Good Times at Target

A guest post from Kayla
Recently my mom shared an opportunity to review Target’s new Cartwheel app. I’ve tried the coupon thing before and was a bit hesitant. But I’ve always had a great time shopping at Target and agreed to give it a look.  Over my lunch break I went online to learn more about the app. I found out that I could quickly log in using my Facebook information. In no time I was finding great offers to add to my shopping list.
That evening it was very slow at my part-time bartending job so I poked around on my phone. Cartwheel took just a minute to download. My offers from earlier in the day were immediately available on my smartphone app so I could browse them and add more.
I used to shop at GAP because I thought their high prices were justified with high quality. Recently, though, I have discovered Mossimo jeans.  They have a dependable fit and quality at more than half the price of the GAP jeans I used to wear. Imagine my surprise when I found a Cartwheel offer saving even more!  I’ve been looking for a pair if high-waist skinny jeans. I also added an offer for my favorite Mossimo long-and-lean tank tops. And, because a girl can never have too many accessories, I added offers for belts and scarves.


I didn’t have much time to shop when I finally got to try out my Cartwheel app. Luckily it’s so easy to use. I found the high waist skinny jeans I was looking for, chose a lace-print tank top, and couldn’t resist a black and chartreuse scarf. At the checkout I mentioned that I had Cartwheel. The bar code on my cell phone was scanned and I saved $8.40 instantly. That was enough to buy another tank top!


I’ve splurged on plenty of new clothes and accessories for awhile, but the Cartwheel app can help me save on necessities as well. This week I’ve added offers for tampons and cotton swabs.
Another feature that I like about the Cartwheel app is that I can share my deals with my friends and see what they have found. I have a very thrifty friend who is great at using coupons.I can keep an eye on what she’s adding to know where the very best deals are. Cartwheel is a great app for couponers because you can use manufacturer’s coupons, plus your Cartwheel discount, plus discounts from your Target card.


It’s worth noting that I didn’t publicize the addition of cotton swabs and tampons to my list. It is easy to modify which of your offers are shared with friends and which are nobody’s business. I had to giggle when I noticed there is an “add privately” button to baby supplies as well. Unfortunately I have no baby offers to try to hide yet.

Are you ready to give Target’s Cartwheel App a try? BlogHer is giving away a $1,000Target GiftCard® to get you started. Leave a comment telling us what Cartwheel item you would use $1,000 at Target. Would you get some cute new outfits? Or will you stretch your dollar in the grocery department?

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 1/30 – 2/28.

Be sure to visit the Target Cartwheel brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Quick and Natural Microwave Cleaner

On a recent trip home I was telling Mom about the awesome new way I cleaned my microwave. Mom suggested I demonstrate the technique with her microwave. She’s tricky like that.

Fill a dish with one part vinegar and one part water. Place it in your microwave and cook for two minutes.


Dip a rag in the hot solution and wipe out the inside of the microwave.  Be careful, it’s hot!


Baked-on crud comes right off with no elbow grease.  See?


I’m always happy when I can clean without chemicals.  Although I prefer to not clean all.


Don’t you agree? :)

Try It Out Tuesday: The Sock Knitter’s Handbook

sock-knitter-coverA  post from Kayla:  After spending most of our childhood campaigning for an American Girl doll, Kelli and I each got two this Christmas! After Mom wrote about her excellent shopping experience with Pleasant Company, a reader offered a few of her dolls for sale.  Which is how I ended up with the doll I wanted as a girl, the now discontinued Felicity, and my new favorite, Emily.

Because I’m 25 years old, my dolls are not my constant companions.  I don’t spend much time combing their hair or having tea parties.  One thing I do enjoy is knitting accessories for them!  That’s why I am excited to be reviewing The Sock Knitter’s Handbook, generously offered by Martingale company.

American girl dolls, like people, have uniquely shaped feet.  The Sock Knitter’s Handbook is a step-by-step guide to creating your own socks.  That means I can accomodate the short heel and square toe of American Girl dolls.


It also means I can accomodate the big feet of the ladies in my family.  Most lady’s sock patterns are written for a US size 8. We all have very wide feet that range from a size 9 to a 13!

In addition to the functional adaptations that need to be made to socks, this book offers cosmetic instructions too.  It starts with a selection of cast-on styles, moving on to unique heel designs, gusset options, and toe cast-off options.  I much prefer a technique book to a pattern book, and this one is great.


This is the kind of handbook that you will want to have on hand for a long time, so I am keeping this copy! You can purchase your own Sock Knitter’s Handbook from Amazon or Martingale. Thanks, Martingale, for sharing this book with me!

Try It Out Tuesday: A Year of Pies Book Review & Giveaway

a-year-of-pies-ashley-englishA guest post from Jo’s daughter Kayla:  Kayla happens to be featuring a new exciting series of pressure cooker recipes…go over to her blog, Kayla K’s and check it out.

As an apartment dweller, I am a long-time lover of Ashley English’s blog, Small Measure. I love to vicariously live her country life with fantastic photography and candid writing.

I was happy to see her add A Year of Pies: A Seasonal Tour of Home Baked Pies to her collection of books.  I was even more happy when Mom (Jo) offered me a copy to review.

No surprise here: The photography is fantastic! Not only is every pie beautifully styled and photographed, but the book contains step-by-step instructions for making the perfect pie crust.  This was something I especially appreciated when I drafted my bakery class to test out some of the recipes.

carrot-pieWhen I teach pie making to my high school students my objective is for them to make a great crust.  I figure that if they have a crust figured out the fillings will follow.  This book was great for that strategy. The beginning of the book has recipes for several basic crusts.  The remainder of the book is filled with fillings organized by season.

Although recipes for gingersnap, chocolate cookie, almond shortbread, and graham cracker crusts are given, my students stuck to a basic shortening-and-butter crust.  For fillings I picked the Pear Crostata, Buttered Rum Shoofly Pie, Lemon-Lime Chess Pie, Carrot Pie, and Roasted Butternut Squash Cheddar and Sage Galette.

sage-cheddar-galletteI was so impressed by the results, but unfortunately my students were not. Although I appreciated the variety of sweet and savory fillings, the kids just wanted the basics.  I didn’t mind because the butternut squash pie was all mine!  I love that the book has both savory and sweet pies.  There are many creative combinations that I look forward to trying like Chai Apple.

I recommend this book for beginners and experienced bakers. The step-by-step instructions help build confidence for novices. The wide selection of creative pie fillings will keep the expert baker busy.

Thanks again, Mom, for sending this book to me and to Lark Crafts for sending a copy to her.

It’s hard to believe here in Iowa but Spring is right around the corner.  We’re giving away a copy of the book so you can try out some of the Spring recipes. Apricot Almond? Chicken Pot Pie? Asparagus and Dill? YUM!

Sadly, I am keeping the book so there is no giveaway this week.    If you are looking for the book, you can find it here on AmazonWhat is your favorite kind of pie?




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