Join The #SoFabSpirit Twitter Party!

#SoFabSpirit-Twitter-Party-5-2-pmET

Four years ago I joined a blogging community called Social Fabric. I had no idea, at the time, how much I’d grow to love the community and how much of an impact it would have on my life. It started as “just another blogging community” I was a part of but, looking back, I feel it’s THE thing that put me on the road to blogging professionally and not just blogging as a hobby. I loved participating in campaigns but even more so, liked connecting with the people that were part of the community. The Social Fabric members are so creative and they inspire me everyday to be a better blogger.

I now work for Collective Bias, the company that runs the community, and this week, we are celebrating our community and showing off our #SoFabSpirit. At the end of the week we are going to have a Twitter Party. It’ll be our 5th birthday soon, so we’re celebrating all things SoFab including our amazing community, the great work that they produce, and getting pumped for a new year of fabulous social media adventures!

Join us for the #SoFabSpirit Party!

PARTY DETAILS:

DATE: Friday, May 2nd

TIME:  2:00 – 3:00 pm ET

PRIZES: 5 – $20 SoFab Store Credits

GRAND PRIZE: 1 – $100 SoFab Store Credit

HOSTS: @aliciamarie112, @BrandiJeter, @RebeccaEParsons and @tsue1136

RULES: #SoFabSpirit Twitter Party Official Rules

RSVP & PARTY GRID: #SoFabSpirit Twitter Party Page

Please help spread the word about this fun party! 

Suggested Tweet:

Show your #SoFabSpirit at the Twitter Party on 5/02 at 2pm ET. SoFab Prizes! RSVP/Rules http://cbi.as/jeyk1 #shop #cbias

Click to tweet: HERE

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Wondering where to find Twitter Parties? Check out the SoFabChats Twitter Party Calendar to find more fun parties to attend and helpful Twitter Party Tips!

Giving To Others With Champions For Kids and Disney #DisneyCFK #CBias

A week or so ago I shared with you all how I was working on a campaign with Champions For Kids and how I was going to give a stocking to my blogging friend, Paula. As a boy scout leader, Paula donates her time every week to give children a sense of belonging so I felt that she was the perfect person to give my stocking filled with goodies to. Since Paula has three children I figured I would give not one but three stockings so each child could have their own.

I went shopping at Walmart where I found a lot of stocking stuffers and cute little stockings. I got one Tinkerbell one for her daughter and two Cars themed ones for her children. I brought them over to Paula’s house last night and her children opened them this morning. Here are some pictures I wanted to share:

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I really enjoyed putting together stockings for Paula’s children and hope she knows how much her service to the community is appreciated :)

If you want to see more pictures from my shopping trip you can view my Google+ story. Champions For Kids can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

(Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All thoughts are my own.)

Shopping At CookiesKids.com

I don’t shop online much but after the great deals and experience I had shopping at CookiesKids.com I might just do so more often. I went there in search of clothes for my three year old who had recently grown out of his 2T clothes. I found many brand name clothing items and varying prices. I tend to buy inexpensive items for my children so some of the clothes cost more than I’d spend (but a lot less than those brands would cost at the mall) but I did find many great deals including jeans cheaper than they cost at the “big box” stores and even a hoodie/jean combination for $10.99! I bought one layered polo shirt, one sweater, one hoodie, and two pairs of jeans. Here are the items I bought:

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CookiesKids.com has a price match guarantee so that you can always make sure you are getting the best price you can find. They also have a Refer A Friend program so you can make money by sharing their site with your friends. Every time you refer a friend they get $10 off a $50 purchase and when they make a purchase you get $10 to spend yourself! I love sharing good deals with friends and it’s even better with Cookie’s Kids Refer A Friend program because everyone wins! Click here to find out about the Refer A Friend program and get $10 off your purchase of $50 or more!

Want to find out more about my shopping trip? View my Google+ photo album!

(Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias #LuvCookies All opinions are my own.)

Send Cheer To Military Families With Cheerios {sendCheer}

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I am honored to share information about the Cheerios sendCheer campaign with you all! I often write about how you can give a lot without spending a lot and this campaign from Cheerios and the USO is a perfect example of how you can do that. Specially marked boxes of Cheerios can be found in Walmarts across the country with postcards on the inside of the boxes. Once cut out, you can write a special note on the pre-addressed postcard and send it out. The USO will then send it to a military family. In addition to that, $1 from each card received will be donated by Cheerios to the USO. For the price of a stamp and a box of cereal you can provide encouragement, words of thanks, support, and help fund programs to support military families. It may not seem like much to you but I have friends in the military and friends with spouses and family members in the military and I know that support from others is so important to them!

As with anything, I think it’s important to get the whole family involved in giving to others. In the past I have taken the children shopping for supplies to include in care packages to send out to those in the military. We have also baked cookies together to include in the packages. My children are 2 and 3 so I don’t think they understand what we are doing yet but my hope is that they will grow up and giving will just be something that they do without thinking.

We will be shopping for the specially marked boxes of Cheerios this weekend and I will share next week about what we found and what my family did to spread love and celebrate ThanksGIVING :)

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I’d love to hear what you do to support the military.

Leave a comment below if you’d like to share!

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(Disclosure: This post has been compensated as part of a sponsored charitable opportunity for Collective Bias. All thoughts are my own.) #sendcheer #cbias

Why I Love Collective Bias

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Happy 1/2 Birthday, Collective Bias!!!

To celebrate I am sharing 11 things I love about Collective Bias and their community of bloggers, Social Fabric:

1) The supportive Social Fabric community

2) I can choose groups and opportunities that interest me

3) You can tell the CB employees really love what they do

4) Collective Bias employees interact with the blogging community online and in “real life”

5) CB works with awesome brands and retailers

6) People can be as involved in the community as they want to be

7) Community members are used as campaign leads and given extra opportunities for growth

8) Collective Bias and the brands/retailers listen to our opinions and thoughts

9) Opportunities are paid because CB knows that our time and influence are worth money

10) Collective Bias looks at a bloggers full reach, not just numbers

11) I get to “meet” and interact with other bloggers on a daily basis

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If you are a blogger and would like to know more about Collective Bias I would love to tell you more or answer any questions you may have. You can find me on Twitter (@aliciamarie) or email me at: aliciamarie112 {at} hotmail {dot} com. (Disclosure: I am not being compensated for this post. I am on the Advisory Committee for Collective Bias and really love being a part of the “awesomesauce” community!)

New M&M’s Flavor For Halloween! #MMsGetCorny

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For weeks I had heard about the new White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M’s that were coming out in the Fall at Walmart. Instead of milk chocolate they were white chocolate and they were candy corn flavored. They sounded delicious. Every time I went to Walmart I looked for them and finally I found them at my local Walmart a couple days ago. I was so excited to get them home and try them. The verdict? So yummy! They are very sweet though so a handful at a time is all I can handle (which is good for my figure).

Have you found them yet? What did you think? They are slowly making there way across the US so if your store doesn’t have them yet, keep checking! Want to read more buzz about the new White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M’s? Just follow the #MMsGetCorny hashtag on Twitter. Also, make sure to click on the button below to RSVP for the Twitter Party!

M&M's Twitter Party RSVP

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post and bought the M&M’s with my own money but I am part of Collective Bias who is working on a campaign for the new M&M’s.)

Fandango and Cars 2 {Review and Giveaway}

SAMSUNG

Our family does not go out to the movies very often but when something comes out that one of us really wants to see we will go to the theater to see it. Cars 2 was one of those movies. Every time a commercial for the movie would come on TV, Jacob (my 3 year old) would tell me he wanted to watch it.

I recently downloaded the Fandango application on my mobile phone which makes going to the movies a little easier. From my phone I can search for movie times and theater locations, read reviews of movies, and even order my tickets. Normally I would read the reviews of movies if it’s a movie I want to see but if it’s a children’s movie I don’t read the reviews. I loved the convenience of the application. I looked up movie times for Cars 2 and bought my tickets while sitting in a hospital waiting room. To learn more about how easy it is to use the Fandango mobile application you can view my ThisMoment story.

Right now Fandango is running a fun promotion for Cars fans! When you buy your tickets on Fandango you get a FREE iTunes download of the Tokyo Mater short film from Pixar. That’s a great added bonus for something we were going to purchase anyways :)

This was Jacob’s first time seeing a movie in a movie theater. I was worried that he wouldn’t sit through the whole thing but he sat through all of it until the last ten minutes or so when he wanted to stand and try climbing over the seats in front of us. He said that he liked the movie and as soon as it was over he said he wanted to watch it again. I thought the movie was good but I liked the first one more. I think the first one was geared towards younger children and the new movie is for older children. The storyline was a little too complex for a three year old and some of the material was, in my opinion, a little inappropriate for younger viewers.

GIVEAWAY:

One lucky reader will win a pair of tickets from Fandango to the movie of their choice.

(Winnie The Pooh is coming out July 15!)

HOW TO ENTER:

(Do any or all of the following)

1) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

2) Like Fandango on Facebook

3) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

4) Follow @Fandango on Twitter

5) Tweet: “Enter to  win a pair of movie tickets from @Fandango and @aliciamarie112 at www.makingtimeformommy.com”

6) Share this giveaway on Facebook

7) Subscribe to my blog via email

8) Enter another one of my giveaways

Giveaway ends 8/3 at 11:59pm Central time.

(Disclosure: This #gocars2 shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All thoughts are my own.)

Chiquita #CrushedIt Twitter Party

#CrushedIt

Chiquita wants to know if you have #CrushedIt today? What does that mean? Crushing it is doing something pretty awesome. It’s a mini-victory. Chiquita® crushed fruit snack products are the healthy reward you deserve for doing yourself some good.

What: #CrushedIt Twitter Party

When: Tuesday, June 14th at 9:00pm EST

Where: On Twitter using Tweet Grid #CrushedIt Custom tweetgrid: http://is.gd/ABLsgH

Who: Please follow the following people on Twitter:

Alicia (@aliciamarie112) – Host

Monica (@monicajohnson)

Lauren (@Laurenrodkin)

Kim (@craftymamaof4)

Prizes: We will be giving away (3) $25 gift cards and a grand prize (1) $100 gift card.

RSVP: Please RSVP using the linky below (enter the URL to your Twitter profile) to be eligible for one of the gift cards.



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NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE TAXED, PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Subject to Official Rules. Open only to residents of the United States.

Enter by RSVPing for the Twitter party on the link above, be actively participating in the party and are using the hashtag #CrushedIt.

Prizes will be limited to three (3) $25 gift cards, one (1) $100 gift card. The three gift cards will be given away every 15 minutes during the 1 hour duration of the party on June 14, 2011. All winners will be chosen using random.org from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party using the hashtag #CrushedIt at the time that they are drawn as a winner. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Winner will be notified via Twitter @ message by @CraftyMamaof4 during the party on June 14, 2011 and must respond to @CraftyMamaof4 within 5 minutes of being selected to claim their prize. All entries will be eligible for any unclaimed prizes after the close of the Twitter party via random drawing held on June 28, 2011 .

(Disclosure: I am the campaign lead for the Chiquita #CrushedIt campaign for Collective Bias and I am being compensated for my time. All thoughts are my own.)

Small Kitchen Appliance Shopping at Sears

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Having moved into a new house during the winter there is so much on my “want to buy” list. I recently learned that Sears was more than just tools and had a great selection of other items like outdoor living furniture and toys so I headed there to check out their selection of small kitchen appliances. I was on the lookout for a waffle maker, indoor grill, and a stand mixer. I was surprised by the large amount of products that Sears had in the department. Here is a small sampling of items available:

With almost all the items on sale during “Sears Days” I had a hard time deciding which item I should buy. After thinking about which appliance I would get the most use out of I chose to purchase the Health Smart Hamilton Beach Indoor/Outdoor Grill. Along with it’s fantastic sale price, I loved that it had room to grill a whole meal for my family at once. It was also much easier than cleaning an outdoor grill since it had removable grates that were dishwasher safe.

To learn more about my experience shopping at Sears view my whrrl story.

(Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias but all thoughts are my own.)

March Madness Fun With #Orville

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Watching sports and eating go hand in hand so I was excited when I got the chance to have some family over for a March Madness party. I found plans for a March Madness viewing party on the Party BluPrints website, made a shopping list, headed to Walmart to get all my ingredients (see my whrrl story here) and got to cookin’.

Ok, well that’s not entirely true. Sinisa got to cooking and I got to baking. Thankfully I was only in charge of one thing because I’m not much of a cook. I was in charge of making the Whoopie Pies which I have never had before in my life and I am pretty sure they didn’t turn out right. I missed the part on the directions where it said “chocolate” cake and got vanilla instead. That was my first strike. To make it chocolatey I added Hershey’s cocoa. I made the cookies and then started on the filling. I followed the directions and didn’t have the orange food coloring I needed so I used two colors that I thought made orange: yellow and red. But instead of orange it came out a weird shade of peach. Strike two. I figured that as long as I had the cookie part and the filling part I might as well put it together and taste it. I even made my mom try one but I’m guessing by the fact that almost  the whole thing was left on her plate she wasn’t a huge fan. That was strike three.

We are lucky that Sinisa is better in the kitchen than I am. He used Frank’s Red Hot Sauce to make wings and buffalo chicken dip that had a kick to them but weren’t too spicy. He also made mini quarter pounder burgers with monterey jack cheese and carmelized onions on top.

For appetizers we also had spinach dip and Hawaiian bread, doritos, and popcorn. I tried the new Orville Redenbacher’s Pop-Up Bowls and loved them because they are so convenient! The popcorn pops in the package and it turns into a bowl. Nothing to clean up which is great because I hate doing dishes (ask Sinisa).

(Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias but all thoughts are my own.)

Top Ten Tuesday- Elmer’s Trip

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My trip to Florida a couple weeks ago with Collective Bias and Elmer’s has been one of my favorite opportunities I’ve had in my blogging career to date. I wanted to share my favorite things about this trip in Top Ten Tuesday fashion.

1. WARM WEATHER! Currently here in Chicago we are bracing for a blizzard so I’m really missing that t-shirt weather and sun in Florida!

Photo taken by: Monica Johnson

2. MEETING OTHER BLOGGERS. I loved meeting Keonte’ from Mommy 2K, Kim from Crafty Mama of 4, Naomi from Superdumb Supervillain, and Mel from Mama Bzz. It was also great to see Tonya from Create-Celebrate-Explore again (we met at BlogHer this past summer). I was honored that I got to join this group of wonderful, crafty women on this trip!

3. MEETING REPRESENTATIVES OF ELMER’S (including the CEO!). Not only meeting them but talking with them. I found the people from Elmer’s really cared about us as people. They started our two day conversation by asking “why do you do what you do?”. Most companies start the conversation out with “learn about our company and our products” so it meant a lot to me that Elmer’s wanted to know about me.

4. MEETING PEOPLE FROM COLLECTIVE BIAS. Have you heard of Collective Bias? It is the most awesome community that I have been privileged to be a part of as a blogger (and now I’m on the advisory committee *yay!*). The people I had the chance to meet including John, Monica, and Courtney were wonderful. It was great to put people to the little avatars I see online.

5. SHARING ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA. Most people in my life don’t *get* Social Media (other than Facebook of course) so it was fantastic to be with others who don’t look at me funny when I call someone a “friend” who I have never had the chance to meet in real life. I also loved talking to people from Elmer’s about Twitter and Whrrl , why I loved using those sites, and the benefit to companies and me as a blogger that each platform offers.

6. CRAFTING. We had an “iron chef” type crafting contest. It was fun seeing what each team could make using a common household item… a toilet scrubber!

7. BEAUTIFUL HOTEL. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty Six. Beautiful hotel. Here’s the view from my window:

8. TALKING ABOUT ELMER’S PRODUCTS. I loved learning about the assortment of products that Elmer’s has. I enjoyed trying out a not-yet released product and giving my input on it. I also loved spending time brainstorming about products we’d like to see created (who knows… one day our ideas may be on the shelves of your local Walmart, Target, or Michaels!)

9. DELICIOUS FOOD. We went to some wonderful restaurants at night time.  One night we even took a water taxi to the restaurant. My favorite meal of all was the Lobster Pie at Mango’s. I don’t cook but one day I’m going to figure out how to recreate that because I have dreams about that dinner!

10. IT WAS FREE! I don’t know how I managed to end up traveling to Florida on an all expenses paid trip but I am so thankful I was invited on this trip by Elmer’s and Collective Bias! (That was my disclosure!)

I had a wonderful trip and look forward to seeing everyone from Collective Bias and Elmer’s again!

Throwing A Game Time Party For Less Than $5 Per Person

Collective Bias recently challenged me to throw a game time party on a budget. I had a great time putting this together. I knew I wanted to have the party during a Bears game because they are my favorite football team.

I had football plates and napkins that I knew would be perfect for this so I was set on tableware. All I needed was the food so I headed to Walmart. I bought snacks like Chex Mix, Doritos, chips and salsa, and my very favorite fudge covered popcorn. I bought soda for everyone to drink. For lunch I decided to buy pizza. I chose DiGiorno Rising Crust pizza. I bought two to feed our group, one pepperoni and one cheese. I really liked the pizza and loved how DiGiorno didn’t skimp on the cheese or pepperoni. I also thought it was great that the DiGiorno box directed me to their website where it gave me the directions for cooking two pizzas at once so I didn’t have to guess and risk burning one (or both!) pizzas.

All together I spent less than $5 per person on food. Considering this was the price for drinks, snacks, and a meal I think that was a great deal. I think knowing that I can have celebrations with food involved and it not cost an arm and a leg will push me to have more gatherings in the future.

To read more about my party (and see more pictures) you can view my whrrl here.

(Disclosure: I was compensated for this post by Collective Bias but all thoughts and opinions are my own.)

O Cedar ProMist Dry Or Wet Cleaning System

Look at how dirty that thing is! Cleaned all the muddy footprints by the door :)

I bought a new mop yesterday! I love it. It’s the O Cedar ProMist Dry or Wet Cleaning System.

Look at how dirty that thing is! Cleaned all the muddy footprints by the door!

What I love about this mop: it doesn’t need to be “charged”, I can use my own floor cleaner solution, and the pads can be removed for easy washing. I could even buy one of the super cute crochet mop covers my friend Jen makes :)

If you want to find out more you can view my Whrrl story here.

(Disclosure: I was compensated for this purchase by Collective Bias but I chose whatever brand mop I wanted and was asked to give my honest opinion about it. As always, all thoughts are my own.)

Making A Goal Board with Elmer’s #canyoutopthis

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At the beginning of this year I created goals for myself. I really want to succeed so I made a goal board to display my goals so I can look at them everyday.

To make this board I used:

-Elmer’s Tri-Fold Display Board

-Elmer’s Construction Paper

-Elmer’s Borders

-Elmer’s Letters

-Elmer’s Glue Stick

-Shape stencil

-Marker

-Scissors

-My list of goals for 2011

I currently have this display board in my office. Every day I choose one goal from the board and spend 30 minutes working towards that particular goal. With my goals in place and my goal board in my sight daily I know I will succeed!

To find out more about Elmer’s Can You Top This Campaign you can visit http://canyoutopthis.net/createit/

(Disclosure: This is not a compensated post but it does enter me to win a Walmart gift card!)

Peace of Mind with Pedialyte

A couple of Saturday’s ago I stopped by Walgreens to pick up some Pedialyte to have on hand *just in case* my children got sick again this winter. Afterward, my family and I went to a Christmas party for one of my mom’s groups. We had a great time with all of our friends. There was good food, crafts for the children and a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

After the party we went home and later in the evening I started seeing friend’s status updates on Facebook that children who had been at the party were vomiting. My heart dropped.

I was reminded of the Pedialyte I had just bought and put it in the fridge in case I needed to use it. Thankfully, my boys did not end up getting sick this time around but I knew when they did I would have Pedialyte to give them to keep them hydrated.

You can see more in my Whrrl story below:

Find a coupon for $1.50 off Pedialyte here.

Learn more about how Pedialyte Singles in the Tetra packaging helps with dehydration due to cold and flu and download fun activities to keep on hand for those times when your child is at home sick. Please talk to your doctor before using Pedialyte. Pedialyte is to be used under medical supervision. I was selected for this product review by Collective Bias. All opinions are mine and were not influenced by any third party.

(Disclosure: As stated above this is a sponsored post but all thoughts and opinions are my own and the story above is, coincidentally, true!)