Platinum is that is has the grease fighting power of Dawn, and I don't have to pre-wash my dishes! After all, the whole idea behind using a dishwasher is not having to wash your dishes by hand.  Am I right?

I love unloading the dishwasher without having to re-wash any of the dishes inside.  One wash and they are done!  Cascade Platinum does what no other dishwasher detergent has ever done for me - immaculately clean dishes! 



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Great Deals on HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® Products Can Help You Re-energize Your Routine as the New School Year Begins!

This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Now that the kids are back in school, and I'm back to work, it's all about routines and schedules.  The lazy days of summer are over. Homework, sports, and early bedtimes are now in control.


Here are a few of my own personal tips for refreshing and re-energizing my routine as the kids and I head back to school

  1. Going to be earlier.  During the summer months, our bedtime varies due to all of our fun activities.  However, once the school year begins, the kids bedtime becomes a regular set time for maximum rest for a great school day.
  2. Stocking up on the essentials to get us through the school year:  Healthy snacks for snack-time and after school.  Breakfast foods like cereal, oatmeal, yogurt and fresh fruit.  Granola bars, Goldfish crackers, pretzels, peanut butter, water bottles and juice boxes are also among our basic essentials!
  3. Packing lunches the night before: I send lunches to work with my husband and to school with both kids.  i get the majority of their lunches pre-packed and ready the night before.  I simply toss them in their lunch boxes in the morning, and we are good to go.
  4. Morning coffee:  It may be all in my head, but I need my morning cup of coffee to get me started each morning.  Then it's time to make the kid's lunches and take them to school.
  5. Waking up my face:  Washing my face with Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit is the perfect way to help me wake up in the morning. There is just something about the foaming scrub and the delightful scent that opens my eyes each morning!
  6. Working out: I walk on my treadmill three evening a week and go to the gym two nights a week.  This is my way to get my heart rate up, do something healthy for myself and just release the stress from the day.

Stock Up on Your Favorite Breakfast Cereals at the Super 1 Foods: 12 Hour Cereal Sale ~ TODAY ONLY!

With school back in session, cold cereal and fresh fruit are both must-haves in this household!  I keep a stock pile of our favorite breakfast cereals in the pantry and take advantage of cereal sales every chance I get.

Set your alarms for an early start this morning and head to your local Super 1 Foods for their 12 Hour Cereal & Breakfast Sale. Going on today only between 8am and 8pm with savings galore on all your favorite breakfast cereals!


Be sure to take along your cereal coupons for even more savings!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

#30RunsIn30Days Challenge & Sweepstakes!

Do you enjoy walking or running for pleasure or exercise?  When was the last time you went for a run or completed a race?  Nothing feels as good as a new pair of shoes ~ especially when you're exercising!  

Enter the #30RunsIn30Days challenge for your chance to win a brand new pair of New Balance 880v4 running shoes! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Did you know that there are only 115 days until Christmas?  Trust me when I say it's not too early to start thinking about your holiday gift list!  In fact, now is the perfect time to start entering blog giveaways for your chance to win some of your holiday gifts this year!

The 2014 Holiday Gift Guide is currently being put together right here at Being Frugal and Making it Work, and I plan on providing you with some fabulous holiday gift ideas, reviews and giveaways for everyone on your holiday gift list. This is the third  annual holiday gift guide here at Being Frugal and Making it Work, and my goal is to make it even bigger and better than ever before!

With two kids and several nieces and nephews on my holiday gift list, I shop year-round for holiday gifts (and enter blog giveaways), so that by the time Christmas (and birthdays) roll around, I already have a nice stock-pile of great gifts to "shop" from.  
Right before Christmas, I gather all the gifts and make the final decision on who gets what.  Then it's time to make a few "extra" gift purchases, mainly those that Santa will bring, since I can't shop for those before hand.

The 2014 Holiday Gift Guide will include: