From the category archives:

living on less

Our school district has been steadily integrating online assignments into the curriculum, and just this past year they implemented wifi access in all of our schools, along with adding policies to allow students to bring laptops and other technology devices to school for classroom use. I'm all for this initiative, but I have to admit I do worry about keeping my kids' devices in good working condition given the extra wear and tear and daily abuse they'll be subjected to.

Recently Staples introduced me to their new EasyTech Total Support program. After looking over the features, this program appears to be exactly the kind of protection our family needs -- the plan offers total peace of mind for parents that are concerned about protecting their kids' laptops.

Just take a look at these features, and I'm sure you'll agree...

1-Year EasyTech Total Support Features (For New PCs):

  • EasyTech Total Support -- includes virus removal, in-store diagnostics, in-store installs, and choice of internet security.
  • Internet Security -- choose from Sophos, Kaspersky, McAfee, Norton or Total Defense.
  • SquareTrade Accident Protection Plan -- covers drops, spills and malfunctions with a 2-day service guarantee, offers a 1-time battery replacement.

You can add one year of this service to any new laptop for just $160, a value of $269 -- and potentially much more. Did you catch that the plan covers drops, spills and malfunctions? Yeah, so that laptop that my kids spilled a bowl of cereal and milk on that's now basically a worthless $900 brick would have been repaired, no questions asked, under this plan! That right there makes it worth it in my opinion, friends...

If you'd like to purchase a support plan for an existing PC, Staples EasyTech has a plan for you, as well.

1-Year EasyTech Total Support Features (For Existing PCs):

  • EasyTech Total Support -- includes virus removal, in-store diagnostics, in-store installs, and choice of internet security.
  • Internet Security -- choose from Sophos, Kaspersky, McAfee, Norton or Total Defense.
  • SquareTrade Accident Protection Plan -- covers 100% of parts and labor with a 2-day service guarantee, up to $500 in coverage.

So while existing PCs aren't fully covered for drops, spills and malfunctions, you still get great coverage worth up to $500 to insure your PC against accidents! If your PC is free from viruses, you can purchase the plan for $150, a $190 value. There's an additional $100 charge if virus removal is needed upfront.

If you're interested in longer term coverage for your PC, both the new PC and existing PC Total Support plans can be extended for an additional year for just $100, definitely worth considering, especially for new PCs.

The EasyTech Total Support seems like a smart investment for parents who want to protect their laptops. I can't wait to take our new laptop in to give EasyTech a try firsthand. I'll be sure to share my experience soon!

This post is brought to you by Staples. All opinions are 100% mine.


My Simplified Skincare Routine

by Tara Kuczykowski on May 20, 2014 · 0 comments

My skincare routine has been all over the map -- from high-end products to drugstore finds, simple to complex multi-step regimens. I've finally come to the conclusion that basic is best, and my skin is thanking me for it. It's never looked better!

One product in the evening and one product in the morning is all I need for healthy, glowing skin... Oh, and they're both available at drugstores nationwide at a price that won't break your budget. Are you ready for this?

Yes, it's POND'S products! Did you know that POND'S Cold Cream Cleanser has been loved by generations of women for over 100 years? I've been using it every evening, and I've been amazed at how it gently and effortlessly removes all of my makeup, including my mascara. PLUS it leaves my skin feeling moisturized without an additional step!

In the mornings and after working out, I like to freshen up with POND'S Towelettes. I use the Original Fresh variety most often, but every few days I'll swap them out for the Exfoliating Renewal Towelettes for a little extra exfoliation. Like the Cold Cream Cleanser, the towelettes contain ingredients that gently remove dirt and oil, PLUS leaving your skin hydrated without the need for additional moisturizer.

And I'm in great company -- Nashville star and spokesperson for POND'S, Connie Britton, uses POND'S products in her daily routine, as well! I've loved her since her days on Friday Night Lights, and I've always admired her simple and timeless day and evening looks.

Be sure to check your Sunday inserts from this past weekend (5/18) for a $1 off POND'S products coupon! There's also a $1 off POND'S Towelettes printable coupon available currently. Use either one to give POND'S Cold Cream Cleanser or Towelettes a try for yourself -- I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

I'm thrilled to announce that I'm partnering with POND'S for the year as part of the POND'S Beauty Brigade to share how I've been able to PLUS UP my beauty routine with their timeless products!


Mexican Sweet Corn Cake {Chi-Chi’s Copycat}

by Tara Kuczykowski on May 5, 2014 · 1 comment

Happy Cinco de Mayo! If you're looking for an amazing side to round out your Cinco de Mayo feast today, you've got to try this Mexican Sweet Corn Cake!!!

It's a copycat recipe of the delectable sweet corn cake that was served with every dish at Chi-Chi's before they folded -- a personal favorite of mine. I could have easily eaten the entire dish myself, but I did force myself to share with my family. Enjoy!

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Johnson & Johnson Twitter Party Recap

by Tara Kuczykowski on April 24, 2014 · 0 comments

This post brought to you by Triad Retail Media. All opinions are 100% mine.

I hope that many of you were able to attend the Johnson & Johnson's Healthy Essentials Twitter Party last week! We had such a great time, and I especially loved seeing all of the pics of your funny and gorgeous JOHNSON’S® families.

 photo twPartyImageJNJCVS_zpse97e9c09.jpg

Congrats to the following winners of the 12 gift bags valued at $50 each. Hope you enjoy your Healthy Essentials products and $10 CVS gift card!

  • Ashley Shippy
  • Justin Tan
  • Sherry Bracy
  • Melissa Johnson
  • Angie DePue
  • Lorene DesJardins
  • Suzanne Canfield
  • Erin Fesperman
  • Sandy Vanbuskirk
  • Jennifer Kriegel
  • Tina J
  • Kymi Adams
  • Charline Williams

And a BIG congrats to Melissa Johnson (what a great coincidence!), who won the grand prize package containing a selection of Healthy Essentials products and an $80 CVS gift card. I bet you can stretch that for miles with these CVS deals!

Though the $10 ExtraBucks offer has ended, you can still take advantage of the #JNJ@CVS FREE JOHNSON’S® First Aid Case offer! Just look for the instant rebate coupon on specially marked packages.

Again, thank you all so much for participating, and I hope to do it again soon!

Visit Sponsor's Site


Personalized Vitamin Recommendations with VitaSelect

by Tara Kuczykowski on April 4, 2014 · 0 comments

Yesterday I got up, made sure the kids were dressed, groomed, fed and out the door on time, and then I immediately started on working on some various projects I have going. I did manage to squeeze in a workout before my kindergartener walked in the door at noon, but you know what I realized around 2:00 in the afternoon? I still hadn't eaten anything...

I think, as women, we naturally have a tendency to get so wrapped up in caring for those around us that we often forget to take care of ourselves as well. Keeping our minds and bodies happy and healthy is so important too -- because otherwise, we can't really focus on taking care of our loved ones, right?

So one of the changes I've implemented lately is focusing on taking a multivitamin every day. It's no substitute for eating healthy, but I like to think it gives me a little extra boost on those days when my eating habits just aren't so great.

But choosing a vitamin regimen can be a little overwhelming, right? I mean, there are just such a huge array of not only multivitamins but also individual vitamins and supplements. Thankfully Walmart just added a new tool to their website that can help you make smart choices about the vitamins and supplements that your body needs the most.

The VitaSelect tool leads you through a short series of questions about your health, lifestyle, risk factors, and stress levels. After you complete the survey, it will recommend a personalized list of vitamin recommendations, prioritizing what your body needs most and also offering a few additional optional recommendations for optimal health.

Once you receive your recommendations you can choose to print the list, email the list to yourself or add them to your cart and checkout online. Walmart doesn't store your personalized information, so you'll definitely want to do this!

Based on the survey, I received two priority recommendations and four additional optional choices. A multivitamin and probiotic were my main priorities, and my optional recommendations were a B-complex, vitamin B-12, fish oil soft gels, and a magnesium supplement. I've been taking the multivitamin, probiotic, and B-complex daily for about a week now, and while it's a little too soon to see the overall health effects, I do feel like I have more energy -- definitely a plus for this busy mom!

Use the VitaSelect tool to get your personalized vitamin recommendations now! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the results. Were you surprised by any of the recommendations?

Walmart Moms Disclosure