Have Your Kids Gone Gutzy Yet?

Bruce headed back to school several weeks ago. This summer seemed to go by faster than any other summer I’ve ever had. Bruce and his friends weren’t as excited as I was for school to start. I had his new backpack stuffed with all the necessary supplies and ready to go almost a month ago – just sitting there waiting for day 1 of 3rd grade.

I had an opportunity to kick off 3rd grade with a bang and make it fun for Bruce and his entire class. Have you heard of Gutzy Gears yet? If not, you will. It’s the next big thing.

Gutzy gears go over your kids’ backpack straps. They have velcro on them and allow your kids to customize the straps with removable velcro patches. No sewing required! They have tons of different patches like french fries, smiley faces and footballs. The kids can trade the patches and keep on customizing.

Thanks to Gutzy Gear and Mom Select I was given enough Gutzy Gear starter packs for the entire class. The starter packs included 2 straps and a smiley face patch. They also sent me an additional 2 pack for each child. Bruce’s teacher was game for Gutzy Gear day and jumped on board to help me out. She’s awesome!

The class was able to play some matching and bingo games that used the Gutzy Gears characters. Characters include Screaming Joe, Dragons, Dalmatians, french fries, ice cream cones, footballs, and many others that relate to every kid’s interests.

The kids loved the Gutzy Gears! They’ve been trading badges for the last 2 weeks. Every few days they trade-off again. It’s a great way for them to get new patches when they get bored with the ones they have and it doesn’t cost anything. Now, they were excited to carry their back packs back to school too.

The parents have been telling me they like them as well. One called me to tell me she loved them and thought “it is a great way to personalize their backpacks.” The rest of the school has now caught on and they’ve started popping up around other grades as well now.

At about $3.99 for a pack of 2 badges, they are relatively inexpensive and it is something that can be passed on to a younger kid once mine is too old to think they are cool. It seems like less of a fad type thing.

To check out how people are using their Gutzy Gears, check out the pictures posted on their Facebook page. There is a contest to post pictures showing how you go Gutzy. Bruce was thinking of everywhere he could use his Gutzy Gear straps.




Unreal Chocolate Is Unneccessary

I was in CVS this afternoon and their magic coupon machine printed out a coupon for a FREE candy bar. I’m not a big candy eater but I do have some candy goals on my bucket list – the new Girl Scout Thin Mint candy bars and Unreal Candy bars.

This coupon was for the Unreal candy bar. So I picked up the peanut butter cups. This is what they look like:

Well, I didn’t think to take a picture of the actual candy before I ate it so the wrapper will have to do.  You get the idea.

Since I don’t understand all the terms on the ingredients wrapper I can’t speak to the whole “No artificial flavors, corn syrup, or preservatives” theory. I’m not sure why they are supposedly better than Real candy.

But I can say this – Eh.

One of the ingredients is icing sugar which was definitely what I tasted. It had a very gritty, sandy texture. And I’ve been sick ever since.

Moral of the story: Your body needs chemicals, toxins and real chocolate. If you try to trick it you will be sorry.  



Kick Start Summer The Tastefully Simple Way

Growing up in an Italian household surrounded by old-school Italian aunts didn’t exactly rub off on me because I was the worst cook. I have and can burn water. But over the years I realized that it isn’t really that difficult, it’s just time-consuming. All the chopping, washing, cutting, peeling and cleaning just turns me off to cooking.

I can create some amazing dishes with the right ingredients and a little extra time. But time is not something I have a lot of. So, if I’m hosting company on a weeknight, have to send something to school for a party (most the parties in Bruce’s school are beyond chips and cupcakes), or get unexpected company on the weekend I need to be prepared to throw something together that looks and tastes like I put more time and thought into it than I really did.

That’s why I always make sure I have some Tastefully Simple products on hand. I love how all their products can be used to make some amazing party favorites, require just a few ingredients, and don’t take hours to make.

My BFF, Melissa, recently started selling Tastefully Simple products. If you haven’t tried them before now is the perfect time. Summer is coming and you don’t want to be caught unprepared for those last-minute BBQs or family game nights. And what is a Mom’s Night In without some Caramel Amaretto Frappes.

Another thing I love about Tastefully Simple is they give you lots of recipes so you have plenty of options with all of their products. My favorites are the beer bread (only $15.69 for a 3 pack – that is less than buying bread at the store and much fresher), Vidalia Onion Dressing, and their assorted dip mixes.

I’m getting excited to fire up the BBQ grill and can’t wait to try the Honey Apple Grill Sauce. Sounds like it would be delicious on baby back ribs, pork chops, or chicken. I just thought that it might even be great in a slow cooker with pork chops. Yeah – I need some of that!

For those who have tried these amazing products before – if your favorite product was discontinued – fear not! Tastefully Simple will announce the “Returning Favorites” on April 30th.

You can either place an order to be shipped directly to you or host a party and get free products. If you don’t live in the NJ area that’s ok! You can do a catalog or online party. If you need to raise some funds for school or your sports team talk to her about doing a fundraiser. These products are easy to sell and delicious to buy. They also make great baskets for teachers, mother’s day, birthdays, etc.  So stop by and say hi to Melissa and place your order.

As an added bonus – Melissa is offering my readers a special this month. If you place an order of $50 or more, you can get a drink bucket for 50% off. To get the drink bucket deal, just place your order and email her. She will place the order for the drink bucket.

April Hostess Specials

$200 in sales gets you $20 in free product.  

$400 in sales gets you a Burger & Brat Mustard, Shiitake Teriyaki Sauce, and Recipes for Best-Dressed Burgers in addition to $50 in free product.  

$600 in sales gets you those same 3 items plus 3 cooking utensils in addition to $80 in free product.  

The free product keeps going up with the order total.  Receive $15 MORE in free products when your party includes 15 individual orders.  When any of your guests books a future party, choose ANY ITEM in the catalog for HALF-PRICE! (Up to 5 half-price items. Free product rewards cannot be applied to half-price items per party.)




Buy Bargain Balloons

I love balloons. A party is not complete without balloons – especially cool shaped mylar balloons. But they can be so expensive. I’ve seen balloons for as much as $10. Seriously??? That is not in any budget.

Recently, I was searching for decorations for Fusspot’s upcoming baptism.  I came across a balloon website – Bargain balloons. They have thousands of balloons as ridiculously low prices – even the giant ones that are shaped funny. They have all the popular characters, like Dora The Explorer, Superman, Sponge Bob and a huge selection for every holiday. They even have Spanish balloons and jumbo balloons that sing.

I bought about 20 balloons to last me the rest of the year (Birthdays, Father’s Day, Christening, etc.). I paid .38 to .56 cents for each balloon. Even with their flat rate shipping of $8.95 (which I do think is a little high unless you buy A LOT of balloons) I still saved a lot of money. By blowing all these balloons up myself with one of those $20 helium tanks sold in stores, I saved a ton of money.

After I placed my order I wanted to add several things to it. I used their chat feature on the website and a friendly customer service person modified my order in minutes. I received my order within a few days and the balloons were great. I added the Easter balloons to the kids’ Easter baskets and they looked great. Fusspot loves balloons. They were first quality balloons.

So, next time you want to liven up a room – fill it with balloons. More importantly, get them for a rockbottom price.

Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind from Bargain Balloons. All the opinions expressed here are 100% mine and influenced by no one.



Are Your Nails Ready For Spring?

It’s time to put away the scarfs and mittens (at least for those of you who had to wear them to begin with) and start uncovering for the summer. Shed those layers and show some skin.

What – your skin is pale and pasty from being hidden under coats and sweaters the last 4 months?

Then you need to revitalize and renew. Coming out of that cocoon takes preparation. Start with your nails. It’s amazing what a simple mani-pedi can do for your mood. They really can perk up your tired self.

Every spring I like to get into the warmer weather mindset by having a pedicure. Normally, I don’t enjoy my feet being poked and scrubbed but who wants to look at the alternative?

I love my finger nails to be perfectly manicured too. But I spend most of the fall and winter in various shades of brown. That won’t do at the beach. Brown is not fun.

This year there are 2 must-have colors for your nails – green and orange. Perfect for getting you in the mood to lounge by the pool with some cocktails. Fresh and vibrant. With St. Patrick’s day right around the corner what could be more apropos?

Green is all about the shade.  This spring opt for a creamy version of pistachio or mint. If you prefer a darker shade of green, I like the Zoya nailpolish in Holly (BONUS: Zoya products don’t use any of the toxic ingredients that are in most polishes and still only cost $8).

Essie’s Spring line is gorgeous. Their Navigate Her green is very light and won’t make you look like a leprechaun. Personally, my favorite is the To Buy Or Not To Buy, which is a shimmery lilac. Think tropical and bold with Orange It’s Obvious.

For a really fun look, try Deborah Lippman’s Candy Shop. It’s a great blend of colors and looks like a bottle full of sprinkles. At $18 it’s a bit of a splurge but less expensive than several gallons of ice cream with none of the calories.

With choices like these, don’t be afraid to get those hands out of the gloves and bare all.


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