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?
So 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 they 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.)
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 ;-)
It 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
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.