Posts tagged with "sponsored posts"

How to Throw the Perfect Graduation Party with Upromise by Sallie Mae

Disclosure: I received compensation from Upromise in exchange for writing this review. Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions my own.

It’s that time of the year when Graduation parties are in full force. Throwing the perfect Graduation party can be expensive, but thanks to Upromise it doesn’t have to be. Upromise is a free-to-join membership service that allows families to earn cash-back for college through every day purchases. Why not put money towards our children’s education by making purchases for everyday necessities? 

Upromise by Sallie Mae members can earn up to 5% cash back just by shopping with Upromise partners —including more than 850+ online stores and 10,000+ restaurants, grocery and drugstores. Popular online retail partners include Amazon.com, Macys.com, Staples.com, Groupon and more. In addition, users can earn an additional 5% when shopping online with the Upromise MasterCard, totaling 10% savings! 

Here are a few tips on how to throw the perfect Graduation party:

1. Set a Budget– Determine upfront how much money that you want to spend for food, decorations, event location, invitations, and entertainment. Use your Upromise Mastercard when shopping for extra savings and be sure to have a set budget. This will keep you on track and will let you focus on the graduation without feeling overwhelmed. Read Party planning guides such as these from Upromise partner Staples.com or use a party-planning worksheet to stay organized.

2. Do It Yourself Party Decorations and Invitations -One way to really personalize your Graduation party is to make your own decorations and invitations. If you are not the crafty type, Upromise partner Walmart.com has a huge selection of inexpensive Graduation party decorations. If you don’t want to send regular invitations, consider inexpensive photo invitations from places like Upromise partner Shutterly.com. I love photo invitations as they really add a personal touch.

3. Choose the party location– While renting out a location for your Graduation party can be fun, it can also eat up most of your budget. One way to save money is to have the party at your home. Having the party at your home will allow for more wiggle room in the food budget and for other items. In addition, most of your guests will already be familiar with your home so this makes for a comfortable venue. You may also want to consider a Drop-In party. This option will not only allow your guests to come and go as they please, but it also will take pressure off of you, so you don’t feel as if you have to keep your guests entertained. If you do decide to host the party at your home, Upromise suggests, “Be sure to have a few games or activities readily available that are fun for parents and students alike. We recommend having a few activities that are physical and a few that you can play sitting down. For instance, check out these fun games from Upromise partners Sears.com and Kohl’s!”

4. The Menu– Decide what type of food you want to serve at the party. Do you want to stick with a more casual atmosphere, have a sit-down meal, or serve food buffet style? The possibilities are endless, but remember to stick with your food budget! One option to consider is to have the food catered. This will not only ensure delicious food but will also relieve you as the party hostess from unwanted stress. Plus, with the Upromise dining program, you can earn 5% back when you buy from participating local restaurants!

5. Have Fun and Make Memories– In the midst of all the graduation festivities, don’t forget to have fun! This is a time filled with memories that will last for a life-time. Upromise, suggests, “One staple of the modern day graduation party is a memory board, including pictures of the graduate growing up,” Consider having your guests bring their own photos of the graduate and add them onto the board at the Graduation party. This memory board will allow the graduate to treasure their special day for years to come.

Graduation festivities can be expensive for many families, so be sure to earn cash back for education through Upromise.com. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Celebrate Earth Day By Switching To Wild Oats Organics!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Wild Oats. All thoughts and opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy.

Can you believe that tomorrow is Earth Day? I love the reminder that this day brings to each and every one us to appreciate all the abundant resources that we are blessed with here on Earth! This is also a great day to remind yourself what steps that you can take as an individual to appreciate the Biodiversity that we have on Earth. There are so many varieties of life on Earth that sometimes we forget to appreciate them all for what they truly are. 

One of the ways that my family is trying to help promote Biodiversity in the Earth is to switch out our regualr foods for more Organic and Healthy food choices. One of our favorite Organic lines in the marketplace is Wild Oats. 

Did you know that Wild Oats was actually a Pioneer of Organic Products when they launched the brand back in 1987? Since then, Wild Oats has grown by leaps and bounds and brings to the marketplace a huge selection of great tasting, high-quality products.

One of my favorite things about Wild Oats is that they bring us products at prices we can all afford. You have heard the phrase, “You can’t afford not to eat right“. Wild Oats states, “Now you CAN afford to eat right.” It is true, their products are very affordable. In fact, one of my favorite places to shop for Wild Oats products is my local Walmart. 

My local Walmart carries an abundance of Wild Oats Organic products like Spices, Oatmeal, Dressings, Cookies and more at prices that are very comparable to the regular brands. Why not buy Wild Oats brand the next time you are at the store and be assured that the products that you are feeding your family are healthy and good for you? Oh, and in case you were wondering, these products are absolutely delicious! We really like the Pasta Sauces, Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies and the Spices are Amazing in any dish!

What does your family plan to do to celebrate Earth Day this year? Why not switch your regular foods to Wild Oats brand the next time you are at the store? 

Stay connected with Wild Oats via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Watches That Are Better Value Than The Apple Smart Watch

(All posts may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy)

photo credit

Some people think that no one wears a watch anymore, unless it’s a smart watch that does a million things. But you don’t have to spend $10,000 on an Apple Watch to get an accessory that’s useful and stylish. Although lots of people use their phones to tell the time, they’re no use when the battery runs out. And as much as people like showing off their cell phones, you can’t have them on display all the time. Traditional watches are a sharp and fashionable accessory that are making a comeback, and most of them cost much less than a smart watch. They can also still do things other than telling the time. Here are some different types of watches you would be better off spending your money on.

Other Smart Watches

If you do want to buy a smart watch, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on one from Apple. Other people have been making wearable tech for a while now, so there are other options if you want a watch with all the bells and whistles. Smart watches can pick up your phone calls, stream your music, show you your texts and social media notifications, and track your fitness. Sony has released several models of its smart watch, at a much better value than Apple’s. You can also get one from Samsung, LG and other brands. Typically, smart watches are made by phone manufacturers, not people who traditionally make watches.

 

Handmade Watches

Not everyone is looking for a highly technological watch. If you would rather stick with a more traditional model, handmade watches are still something special. When you look at Shinola watches for women and other handmade brands, you’ll see excellent quality. By buying an individually made watch, you’ll get something unique that was worth the money. You won’t have to charge it every few hours, and it won’t go out of fashion as soon as the next model comes along.

 

Designer Watches

Anyone who loves flashing big names with their clothes and accessories will be tempted by a designer watch. And even some of the biggest names in the business will come at a lower price than an Apple smart watch. You could spend much less money on a Rolex or a Cartier, and it will last you a long time. It could also increase in value over the years, so you could even make a profit from it if you want. A smart watch, on the other hand, isn’t going to be valuable for long.

 

Sports Watches

Sports watches are perfect for the sporty among us. Although they’ve been around for a long time, they’ve now evolved into fitness trackers. You can buy a basic sports watch, with a stopwatch, waterproof casing and the usual features. But if you want something that’s more than a watch and not quite a smart watch, a fitness tracker is a good idea. They’ll do everything from counting your steps to keeping track of your heart rate and sleep patterns.

 

If you want a great value watch, turn away from the Apple watch. You can spend your money better elsewhere, and you don’t have to look very far.

 

Great Holiday Gift Ideas @BestBuy #HintingSeason @Xbox, @TomTomUSA and @Garmin

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

The Holidays are quickly approaching and I am having so much fun finding items for everyone on my gift list. One of my favorite places to find the perfect gifts is Best Buy! I love to check out their Blu-rays and DVDs while my husband and son head straight for the electronic section. My family and I also love the expert service and unbeatable prices that Best Buy offers their customers. 

Here are some of my favorite gift ideas with great pricing that Best Buy has to offer this Holiday Season:

Xbox One

Xbox One is the place for games.

Xbox One was built by gamers, for gamers. With the best exclusive titles (Halo, Sunset Overdrive), the biggest blockbusters (Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty) the hottest sports franchises (Madden 15, FIFA 15, NBA 2K15) and top family titles (Fantasia: Music Evolved, Just Dance 15, Skylanders) Xbox One takes gaming to a whole new level.

In addition to being a great gaming console, Xbox one connects consumers unlike any other device.  Xbox One enables access to the latest TV shows and movies through your favorite apps.  With Xbox One all of your media is at your fingertips when you want it.

Check out the Xbox One at Best Buy.

JBL

If you have a music fan on your gift list, JBL has several fantastic products that they are sure to love!

JBL Charge 2– Between the twin passive radiators for deep bass, the massive 6000mAh battery and the hands-free conference speakerphone the key benefit is the Bluetooth Social Mode which allows up to three different users to take their turns to play their own playlists on a single speaker.

JBL Flip 2– Aside from the dual performance-tuned JBL drivers and a built-in bass port, the key benefit of the JBL Flip 2 is the SoundClear echo and noise cancellation combined with the state-of the art microphone system to pick up calls on the speaker.

JBL Reflect Earbud headphones–  Sweat proof ergonomic design.  With a 5 hour rechargeable battery and a reach of about 40 feet, the JBL Reflect BT’s key benefit is the design of the ergonomic eartips along with the built-in magnets which keep your buds on standby without loose cables.

 

Garmin and TomTom

Is there someone on your gift list who loves to travel? A new GPS system from Garmin and TomTom may be just what they need this Holiday!

Featuring bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, traffic and weather updates.  Lane assist, Lifetime traffic and map updates.  Voice Recognition Technology. 

Garmin 52LM

o   5.0” display

o   Maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates1

o   Lane assist with junction view

o   Displays speed limit and accurate arrival time

o   Easily find addresses and millions of points of interest

o   Spoken turn-by-turn directions

Garmin 2597LMT

o   5.0” display

o   Maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates1

o   Lane assist with junction view

o   Displays speed limit and accurate arrival time

o   Easily find addresses and millions of points of interest

o   Spoken turn-by-turn directions

TomTom Go 50s

  • Lifetime TomTom Traffic: Drive with TomTom Traffic for the lifetime of your device
  • Lifetime Maps (US, Canada, Mexico): Always drive with the latest map
  • 3D Maps. See buildings and landmarks in stunning 3D
  • 5″ touchscreen with advanced lane guidance

Capture Holiday Memories With Canon at Best Buy #CanonatBestBuy #HintingSeason @CanonUSAimaging

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

Christmas is just a few short weeks away! Have you considered purchasing a new camera to capture all of the Holiday memories that will be made? Best Buy is the ultimate destination for the latest cameras to capture your Holiday memories.

The Canon EOS Rebel T5i is one of the best-selling DSLRs. This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression.

How cool would it be to have a camera that allows you to take HD video as well? With the Canon EOS Rebel T5i you can capture Hollywood caliber full HD video with continuous autofocus while taking HD video

This camera also features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images and the 3″ vari-angle touch screen simplifies navigation.

Right now you can can save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy*. Visit Best Buy to learn more.

*offer valid 12/7-12/20

Do you love Twitter Parties? Best Buy is hosting an LG OLED Twitter Party on Thursday December 4th at 7PM CST and a Canon Twitter Party on Thursday December 18th at 7pm CST. Feel free to join this party for a chance to receive Best Buy gift cards and other great prizes. Tweet #HintingSeason with your top gifts that you want this Holiday from Best Buy.

Best Buy: The Ultimate Destination for the Latest Camcorders & Cameras #CamerasatBestBuy #HintingSeason

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Tis’ the season for capturing unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime! Best Buy is the ultimate destination for the latest cameras and camcorders to capture those memories you will cherish forever!

If you want to invest in a gift that the entire family will love, a new camera or camcorder from Best Buy would be an awesome choice! The three featured cameras from Nikon, Sony and Samsung, all come equipped with built-in Wi-Fi so you can share amazing photos with ease.

Here are a few of our favorite choices:

Nikon D5300 DSLR w/18-55mm VR Lens

A DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi so you can capture high quality photos and share them instantly

This Nikon D5300 DSLR camera comes with an AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II lens that enables you to capture sharp photos and video footage. Optical image stabilization helps prevent blurring to ensure image clarity

Also available in red or gray

GO HERE for Product Details.

Sony α6000 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera

A compact system camera with the World’s Fastest Autofocus

This Sony Alpha A6000 features a 24.3-megapixel, Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor that makes it easy to shoot scenes in stunning clarity. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you share stored content across devices.

Also available in White or silver

GO HERE for product details.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2

A digital camera that allows you to shoot, share, and use Android Apps

This Samsung Galaxy 2 digital camera’s 16.3-megapixel, 1/2.3″ BSI CMOS sensor allows you to capture sharp images and high-definition video footage. The 4.8″ touch screen simplifies operation, and built-in Wi-Fi makes sharing stored files easy.

GO HERE for Product Details.

Visit the Best Buy Holiday Gift Center to see more great cameras, whether you’re giving as a gift or upgrading for yourself.

No Money For Festive Outfits? No Problem!

 (All posts may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy)

Picture from Phil Gradwell

Ok, the Christmas period is coming up and you’re broke. You’re not alone! Christmas is so expensive, what with all of the decorations, presents, and food that you have to buy. Making your family happy can take priority, so your needs can get put on the backburner. Don’t fear: you don’t have to make it through the festive season wearing last year’s outfits. Unless you want to that is! You can easily get some new outfits together for next to nothing if you use your imagination. Here are some ideas:

Hold a Swap Meet– I bet your friends, family, and acquaintances have got a bunch of clothes that they don’t want. You more than likely have too. Why not hold a swap meet? Invite everybody you know, and perhaps put on some food and drink for them. Simply request that they bring a big bag of clothes that they’d be willing to swap. You could all end up with something fabulous to wear that’s new to you! It won’t cost you anything, you’ll get something new, and you’ll get rid of something you don’t want. It’s ingenious.

Ask Friends or Family – If you know a friend or have a family member with a great fashion sense, why not ask them very nicely if you can borrow something of theirs for a night out? Providing you can be trusted with their clothes and you won’t spill drinks on them/drop food on them, you should get a yes. You can then return it and it won’t have cost you anything. Just make sure you’re respectful of their clothes! 

Get Handy With a Sewing Machine – If you already know how to use a sewing machine or would be willing to learn, why not make yourself something brand new? All you need is a pattern and the material and you’re good to go. You could even find a pattern popular in celebrity fashion and make yourself something red carpet worthy! You could even alter something you already own to make it look brand new. It’ll take a lot of time and effort, but you won’t spend much at all. You can even find tutorials online to help you. If you have the time, you could do a course!

Buy from Charity, Second Hand, or Vintage– If you can’t do any of the above, consider hunting through charity shops, second hand sites, or vintage stores. The great thing about doing this is that you’re effectively recycling an item of clothing and giving it a new home. This is great for the environment! You should also end up with something that nobody else has for a fraction of the original price. Just make sure the things you buy fit you first (unless you intend to follow the advice above and alter it yourself).

Now you can have a brand new outfit at little to no cost. There’s no reason you can’t feel amazing this festive period! Do you have any tips too? Leave a comment.

 

Enter to WIN a $50 Pampered Chef Gift Certificate + Check out the Huge Selection of Budget-Friendly Gift Ideas!

(I was provided with items to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own. All posts may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Many of us are probably familiar with Pampered Chef. This company and their remarkable lineup of products has been around for years and continue to be very popular. Their product line features Cookware, Bakeware, Kitchen Utensils and more. Pampered Chef items are very budget-friendly and there are items available for every price-line. 

My friend, Faith, who is a Pampered Chef Consultant, recently sent me several items from the Pampered Chef line to review. She sent me the Large Micro-Cooker, Mix N’ Chop and the Stoneware Rectangular Cranberry Baker. 

I loved all of the items, but the Stoneware Rectangular Baker is my favorite! I used it to make a batch of Raspberry Cheesecake Bars over the weekend and they cooked like a dream! The Mix N’ Chop is also a favorite of mine as you can use it to chop meat, make scrambled eggs + more! Some people even use it to make homemade laundry detergent!

Thanks to Faith, My Sweet Savings readers can have the opportunity to do some Pampered Chef Christmas shopping! There are over 140 items under $10 that would make Awesome stocking stuffers! Or, if you have a die-hard foodie on your gift list, why not treat them to some nice cookware or other kitchen gadgets? GO HERE to start your shopping!

In addition, Faith would like to offer one My Sweet Savings reader a $50 Pampered Chef Gift Certificate! And, if you make a purchase, you will receive extra entries in the giveaway!

To enter this giveaway, please follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below. The first entry is mandatory while you may gain additional entries with the other options.

Good Luck Everyone and thanks so much Faith! :D 

a Rafflecopter giveaway //widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js

LG OLED from Best Buy is the Ultimate Holiday Gift #HintingSeason #OLEDatBestBuy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

The Holidays are quickly approaching and many of us will be scrambling to find gifts for friends and family. I am always searching to find my husband the perfect gift, and the LG OLED TV from Best Buy would be right up his alley. The LG OLED TV is unlike any technology you’ve ever seen, and it delivers a picture that exceeds your wildest imagination. My husband and boys will love watching football on this remarkable television as they will be able to see plays as never before!

What is the OLED TV?

The stunning design of LG OLED TV is only 0.21″ thick at its thinnest point. Picture quality is spectacular, with Infinite Contrast that ranges from the most blazing whites to the deepest blacks. And, LG’s exclusive 4 Color Pixel technology delivers bright, vibrant colors. Learn more here: LGOLEDatBestbuy.com

If you want to discover exactly how awesome the LG OLED TV is, head on over to your local Best Buy and feel free to check it out in person! Some things in life defy all explanation and must be experienced to be believed. You will be blown away by the spectactular picture quality and technology!

Here are some of my favorite details about the LG OLED TV:

  • Features LG’s latest display technology
  • Infinite contrast ratio and stunning color – delivers more natural, lifelike viewing.
  • 4 Color Pixel technology enhances color range and accuracy.
  • Super thin design (consider how to show visually)
  • Best Buy’s everyday price of $3499.99 (save $500)

If you want to learn even more about this amazing television, Best Buy is hosting an LG OLED Twitter Party on Thursday December 4th at 7PM CST. Feel free to join this party for a chance to receive Best Buy gift cards and other great prizes. Tweet #HintingSeason with your top gifts that you want this Holiday from Best Buy. 

My Mazda Ride & Drive Experience at the Tampa Auto Show

(All posts may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

This past Saturday my husband and I had the opportunity to visit the Tampa Auto Show as guests of Mazda. We were able to test drive several of the new 2015 vehicles at the Mazda Ride and Drive Experience. We also had a blast walking around the The Tampa Auto Show and seeing all of the different makes and models of cars.

If you have never been to an Auto Show before, this is a great way to look at cars and to do some research if you are in the market for a new vehicle. It is also great because you are in a no-pressure environment to buy a vehicle on the spot.

 

The Mazda CX-5 was definitely on my list of favorites! It is a sporty Compact SUV, has lots of passenger space and is super fun to drive. It is equipped with a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and gets excellent gas mileage. This would be an excellent family vehicle! 

The Mazda 6 is stylish and one of the best family sedans around. It has a 184-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and drives like a dream. I was amazed at how quiet this car was on the road. It drives so smoothly and gets great gas mileage.

Stay tuned as I will be doing a full review of a Mazda vehicle in the near future. I can’t wait to share with you all the details!