Friday, December 31, 2010

Old El Paso Giveaway

 Family taco night is something that happens around my house about every two weeks. Taco's are a hit with everyone in this picky eater family. I think it's because unlike most other meals each person can make their own taco, putting whatever toppings they want.

Check out the Old El Paso website were you can find coupons and information about El Tacodor the only taco night dinner game out there.

Click on the following link and check out the El Tacodor game.  Print out the game and play with your family on your next family taco night.


Win an Old El Paso Taco Prize Pack

The Old El Paso family taco night prize pack which includes a packet of original Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, a Cactus Chip and Dip Serving dish, a set of 3 Fiesta Chili Pepper serving dishes and a $10 gift card to purchase your taco fixings.

 Giveaway Ends: January 16th, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST

Mandatory Entry: Tell me what your favorite taco toppings  are. Or answer this question. Do you like your taco's hot and spicy?

Please leave an email address with at least one of your comments!

Do You Want More Chances To Win?

Leave a comment for each of the following if you choose to do them.

1) Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect for 1 more entry

2) Sign up for email updates from Times Are Tuff and confirm your subscription, earn 2 extra entries. Subscription form on the right side bar ------ > > >

3) Follow me on twitter @AThriftyBlogger earns 1 extra entry
tweet a link to my giveaway will earn you 2 more entries. You must leave a link to your tweet in your comment.
4) Like Times Are Tuff on Facebook for 1 extra entry. Say hello for a bonus entry

5) Blog about this giveaway with a link back to my blog earns you 5 extra entries.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck !

Disclosure: O the coupon, information, and prize package for giveaway were all provided by Old El Paso through MyBlogSpark. All opinions are my own.ld El Paso provided me with the products, information, and giveaway through MyBlogSpark. All opinions are my own

Happy New Year and CSN Winner Announced

Happy New Year everyone! I am so sorry for the delay in announcing the winner of my CSN giveaway. The holidays and computer problems are getting into the way of my blogging.

Congrats to Lisa who left the winning comment. I used to pick the winner.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. Please remember to have a designated driver if you are going out and celebrating!
See you next year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Purex® Complete Crystals Softener Review

Coming soon a Purex Complete Crystals Softener Giveaway!

I am happy to be able to let you know about a new Purex laundry softener today. I recently found out that I am one of the lucky bloggers chosen to be a Purex Insider. As the name says I am an insider and had the opportunity to try out the new Purex Complete Crystals Softener that is available starting today at Walmart.

First let me tell you the look of  this product blew my mind. The first thing I did was open the bottle and take a big sniff. When I use laundry softener I want a nice clean scent.I was not disappointed. The next thing I did was read the bottle because in my hand was a bottle of laundry softener crystals. Yes I said crystals. It is not a liquid, powder or dryer sheet but a bottle of crystals.

One of the reasons I usually use dryer sheets is because I never remember to go back out into the garage where my washer is to add the softener to my laundry. The new Purex Complete Crystal Softener is added to your load of laundry at the beginning of your load so you don't have to worry about remembering to add your softener later.

Here is some Purex Complete Crystals product information

Introducing Purex® Complete Crystals Softener TM a purer way to get laundry that 
smells clean and fresh for weeks. 92% natural, this product’s unique crystal form works
differently than traditional oil-based softeners that coat fabrics with oily residue, because 
it infuses fibers with long-lasting fragrance. In addition, since you add it directly with your 
laundry, this means no more waiting for the rinse cycle, no messy residual gunk in your 
washing machine, and no more stains from spilling liquid fabric softener. 

Why struggle with plastic fabric softener balls, risk staining your clothes or waste time 
waiting for the rinse cycle? Simply add Purex Complete Crystals Softener directly with 
your laundry at the beginning of every wash cycle to infuse fabrics with long lasting 

Laundry scent lovers will perk up as freshness is infused into clothes with this new fabric 
softener. Over time, traditional oil-based softeners coat fibers causing harmful oily 
residue to accumulate. Purex Complete Crystals Softeners penetrate fabrics to reduce 
fiber entanglement and smooth frayed fibers providing a naturally soft feel.

Do ALL of your laundry—worry free! Purex Complete Crystals Softeners are safe for
all laundry and will not harm, wear down or discolor your fabrics like oil-based softeners.
Safe for all fabrics, including baby clothes, athletic wear, towels, and whites. Unlike other 
softeners, Crystals WILL: 
• Preserve the flame retardant benefits of your children’s clothes
• Retain your athletic wear’s wicking ability which draws sweat away from your body
• Maintain your towels’ built-in ability to absorb water
• Keep your white clothing from yellowing and graying vs. using traditional softeners
The product won’t harm your clothes and is safe and convenient for the entire family!

Purex Complete Crystals Softener is available in three on-trend fragrances: Fresh Spring Waters TM,Lavender Blossom TM, and Tropical Splash.TM 

Suggested Retail Price
Purex Complete Crystals Softener is priced from $3.99 to $5.99 depending on retailer
and will be available in food, drug and mass retailers nationwide.

* Safe for use in both Standard and High Efficiency (HE) washers

I love this new product from Purex and can't wait to pick up a bottle of  the Lavender Blossom scent. My laundry had a lovely scent, was nice and soft. 

Disclosure: I am a Purex Insider and help spread the word about the Purex® family of laundry products. As an Insider, I receive sample products and incentives in exchange for participating in brand related activities. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by receiving a product sample from Purex.

Winner: Tipu's Chai Tea Giveaway

Congrats to commentor #28 Cricket Saunders.

She is the winner of the Tipu's Chai tea giveaway! I will be emailing her in a moment.

I haven't had a chance to post since before Christmas. I am having computer problems and am posting from my daughters laptop.

I hope to be up and running soon.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winners: Roman Town Educational Game

I am currently away from my computer for the holidays.

The winners of the Roman Town Educational Game are

# 3 Darla
#16 Danelle
#22 The Teachers Wife
#26 Lexlie S
#28 Susanmeep

Congrats and I will be emailing you shortly!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Mystery Of Google Page Rank

Some of you might be looking at the above image and thinking huh? What's so great about a Google rank of  one?

Some of you who already have a nice high Google page rank are probably thinking wow I haven't checked my page rank in awhile. Of course you haven't. It doesn't matter to you what your page rank is anymore because you have a nice one already.

Are you a blogger who is obsessed with your google page rank like me? Every once in awhile for the past 11 months I would  go and check my page rank and for the past 11 months every time I have checked I found the dreaded NA.Not Available!!!  

As a product reviewer that is not good. Some companies want a blog to have a Google Page Rank of 4 for them to consider your blog worthy of their product.

It seems the way Google finally sets a page rank is a highly guarded secret.  
If you have ever researched Google page rank you know that it could take a while for your page to get any kind of ranking. Matter of fact you could have a very popular blog and Google still might not give you a page rank Google can be a a little picky at times.

For the first six months or so I could understand. Not many people reading my blog. Not many comments. No one was following me on GFC.

I submitted my blog to all the search engines. Listed it in some blog directories. I did everything I could think of to get my blog some exposure in hopes that I would finally see a number instead of NA when I checked my page rank.

I was so surprised last week when I checked it and found that finally my rank has changed to an actual number that I had to plug my blog address in there again to make sure I didn't have a typo the first time around.

So for those of you who are still stuck in page rank hell I am here to tell you not to give up. Submit your blog every where you can think of and then search Google for some places to submit your blog that you didn't know about it and one day you will get the surprise that I did last week.

Monday, December 6, 2010

$35 CSN Day after Christmas Giveaway

CSN has been so good to me and my blog readers this year. They have offered me another $35 giveaway and I can't wait for all of you to enter for a chance to win.

I am calling this my day after Christmas giveaway. The giveaway will end the day after Christmas on purpose. I know how stressful this holiday season is on a lot of families who really just can't afford it.

Most everyone I know is struggling in one way or another right along with me and my family. So as a way of treating my readers to a special something for themselves and instead of spending the $35 on a Christmas gift I am going to force you to be selfish this time. 

I am giving you permission to buy something for yourself!

I want my winner to treat themselves to something they really want. Maybe Santa isn't going to be able to  leave something for you under the tree. 

Or maybe you put yourself off like I do so I can do for others instead of doing for myself. Whatever it is it doesn't matter to me as long as you buy something you want for yourself. 

Please leave an email address with at least one of your comments so I may contact you if you win!

Open to residents of the US & Canada

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment telling me something you really want that if you win you will buy for yourself from CSN

Do you want more chances to win ??

1)Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect for 1 more entry

2) Sign up for email updates from Times Are Tuff and confirm your subscription, earn 2 extra entries. Subscription form on the right side bar ------>>>

3) Follow me on twitter @Timesrrtuff earns 1 extra entry
tweet a link to my giveaway will earn you 2 more entries. You must leave a link to your tweet in your comment.
4) Like Times Are Tuff on Facebook for 2 extra entry. Say hello for a bonus entry

5) Blog about this giveaway with a link back to my blog earns you 5 extra entries.
Good luck and Have a safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Roman Town Game Party Review and Giveaway

 Roman Town Game Party

Sponsored by  Mommy Parties and Dig-It Games

I was so happy to be selected to host a Roman Town Game party for my daughter and her friends from Mommy Parties. It is not often that I come across an opportunity that is geared toward my 13 year old daughter.

 About Dig-ItGames

Info from website

Dig-It! Games is an independent computer game developer committed to creating innovative, interactive, instructional computer games based on historical themes with high-value educational content.  Dig-It! Games knows that fun and learning can, and should, go hand in hand.

Founded by a professional archaeologist and teacher, Dig-It! Games promotes learning through active discovery and the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills in young learners. Dig-It! Games presents authentic and accurate historical information that conforms to the curriculum mandates and Standards of Learning of many states. Dig-It! Games creates “hands-on” learning games that can be played at home, used as course supplements, and adapt easily to the classroom.

Before I applied to host the party I went to the Dig-ItGames website to see what the Roman Town game was all about. I wanted to make sure that it was a game that my 13 year old daughter would be interested in. I was very impressed that the game was developed by an actual archaeologist. My daughter has been interested in archaeology for a few years now and I figured she would love to play this game. She would be able to learn as she was playing the game and I thought that was a great thing. Here is a game that she can have fun playing and at the same time learn about archaeology. After reading what the website had to say I filled out the application.

I let my daughter play the game a few times before the party so when her guests were here she would be able to show them how the game worked instead of having to try to learn her way around a new game during the party.

The kids were impressed and enjoyed the game. 

They also enjoyed the word search puzzles that were included.

The kids had a great time and loved the goodie bags I made with the Roman Town gear that was provided for the party. Each guest took home a coupon good for a free copy of the Roman Town game. 

Buy It: You can buy a copy of the Roman Town Game at the Dig-It!Games site here.
Roman Town is available for the classroom
and would be a great learning tool for Homeschoolers

About The Game

Roman Town: The world’s best Interactive Archaeology Computer Game for kids ages 8 to 88

Have all the fun of a real archaeological excavation without getting your hands dirty!

  • Dig in and participate in a full excavation from start to finish
  • Find authentic artifacts at a real dig site
  • Learn about Roman Daily Life – accurate, historical information
  • Replay for hours of Archaeological fun and learning
  • Fun for the whole family – from 8 to 88 years old


Win a copy of the Roman Town computer game

I have 5 coupons good for a copy of the Roman Town Game

5 Winners!

Please leave an email address on at least one of your comments so I may contact you if you are a winner!

Giveaway Ends: Dec 20th 2010 11:59 pm est

Mandatory: Entry visit the Dig-It Games site and tell me what you like about the game.

Do you want more chances to win?

Leave a comment for each of the following if you choose to do them.

1)Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect for 1 more entry

2) Sign up for email updates from Times Are Tuff and confirm your subscription, earn 2 extra entries. Subscription form on the right side bar ------>>>

3) Follow me on twitter @Timesrrtuff earns 1 extra entry
tweet a link to my giveaway will earn you 2 more entries. You must leave a link to your tweet in your comment.
4) Like Times Are Tuff on Facebook for 1 extra entry. Say hello for a bonus entry

5) Blog about this giveaway with a link back to my blog earns you 5 extra entries.

Disclosure: This was a sponsored party by MommyParties/MomSelect and Dig-It Games. I recieved a party pack that included a copy of the Roman Town Game along with party favors for my guests. All opinions are my own.

Winner: CardsDirect

Congrats to Skipthelaudry who is the $50 winner to CardsDirect

Do you have MIP?

Do you have MIP? I often wonder how many people out there have it. Are they keeping it a secret also?

It's really not anything to be ashamed of. But only my family and a few close friends know I have it.

Your probably wondering what MIP is by now. Well it is Multiple Internet Personalities. Yes it's silly I know and I just made it up but it is something that has been on my mind for a while now. Should I come out of the closet on my blog/blogs. 

Would people who read this blog care? I started this blog  almost a year ago. Actually my blogiversary is January 6th. I started it because I started entering giveaways and I did not want to post giveaway stuff on my other two blogs. Yes I said two. Actually I have more then two other blogs but I only post regularly on three of them. One is a cooking blog and one is an art blog. 

I wanted to have somewhere to do just giveaway stuff so I started this blog just for that. I knew my readers on the two other blogs would not want to read my giveaway stuff and I don't blame them. On the cooking one they want to hear about cooking stuff. On my art blog they want to see and read about my art techniques and the art I am creating.

Now I have only come across one blog that I read regularly where she posts info about her second blog which happens to be a cooking blog also. I am sure there are many more I am not aware of.

So what do you think? Do you have MIP. Are you keeping it a deep dark secret? If so why?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

CSN for Christmas Shopping

Christmas is right around the corner and if you shop online CSN has some great deals going on right now. If you have a man in your life and his wish list to Santa includes a flatscreen tv you should check out the TV stands for flat screens at the CSN site.

My husband who has had a flatscreen on his wish list for awhile now always talks about mounting it on the wall but I don't think he has seen some of the gorgeous stands that CSN has available. Especially the corner stands. If and when he ever get his wish granted I am going to show him the stands at CSN. I would rather watch tv at eye level then to have to twist my neck up to look at a screen that is mounted higher on the wall then I stand.

Disclosure: This is a teaser post for CSN. Look for my upcoming CSN giveaway.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tipu's Black Instant Chai Tea Review and Giveaway

There is nothing better on a chilly day then a nice, warm cup of Chai Tea. Did she say chilly? Yes I said chilly. I know most of you are probably freezing half to death where you live but I live in Florida. No I am not rubbing it in. In July, August and September I am wishing for a snow storm to blow in and you all are thinking how do those crazy people stand it down there when it's 104 in the shade.

  A cold front is blowing in and for us that means rain and the temps to dip below 70. Today it's a nice 69 degrees and expected to drop into the 40's tonight.

What better time is there for a cup of chai tea? Oh and when it is 104 in the shade I am sipping on iced chai tea when the urge strikes me.

The good folks at Tipu's Chai were nice enough to ask me to review their chai tea and sent me a 4 oz bag of their Instant Black Chai. They also offered the same 4 oz bag of  Instant Black Chai to one of my readers.

I had never heard of the Tipu's brand of chai tea before so I immediately went to their website to check things out. I was very impressed with what i read there and couldn't wait to get my sample to try.

The Tipu's brand of instant chai was a bit different from any other instant chai I had ever bought.
The main difference is that there are no added sweeteners. Their instant chai is nothing but a blend of black tea and spices. This intrigued me and I liked the idea of adding my own sweetener. Whether it be sugar or honey depending on the mood I was in. For those of you who avoid refined sugar it is an added benefit. With Tipu's Chai you can use whatever sweetener you use instead of refined sugar.

About Tipu's Chai

At Tipu’s Chai we blend our own mix of spices and organic Indian tea to create a bold, comforting balance of spiciness and depth. Passed from my grandmother to my mother and then to me, this recipe has traveled a long way from Gujarat in India to Africa, England, Montana and now to your very own cup. Enjoy in health. - Bipin Patel, President 


You can buy Tipu's Chai at their website or where it is served possibly in your area. You can check here to see if it is.

What I liked: I really like the fact that Tipu's Chai does not have any sweetener added and I could add my own, as much or as little as I want.  It has a very nice chai tea flavor.  Some chai teas can be a bit weak in the spice department. Not Tipu's! The Instant Black Chai that I tried has a nice balance of black tea and spice flavor.


What I did not like: The only thing I did not like about the Tipu's Instant Black Chai had nothing to do with the flavor of the product, which I love. 

The microground instant chai comes in a resealable  bag and when I make a cup I have to try to reach down into the bag with my measuring spoon to scoop the tea out. The bag is a bit taller then it needs to be. A nice metal container would have been easier to scoop the tea out of but I am sure a container like that would add considerable cost to the tea. Something the company probably doesn't want to do. For my own use I plan to empty the bag into a glass container of my own with  wide mouth lid so it will be easier to scoop.

 That said I am enjoying my bag of Tipus Chai. I think it is one of the best Chai tea products I have ever tasted.

Would you like to win your own 4 oz bag of Tipu's Instant Black Chai Tea?

 Giveaway ends Sunday December 19th, 2010 at 11:59 pm est

Here's what you need to do:

Please leave your email address on at least one comment so that I may contact you if you win. If you do not and you happen to be the winner I will draw another winner at my own discretion. 

Mandatory entry:

Please visit the Tipu's Chai Facebook page and like it. Come back here and leave me a comment letting me know. This will earn you 2 entries into my giveaway.

If you leave a comment on their page letting them know you entered my giveaway you will earn a bonus entry. When you leave your comment let me know it is the bonus entry.


Would you like more chances to win?

1) Follow Tupi's Chai on Twitter @Tupischai 1 extra entry

2) Follow me on twitter @timesrrtuff 1 extra entry

3) Tweet a link to my giveaway. Leave the link to your tweet in your comment and use the hashtag #Tipuschai. You may do this once a day. 1 entry per tweet

3) Like my Times Are Tuff Facebook page 1 entry

4) Sign up for email updates to my blog. There is a subscription box in the right hand sidebar ---->> 1 entry

5) Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect 2 entry

If you do any of the above already just leave a comment letting me know!

 Good luck!


Disclosure: I received a product sample from Tipu's Chai in exchange for my review and one for a giveaway. I did not receive any other compensation for this blog post. All opinions in this review are my own.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cards Direct Texas Size Holiday Card For The Troops

CardsDirect is sponsoring a special holiday event and needs our help. Please join CardsDirect in saluting our holiday heroes this holiday season by  signing a Texas sized Christmas card that will be delivered to our troops this holiday season.

The men and woman who serve our country will appreciate it. In less then 5 minutes you can add a message and make the holiday season a little brighter for our troops. 

Salute Our Nations Troops
By  clicking the link below and 


Saturday, November 27, 2010

CLOSED: $50 Cards Direct Giveaway

$50  Cards Direct Giveaway

I don't know about you but I love cards. I love Christmas Cards, I love Holiday Cards, I love Photo Cards. I especially love Photo Cards when they have pictures of my grand children on them.

I love sending cards and I love receiving them. Don't you?

The great folks over at Cards Direct have offered one of my readers a $50 code to be used to purchase some of their wonderful cards. Now I know its the end of November already and some of you may have already bought and written out your Holiday Cards. But if your like me and you put off buying and writing out your Christmas cards till the last minute now you have a chance to get them for free.
And even if you have already picked out your Holiday cards for this year Cards Direct has a huge selection of Birthday Invitations, Baby Shower Invitations, Birth Announcements.

I have been looking through the cards they offer and I have found a few that I would like myself. Since I live in Florida the  tropical Christmas cards really caught my eye.

If your not looking for holiday cards at all then you can order any of the other cards they offer. 

Or you can upload a piece of your own art work or your blog logo and have it put on a Custom Card.  I am sure my winner will have no problem at all finding something to spend their $50 on.

About Cards Direct

CardsDirect offers the very best in personalized greeting cards for business or personal use.  Over 2,000 card designs are available in categories that include holiday cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, photo cards, baby shower invitations, birth announcements and many more!  With free personalization and custom imprinted verse, CardsDirect offers an easy online ordering process and top quality cards with the best selection, customer service and pricing found anywhere.

Giveaway Prize

Open to US only 

One lucky winner will receive a $50 code to redeem for twenty-five cards up to a $50 value at Cards Direct.

Giveaway ends Sunday December 5th, 2010 at 11:59 pm est

Mandatory Entry

Visit Cards Direct, check out their large selection of cards and leave me a comment telling me if you win what will you be using your prize to purchase....... holiday cards or something else.

Do you want more chances to win?

Leave a comment for each of the following if you choose to do them.

1)Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect for 1 more entry

2) Sign up for email updates from Times Are Tuff and confirm your subscription, earn 2 extra entries. Subscription form on the right side bar ------>>>

3) Follow me on twitter @Timesrrtuff earns 1 extra entry
tweet a link to my giveaway will earn you 2 more entries. You must leave a link to your tweet in your comment.
4) Like Times Are Tuff on Facebook for 1 extra entry. Say hello for a bonus entry

5) Blog about this giveaway with a link back to my blog earns you 5 extra entries.
 Good Luck!

Disclosure: I was provided with two $50 codes by Cards Direct for writing this blog post. One is for one of my readers and the other is for me.

Winner CSN Giveaway

Thank you Tammigirl and Rebecca for letting me know how to find my 600th hundred comment on the CSN giveaway. I don't know if it was the stress of the holiday or what but it never crossed my mind to log out of blogger to go see the comments.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday! My Thanksgiving dinner turned out great. Afterward my oldest daughter and I went out shopping. This was the first time I ever attempted shopping on Black Friday. I am not sure if I would attempt it again. I went out in hopes of buying a laptop at a really great price I should have known better. 

Unfortunately they only had 24 and I was number 26 six in line. Mr number 25 who was standing in front of me almost started a riot by slinging some really ugly remarks to the two woman in front of him who ended up getting the last two laptops. I quickly beat it out of there because I really didn't real like getting stuck in the middle of a fist fight. Come on people it is the holiday season!

The winner of my CSN giveaway has been notified and I am awaiting her email response.

Congrats Vicki!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

CSN Winner and Technical Difficulties

The winner for my CSN giveaway has been picked. Commenter #600 has been draw using

I am having technical difficulties seeing who left comment number 600. Up until now I had no idea that I would have any problems with the number of comments left on one of my giveaways. As it stands at the moment I can only view the first 200 comments left on any of my blog posts. 

Monday I spent 8 hours trying to figure out how I can fix this. Monday night I spent 7 hours in the ER with my daughter. I dragged myself home at 6 am this morning. 

With Thanksgiving two days away I have so much to do as I am cooking dinner for the family.

Over the weekend I will try again to fix this problem and notify the winner. 

If anyone reading this knows how to fix this problem or how I can use a non BLOGGER commenting addon so my comments are numbered and I can actually see them all I would appreciate it if you could share the secret. I have tried installing CommentLUV and Intense Debate but can not get either of those programs to funtion on my blog. I am sure it has something to do with blogger templates but at this moment I am sleep deprived and at a loss as how I can fix this.
I hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

I will be back over the weekend.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sneak Peek Walmart Black Friday Ad

I just got a sneak peek at the Walmart Black Friday ad. They have some goodies if your up for standing in line all night.

Here is the link to check it out

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oregon Chai Twitter Party November 16th 2010

Do you like chai tea? Oh my I love it. I have tried many different brands of chai tea. I have also made if from scratch. There is not a brand out there that holds a candle to Oregon Chai Tea as far as I am concerned.

I just noticed on the website that The Original™ Chai Tea Latte Mix now comes in a 10 oz canister. Just thinking about it makes me want to run right out to Target and get a canister. 

Guess what here is the link to a $1 off coupon!
Now you know I printed mine right out!

Want to keep up to date on all things Oregon Chai?
Check out the Oregon Chai Facebook page 
or follow them @oregonchai on twitter

 I wanted to let all of you Oregon Chai Tea lovers out there know about an upcoming Oregon Chai  Twitter party. See the details below and write them down in your day planner so you don't forget. See ya there!

Oregon Chai is having its last Twitter party of the year on Tuesday, November 16, from 7 to 8 p.m. Central Standard Time.
Host and wellness expert Peggy Hall will be there to share her tips for staying calm and collected this holiday season as well as how to share the gift of Me Time with your loved ones. 
You’ll also be able to bring your own questions for her to answer. 
Did we mention prizes? We’ll be giving away a plethora of chai and other gifts. One lucky participant will even win a $100 grand prize! Follow @OregonChai and @PeggyHall to join in on the fun. The party hash tag to win is #OregonChai. We hope to see you there!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Oregon Chai.. All opinions expressed are my own!

Holiday Spending: A Handmade Holiday?

Like the name of my blog says times are tough. They are tough all over the country. The area that I live in has been on the news for the past three years as the highest in unemployment and the highest in foreclosures.

I mentioned to my family that maybe this year we should exchange handmade gifts. It didn't go over too well as you can imagine. Mind you all three of my children, two daughters and a son are very crafty. 

( One of my daughters is married and has two children of her own. My son also is out of the house with a girl friend and a 16 month old daughter.)

But they have been spoiled by better times and parents who wanted to give them what we didn't have when we were growing up. Even as adults my two oldest children think Christmas is still all about them. 

My youngest child who is 13 has had the hardest time of all my children as far as this economy goes. When I think back and remember the times ( when money wasn't a problem)  that I joked with my husband about how the youngest would be expecting a brand new car when she turned sixteen I cringe and think to myself just how different just a few years can make.

Any way........In the past I have made handmade items and given them to family and close friends. Then it wasn't a matter of money like it is now. Then I made things like cocoa mix, jam, cookies and candies because I wanted to and many people do not have the luxury of having a crafty person in their family. And they appreciated a homemade food item.

I have also made bath salts and soaps, sachet pillows and hand painted items. So I am very capable of creating beautiful handmade gifts. But the idea just didn't fly. 

Well the kids and grand children will get store bought gifts but not as many as they would have in years past. I am sure there are millions of other people in the same predicament.

What do you plan on doing this year? Would you ever consider exchanging homemade/handmade gifts?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ten Tips for New Moms who are Bringing a Baby Home

Ten tips for new moms who are bringing a baby home
Now that your pregnancy is over. You survived labor and delivery. Yes there was a minute or two that you didn't think you'd make it but you did. 
  Now you have that sweet little bundle of joy to bring home. 
Sorry to tell ya this while that warm fuzzy glow of new motherhood is still flushing your face but that was the easy part. Yep pregnancy, labor and delivery was the easy part. Sure was!
I would like to share a couple of tips with you. Yes I am qualified to dispense this practical advice. I have three children of my own and three grandchildren. The three children are 25, 20 and 13.
I am the mom, grammy and mother in-law who knows it all. Well not really but I have come to learn a bit in all these years of mothering.

1 Breast is best! If you were thinking about it please try. Your not only feeding your baby what mother nature intended but you are passing along all the immunities your own body has developed to your new baby. This will help your newborn be healthier then if they were bottle fed. If you are nursing and are having problems with the baby latching on call the La Leche League hotline and get the number for a support person in your area.

2 Accept any and all help offered. Unless it is a person who is really annoying to you. Then you should politely decline the help. If a friend or family member asks what they can do to help. Tell them something you need done. Did you leave a pile of laundry on the floor in your mad dash to the hospital? Let them wash and dry it for you before you go home.

3 Keep a supply of hand sanitizer near by. Have everyone use it before they pick up the baby. You don't want anyone passing along any nasties.

4 If your bottle feeding remember that the dishwasher will sanitize anything, bottles, nipples, binkies. Before bed prepare enough bottles for all the night time feeding and have them ready to go in the fridge.

5 If you can avoid taking your newborn out to any public places for the first two weeks. Do it. Most of the illnesses that are going around can and will be picked up in a public area where many people have been.

6 When your new baby seems fussy wrap him or her up tighly in a receiving blanket. For the first few weeks this helps them feel like they are still snuggled up warm inside your womb.
7 Nap when your baby naps. New mothers need lots of rest. Your new baby is getting use to their new surroundings and you are trying to get into the new schedule of new motherhood.
 If your running around crazy trying to get things done while the new little one is napping you are going to get worn out.  

8 Don't try to be super mom! The laundry can wait, the dishes are fine in the sink while you rest. Your babies father is capable of taking on some extra chores while you recover from giving birth. 

9 Drink plenty of water. If your breastfeeding this is even more important. Drinking water will help you get rid of all the extra water your body has been carrying around for the last 9 months. It will also keep you from getting dehydrated. Each time you sit down to feed your baby whether it is the breast or a bottle pour yourself a glass of water and drink it during the feeding time.

10 Enjoy your new baby. This is not the time to stress out about all of lives little frustrations and problems. I know this is a hard tip to swallow that why I left it for last. You baby will only be a newborn for a short time. You need to take this time to get to know each other and to bond. Tell your self you will worry about it later....whatever it might be. Take a week or two. Let someone else handle all the stressing things in your life. You husband, mother, friends and family can help cook, clean and help with other children in your family.

I hope these tips have helped you. Being a new mother is hard but it doesn't have be if you ask for help from your family and friends. This seems simple but I know it can be hard to ask for help sometimes.

Enjoy your new baby!

Disclosure “I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Lysol® Wee Wisdom blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here. 

Take the Rodelle Challenge

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Share your memories for a chance to win.

Check out the Rodelle Challenge Facebook Page for all the details.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

CLOSED: CSN Giveaway

I love shopping at all of the CSN websites. A few months ago I was lucky enough to win a blog giveaway. Oh it is so fun shopping on someone elses dime.

CSN was generous enough to offer me a $35 gift code for one of my lucky readers.

Isn't that great! You can either buy yourself a present if you win or start your Christmas shopping. If your a savy shopper pick out an item that offers free shipping and it won't cost you a dime of your $35 prize.

Look what you can get if you win my giveaway!

Rachael Ray “Bubble & Brown” 2-Piece Stoneware Baker Set in Green - 51030


I can't believe these Rachel Ray Bakeware sets are under $35

Have you ever checked out CSN's contest page? They have some awesome giveaways of their own.

Giveaway Details

Do you want to win a CSN $35 gift code? Of course you do.


Giveaway ends November 21st, 2010 11:59 pm eastern

Please follow these rules. They are pretty simple. I do not check every single comment. But when I pick a winner I go through your entries to see if you did what you were suppose to do.

Mandatory Entry

All other entries will be deleted if you do not do this first.

Answer this question: If you win will you be shopping for yourself or for a gift?

Please leave an email address with at least your first comment! I have no way to contact you if you win. I will pick another winner at my own discretion if there is no email address left.

Extra Entries

Would you like more chances to win?
 Of course you do! Here is a few ways to get some more entries into this awesome giveaway!

1) Like my Times Are Tuff Facebook page earns you 4 extra entires. If you are nice enough to say hello when you do you get a bonus entry.

Make sure you come back and leave me a comment with your Facebook account name.
Please leave the word BONUS in that comment.
(That makes 5 entries all together for liking my page and leaving a comment )

2) Follow my Times Are Tuff Blog on Google Friend Connect and leave me a comment letting me know. Two Extra entries. (Leave two comments)

3) Blog about my giveaway with a link back to my blog post earns you 5 extra entries. Leave 5 comments.

4) Follow
Timesrrtuff on Twitter and tweet my giveaway. Leave me a comment with the link to your tweet. 2 extra entires

5) Daily tweets earn one extra entry each day. Come back each day and leave a comment with the link to your tweet.

6) Sign up for email updates to my blog earns you 3 entries. There is a place on the right sidebar!
You must confirm your email subscription for this to count!

7) Enter my Wanchai Macaroni Grill Giveaway  earn 1 more entry ( November 14th, 2010)
8) Enter my Pillsbury Love The Pie Giveaway ( Ends November 17th, 2010 and earn 1 more entry 

Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Disclosure: CSN Stores is allowing me to host this giveaway to help promote their products and website.No monetary compensation was received for this post.All opinions are my own.