Reviews

Sandra’s Chicken Entrees Review

by Katie on March 17, 2015

When I plan out our family’s menu each week, I base my decision on three contributing factors.  Is it healthy?  Can I prepare and make the meal in the time frame that I have available?  And, the most important factor…..will I avoid the dreaded dinnertime phrase….we’re having this for dinner?!

So, when I had the opportunity to try out Sandra’s Chicken new line of chicken entrees, I jumped at the opportunity.  These entrees meet all three criteria – they’re healthy, they’re quick and easy to prepare, and there were absolutely no complaints at dinnertime!

Sandra’s Chicken is 100% all natural, is made with white meat, and contains no hormones.  The breading is made from whole grains, and there’s zero grams of trans fat in these entrees.  And baking this chicken is as easy as one, two, three.  They’re ready in less than 40 minutes, and the only preparation required is an oven and a baking sheet!

Sandra’s chicken entrees are now available at your local Ohio Kroger store.  There are two different varieties available.  The Chicken Cordon Bleu features chicken filled with Canadian bacon and cheese, while the Chicken, Broccoli, and Swiss features broccoli florets and melted Swiss cheese.

My crew was divided as to which entree was their favorite.  Of course, my husband and boys are overwhelmingly carnivore in nature, while my daughter and I are veggie-lovers!  Regardless, by the time dinner was over, there was not a scrap of chicken to be found!

Each 10-ounce package includes two stuffed chicken breasts for an easy-to-prepare, delicious dinner.  To help your family save a little green at the grocery store, Sandra’s Chicken has two different coupons available for your next purchase:

If you don’t have a Kroger store nearby, you can also buy Sandra’s Chicken online as well.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Maple Leaf Farms. All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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iCoffee Opus Single Serve Brewer

by Katie on February 23, 2015

If I was to make a list of my favorite things (that sounds very Sound of Music-ish!), coffee would definitely be at the top of my list…along with flip flops, chocolate, and everything involving pumpkin or gingerbread.  But I digress!

Up until last month, I relied solely on my traditional 12-cup coffee maker for all my coffee needs.  Every morning, I’d brew a pot of coffee and then reheat individual cups throughout the day.

And then my little coffee world was rocked by the iCoffee Opus Single Serve Brewer.  Within a mere 24 hours, this system replaced my old coffee maker which has now been benched as the second string on my coffee lineup!

The iCoffee Opus Single Serve Brewer is the world’s first system to use SpinBrew technology.  This technology features a spinning needle with jets that spin, steam, and stir the coffee as it is brewing.  Translation?  You end up with a delicious, aromatic, smooth cup of coffee that makes even the earliest alarm clock bearable!

One of my favorite features of the iCoffee is the Dial-a-Brew feature.  This allows me to choose the size of coffee I’d like to prepare from 4 to 12 ounces in 0.5-ounce increments.

Of course, my favorite part of the iCoffee is that it’s compatible with all K-cups and K-compatible cups, including K-Cup, OneCup, RealCup, and every private label brand and maker.  Plus, I can also use my own favorite brand of ground coffee with the iCup Reusable Coffee Filter.

I have to admit, I was a little hesitant when I first received this brewer that it might be difficult to operate, especially since I’m not the most tech-savvy gal on the planet.  However, I need not have worried.  The iCoffee Opus is completely user friendly and even includes a quick get started guide to help you crank out your first cup of freshly brewed coffee.

The iCoffee Opus also features a 75-ounce water reservoir, an energy saver mode, automatic shut off, and a removable drip tray to accommodate larger mugs or travel cups.  You can even use the iCoffee to produce a quick cup of hot water for hot cocoa or soup.

The iCoffee Opus is currently available for purchase at all 1,000+ Bed Bath & Beyond stores throughout the United States, and is slated to be released at other major retailers in 2015 as well.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by iCoffee. All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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Standard Deviants Accelerate Educational Program

by Katie on February 15, 2015

As a seasoned homeschooling mom, I’m always on the lookout for enrichment material that’s both educational as well as fun.  Standard Deviants Accelerate definitely meets both of these criteria.

Standard Deviants is an online learning system that targets a variety of subjects for students in grades 3 through 12.  This curriculum features video lessons, review activities, writing assignments, quizzes, and tests.

The Standard Deviants program for homeschoolers includes several different courses:

  • Arithmetic Grades 3+
  • Fundamental Math Grades 4+
  • Algebra Grades 7+
  • Earth Science Grades 6+
  • Biology Grades 7+
  • Chemistry Grades 9+
  • US History Grades 9+
  • English Composition Grades 9+
  • Nutrition Grades 6+
  • AP Biology Grades 11+
  • AP Chemistry Grades 11+
  • AP US History Grades 11+
  • AP American Govt. Grades 11+
  • AP English Composition Grades 11+

Each subject features a variety of different sub-topics.  These topics are described throughout a video, each of which is accompanied by a complete transcript, allowing students to follow along as the video is playing.

The sections also include a vocabulary listing with definitions of the more difficult words within the topic area.  Students can click on the speaker icon to hear the vocabulary word and definition as well.

Each section features a diagram of some sort to help reinforce the concepts learned throughout the section.  Plus, to test retention, students can access quizzes, tests, and written answers for each topic completed.

In case you’re wondering if these lectures will resemble the history class in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, you need not worry!  You won’t find any stuffy professors in these videos.  Rather, the subject matter is presented in a way that’s both relevant and engaging.

Standard Deviants Accelerate can be accessed from a tablet or a computer wherever internet connection is available.  Kids can move through the subject matter at their own pace, based on the difficulty of the subject matter at hand.  Plus, Standard Deviants will automatically customize the review questions based on the subject areas where students demonstrate a level of difficulty.

This program saves time as well.  Most of the grading is done automatically, making it easy for parents to check on the child’s progress throughout each subject.

Homeschooling parents can select a Standard Deviants Accelerate course for $24.95 per month or $99 per year.  Along with your subscription, you’ll have access to grade reports, red flag alerts, editable scoring rubrics, and progress indicators.  Each child enrolled will have access to the following:

  • Video lessons
  • Assignments
  • Automatic grading of quizzes and tests
  • A note taking feature
  • A print function
  • The ability to message a parent for help on a specific lesson

As an added bonus, Standard Deviants is offering homeschoolers full access to all 14 subjects for FREE for 2 months! You’ll receive one parent account and student accounts for all your kids for free for two full months.  This is a great way to try out this program and see if it’s a helpful supplement for your homeschooling curriculum.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Educents. All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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So, I have to admit….filling up the gas tank on a routine basis is a job that typically falls to my husband.  It’s not that I mind stopping at the pump.  Rather, I simply have the tendency to forget until the van is running on fumes.

You’d almost think that the ginormous gas gauge staring directly at me from the dashboard or the glowing “low fuel” light might tip me off to the van’s need for refueling.  However, more often than not, I’m cutting it close on time, making a quick fill-up rather unlikely.

That’s why when I do stop for gas, I like choosing a station that offers the convenience of an attached store for last minute necessities such as coffee (always a necessity!), snacks for hungry munchers, and gift cards.  This way, I feel like I’m making the most of my time when I’m out and about.

Sunoco’s APlus stations are great for last minutes snacks and gift card purchases.  Sunoco gas cards are available in a variety of different denominations.  These gift cards can be used for everything from getting your car repaired and filling up your tank to purchasing snacks and filling up your coffee cup.

As an added bonus, APlus Stores offer other gift cards as well, making it convenient to pick up a last-minute gift on the go.  You can find a Sunoco APlus store location near you here.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Sunoco. All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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Free 4-Week Trial to Reading Eggs

by Katie on January 13, 2015

As a homeschooling mom of more than 10 years, I’ve definitely tried out a wide variety of curriculum materials over the past decade.  I’m realistic enough to know that not every program, book, or manipulative is a good fit for each child.

Every child has their own likes and dislikes as well as a learning style that is best suited to them.  I’ve also learned that finding new and unique curriculum is often very helpful in order to keep subjects fresh and exciting throughout the school year.

Several months ago, I stumbled upon Reading Eggs, an online program that fosters a child’s love of learning to read.  The program was an instant hit with both of our younger two children.  They loved that they could jump right in on their own level, and move along at the pace that was comfortable for each of them.

Upon signing up for Reading Eggs, your child can take a free online reading test that will place them at an appropriate level within the Reading Eggs Program according to their reading ability.  From there, children will move on to the Reading Eggs lessons.

Each lesson builds upon the previous lessons and focuses on five key areas – phonemic awareness and phonics, sight words, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.  The lessons are broken down into three broad levels with 40 lessons contained in each level.

The program is set up for long-term retention of reading skills.  Once the child has completed a series of lessons, they’ll reinforce those skills as they read the online books that contain words they’ve already learned within the program.

Children can also earn golden eggs as rewards for their completed work.  In turn, these eggs can be utilized to buy reward games.  Plus, after every ten lessons, your children will complete a mastery quiz.  The quiz will provide parents with a summary of what their child is learning.

The Reading Eggs Program is priced as low as $1.33 per week, depending on which subscription you choose.  As an added bonus, Reading Eggs would like to offer my readers a FREE 4-Week Trial of Reading Eggs. This trial will enable your child to try out Reading Eggs to ensure that the program is a good fit for your child.

For more information about Reading Eggs, you can check out their page of FAQs regarding their program as well as a breakdown of their subscription prices.  You can also try out a sample lesson as well before starting your free trial.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Reading Eggs. All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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Once the task of list making and present purchasing is over, the real work actually starts.  Then it’s a mad rush to track down scissors, tape, and wrapping paper in order to prepare each gift for its proper place under the Christmas tree.

Office Depot and Office Max made my job much simpler this year by sending me a Holiday Workshop Toolkit.  This toolkit contained everything I needed to finalize my holiday preparations – scissors, tape, pens, permanent markers, gift tags, Washi tape, curling ribbon, and holiday cards.

Plus, to make gift wrapping and card writing more festive, the toolkit even contained hot cocoa mix and a portable speaker.  Now I can sip hot chocolate and listen to my favorite Christmas songs while I’m “wrapping” things up.

While I’ve always been rather neurotic organized about my wrapping paper, tissue paper, and bows, it’s never occurred to me to put together a holiday toolkit box.  The concept is pure genius!  Instead of trying to corral all my wrapping and card writing supplies, this box provides a convenient storage location for all my holiday preparation accessories, making my wrapping process a snap.

Once the holiday season is over, I plan to shop the after Christmas sales to restock my holiday toolkit so it will be ready for next year’s wrapping season.  It will be an easy way to get a jump start on our holiday preparations for next year.  By the way, if you’re still in need of wrapping supplies for this year, be sure to check out your local Office Depot or Office Max store to finish up your Prep and Landing procedures!

Out of curiosity, what items would you include in your Holiday Toolkit?

Disclaimer: This giveaway was provided by Office Depot & Office Max. All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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World Vision Balinese Necklace Giveaway

by Katie on December 22, 2014

Over the course of the Christmas season, most Americans plan to make a charitable donation to at least one organization between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  With so many worthy causes available both in the United States and abroad, it’s difficult to know where the gift can best be used.

World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.  It is their mission to work with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice, and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.

The World Vision Gift Catalog offers more than 250 items that help fight poverty and save lives both in the United States and around the world.  The gifts they offer are not only beautiful in a material sense, but a blessing to both the recipient and the people helped by the organization.  There are a wide variety of items available from World Vision:

African Soapstone Box – New to the 2014 World Vision Gift Catalog, the hand-carved African Soapstone Box is a safe place to store necklaces and rings. Coated in light blue with an image of a giraffe, this ornate box features pretty details that will complement nearly any decor. Donations go toward the Kenyan artisans who crafted the box to help provide medical care for their families.

Balinese Multi-Strand Necklace – Help meet the unique needs of families worldwide and receive this gorgeous draped beaded necklace. This necklace is handmade by an artisan in Bali who helps children get the education she never received herself.

Silver Vines Cuff – Ladies will love wearing this elegant adjustable silver cuff bracelet deigned by artisans in Old Delhi, India, to holiday parties. Each bracelet supports fair trade practices.

Colors of Africa Bracelet & Earring Set – Add some color and sophistication to holiday outfits with a Zakale bracelet and earring set from Nairobi made with beautiful multicolored beads. Zakale crafts are made from recycled materials by Kenyan artisans, who received a loan from World Vision to grow their business and lift themselves out of poverty.

Hand-woven Guatemalan Headband – Sport this colorful headband to the gym, during holiday travel or a day of leisure. Each beautiful, 100 percent cotton headband is woven by Mayan descendants in lake Atitlan, Guatemala and addresses urgent needs of children, families and communities around the world.

To help raise awareness of the World Vision Gift Catalog, World Vision would like to offer one of my readers a Balinese Multi-Strand Necklace.  You have six ways to enter this giveaway:

  1. Leave a comment on this post – what will your family be doing this Christmas season to help out those in need?  This is a required entry!
  2. Follow Cincinnati Cents on Pinterest.  Leave a separate comment letting me know that you’ve done this.
  3. Like Cincinnati Cents on Facebook.  Leave a separate comment letting me know that you’ve done so.
  4. Like World Vision on Facebook – let them know that Cincinnati Cents sent you.  Leave a separate comment letting me know that you’ve done this.
  5. Follow the World Vision Twitter page and retweet this giveaway.  Leave a separate comment letting me know that you’ve done this.
  6. Watch the video that explains how the World Vision Gift Catalog works.  Leave a separate comment letting me know that you’ve done this.

Please make sure you leave a separate comment for each method of entry on this post.

This giveaway ends at 8:00 p.m. EST on Friday, December 26th, and is open to all U.S. residents, ages 18 years or older.  The winner will be selected randomly, and will be notified by e-mail.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond.  If no response is received by that time, a new winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: This giveaway was provided by World Vision. All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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Beth Quinn Designs: 20% Off Online Order

by Katie on December 9, 2014

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I’m a huge fan of unique gifts, especially ones that can be personalized with the recipient in mind.  One of my favorite online places to shop for these types of gifts is Beth Quinn Designs.

Beth features one of a kind jewelry, ornaments, key chains, and more.  Each piece is handmade in Beth’s studio, combining texture and heartfelt sentiments to create pieces that will be cherished for years to come.

Whether you’re a fan of big charms or little charms, vintage pieces or modern, there’s something for everyone at Beth Quinn Designs.  However, timeless jewelry is just the tip of the iceberg.

Beth also features key chains with a variety of inspirational messages.  These make fun stocking stuffers as well as inspirational gifts, especially for new graduates.

Plus, just in time for Christmas, Beth Quinn Designs has unveiled a new line of Christmas ornaments.  These ornaments are a beautiful way to add a personalized sentiment to a loved one’s tree this year.

Beth Quinn would like to offer my readers an exclusive promotion to save 20% off your online order when you enter the promotional code thankful at checkout.  This is a great way to save on a meaningful gift this Christmas!

Disclaimer: This giveaway was provided by Beth Quinn Designs. All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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As a general rule, the holiday season is rarely synonymous with healthy eating.  While most holiday gatherings and parties have food as one of the central themes, it’s not often comprised of healthy choices.   To be honest, how often do you see platters of broccoli arranged like Christmas trees or gingerbread made out of hummus?!

Now, I’m not suggesting that party-goers should skip the festivities and pack a bag of raw veggies to munch on at each occasion.  However, in between the parties and festivities, there’s plenty of time to focus on health eating by incorporating a variety of fruits, veggies, and heart-healthy proteins into your diet.

Whether fruits and veggies are eaten alone or as a complement to a main meal, these foods are easy to incorporate into your daily menu plan.  And now, eating healthy is truly as easy as the click of a mouse.

Green BEAN Delivery brings organic and all-natural foods sourced from Midwest farmers and artisans whenever possible directly to local consumers’ homes.  The company’s network of local farmers and artisans provide year-round service and gives members a healthy alternative to conventional grocery stores while at the same time, supporting local farmers and artisans.

Once you create a Green BEAN account, you can select the bin size that you’d like to receive:

  • Small Fruit & Vegetable Bin – $35
  • Medium Fruit & Vegetable Bin – $42
  • Large Fruit & Vegetable Bin – $49
  • Fruit Only Bin – $42
  • Produce & Grocery Bin – $28

Delivery days vary according to your location, and the deliveries can be set up as either weekly or bi-weekly shipments.  If you need to modify or change your order at any time, you can contact Green BEAN Customer Service at  (513) 761-BEAN.

Each bin can be customized to your family’s needs and preferences, and customers can even add local dairy, meats, bread, and other grocery products.  All of the products from Green BEAN Delivery are all-natural and free of additives and preservatives.  Plus, with hundreds of items available for delivery each week, there are endless possibilities for creating your perfect produce bin.

Green BEAN gift certificates make a healthy gift giving option for the Christmas season.  You can visit the Green BEAN site to purchase a gift certificate, or you can contact customer service at (513) 761-BEAN if you have any questions regarding Green BEAN Delivery.  After all, a delivery of fresh produce could be exactly what changes the outcome for someone’s 2015!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Green BEAN Delivery.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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The latest technology in deodorant has just hit the shelves at Meijer.  Axe, Dove, and Degree have all unveiled their latest innovation to keep men and women dry throughout the day – their new Dry Antiperspirant Sprays.

This new line of antiperspirants is designed to offer protection for 48 hours, and prides itself on leaving no visible residue with use.  The spray goes on instantly dry, allowing the user to feel cleaner and more confident throughout the day.  Plus, since there’s no residue with these sprays, they’re even little black dress approved!

Application of these products is an easy as one, two, three.  First off, you’ll need to shake the deodorant.  Then, leaving about 6 inches of space, spray the product onto your underarm area.  And then…you’ll be dry and clean, and completely ready for the day ahead.

I recently had the opportunity to try out this new line of Dry Antiperspirant Sprays.  And I have to confess…I was a little skeptical at first.  I tend to be a creature of habit, and I’m accustomed to using products that I’m very familiar with.

However, after one use, I became an instant fan of these products!  Not only are they easy to use, but they kept me dry and feeling fresh for the entire day.

If you want to try out this new line of products, Meijer would like to help you stretch your budget with these money-saving coupons:

This is an inexpensive way to try out this new line of products.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Meijer.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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