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Colgate recently launched a brand new kind of toothbrush that contains a built-in whitening pen. Dubbed the Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Whitening Pen, it claims the following:

  • Whiter Teeth in 2 Days
  • First toothbrush with a built-in whitening pen
  • As Easy to Use as Brush. Whiten. Go.TM

I recently had the opportunity to give the new Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Whitening Pen a try, and overall I was very pleased with it. My teeth were noticeably whiter after using it along with the whitening pen for several days. I should note that I also used the Optic White toothpaste and mouthwash in conjunction with the toothbrush.

Really the only thing I wasn't crazy about is the rubber "pegs" that are interspersed with the bristles in the toothbrush. They do seem to help with scrubbing your teeth, but I have permanent retainers on the back side of my top and bottom teeth, and they prevented the bristles from really getting in and cleaning them well.

If you'd like to give the Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Whitening Pen a try for yourself, earn a $3 off printable coupon by entering the Optic White Style Makeover Contest! You'll also be entered for a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles and makeover with Jeannie Mai, or one of hundreds of first and second prizes.

Contest timing: March 3 – April 19, 2014

Contest entry URL:

Grand prize: A three (3) day / two (2) night trip for winner and one (1) guest to Los Angeles, CA on Sponsor-selected dates expected to be in June/July, 2014

First prize: TWO HUNDRED (200) FIRST PRIZES: one (1) Walmart® Gift Card worth $25

Second prize: FIVE HUNDRED (500) SECOND PRIZES: one (1) Colgate ® Optic White® Style Regimen 2-in-1 Kit + 8oz Mouthwash

Eligibility and entry: Open only to persons, who are, as of Entry, eighteen (18) years of age or older, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 United States or D.C. You may enter this Sweepstakes via the Internet during the period beginning at 12:01 A.M., March 3, 2014 and ending at 11:59:59 P.M., April 19, 2014 by visiting and following the “How to Enter” instructions. All Entries must be received by 11:59:59 P.M., April 19, 2014. Entries are limited to one (1) Entry per person/Address per day (regardless of method of Entry or whether one person has more than one Address or more than one person use the same Address).

Walmart Moms Disclosure


Made in the USA: Walmart Investing in American Jobs

by Tara Kuczykowski on February 8, 2014 · 4 comments

Growing up, my grandfather and mother both worked for Tappan Stove Company, my father worked at Ohio Brass, and though I didn't know him yet, my husband's father worked at their local steel mill. What's the common thread here? None of these jobs exist anymore -- small town manufacturing plants have all but disappeared.

I won't speculate on the cause other than to say that I don't think it's fair to point fingers at any one single source. But I do believe that we can all do our part by choosing to vote with our wallets... purchasing American-made options whenever possible.

That's something that's not always easy to do, but now, thanks to a new initiative by Walmart, purchasing "Made in the USA" products is going to get a lot easier. Over the next 10 years, Walmart is investing $250 billion in products that support American jobs. I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty amazing!

What does that mean exactly? Well, Walmart will be working with suppliers to:

  • Increase what they already buy of U.S. manufactured goods
  • Source “new to Walmart” U.S. manufactured goods
  • Re-shore the manufacturing of goods they currently buy by facilitating and accelerating efforts of their suppliers

You may have already seen some of the TV spots highlighting this initiative, but if not, you'll definitely want to take a look at the following video playlist. I especially found the one from the perspective of a closed factory fascinating, but I also loved watching the human aspect of the American workers telling their stories.

You can browse over 1,000 products that support American jobs that Walmart already sells online at And look for more products in stores now!

Walmart Moms Disclosure


Me and Garth Brooks go way back... Well, not really, but I have been a fan for many years, and I have fond memories of singing karaoke to "Friends In Low Places" with my sorority sisters in college. Good times!

Sadly though, I've never had the opportunity to see him in concert, so I was super excited to learn about the exclusive boxed set, Blame It All On My Roots, that he's releasing at Walmart's Black Friday event (starting at 6:00pm local time on Thursday 11/28)! Not only does it contain a two hour DVD of one of Garth's concerts recorded live at The Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, but it also includes four new studio albums that feature Garth performing songs by his greatest musical influences, one for each genre -- Classic Country, Classic Rock, Blue-Eyed Soul and the Melting Pot.

If you're a fan and want to win the opportunity to see Garth Brooks in concert, here's where you want to pay close attention:


Buy Garth Brooks' boxed set only at Walmart, available November 28th beginning 6:00pm local time. (No purchase necessary to enter. Certain restrictions apply.)

Register at from November 28, 2013 (8:00PM CST) through November 30, 2013 (11:59PM CST).

Three lucky winners and their 3 friends will meet and see Garth Brooks perform live and receive: all expense paid trips to Las Vegas, 2 night stay at the Wynn Resort, opportunity to meet Garth, autographed boxed set , Garth Brooks gift bag, Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy S III & one year service!!!


So now let me tell you about the time this happened...

Yes, that's me and Garth Brooks, aaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!! It all started when the folks at Walmart asked if I'd be willing to take a last-minute trip to Nashville to talk with Garth about the boxed set release. Um, yes?!? And when I found out that some of my best blogging friends were invited too, well, there was no chance I was passing up this opportunity.

(Monica of Mommy Brain Reports, me, Lori of A Cowboy's Wife, and Christine of From Dates to Diapers)

It was a whirlwind of a trip, but we packed SO much fun into it! We started the day off at the Country Music Hall of Fame, where we learned a ton about country music's roots and saw memorabilia owned by famous country musicians over the years. I especially loved the Reba McEntire exhibit, which included a number of dresses she's worn in concert and to awards shows over the years -- lots of red in there!

We had some time to kill, so we walked up and down Broadway Street, checking out the honky tonks and doing a little shopping. There's not a whole lot going on during the day, but I fully intend to go back again when I can hang out for an evening!

From here, we drove to Garth Brooks' private recording studio for lunch. And this wasn't just any lunch, but a fabulous homestyle meal of chicken fried chicken, creamed corn, roasted vegetables, green beans with ham, warm biscuits, and at least three different kinds of pie for dessert.

I was under the impression that we wouldn't be meeting with Garth until later, but as luck would have it, just as I took a huge bite of those delicious green beans, in he walked, introduced himself, and immediately started asking us where we were all from.

To be honest, I'm not sure I would have recognized him on the street. Wearing an Oklahoma State sweatshirt and jeans, he didn't quite fit that image that I had in my mind, you know, with the cowboy hat and all. But he seriously was just as nice and genuine as can be. He grabbed a piece of chicken and a napkin and just stood and talked to us for quite awhile while we were eating, until he finally to go take care of a few last minute details before we got to check out the studio.

After lunch we headed down to the recording studio where we had the opportunity to take some photos before hearing some of the new tracks from Blame It All On My Roots. I was under the impression that we'd be doing some formal interviews with Garth, but it was really just more like hanging out with an old friend for an afternoon, laughing and chatting.

I can tell you all that he's very proud of these new studio albums, and he went out of his way to ensure that he stayed as true to the original recordings as possible. It was such an amazing experience to hear him share how each of the songs that he chose has influenced his music and see how much respect he has for these artists. It was truly an unforgettable experience!

Garth Brooks' Blame It All On My Roots will be available starting at 6:00pm local time on Thursday 11/28 exclusively at Walmart for just $24.96. It's definitely on my Christmas list!

P.S. If you're really into the behind the scenes kind of stuff, check out this video that Lori put together with a bunch of clips from our visit.

Walmart Moms Disclosure


How To Make a Lemon Shake Up

by Tara Kuczykowski on September 3, 2013 · 2 comments

Have you wondered how to make a lemon shake up at home? Yeah, I really didn't either... As much as I love these drinks, it never occurred to me -- until I found myself paying $5 for one at the Labor Day festival this past weekend. Yikes!!!

So I recreated my favorite fair beverage at home with this easy lemon shake up recipe. It's delicious and refreshing, just like the original, but it clocks in at under $0.45 per serving!

What's your favorite fair food -- and have you ever tried to make it yourself at home?


Break Time with Kit-Kat Minis

by Tara Kuczykowski on May 20, 2013 · 0 comments

To say that our family is busy would be an understatement... Right now our girls are at the gym four days a week, while my husband and boys are at the baseball fields every day but Sunday. Not to mention my oldest daughter also is playing soccer and softball, which currently overlap each other.

I know, I know, we've brought it on ourselves! But we encourage our kids to stay active, and we're willing to do what we can to make their sport(s) of choice fit into our family schedule. And I have to admit the soccer/softball thing is totally my fault because I encouraged my oldest daughter to branch out and try something outside of gymnastics for a change.

Needless to say there are many days when I just feel like I need a break from it all. But I feel like it would be selfish of me to steal away and take some time just for myself when, the truth is, the whole family needs a bit of a break.

While a vacation isn't in the cards until later this summer, we can try to take mini breaks at home as often as possible. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. In fact, it could be as simple as pulling out an brand new box of sidewalk chalk and a special treat, like these new Kit-Kat Minis.

And this is just what we did one night last week when some of the kids's practices were cancelled due to standing water on the fields from rain earlier in the morning.

While my youngest daughter drew flowers, and my youngest son drew dinosaurs (go figure!), one of my older boys drew Creepers from Minecraft.

Together we covered the entire driveway with beautiful artwork, which was later washed away by more rain, leaving us a blank canvas to begin again.

And when we were all thoroughly covered in multi-colored chalk dust, we shared that bag of Kit-Kat Minis. Well, some of us shared better than others...

You may be wondering exactly what are Kit-Kat Minis, and so I'll share that they're a poppable, bite-size version of the classic Kit-Kat Bar. Kit-Kat Minis are available at Walmart's everyday low price in both a king size 2.2-oz. bag and the shareable, resealable 8-oz. pouch pictured above. I particularly like to store them in the freezer for a crispy, cool treat that's refreshing in hot weather!

What's your favorite activity to unwind as a family?

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I've received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.