Twirl Into Spring With Old Navy Dress

I was given coupons by Old Navy to give to my friends and one for myself.  After passing out three coupons to my friends, I went shopping the following week to our local Old Navy.  They had a wide variety of beautiful spring dresses that I totally fell in love with.


Spending a few hours at the store, I decided to pick this dress because not only could I wear this on a social night, it could also be considered casual wear for the office. 
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Honor Your Mother and Nonprofit Organizations

When you buy your Mother’s Day gifts, you can (without spending anything extra) give money to the nonprofit of your choice! GoodShop.com is an online mall which has partnered with more than 2,200 stores including 1-800-Flowers, Bloomingdales, Bliss, SpaFinder, Sephora, and Zales among others. The site lists hundreds of great coupons and deals – ranging from free shipping, percentages off, buy-one-get-one deals, and money back on future orders – and gives a percentage of every purchase back to the charity designated by its users!

Here’s how it works:
2) Designate your favorite cause (such as your school, your church/temple, the American Red Cross, the ASPCA, or the Nature Conservancy among nearly 100,000 others)
3) Enter the store where you want to shop and get a list of coupons – Check out our Mother’s Day category!
4) Shop as you normally would and a percentage of what you spend goes back to your (or your mom’s) favorite cause!


Here are a few sample coupons:
  • Save 15% on Mother’s Day purchases at 1800Flowers.com + 7% donation to your cause!
  • 25% off regular, sale and clearance prices at Macy’s + 3% donation!
  • Get 15% off 2 or more items at Gourmet Gift Baskets + 5% donation!
  • Get 25% off rings, pendants earrings and more at ICE.com + up to 5% donation to your cause!

GoodShop has been featured by The View, Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, ABC News as well as hundreds of other press outlets.

Guest Post: Seven Tips to Rescue Sun Damaged Hair

Chlorine damage and sun over exposure are two culprits for wrecking havoc on hair, according to Joey Noufal, owner of Noufal HairColor Studio and the newly launched franchise operation.

"With warmer weather more people are beginning to enjoy outdoor activities," Joey says. "Caution though as sun exposure lightens hair and lounging poolside leaves hair with chlorine build up."

However, help is available to cure summer damaged hair. It is not too early to help treat hair and even incorporate some prevention methods to rescue summer damaged hair.

Tips by Joey to rescue sun damaged hair include:
  • Use a Shampoo/Conditioner with SPF: To help protect hair from sun elements, choose a shampoo/conditioner such as Goldwell's Definition that contains an SPF. As women are outside more during summer months, it is important to protect hair since the sun lightens hair even more if your hair is color treated.
  • Take a Cold Shower: As summer months might lead to more showers due to increased activity, beware as showering can damage hair as there is chlorine even in household water. When taking a traditional shower, hot chlorine is being activated and this has a higher intensity level than cold chlorine. A cold, slightly warm shower is best to further protect hair.
  • Conditioner to the Rescue: A deep moisturizing conditioner can help restore hair's natural healthy elements and protect color treatments. Conditioners, such as Redken's Smooth Down, is great for curly hair in summer months to help control the frizz. Leave-in conditioners are effective where you spray on about 10-12 squirts and massage through hair.
  • Don't Forget the Scalp: Be sure to apply an SPF treatment such as Redken's UV Rescue for scalp and hair. This is especially great for those with very short hair as scalp areas might be more exposed.
  • Balance Your Color: To help keep hair color in proper condition without damage, having a color balancing treatment applied every six to 12 weeks is recommended. If hair is a lighter color, the color treatment will fade out faster. With Goldwell coloring, the color is pulled through the ends, not just the roots. Since no ammonia is involved or color processing, this technique does not damage hair.
  • Controlling Humidity: In summer months, it is recommended that a woman dry her hair 100 percent of the way through as this will help combat humidity. Other techniques to help manage humid conditions include using a flat iron, as it helps control ends in humidity, and using straightening serums or linear creams to help straighten hair.
  • Cold Not Hot: When a woman has color-treated hair, she needs to be cautious of hot Jacuzzis. For women who are bleach blond or have heavily highlighted hair, it is advised to not get into a hot Jacuzzi for any length of time as their ends can turn green even in just two minutes. If a woman decides to enjoy the Jacuzzi, be sure the hair is up and out of the water. It is best to swim in a cold swimming pool when worried about retaining color.
"Despite summer months and the damage the season can havoc on hair, these steps can ensure hair is safe and ready to take on the dry months ahead," adds Joey. 

 
Joey Noufal is an award-winning hair stylist and make up artist with expertise in color application, hair cut techniques, effects of highlighting, corrective coloring and Japanese Relaxers. A Goldwell Haircolor International color educator and salon owner, Joey has received several color international certifications. Founder of Noufal Hair Color Studio and the newly launched franchise operation in the Washington DC Metropolitan area, Joey has celebrity styling experience including local politicians, television stars such as HGTV's Vern Yip, rock musicians such as David Grohl, The Gypsy Kings and more. In addition, he has made house calls to numerous foreign dignitaries and Royal Families to meet their needs privately. Visit www.noufalhaircolorstudio.com.
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Free Fly's Coupons & Samples

Resource: Free Credit Score



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Guest Post: 9 Tips For Saving On DIY Projects

by Andrea Woroch.  She has appeared on Connecting Women Radio.
As the snow starts to melt and most of us see what's underneath, we realize there's some serious work to be done around the house.

Spring is the time to begin working on home improvement projects. If you're thinking about stocking up on supplies for your most pressing project, consider the ways you can save when you do-it-yourself:

1. Big Box Vs. Small Stores
For the frugal consumer, shopping smart is always a logical first step. When you're shopping at the big-box home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes, there are always deals going down.
The two heavyweight retailers are highly competitive and both stores offer price matching with an additional 10-percent discount on identical products advertised at a lower price at any competing store. Both stores also post weekly sales, discounts and rebates on their websites so you can be prepared before you hit the store. Not to mention, you can always find coupons for these home and garden giants.

On the other hand, locally owned home-supply stores, like Ace Hardware, often provide email sign-ups that allow you to receive special deals on the same items you would find at the big-box stores. While you may not be able to purchase sheet rock, the smaller places may carry everything from plumbing supplies to finishing notes for your home.

2. Tester Cans and Used Paint
Next to buying a nice area rug, painting is probably the easiest way to change the look of a room. Unfortunately, home improvement stores are aware of this and they like to make you pay for it. There are definitely ways to get around the high prices though.

If you only have a small space to paint, there's no need to invest in a whole gallon of paint that'll inevitably take up space in the garage or closet. Ask about small tester cans that can often be found for $5 or less in a variety of colors.

The word is starting to get out on used paint, too. When people order large amounts of custom paint, they often order too much. This paint gets returned to the stores, but the merchant can't put such cans back on the shelf with the rest of the paint. If you're in the right place at the right time, you might be able to get gallons of paint for around $5. Not all stores will have used paint, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

3. Buy Lumber in Bulk
Working with lumber can be intimidating. It requires precise measurements and cuts, or you'll end up wasting money and materials. Prices vary by lumber grade and wood type, so be aware of what materials are required to get the job done.

4. Generic Vs. Name Brand
There's an incredible variety of nails and screws available, but how much of a difference is there really? Generic brand nails and screws are often up to par with the name brands, but cost significantly less. In some cases, the only difference between a generic and the brand name is the box!

The same can be said for pipes and plumbing fixtures. Unpackaged fixtures in a bulk bin can have the same quality as their packaged counterparts on the shelf, but cost much less. Longevity is also something to consider when working on a plumbing project. Copper pipes and PVC pipes typically give you the most bang for your buck, lasting up to 60 years.

5. Caulk Singles
Caulk certainly won't be the most expensive item on your home improvement list, but it's useful for patching up holes and sealing cracks. Often when people buy a tube of caulk for a small project, they end up making a mess of it and throwing half the tube away.

If you want to keep some caulk around for projects that spring up, try out some caulk singles from General Electric. Much like the fast food ketchup packet, they're enough for one project and cut back on waste and mess. Watch for coupons to home centers like the Home Depot that offer General Electric's caulk singles.

6. Government Rebates
Now that warm weather is finally on the way, you can replace your old windows and doors with more energy efficient ones. While it's a big project, it may be worth it when you save on heating costs next winter.

In an effort to reduce energy consumption, the federal government is continuing to offer tax credits when you install Energy Star certified windows, doors and skylights. The credits aren't as generous as last year, but you can still get 10 percent-off for $200 worth of windows and skylights and a rebate of up to $500 for doors.

7. Buy Reconditioned or Rent Power Tools
It's hard to justify buying an expensive power tool, especially when you know you'll never use it again. If you live the DIY credo, Home Depot rents such power tools as power washers, paint sprayers, chainsaws and buff sander. By renting, you'll get the professional finish you want without having to cut corners on expensive equipment.

Many power tool manufacturers have online outlets where they sell reconditioned tools at a discount. These tools are certified by the manufacturer, so you have a guarantee they'll work. You can save even more when you use a Bosch Outlet coupon or a Bostitch Outlet free shipping code for discount power tools.

8. Used Hand Tools
The garage sale may still be king for finding good deals on hand tools. Many people don't enjoy inherited tools and are willing to part with them for next to nothing, compared to new tools. Wrench sets, hammers and screwdrivers made by quality toolmakers like Craftsman and Stanley can stand the test of time and are as good today as they were 30 years ago.

9. Working Together
No one escapes a little home maintenance from time to time. If you and a neighbors are working on similar projects, sharing the cost of renting a wood chipper or cement mixer can save both of you time and money.
While skilled friends and family don't necessarily enjoy manual labor, they can be coaxed into it with the promise of good food, drink or a labor exchange to be named later. Working with friends gets the job done faster and is usually much more fun.


Andrea Woroch has been featured on NBC's Today Show, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, ABC News NOW and many more. Follow @AndreaWoroch on Twitter to receive daily savings tips.
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Meet Local Author Kelly O'Connor McNees at her book signings!

Ever wonder what Louisa May Alcott was like as a young girl or what inspired her writing? Was it her father, noted transcendental philosopher Amos Bronson Alcott, the man who cultivated her love for literature and built her the shelf desk where she wrote little women?

Test your imagination and find out what the “real” Louisa was like when she was young and desperate for independence in THE LOST SUMMER OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT by local author, Kelly O’Connor McNees. In the bestselling tradition of Loving Frank, March and The Other Boleyn Girl, comes a story that explores the hopes, dreams and consequences of love for young Louisa. In THE LOST SUMMER OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT  (Berkley Trade Paperback; May 3, 2011; 978-0-425-24083), Kelly O’Connor McNees draws inspiration from Alcott’s own letters and journals to imagine the summer of 1855, when Louisa was just 22 years old. Because Alcott burned her own letters and blacked out parts of her diary, McNees re-imagines this lost chapter in Louisa’s life, narrating a dramatic turning point.  Louisa’s dream to become a writer is compromised by her relationship to Joseph Singer and their love carries a steep price.
 
Now you have two chances to see Kelly! On May 12th, Kelly will be doing a joint reading at The Book Stall with author Christine Sneed (Portraits Of a Few People I’ve Made Cry) and on May 18th, Kelly will be having a book signing and discussion at The Book Cellar! It would be great if you could cover the events or post the event listings. The information is as follows:

Date: Thursday, May 12th
Time: 6:30 Pm
Bookstore: The Book Stall at Chestnut Court
Location: 811 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL 60093

                                    Date: Wednesday, May 18th
                                    Time: 7:00 PM
                                    Book store: The Book Cellar
                                    Location: 4736 N Lincoln Ave
                                    Chicago, IL 60625
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Join EEOC for a Commemoration of Equal Pay Day

Join EEOC for a Commemoration of Equal Pay Day
Thursday, April 28, 2011, 10:30 – 1:30
EEOC Headquarters, 131 M Street N.E., Washington, DC
(Metro Red Line, New York Ave. Stop, M St. Exit)

10:30 – 11:30 Closing the Wage Gap – Perspectives on Government Enforcement of Federal Wage Discrimination Laws
 Jacqueline A. Berrien, Chair, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Christine M. Griffin, Deputy Director, Office of Personnel Management
Nancy J. Leppink, Acting Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor
Sara Manzano-Diaz, Director, Women’s Bureau, Department of Labor
Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Department of Justice
Patricia A. Shiu, Director, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Department of Labor

11:30 – 12:30 Strategies for Closing the Wage Gap
Cecelie Counts, Legislative Representative, AFL CIO
Deborah Gillis, Senior Vice President, Membership & Global Operations, Catalyst
Katherine M. Kimpel, Partner, Sanford Wittels & Heisler, Lead Counsel to the Plaintiffs in Velez v. Novartis
Lisa Maatz, Director of Public Policy, American Association of University Women

12:30 – 1:30 Informational Fair: Learn What YOU Can Do to Close the Wage Gap

RSVP here.  Please arrive 15-30 minutes early and bring a government issued photo identification card to facilitate security screening
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“Meals for Moms” Campaign Helps Feed Seniors and Lift Spirits

The Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) is launching its second annual Meals for Moms campaign to raise awareness of homebound senior moms facing the threat of hunger this Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 8th). Individuals can visit www.MealsForMoms.org to send a message of hope to a lonely and homebound senior mom or send an e-card to a special woman in their life. With the help of the official sponsor, Gallo® Family Vineyards, the campaign’s goal this year is to send 50,000 messages. All funds raised will go into the Meals for Moms Fund to help Meals On Wheels programs feed homebound senior moms around Mother’s Day next year.


“Most of us are very lucky to know the love of a mother. They are the ones who raised us and often prepared our meals. Now, too many of them are alone and hungry,” said MOWAA President and CEO, Enid Borden. “They deserve better, and that is why this campaign is so very important. Our moms need us.”

MOWAA-sponsored research reveals that a staggering six million seniors are facing the threat of hunger in America, and the numbers are growing. The majority of those seniors are women. Gallo Family Vineyards is a family-owned winery and understands the importance of family, sharing the firm belief that the world is a better place when we don't just take care of our own families, but take care of each other.

“We are proud to join MOWAA in its mission to feed more senior women,” said Stephanie Gallo, Vice President of Marketing at E&J Gallo Winery. “It’s important to find ways to give back. Working with Meals On Wheels is just one of the ways we’re trying to make our community better.”

At www.MealsforMoms.org, visitors can choose from a variety of flowers – including roses, tulips, and lilies – for the virtual bouquet they select to send with a message.
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New Coupons to Print

"The next Gloria Steinem?" April 19 @ 1 PM ET: Feminist Shelby Knox live chat on POV

The Education of Shelby KnoxImage via WikipediaTHE EDUCATION OF SHELBY KNOX, winner of the Audience Award and Cinematography Award at Sundance, premiered on POV in 2005. The film follows 15-year-old Shelby Knox, a self-described good Baptist Southern girl who becomes an unlikely advocate for comprehensive sex education.

This young native of Lubbock, Texas, pledged celibacy until marriage, but because Lubbock had one of the highest teen pregnancy and STD rates in the state, she also spearheaded a campaign for comprehensive sex education in the high schools, opposing the established “abstinence-only” curriculum. When the campaign broadened with a fight for a gay-straight alliance club at school, Shelby confronted her parents and her faith as she began to understand how deeply personal beliefs can inform political action.

Tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday at 1 pm ET) POV will be hosting a live chat with Shelby, now 24, and the filmmakers, Marion Lipshutz and Rose Rosenblatt. Shelby, who has been called “the next Gloria Steinem” (Marie Claire magazine) travels across the country to promote safe sex education for teenagers.

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MadeJustRight.com™ Launches Spring To Life Recipe Contest

MadeJustRight.com, an Earth Balance-hosted online community passionate about cooking and the quality and source of their food is launching the Spring to Life Recipe Contest in conjunction with EQAL, a media company. The competition runs from April 11-May 8 and asks cooks nationwide to enter their best plant-based recipes made with Earth Balance® products for the chance to win the grand prize; a trip for two to New York City with eco-friendly accommodations, an Aveda spa day, and dinner at popular vegan restaurant Candle 79. The winner’s dish will be featured on Candle 79’s prestigious menu for one night.

“With spring comes new, fresh and exciting recipes,” said TJ McIntyre, vice president general manager of Earth Balance.  “We’re excited to launch a contest that encourages health enthusiasts, foodies and home cooks to showcase their best of the season. We can’t wait to see the creative, delicious and healthy dishes our members submit."

Throughout the four week contest, a team of culinary experts will evaluate the recipes based on appeal, ease of preparation and creativity to select two winners every week, for a total of eight. They will each receive a year’s supply of Earth Balance® products, a Forks Over Knives DVD and t-shirt, and the opportunity to win the Grand Prize to New York City. 

To qualify, recipes must be plant-based, contain an Earth Balance® product, including spreads, sticks, nut butters and soy milk and feature one or more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans nuts or seeds. Each week, cooks will compete to have the top recipes in a different category. Following is the recipe category schedule:

  • April 11-17: Appetizers
  • April 18-24: Side dishes
  • April 25- May 1: Entrees
  • May 2- May 8: Desserts

The eight winners will be considered for the final grand prize for a glamorous trip to New York City. All winners will be announced the week of May 9, 2011.

More information about the Spring to Life Recipe Contest is available at MadeJustRight.com.
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Only $10 for a one year subscription to Yoga Journal (cover value $44.91)

Spring Golf Deal - 50% Off IdleWild Golf Club in Door County


Idlewild Logo
Get a jump on the golf season.  Today's Kids Deal is 50% Off your choice of a foursome or twosome at IdleWild's 18-hole championship golf course, located only minutes from State Highways 42/57 near Sturgeon Bay in Door County, Wisconsin. IdleWild is open! Hurry The Clock is Ticking! BUY NOW - Twosome - $40 Value for only $20
BUY NOW - Foursome - $80 Value for only $40
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Paula Deen Twitter Q&A Today!

Submit your questions as we catch up with Paula Deen via Twitter to discuss Kraft Food’s The Real Women of Philadelphia and other tales from the kitchen TODAY!


PAULA DEEN AND THE REAL WOMEN OF PHILADELPHIA TWITTER Q&A
FEATURING THE ONE AND ONLY PAULA DEEN


WHEN:                 Thursday, April 14, 2011, 1 PM ET
                                               
WHAT:                 Twitter Q&A with Paula Deen hosted by MSN Wonderwall

LIVE Q&A:           Tune in to a LIVE Twitter Q & A featuring Paula Deen at http://twitter.com/WonderwallMSN or http://www.twitter.com/paula_deen


THE REAL WOMEN OF PHILADELPHIA:
Southern Cooking Queen Paula Deen and Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese are back to help make four women's dreams come true in Season 2 of the Real Women of Philadelphia cooking competition.  Home cooks nationwide are finding their favorite Philly recipes to compete for the chance to be one of four lucky women to win $25,000, star in their own cooking videos and contribute to a cookbook featuring the Real Women of Philadelphia online community’s favorite cream cheese recipes.

Beginning April 4, women will create short, tasty, entertaining and creative cooking videos for submission in one of four categories:  Appetizer, Side Dish, Entree and Dessert. Videos will be submitted to www.realwomenofphiladelphia.com.

Each week, one recipe from each of the four categories will be selected. The 16 finalists will have the opportunity to meet Paula Deen in person and compete in a cook-off at the 2nd Annual Real Women of Philadelphia Live Event which will take place June 30 in Savannah, GA.  Paula Deen will crown 4 winners; 1 in each cooking category.

To learn more about The Real Women of Philadelphia go to www.realwomenofphiladelphia.com or www.pauladeen.com
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Great Saves for Chicagoland Area

Guest Post: 9 Ways To Reduce Your Gas Addiction

by Andrea Woroch
(Andrea appeared on Connecting Women).

Despite recent hiring and economic growth in America, gas sales have fallen for five straight weeks, according to MasterCard SpendngPulse. Consumer demand increased for two months before the decline, but the change came when gas prices shot up above $3.50 in all but one state.

About 70 percent of the nation's major gas-station chains say sales have fallen, according to a March survey by the Oil Price Information Service. More than half reported a drop of 3 percent or more, the steepest decline since the summer of 2008, when gas soared past $4 a gallon.

While some drivers have learned to hunt for better prices on gas -- often sold much more cheaply in the suburbs and far from highways -- others are finally checking out trains, buses, bikes and other alternative methods of transportation. Read on for nine ways to save without driving your gas guzzling vehicle.

1. Public Transportation
While budgetary cutbacks have impacted public transportation, many cities and even rural areas offer some form of service. It might take longer to get around via buses, subways and trains, public transport allows you to leave that gas guzzler in the garage.

Don't overlook other opportunities provided by public transportation. Freed from focusing on the road, you can get some work done, make new friends or catch up on email, Facebook, Twitter and cat videos.

2. Bicycle
Winter storms make bicycling impossible in some locations, but peddling your way to work or around town during inclement weather is both cheaper and better for your body. Many places now offer bike lanes, making this form of transportation much safer. Bike libraries or leasing services are increasing in popularity, allowing you to either borrow a bicycle or pay a minimal fee. Some employers even encourage biking by providing a financial incentive and, on occasion, in-house showers with a more casual dress code.

3. Car Pool
Sure it's a bit more complicated to commute when you have to work around other people's schedules, but you'll also have access to those speedy car-pooling lanes. Various cities offer government-organized car pool services, with some even providing the vehicle. As with public transport, you'll also have extra time to work, put on your makeup, text friends or simply lay back and take a nap. For help coordinating a carpool, check out PickupPal which connects drivers with passengers through social networking tools.

4. Walk
We have legs and feet for a reason. Hit the pavement and get some exercise, whether by power walking, jogging or simply sauntering.

5. Scooters
These "mini-bikes" are popular in Europe because of super high gas prices. They're light, agile, and usually much less expensive than motorcycles. While you can't use a scooter on highways, they're perfect for short commutes or trips around town.

6. Segways
These new-age transport vehicles are considered somewhat geeky, but John Hinkenlooper was recently elected Colorado governor despite his propensity for Segways. They're great for getting around town and actually are quite fun to ride.

7. Shop Online
Surfing the Web for everything from groceries to clothes and auto parts allows you to cruise your favorite shops without wasting gas. With the increase in free shipping offers from stores like Lands' End and JCPenney shopping online is even cheaper this year, and consumers have rapidly caught on. A sharp climb in the number of retailers offering free shipping deals helped boost online sales by 24 percent in 2010.

8. Telecommute
Skype, the "cloud," email and other 21st Century innovations make it even easier to telecommute. Working just one or two days a week from home will cut your gas bill by roughly a fourth or fifth -- not so shabby a savings! Consider hosting mandatory business meetings online using virtual platforms like GoToMeetings, which uses a web conferencing tool that allows attendees to share applications in real time.

9. Electric and Hybrid Cars
Kelley Blue Book recently rated the 2011 Nissan Leaf as first in its "Top 10 Green Cars for 2011." The Leaf not only gets 73 miles per charge (the equivalent of 99 miles per gallon), but it's also made with recycled materials. (Just thought you might like to know that detail.) The 2011 Chevy Volt placed second as the "most fun" electrically driven car and the Toyota Prius, the original and most-popular hybrid, rounded out the top three. Click here for the complete list.

Consumer savings expert,  Andrea Woroch has appeared on ABC News NOW, NBC's Today Show, FOX & Friends, MSNBC and has been quoted by SmartMoney, Kiplinger Personal Finance and many more. See Andrea's recent interview on NBC Today Show.
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Resources on Pregnancy

Often times, in an email or face to face, I have been asked if I know of some great resources on pregnancy. So, I was doing lots of research and thinking of when I was pregnant with my son, who is now 7.  Here are the following sources, in no order, that I loved when I was pregnant and I think are useful today.

1.  Baby Center: I loved how I was able to read about about my pregnancy on a week by week basis.  This helped me stay informed of what was going on.  I believe knowledge is power.
2.  What to Expect: I love the books.  Wherever I went, the book was in my bag, for times I had moments to read.  I even gave copies to my friends and family members who were pregnant.  I now am excited to see that What to Expect also has a website full of resources.
3.  American Baby Magazine: I subscribed to this magazine which is a great magazine for parents.  This magazine is FREE.
4.  Parenting: As soon as my son was born, I subscribed to Parenting Magazine because it was full of resources from ages 0 through school age years.  You want to know something?  I still subscribe to this magazine. 

If you have any favorite resources on pregnancy, feel free to list them in the comment section.

Early Pregnancy Symptoms Explained

Molly B., a mother of three, has written at length about forensic science education and the benefits of online courses
If you've just had a bedroom mishap or perhaps you and your partner have been trying to reproduce for some time, knowing the facts will help you figure out if your body is telling you that you have a little bun in the oven, a bad case of indigestion, or something else. Read on for how to identify the early symptoms of pregnancy.
First, it's important to know that many mothers, especially first-time mothers, can overreact to some very normal symptoms of early pregnancy. Often these women assume the worst--that they might be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, sub-chorionic bleeding, or a miscarriage. While these extremely unfortunate events are possibilities, not every twinge or discomfort should send you running to the ER.
A common symptom of early pregnancy that people may worry over or even confuse with their regular menstrual period is light to moderate spotting. A small amount of spotting may be one of the first signs of pregnancy. This is known as implantation bleeding, and it occurs when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus, about two weeks after ovulation. Spotting is lighter in color and volume than a menstrual period. Also, implantation bleeding shouldn't last as long as a normal period.
Next, pregnancy might bring about vomiting or nausea. You have probably already heard the term "morning sickness," but it can occur during any time of the day. Feelings of nausea are due to fluctuating estrogen levels that cause the stomach to empty slower than normal. Unfortunately, a pregnant woman's heightened sense of smell often contributes to the frequency and severity of her nausea. While it may be smart to avoid fish markets for awhile, be thankful for this evolutionary advantage. Your 'nose knows' you're pregnant early on, perhaps even before you do, and is doing its best to prevent you from consuming potentially hazardous food, such as undercooked meats or spoiled fruits.
Always feeling like you just stood up too fast? You might just be in your first trimester. Due to increased blood flow to the womb -- away from the brain -- dizziness and even fainting are signs of early pregnancy. Standing up for extended period of times or engaging in physical activity can make pregnant women feel lightheaded. Swelling of the uterus compresses the arteries in the legs, drops the blood pressure, and can cause that wobbly feeling in your knees.
A very noticeable sign of early pregnancy is heavier, swollen, and tender breasts. When you're pregnant, your body prepares to make milk so that you can breastfeed, which coincides with a rapid change in hormone levels. In addition to tenderness, you also might experience a darkening of the areolas or more pronounced veins on your breasts. Breast tenderness is often a premenstrual symptom, but during pregnancy, it is much more intense. Lastly, bloating, fatigue, and frequent urination may also indicate that you might be expecting.
With all these symptoms in mind, if you suspect you might be pregnant and/or you are experiencing symptoms that seem severe or out of the ordinary, please notify your primary care physician or OB/GYN as soon as possible. Nothing comes before your health or the health of the unborn baby you might be carrying. Pregnancy resource centers are widely available for your assistance.
(Early Pregnancy Explained is a paid post).

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Demi & Ashton launch "Real Men Don't Buy Girls" campaign

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s DNA Foundation is launching an interactive online video campaign called “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” to raise awareness about the issue of child sex slavery. The short videos feature supporters Justin Timberlake, Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx, Jason Mraz, Ashton Kutcher, Drake, Adrian Peterson, Isaiah Mustafa…and you! I thought you’d particularly like the “Real Men Know How to Make a Meal” video with Bradley Cooper. To view all the videos, please go here.

To create a video by inserting your own photo with a celebrity supporter, go to the DNA Foundation Facebook page: www.facebook.com/dnafoundation and click on the “Real Men” application tab. You can view all videos at www.demiandashton.org/realmen.
 

Top 5 Social Media Superheroines

By Helen P., who holds multiple online accounting degrees and whose musings have appeared on sites like onlineuniversities.net.
If you’ve seen The Social Network or the cover of Time magazine lately, you know that women’s contributions to social media are often overlooked. Instead, people choose to focus on the lone genius or the whiz kid, using his traditional “manly” traits of entrepreneurship, smarts, and cunning to transform social media. While the women may be overshadowed by the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world, they’re still quietly making huge contributions to social media. Here’s a list of the top 5, to help end that quiet and make a little more noise about these women’s awesome work.
1. Jenn Allen
This savvy lady is the CEO and founder of the site Rtist.com, an online marketplace for artists. On the site, artists can sell their artwork, commission free, and art lovers can connect with exactly the piece they’re looking for. The site is beautiful and functional—you can search for art by keyword tags, medium, artist, price, or rating. The site is the brainchild of Jenn’s love of art and business knowledge--before she founded the site she studied economics at Mills College and worked in business development at several San Francisco startups.
2. Cyan Banister
Ms. Banister has her hands in all forms of social media. She founded the innovative Zivity.com, a social networking site for models, artists, and photographers. She also acted as an angel investor in all many successful social media startups like Facebook, Tagged, and more. Before founding Zivity, Cyan also worked as CTO of a nonprofit and led technical operations at another software firm.
3. Kristie Wells
What do you call a social network for social media experts? Socialmediaclub.org. Kristie Wells founded the site as a non-profit organization that connects social media experts all over the world. Local chapters of the organization meet to discuss industry standards, best practices, and medial literacy. Wells also directs social media at the company Ribbit, which creates web 2.0-esque telecommunications platforms.
4. Joanna Lord
According to her blog, Joanna Lord is a self-described “PPC expert, social media enthusiast, online marketing specialist, coffee drinker” and more. This jack of all trades founded YourJobStop, a site for comparison job hunting. She also blogs at SocialMediaBiz and has spoken at a number of social media conferences. Her communication and social media bent come from her unique education—she holds a B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in Online Media Studies.
5. Melanie Notkin
Ms. Notkin, “America’s Premier Savvy Auntie” has made a niche for herself in developing social media for the millions of women who don’t have their own children, but who have important kids in their lives. She founded SavvyAuntie.com, an online community for godmothers and aunts. Notkin also works as a professional tastemaker, forecasting the hot kids’ trends of the season on Fox News, ABC, CBS, and other networks, as well as working with kids toy brands like Disney and Scholastic.
(Top 5 Social Media Superheroines is a paid post)

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6 In 30 Watercress Recipe Contest Offers $1000 First Prize

B & W Quality Growers is pleased to announce its 6 in 30 Watercress Recipe Contest.  

Potential contestants are invited to submit recipes that contain no more than 6 ingredients including watercress and that require a maximum 30 minutes combined prep and cooking time.  The Grand Prize winner will receive $1000 in cash. His/her recipe will be featured on the B&W website at www.watercress.com as well as the company’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, with appropriate credit to the winner.  Five Second Prize winners will each receive $100 in cash. His/her recipes will also be featured on B&W’s website, Facebook and Twitter feeds with appropriate credit.


Recipe must: (a) be an original creation, and not based on any other published recipe, (b) include a list of all required ingredients in specific, common U.S. household measurement units, step-by-step preparation instructions, and cooking times, (c) involve only ingredients commonly available at grocery stores, and (d) not have won a prize in any other contest.  Deadline for entries is May 1, 2011.  Detailed information and rules are available at http://www.watercress.com/recipecontestentry.aspx.

Andy Brown, Vice-President of Marketing, sees the recipe contest as a way to acknowledge the enthusiasm of the growing legion of watercress fans.  “We can see from the dialogue on our facebook page that watercress lovers are full of clever, fun ideas about how to enjoy this delicious, healthful green. We want to give them a way to express their culinary creativity and reward their invaluable loyalty.”

Winners will be announced June 1st, 2011. 

About B &W Quality Growers
B&W is the world’s largest watercress grower. This 140 year young specialty produce operation also grows the popular ‘wild roquette’ variety of baby arugula as well as pea tendrils.  It has seasonal farms in six states in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. that ensure an unrivaled, year-round supply of fresh product is always available.
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Game & Video Coupons

Guest Post: 6 Ways To Save Like An Extreme Couponer

 by Andrea Woroch

 With the start of TLC's latest "Extreme Couponing" season, it's a good time to review some basic tricks that these coupon pros use. Read on for six ways you can save like an extreme couponer.

1. Start Small
Don't try to go extreme all at once. Take it step by step, rather than show up at a checkout with 50 coupons and little idea what you're doing.
2. Never Pay For Coupons
There are some things in this life you just shouldn't pay for, and a coupon is one of them. Paying someone to clip or organize your coupons defeats the purpose of living frugally. Instead, surf Sunday newspaper ad supplements for coupon savings; ask your neighbors for their unwanted papers; or dive inside a recycled dumpster or two. Also, free online coupon sites like CouponSherpa.com give consumers access to a multitude of coupon codes and printable coupons for thousands of merchants.
3. Get Organized
A little organization can go a long way. Always create a shopping list and have your coupons and shopping strategy organized before you even enter the store. Use an expandable coupon binder to sort coupon inserts by date, categories and expiration dates. Transfer to a small couponizer only those you'll need for a specific shopping trip.
4. Location, Location, Location
Where you shop is a key factor in making the best use of your time and coupons. Only shop at locations that allow coupon stacking and combining coupons with in-store offers. Don't be afraid to call and ask about policies before you show up. You don't want to wind up embarrassed at the checkout line with a handful of useless coupons.
5. Loyalty Rewards
Always take advantage of club membership rewards. These programs are usually free and have many savings perks, like rewards points, cash back programs, and double points for every certain amount you spend.
6. Don't Be Greedy
This is often where extreme couponers cross over into the world of hoarding. Only shop for items you actually need, products you can stock up on that aren't perishable, and those you can donate. Remember, a bargain is only a bargain if you can actually use the purchase. If your pantry has expanded into your living room and the kids are sleeping on rolls of toilet paper, you've probably reached hoarder status.


Consumer savings expert, Andrea Woroch, is available for an in-studio, satellite or skype interviews to share "6 Ways To Save Like An Extreme Couponer" with your audience. As a media expert source, Andrea has been featured on NBC's Today Show, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, ABC News NOW and many more. To view recent interviews or get more information, visit AndreaWoroch.com or you can also follow @AndreaWoroch on Twitter to receive daily savings tips.
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Redbook, Good Housekeeping and Popular Mechanics Magazines

Today's Save is back by popular demand-with an added bonus! Get a year-long subscription to Good Housekeeping for $5, Redbook for $6, or Popular Mechanics for $6. A normal subscription ranges between $8 to $12.

This Save is perfect for anyone looking for beauty secrets, family and lifestyle advice, car maintenance tips, and anything in between! Subscriptions make great gifts for Moms, Dads, and friends.




Blue Dolphin

Today's Save:Get an annual subscription to Good Housekeeping ($8 value), Redbook ($8 value) or Popular Mechanics ($12) value

Expires 11:59 PM - Apr 11, 2011
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This month they rally behind the Kahlen Family


Love Drop is a micro-giving network of people who unite as a community to make a difference in the lives of one person or family a month. By giving just $1.00, they make it easy for their members to change lives in a fun and super easy way.
At the end of every month, Nate and J$ show up in the town the families live in and present them with everything the team raised -- all the money, the gifts, whatever the community helped get. It's all on film, and it all ends with us making a difference! (And then it starts all over again the next month)
Last month Love Drop gave over $5,000 worth of cash and goods to their recipient, Katie, who had been battling a couple of brain tumors over the years, and it culminated with a surprise gift of 15+ friends showing up at her house to celebrate with her. It was awesome. You can watch how it all went down here.
This month they rally behind the Kahlen's - a family who has been hit hard by the economy, and by their daughter's serious medical condition, tuberous sclerosis. In addition to financial assistance, they're planning to unite the artistic community to help support Kent's glassmaking work.
Want to help?  Here are two ways you can participate:
  1. Give $1.00 - This is the best way to help out and join their team at the same time.
  2. Donate a piece of art - Love Drop started their first art shop this month, and would love to feature your artwork in it. Proceeds go to help the Kahlen's this month, and is a great way to promote your work.
Thanks everyone! We'll let you know how it goes!

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Fabulous Wall Designs From Lot26.com

Brighten your walls with today's Save at Lot 26  . Pay $20 for $40 worth of beautiful wall decals!
Here are some promo codes for local Saves in 10 cities to help you save even more!

CitiesPromo CodeDiscount
IndianapolisBBQ$2
ColumbusPIZZA$1
AustinFOOD$1
Washington DCCUPCAKE$2
AtlantaCLEAN$4
BaltimoreFACE$4
San AntonioFUN$1
BostonSHARE$2
PhoenixCAR$5
DallasRELAX$4


These codes are only valid today (4/7) and are limited to one per customer.



Lot 26

Today's Save:$20 for $40 worth of fabulous wall designs from Lot26.com

Expires 11:59 PM - Apr 09, 2011
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