Boost Your Emergency Fund & Achieve #FinancialPeace from Capital One 360

 

This time of year, it’s easy (and fun) to focus on holiday celebrations and shopping.  It’s normal to want to give your family the best of everything, and if you’re like me, it can be easy to forget about the financial goals that you have set for yourself early in the year in all the holiday excitement.  This holiday season, I’ve made the early resolution to keep on track with my finances, with the help of Capital One 360!  Keeping track of the money that I spend and save is definitely something that helps me achieve financial peace of mind!

One of the things that gives me the most peace of mind is having an emergency fund.  For me, starting and having an emergency fund is a great way to answer those “What If?” questions, like “What if I lose my job?” or “What if my car breaks down?”  My goal when I started an emergency fund is to have an account that I could dip into when something unexpected popped up so that I could pay cash, rather than having to rely on a loan or a credit card.

I have both a Capital One 360 checking account, and a Capital One 360 savings account, and I have to say, I love them both!  My Capital One 360 savings account is solely dedicated as an emergency fund!  I’ve been working on building it up for awhile now, and I started by setting relatively small, easy to accomplish savings goals. Experts recommend that you have about 3-6 months of living expenses in an emergency fund, but if you are like me that is a completely overwhelming number!  I set smaller goals for myself so I don’t get discouraged.   I know that eventually I will achieve my savings goal, and then be able to breathe a little easier!

If you want to start your own emergency fund to get on the road to financial peace, Capital One 360 is making is super easy this Black Friday!!  Add Capital One 360′s Black Friday Sale to your shopping list to give yourself the lasting gift of financial peace of mind by taking advantage of Capital One 360′s deals on banking, brokerage and mortgage products! Check out these AWESOME offers:

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Capital One 360 makes it super easy to save – I use their mobile app all the time!  If I want to transfer money to savings at midnight, I can do that!  Capital One 360 also has remote deposit using my iPhone, so I can deposit checks into either my checking account or savings account at any time! I use this trick to build up my emergency fund as well – any little rebate check, tax refund, etc. that is “found money” can get deposited right into my savings account – and I never even miss it!  What’s even better is that both my checking and savings account have NO fees and earn interest, so I know my money is working for me.

Signing up is super simply, and if you sign up now, you can give your friends and family the gift of financial peace of mind by encouraging them to take advantage of the deals and refer them to the sale. And BONUS, if they sign up, you may be eligible for a $40 referral bonus!  What an easy way to add to that emergency fund – head over to the Capital One Black Friday Sale today, before it’s over!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Win 1 of 8 Personalized Peppa Pig Books! {Giveaway}

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Sponsor: Penwizard

Host: Mom Powered Media

Personalised books are great for getting kids involved in reading. You Can choose from our range of personalised childrens books and see your child in the pictures and story of their own personalised book!

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Penwizard is an amazing company. They offer a wide variety of books for both little boys and girls. The nice thing about their books is that you can literally customize the books to fit whatever your child looks like AND put in their name! These books are so easy to create and order. They are also pretty reasonably priced. They range in the 14.99 to 19.99 UK (so about 30-40$ Canadian). Considering your child is going to be able to have that book for the rest of their lives thats a pretty good deal!

Check Penwizard out HERE

Penwizard has offered 8 fans a chance to win a personalized Peppa book for themselves (a 30.00 Canadian Value each!)

Rules:

    • Open to USA/CAN
    • 18+
    • ends Dec 3/14
    • one person per household can enter
    • Facebook, pinterest, twitter etc are NOT responsible or liable in anyway for this giveaway
Disclaimer: Participating Blogs were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Penwizard will be responsible for product shipment to winners of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contactnatasha@mompoweredmedia.com if you have any additional questions or comments.

Holiday Bundle of Gifts – Win 14 Prizes! {Giveaway}

Welcome to the Holiday Bundle of Gifts Giveaway!

Featuring: 14 prizes for one lucky winner!

bundle of gifts

Hosted by: Just Another Mom

Co-Hosted by:

The Cafe Coupon, Deliciously Savvy, Heartbeat Soulstains, Michigan Savings and More,

Joan’s Five Star Reviews, Totally Temberton, Cupcakes and Flipflops

The Mama Games & Disabled Diva Reviews

With a BIG thank you to all of the bloggers who are helping to promote!

As we draw closer and closer to Christmas, Just Another Mom is pleased to present the Holiday Bundle of Gifts Giveaway! Featuring 14 gifts from The Holiday Gift Guide at Just Another Mom, one lucky winner will win over $300 in prizes with a little bit of something for everyone!

[Read more...]

Win $15 Paypal Cash to Celebrate Black Friday! {Giveaway}

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Okay, so more power to you if you are into standing in line for hours to score killer deals.  I’m really not cut out for it.  I get angry in large crowds of people so it’s usually better if I stay home and scour the deals online.  So in honor of Black Friday online home shoppers, The Mama Games is offering $15 Paypal cash to help fund your online holiday spending!

Don’t forget to bookmark and come back every day to reenter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Open to 18+, Int+.  Must have valid Paypal address to win.  Winners must respond within 24 hours of notification email or a new winner will be selected.

Get a Sugar Rush and Learn How to Bake! {Book Review}

Disclaimer:  I received Sugar Rush from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.

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About the Book

 

Sugar Rush is a complete baking course in a book with everything a home baker needs to confidently turn out 150+ sweets with sophisticated flavors. 

James Beard–award-winning pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini returns to basics, sharing his expert tips on fundamentals such as making caramel and mixing butter cakes, with accompanying step-by-step photographs, before moving on to recipes for Salted Caramels and Sticky Caramel Date Cake. After mastering the simple method for making light-as-air meringues, anyone can make ethereal espresso marshmallows, mile-high soufflés, and chewy French macaron sandwich cookies. Readers can finally expand their cake and ice cream horizons to embrace flavors as thrilling as those in Brown Sugar-Molasses Layer Cake and Bitter Orange Ice Cream. The 250 photographs include both instructive technique shots to reassure bakers at every turn as well as stunning photographs of the ready-to-eat treats. With Sugar Rush, baking at home has never been easier—or more inviting.

My Review

Sugar Rush is the #1 best seller in Pastry Baking on Amazon, and there is definitely a reason why.   This is truly a baking course, which I desperately need!  This amazing cookbook begins, well, at the beginning. Chef Johnny Iuzzini takes you through the process of prepping to make amazing desserts, before you even measure a cup of flour.  He really explains WHY you must do certain things in baking or you risk ruining your dessert, and this is something that I really like! He also takes you through the equipment you need – turns out I am missing a lot of baking equipment (woohoo shopping!).

The book is divided into types of desserts/cooking techniques, i.e Custards, Caramel, Cakes Cupcakes and Brownies, Cookies, etc.  There is an entire chapter on Frosting.  Yup.  Yum.  The directions in the recipes are clear and straightforward, and they don’t have such exotic ingredients that I can’t find them at my local grocery store (some things like almond flour, I have to drive in to the city to find), so that is a huge plus.  I love his series of pictures where he steps through a process a picture at a time.  This is super helpful for a novice baker like me who isn’t always sure that my work in progress “looks right”.

I really just love this book – it is truly a cooking class.  I can’t wait to dig into this book and experiment and get my hands dirty – I know by the end of it I will be a better baker…P.S…Did you know there are more than one type of meringue?  I didn’t!  There is so much to learn from this book, but it is written and laid out in a very easy to understand and accessible way.  This is one of my new favorites, and I highly recommend it for both seasoned and newbie bakers!

 

 

One interesting thing that Chef Johnny does that I never even thought about was giving weights for ingredients.  As he explains at the beginning of the book, this gives you more precise measurements – I never knew that it needed to be this precise!

Win $50 Paypal or Amazon Gift Card! {Giveaway}

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Do you need some extra cash for Christmas Shopping?  I know I could always use a little bit extra!  If you do, keep reading!

For THREE Days ONLY we are offering this Flash Giveaway!

One lucky reader will receive $50 USD Paypal Cash or Amazon Gift Card!!
This giveaway is for THREE Days Only! Enter Now!
We are making it easy peasy to enter! Just use the form below.
Remember, this giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Nov. 16, 2014! Tell your friends so they can enter, too!
Good Luck!

Disclosure: This giveaway is organized by Giveaway Booster.com. The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Must be 18+ to enter. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.  My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not.
If you have any questions about this giveaway please email Tina at branchpropromotions@gmail.com.

Are You Ready for Some Strange Magic? #StrangeMagic

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I’m so excited to share this with you!  Just found out about a new Lucas films movie that will be released on January 23, 2015 called Strange Magic!  There isn’t TOO much information available yet but I’m super excited because this is a musical, inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and features one of my FAVE Broadway actresses (Kristen Chenoweth) and is produced and composed by the same musical genius who did Moulin Rouge, Marius de Vries.  This is sure to be a good one, and I can’t wait until the trailer for Strange Magic comes out…

Here’s all the details from Lucas Films:

STRANGE MAGIC is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic, which created the CGI animation for 2011’s Academy Award®-winning film “Rango,” bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside down with world-class animation and visual effects.

With a story by George Lucas, STRANGE MAGIC is directed by Gary Rydstrom (“Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation,” “Lifted”), produced by Mark S. Miller (associate producer “Mars Attacks!”) and executive produced by George Lucas, with a screenplay by David Berenbaum (“Elf”), Irene Mecchi (“Brave,” “The Lion King”) and Rydstrom. An extraordinary roster of film, television and Broadway stars lend their voices to “Strange Magic,” including Alan Cumming (CBS’ “The Good Wife,” Broadway’s “Cabaret”), Evan Rachel Wood (“The Ides of March”), Kristin Chenoweth (Broadway’s “Wicked”), Maya Rudolph (“Big Hero 6,” “Bridesmaids”), Sam Palladio (ABC’s “Nashville”), newcomer Meredith Anne Bull, Alfred Molina (“Chocolat”), Elijah Kelley (“Hairspray,” “The Butler”), Bob Einstein (HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Peter Stormare (“Fargo”). Well-known music producer Marius de Vries (“Moulin Rouge”) serves as both the musical director and composer.

Make sure to keep up with developments by following Strange Magic on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Lighten Up with The Skinnytaste Cookbook

* Disclaimer:  I received The Skinnytaste Cookbook from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.

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About the Book

Get the recipes everyone is talking about in the debut cookbook from the wildly popular blog Skinnytaste!

Gina Homolka is America’s most trusted home cook when it comes to easy, flavorful recipes that are miraculously low-calorie and made from all-natural, easy-to-find ingredients. Her blog, Skinnytaste is the number one go-to site for slimmed down recipes that you’d swear are anything but. It only takes one look to see why people go crazy for Gina’s food: cheesy, creamy Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken and Broccoli with only 420 calories per serving, breakfast dishes like Make-Ahead Western Omelet “Muffins” that truly fill you up until lunchtime, and sweets such as Double Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies that are low in sugar and butter-free but still totally indulgent.

The Skinnytaste Cookbook features 150 amazing recipes: 125 all-new dishes and 25 must-have favorites. As a busy mother of two, Gina started Skinnytaste when she wanted to lose a few pounds herself. She turned to Weight Watchers for help and liked the program but struggled to find enough tempting recipes to help her stay on track. Instead, she started “skinny-fying” her favorite meals so that she could eat happily while losing weight.

With 100 stunning photographs and detailed nutritional information for every recipe, The Skinnytaste Cookbook is an incredible resource of fulfilling, joy-inducing meals that every home cook will love.

My Review

If you’re like me, you’re a total foodie but are constantly searching for recipes that will taste GREAT and be lower in calories.  This is the PERFECT cookbook for me!  It has tons of yummy recipes that are my “favorites” but they have been rehabbed to be lower in calories, fat, and generally healthier.  I was SUPER excited to find a recipe for “naked eggs benedict”, which is a take on my favorite breakfast food but without the guilt-inducing hollandaise sauce.  I also found a yummy Chicken Marsala recipe and a “Fried” chicken recipes that I can’t wait to try.

The recipes are divided into several great categories, including breakfast, soups and chilis, fish, side dishes, and desserts.  There are even recipes that SOUND terrible for you, like Cheesy “Fried” Mozzarella Bites, which turns out to only have 107 calories!  My favorite feature of this cookbook is that the nutritional information is on every single recipe, in a convenient box at the bottom of each page.  Another cool feature is the “Perfect Pairings” box, which gives hints on serving and sides.  There are also helpful hints called the “skinnyscoop” which provides recipe alternatives.

This cookbook is also ideal for those who are on vegetarian or gluten free diets.  Each recipe (and the first page of each section with a list of all recipes) comes with a Recipe Key, which labels Vegentarian (V), Gluten Free (GF), Slow Cooker (SC), Freezer Friendly (FF), and Quick (Q) meals which are ready in 30 minutes or less.   This makes it super handy for use during the week!

I recommend this cookbook to ANYONE who is trying to eat healthier!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Shatter Point + $50 Amazon Card Giveaway {Book Review}

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About the book 

Maggie met Cooper at a young age, but even then she sensed something was wrong with him. His charm, good looks, and wealth could not hide the danger that burned in his sapphire eyes. Some nightmares don’t go away. He’d been haunting her from a distance for as long as she could remember.Now things have changed. When her sons Jack and Tom discover she’s been taken, they set out to rescue her and uncover nefarious family secrets, explosive government conspiracies, and a series of horrific murders along the way. Only their colorful great aunt and a covert resistance group can help them navigate the dark underworld full of political subterfuge and class warfare. All the while, Maggie struggles to outwit her tormentor in a life and death psychological battle of tense desperation. Will Jack and Tom arrive before Cooper reaches his shatter point? Get Shatter Point through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

My Review

This a  good futuristic, dystopian-type novel.  It is quite suspenseful once I got into the book and got to know the characters a bit.  I didn’t realize at first that this book is actually the second in a series, which is a credit to the author.  There are multiple story lines in the book and the author does a good job of bringing them back together.  The book actually begins with a hint at the story line described above, and then delves into a medical mystery which is good enough to sustain it’s own book!

It was quite suspenseful and the action keeps it moving.  It is definitely worth a read, and I would like to check it out again after I read the first book in the series.

 

About the Author – Prizes!!!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of Shatter Point! Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Shatter Point tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the author: Jeff Altabef lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of “telling stories,” he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres. Fourteenth Colony, a political thriller, was his debut novel. Shatter Point, a psychological thriller, is Jeff’s second novel. Jeff is under contract with Evolved Publishing for a YA/Fantasy series he is co-authoring with his teenaged daugher. The first in the series Chosen: Wind Catcher is set to be releasded in March. As an avid Knicks fan, Jeff is prone to long periods of melancholy during hoops season. Jeff has a column on The Examiner focused on writing and a blog designed to encourage writing by those that like telling stories.

Connect with Jeff on his website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads..

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The Kitchn Cookbook Inspires Your Kitchen and Your Cooking!

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* Disclaimer:  I received The Kitchn Cookbook from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.

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About the Book

From Apartment Therapy’s cooking site, The Kitchn, comes 150 recipes and a cooking school with 50 essential lessons, as well as a guide to organizing your kitchen–plus storage tips, tool reviews, inspiration from real kitchens, maintenance suggestions, 200 photographs, and much more.

“There is no question that the kitchen is the most important room of the home,” say Sara Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand of the beloved cooking site and blog, The Kitchn.

The Kitchn offers two books in one: a trove of techniques and recipes, plus a comprehensive guide to organizing your kitchen so that it’s one of your favorite places to be.

For Cooking:
·         50 essential how-to’s, from preparing perfect grains to holding a chef’s knife like a pro
·         150 all-new and classic recipes from The Kitchn, including Breakfast Tacos, Everyday Granola,  Slow Cooker Carnitas, One-Pot Coconut Chickpea Curry, and No-Bake Banana and Peanut Butter Caramel Icebox Cake

For Your Kitchen:
·         A shopping list of essentials for your cabinets and drawers (knives, appliances, cookware, and tableware), with insider advice on what’s worth your money
·         Solutions for common kitchen problems like limited storage space and quirky layouts
·         A 5-minute-a-day plan for a clean kitchen
·         Tips for no-pressure gatherings
·         A look inside the kitchens of ten home cooks around the country, and how they enjoy their spaces

The Kitchn Cookbook gives you the recipes, tools, and real-life inspiration to make cooking its own irresistible reward.

My Review

This is a cookbook that will have a lot of appeal for beginning home chefs as well as more experienced home cooks.  It has a lot of basics – it literally has a section on how to boil water!  Which may seem silly, but this would be great for those getting started in cooking that may need help with the basics (after all, the difference between boiling and simmering may not be common knowledge when you are first starting out!)  There are other “cooking lessons” that may appeal to a beginning baker like me (how to knead dough, how to frost a cake).  There are also a lot of interesting sections on how to set up a kitchen – how to organize, decorate, and what gadgets you do (and might not) need.

Half of the book is dedicated to recipes.  I loved the recipes in this book because, like the first half of the book, has a mix of basic and more complicated recipes that range from great for weeknight dinners, to more complicated “weekend” recipes.  I love the “basics” such as pizza dough, as well as recipes that teach cooking skills, such as Pan-Seared Rib-Eye Steak and Pan Sauces (there is a great cooking lesson on pan sauces!)

This is a beautiful hard cover book that would be an amazing graduation gift for someone setting up their first kitchen, or a Christmas gift for the new cook in your life!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.