Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summertime Savings at Shutterfly!
It's summer - time for outdoor family fun, vacation and travel. It's also a time that we take more photos! And if you're like most people these days, you're using a digital camera (more eco-friendly in my eyes!)... but what happens after you download the photos onto your computer??? They get viewed once or twice...then forgotten.

Why not create a photo book with all your summer photos to treasure your summertime memories and share with family and friends... This is why I love Shutterfly so much. They make it so easy to do fun, creative things with photos! They have an all new custom path method that allows you to pick and choose different styles, backgrounds, layouts and embellishments or if you don't feel creative, you can use the simple path method to have shutterfly automatically arrange the photos in a book for you - with just a few clicks of the mouse!

Shutterfly.comLast summer I made a photo book with all our family vacation photos and sent a copy to relatives and kept one for us - my parents and cousins just loved the books and my kids really love to look at the pictures over and over again. Oh, and now I have a nice, hardbound scrapbook of great memories to keep forever!

Shutterfly currently has a super-great sale on photo books - save 40% off until August 3, 2011 using code: BOOK40 at checkout.  This is such a great deal to savor the summertime fun - even to have multiple books made to share with your loved ones!

Here's a few more deals (click on text below or any banners in this blog):
New customer offer: Get 50 free prints when you sign up for!

Free shipping on all orders of $30+ from! Offer valid 7.28-8.3 with promo code SHIP30

Take 20% off all cards from! Offer valid 7.28-8.3

Take 30% off all CenterStage Products from! Offer valid 7.28-8.3

Wedding Cards, Photobooks

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sprout's Green Blog Hop - Eco-friendly ways to keep cool!

It has been hot... for most of the country, it has been brutally hot recently so it has inspired me to think about ways to stay a more eco-friendly way!

First of all, the best way to stay cool is to stay hydrated - drink lots of water at all times of the day (not just when you are thirsty).  One thing I like to do to make my water more refreshing is to add a slice or two of fresh lemon.  Lemon is refreshing and adds a little vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and potassium to your water.  Another way to kick up your water (or iced tea or lemonade) is to add some fresh mint...I love how refreshing mint is and when the leaves are crushed or chopped the scent and flavor are just enlivening, crisp and cool! BTW - mint is super easy to grow, even from seed and is perennial so it will come back every year!

Once you have yourself cooled off, keep your home or office cooler... You can keep the temperature down in your rooms by closing blinds / shades during the day to block out direct sunlight.  Even better: plant shade trees on the south and west sides of your home to block sunlight and cool the building.  Mature trees can cool a building 10-20 degrees thus reducing the need for air conditioning (maybe even eliminating the need if you have a wooded area!) Trees also help to "clean the air" by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.  If you want to plant trees around your home, consult with a landscape architect or arborist to make sure you choose an appropriate tree for your location and best time to plant.

Tell me your tips for staying cool this summer...

Mrs. Meyers Giveaway Winner!

Thank you all so much for entering the Mrs. Meyers Basil Dishwashing Packs Giveaway!
We had 74 comments!
Now for the winner... I drew the lucky winner with and the winner is:

Comment #54!

54 amymccarty1985 said...
Tweeted this!/amymccarty1985/status/94295670751633409

7/22/2011 2:41

I have verified the entry will contact the winner via email shortly.
Thanks again for all who entered.  I will be posting more giveaways soon!  If you would still like to try out Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Dishwashing packs (I highly recommend them!) then click on the following:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July Deals from Leap Frog Books, Games and Educational Toys

LeapFrog Enterprises Inc.Here are some great deals from Leap Frog - My kids LOVE their products so I thought I would share... click the following links for more info:

$10 off Orders of $60 or More! Use promo code LIMITED. Offer valid July 13th through July 30th.

Save up to 20% on books and games! Buy More, Save More + Free Ship on orders over$60. Offer valid now through July 31st!

Free Shipping on Orders over $60!

Featured Products:

NEW! Leapster(R)2 Learning System
Introducing Leapster2 - the only preschool learning game system that offers personalized insights into what your child is learning. My son got this for his 4th birthday and absolutely loves it!  There are so many great educational games teaching reading, math, science and creativity. He's 5 now and still plays it often and has newer games like Star Wars Jedi Math and Reading.

Leapster Game: Disney"Pixar Cars 2 (30755)
The heart-pounding, tire-blazing World Grand Prix is underway, and Mater and Lightning McQueen are caught up in the excitement! When Mater becomes part of a top-secret spy mission, help him by collecting cool gear while playing 6 high-octane mathematics games.  Features expanded play for the Leapster2 system, so Leapster2 players can connect online for extra games, activities and rewards, and parents can get detailed learning progress reports through the online LeapFrog? Learning Path. Appropriate for children ages 4 to 7 years (grades pre-K to 1). Works only with Leapster and Leapster2 learning game systems. Cars 2 ? Disney/Pixar  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mrs. Meyer's Dishwashing Packs #Giveaway ends Friday - Low Entries!

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Auto Dishwashing Packs, Basil, 20 count (Pack of 6)Don't forget to enter my current giveaway for a bag of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Basil Dishwashing Packs - ends this Friday, July 22 at 9pm!!
Click Here to Enter

Stay tuned for more giveaways soon!
Also check out my left sidebar ads for some good deals, discounts and promos.
Thanks and Happy Wednesday!

*~ Sprout

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sprout's Green Blog Hop Week 6 - How Green does your Garden Grow?

How Green is your garden or where are you getting your fresh veggies this summer?

I love gardening!  It is one activity that is relaxing, enjoying and rewarding to me that I could do every day.  I'm a city dweller so I make do with the space that I have and I'm lucky to have a large south-facing balcony (overlooking Central Park!).  I have many large pots and even more small ones that I have been experimenting over the years with different vegetables, herbs and flowers to see what works best.  So far I have found that the veggies that work best are lettuce, peas, green beans, tomatoes, peppers and radishes.  I'm also still attempting carrots (I need to amend my soil with broken up packing peanuts to help lighten up the soil) and my son really wanted to do zucchini, so I'm trying that!  So far the zucchini sprouts are strong and growing fast (we just planted them over a week ago).  My herbs are doing great and I have tons of basil (which is good since I love to make pesto!).  I have to water almost every day with a large bucket and have found that watering my plants from the saucer at the base of the pots works best for strong roots and reducing fungus on warm humid days.

Since my balcony can only grow so much, I get many of my veggies and fruits from Whole Foods (which is on the next block!) or the farmer's markets when I am able to.  My friends often ask why I don't move to the burbs so I can have a large yard and garden, but as tempting as that is, I still love gardening in the city... and walking through the incredible scenery of Central Park, the Conservancy Gardens nearby and other landscapes that can only be in New York (the High Line is one of my favs! I'll do a post on that soon!).

Tell me about your garden or where you get your summer veggies...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Dishwashing Packs Giveaway!

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Auto Dishwashing Packs, Basil (Pack of 6)I wanted to use a more environmentally friendly automatic dishwashing detergent and tried a few different brands. I wasn't pleased with the results of some so when I found Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Automatic Dishwashing Packs on, I thought I would try it. Before this, I was already in love with Mrs. Meyer's Basil Hand Soap so I knew I would like the scent. These dishwasher "packs" are little packaged pillows containing just the right amount of detergent for a normal sized dishwasher. The plastic coating degrades during the first phase of the wash cycle. The end result? My dishes come out clean, every time! And smelling nice too! The Basil scent is not strong at all and not an overpowering basil smell - it's more of a clean, lightly herbal smell and very refreshing. The scent does not linger on the dishes - you really can only smell it when the dishwasher is running, and it's kinda like aromatherapy for the kitchen! As for the cleaning power, these do a great job on everyday dirty dishes although I usually rinse off most dishes if I know I am not going to run the dishwasher that day. It does a great job with all my coffee mugs and oils on dishes from salad dressings and sauces.

What I really like about this product is that the company that makes them is environmentally responsible using only ingredients that are safe for the earth as well as people and animals.

From website for this product:

INGREDIENTS: Sodium Sulfate, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Carbonate Peroxide, Sodium Silicate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Hydrated Silica, Linear Alcohol Ethoxylate, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Seed Oil, Piper Nigrum (Black Pepper) Seed Oil, Protease, Amylase, Fragrance"

"Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day philosophy is to make straightforward, honest cleaners that smell good and work like the dickens on dirt. All of our cleaning products are made with natural essential oils, are biodegradable and packaged in recyclable materials, and we never test on animals."

Best of all, sells these dishwasher packs at 23% less per pack than suggested retail price if you purchase them with their Subscribe and Save program. Manufactured price is $58.77 for a 6-pack or $9.79 ea - buying them through Amazon you get 6 packs  for $38.64 with Subscribe and Save, so it breaks down to $6.44 each! That's a great savings and the best price I have found! Plus, for something you know you will need every month, it's good to have them on hand for when you run out, and you can also have them automatically shipped at regular intervals without doing anything! Perfect for the busy family! I highly recommend this product!

So if you want to try Mrs. Meyer's out, now is your chance... I am giving away 1 bag of Basil Dishwashing Packs to one of my lucky readers.  Giveaway ends on July 22 at 9pm EST - one lucky winner will be chosen from the comments below using

Here's how to enter:

Mandatory:  You must follow me on GFC (Google Friend Connect) or Networked Blogs - please leave a comment below stating that you do with your email address to contact you if you win.

Extra Entries (each one = 1 entry):

  • Follow me on Twitter (@sprout5) - leave a comment with your twitter name
  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment below with your post address (tweet once every 6 hours only - don't want anyone ending up in Twitter Jail!) Sample Tweet:
          #Giveaway! Mrs. Meyer's Dishwashing Packs ends 7/22. enter to win:  pls RT #ecomonday
  • Like Sprout's Green Family on Facebook
  • Sign up for my email newsletter (on right sidebar) - leave a comment stating you did along with your email address
  • Follow along on Networked Blogs (if you used GFC as your mandatory entry) - leave a comment stating you are with your profile name
  • Follow me on Blog Frog
  • Refer a friend! Have your friend sign up to follow Sprout's Green Family on GFC and leave a comment with your friends GFC name - worth 2 comments!
  • Purchase anything from Sprout's GREEN Store and leave a comment tell what you purchased - worth 5 extra comments!!!
Disclaimer:  I did not receive any compensation for this giveaway or review of product - this is just me trying to boost my blog by giving away free stuff!  If you have a product you would like me to review and/or have items to giveaway, I am  more than happy to discuss with you - please contact me by email

Thank you!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Last day to Save 20% on Annie's Homegrown Products

Check out this great deal from 20% Savings on Annie's Homegrown

Save an extra 20% on Annie's Homegrown products sold by Save 5% when you enter code ANNIEJUN at checkout. Plus, save an additional 15% when you combine the instant rebate with your Subscribe & Save order--bringing your total savings to 20%.
HURRY: Offer valid through July 9, 2011.  This offer is good for many of their top selling mac & cheese products and snacks. 
Some of these items include:

About Annie's Homegrown
Annie’s Homegrown was co-founded in 1989 by Annie Withey, an organic farmer, wife, and mother of two.  Annie started with the intention of making all-natural macaroni and cheese. However, the company gained a lot of popularity and Annie’s currently does a lot more than that.

Annie’s Homegrown brings you a wide range of comfort foods such as macaroni and cheese, snacks, and cereal--all made with straight-from-nature, simple, and organic ingredients with no icky additives or pesky preservatives. All their products taste great--delight yourself with their delicious products now!
The company is driven by a team of folks who are passionate about three things--food, people, and the planet.  People at Annie’s Homegrown always strive for the motto: “Eat Responsibly. Act Responsibly”.

So go to today to pick up your fav Annie's Homegrown products and save 20%!

By the City for the City...submit play ideas for NYC!

By the City for the City...submit play ideas for NYC!

I missed the beginning of this contest, in which NYC's Institute for Urban Design (IfUD) in New York City solicited ideas about how the city's public spaces could be improved, and received nearly 550 ideas from residents across five boroughs.

#416 Wouldn’t it be great if...there were more simple (read: inexpensive) but creative play spaces around the city for both kids and adults, like last year's PS1 courtyard installation?
#480 Wouldn’t it be great if...stormwater was displayed under bridges in an interesting way.

#465 Wouldn’t it be great if...there were ziplines crossing the east river?

#323 Wouldn’t it be great if...any wall could become a contested space?

The second phase of the contest is to responses to these ideas. Define a specific site and prepare a short design brief that shouldn't be "too technical—the goal is to find great ideas that can capture the public imagination and start conversations, so even a single rendering qualifies; have fun with it!”
There is a $25.00 submission fee, but ALL submissions will be published in an “Atlas of Possibility for the Future of New York,” and one prizewinner will be selected for each borough plus five additional winners at the discretion of an interesting group of jurors: architect Thom Mayne (Morphosis), Bary Bergdoll (Architecture Curator, Musem of Modern Art), Ned Cramer (Editor-in-Chief of Architect), and Janette Sadik-Khan (NYC Transportation Commissioner) , among others.
Only a week to submit your proposal...they're due July 14th!
I hope there are some amazing play designs submitted...what a great venue for submitting your own great ideas (I know you have them) to one of the world's great cities!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Earn money from your website or blog with LinkShare!

LinkShare_180x150 I recently found another great way to make a little extra money from my website and blogs... Linkshare is a great referral program that is quick and easy to use. I signed up yesterday, was quickly approved and began searching for advertising links that I felt appropriate for my sites and/or companies I really love! You will notice all of these in my left sidebar - check them out and see if there are some that interest you!

A little more about Linkshare (from their website):
LinkShare is a leading provider of full-service online marketing solutions specializing in the areas of Affiliate Marketing, Search Marketing, and Lead Generation. As the online marketing industry continues to evolve at a fast pace, advertisers, publishers and agencies are turning to LinkShare for technology innovation, superior service and most importantly - RESULTS!
Each day hundreds of Publishers join the LinkShare Network and choose to spend their valuable time using LinkShare tools and technologies to help build their business. When you become part of the LinkShare Network you have an opportunity to establish and sustain profitable relationships with some of the most recognized brands in the world. No matter what your business model – opportunity awaits.

If  you are interested in advertising on your site, click on the LinkShare banners here and check them out for yourself.  I will update my earnings on this blog from time to time.  Just a note: it really helps to have a good amount of followers/readers of your blog and to post often because more viewers = more possible clicks on your ads AND some advertisers will only accept blogs that have a high number of unique page views.  I'm still in the building process so I hope this improves for me with some giveaways (soon to come!) and my weekly blog hop.

Give them a try!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

4th of July Promo at Leap Frog - hurry: ends Monday!

LeapFrog Enterprises Inc.Leap Frog, one of the leading manufacturers of fun educational toys has some great promos that I thought I would share since we really LOVE our Leap Frog toys, games and DVDs in this house!  If you have the Leapster and Tag Reader, like we do, then you will love this discount but Hurry!  This discount ends on July 4th at 11:59pm!

Fourth of July SALE! 15% off any 2 Books or Games + Free Ship on orders of $60 or more. Use promo code SPARKLE. Offer valid June 30th thru July 4th.

Here are some other deals for Leap Frog products:
Clearance! Tag™ Book: Bakugan - Finding Drago Now $6, Was $13.99.

Free Shipping on Orders over $60!

Save $5 on the Tag Junior Book Pal. Offer valid now through June 30th!

LeapFrog is a leader in education innovation—creating award-winning toys and reading and mobile learning systems that inspire a lifelong love of learning. 

LeapFrog Enterprises Inc.
LeapFrog Enterprises Inc.

4th of July Savings at Cookie's Kids - Coupon Codes!

CookiesKidsCookie's, the Kid's Department Store, has a great 4th of July Sale running until July 9:

Take 5% Off Orders Over $35 at Cookies Kids with coupon code 5OFFJULY4

Click on the banners here to go directly to their site

If you don't know about Cookie's, they are one of the nation's largest kids clothing stores, specializing in school uniforms and accessories.  I love to support local companies and this one is headquarted in Brooklyn, NY - plus they have the best prices on all things kids need to be ready for school!

Cookie’s Department Stores was established in Jamaica, Queens (NY) in 1975. Today, Cookie’s has expanded into a multi-store emporium carrying items for children and teens of all ages. With its largest store occupying over 80,000 square feet of selling space, Cookie’s has become known as the World’s largest Kids Department Store and the #1 School Uniform Headquarters in the United States.  

Cookie's Kids Online offers a vast selection of school uniforms, as well Backpacks, Shoes and many other accessories. We pride ourselves on being the absolute one stop shop by offering the lowest prices and the largest size selection!

Great Deals On School Uniforms At CookiesSo get a jump on back to school with this holiday sale and stay tuned...I'm now an affiliate for Cookie's through LinkShare so I'll bring you more discounts and coupon codes for Cookies soon!

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