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Featured Member: Amber

Amber

Tell us about yourself, your family and where you live!

We live in Thibodaux, Louisiana- a small town about an hour away from New Orleans.

How did you discover Smiley360?

My sister introduced me to Smiley360!

What’s your favorite thing about being a Smiley member?

Of course the obvious answer is I love trying new things. But when I really think about it, I believe my favorite thing is something I never expected when I joined. I have met some amazing people. Through social media I have gotten to know a lot of other members and consider them friends now. I love that we have something in common. Some of us have a lot more in common than our love of freebies. I genuinely look forward to reading their post and seeing pictures of their children every day. So hands down I think that is my favorite thing about being a Smiley360 member.

What has been your favorite Smiley Mission you have ever done and why?

I really enjoyed the Perk Vent Wrap Mission because I would have never discovered these without Smiley360. I loved the OxiClean Mission and the Aveeno Nourish+ Dandruff Control Mission because I still use those products. I have purchased OxiClean 2 in 1 Stain Fighter numerous times since the Mission.

How do you share when you’re on a Mission?

I share on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and sometimes on my blog. I talk to people that I see on a regular basis like my coworkers, family, and friends. A lot of times I find myself stopping in the aisles at Walmart, telling a total stranger how great the product is they are looking to buy. I am not shy in any way!

Do you think it is important for brands to listen to their customers? Why?

I think that customers know what they want more than any test group. Customers can tell a brand what to change or improve since they use the products every day. A lot of times a customer can think of things that a company may not think of.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

This question is not hard! I would be on a beach in the Bahamas with an on-call babysitter, a cook, cleaning services and room service.

What brands or products would you love to see on a Smiley Mission soon? 

I would love to see more makeup and beauty-related items. I’m willing to try any brand because I never know what new amazing product I can discover.

We love your comments! Share your reaction below!

How to Make a Memorable Spring Break Without Breaking Your Budget

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Ever wonder how to make the most out of your kid’s spring break WITHOUT breaking the bank?

Here at Smiley360, we take fun and frugal living very seriously! We know that you don’t want to spend a fortune to have a good time on spring break — that’s why we’ve put together some ideas for you!

Go The Less Common Route

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If you are thinking about travelling and want to save your hard earned cash, avoid the typical spring break destinations like major theme parks and faraway beaches. Consider fun alternate destinations instead. Visit a big city, like Washington, D.C., Chicago, or San Francisco where there are great museums, sites, parks and neighborhoods for families to explore.

Check out deal sites like Groupon or Living Social for the city you are visiting. You can also go the old-fashioned route and pick up brochures at the airport or hotel to find discounts on nearby attractions. You can often find half price tickets for hop on hop off bus tours which will offer you the opportunity to see a city at your own pace.

Book a Hotel With Breakfast Included

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Looking for a great way to save some precious cash? Find a hotel that includes complimentary breakfast or microwaves and fridges in the room. Eat a hearty breakfast, pack a piece of fruit from the buffet for later and you can save a fortune on food!  You can also forgo the traditional hotel motel route entirely and book a stay in someone’s home or apartment through sites like Airbnb.

Get in Touch with Nature

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If urban destinations don’t suit your family’s taste, spring break could be the time to visit national or state parks, before the real vacation season begins and they are flooded with crowds. The Grand Canyon is just as thrilling in April as it is in August. But the crowds are not nearly the same!

Go on a Cruise!

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Family cruises are always fun and more economical than flying when you are paying for tickets for the whole family! Check out Disney Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean for great deals. Like them on Facebook and join their mailing lists to get offered their best friends and family deals. Make sure to check out cruises that leave from ports within driving distance of your home. Many cruise lines offer affordable and family-friendly ships complete with arcades, waterslides and kids camps!

Fly Frugally

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If you choose to fly, be sure to check out sites like Kayak that can help you obtain the best price for your flights. You can also set up a price alert so you are notified when the price fluctuates. Pay attention to start and end dates when booking; sometimes going a day earlier or a day later can make a big difference in the cost of airline tickets!

Road Trip!

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With the cost of gas nearing record lows, now is the time to discover the state in which you live!

“One tank trips” combine the best of travelling with the comfort of returning home at the end of the day. Take a day trip with the family to somewhere in your state. Even if it isn’t a tropical vacation, sometimes just getting out of the city you live in and discovering other parts of your state with your family is the best thing to do.

Road trips are always great bonding experiences, despite the Chevy Chase movies we’ve all seen! You can even turn the road trip into the entire vacation and traverse Route 66, the Pacific Coast Highway, the Blue Ridge Parkway, or Maine Route 1. Sometimes just driving to the end of a familiar road and finding a new place to eat or visit can make a memory!

Remember To Take It Easy

At the end of the day, remember that spring break is meant to be fun and relaxing. Do what you can to make it memorable. Spring is a gift we share with our children. Enjoy it!

What are your tips for spring break on a budget? Tell us in the comments!

What To Do While You Wait For Your Smiley Kit

Waiting for your Smiley Kit is both an exciting and frustrating time. You can’t wait to get your hands on your free products and the waiting is the worst part! So we came up with some ideas for what to do while you patiently await for your Smiley Kit to arrive.

Binge Watch a TV Show

House of Cards season 3 is now on Netflix! Surely that can occupy your anticipation while you wait for your latest Smiley Kit…right?

Complete Your Current Missions

If you haven’t already, now is a great time to get those all your active Missions reviewed and submitted! Take all the energy and excitement you have to get you pumped up for your newest product!

Read a Book

Remember reading? The excruciating wait until your Smiley Kit is safely in your mailbox is a perfect time to catch up on the antiquated concept of reading a book! In the mood for classics? Young Adult? Fantasy? Get to your nearest library and catch up before you’re all wrapped up in a brand new Smiley Kit!

Complete Your Introduction Mission

Brush up on your Smiley skills by completing the Introduction Mission and referring friends to Smiley360! This is a great way to keep your Smiley momentum up while you wait for your next Mission to arrive.

Share Your Excitement on Social Media

You know the drill – tell all your friends on social media how excited you are to receive your newest Mission, and earn points using the Sharing Tools! Not quite the same as the exhilaration of receiving it, but it’ll tide you over until the glorious moment you open up your Smiley Kit.

What do you do while you wait for your kit? Tell us in the comments!

All gifs via giphy.com

Featured Member: Maria

Maria

Tell us about yourself, your family and where you live!

Hi I’m Maria and I am a young mom of a beautiful two year-old. I live happily with my husband and parents in the EMPIRE state of New York. I am a stay-at-home mom, thanks to my pretty little girl who keeps my hands full all the time. We love to cook and entertain, so weekends are usually busy with guests coming over. My daughter is an extreme outdoors lover, so visiting parks is a part of the routine.

How did you discover Smiley360?

I discovered this program during a random online search while I was reading a blog. I registered and checked out the website, thinking it would be fun to try new products before anyone else gets to know them and all that for free. That’s amazing!

What’s your favorite thing about being a Smiley member?

The best part of being a member of Smiley 360 is definitely having the opportunity to try great new products from high quality brands. The Missions I was selected to participate were in accordance with my lifestyle and preferences. All of the packages arrive quickly and usually contain a full-sized product.

What has been your favorite Smiley Mission you have ever done and why?

This has to be the Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies Mission. Why? Well, that is a no brainer! For a woman, anything that makes her look and feel better is an absolute plus. These gummies made my hair and nails so healthy and they are now a part of my daily routine.

How do you share when you’re on a Mission?

I talk and talk and talk in person, on the phone or on social media. I always share my opinion on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I like to share my experience with my family and friends. I pass my coupons on to them so that we can recruit more people for Smiley360.

Do you think it is important for brands to listen to their customers? Why?

Without a doubt it is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! If a customer is not happy, he or she is never going to buy that product again. Listening to customer reviews leads the company towards improving their products.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I would love to travel all around the world, but most importantly I would love to visit France to see and feel the romance it is so famous for.

What brands or products would you love to see on a Smiley Mission soon? 

Anything that is going to make me look pretty-be it skin care or cosmetics!

We love your comments! Share your reaction below.

Five Talking Points From The Latest Advisory Board Call

On Wednesday, March 4th we hosted our fourth(!) Advisory Board call. Some of our top members and bloggers joined the Smiley team to chat about a number of topics ranging from our five-year anniversary infographic to what Smiley can do to grow its already awesome member base. Need a refresher of our first three calls? You can find the recaps here.

1. Five Years Later

smileybday_infographAs you may know, Smiley celebrated its fifth birthday recently! To mark the milestone, we crunched the numbers and put together an infographic that sums up all you’ve helped us accomplish over the years. We asked our Advisory Board what surprised them most about the numbers we came up with and across the board everyone was blown away by just how many members we have and how many kits we’ve shipped. It’s a lot!

Many were also happy to see that our “Most Wanted Product Categories For Mission” section fell right in line with what our Advisory Board would like to see.

The geography of our members has been a bit of a mystery to our community and all were surprised to learn that Brooklyn was in our top cities with the most members—everyone except one Advisory Board member who triumphantly shouted “Brooklyn in the house!”

What surprised you most about the infographic? Let us know in the comments!

2. How Would You Describe Us?

chat-23713_1280Since we’re always curious how other people describe Smiley360, we asked our Advisory Board to tell us what they tell people when asked, “Where did you get that free stuff?” Our board did a great job of getting to the core of what Smiley is all about. “I feel like I have influence over products I might not otherwise try.” One member of the board stressed the importance of the community at Smiley and how you feel like you are a part of something big and meaningful.

How would you describe us to your friends? Let us know in the comments!

3. Where Do You Turn For News And Product Information?

tree-200795_1280Television, print magazine, blogs—we wanted to know where you get most of your information.

We learned quickly that our board members stay away from the news—too much negativity out there! Our board members are great sharers and active online, so it came as no surprise to use that many of you get much of your information from Facebook, whether it be following brands or publications. Specifically a few of the board members mentioned that they tend to follow niche local publications that focus on areas they are interested in—fitness, beauty, dieting and more.

We want to hear from you all too! Tell us about the TV shows, newspapers, magazines websites and blogs you read and watch. And think about this; if you had never heard of Smiley, where would you be most likely to see or read about us? Let us know in the comments!

4. Spreading The Word Of Smiley

Smiley has been lucky enough to be featured on The Today Show and in USA Today but we wanted to know, what else can we do to spread the word about our great community (you guys!)? Not surprisingly many of our board members suggested getting involved with different charities as a way to get our name out there while also doing good for other communities. Specifically, child-focused charities were popular among the board members.

Do you have any other suggestions for how Smiley can help grow our awesome community? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.

5. What’s Your Ideal Mission?

unnamedAs the call wrapped up we asked our board members what their ideal Smiley Mission would be. A few notable categories were mentioned—anything relating to children/babies, fitness-related Missions, natural or organic products, keeping things seasonal (a gardening Mission for spring, for example) and of course FOOD.

Let us know what your ideal Mission is in the comments!

Until next time.

Do you have anything to add to the topics we discussed? Do you agree with everything our board members said? We love hearing from you all so leave any thoughts you may have in the comments!

Four Ideas For A Fun St. Patrick’s Day On A Budget

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When it comes to the holidays, we know you want to have the best time for the best price. It can often seem like spending money is inevitable. Luckily we have a few tricks up our sleeves to help you have the best – and most cost effective – St. Patrick’s Day yet.

Cook Your Own Irish Inspired Meal at Home

Who says you have to go out and spend money to have a great St. Patrick’s Day? Give your corn beef and cabbage a creative spin with this recipe from Food.com. Or get creative with these shamrock green bell peppers! Instead of spending a fortune on a big feast and drinks at your local Irish pub, stay in and have a great meal for days!

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Image via marthastewart.com

 

DIY St. Patrick’s Day Nail Art

There’s tons of ways to get creative with this one – and all you need is some nail polish! We love OPI in “Green-which Village,” or Essie “Mojito Madness!” You can do nail art as simple or as involved as you’d like – it’s all up to your skill and comfort level! You can do something as easy as painting four nails green and having one white accent nail. Or if you really want to get fancy with it, paint small four leaf clovers and designs like this: 37018f7440c8d70d99adf3e642894704

Start practicing your painting skills!

Make Your Own Decorations

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Image via marthastewart.com

Instead of going out to a crowded bar and spending hard-earned money on overpriced drinks, why not have a small gathering at your place with your own homemade decorations? Have fun with your kids with these Shamrock Straw Toppers, or even just putting together green flower arrangements. Making shamrock arrangements with your kids has never been easier—or more fun! Check out these bubble wrap shamrocks that your kids – and your guests – are sure to love!

Get Funky With It: Dress Up as a Leprechaun!

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This is not for the faint of heart; it’s definitely made for your resident prankster! Luckily, dressing up as a leprechaun can be as easy as finding some scraps lying around your house. It can be put together by finding a green button down and green pants or skirts. To really get fun and crafty, try spray painting an old pair of shoes (that you don’t mind destroying) with glitter paint, and cut some fancy buckles out of cardboard. Try it out and be sure to snap some pictures to share with us!

There’s no other holiday quite like St. Patrick’s Day—what could be better than a holiday that’s all about fun and having a good time? There’s no reason you have to break the bank to live like the Irish!

Take some notes from us and have a great St. Patrick’s Day! And if you did, we want to know! Share with us on social media using the hashtag #SmileyStPattys!

We hope you use some of our tips and have the best St. Patrick’s Day ever!

Meet the Smiley Team: Stephanie

In our Behind the Scenes series, we’re shining a spotlight on the people behind Smiley360. Take a moment to get to know Stephanie!

unnamedWhat is your role at Smiley?

I’m an Account Manager. I handle day-to-day client relationships, execute Missions and present reports to our clients.

Where are you from and how long have you been with Smiley?

I’m from Clifton, NJ and I’ve been with Smiley about eight months now.

What is the best part about your job?

Being able to learn so many new and useful skills in the social media world. I’m never bored!

What has been your favorite Mission so far?

InkJoy was my favorite Mission because our members did a fantastic job sharing their writing creations. I really enjoyed the cheerful posts and colorful pictures!

What are three things you can’t live without?

My iPhone, lip balm and background music.

What is one thing you’d like to say to members of the Smiley community?

I predict there will be A LOT more fun Missions to come, so keep up with the great reviews and feedback!

We love your comments! Share your reaction below.

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On A Mission: How To Use The Instagram Sharing Tool

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We’re excited to announce the latest addition to the Smiley360 Sharing Tools: Instagram!

Eager to test it out? You’ll find it on your Introduction Mission. Look out for more opportunities to start ‘gramming on upcoming Missions!

How To Use The Instagram Sharing Tool

It’s easy to earn points for sharing about your Mission on Instagram!

Once you’ve shared about your Mission on Instagram, simply grab the share link (it looks like http://instagram.com/p/xxxxxxxxxx), paste it into the Instagram Sharing Tool box and click ‘Share’ at the bottom of the page.

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Your Instagram link will be verified by Smiley360 and your points credited within 7 days!

Why Share On Instagram?

Thanks to artsy filters and easy photo editing options, Instagram is a great way to share beautiful photos to show off your latest Mission. We know that many of you are addicted to Instagram and we’re so happy to be able to bring this new tool to you!

We love Instagram too! If you’re not already doing so, follow us now!

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#LetsGetFizzy

#LetsGetFizzy Twitter Party – March 5th

It’s not easy to stay healthy and active while the wrath of winter is keeping us all indoors. Show the cold who’s boss and join us for a Twitter party to talk all about how you’re staying in tip-top shape! With thanks to Emergen-C, you could win one of eight one-year supplies of Emergen-C Vitamin Drink Mix to give yourself a healthy advantage!

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For a chance to win one of two $25 gift cards, RSVP on Twitter and Join the event on Facebook!

Party Details

  • Date and Time: Thursday, March 5th at 2pm ET/ 1pm CT/ 11am PT
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Hosted by @Smiley360 (you must be following us to win prizes)
  • Sponsored by: Emergen-C
  • Hashtag: Take part by using #LetsGetFizzy in all your tweets

Add To Calendar

How To Participate 

Twitter parties are an optional (and fun!) way to participate in the Smiley360 Community and meet other members. All you need to do is show up at the time of the party, answer our party questions throughout the hour, chat with others and have fun!

#LetsGetFizzy on Twitter

#LetsGetFizzy Tweetchat

#LetsGetFizzy on TChat.io

Twitter Party Guide

Featured Member: Jaime

Jaime

Tell us about yourself, your family and where you live!

Hi! My name is Jaime, I’m married to a wonderful man and we have one son together, and a great niece we care for as our own. I am a stay-at-home mom that recently founded Bless Their Soles, which provides footwear for low-income children here in our small country town Jackson, Ohio. When I’m not doing Missions on Smiley360, I can be found Volunteering at RSVP of The Ohio Valley fighting poverty.

How did you discover Smiley360?

I discovered Smiley360 from a blogger on Facebook in 2012.

What’s your favorite thing about being a Smiley member?

I love the sampling opportunities. Smiley360 has by far the best Missions. I love being able to give my honest opinion on Smiley Connect, telling people face to face about how I get my free products and being able to influence their brand purchases.

What has been your favorite Smiley Mission you have ever done and why?

I absolutely loved the BIC Mark-It Mission. I use them all the time, from doing crafts to marking freezer bags. They still work like they are brand new.

How do you share when you’re on a Mission?

I love sharing on my Missions! I post to Facebook and Twitter multiple times. I explain how I received the product and then try to recruit my friends. I use Smiley Connect and always post on StumbleUpon. It makes me feel good that someone really cares about my opinions on a brand and actually hear me out.

Do you think it is important for brands to listen to their customers? Why?

It’s absolutely important. If companies want us to incorporate their brands into our homes, they should listen to our opinions. There is always a way to improve a brand and it just might be one person’s opinion that makes all the difference.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Being a middle class, paycheck-to-paycheck family, I would love to take my family to Hawaii for a vacation. We have never been on a vacation, and the beaches of Hawaii look do inviting!

What brands or products would you love to see on a Smiley Mission soon? 

Personally I would love to see a Keurig or Tassimo Mission. I am a coffee addict and would love to have one of these makers!

We love your comments! Share your reaction below.

Be Heard. Be Happy.