5 Money Tips For Single Income Families

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Well-paid executives are not the only people who bring home the only paycheque for the household. While living on a single income might not be easy, many families are learning to do so for a number of different reasons. Instead of seeking to replace a lost job, some mothers are staying home with the children and changing their approach to meals and housework. Substantial money savings is realised when daycare bills and restaurant expenses are eliminated from the household expenses. In the early stages after shifting to one income, there are some adjustments that must be made. And we hope that these five basic tips will help you organise our finances to get by on a single income.

Follow These Tips for Living on One Income

1. Establish a budget – All expenses that will be incurred over the course of an entire calendar year should be placed into a detailed budget. A portion of insurance premiums and other bills that are not paid monthly should be set aside each month. Weekly budget discussions should be conducted to keep a tight rein on every penny and cooperation must be freely offered to prevent conflicts about expenses. Bank accounts must be monitored closely to stay abreast of the ways money is used. Cash can be placed in envelopes to force spending restraints on each major category, such as groceries and clothes.

2. Shop creatively – A wish list is a useful tool to delay purchases that might not be necessary. Whenever an item is desired, write the description and price on the wish list and wait for 30 days. This method prevents spontaneous purchases that can strain a tight budget. Alternative sources of goods and services are available for those who wish to save money on every purchase.
  • Deals – Weekly flyers, coupons and sales are available for most retailers. Most purchases can be made for less money than the full retail price. Use of shopping lists will enable the household to stay within the budget.
  • Second-hand – Thrift stores, online classified ads and garage sales are great sources of nearly new items in almost any category. Frequent visits to each of these sources will yield remarkable bargains.
3. Entertain friends – Cooking at home and inviting friends and family over for an evening of free fun can be one of the most rewarding aspects of life. Large gatherings are the perfect opportunity to have creative “pot luck” suppers where everyone shares their favourite foods with those present. Children enjoy spending time with friends and learning to play board games and outdoor games. Extended families that spend time together enjoy multi-generational interaction that builds social skills in the children.

4. Forget the "Jones's" – Attempts to keep up with the lifestyle of others is exhausting and unproductive. Specific financial goals will established the guidelines for the household. Material goods will take a different role when the family is more interested in raising great kids instead of acquiring the latest stuff.
  • Similar friends – Other single income families will have similar priorities and restraints on their ability to spend money. Creative people are inspiring to others who know that free fun is still fun. Some former coworkers and very wealthy friends might wander away, but the family goals will come into focus, and new friends will come.
  • Contentedness – Surviving on a single family income requires developing deep contentment with the current situation. Every purchase should be evaluated against the actual need that has been presented. Acquiring goods through creative shopping expeditions can be one of the best ways to teach every family member to save money.
5. Emergency fund – An amount equivalent to six months of income should be saved in an emergency fund. The need for this fund cannot be overstated because of the lack of a safety net that would be available if a second income existed. Unexpected costs that arise can be paid from this fund to avoid incurring debt. After the expense is paid, the fund can be replenished over the next few months.

In Conclusion

Debt-free living is embraced by many families who are living on a single income. Debt service weighs on the family budget more than any other monthly expense. Active money management involves close evaluation of every expense. Old habits must be broken to stay within the limits presented by a single household income. Honest communication and proactive decisions will prevent shortfalls at the end of the month prior to arrival of the next paycheque. Multiple budget reviews during the month will reveal how money is used for discretionary expenses. Adjustments will be required to align every expense with the household priorities.

Andy is the co-founder of the credit card comparison website where he contributes reviews, guides and blog posts. Outside of work, he leads a busy family life and enjoys travelling.

Meals and Thrills At The Stratosphere Tower-Las Vegas

Monday, January 30, 2012

On our upcoming trip to Vegas, Gerry and I, will be admiring the Las Vegas skyline from the Stratosphere Tower located at the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel and Tower on the strip.

This is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States, towering over the city at 1,149 feet. Indoor and outdoor observation decks with spectacular panoramic views are not all that the Stratosphere offers. At the top of the tower you can enjoy night time venues and Top of the World restaurant which rotates 360 degrees as you dine-allowing you to see glimpse some things that Vegas has to offer. The truly brave at heart can enjoy the world’s highest thrill rides and the tallest controlled free fall in the world at Sky Jump Las Vegas that sends you flying off the 108th floor.

We hope to dine in the restaurant, but we will definitely skipping the free fall and leave our excitement for the casinos.

Today's Winner

sbabij2 at shaw dot ca
is today's winner of the following giveaway:

*** Winner has been contacted and has 7 days to reply before a new winner is selected.
Thank you to all who entered!

What’s Hot and What’s Not – Appliance Trends For 2012.

It’s getting steamy...

Washing machines that use steam are big news for 2012. Steam can reach higher temperatures than water, and so can penetrate much deeper into fabrics, which means stain removal is not a problem. Your clothes will be as good as new when washed with steam, over and again. These steam machines also use less water than traditional washing machines, so they’re better for the environment (and your bank balance!) The LG Steam Direct Drive F1479FDS6 is a gorgeous looking steam washing machine, and its 20 minute Steam Refresh cycle can lift odours from lightly soiled clothes so that they’re ready-to-wear again in no time at all.

Green is the new black...

With everyone tightening their belts, efficient appliances have never been more popular. Energy prices are on the rise, so a super-green appliance can guarantee huge savings on your energy bills –exactly what you need in these tough times! Siemens have
recently released their new range of amazingly efficient A+++ fridge freezers. These technologically advanced models can save you 60% more energy than a standard A rated model – leaving you with spare cash after the bills have been paid! They’re packed full of features designed to keep your food fresher for longer too, so you’ll be throwing less wasted food away. The coolBox, for instance, (found on Siemens products) is the perfect place to store meat and fish. It keeps them at a lower temperature than the rest of the fridge, so when you cook them, they taste as delicious as they would’ve done on the day they were bought.

LG have also picked up on the trend of helping you to make your food last longer. One of LG’s newest models, the LG GWL227HHXV, has a V-Fresh compartment. V-Fresh technology is exclusive to the brand – it sucks the air out of a special compartment to keep your veggies fresher for longer than ever before – so you can stock up at the supermarket, safe in the knowledge your lettuce won’t be soggy in two days time.

What’s en vogue for refrigeration? French doors...

Making a stylish feature out of an appliance is easy with a French door fridge freezer. These models have side-by-side fridge doors, and a bottom drawer for the freezer. They look unusual and elegant – and the freezer drawers provide loads of space for frozen goodies. The Samsung RFG23DERS American fridge freezer has 127 litres of space inside the freezer – the ideal amount of storage space for a larger family’s weekly shop. You don’t even need the space in your kitchen for an American style model to embrace the French door trend either – LG’s brand new GM5148AERV is only 70cm wide, and has 3 freezer drawers with a whopping 109 litres of freezer space.

Love the style, but not sure about the price? Affordable alternatives to these models are Hotpoint’s Quadrios. Available in gun metal grey, stainless steel and black, these fridge freezers provide good looking, high quality refrigeration for a bargain price. They’re so stylish, they’ve even featured in television programmes and cooking shows.

Experience Traditional Americana At Johnny Rockets’

Sunday, January 29, 2012

On our upcoming Vegas trip, we are excited to get the opportunity to eat at Johnny Rockets at the Venetian Food Court.

The first Johnny Rockets opened in 1986 in Los Angeles with a belief that everyone deserves a place where they can escape from today’s complicated world and to experience Americana’s uncomplicated goodness-in fact name originated from the timeless Johnny Appleseed story. Each year, Johnny Rockets serves 17 million hamburgers, 11.3 million soda pops, 8.3 million shakes and malts, 8 million pounds of fries, 2.1 million orders of onion rings and 815,000 gallons of ice cream. This is truly the place for classic “American Cuisine” with a huge selection of their 1/3 pound hamburgers, rocket-melts, sandwiches, and starters. To complete the Johnny Rockets’ Americana experience make sure to grab some mouth watering shakes, malts and floats available in dozens of different flavours.

We love the general atmosphere as well as the delicious and fun food.We don't have Johnny Rockets where we live, so take full advantage of them when we travel! Click here to find a Johnny Rockets location nearest you.

Saturday-January 28th-A Cave In

Wasn't what Gerry wanted to see this morning when he headed outside to shovel snow off the roof of our trailer, but he noticed the car port that we use for storage, had a caved in roof!

Snow had weighed it down and buckled it inwards.

No rips or tears but piping on the inside was bent. Gerry had to run to the hardware store and now has to construct beams inside the car port to keep everything up.Temperatures were -28 with the wind this morning, so not something you really want to be doing when it's cold out, but had to be fixed nonetheless.

***Sunday brought us a leaky hot water tank- setting us back another $340!

What Does Your Future Hold?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Many of us have a great interest in the mysteries of our future. Psychic Source is a group of screened and verified psychic readers, who are best in their area of expertise. There are numerous types of psychic readings available such as tarot readings, runes, astrology and more. The site features the various psychics’ specialities, so you can choose the one that matches your need.

I was very happy with my experience and based on the introductions I listened to, I connected with psychic of my choice. I was surprised that I could ask questions about my health, money, family and so much more and my psychic seemed to hit things dead on.I loved this service and have always enjoyed getting a reading done. It always amazes me what these people have insight to.

To find out what the future holds, or just for fun, Psychic Source is a great experience.

5 Ways To Say “I Love You” For Less

Valentine's Day is only days away, and many of us are probably still scrambling around trying to find the right way to say “I love you” to those who mean so much to us. However, roses, fine candies, and fine jewelry can all come with a steep price tag – ones so steep that they aren't always feasible. So instead of looking at the latest in men's rings or purchasing $100 worth of red roses, consider doing some of the following for an inexpensive Valentine's Day treat:

Homemade Cards

You may think that homemade cards are for kiddos, but they can mean a lot to your significant other as well. The time that you put in to creating a card will not only be a nice throwback which will be sure to give your partner warm and fuzzies, but the card will also be more personal which is sure to please your partner. Not only that, but you won't have to deal with hunting through vast rows of cards or waiting in lines at retail stores, and you can make it with items already within your home.

Make Your Own Delectables

Instead of spending an arm and a leg on chocolate covered strawberries or a decadent candy of choice, consider making it yourself. Most candies and confectioner delights are easy and relatively inexpensive to make, and allow you to add your own personal touch. They also prevent you from having to order weeks in advance, and allow you to create fresher treats.

Dine In

Going out is often a tradition on Valetine's Day, and while it is nice to go out, it can lead to an incredibly high bill – with many fine restaurants clearing tabs as high as $100. To stay within budget, cook your partner's favorite meal at home. If you have kids, send them to a willing relative's house and cook a romantic meal with your partner. It will be a great, inexpensive way for you two to get quality time together, and you won't have to worry about getting all dressed up.

Do a Few Chores

Are there a few things that your partner always does even though they hate it – such as laundry, cleaning the bathroom, or scrubbing floors? Instead of letting them do it, yet again, consider doing a few household chores for them as an extra sign of your appreciation for them being in your life. Sure, it might require a little more effort on your part, but your partner will be surprised and delighted to come home with nothing to do but put up their feet.

Give a Sensual Massage

There is nothing more personal and romantic than treating your partner to something similar to a spa night. If you really want to have a great Valentine's day night, simply run a warm bath for your partner and then follow it up with a massage. Aside from the cost of bubble bath and massage oil, it is virtually free and will provide you with a bit of intimacy.

Valentine's Day truly is a great time to tell someone you love them, but that doesn't mean that it should leave you in the red or charging credit cards. If you don't have a big budget for the upcoming holiday, don't sweat it. Simply use some imagination, and you should be able to come up with several great ways to have an enjoyable Valentine's Day without the high bills.

DiGiorno Countdown to Greatness Sweepstakes ( US only)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I wanted to tell you about the  DiGiorno Countdown to Greatness Sweepstakes on Facebook.

The sweeps is a great opportunity to win some awesome prizes!

Only a few more days left to enter for your chance to win a 65" TV, $5,000 in cash, a surround-sound package, a stainless steel fridge and free DIGIORNO® Pizza for a year. Now, get in there and enter for a chance to win before it's too late, the sweepstake ends at 11:59 PM 1/28!

Valentine's Day Gift Guide:Gourmet Gift Baskets Plus a Giveaway

Shopping for your valentine for Valentine’s Day can be a difficult task, sometimes you just can’t decide what to get.Why not get it all with a Gourmet Gift Basket filled with their favorite treats- it is the perfect way to show your love.

Give the gift of decadence or elegance with Champagne and chocolate suitcase filled with Moet & Chandon White Star Champagne, two champagne tumblers and many gourmet indulgences in a keepsake, sophisticated black suitcase. If your Valentine dreams of visiting the most romantic city in the world a Day in Paris gift basket featuring all the Parisian delicacies may be just up to their taste.

There are many themed gift baskets to choose from including; BBQ,Be My Valentine™ - Valentine's Day Gift Basket, pictured above, Microbrewery, Golf, Fishing, as well as Spa, Chocolate, Fruit and so much more. You can even create a personalized gift basket for that unique Valentine.

So why settle on one gift, when a gift basket says so much more?

Gourmet Gift Baskets would love to give away one of the beautiful baskets above to one lucky winner from Canada or the USA. A random draw will be held by on February 10, 2012 from all entries received.

To Enter:
Please leave your email and a comment for Gourmet Gift Baskets

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Let Your Child's Imagination Soar With Wuggle Pets

Wuggle Pets are winning the hearts of children and parents alike. Kids can create, personalize, collect and trade their Wuggle Pets to their hearts content.

There are eight Wuggles to collect, each pet comes with a birth certificate, magic dust, personality charms, the zipper tool and fluffy softness, and, each order includes one fun filled factory to bring your Wuggle Pets to life.

For birthdays, holidays or any other fun events the party pack, offering the full collection of Wuggle Pets offers the best value for the parents and kids. Alternatively a starter kit is a great idea for those beginning their collections. The kit includes one fun filled factory, a Cuddle Puppy, with all the accessories, and you can even make Wuggle Pets talk with an optional voice box.

With these toys there truly is no limit to where your kids imagination can take them.

Review: Sandy Feet Cards

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sandy Feet Cards  is a division of Sandmade Photos and is located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.The husband and wife team take messages written in the sand and turn them into one of a kind note cards.They  have a large selection of cards that can work for a variety of occasions and if you do not see a sandwritten message that works for you, they will be happy to write something custom for you.

 A great deal of patience is required to make sure each image comes out just right. When you work with something that is constantly moving like the barrier islands of the Outer Banks…the result is unique and beautiful, and you can truly see this in their unique cards. I had a variety of the cards to review and they were all quite nice . I would think that these would also have been nice to see in color, although that is not an option with these cards.

Be sure to check out their great selection of one of a kind Valentine's Day cards and get yours ordered today.( Please note: these cards come blank inside.)

January 31st-Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment DVD & Blu-ray New Release: The Big Year

Comedic Icons Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson Star in the Hilarious Outdoor Adventure Coming to Blu-ray and DVD January 31!

 Let the fowl play begin! Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents the story of a competitive trio who quickly turn a simple quest into the ultimate competition when THE BIG YEAR spreads its wings on Blu-ray and DVD January 31.

Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson portray three men from very different walks of life, facing a mid-life crisis, a work-life crisis and a no-life crisis. In the biggest competition of their lives, they undertake an unforgettable trek through North America, engaging in hilarious and bizarre adventures and forming friendships that will last a lifetime!

THE BIG YEAR Blu-ray is loaded with special features including the theatrical and extended editions of the film, over 40 minutes of deleted scenes and the featurette “The Big Migration.” The Blu-ray combo pack and single-disc DVD will be available for an average retail price of $29.99 and $19.99 respectively.

Runtime is 100 minutes.

Beauty from the Elements is in Season for 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Start your fashion with a sense of true beauty, Giovanni style.

Their hair care line has a huge range of shampoos, conditioners, repair treatments and styling/finishing aids. Select from rich pomades, sleeking gels, bodybuilding mousses and more.

I had the opportunity to try their TEA TREE TRIPLE TREAT SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER and loved it. At first I wasn't too sure if the shampoo was really cleaning my hair as it didn't suds up as much as my regular shampoo,but once I shampooed and after applying conditioner and rinsing, I knew it DID do something! My hair and scalp felt amazing. There was a cooling feeling on my scalp for at least half hour after I did my hair.My scalp tingled and my hair truly felt clean.The conditioner was quite nice to use as well. Thick ,tea tree oil scented, and really worked to make my hair more manageable to comb after my shower.

Each Giovanni Eco Chic Hair Care formula contains a blend of exotic organic oils, ripe harvested from renewable plants at the peak of their freshness. The oils are cold pressed and refrigerated immediately to ensure maximum purity. For strong, vibrant, beautiful hair.
Giovanni products are FREE of phthalates, sulfates, parabens and propylene glycol.
Never tested on animals and  with eco-friendly packaging. I loved the thin design of my bottles- they both stood up and molded themselves against my tub surround wall.I thought they were chic.Giovanni believes that fashion starts, not the in closet, but in the shower.

Available at: Loblaws, Whole Foods, Walmart (haircare line) , Shopper’s Drug Mart (haircare line), and specialty Health Food Stores.

Valentine's Day Gift Guide: This Valentine’s Day Come Clean About Your Love Plus a Discount Code

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Ahoy There! An Upcoming Sightseeing Cruise Awaits Us With Lake Mead Cruises

As many of you know, we are off to Las Vegas next month. Last time we were there I don't quite remember that we had rented a car, so we took some cabs and did some walking, took in a tour as well to the Hoover Dam, and had stopped over at Lake Mead to have a view from the road above.

On this trip back, we will be taking  a cruise on the lake with Lake Mead Cruises. We've decided on their mid day sightseeing cruise aboard Desert Princess that lasts for 90 minutes, as we have such a full schedule planned of sightseeing while in the area.

The Desert Princess is an authentic, three-level, Mississippi-style paddlewheeler. Just being on board takes you back to the Old South I'm told.The Desert Princess is U.S. Coast Guard certified for 275 passengers and 10 crew members. She is spaciously equipped with 2 climate-controlled enclosed decks and an open promenade deck just perfect for taking in the cool, clean air and the wondrous sights.

Daytime on Lake Mead gives passengers a chance to enjoy the full beauty  the area.  These cruises are $25.00 per adult, and $13.00 per child. These cruises run every day of the week, departing at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.Brunch and dinner cruises are also available.

We can't wait to cruise  Lake Mead, and tell you all about it.

Save Money on Gas and Electricity

With winter in full swing and temperatures dropping to well below freezing, there is one sure way to raise your body temperature and that is by simply looking at your gas or electrical bill. Households can spend a lot of money on gas and electricity, which can become especially evident in the winter months as we raise the thermostat to heat our homes. In fact, just turning down your thermostat by 1°C, can lower your heating bills by as much as 10%, and if you are lucky enough to escape winter for a bit, leaving the thermostat at a low setting will provide protection from freezing at a fraction of the cost. Small changes can go a long way to make a big difference. Simply replacing your old light bulbs with energy efficient ones will use 75% less energy and will last 6 times longer. When stepping away from home appliances and electronics make sure to turn them completely off. Leaving electronics, such as a computer monitor, on standby or charge unnecessarily can use 10-60% of the energy than if the appliance was switched on. Nothing is better than warming up with tea on a cold winter nights, but boiling more water than necessary is also an energy waster and will add to your electrical bill

Don’t let the cost of gas and electricity leave you out in the cold. Lowering your energy usage will not only help your wallet but also the environment.

For more ways to save money on gas and electricity look here.

January 24th-Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment DVD & Blu-ray New Release: The Whistleblower

Academy Award® Winner Rachel Weisz Stars in the Heart-Pounding Suspense Thriller Arriving on Blu-ray and DVD January 24.

How far will one woman go to fight global injustice? Inspired by true events, THE WHISTLEBLOWER has been met with praise by critics and heralded at the Palm Springs International Film Festival (“Best Narrative Feature”), Seattle Film Festival (“Best Director”) and Whistler Film Festival (“Best Film,” “Best Narrative Feature”).

Academy Award winners Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardner) and Vanessa Redgrave (Julia) head a powerful cast that includes Oscar® Nominee David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) in writer-director Larysa Kondracki’s harrowing dramatic thriller. When Nebraska cop Kathryn Bolkovac (Weisz) accepts a U.N. peacekeeper position in post-war Bosnia, she uncovers a deadly sex trafficking ring. After learning that fellow peacekeepers and military contractors are involved in the ghastly practice and its cover-up, Bolkovac risks her own life to save the lives of others and expose the corruption.

Enjoy A Supreme Deal From Taco Bell Canada Plus a $25 Gift Card Giveaway(Canada only)

Like Taco Bell on Facebook – Get a free Fries Supreme When You Buy a 20 oz. Drink With Coupon

Craving a great deal and bold flavour?

Become a Supreme Taco Bell fan and get your coupon to enjoy a Free Fries Supreme with a 20oz. drink purchase. Just “like” Taco Bell Canada on Facebook from January 23rd to February 4th, 2012.

“Taco Bell Canada is thanking all our Canadian amigos with a Free Fries Supreme when they purchase a 20 oz PepsiCo beverage and use their coupon. All you have to do is “like” Taco Bell Canada on Facebook between January 23rd and February 4th to gain access to a limited time offer coupon. The coupon can be redeemed until February 12th, 2012. Fries Supreme fans can also use the coupon to get a free “Supreme” upgrade with the purchase of any combo,” explains David Vivenes, Chief Marketing Officer, Yum! Restaurants Canada.
One coupon is available for download per person and one coupon can be used per food bill and per customer at participating stores, adds Vivenes.

Fries Supreme are a Taco Bell Canada Bestseller
Fries Supreme are one of Taco Bell’s top-selling Canadian menu items – the dish features an irresistible and signature mix of hot, crispy, cool and spicy flavours.

Available only in select Taco Bell markets in the world, Fries Supreme has earned near cult status thanks to a delectable combo of crispy French fries, layered with seasoned ground beef, topped with warm zesty nacho cheese sauce, diced ripe tomatoes, chives and cool sour cream.

“Taco Bell Fries Supreme were invented right here in Canada and Taco Bell fans tell us it’s the menu item they crave most because you just can’t find that delicious combination of flavours anywhere except Taco Bell,” explains Vivenes. “What better way to ring in the New Year than with a Free Fries Supreme for all Canadians.

Taco Bell would love to give away a $25 gift card to one lucky Canadian winner.

A random draw will be made by on February 3, 2012 from all entries received.

To Enter:
Please leave your email and a comment on this giveway for Taco Bell.

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Best of luck to all!

Say More With Personalized Wedding Gifts

Saturday, January 21, 2012

With the holiday season just behind us, it may hard to believe but wedding season is fast approaching, and as seasoned wedding veterans know, these celebrations are not limited to the ceremony alone. Engagements and stag and doe gift, show the special bride or groom to be known how much they mean to their friends and family. Sometimes it can be very hard to find great gifts that suit the happy couple for all the varied, wedding related occasions. Thankfully, there is an easier way to find great personalized wedding gifts right at your fingertips-not just for the special couple, but for all the people that came together to make this memorable.

The newly married couple can show the littlest members of their wedding party how pleased they are with the very responsible role that they took during the ceremony by providing them what that unique gift, that they can take with them from childhood to adulthood. There are cute and traditional wedding favourites such as engraved keepsake boxes, personalized teddy and engraved bracelets, and unique items such as sweets jars and cufflinks.

Up until the wedding date the parents of the bride and groom are usually very busy trying to do whatever they can to ensure that the big day is perfect for the happy couple. The wedding couple can honor their parents with a special gift to show them just how much they mean to them. Personalized piece of jewellery or a wine set make wonderful gifts for the mother of the father or the bride or groom and will make them feel like a bigger part of this special day.

Say, “thank you” to all your hardworking bridesmaids and groomsman with personalized gifts that will definitely mark the occasion.

It can be extremely difficult for wedding guests to find the perfect bride and groom gifts. Instead of the plain and usual gifts that can be bought at any store you can now get personalized gifts that are engraved with the couple’s names, wedding date as well as a special message. Personalized gifts show that you have that special effort to make this day even more magical by choosing a gift made especially for them. For the already-weds, an anniversary is an exceptionally personal time between two people and it is an excellent time to show your spouse how much they mean to you with a gift that comes straight from the heart, such as a personalized calendar of the amazing time that you shared together.

No matter the wedding related occasion, don’t just purchase mundane gifts; instead try personalized wedding gifts which will make this occasion much more memorable than a bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates.

Valentine's Day Gift Guide:The Madeline Chocolate Company Chocolates Plus a Giveaway(US only)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

This Valentine’s Day some will say “forget love – I’d rather fall in chocolate!” Well now there is a way you can have both!

The Madeline Chocolate Company has been making high quality chocolates for all occassions since 1949, and their Valentine's Day chocolate edibles are incredible.We absolutely love the smoothness in their chocolates.

Give your loved one a chocolate rose bouquet, available in a variety of colors nestled in graceful long stems with lush, silk leaves, all packaged in a floral box or a sweet kiss with fun shaped chocolate lips. The variety of sweet and unique gifts is amazing and is sure to melt anyone’s heart-especially if it’s made of chocolate.

The Madeline Chocolate Company would love to give away a collection of their specially selected Valentine's Day chocolates to one lucky winner from the USA, in a random draw to be held by on February 9, 2012.

To Enter:
Leave a comment and your email for The Madelaine Chocolate Company

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Enjoy Your Favorite Dessert Guilt Free

We've found  a way to satisfy your sweet tooth without packing on the unwanted pounds.

Juicy Fruit is now launching a new line of sugar free gum called Juicy Fruits Desserts which is now available coast-to-coast in Canada. With flavours such as Strawberry Shortcake, Orange Créme Pop and Apple pie, this gum taste just like your favourite dessert.

The people at Juicy Fruit worked hard to perfect the exact taste for each of the array of flavours in a single stick of gum. Experience the intense flavour of Strawberry shortcake from the mouth watering crust, sweet fruit filling to whipped cream topping-all in a stick of gum. Now fans of frozen treats, pie or cake and gum can enjoy the very flavourful taste without the added calories. This is a great way to enjoy the irresistible flavour of your favourtie dessert, guilt-free, all year round, and even your dentist won’t notice.

We loved the taste that just bursts out of this gum- taste pleasure in every piece!

A Sweeter Way To Say I Love You and a Giveaway From Hersheys! (US only)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

If a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and women are said to be able to live on chocolate alone, its no wonder that chocolate is one of the most popular Valentine’s day gifts.

 Hershey’s, one of the most recognizable and beloved chocolate companies in the world has made over 1.5 billion Hershey’s® kisses® brand milk chocolates and more than 36 million heart shaped chocolate boxes sold on Valentine’s Day each year. Apart from the tasty classics, this year Hershey’s features a new Valentine’s Day collection which includes heart-shaped chocolates like the Hershey’s Bliss® Brand Smooth  Creamy Milk Chocolate Hearts or York® Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Pattie Miniature Hearts. Hershey's even offers an option to personalize a box of chocolates with that memorable snapshot.

 With so many varieties available there is no sweeter way to say ‘I love you”, except maybe with Hershey’s XOXO bar.

Be sure to check out their great Valentine's Day recipes too for Valentine's Day or any day you feel like baking up some love!

Hershey's would love to give away to one lucky reader,in the USA, a Hershey's Valentine prize pack.
One winner will be selected by on February 8, 2012 from all entries received.

To Enter:
Leave a comment for Hershey's with your email

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Best of luck to all!

Fibre 1 Chill Challenge and Free Toque Offer (Canada only)

As the snow keeps falling, wind keeps howling and the temperatures dips to well below freezing, not many of us are eager to exercise outside.

However, healthy eating and exercise are vital at any time of the year. Our friends at the Running Room are now giving us an incentive to venture outside in the Fibre 1 Chill Challenge. Celebrate the leap year by walking or running for 20 min, on Wednesday, February 29th.

As an added bonus the first 10,000 people to register will receive a free toque.

Leap into fitness this New Year, with this extra day of exercise and encourage your friends and family to do so as well. After you are done your exercising in the winter wonderland, why not complement your day with a healthy and delicious meal? More tasty and healthy meal ideas can be found here.

So, embrace winter and head on outside!

“Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Next Month: Vegas and Our First Whole Foods Market Experience

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

You are what you eat.

In today’s fast food culture we try to make every effort to eat more healthy and naturally. Which is why we are very excited to take  a store tour of Whole Foods Market with Diona Carrillo, marketer for Las Vegas Blvd store, when Gerry and I head to Las Vegas next month.

We have never been in a Whole Foods store but we certainly have heard a lot about them.

 Started in 1980, Whole Foods is now the leader in natural and organic foods with more than 310 stores in North America and United Kingdom-sadly none close to where we live. The company searches for the highest quality, least processed and natural foods possible — unadulterated by artificial additives, sweeteners, colorings and preservative.

Whole Foods also has high quality standards when it comes to the food that they sell, it is evaluated quality in terms of nutrition, freshness, appearance, and taste, and negotiated for the best price possible. Every effort is made to buy from local producers for the freshest and healthiest experience.

For those on special diets Whole Foods offers a variety of alternatives substitutes like coconut flour, brown rice pasta, and soy sour cream that are difficult to find elsewhere. Apart from caring about the health of the consumer, Whole Foods is a fair employer and a great global partner making efforts to support organic farming and sustainable agriculture which is great plus for any company.

We will enjoy our tour of  Whole Foods Market I'm sure. It's just too bad we can’t bring anything home.We'll also be sure to tell you all about it!

Today's Quick Tip

Have a leftovers or "use it up" night(s).
Go through your fridge- use up the leftovers.
Got through the freezer- good up the last bit of fries, those 4 chicken fingers, that 1/4 bag of dry ribs. You get the picture.
Have a smorg night!
Use it all up before buying more.

Holiday Gift Guide Suggestion: Fill in the Blankie: Review , Discount Code and Giveaway ( Nationwide)

***Please note- my winner did not receive her prize for this, despite countless emails to this company. So although I promoted their blankets, please use caution when ordering from this company, as I would hate to see someone not receive what they ordered. Digging deeper, I have found negative comments and feedback about this company.
My apologies to my winner who was left without her prize due to this company not fulfilling their end of the agreement to supply a prize.

Monique 01/17/12

Fill in the Blankie specializes in one thing and one thing only: ULTRA personalized baby blankets

I received one of their blankets for my 3 year old niece to keep as a keepsake or use when she's sitting on the couch watching her tv shows.It will be a birthday gift for her in January, when she turns 4.

Fill in the Blankie offers a variety of blankies to choose from and offer up to 200 characters to personalize your baby blanket. It's not your typical monogrammed baby blanket with the name and birthday, and is way more than a monogrammed baby blanket. You can add names of the mommy, daddy, siblings and even a pet! Add your favorite nursey rhyme. The idea is to tell a story around the soft, satin edges that will warm hearts and never, ever hit a garage sale pile.

Here's an example; Side 1: Lillian Anne Caylor was born on 6.10.11 at 2:42 am Side 2: She weighed 7 lbs 14 oz and was 20 inches long Side 3: Her mommy is Marie and her daddy is Matt Side 4: Sweet dreams, Lily! You have 4 blank fields to use up to 50 characters per line -- so, the possibilities are endless.

This is sure to be a one of a kind gift that will add delite to any parent, as a memorable gift for their child.Fill in the Blankie doesn't just do newborn baby blankets. They also do baptism and christening gifts.

20% off code: 20pOiD (Valid: 12/12 - 12/26)

Fill in the Blankie would also love to give away a $150 gift certificate to one lucky winner Worldwide entry, towards a personalized blanket on their site. A random draw will be made by on December 23, 2011 from all entries received.

Mandatory entry: Have each entrant write what they would say on their blanket. You have up to 200 characters (50 characters per/side). Also, tell me what you would say and what blanket/thread color you would choose.

Good luck to all!

***Please note- my winner did not receive her prize for this, despite countless emails to this company. So although I promoted their blankets, please use caution when ordering from this company, as I would hate to see someone not receive what they ordered. Digging deeper, I have found negative comments and feedback about this company.
My apologies to my winner who was left without her prize due to this company not fulfilling their end of the agreement to supply a prize.
Monique 01/17/12

Shopping For Self Storage

As time passes it brings with it memories and a lot of...stuff. Sometimes it is difficult to keep things under one roof and therefore many people turn to self storage as a way of de-cluttering or simply storing their things in the transition phases of their life-such as moving. However, shopping for self storage the traditional way –by checking yellow pages and obtaining quotes, can be a headache.

Sparefoot storage solves this issue by organizing every facility in one simple marketplace online. You can find and compare storage facilities on line, check out photos, read customer reviews and even reserve it online for free. This online directory lists real-time prices and availability of thousands of storage units. The comparison obtained, is easy to understand, providing the location of the facility, storage unit dimensions as well as pricing and if any special deals are available.

 For example in Tuscon, Arizona self storage, there is a large number of facilities available, offering various unit sizes and promotions. You can also check for amenities such as 24 hour access, drive up access, or climate control, or specialized storage (wine, RV, boat, etc).

With all the information available in one place its never been easier to find a great deal on self storage.

Living On A Dime Helps Trim the Fat Off Your Food Budget

Monday, January 16, 2012

When trying to “trim the fat” from my household budget I usually look to variable expenses as a way of making ends meet. Saving on groceries is one way of putting money backing into your wallet.

In my search for the best tips and tricks of the trade (such as the importance of weekly menu planning), I came across Living on a Dime, a website that is packed full of money saving ideas as well as offers a series of ebooks offering advice on saving while grocery shopping, eating out and generally getting the most out of your dollar. Filled with economical living tips, recipes and frugal housekeeping ideas, the site is a fantastic resource for those living on a budget, and these days who isn’t? Cutting back on your budget can be an overwhelming experience, but with some fun and often super easy ideas it doesn’t have to be.

Learn to save, stretch and get more for your food dollars!

Parmalat Canada Is Excited To Be Introducing La Creme Cow Plus A $100 La Creme Cow Pack Giveaway (Canada only)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Parmalat Canada is excited about La Crème Cow - a new line of spreadable snack cheese adults will love, whether on-the-go or sharing with friends. It's available in three delicious flavours; Original, Light* and Parmesan and Peppercorn, and  each wedge of cheese has a delicious mild taste with a very smooth and creamy texture. La Crème Cow spreadable cheese is a great everyday snack option because it is convenient - with each piece  individually wrapped and easily  stored  in it's own container.

The cheeses are great to create your own little wine and cheese party - perfect for Valentines' Day, snacks or when having friends over. The cheese can be eaten on it's own or paired with a nice flavored cracker.La Crème Cow also spreads nicely over bread, bagels & crackers. You can enjoy it over toast or bagel in the morning,as well as spread on a sandwich for lunch, pairing it with deli meat if you wish.

There are currently 3 different flavours of La Crème Cow cheese.

La Crème Cow cheese launched in August 2011 with 2 base flavours (Original & Light Original) and a New Unique Flavour to category, Parmesan & Peppercorn.
Original: 12 portions
Light: 6 portions
Parmesan & Peppercorn: 6 portions

Parmalat Canada would like to give one lucky Canadian reader an opportunity to win  a $100 La Crème Cow prize pack .A random draw will be held by on January 30, 2012 from all entries received.

To Enter:
Please leave your email and a comment

Extra Entries:
Follow me in Google Friend
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Tweet this Giveaway
Add me to your Blog Roll
Grab my button
Stumble one of my posts and tell me which one
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Best of luck to all!

Shoppers Optimum Spin To Win ( Canada Only)

Play to Win Great Prizes!

A Check Off Our Bucket List: Maverick Helicopters ( Las Vegas)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On our upcoming trip to Vegas next month, Gerry and I will take a giant leap and cross off another item off our bucket list. We will be taking in the grandeur that is Las Vegas at night with a helicopter ride with Maverick Helicopters.

The company started in 1995 by a husband and wife team, with a mission to provide the finest level of service as expected by the VIP guests of the resorts and hotels in the City of Lights.

The passengers experience personal narration with specialized voice activated head sets that allow them to communicate with each other as well as the pilot. There are a number of trips that are offered, including Vegas by day or night, a helicopter tour with a Grand Canyon landing, a tour of the Grand Canyon and surrounding attractions which include a brand new glass bridge skywalk, which allows visitors to walk beyond the canyon walls.Personally, we will be taking the Vegas Nights ride.

The tours vary in price and length of time to accommodate those on tight time schedules or a tight budget. The company features ECO-star helicopters which aid in noise reduction and have more seating and cabin space than the traditional model-these days it’s more comfortable than the average plane seat. The Maverick’s helicopter tours safety record is among the best in the world, which is very comforting as you dangle a thousand feet in the air.

We are very excited about our first helicopter flight and cannot wait to be a part of the Vegas night sky.

Valentines Day Gifts for the Man in Your Life

Friday, January 13, 2012

Choosing the perfect Valentine's Day gift for that special man in your life can be a challenge. So consider your valentine's interests and the amount of money you can spend. The best gift to give is one that shows a lot of thought went into the gift just for him. Some items never grow old, so check out some that remains top rated every year.

Gifts That Keep Giving

Some gifts continue to give long after Valentines Day has gone. Here are some of the favorites.

Subscription to a favorite magazine

Season tickets to a sporting event

Beer or wine club of the month

Hunting license

Fruit or food basket of the month

Adventure Gift of a Lifetime

Some men just like the feeling of an adrenal rush. If your valentine is one of them, listed here is a sampling of high adventure activities.

Sky diving

Scuba diving

Zip lining


Hot air balloon ride

Satisfy His Need for Electronic Gadgets

Many men love electronic gadgetry. Since this is the age of high-tech accessories, you have thousands of options. If none of these seems right, you can easily find one that will.

Universal remote

Digital camera

IPOD touch

Hand held organizer

Home theater stereo system

Catering to a Homebody

Life is hectic so many men cherish the time they get to spend at home relaxing. Your valentine may prefer home to any other place in the world. Fix his favorite foods, give him a gift for home and let down time begin.

I-Tunes gift card


Video or computer games


Flat screen HD TV

Gifts for a Pretty Boy

Some men want every hair in place before they leave the house. Appearance is his priority and it is not hard to find a gift that fits him perfectly.

High quality watch


Custom-made clothing

Gift card for a hair cut and pedicure

Plush briefcase or computer bag

Valentines Gifts on a Budget

If money is tight, do not despair. Search out Valentines Day deals and create a unique gift with a lot of love and a little money.

Gift basket with small items he will love

Coupon book of things you will do for him

Fill a box with his favorite homemade snacks

Clean his room or apartment

Be his servant for the day

It does not matter how much you spend as long as the gift is sincere. The act of trying to purchase something he will like says it all. I am sure you agree that as long as your gift is full of love and comes from the heart, he will adore anything you give him.

Today's Winner

Todays's giveaway:
And our winner:

*** Thank you to all that winner. Our winner has been contacted and has 7 days to reply before a new winner is selected.

Getting Ready For Some Laughs With Las Vegas Funny Man: George Wallace

Thursday, January 12, 2012

George Wallace has been selling out comedy clubs and concert venues all over the country and now we will be seeing him perform at the Flamingo in Las Vegas next month.

Since we are big Seinfeld fans, it will be a treat to see him as he once played the doctor on one of the Seinfeld episodes: The Checks.George is also a big fan of Jerry Seinfelds, and the two have been friends for a long time.

He is on  the Comedy Central’s list of the 100 Greatest Standups of All Time, and started out in the joke business as a frequent comedy club standup in New York City, where he lived with close friend Jerry Seinfeld. In 1978, he moved to the West Coast and caught his big break when he was asked to be a writer for The Red Foxx Show. After a year as a writer, Wallace returned to the stage, touring all over the country and becoming a regular at the Comedy Store. He was named the Funniest Male Standup during the American Comedy Awards in 1995, and since then, he has appeared in numerous television shows such as Scrubs, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Hollywood Squares, and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as several films, including Mr. Deeds, Batman Forever, and The Ladykillers.

In his show at the Flamingo, Wallace works the audience as he comments on media, relationships, and dialogue clichés. The crowd loves his famous “Yo Mama” and “I Be Thinkin” jokes, as well as his “People Say Stupid Things” bit, in which Wallace points out the stupidity of many popular phrases. Known as one of the few comics who can revitalize any audience, he also hands out prizes to audience members at every show, including CDs, DVDs, designer purses, dinners at famous Las Vegas restaurants, and more. Wallace also loves meeting his fans, taking photographs and giving autographs after every show.

We're sure to have a great time and to tell you all about it!

College Students Prepare To Spend $3 Billion on Textbooks Over The Next Three Weeks

I know with having two older daughters go to school beyond high school, that textbooks cost a small fortune.

But did you know that over the next three weeks, college students (and their parents) will spend more than $3 billion on the most essential of all winter back-to-school items: textbooks. The average students spends nearly $700 on textbooks for the new semester, but an increasing number are bringing these costs down by eschewing "New" textbooks in favor of "Rentals." Four years ago, "New" textbooks accounted for 70% of all sales, but has dropped to about 34% today. "Rentals" hardly existed four years ago, but now account for nearly 40% of all sales. (E-textbooks have yet to catch on, as less than 7% of all textbook transactions are for e-books.),is one of the pioneers in online textbook sales for students.

It's also an opportunity to make money from home. is  a great place to sell textbooks through their textbook buyback program. Get paid with direct deposit, and ship them your books for free. Whether you or your children are looking for new textbooks, used textbooks, eTextbooks, textbook rental, or to sell your textbooks, you are sure to find that alternative that will best fit your family's need.
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