Back to School Shoe Shopping {& a Giveaway}

It’s back to school time for my kids and we have done a TON of shopping for clothes and shoes! I say a ton because with 5 of my 6 kids in school there is a lot to purchase before the big day comes.

This year, with 6 kids in tow, I headed to Famous Footwear for shoes for them all.  With kids in sizes ranging from preschool to adult I knew I would be able to find a pair for each of them. With their incredible Buy 1 Get 1 Half Off deal I knew I would make out well. Sure enough 6 pairs of shoes later my kids were happy campers.

Sure enough they had all of the latest and greatest styles including sparkly Hello Kitty shoes that my 4 year old fell in love with as well as Sperry Top-siders that my older girls like these days.  I have to admit that while I was buying shoe for them I had my eyes on some cute pumps and red Converse that I’ve been wanting too.  I think I’m going to have to go back and get them when my budget recovers a bit from the back to school hit.

 It was so easy for me to find shoes for all of my kids at good prices at Famous Footwear that I wonder why I’ve ever shopped around so much in the past.  When my kids feet grow or they need new shoes again I’ll just head back to this one stop shop. Super simple!

Now for the fun part for you.  Famous Footwear is giving one of my readers a $25 Famous Footwear gift card.  It’s perfect for back to school shopping! Enter with the Rafflecopter form below {if you’re reading this in email click over to the site to enter}.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: I received a $25 gift card to use at Famous Footwear in exchange for telling you about my experience.  My thoughts and opinions are my own and I only share with you what I truly love and find worthwhile.


Debt-Proof Your Christmas {A Review}

If you’re like me you want to know how to Dept-Proof Your Christmas.  Imagine with me that you look back and your Christmas was the best yet. You think about the past few weeks leading up to it and smile.  It really was how you imagined it could be and you feel joy and peace at knowing that you had the Christmas you intentionally planned for.  Sounds great doesn’t it?

I love that Mary Hunt has written a book full of practical ideas as well as the inspiration we need to get ourselves in the mindset of a debt-free Christmas. Her book, titled Debt-Proof Your Christmas, is amazingly thorough on the subject of celebrating the holidays without breaking the bank.  She shares inspiration for having the right mindsets and developing a plan for your Christmas spending.  Mary doesn’t beat you up with past failure but rather encourages you that it’s never too late to start on a path towards a debt-free Christmas.

“You can decide right now that Christmas for you and your family will not be dictated by the retail industry, which has it’s sight set on your wallet and your wealth.”

Dept-Proof Your Christmas covers everything from budgeting, how to find great deals, homemade gifts, and holiday traditions to all kinds of creative gift ideas and even a section on holiday entertaining.  This book is sure to help you find ways to cut back, be more creative and give more intentionally thought out gifts.  I believe you will find it to be a very helpful book whether you are going into Christmas not sure how to make it all work or you are already on top of the budgeting and planning.

What are some of the ways you plan for a debt-free Christmas?

Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from Revell to review. Also, the links in this post are affiliate links that allow Mommy Kudos to earn a small commission on any purchase you make with them.  I will only share with you what I use and recommend. I hope you enjoy them!

The Only Way to Travel With Kids {aka Crayola Saves the Day}

Usually once a year my family of 8 packs into our 8 seater minivan and takes an 18 hour drive to either Florida or North Carolina.  Are you starting to think I’m a little crazy?

My twins trying to sleep in the car


How do we manage such a long time in a cramped vehicle with 6 kids?  One of the ways I help occupy my kids is to bring along some surprises to whip out when the “He’s breathing my air!” whines start. My go to goodies to take along are Crayola Color Wonder pads, coloring books and markers.

This year Crayola lavished some this-mom-needs-some-help love on me prior to our annual trip. I was thrilled to find a box of goodies at my door that was sure to keep my kids quietly creating for hours on our trip.  I packed it all away secretly and whipped it out, piece by piece, once we were on our way.  

I should have recorded my kids when I started showing them what we got.  They were thrilled with the new coloring and drawing goodies.  They even played games together nicely with the Dry Erase Activity Center.

My kids seemed the most fascinated by the On the Go tiny Tube that sits in your cup holder while you pull out sheets as you need them and tear them off the roll when you are ready to share them.  You can even stick them up so others can see how creative you are!

I’d like to kiss the person who came up with the color wonder markers as they are a lifesaver on a trip!  I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced lost crayons on a trip only to find them later melted into the carpet but I sure have.  Color Wonder markers have saved me some major cleaning time since then!  They are a must on every trip we take.  All of my kids love them from the 3 year old to the 13 year old.  I might have even used them a time or two myself…

Crayola has graciously allowed me to share some of the same goodies I received with another mom and I have chosen to send them to a mom that I know who is expecting her 4th baby soon.  She is probably not going on any trips soon but she will sure need some activities for her kids in the coming days as she tends to her new baby.  These Crayola products will be exciting for her kids to get and should keep them occupied for a while.

So what do you have to have with you when you travel with kids? Have you ever brought Crayola Color Wonder products along?

Disclosure:  The information, products and additional Crayola Sumer Fun gift pack was provided by Crayola® through MyBlogSpark.

Fit Moms For Life {And a Giveaway to get you started}

I don’t know about you but the idea of being Fit Moms for Life is super appealing to me.  I am very excited about sharing this book with you! If you are tired of being out of shape, overweight and unhealthy then this book has the potential to change your life.

Dustin Maher has created a book that is all inclusive on how to really become a Fit Mom for Life. This book is not just an exercise plan or an eating plan.  No, this book is detailed and thorough and will show you how to set long term goals, how to take the pain of what you have been experiencing from being out of shape, overweight and unhealthy and turn it in to motivation to take care of yourself.

Maher says that Traditional Cardio Doesn’t Lose Fat.  Perhaps in all your efforts to get into shape you have been doing it all wrong?  I know I was. This book will help to set you straight and on the right path towards fitness.

This book is not only informative on how to eat right to lose fat and what exercises to choose but it also filled with motivational stories from moms who have tried Maher’s methods and have been highly successful.  These stories are real life examples of what you can achieve if you will put these ideas into practice in your own life.

Fit Moms for Life is an easy read that will have you motivated and ready to jump into a healthy lifestyle after changing your mindsets about how to go about getting healthy. I’m following these principles and already seeing results.  Won’t you join me?!

TO PURCHASE: You can find Fit Moms for Life on the Fit Moms for Life site.

Want to WIN the book Fit Moms for Life to get you started on your journey toward health?  Enter below using the rafflecopter form {if you are reading this in email or a feed reader click over to the site to enter}.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent the book Fit Moms for Life for free to review.  All of the opinions shared are my own.  I only share on Mommy Kudos what I use and love.


Unjunk Your Junk Food- Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Snacks

If you are a mom with the goal of eating healthy and feeding your family healthy foods then I have discovered a book that you will enjoy.  I recently read Unjunk Your Junk Food: Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Snacks and thought it was fantastic.  It it such a handy little book that informs you on the better choices to make when it comes to eating packaged foods.

We all want to pick the right foods but sometimes we just aren’t sure which ones are okay and which ones should be avoided.  You may have questions like “which oil is a healthier choice?” or “I know I should cut out white sugar but are other sugars okay?” This handy little book will show you how to decide what to eat and feed your family.

It is a very quick read and also a guide that you will want to keep to reference again and again.  The book is small enough for you to fit in your purse to take with you when you shop.

My family and I have been on a journey toward healthy, organic eating for the past 5 years and I was a little skeptical that I was going to agree with Unjunk Your Junk Food completely.  After all of my personal research I agree with the ideas that full fat dairy and meats are good for you and eating low fat is not necessarily healthy.  I tend to expect that many still believe that low (or no) fat diets are the way to go.  But this book actually shares research that I agree with on this topic.  They also explain sugars and which options are healthier.

If you ever spend time (precious time) standing in the grocery isles comparing labels to see which food might be a healthy choice then this book is for you.  If you want a quick guide to specific foods to look for when you shop then this book is for you.

I happily recommend you read this book.  Even if you know a good bit about nutrition you may discover some new things you never knew (I did). You can read more at Naturally Savvy (even read a sniplet of the book).  There’s lots of other great info on the site as well.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Unjunk Your Junk Food for free to review.  The opinions shared are my own and I only recommend what I use and love.