11.28.2014

Black Friday Deals {Plus a Rodan + Fields Flash Deal}

Happy Black Friday
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 
Ours was a blast, I can't wait to share about it later. 

I don't know about you, but the thought of going shopping on Black Friday gives me hives!
And, now stores are opening on Thanksgiving Night....don't EVEN get me started ;)
 I went shopping on Black Friday ONE time.
It was Black Friday 2006. 
I was 7 months pregnant with Kate.
There were some really good deals out there, so Kevin and I set our alarm for 5 am and headed out to Target, Meryvns (loved that store!) and Best Buy.
NEVER AGAIN. 
We came home at 8 am EMPTY HANDED because everything we wanted was already sold out.
If you know me, you know I am NOT a morning person. 
I am even LESS of a morning person while 7 months pregnant and not drinking coffee. 
And, the Crowds. Ohhhhhhh the crowds.
People arguing & rushing around trying to snatch up things.
COULD NOT HANDLE IT.
So, 7 years ago, I vowed to never again go shopping on Black Friday.
I decided that online shopping in my pajamas with my coffee is the route for me.
Plus, we go get our Christmas tree on Black Friday and I would MUCH rather be spending time with my family decorating for Christmas than fighting the crowds on Black Friday.
Can I get an Amen?
So, if you are like me and enjoy online shopping in your pj's whiile drinking coffee on Black Friday & Cyber Monday, then here are some links & codes that will be helpful to you! 
These are all places I will be online shopping at this weekend!

AMAZON
Amazon has a TON of Black Friday deals. Too many to list all of them, but today thru Monday is 30% off all books if you use the code BOOKDEAL.
I always get my kiddos 2-3 books each for Christmas :)
Click the link below to shop all Amazon's Black Friday deals!
Black Friday Deals

50% off EVERYTHING!

Click HERE to shop Gap's Sale Today only!
Use code BLKFRIDAY

Old Navy
50% off EVERYTHING at Old Navy!
No code needed!
Click HERE to Shop


Ann Taylor LOFT
 Save 40% off EVERYTHING!
Click HERE to shop!

Click HERE to Shop Nordstrom
No Code Needed & Free Shipping!

Pottery Barn Kids

20% off most items
20-40% off Bags & Luggage
And, $20 off their Anywhere Chair!
All 3 of my kids have these chairs.
Click HERE to shop Pottery Barn Kids.
No code needed!

Target

 Save 40% off clothing.
Toys are buy one get one 50% off. 
Boots, Handbags & wallets are also Buy One, Get one 50% off.
Video Games & Systems are 20-40% off.
Target is OUT of control awesome Today!
And, you save an extra 5% & Free Shipping when you use your Target card!
Can I tell you how much I LOVE Zappos?
They have FREE SHIPPING and FREE Returns.

If you order today, you will get your items the next day. Incredible!
I love Zappos for my shoes & my kids shoes and also for Jackets!
Click HERE to shop Zappos!
No Black Friday codes needed, just click HERE to see all their Black Friday Deals!

+++++++++++++++
And, I am having a Rodan + Fields BLACK FRIDAY FLASH SALE!
Good today through Sunday at midnight!
If you have ever wanted to try Rodan + Fields, NOW is the time!
I am giving $20 to everyone who signs up for PC Perks (the preferred customer program)
PC Perks is a one time cost of $19.95 and you get FREE Shipping and 10% off EVERY Order! 

In addition to becoming a Preferred Customer, you will also get a $25 Gift card of your choice!
Gap, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Visa Gift Card, Target,  Old Navy, Amazon, etc...your choice!

Want to know what products are best for your skin?
Take this quick survey {HERE}

Check out these great Before & After's:
 


 There are also some additional deals going on through December 31st.
 If you buy a regimen with one of our tools, you get a FREE eye cream!
Have any product questions or want to place an order?
Email me:
melissa_larson17{at}yahoo.com

Rodan + Fields has an awesome 60 Day Empty Bottle money back guarentee on all their products.
You have nothing to lose by trying them out!

Need some extra $ this Holiday season and in 2015?
Do you ever feel like you need an extra "push" to do something? 
 I'm here to help you get off that fence. 
 
What are you waiting for? 
I would love to have you on my team!

+++++++++++++++++++++

Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, I am in FULL ON Christmas Mode!
I am off to do some {online} Black Friday shopping and then later today we are headed to get our Christmas tree. 
Can't wait to get my house decorated today!

11.26.2014

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Thanksgiving Week!
The girls and I have been off school all week.
It has been glorious....no big plans...staying in our pj's most of the day & doing some baking!
In October & November I make tons and tons of things with pumpkin in them, but once December hits, I switch over to Christmas baking mode and I keep the pumpkin on the shelf and replace it with all things Peppermint & Chocolate. 
The girls wanted to make cookies this week, so we decided on these ones:
 Here is what you need:
  • 2 cups  flour
  • 1 1/3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips
Directions:
Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. 
Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. 
Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well. 
Add flour mixture; mix well & stir in chocolate chips. 
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets (I use a cookie scoop)

 Bake at 350 for 14-15 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned and set in centers. 
You will love these cookies. 
They are soft and delicious.
The pumpkin, oatmeal & chocolate chips taste so good together.
 All 5 of us love them....Luke even pulled up a chair to the counter and stole 2 of them from the plate when he thought we weren't looking. 
Hope you love these as much as we do.
Need more Pumpkin Recipes? Check out these ones:
 Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies {HERE}

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles {HERE}
Pumpkin Cheesecake {HERE} We will be having this for Thanksgiving dessert again this year.

Pumpkin Bars {Recipe HERE}
 Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake {HERE}

Pumpkin Bread {HERE

And, some savory recipes with Pumpkin....
Sweet Potato Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili {HERE}

Baked Ziti with Pumpkin, Sausage & Spinach {HERE}

 I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!
Enjoy!

11.20.2014

26 Acts in 26 Days in honor of 26 People

In 26 days, it will be December 14th.
December 14th marks the 2 year anniversary of the Newtown shootings where 26 people (20 precious children & 6 adults) lost their lives at Sandy Hook.
Just like I have done in the past 2 years,  I will be doing 26 Acts of Kindness in the next 26 days in honor of the 26 lives that were lost.
 My heart still aches for the community of Sandy Hook & Newtown. 
They are still in my prayers & I haven't stopped thinking about them.
As you may remember, my friend Laura lives in Newtown & her 2 youngest children go to school at Sandy Hook. They physically survived the shootings, but the emotional wounds will never go away.
Laura did a guest post on my blog last year for the 1 year anniversary of Sandy Hook. It was beautiful, you can read it {HERE}
You may remember that after the shootings occurred in 2012, I also did 26 Acts of Kindness.
For ideas, you can read what I did HERE and HERE
Last year for the 1 year anniversary, I did 26 Acts of Kindness as well.
You can what I did in 2013 HERE
 Here are some more Random Acts of Kindness you can do:
  • Pay for the order of the person behind you in the drive-thru line.
  • Send friends and relatives notes or letters of encouragement on the back of your kids’ artwork.
  •  Leave love notes for your spouse or kids in their lunch.
  • Bring water, coffee, or hot chocolate to outdoor workers (like the crossing guard at your kids school or bus driver)
  •  Buy a soda or candy bar for the cashier when you’re checking out.
  • Give a restaurant or coffee gift card to someone (bank cashier, postal worker, homeless person, or random stranger)
  •  Send a silly card to brighten someone’s day.
  •  Call or email someone you haven’t talked to in awhile, just to ask how they are.
  •  Send your spouse a text just to tell him something that you appreciate about him.
  • Hide a kind note in a library book.
  •  Bake cookies for someone. (Postal carrier, neighbor, elderly friend, Sunday school teacher, Teacher, Teacher Aide, School Secretary, etc)
  • Leave coins on a parking meter or the machines at a laundry mat.
  • Pay the toll for the car behind you.
  • Give a huge tip on your next restaurant bill.
  • Offer to return someone’s shopping cart to the store.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in the checkout line.
  •  Pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant.
  • Donate food to a food bank
  • Bring your child's teacher a coffee or treat
  • Send your child's teacher an email just to say thank you
  •  Make a meal to share with a sick or busy neighbor.
  • Offer to keep a friend’s kids so she and her husband can have some time alone.
  • Make cards for nursing home residents…and deliver them with your kids.
  • Pick up trash at the park.
  •  Thank a soldier & write them a note/card.
  • Make care bags for the homeless (Tolietries, bottled water, food store gift cards, non-perishable/ready-to-eat foods.)
  •  Buy car wash coupons and give them away.
  • Leave extra coupons on the store shelf next to the item they’re good for.
  • Tape envelopes with quarters to vending machines.
  • Take homemade cookies or cupcakes to the police or fire station.
  • Pack a date-night box  (red box movie, popcorn, soft drinks, movie candy) and leave it on someone’s doorstep. Ring the bell and run!
  • Bring a friend or neighbors Donuts one morning
  •  Take magazines, crosswords or Sudoku puzzles to a waiting room at the hospital
  •  Take flowers to a nurses’ station – for the nurses.
  •  Purchase a store gift card or a gas card and send it to a friend in need.
There are SO many simple things you can do. 

You don't need to spend money doing this, many things you can do for free or for minimal cost.
I am so excited to do this again. 
Kate is almost 8 and Claire is 6. They will be joining me in doing the acts of kindness. They are at an age where it is imperative teach them and model to them the importance of doing nice things for others. 
(I will not be telling them why we are doing the 26 Acts of Kindness....I don't think they need to know about the school shootings that happened 2 years ago. When they are older I will tell them, but not at ages 7 and 6. I will tell them we are doing Random Acts of Kindness to be nice)

You can even download this #26Acts printable to keep track.

 Download it {HERE}

As I do each act of kindness, I will say a prayer for each one of the victims families.
Here are the names of the 20 precious children:
Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Benjamin & Allison.
And 6 staff members:
Rachel Davino, Dawn Hochsprung, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Anne Marie Murphy & Victoria Soto.

You are not forgotten.
 
The 2 year anniversary & the holiday season are incredibly hard for the victims families.
I am going to try & complete my Acts of Kindness by December 14th
 (but if I don't finish by then, that's okay, I will try & get them done by Christmas)  
26 Acts of Kindness in 26 Days.
Honoring the 26 Victims.
I hope you will join me!
If you have any Random Acts of Kindness ideas, please put them in the comments.
 Let's spread kindness this holiday season!

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