Momma Told Me

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Best Black Friday Deal Ever + Black Friday Trends That May Surprise You

This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me by Coupons. com. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic. 
What wasyour best black friday deal ever? Coupons.com wants to know!
Momma Told Me: Always keep the receipt.

Our family has never been great at gift giving. I come from a long line of  'regifters' and December 26th 'return line swappers.' In fact, growing up, there were few gifts ever given without a return receipt firmly taped to the box. I recall the boots, received by Momma from my grandmother, were promptly brought back to the store and exchanged for some sweaters on deep clearance in after Christmas markdowns. Let's face it, finding the 'perfect' gift for one person, say for a birthday is hard enough without the swarms of crowds and confusing barrage of seasonal advertising- so it's understandable the crowd mentality, as a whole is a little crazed when you factor in the proportion of events this time of year.
As frugal as Momma is, I was raised to be a Black Friday shopper. We'd bundle up, after our post turkey coma nap and head out around 3 AM to hit the early store sales. I'm ashamed to admit I grew into one of 'those' people myself. As a young adult I would often plan my entire week around staking out the biggest deal prospects, and even spent 3 days camped in front of a Best Buy in 2005. We'll ignore that at 19 years of age I had absolutely no value for me time, and consider this 'score' my best Black Friday deal ever, as I walked out of the electronics department (one of the first 5 in line) with a brand new XBOX 360 system bundle for just a penny.
However, my days of sleeping in front of retail establishments are long over; I have less and less time to plan tonight's dinner let alone orchestrate a complicated assault on mall seasonal sales.Regardless, I've been finding some of the Black Friday Articles on Good Stuff fascinating, with an informative look at the shopping habits of the modern consumer during this phenomena of an annual event. Naturally, with the growth of my generation, the Millenials, Cyber Monday is appropriately poised to take the place of this beloved nationwide past time, Black Friday, which has become a holiday in itself. Have you ever taken time off of work to hit a Black Friday sale? Personally, I find the appeal of shopping online from work, or the comfort of my own home, on Cyber Monday a big relief.
Black Friday Deals on The Good Stuff http://bit.ly/1z4fFPc #sp
Surprisingly there is only a 10% margin of spending difference for modern consumers shopping Black Friday versus Cyber Monday sales, and with specials such as FREE Shipping and extended return periods I find myself wondering how long the retail chains will be able to hold out with brick and mortar sales. The Good Stuff cites that Southern U.S. states spend ore on average than the rest of the country during Black Friday events, where as the Midwest tends to spend more during Cyber Monday. But are the bargains simply so steep that the average spending (a whopping 60% of Americans shopping on Black Friday) only spend $100 or less- or is this a sign that trends are leaning more in favor of inline Cyber Monday sales? Be sure to check out Black Friday Articles on The Good Stuff for more thought provoking stats.
Coupons.com Black Friday Sweepstakes 2014  http://bit.ly/1E9zNQE #sp
Whether you have all of your holiday shopping done *cough- like me cough* or are planning a brutal assault on post-holiday sales, this coming week- we can all agree a little extra cash goes a long way this time of the year. Coupons.com is one of my main sources for savings in store and online when it comes to stocking up and gifting, and they're hosting the mother of all sweepstakes with their Coupons.com Black Friday Giveaway running now through 11/28/2014. Head on over now and give their wheel a spin for your shot at daily instant prizes and the $10,000 grand prize! All entrants will also gain access to special discounts from brand name sponsors like Osh Kosh B Gosh and Jo-Anns crafts!

What was your best Black Friday, or Cyber Monday deal ever?

What Daughter Says: It's the thought that counts, not how many hours you spent in line trying to save on something!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Simple Gift Solutions Online: #OldFactory Candles Giveaway

***The following product was provided by Old Factory Candles in promotion through Tomoson. All photos an opinions below are copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2014.
#OldFactory Candle gifts online through Amazon Prime- Man Cave: Mahogany, Leather, and Straight Razor
Momma Told Me: Put that out before your father gets home!

When I was a young girl, Momma would often burn candles upon her arrival home, from picking me up after school. I recall she was most attracted to elaborately carved beeswax ones with intricate designs. I still have 2 of her favorite candles, one of which is entirely made of wax and illuminates from within to project beautiful shapes onto the wall. While Momma burned them primarily for relaxation and mood-setting, it was a running joke in our home that my father could not stand the perfumed scents an flowery smells. Momma and I would play a game in which we'd see how long we could burn a candle, and still have it extinguished before my father arrived home, without him knowing it has been burning at all. I always found it amusing how she would flutter about spraying the room with aerosol to mask the smell of the fragrant candles.
#OldFactory Candle gifts online through Amazon Prime- Man Cave: Mahogany, Leather, and Straight Razor
Fast forward 20 something years later and I am often reaching into my grocery stockpile to hand over various air fresheners for my father's home. He keeps an impressively tidy place, but he cooks a lot (and pungent things at that,) so he is often found attempting to mask the smell of bacon or chorizo. (Personally, I work hard to make my home smell like those things, but the scents do tend to work their way into fabrics and furniture.) For a while he has been using an automated 'Sense and Spray' style unit which spritzes a burst of 'Clean Linen' aroma into the air at specific intervals throughout the day. I have heard countless complaints about the aroma being constant and strong, and even 'flowery,' so I set out to remedy this dilemma with a gift of Man Candles- Man Cave Candles to be exact.
#OldFactory Candle gifts online through Amazon Prime- Man Cave: Mahogany, Leather, and Straight Razor
Old Factory Candles are USA made and hand poured with an all natural soy base and cotton wick. They are currently sold exclusively online through Amazon with free 2-day Prime shipping (hello last minute holiday shopping!) Their fragrance collections have thoughtful blends to help craft a mood when burned together, or suit a singular aroma when burned solo. With 3 (2oz) 20 hour candles per gift set these are well worth the gifting price of $25- and you can even order them gift wrapped! Choose from fragrance sets such as Coffee Shop with Coffee Bean, Chai Tea, and Hazelnut, or the tongue in cheek 50 Shades featuring Leather, Vanilla, and Jasmine Bubbles.
#OldFactory Candle gifts online through Amazon Prime- Man Cave: Mahogany, Leather, and Straight Razor
Attempting to break my father of his misconceptions that all candles were 'feminine,' I presented him with the Man Cave Old Factory Candle collection; Straight Razor, Leather, and Mahogany. The brand's rustic image and clean cut packaging certainly wasn't gender specific but I still caught  sense of skepticism as he eyed the 2oz candle jars. I reasoned that these candles were a much more practical solution to aromatic control, with long lasting fragrance that would only linger after a candle was burned, rather than 24/7 all ay (as the air freshener had.)
#OldFactory Candle gifts online through Amazon Prime- Man Cave: Mahogany, Leather, and Straight Razor
It turns out that Mahogany was the strongest fragrance, and a bit on the perfumed side- but Straight Razor had  delightful barbershop aroma of aloe and shaving cream, where Leather proved to be a distinct favorite and appropriate match to this man's man cave. He was also happy to note that the jars could be easily stashed away, when not in use, thanks to the screw on lids, and small footprint. In all, we were highly impressed by the strength of fragrance and burn time, and I've already added several more sets to my shopping list for the holidays. My biggest wish for the brand? Produce an unscented set for those with scent sensitivities and allergies! Otherwise, you can't beat the convenience of shopping online through Amazon with free shipping and guaranteed satisfaction!

What Daughter Says: Finally, man-candles my father can tolerate!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.



One Momma Told Me reader will win their own Old Factory Candle gift set!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How To Make Any Snack Perfect With New Reese's Spread + Giveaway

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
Make #AnySnackPerfect with new Reese's Spreads, now at Walmart. #ad
Momma Told Me: Spread some flavor on!

I never considered myself a picky eater. I figure I was a fairly normal child- I would eat my fruits and veggies with a little coaxing, but I'd reach for anything sweet long before any alternatives would take precedence. Momma had little time to entertain my needs for snack time coercion and often plopped a jar of whatever spread we had on hand, and a butter knife in front of me. From there on out there was nothing I wouldn't attempt to spread- you could say it was my personal mission to find every flavor and spread combination, really. So, it will come as no surprise that I squealed like a little girl when I discovered the below display on a recent trip to my local Walmart.
Make #AnySnackPerfect with new Reese's Spreads, now at Walmart. #ad
Be still my beating heart- A Reeses Spread inspired by the flavors of the beloved Reese's Cup candy. You could say that the flavors of chocolate and peanut butter are forever BFFs on my pairing list; so this was a no brainier, Currently available in peanut butter chocolate for under $4 a jar this one of a kind spread from the Hersheys brand promises to create all knew, spreadable, memories as I pair my new best friend with everything in sight. Because the brand name 'Reese's' is synonymous with all things awesome in my vocabulary (it's right up there with unicorns and world peace in my book, peeps,) I grabbed several of these jars of sunshine. I fully intend to use whatever jars survive the upcoming weeks as stocking stuffers for family and friends.
Make #AnySnackPerfect with new Reese's Spreads, now at Walmart. #ad
Make #AnySnackPerfect with new Reese's Spreads, now at Walmart. #ad
It was love at first spread- From the moment my knife sunk into that jar I knew I had at last discovered the secret to make #AnySnackPerfect. Much to my delight the spread, itself, was light and fluffy (not sticky at all) yet had a slightly gritty styling that was reminiscent of Reese's Cups filling. The chocolate played perfectly with the flavor of peanut butter, neither overwhelming the other, and it was far from overly sweet. I truly had unlocked the missing component to my spreading endeavors; fruit, crackers, sandwiches, the possibilities were endless and there was nothing edible I wouldn't try! Just think how delighted guests would be if there was a platter of fresh Fall harvest apples carefully decorated with Reese's Spread at your next holiday gathering!
Make #AnySnackPerfect with new Reese's Spreads, now at Walmart. #ad
In my spreading endeavor to make #AnySnackPerfect I sampled the new Reese's Spreads on frozen banana slices, applies, pretzels, graham crackers, sourdough bread cubes (delicious and a great appetizer!) and much more. Perhaps the most fun was discovering how the fun texture of the spread played with the texture of the paired item. A debate broke out in our home more than once, over what was the true 'perfect pairing,' but we always agreed, the spread made any snack perfect. And just as Jay turned back towards the cupboards with a knife in one hand, and a Reese's Spreads jar in the other, a bolt of lightening hit me. Why not use the Reese's Spreads to flavor a 3 ingredient pudding base for instant Reese's Spreads Pudding!
4 Ingredient Reese's Spreads Pudding made with Banana, Avocado, and Milk Substitute. Make #AnySnackPerfect with new Reese's Spreads. #ad
Pudding isn't something we indulge in often, as store bought brands can be riddled with many unsavory ingredients; but Fall is one time when I find myself craving this comfort food. As it turns out, you can effectively fool just about the staunchest pudding critic with a mock pudding made from Avocados, Bananas, and the Milk Substitute of your choice. In this case, Cashew milk added the perfect nutty undertones of our creamy Reese's Spread pudding. I would share a step by step on this recipe, but it's about as easy as it sounds folks- add all ingredients in a blender and blend!
4 Ingredient Reese's Spreads Pudding made with Banana, Avocado, and Milk Substitute. Make #AnySnackPerfect with new Reese's Spreads. #ad
4 Ingredient Reese's Spreads Pudding made with Banana, Avocado, and Milk Substitute. Make #AnySnackPerfect with new Reese's Spreads. #ad
A small amount of Reese's Spreads goes a long way in this pudding recipe- less than 2 TBSP of spread is used per serving, so you can feel especially proud of yourself when spooning out this Reese's Spreads Pudding. Not only is it high in potassium and protein, but the texture of this pudding is smooth and indulgent. You can store this recipe in the fridge for over a week, but I seriously doubt it will last! One blender produced 5 servings, and one mysteriously went missing during the 'jarring' process!
4 Ingredient Reese's Spreads Pudding made with Banana, Avocado, and Milk Substitute. Make #AnySnackPerfect with new Reese's Spreads. #ad
When I picked up my jars of all new Reese's Spreads I was clearly not the only fan of spreadable flavor; be sure to head on into your local Walmart soon to grab a few before the holidays. Whether you're spreading a platter as the hostess with the mostess, or whipping up some of this delicious Reese's Spreads Pudding for the dessert bar, you won't want to be caught without a jar! Grab the uber simple recipe at the bottom of the post, and be sure to enter the giveaway to win a jar or two of your own! Looking for more Reese's Spread inspiration? Follow the hashtag #AnySnackPerfect to see what my fellow bloggers are spreading in the kitchen, and stay up to date with the brand on Facebook for more exciting product launches and pairing ideas!

What would you pair with Reese's Spreads first?

What Daughter Says: You won't have any trouble making snack time delicious with a jar of new Reese's Spreads by your side!







4 Ingredient Reese's Spreads Pudding made with Banana, Avocado, and Milk Substitute. Make #AnySnackPerfect with new Reese's Spreads. #ad
Reese's Spread (Avocado Banana) Pudding
**Click here for printable Reese's Spreads Pudding recipe

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Paint Your Life- Give A Lasting Gift This Holiday Season

This content was sponsored, in part, by Tomoson.com and Paint Yourself.
Paint Your Life offers custom works of art from your own photo references!
Momma Told Me: It's no work of art!

Momma and I would always have 'craft time,' during the afternoons on school vacation breaks. Since she dabbled in arts and crafts for profit, there was always some new technique or quirk idea she was trying to implement. One year she was painting walnut shells for Christmas necklaces and ornaments, the next she was buying gently used children's clothes and stuffing them for 'Time Out Dolls.' Naturally, I fancied myself a creative artist, just like Momma, and often borrowed the scraps of her materials to fashion copycat projects of my own, which I would promptly (and proudly) present to my parents on holidays as gifts. Momma's favorite phrase, quite lovingly, was always, "Well, it's no work of art, but I'll love it anyway!"
Paint Your Life offers custom works of art from your own photo references!
For a few years now I've wanted to have a nice, professional, photo taken of my father and I, for him to hang in his home. Most of the shots of us together are adorable, but poor quality, selfies taken at impromptu times. Last year Truffles (the cat) and I won a photo contest in which part of the grand prize was a professional photo session in our home. The photographer was kind enough to take some canidid shots of me and my father as well.

Now, I've always thought how bad ass legit it would be to have an oil painting of myself on the wall. It seems only villains in movies and soap operas, or mob wives, can afford the luxury of seeing themselves on canvas. So, when I learned of Paint Your Life photo to painting services, I was immediately intrigued. What a wonderful, and lasting, holiday gift this could be for my father this holiday season! Not only do they offer hand-painted works of ark from your own photos, or photo references, but there are multiple styles/mediums an sizes to fit your budget.
With Paint Your Life you can really control the work of art you commission. Real artists will transform your image into a replica on canvas, alter specific aspects at your request (I had my hair requests at my natural brunette color,) and even choose from oil, watercolor, charcoal, and more! Take several reference shots and an artist can piece together a new image for a 'family reunion,' have a black and white image brought to life in color, or even take that favorite landscape photo from your recent vacation and turn it into a living work of art! You choose exactly how you want the painting arranged, and any sample photos go through your approval before the artist begins their work.

I simply cannot wait to see how my gift for my father turns out- I know he will truly treasure it, and it will quickly become a timeless memento in our family. There's still enough time for you to commission a piece of art (big or small, pet, people, or landscape,) with approximately a 2 week lead from order to completion. Head on over to Paint Your Life today- just look at their amazing testimonials! Take 20% of your order with a limited time discount code: TNP13. Reserve your work of art with a deposit, pay only when you are satisfied with the draft; satisfaction guaranteed!

Do you have a photo you'd love to see on canvas? Who o you know who might love this most?

What Daughter Says: I may not be an artist, but Paint Your Life makes it possible to show my love through a real work of art!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Candy Club- Bringing Back The Candy Jar Experience

The Candy Club monthly subscription service- November 2014 Butterfield's Peach Buds, Cotton Candy Saltwater Taffy, Sour Power Wild Cherr Belts, and Gimbal's Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans. http://www.candyclub.com/
Momma Told Me: One for you, and one for your friend.

I have a sweet tooth that is never satisfied; it is only hindered by my addictive personality. Last month I felt myself deserving of a reward and took a small chunk of the leftover money to try our a few 'subscription box' services I'd had my eye on. Most of them were geeky in nature, but a few seamlessly appealed to my love for sugar as well as my obsession with subscription boxes. Most were 'duds' as I quickly unsubscribed after the trial box- the Candy Club, however, made me quite literally squeal like a little girl. After all, who wouldn't want to be part of that 'club'?
The Candy Club monthly subscription service- November 2014 Butterfield's Peach Buds, Cotton Candy Saltwater Taffy, Sour Power Wild Cherr Belts, and Gimbal's Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans. http://www.candyclub.com/
Yes, yes, I HAVE been trying to cut back on sugar- it's really my only health nemesis when it comes to diet; I'm otherwise fairly good. Not far back I cut all sugar out of my drinks, now hydrating with 95% water, and the change in complexion, sleep, and energy has been tremendous. But sugar and I, we're BFFs, it's not a friend I can so easily dismiss. And, for me, candy in particular, is a social thing. Whether it was the bowl of candy by the door at work, the small jar of jelly beans on my desk, or a chance to run into some teammates at the alley over a Hershey's Kiss, candy brings those around me together. So, the value in The Candy Club, is not that I receive 3lbs of carefully curated confections each month, but that I can share something sweet with those in my life- and it will LAST all month.
The Candy Club monthly subscription service- November 2014 Butterfield's Peach Buds, Cotton Candy Saltwater Taffy, Sour Power Wild Cherr Belts, and Gimbal's Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans. http://www.candyclub.com/
Other than being a box full of sugary goodness, my November box from The Candy Club tickle my inner child with it's assortment of bright colors and fun shapes. This subscription service likes to pride itself on curating a mix of unique, classic favorites, and trendy up-and-comers, in the candy category. You're sure to find something you love each month, and the bulk options will be packaged in tamper-proof sealed clear tins that are extra perfect for displaying and sharing. These containers also have a pop top that requires a butter knife or coin to leverage them open, so you know your tiny fingered candy poachers won't be stealing your sweets!
The Candy Club monthly subscription service- November 2014 Butterfield's Peach Buds, Cotton Candy Saltwater Taffy, Sour Power Wild Cherr Belts, and Gimbal's Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans. http://www.candyclub.com/
For November I received a 'Splash' of Cotton Candy Saltwater Taffy, 'Bonus' Butterfield's Peach Buds, and a tub each of Gimbal's Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans, Haribo Gummi Techno Bears, and Sour Power Wild Cherry Belts. My mouth s watering just writing the latter, a messy favorite that is fun to eat and pucker too! The Techno Bears were also a big hit, it's impossible not to smile when you see those dancing bears, I was so inspired by the bright colors I even Instagrammed my sweet tooth moment.
The Candy Club monthly subscription service- November 2014 Butterfield's Peach Buds, Cotton Candy Saltwater Taffy, Sour Power Wild Cherr Belts, and Gimbal's Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans. http://www.candyclub.com/
I was just billed for my second month of The Candy Club, yesterday and I am already stalking my emails for tracking info with anticipation. And no, I didn't eat all of last month's finds- I've been good! The Candy Club runs $30 a month (including shipping,) though you can often find a deal for $10 or more off your first month, when you logon to their site. Satisfaction is guaranteed, though I suspect even a bridge troll would get a giggle out of the goodies in this club box! I especially think this is a great gift for an office setting where many people work closely together- what a nice excuse to take a quick break and enjoy something sweet this would be!

What types of candy are your favorite? Hard? Chewy? Chocolates? Go ahead an answer, it won't cost you any calories!

What Daughter Says: Call it an excuse, but I enjoy candy because of how it brings me and those around me together. I don't mind sharing if I get to be a kid again!


Monday, November 17, 2014

What I'm Streaming: Reign (CW- 2013+)

Reign on CW, Netflix, and Hulu
Momma Told Me: It's just a TV show-

By now you know that we don't have cable- our primary source of entertainment is subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. However, viewing this way still presents someone with various networks to follow; it simply may take a day or two for the most current episode of your favorite show to appear. My point is that there are a few networks you love, a few you never use because you simply see no value in them, and a few networks you avoid at all costs because the content is clearly not marketed toward your demographic. The CW falls into the latter for me; I haven't watched it since high school and the days of Gillmore Girls and Smallville. The content is usually over-dramatic, littered with bare skin, and targeted towards the fantasies of teenagers.
Reign on CW, Netflix, and Hulu
In the past few years the CW has become particularly obsessed with supernatural themed spinoffs full of lusty vampires and demon slayers where the main characters  on and off again romance requires 2/3 of an episodes screen time. It's no wonder those shows go on and on, season after season! So, when I recently discovered a newer show, Reign, on Netflix I was quickly shocked to find myself becoming engrossed in the characters and their lives of intrigue. Loosely chronicling the younger years and rise of Mary, Queen of Scotts, this historical based drama is less absurd CG graphics and more scandalously compelling plots.

Reign has a few pros and cons; but I'll admit it quickly became a guilty pleasure for me. This was one I made time to stream straight through! The costumes and sets are gorgeous, as are the actors who portray the characters in them, and the dialogue is authentic enough not to lose its time, yet witty and tongue in cheek at the same time. The believability of these characters being in their early adulthood is plausible, thanks to the time frame, and the CW still manages their pillow talk and steamy scenes because of it. There is plenty of gossip and drama among the court and Mary's ladies, and each episode covers a smaller plot while making progress on the storyline as whole.
Reign on CW, Netflix, and Hulu
In all, I could do without the seemingly continual emphasis of Mary's innocence in Season 1, and find that the recently aired Season 2 premiere promises a much more dark and controlling Mary. I prefer my female leads to be in control of their story, not a pawn, so this will be especially enjoyable. The biggest downside, however, is that Mary's tale has been told as a character in so many programs and films that I sometimes know which road a story is heading. That's the benefit of being 'educated' I guess. Don't worry, having greater knowledge of the characters in Reign doesn't detract from the enjoyment one bit!

What Daughter Says: Even the History Channel and the BBC take creative rights with historical characters, it's what makes for entertainment. Try to enjoy it for what it is, not a history lesson.