This one is a good one.  This was about two week’s worth of mail and it kept piling up so I decided that it was time to post!

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There are tons of samples from Swaggable, a sample reviewing website.  I won the Luna bar from Facebook and the Luzianne tea stuff came from Facebook too (thanks to Kelsey at Chicnsavvy!)  The Peppa Pig book was from a giveaway on Little Island Studios blog.  I won the Scholastic prize pack (the bag, book and stickers, etc) from a twitter contest.  The Guacamole chips were from monthly The Live better America newsletter.  The Jockey slipshorts were from a facebook giveway.  There is a PinchMe box in there too.  The free crackers and Listerine were from Walmart.com.  The key chain, Truvia,  and the feminine products came from Crowdtap!  I won the lip tattoos in a Twitter contest.

I hope you have a full mailbox and a great week!

Disclaimer: On Mail Call posts, I only post things that I’ve received 100% free in the mail.  They come from samples, giveaways, contests, etc.  I haven’t put any money out to receive anything pictured.

It’s time I come clean and admit it:  I’m addicted to freebies and sweepstakes.  I’m what’s known as a ‘sweeper.’  Yes, there is a name for it.  I enter tons of contests, sweepstakes, and giveaways and you would be surprised at how much I win!  I’ve won tons of free products, t-shirts, toys, gift cards, books, a little of everything.  “You’re so lucky!”, people tell me.  In my opinion, luck has little to do with it…

Here is a typical day for me.  I wake up when my kids wake up.  They watch about an hour of tv in the mornings while eating breakfast.  I use this time to my advantage and scour my email, twitter and facebook for new giveaways and sweeps.  Once I find out about a contest, I have a very specific routine, which I’m not going to divulge since you really need to develop your own methods.  I get newsletters specifically devoted to sweeps and freebies.  I have friends on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest that I met due to our love of all things free.  After that hour is up, we go about our day and I periodically check my emails.  When the kids are napping, I use that time to my advantage as well.  I write a blog, fill out sweeps entries, etc.  Then when they wake up, I make dinner and go to work.  See, I might be addicted but I don’t spend ALL my time on it either.  I love checking my mailbox.  It feels like pulling the lever on a slot machine.  I love looking on our porch to see if there’s a package out there.  It makes me happy.

I look at it this way.  Sweeps and freebies are what I do during my spare time.  Some people read or craft.  Some watch tv or whatever.  Sweepers treat giveaways like a part time job and I am no exception.  I get a rush when I win something, much like a shoplifter, only my addiction is legal.  I keep a running list of everything I win on Evernote so that I can keep track of it all.

My family wouldn’t be able to afford even half of the stuff I win.  We’ve gotten so many nice things and experiences due to me winning them.  It all began after I had my daughter and I was on maternity leave from my full time job.  I really liked being at home with her, taking care of her and also maintaining the household.  So I began to work the numbers to see if it would be possible to quit my job and become a stay at home mom.  The rest is a different blog for a different day, considering that I was able to cut a substantial amount off of our budget by utilizing social media, giveaways and coupons.  The rest is history!  My favorite win to date is a free trip to Atlantic City for two!  Look for it soon as a blog post!

Here are older photos of some things that I’ve gotten totally free and/or won.
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So now you know.  Here is a good article about people like me,but who have won even larger prizes.  In it to Win It.

Here are some things I have been entering lately:

Love the City of Light? @potterybarn is giving away a trip to Paris, complete with a luxury hotel stay and $1,000 http://bit.ly/1mFly2M

Win a getaway for two to Kauai, Hawaii + 500 winners will receive travel-sized skincare essentials from Yes To! http://r29.co/1kAhKwL

Win 2 free nights at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside!  http://woobox.com/7mutgh/88sj40

 

So the next time, you ask me how I get so much free stuff, remember that there is a method to my madness.  You can’t win if you don’t enter!

 

 

 

Summer is quickly approaching and it’s time to make our family ‘To Do’ List.  Not to worry, this isn’t a list of projects that need attention.  This is a list of fun things that we want to accomplish this summer.  We make a list for every season because if it’s one thing the Lane Family does well, it’s working towards a goal!  The temperature is rising and my patience is dropping so I figured that I should start keeping a list of ideas to keep us entertained.  My sister and I used to do this every summer on the last day of school.  It was also part of the tradition that we watch ‘A Goofy Movie,’ a tradition that we kept until we graduated high school!  As I’ve said before, I’m a dork and I’ve never tried to hide it.

In addition to said list, we have also decided to take my daughter’s doll (Tay Tay) around with us and take photos of her on all of our adventures.  A lot of people do something similar with a stuffed animal or a paper doll.  Tay Tay has been on the move lately with trips to Stay & Play, the library, and a behind the scenes tour at Chickfila!  One great thing about the list is that we can incorporate a photo of Tay Tay into a lot of the ideas.

Here are some photos from previous years:

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Now, as I’ve said before, I try to keep my list as inexpensive as possible while still adding some fun stuff that we already had planned.  Without further adieu,

The Lane Family Summer of 2014!

  • Pick berries
  • Go to a new flea market or group of yard sales
  • Walk in a charity walk
  • Go to the beach
  • Attend our family reunion
  • Go to a farmer’s market
  • Donate Blood (This is mine. The kids are too little)
  • Take a trip to the lavender farm
  • Visit the State Fair
  • Host a party
  • Join the summer reading program at the library
  • Go to a library event
  • Plan a mall day
  • Go to a baseball game
  • Visit Port Discovery
  • Get a Delaware State Parks Pass
  • Plant a vegetable garden
  • See a movie
  • Try a new recipe
  • Go to Busch Gardens
  • Do 5 new things on Pinterest
  • Swim in a pool
  • Test out our new sprinkler
  • Go to the Salisbury Zoo (a local free zoo)
  • Host a huge yard sale
  • Go to a local festival
  • See a band play
  • Pack a lunch and spend the day at the playground
  • Walk the entire Ocean City boardwalk
  • Take advantage of a free yoga class

I love adding things to the list as we do them too!  (It’s not cheating!)   What fun things do you have planned this summer?  Do you make a list with your family?

My kids love anything related to outside and water.  That’s why I couldn’t believe my eyes when I found a Disney Princess pool at Walgreens for $4.99 one night.  I was actually perusing the store, looking for Easter clearance (of which they had none) and I stumbled upon this kiddie pool gold mine!  It was a nice day on Memorial Day so we decided to fill that sucker up and have a soak.  It fits everyone in the family too.

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We decided to add the slide for even more fun.  The baby was happy just dipping his feet in the pool and playing with the toys.  The whole family had a very fun day.  My daughter didn’t want to get out!  My point being that you don’t need to have the latest toys for your kids to have fun.  Just buy a cheap pool from Kmart or something.  They just like being with you and playing in the cool water on a hot day.

Try filling plastic bins with water and putting bath toys in them.  Or even put some play kitchen stuff in them.  Kids love that stuff.  I found a sprinkler in the clearance bin at Kmart last fall that only cost $1! I can’t wait to break out that little guy too!

What are your plans for summer?  Do you do any low cost, fun stuff with your kids outside?

I have decided to change Mailbox Monday to Mail Call.  It’s starting to get hard to keep track of all the mail from that week and post it by a certain day.   This way, I can just post recent pictures of the things that I’ve received and I don’t make a deadline for myself.  I enjoy posting the mail I receive and I’ve added a recent challenge to my Facebook page.  When I get to 165 followers, I will host my first giveaway!  It’s going to be a fun one and coincide with the freebie theme.  So if you love samples and getting mail, recommend your friends to like my page!  Here’s a few of the things that were in my mailbox recently:

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The oats and recipe pack was a surprise from @quaker on Twitter!  It was such a nice gift!  Thanks!

The Control Corrective skincare set was from the BirchBloggers program.  I am currently using it and will write a review soon.  I wanted to use it for a few weeks to see about the results first!

The V05 products were in a prize package from my friend, @modernisticmom.  She writes a blog and I won a giveaway!  Her blog is great and you can read it here: http://www.modernisticmama.com.

The coupons and the food scale was a giveaway from Hungry Girl.  When you preordered her book, you could enter for all that good stuff for free!  Bonus is that I bought the book with an amazon gift card that I also won!  🙂

The formula samples are from the Enfamil  Family Beginnings. They send stuff out every now and again.  It’s a great program and they always send good coupons.  They send out an awesome package when you first have your baby too!  Sign up here: Enfamil Family Beginnings

I won the Violent Lips tattoos in a twitter contest and the little shampoo and oil samples were from facebook and walmart.com. The pizza and soda coupon came from a contest from a local radio station.  The Blender Girl book was free from a focus group that I participated in.  If you’ve never done one, you should think about it!  I love giving feedback and it’s fun to see the finished product!  The Tide came from a P& G sample pack. I wrote about that site awhile back, in a Freebie Friday post.

The aromatherapy goods came from a pinterest contest.  I love this prize.  I put the mattress cover on our bed right away and same with the pillow protectors.  It is so nice falling asleep to the smell of lavender!  Thanks to @PureCare_Kayla on twitter!

As you can see, I’ve been a busy bee.  Have a great weekend and look out for my post about making a Summer List!

Disclaimer: On Mail Call posts, I only post things that I’ve received 100% free in the mail.  They come from samples, giveaways, contests, etc.  I haven’t put any money out to receive anything pictured.

 

I remember a time when Cinco de Mayo meant that my friends and I would get dressed up and go out for a night on the town.  Needless to say, my priorities changed when I had two kids in less than two years.  Now my idea of fun is having some free time between cleaning up my son’s poop-slosion  (explosive crap) and getting my daughter to leave the poor dog alone for two seconds.    I’m not complaining since I love being a mom and there is little difference between cleaning up a sorority sister’s puke or my kids’.

This year, I heard that Moe’s Southwest Grill was giving out free t-shirts to the first 100 customers and samples of their new spicy guac!  The radio station was also broadcasting live, so my entourage and I would definitively be there.  I was so excited that I had been telling my husband about it for days.  He just humors me when I do stuff like this.  I can’t resist something free, especially when there is an event involved too!  So, the kids and I packed it up and headed down to the beach for Cinco de Moes.  Clever name, right?  We are lucky to live 20 minutes from the beach so we arrived a little early in order to save our spot.

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We were second in line.  They were so awesome too and actually opened early for all of us. It was really windy this morning.  I think they felt bad for us!  haha!

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I love their burritos since you can add whatever you want to them.   They have a ton of fresh toppings like cucumber, corn, jalapenos, tomatoes, etc.   Not to mention that they are humongous!  On Mondays, they have a special where you get a burrito or burrito bowl, chips and drink for $7.  Not too shabby since I can make two meals out of that bad boy.  Plus, I had a coupon for a free kids meal from their online club.  We even got one for my husband.  All of us ate for $14.  Plus we got t-shirts, which I will wear proudly.

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The radio station was broadcasting live so we rolled out to the parking lot and met the hosts of the morning show, Petch and Amy.  My daughter was excited.  🙂

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They had this game where you could win prizes if you stuck your hand in a giant jug of mayo and found a little card.  I couldn’t resist a prize and I was the first one to try it.  I won a bunch of reward points for their loyalty program so I was a happy camper!  My hand still smells like mayo too.  All in all, we had a great time and we really enjoyed our Cinco de Mayo lunch.  We will make sure to participate again next year!  What are your plans for today?  Any Cinco de Mayo fiestas?

Find a Moes near you:  www.moes.com

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.  We just enjoyed our lunch and wanted to share with you.  All comments and opinions are my own.