Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Quick Congratulations...

We've had 2 giveaways end here recently and I want to make sure we properly congratulate the winners...

Brandy W.

Deb J.  

Thanks to everyone for entering-I really appreciate you being here!  And I have great news!

Lush Decor is offering all of my readers a 10% discount 
on all purchases made on their site when you use the code LOVELUSH1. 

 Now is a great time to head over and shop for all those beautiful home decor items you told me about!

And last but not least, make sure to enter the Braydon's Journey Giveaway being sponsored by Upcycle Queen, and stop back later this week to enter the next giveaway we have waiting in the wings.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Giving Hope and Raising Awareness: A Special Giveaway

A short while back I introduced you to my 18-month-old nephew, Braydon, who was born with a number of health challenges.  (Please feel welcome to go back and read that post again). Today, January 26, Braydon is having cranio plastic surgery to help reduce the size of, and re-shape his skull due to disfigurement caused by too much fluid on the brain.  It is an extremely invasive surgery which will take a minimum of 6-8 hours and has numerous risks of complication.

In an effort to support my sister and her husband, and bring hope to everyone who knows Braydon, I am joining with other family members to spread awareness for Braydon's condition and ask for your help in supporting in bringing hope to everyone who knows him.

Here's how you can help...

Two of my uber-talented siblings are sponsoring giveaways.  I am hosting a giveaway for Upcycle Queen here on this blog, and Masked Fairy is hosting her giveaway on her Facebook page.  The entry requirements for both will be quite similar, so entering should be easy-please be sure to catch them both!

Thank you in advance for any way that you can bring shine hope and awareness into Braydon and his journey...

Braydon's Journey Giveaway Hosted by Upcycle Queen
2 winners
Prize #1: Blue Green Bent Fork Bracelet & Matching Earrings
Prize #2:  Classic Spoon Watch with Matching Earrings
Please use the giveaway widget below to enter. 
 Winners will be notified at end of giveaway 
and have 48 hours to respond before new winner is chosen.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Utah Winterpalooza!!

This is a sponsored review via Tomoson.
I will receive complimentary passes,
but am sharing with honest opinions & interest.

We are having an extremely mild winter here in Utah.  It really has not been a problem to send the kids outside to play.  In that regard, it doesn't seem like the cabin fever is quite as bad as it could be.  BUT, winter is still winter and it doesn't always seem like there are as many things to do.  If your family is like ours and looking for a way to spend some fun quality time together, I've got a great last-minute opportunity for you...

Yes, that's tomorrow...nothing like living by the seat of your pants, though, right!  Look at all that is included with your $7.00 entrance pass:

Bounce Houses  Rockwall  Rappelling Ropes Course

Laser Tag Arena   Laser Tag Dome   Mechanical Bull

Human Wrecking Ball (WHAT??? That's going to be fun!)

2 Man Ferris Wheel 
Nail Station for all the little ladies and their moms
Bubble Balls   Jungle Jumparoo  Strider Bike Course
Paint Parties    Pretend Wear 

Rustic Mountain Art Classes

Drum Bus

Party Game Express, Game Trailer
30 Foot Sand Trailer
Face Painting   Glitter Tattoos Henna Body Art

Yes, all of that is free.  PLUS, there will be live entertainment including:

Live Animal Shows from Creature Encounters, Scales and Tails Reptiles.
There's Fun Puppet Shows from Kipper Brothers Puppeteers
U of U Break Dance Club (demos & instruction)
Tracy Aviary "Build A Bird" Activity
Magic Shows, Juggling Performances and More

And just when it seems like it couldn't get any better, there will also be free photo opps with all your child's favorite princesses and super heroes!

Can you think of anything better to do tomorrow?  Seriously, your kids are going to LOVE YOU!!

Here's what you need to know...

    Where:  Sandy, South Towne Expo Center 
    When: Saturday, January 24 (remember, that's tomorrow)
     Price:  $7.00 if you book online now using this link:
                 $10.00 if you buy tickets tomorrow at the door
                  (Ages 2& up)

Last minute, yes, but the best surprise of your children's new year!!
Will I see you there?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tour a Real Life Ice Castle!!!

This is a sponsored post via USFamilyGuide.
A complimentary item will be received, 
but you know the opinions are mine.

A friend recently asked me how I always know about the super cool things happening in our neighborhood.  The first thought that came to my mind was our different amounts of community interest and involvement.  I take advantage of every service our city has to offer and many many times they are not only amazing, but also free.  

The second thought that came to mind was this blog.  Freemples is all about finding things that are cheap or free and bringing them to every one's attention.  It's how I provide great opportunities for my family and how I can share them with all of you.  

Every once in awhile an opportunity comes along that boils over even my cool-ness scale.  That's what I'm sharing with you today!

If you live in Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota, or Utah, you have got to go explore in one of these larger-than-life frozen architectural wonders!  Because I want you to be as excited as me, let me share the exact description from the Ice Castle website...

 Amazing ice features including archways, tunnels, slot canyons, ice slide, caverns, glacial waterfalls and a frozen throne. 
Families squeezing, squishing, sliding, stomping and crawling through parts of the stunning, Narnia-like display. 
Natural frozen ice tones during the day; colorful LED-lit ice set to music at night.

Doesn't it sound amazing?!? Each castle is an acre in size and will only last as long as the weather stays cold.  If you're having a warm winter like we are here in Utah, you'll want to go as soon as possible to make sure you don't miss out!

I'm taking my family next weekend and will definitely share pictures of our adventure.  If you live in driving distance of one of these 4 castles, will you come back and share your pictures with me?

For information on locations, open dates, and times visit  

This is a sponsored post via USFamilyGuide.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Erin Condren Planner: Giveaway

   #erincondren #lifeplanner #thestaufferhome 
Fun opportunity to share a little organization and order with you today.  Teaming up with Lauren Stauffer at The Stauffer Home.  You can enter here or head over and read her review.  Good luck!

Disclaimer: This review is formed of my personal opinions and is in no way endorsed by Erin Condren.
 Erin Condren is NOT responsible for the giveaway in any way. 
This is a random act of kindness on behalf of Lauren Stauffer & The Stauffer Home.
 Freemples is not responsible for the giveaway item.

Update Your Home with Lush Decor: Giveaway

This is a sponsored giveaway from
I will receive complimentary items as a host.

Just before Christmas our bedroom comforter completely gave up on us.  2 side seams burst out and over the course of 3 weeks the stuffing slowly started falling out.  Then we got sick and needed to wash it to get rid of the germs.  That was our comforter's final leg...It was time to give in and buy a new one. 

I wish I'd known about before I'd replaced it! Look at these beautiful bedroom sets:

 Lush Decor can be purchased at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Kohl's, and other retailers, but I love the convenience of shopping online direct from them.  In addition to comforters, quilts, and throws, you can also shop online for shower curtains and window treatments.  I will definitely be shopping on the next time my blankets decide to give up on me!

Lucky for you, Lush Decor is offering one of my readers a $200 gift card to shop on the website.  Be sure to enter in the giveawaytools widget below...

Winner will be have 48 hours after end of giveaway to respond. 
 Lush Decor will distribute prize.
Gift card will be one-time use with no balance carried over

Don't want to take your chances?
Lush Decor is offering our readers a 10% discount on purchases.
Use code LOVELUSH1 at check-out!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

DIY Courses to Get You Motivated

This is an affiliate post.

You know all those home DIY projects you'd do if only you didn't feel absolutely overwhelmed by the thought of tackling of them? The hardest part for me is always deciding which one to start with so I never get started at all.  Just getting to the point where you’re ready to start can often take so much time and effort! It’s frustrating.  It feels good to get to the end of a project and have accomplished something. What you need is for someone to pull together everything that you need to get started, to make it as easy and painless as possible.

Good news – when the Ultimate Bundles team created The Ultimate DIY Bundle, they had you (and me) in mind! 

The Ultimate DIY Bundle is your instant go-to library for a whole range of carefully curated DIY and crafting eBooks and eCourses. No more trawling through the internet looking for good-quality, easy-to-follow information and advice: it’s all right here! For the crazy low price of just $34.95, you get access to a carefully curated library of over 85 eBooks and eCourses from the world’s leading DIY and crafting bloggers – enabling you to pick a project and jump straight into it with confidence. It’s the perfect tool to skip the information overload and throw yourself straight into a new activity.

Hurry though! The Ultimate DIY Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, January 21 until 11.59pm EST on Monday, January 26. You can buy with complete confidence because you’re covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you have a full 30 days to enjoy all the eBooks and eCourses in the bundle, and if you don’t think they provided enough value, you’ll get a full refund.

Even better yet, the Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with 4 awesome bonuses, worth over $118. That’s 3x the price of the bundle alone! These include…

~A free $15 Store Credit PLUS 8×10 Art Print from Hope Ink ($43 Value),
~ a free online class from Craftsy (up to $60 Value),
~ free $15 store credit to
~and a free sewing pattern PLUS a Premium Video Class from UpCraft Club ($19.99 Value).

So, don’t miss your chance to grab The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and get 85 incredible eBooks and eCourses for just $34.95. All you need to do is take action by midnight on Monday, January 26!
This amazing deal ends in just…

Pick up your copy right now, before it’s too late. Or, learn more here.

This post contains affiliate links.

We had an Urban Adventure!

This post is part of a sponsored campaign via US Family Guide.

Remember shortly before Christmas when I introduced you to Urban Adventure Quest?  After several delays for a nasty 3-week flu in our house, I finally got my family bundled up and went out exploring on the Salt Lake City, UT, self-paced scavenger hunt.  I'll tell you up front, it was a great way to spend a few hours on a weekday afternoon!

As I explained before, Urban Adventure Quest is an "Amazing Race" style scavenger hunt throughout the city of your choice and at the pace you set.  You can race against the leader board of other people who've competed in that city, or just take your time and complete the challenges at your leisure.  I think our Adventure Quest experience was fairly typical, so I'll share the highlights of how it went...

The Beginning
Our initial instructions included a general starting place with basically no other details, other than to have a smartphone, paper, and pencil with you.  The Salt Lake City starting place is an open-air mall downtown.  After checking in on the website, the challenges begin and you input your answers as you go along.  Our first clues included finding statues, bricks engraved with specific words, and reading a plaque to find a person's name.  

Challenges & Clues
All complete, our Adventure Quest had around 20 questions that took us on a path through approximately 20 city blocks and covered all of the downtown area.  Several times there were options to either use public transportation or to walk and also an option to skip past several clues if the group wanted to avoid going up the steep hill to the Utah Capitol Building.

We were impressed with the variety of puzzles and hints used to figure out the clues.  Some were local sports or history facts, some involved counting objects in an area, and several involved sketching out pieces of answers to figure out the clues. Each clue gains you points and also has options for getting hints. Some of the clues are easy with a Google search, and some of them took some actual problem-solving.   For example, this is the clue that taxed our brains and took us the longest:

Urban Adventure Quest clue: Find the next location by combining the 1st letter of each starred 4-letter name

The Ending
The Salt Lake City Urban Adventure Quest concluded in a very central location, albeit one we had walked directly through earlier in the day.  After entering our last answer, we automatically were given our scavenger hunt time.  We had actually skipped the steep capitol jaunt as our boys are all under 7 and we were still recovering from the flu.  Our time ended up being 2 hours and 43 minutes.  There is a leaderboard on the website where you can compare your times if you are so inclined.  Also at the end is the option to take a survey and give input on your day in exchange for a discount code on your next adventure.  

Those are the things we really liked.  Here are a few of things I'd like to see improved in the future:

~More detailed initial information on where the scavenger hunt begins and ends so you can choose a logical place for parking.  My husband had to run back and move our car out of a 2-hour parking spot and then had to leave us to go get the car when we were done.  The ending spot would have been an ideal place to park and walk to the beginning, if we'd known beforehand.

~The web application could use some finessing.  The print was quite small and if we zoomed in, the "hint" and "submit" buttons overlapped.  It was easily solved by zooming back out, but should work better on a technology-centric program.

~For the Salt Lake City adventure quest specifically: Allow extra time for the clues that take you through Temple Square.  We did not have any trouble there, and never felt uncomfortable, but by nature the LDS missionaries working there are very friendly and will stop to make sure you're having a good time.  I think they would've been more than excited to help us find the answers to our clues, if we'd asked, but just know it's going to take longer to say hi to everyone you pass along your way.

I LOVED going on our Urban Adventure Quest!  I'm undecided if it was because I was in an area I am familiar with, or if I would love it just as much in a city where it all was brand new.  At a group price of $45, it'd be an extremely economical to spend a day on vacation or to show visitors around when they're in town.  Right now, the 20% discount I mentioned before is still available if you enter FGBLOG when signing up at Urban Adventure Quest.

Check out the list of available Urban Adventure Quest cities here.
I'd love to hear if there's a scavenger hunt near you!

This post is part of a sponsored campaign via US Family Guide.
I received a complimentary product to complete my review 
but the experiences and opinions are my own.