The Lazy Gourmet & Other Wonderful Books for Mom ~ Review ~

For some moms cooking dinner every night can be a chore.  I happen to be one of those moms.  I used to consider myself a pretty good cook.  I rarely used recipes and was quite creative in the meals that I could come up with.  As a teenager I did a lot of the cooking at my house (for 10 people mind you), and, occasionally, there was really not much in the pantry to work with.  I learned to improvise when I cooked and, because I, myself, am a picky eater, I did not make anything that I would not enjoy eating.
Well, somewhere during motherhood I lost that drive, creativity, or whatever it was (could it possible be that small children seemed to be wired to become very demanding as soon as mommy steps over the threshold into the kitchen) and the occupants of my household have suffered through quite a few mundane meals lately.  When I was contacted by Viva Editions publishing about including a few of their books in my Mother’s Day Gift Guide, I knew that these books would be a perfect fit.
One of the books I received was The Lazy Gourmet: Magnificent Meals Made Easy; In the words of the authors, The Lazy Gourmet

is for anyone who dreams of dazzling guests with fabulous home-cooked fare, but fears that such a feat would require Thomas Keller’s talent, Martha Stewart’s ingenuity, Gandhi’s patience, and Charles Manson’s free time. The goal of The Lazy Gourmet is to conquer the misguided belief that preparing an elegant meal requires spending hours—or days—in the kitchen.

When I got The Lazy Gourmet.  I thought it would be recipes for simple fare that tastes good.  Well the recipes are fairly simple but the authors are serious when they call their recipes “gourmet”.  I’d say that over half of the recipes were things for dishes I’d never heard of or couldn’t pronounce the names for.  Don’t let that scare you off though.  In the introduction the authors remark, “Cooking a great meal can be just as easy as cooking a crappy meal! So relax! Stop fretting over elaborate recipes and cumbersome techniques and start cooking the Lazy Gourmet way.”
Here are some other things I love about the book.
  • At the beginning of the book the authors give you a list, complete with a description of each item, that you should always keep on hand.  The authors frequently use the items on the list in their recipes as they will “turn the mundane into magical on a moment’s notice.”
  • The authors include a section of tips for “Rookie Cooks” that include how to cook meat, sharpen knives, get the most from your leftover ingredients, and many more tips that made me say “aha!”
  • The authors discourage the cook from feeling bound to the exact recipe, and in the recipes they include ideas for ingredient substitutions.
Overall, this is an excellent book for those that enjoy cooking, but are perhaps a little intimidated by the “gourmet” meal, and for those who simply love great food.
I also received a copy of The Frugal Foodie Cookbook and Fix It, Make It, Grow It, Bake It; The D.I.Y Guide to the Good Life.
The Frugal Foodie Cookbook: Waste-Not Recipes for the Wise Cook is a great book if you’re looking to cook simple, quick, and frugal meals.  You won’t find much of the gourmet in this book, but you will find plenty of recipes for simple, great tasting fare.  One of the things I noticed about the recipes in this book is that the dishes are things my kids would eat.  They have a great deal of variety without being too exotic.  In every chapter the author adds in a non-recipe page called Cents-able Solutions.  In one chapter they talk about substitutions–what to use if you are out of baking powder, buttermilk, chocolate, etc.  This book may be too simple for those who prefer the gourmet menu, but I think it is right on track for the average cook who needs simplicity, frugality, and speed in their meal prep.  This would also be a perfect gift for the cook just moving away from home, going off to college, or getting married.
Fix It, Make It, Grow It, Bake It: The D.I.Y. Guide to the Good Life is an all around awesome book.  Unlike the other two books, this is not just a recipe book.  This book talks about everything you may need to do to revamp your life in order to live more simply, more organically, and more frugally.  It talks about ways of living as extreme as Freeganism and as practical as gardening, canning, and cooking from scratch.  In this book you’ll learn how to make your own eco-friendly household cleaners, simple herbal and essential oil remedies for common ailments.  For instance, I learned that the Grapefruit Seed Extract I bought on Amazon.com to clear up little brother’s yeast rash, due to it’s anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties can also be used to clear up dandruff (you do know that dandruff is the result of fungus right? nice…blech) and cradle cap.  It is also a great mouth wash and gingivitis treatment (way to go anti-bacterial properties!).  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO EVERYONE!  If living more simply and more eco-friendly interests you’re not going to want to pass up this keeper.

Buy It:
You can purchase any of these books from Viva Editions publishing (they offer free shipping in the US) or from Amazon.com.

Win It!

Viva Editions is giving one of my readers a copy of The Lazy Gourmet!

 Here are the rules:

*Please leave a separate comment for each entry so if it says 2 entries please leave 2 comments. If your email address is not visible in your profile, or if you do not have a blogger profile please leave your email address in a form similar to amy at ohsosavvymom dot com (this will reduce spam).*
Mandatory Entry (must be done before the extra entries):
1.  Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.  (1 entry)
Extra Entries (after the mandatory entry has been completed): If you already do these things that counts too!  I have included many different ways of entry in hopes to give everyone a chance.  You may do as many or as few as you’d like.
2. Subscribe to Oh So Savvy Mom by email. You must confirm your subscription. (1 entry)
3. Like Oh So Savvy Mom on facebook. Please leave your facebook name–first name & last initial (2 entries)

4. Visit Viva Editions and tell me another of there titles you think sounds like an interesting read. (1 entry)

5. Follow me on twitter (be sure to leave your twitter name), and tweet the following (1 entry):

#Win The Lazy Gourmet; Magnificent Meals Made Easy from @Ohsosavvymom ! http://bit.ly/gEwFjt Ends 5/2 @LowerHaightBK #giveaway #foodies

May be tweeted 1x per day for an additional entry each day.

6. Refer a friend to enter.  In order for this to be a valid entry your friend must enter (make a comment) and let me know that you referred them.  You must then come back and leave a comment stating that you referred that person. (2 entries per referral)

7. Put my Mother’s Day Gift Guide button on your blog sidebar OR blog about this giveaway  Leave me the link. (3 entries)

8. Enter any of my other giveaways. (1 entry for each additional giveaway entered)

Giveaway is open to residents of US only and will end 5/2/11 at 11:59 MST.  Winner will be chosen via Random.org, will be notified by email, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Disclosure: I was provided with the above mentioned books by the publisher at no charge to myself in order to facilitate a review.  The opinions expressed are honest and are entirely my own.

Signature

About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

My name is Amy. I'm a mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. I'm an Air Force wife currently living in Bossier City, Louisiana. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for me to share parenting and product advice with others. I have a lot share, but I'm no loud mouth. My blog is my way to be heard. Come join me at Oh So Savvy Mom, learn about new products, pick up some parenting tips and tricks, and have a good time.

Comments

  1. Mommy-Money says:

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  2. Mommy-Money says:

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  3. Mommy-Money says:

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  4. thanks for this WONDERFUL giveaway! i follow via gfc

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  5. i subscribe via email

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  7. 2 i like you on fb – jayedee halpin dewitt

  8. i took a look around the sponsor's website and i think i'd also like to read "The Courage Companion"

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  13. rebecca williams says:

    2 I like you on facebook @rebeccaw2005
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  14. rebecca williams says:

    I'd like the Frugal Foodie Cookbook!
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  15. i follow on gfc

  16. savvyshopper says:

    gfc follower
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  18. savvyshopper says:

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  21. subscribe via email

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  22. like ossm on fb as Angela H.

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  23. like ossm on fb as Angela H. (2nd entry)

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  24. entered best bottoms giveaway

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  25. All the titles you reviewed sound awesome! Available Parent also sounds good.

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  26. The Pavlik Family says:

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  27. The Pavlik Family says:

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  28. The Pavlik Family says:

    Like you on facebook as Rosie Pavlik
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  29. The Pavlik Family says:

    I would love to read Fix it. Make it. Grow it. Bake it. :)
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  30. The Pavlik Family says:

    I entered the Best Bottom Diaper giveaway.
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  31. AnneLoyd says:

    I follow you on GFC as AnneL.

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  32. AnneLoyd says:

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  33. AnneLoyd says:

    I like you on FB as Anne Loyd.

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  34. AnneLoyd says:

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  35. AnneLoyd says:

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  36. AnneLoyd says:

    I entered the JiffyLube giveaway.

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  37. AnneLoyd says:

    I entered the Fantasy JewelryBox Giveaway.

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  38. AnneLoyd says:

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  39. AnneLoyd says:

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  40. AnneLoyd says:

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  41. Dale Graves says:

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  42. Dale Graves says:

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    already liked ossm on FB

  43. Dale Graves says:

    angiebestboss@gmail.com
    Word Catcher looks great

  44. Dale Graves says:

    angiebestboss@gmail.com

    #Win The Lazy Gourmet; Magnificent Meals Made Easy from @Ohsosavvymom ! http://bit.ly/gEwFjt Ends 5/2 @LowerHaightBK #giveaway #foodies

    r/t already follow on twitter
    @angiebestboss

  45. Entered the Fantasy Jewelry Box giveaway.

    angela.hager(at)gmail.com

  46. Following you via GFC Debra F
    crochet4hats[at]gmail[dot]com

  47. Following you on Twitter @dfral
    and tweeted
    http://twitter.com/#!/dfral/status/61731694708924416

  48. Like you on FB Debra F
    crochet4hats[at]gmail[dot]com
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  49. Like you on FB Debra F
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    #2

  50. I follow on GFC as Steph B

    kksliderclub@gmail.com

  51. I subscribe to your blog with the email kksliderclub@gmail.com

  52. I like your facebook page with the name Steph Contest

  53. I visited Viva Editions and looked at the book 'Change your life!'

  54. I follow you on twitter – @kksliderclub

  55. following via gfc!
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  56. email subscriber!
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  57. I entered your blue platypus giveaway!
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  58. I think The Available Parent sounds like another interesting book!
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  59. Giant Sis says:

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  60. Giant Sis says:

    FB follower – liz t. n.
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  61. Giant Sis says:

    FB follower – liz t. n.
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  62. Giant Sis says:

    I'd also love to read "It's Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been"
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  63. LambAround says:

    I'm following you via GFC :)

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  64. I follow via GFC

  65. GFC follower

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

  66. entered Scandle giveaway

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

  67. entered blue platypus giveaway

    marija.majerle at gmail dot com

  68. I'd like to read Wordcatcher.

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  69. GFC FOllower ~ bsyb

    bsyb100 at gmail dot com

  70. Busy Tennessee Mom says:

    I am following you on Google Friend Connect

  71. Busy Tennessee Mom says:

    I Liked Oh So Savvy Mom on facebook my facebook name is Pamela Womack Sims

  72. Busy Tennessee Mom says:

    I am following you on
    twitter (Pippy37379) and I retweeted about the giveaway
    http://twitter.com/#!/Pippy37379/status/62406707871100928

  73. erin.nicole says:

    I follow you via GFC
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  74. erin.nicole says:

    I subscribe to your blog via email
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  75. erin.nicole says:

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    1

  76. erin.nicole says:

    I follow you on FB-erin brady
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    2

  77. erin.nicole says:

    I would love to read Feisty First Ladies And Other Unforgettable White House Women !
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  78. erin.nicole says:
  79. erin.nicole says:

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  80. erin.nicole says:

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    2

  81. erin.nicole says:

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    3

  82. erin.nicole says:

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  83. erin.nicole says:

    I entered the Scandle giveaway
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  84. erin.nicole says:

    I entered the Best Bottom giveaway
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  85. erin.nicole says:

    I entered the Fantasy Jewelry Box giveaway
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  86. erin.nicole says:

    I entered the FLOR giveaway
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  87. maryjaco1 says:

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  88. maryjaco1 says:

    Entered the BLue Platypus.
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  89. maryjaco1 says:

    Email subscriber.
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  90. maryjaco1 says:

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  91. maryjaco1 says:

    I like you on Fb-Mary Jaco 2/2
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  92. maryjaco1 says:

    I think this would be an interesting read: The Courage Companion
    How to Live Life with True Power

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  93. erin.nicole says:
  94. erin.nicole says:
  95. NW Homesteader says:

    GFC Follower!!!

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  96. NW Homesteader says:

    Email Subscriber!

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  97. NW Homesteader says:

    I like Oh So Savvy Mom on FB!

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  98. NW Homesteader says:

    I like Oh So Savvy Mom on FB!

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  99. NW Homesteader says:

    Aside for the 3 you have mentioned, I would also love to read Wordcatcher!

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  100. NW Homesteader says:

    I follow you on twitter and tweeted! @nwhomesteader

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  101. erin.nicole says:
  102. Kittenish says:

    I follow you via Google Friend Connect.
    kittenishcutie {at} gmail {dot} com

  103. Kittenish says:

    I follow you on Twitter and tweeted this giveaway.
    @kittenishcutie
    http://twitter.com/kittenishcutie/status/63836671854125056

    kittenishcutie {at} gmail {dot} com

  104. erin.nicole says:
  105. ~*~lilshuga2001~*~ says:

    gfc

  106. Kittenish says:

    Daily Tweet for 4/29
    http://twitter.com/#!/kittenishcutie/status/64102011590819840

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  107. mrsweiss says:

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  108. mrsweiss says:

    i get your emails

  109. mrsweiss says:

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  110. mrsweiss says:

    i like you on facebook nicole w 2

  111. Busy Tennessee Mom says:

    I am following you on google connect

  112. Busy Tennessee Mom says:

    I follow you on facebook my id is Pamela Womack Sims

  113. Busy Tennessee Mom says:

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  114. gfc follower – becca scott
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  115. like on FB as becca scott
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  116. enetered best bottoms giveaway
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  117. the courage companion
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  118. erin.nicole says:

    Entered Teamotions
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  119. erin.nicole says:

    Entered Plow and Hearth
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  120. erin.nicole says:

    Entered Lilac Clothing
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  121. erin.nicole says:
  122. Kittenish says:

    Daily Tweet for 4/30
    http://twitter.com/#!/kittenishcutie/status/64504204869382144

    kittenishcutie {at} gmail {dot} com

  123. carole says:

    gfc follower

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  124. carole says:

    like you on FB (carole c)

  125. Angela says:

    Entered Lilac giveaway.

  126. Cynthia says:

    i follow you via gfc already

  127. Kittenish says:

    Another Viva Editions book that sounds interesting is "Random Obsessions – Trivia You Can't Live Without."
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  128. Kittenish says:

    The Mother's Day Gift Guide button is in my blog's sidebar – Entry 1
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    kittenishcutie {at} gmail {dot} com

  129. Kittenish says:

    The Mother's Day Gift Guide button is in my blog's sidebar – Entry 2
    kittenishcutie.blogspot.com

    kittenishcutie {at} gmail {dot} com

  130. Kittenish says:

    The Mother's Day Gift Guide button is in my blog's sidebar – Entry 3
    kittenishcutie.blogspot.com

    kittenishcutie {at} gmail {dot} com

  131. Kittenish says:

    I subscribe to Oh So Savvy Mom via email.
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  132. Kittenish says:

    I like Oh So Savvy Mom on facebook – Entry 1
    Jennifer Doe

    kittenishcutie {at} gmail {dot} com

  133. Kittenish says:

    I like Oh So Savvy Mom on facebook – Entry 2
    Jennifer Doe

    kittenishcutie {at} gmail {dot} com

  134. Steph B says:
  135. Stephanie says:

    GFC follower (Stephanie)
    mrshud at cox dot net

  136. Stephanie says:

    I like you on FB #1 (Stephanie Bell Huddleston)
    mrshud at cox dot net

  137. Stephanie says:

    I like you on FB #2 (Stephanie Bell Huddleston)
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  138. Stephanie says:

    email subscriber
    mrshud at cox dot net

  139. Stephanie says:

    This book sounds really interesting – Wordcatcher.
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  140. Kristi S says:

    I follow your blog via gfc as Kristi S
    kristisummit(at)gmail(dot)om

  141. Kristi S says:

    I Like Oh So Savvy Mom on facebook as Kristi S
    kristisummit(at)gmail(dot)com
    #1

  142. Kristi S says:

    I Like Oh So Savvy Mom on facebook as Kristi S
    kristisummit(at)gmail(dot)com
    #2

  143. I follow on GFC
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  144. I like you on FB#1
    Mandy A
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  145. I like you on FB#2
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  146. erin.nicole says:
  147. Kittenish says:

    Daily Tweet for 5/1
    http://twitter.com/#!/kittenishcutie/status/64844923190521856

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  148. I follow on gFC

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  149. I like you on Fb
    Diana Hatch
    hrddiana556@gmail.com

  150. EveryDay Love looks like another good title
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  151. plainoldsarah says:

    i am a follower

  152. ashleynichole says:

    I follow GFC :)
    ashleydangit at gmail dot com

  153. Stephanie says:

    I follow via GFC (thegrants)
    srgrant05(at)ymail(dot)com

  154. Stephanie says:

    Like Oh So Savvy Mom on facebook (Stephanie Petty-Grant) #1
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  155. Stephanie says:

    Like Oh So Savvy Mom on facebook (Stephanie Petty-Grant) #2
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  156. Stephanie says:

    I follow you on Twitter @sgrant2005 and tweet:
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    srgrant05(at)ymail(dot)com

  157. Steph B says:
  158. Kristen says:

    GFC follower

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  159. Kristen says:

    Gratitude Power Workbook sounds interesting.

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  160. I follow you on GFC

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  161. I Like Oh So Savvy Mom on facebook. (Mary H.)

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    #1

  162. I Like Oh So Savvy Mom on facebook. (Mary H.)

    m13hatch at gmail dot com

    #2

  163. Kittenish says:

    Daily Tweet for 5/2
    http://twitter.com/#!/kittenishcutie/status/65184317625741312

    kittenishcutie {at} gmail {dot} com

  164. erin.nicole says:
  165. mrsweiss says:

    follow gfc
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  166. mrsweiss says:

    i get your emails mrsnaweiss/at/aol.com

  167. mrsweiss says:

    like you on fb nicole w
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  168. mrsweiss says:

    like you on fb nicole w
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  169. jadavis says:

    I follow you with GFC!
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  170. jadavis says:

    Total Flirt
    Happiness Habits
    Help! My Baby Came Without Instructions

    These sound very interesting to me!
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  171. jadavis says:

    I follow you on twitter!
    jadavis42@tntech.edu

  172. jadavis says:

    I tweeted about the giveaway!
    jadavis42@tntech.edu

  173. Dana West says:

    I follow via GFC! Thanks for the giveaway!
    dana10879@yahoo.com

  174. Dana West says:

    I subscribe via email
    dana10879@yahoo.com

  175. Dana West says:

    I like you on FB
    Dana West
    dana10879@yahoo.com
    1

  176. Dana West says:

    I like you on FB
    Dana West
    dana10879@yahoo.com
    2

  177. Dana West says:

    I would love to have the Gratitude Power Workbook!
    dana10879@yahoo.com

  178. Dana West says:

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