Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Review & Giveaway shockingly on time as promised

Can you believe it? When does that ever happened here?

See, maybe I’m feeling a little guilty about that post yesterday after all. I mean, really I don’t know for certain that the Clarion Mackinaw funk was the funk of some poor pitiful mouse moving on to a better place. Who knows? It could just be that they were in dire need of some new upholstered headboards or something. Perhaps something the likes of that available from CSN Stores?

Ok ok. That was a totally lame segway to my CSN review and giveaway, but I gave it a shot now didn’t I? And no, I’m not really feeling guilty, except maybe perhaps because I forgot to mention that Muffin Man (A.K.A. my brother-in-law) completely rocked his 1/2 marathon setting a personal record by a good couple of minutes on a way hillier course than his last PR. In fact, he did so well that he thinks my blog readers would definitely be interested in a new special section to my blog to chronicle his tales, The Adventures of Muffin Man complete with a trumpet sounding “Dun da da duuuuun….” every time you clicked the link. I told my sister to tell him to go get his own blog ;-) Seriously, though he did a great job. Way to go Muffin Man!

But on to the review!!

When Jamie from the CSN promo team contacted me to do a review and giveaway, I was thrilled. THRILLED.  Why you might be wondering? Well, I had already seen a ton of other glowing positive reviews on various blogs I follow and so I’d checked them out already a bit. If you’ve never heard of them before, CSN Stores is kind of like a mall only better because you never have to leave your house and fight traffic to get there. It’s 200+ stores right at your fingertips online. Besides upholstered headboards of course, you can get anything from cookware and furniture to toys and clothing and then pretty much everything in between.

And honestly guys, I don’t know about you all, but personally, I’m not a huge fan of shopping with kiddos in tow. “Mommy, I have to pee!! I want this. Oooo can I get a snack! Let’s just look at the toys. Oh I really really NEED that.” Shuffle shuffle, pouty lip, “pleeeeeaaaase, can we go home now?” All while my two year old is randomly grabbing things off the shelves and trying to wiggle her way out of the shopping cart seat. Nope. Not my idea of a good time.

BUT (and that’s a big but there, see how I wrote it in all capital letters, and made it both bold AND italicized. That’s serious.) shopping online, which includes none of the above (usually) oh yeah baby, I’m all about that. So, Jamie sent me a gift card and I got down to business. The site was super easy to navigate and they have a search engine, which I realize seems like a pretty basic thing for an online business to have, but surprisingly not all online stores have one and most of the time that right there is enough for my hot little mouse clicking trigger finger to head elsewhere.

There’s free shipping on a lot of products (not all, but a lot of them) and returns are “hassle free” (this I don’t actually know first hand and will just have to take them at their word because no way, I’m sending my stuff back). But probably, my favorite part of the site is that the products have reviews. I’m big BIG on reading reviews before I spend money so as not to waste it (hence one of the reasons why I do them for you all here).

Really, the only negative thing I can say about CSN is that they’ve got such a wide variety of products that it seriously took me FOREVER to figure out what I wanted to purchase. I mean, do I get the new cookware I so desperately needed, or do I give that immersion blender a try? It is getting to be soup season and that would maybe come in handy for that tasty sounding potato soup recipe I was thinking about giving a go. Or perhaps one of their ceiling fans would be a good idea, so I could use the air conditioning a little bit less in the summer. Then again, I really have no shoes in between running or the heeled variety, so that might be a wise (and very fun) purchase too. What to do what to do?

animalpuzzleSo what did I finally settle on? Toys. Because I’m totally a sucker for my kids. You see, my now 2 year old’s birthday was coming up and I stumbled across those wooden Melissa & Doug Puzzles. I thought  it’d be perfect for her. She’s very into putting things where shape puzzlethey go, but also happens to be very into eating cardboard (really. Pretty much anything of the board variety: board books, board puzzles, that random cardboard box that my running shoes came in. Yep. She eats it.) so I had pretty much taken her other puzzles away. (Don’t judge me. The half devoured puzzle pieces wouldn’t fit together anymore anyhow.) tryke

Then, I found the wooden Melissa & Doug animal magnets. Sooooo very cool. My daughter loves “amimals.” I knew she’d totally dig them. And since we had been thinking about getting her a little tricycle anyway, I figured I’d give that a little search too and voila! The Fisher Price Grow with Me Tryke popped up, which was the one I had been looking at already for Tiger Baby.

So that’s what I got: 2 wooden puzzles,  animal magnets, and tricycle. (Yes, I totally outspent my gift card if you were wondering). And my daughter LOVES this stuff. She is incapable of eating the puzzles, so she actually plays with it (and so does my 4 year old). The tricycle she hasn’t exactly figured out the pedals yet, but she likes to sit on it and push it around with her feet (and so does my 4 year old). And the animal magnets, now those were probably the very best birthday present. The first time I put up the gate to block off the kitchen while I made dinner after those magnets were on the fridge, she threw a massive fit which I definitely took to mean she likes her toy and not at all that she did not take a long enough nap ;-)

magnetsIt is honestly though, probably the only thing in our house she plays with every single day and it is definitely the first thing she goes to every morning. She moves all the little animals around. Identifies them (and I was totally shocked at how fast she learned what each of them were) and makes all the different animal sounds. Just the other day she discovered they’ll also stick to the dishwasher and holy moly! It’s like a whole new toy. (Btw, there’s way more magnets than what you see in the picture, some are on my dishwasher and some are kind of small so they’re way up high where she can’t reach. I’m a freak about choking remember).

Everything was reasonably priced. In fact, I checked those exact same puzzle prices at my local grocery store and they were cheaper at CSN. And I was surprised to find my order came in even faster than I expected which was probably a good thing because we were right on top of her birthday. So I’m definitely giving CSN Stores a big thumbs up.

Anybody else want to give them a shot?  Jamie from the CSN Promo Team is sending me a $45 gift card for one lucky follower to use on anything from any one of their stores. So let’s run a little giveaway shall we?

Required to Enter:

1. You must be a follower of this blog. Not a follower yet? No big deal. Just click over there where you see my happy little group of followers on the right. It will take you all of about 10 seconds (if you’re a slow counter). 1 entry

2. Check out the CSN Stores website and tell me what you think you’d use the gift card on if you won it. Don’t worry, I won’t hold you to it since I myself changed my mind about 9 thousand times. 1 entry

Additional Entries:

1. Like Secrets of a Running Mom on Facebook 1 entry

2. Update your FB status about this contest. **NO BORING STATUS UPDATES ALLOWED** Make it funny, interesting, or unique. (You know, the whole goal here is to make people click your link. Plus I am completely against status updates that say things like I’m going to the grocery store now or I’m entering a contest. Snooze. So don’t make me part of the snorefest) If it doesn’t make me at least grin a little it doesn’t count. So yes, you have to tell me what your update said. And let’s reward your creative with say 3 entries

4. Suggest Secrets of a Running Mom to at least one FB friend. 1 entry

3. Follow CSN Stores on Twitter. 1 entry

4. Follow Secrets of a Running Mom on Twitter 1 entry

5. Tweet about this contest. (See the Facebook Status update description. Ditto.) More brain power required so 3 entries

5. Blog about or add a link on your blog about this contest 1 entry

6. Throw Secrets of a Running Mom on your blog roll 1 entry

7. Email somebody (or multiple somebodies) about this contest 1 entry

8. Tell somebody about this contest, CSN Stores or SOARM. 1 entry

9. Tell us your next big race or goal. 1 entry

So that’s the deal. You are not required to do all of the above listed methods of entry. Choose as many or as few as you like, but please leave me a comment to let me know how you’ve entered. No comment no entry. And if you’ve already become a Facebook fan or Twitter follower that counts too! Just be sure to let me know.

You have until Saturday, November 6th 11:59:59 PM to submit all of your entries. I’ll pick the winner on Sunday, November 7th. Actually, I won’t pick the winner. That’s the official job of my 4 year old and she’d be totally crushed if I did it for her. And yes, we are currently still using old school methods for random winner selection. Paper, big bowl, and her teeny tiny little hand. So unless you are totally in love with captcha’s, you only need to leave me one comment.

For this contest, you must be a U.S. or Canadian resident to enter. The winner will have 1 week to respond and if they don’t, a new winner will be chosen. Rinse and repeat. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Good luck!

'Til next time...

48 comments:

salomon shoes said...

Very informative post. thanks for sharing this information.

JenniferLeah said...

I'm a follower :)

it sounds like our little girls have lots in common! animals, magnets on the dishwasher, eating cardboard LOL!!
Glad you got so many cute things for your little ones~

JenniferLeah said...

I would totally get a new blender!
I make a lot of smoothies and protein shakes and I think mine is on it's way OUT>
But then again, if I spend more time navigating around the endless amounts of stuff available at CSN I could very well change my mind many times

JenniferLeah said...

I'm not on FB or Twitter :(

BUT I will totally link this giveaway on my blog.

JenniferLeah said...

SOARM is already on my blogroll :)

JenniferLeah said...

I will email multiple somebodies about this giveaway. Heck, I even through in your blog link for FREE!! LOL :)

JenniferLeah said...

My next big race goal??
Well I don't have any specific plans for the immediate future but for 2011 I plan finally doing the full mary.
I want a sub-22 5k
I want a sub-1:45 1/2M

Christa said...

I follow you;
I follow you on Facebook;
Next big race Kalamazoo Marathon May 8th- goal to hit 4:30 or faster

Laura said...

follow you

Laura said...

follow you on FB

Laura said...

follow you on twitter

Laura said...

i'd buy a new comforter b/c ours is old and it's getting cold.

Laura said...

next big race goal: BQ at Austin Marathon on 2/20/11

Christa said...

I forgot to add- What I would buy. On the fence on this one. Either something for the kitchen (can always use a new gadget) or get the kids something for Christmas.

S Club Mama said...

I follow

S Club Mama said...

I might get more shoes (like my pink ones from CSN) or more likely, some art supplies for my kids

S Club Mama said...

I like you on FB

S Club Mama said...

I follow CSN stores on twitter (@sclubmama)

S Club Mama said...

My next big race is undetermined. I was going to run a 1 mile race with my boys while my husband runs his own 1/2 marathon but I don't know...it's going to be COLD. So next May may be my next big one and I don't know if I want to do a 1/2 or full.

shannonsfoodruns said...

I'm a follower!

Lori K. said...

I"m a follower :)

Lori K. said...

To be honest what I would buy from CSN Stores is Christmas presents for my son.

Lori K. said...

I liked you on Facebook :)

Lori K. said...

My next race is Saturday, it's a local charity 5k. My goal is just to have a good time and enjoy the run.

floating said...

GFC follower
i would get the pizza oven
floatingonabiscuit@gmail.com

Staci Dombroski said...

You got some great stuff! Have a wonderful week :)

Lisa said...

I follow you on facebook

Lisa said...

A new iron would be nice considering my husband just broke ours

Lisa said...

I just completed my first 1/2 at 2 hours and 1 minute, so under 2 hours is my new goal

Paula said...

I am a follower!

Paula said...

I would use it buy some Christmas toys for my kids.

Paula said...

I like Secrets of a Running Mom on FB.

Paula said...

I just finished my first half - marathon. My next goal is to run another half in a much faster time.

track coach and adorable wife said...

1. I'm a follower
2. My hubby really wants one of their laptop bags
3. I follow you on fb.
4. You are on my blog roll
5. I posted this on my blog
6. My next big race is my first half marathon in June!

pthomas said...

I would totally use this gift card to buy Christmas presents for my nieces and nephews.

My next big race is the California Intl Marathon relay (haven't worked up the the whole marathon but maybe one day!)

Carla said...

I'm a FB folllower!

Ashley said...

1. I'm a blog follower

2. I would probably get something for my son. He was born on Xmas day, so we have to double up presents... It would most likely be Thomas the tank engine related, because of course he doesn't have enough.....

3. I follow you on Twitter! @momtobradyn

4. I emailed a friend about this. Not sure if you want me to post the email?

5. My next big race is my first marathon. The Illinois Marathon on 4/30! Haven't even really started training yet, so I'm still really excited ;)

Ms. Napier said...

I'm a new follower - over here from RLAM. Great blog!

Ms. Napier said...

New runner - next goal is 10k. I overdid it last weekend and went from 6 to 9k and have hurt my knee. I thought it was better, but after one 5k this week it was swollen again. Hoping to be better enough to get out there again soon.

Meredith said...

I'm a new follower!

Meredith said...

I would LOVE a foam roller!

Meredith said...

I like you on FB!

Meredith said...

You're on my blog roll!

Meredith said...

It's not my next race, but my big race of 2011 is the Vancouver USA Marathon in June. It will be my 1st marathon!

Louis H said...

Google Friends Connect - following your blog publicly as Louis

Thank you for hosting this giveaway

schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

Louis H said...

I love the Scent-Sation Zebra Brown Safari Duvet Set

Louis H said...

I like your blog on facebook (Louis Here)

Louis H said...

following CSN Stores on twitter @left_the_stars