October 23, 2014

Early Christmas Gift Guide #4: Lodge Cookware from #MarketStreetTX

I can't tell you how excited I was to hear that Market Street was going to be offering Lodge Cookware as a part of their rewards program. (If you're not familiar, Lodge is one of the oldest makers of Cookware here in the States. They've been making quality products since 1896.) For so long I have been wanting to get a true Dutch Oven but the cost just wasn't something I could ever justify. But with the Market Street rewards program you can earn the products just by shopping at your favorite store. 

There are two different kinds of cookware available from Market Street through this promotion . . .


2 Ramekins
Oval Roaster (Blue or Red)
Rectangular Roaster (White, Blue or Red)

Note that the rectangular roasters are all slightly different in size and reward e-stickers.

Dutch Oven (White, Blue or Red)

Please note the red is a bit larger than the white and blue dutch ovens and therefore requires a few additional rewards e-stickers.

In order to accrue the rewards e-stickers for these items, you have to spend $10 in one transaction to get your first e-sticker, then you will get an additional e-sticker for every $10 you spend after that on the same ticket. The e-stickers will continue to be added to your account from now through January 6, 2015 which means you'll be able to keep adding to your rewards through all of the busy holiday grocery shopping. While you stop earning additional e-stickers on the 6th, you will still be able to redeem them until the 20th of January.

Keeping up with how many e-stickers you have is quite easy. The total is listed on your receipt or you can use the MarketStreet app or the kiosks in the store to look it up.

If you don't have a market Street rewards account, you will want to sign up for one right now before you spend another dollar that you aren't getting credit for - Sign Up Now.

These would also make an incredible gift for the cooks in your life. And if you can earn them instead of pay for them how great would that be? It's all in the planning. Get started now.

You'll be seeing my Lodge Cookware more in future posts when I start cooking holiday recipes with it. I'd love to know what you plan on making with yours!

As a Market Street blogger I have an ongoing relationship with Market Street and post about them in return for perks and financial compensation.

October 19, 2014

Early Christmas Gift Guide #3: Dream Team Pets

Any of you still struggle with little ones who just plain get up WAY too early? We went camping this weekend and the kids were awake and "talking" at the top of their lungs long before the sun came up. I've tried lots of things to help, but I just heard about a new option that I'm excited to try out - Dream Team Pets.

Dream Team Pets are not just a bedtime toy - it's an innovative sleep aid for children that helps end the battle of trying to keep your child in bed. Developed with the help of a pediatrician, Dream Team Pets bedtime routine empowers kids. They reward their Pet with stickers and a certificate when they both stay in bed and get a good night's sleep. If the wake up from a nightmare, there are no hard feelings because the responsibility is on their Pet, but when they successfully sleep in their own bed, the kids feel a sense of accomplishment as they reward their Dream Team Pet

What makes this unique is that the kids think they are training their Pet, but really they are sleep training themselves! 

Right now, MelissaStuff Readers receive 30% Off Dream Team Pets with Promo Code: USFGUIDE

October 13, 2014

Basics of Essential Oils - What's All the Fuss About?

If you're like me, you've heard people talking about oils and you've wondered what the fuss is all about. Is this the latest trend? Just another flash in the pan that will disappear? Let's talk about it. 
First of all, oils have been used for centuries to help with various ailments. They're much more tried and true than the medicinal remedies we are more familiar with. They're all natural and easy on your body . . . and in my opinion, they smell great. These were all contributing factors in my decision to learn more about oils.
The Premium Kit is the basic set that Young Living offers. It's a great option because you get 10 of the basic oils as well as a diffuser to help your entire household benefit from the oils. (Oils noted with a * should be diluted.)
1. Peppermint* – the two main uses are to alleviate headaches and digestive problems. 
Just smelling peppermint can help get rid of your headache. If that's not sufficient you can dilute a little peppermint in water and then dip your finger in the water and then touch the roof of your mouth. You can also add it to the water you're drinking or rub it on the back of your neck. 
When your stomach is bothering you, you can rub the peppermint oil right over the area that is bothering you and then also put some on your wrists. When you're sick enough to have to lay down, you can also put some on the bottom of your feet.
An additional perk of peppermint is the smell that can be used to cover unpleasant odors, as well.
2. Pan-Away – Alleviates inflammation and pain.  Rub it on sore muscles or an injury . . . even bumps and bruises. It's also helpful on growing pains.
I work out with CrossFit and sometimes I hurt so badly I end up walking like a little old lady. Pan Away can help with that!
3. Purification – Perfect for insect bites. Just put it directly on the affected area. We live in the country and our boys are always having insect issues so this is a huge help to us. You can even mix Purification and Peppermint (8 drops each) in a spray bottle with water to use as an insect repellant as well.
This oil can also be used to neutralize odors.  You can use the diffuser to help resolve any kind of smell issues in your home.
4. Valor – A very special oil that helps you when you're just not feeling yourself. It helps you keep yourself grounded and functioning correctly. In stressful, unsettling situations, this oil can really be of assistance. It's also been noted to be good for neck, spine and back issues. 
5. Lemon – Disinfectant, sanitizer, cleaning agent.  This is a pure, concentrated version of lemon oil. You can add about 20 drops of this to a small spray bottle of water and use it to clean your house. It will smell amazing and be naturally clean with no extra chemicals.
6. Frankincense – Mood balancer, soothes fussy children, reduces inflammation. This is considered a holy oil around the world which makes sense as to why it was brought to Christ as a gift. It is expensive so you want to use it judiciously or dilute it to help stretch it as far as possible.
It can also be used to help skin breakouts. Mix it with jojoba oil (and even add some lavender) and apply directly to the face. 
7.  Thieves – Protectant, disinfectant, cleaning agent.  This was the first oil I ever tried and it may be my favorite.  It helps prevent sickness and comes in a variety of products through Young Living as well.  Not only does it have these amazing properties, but the smell is awesome - kind of a fall, spiced cider kind of smell. 
8. Peace and Calming – Great for my boys but works for anyone who has gotten worked up, anxious or is just generally tightly wound . . . they might tell you that's a good description of me!
9. Lavender** – Good for so many things. Aches and pains, acne, burns, relaxation. We have a good friend who has a son that has a very difficult time unwinding to go to sleep. She has used lavender successfully with him - after applying the oil and a little weighted pressure on his tummy, he is out in seconds flat!
A great way to apply oils like lavender is to purchase unscented lotion. Add a drop or two of lavender or other essential oil to the lotion and then apply as normal.
10. Joy – this is a bonus oil that you get in the Premium Kit.  I love this oil.  It’s refreshing and uplifting.  I like to rub it right over my heart when I am struggling with finding joy.  It and Valor make a nice perfume too.

You don't ever have to sell anything, and you only have to purchase $50 each year to maintain your wholesale status and keep your discount. Make sure you keep it set to Wholesale, and I would recommend the Premium Kit for your first purchase.

HOT: Pottery Barn Backpacks - Just $13.99 Shipped!

TODAY ONLY, Pottery Barn has FREE shipping with the code FREESHIP.

And they have some decent sales, including their backpacks starting at $13.99.

Thanks, MyCrazySavings!

October 12, 2014

Early Christmas Gift Guide Item #2: Silicone Cupcake Holders

Recently I was offered the opportunity to review these Silicone Cupcake Holders by California Kitchenware. We go through quite a few cupcake liners in our house so the idea that I could buy this one set and not have to keep buying the disposables was very attractive. It's especially appealing because this set of 12 cupcake holders is only $7.99 and FREE shipping with Amazon Prime.

As you can see they're bright and colorful. They fit the standard cupcake or muffin tin perfectly. I've already used them twice - once for banana bread muffins and then again for birthday cupcakes. Both times I found them super easy to use. I don't need any grease, the muffins or cupcakes pop out super easy when you turn the liner inside out. I worried that washing them would be difficult, but because you can turn them inside out, I was able to easily and quickly wash off the crumbs and residue inside of the cracks around the outside edge of these liners.

I haven't tried it yet, but you aren't even supposed to have to use the muffin pan, the silicone liners are supposed to stand up independently and cook just the same without the tin. They are freezer, oven, microwave and top rack of the dishwasher safe.

This is absolutely a product I can wholeheartedly recommend. I don't even have any negatives at this point. You should get a set for you and a few others as gifts - it's something they would absolutely use if they bake at all.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.