Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Freebies at Walgreens

Until 10/7/09 at Walgreen's, if you purchase $10 worth of any of the products (select Pantene, Covergirl, Biore, Aussie, Sally Hansen, Olay, got2b, Rimmel, Secret, and VEET products) featured in the "Beauty Confidential" section of Marie Claire's October issue, you'll receive a free one year subscription to Marie Claire. You'll receive the mail-in offer at the register.

Also, if you become a fan of Walgreens on Facebook, you can get a free photobook (you just need to pay shipping and handling). They will have more information on 10/2. Stay tuned for their post.

Coupon Savvy

Here are some tips to get the most savings:

1. Sometimes it pays to wait to use certain coupons. If you don't need an item right away, wait to use the coupon. Check your local store circulars. A week or two after the coupons come out, local grocery stores may have a sale on the items you have coupons for. (See #3)

2. Check out the Internet. There are a lot of good sources that have free printable coupons.
3. Check out sites that list the sales at local stores and then tell you where to find additional coupons for extra savings. They do your work for you.
  • BeCentsAble (you don't need a subscription to view the grocery gathering section that lists blogs to check out that detail the savings for local stores in your area)
  • RefundCents (you need a subscription but it is only about $1/month to view the online material)
4. Join a company's club (Gerber, Similac, Enfamil, and Huggies) to receive free coupons and offers.

5. Check out blogs online for online coupon codes or free offers.
6. Get together with friends to share/exchange coupons or to exchange information about where to get good deals.

7. Take advantage of stores that double your coupons up to $1.00.

8. Of course, checking the Sunday paper for coupons is also an excellent way to get coupons.

Mambo to Your Local Grocery Store

If your a fan of organic products, you know that you often have a higher grocery bill. There is a site called Mambo Sprouts that offers free printable coupons on organic products. You can also sign up to receive their free coupon mailer and newsletter three times a year. They also occasionally send out free samples for people to try. When you sign up you can choose to receive just the mailer or you can also sign up for email alerts for new coupons and offers. The website also features printable coupons, recipes, articles, contests, and activities for kids.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Recycle With Freecycle

As a fan of CraigsList, I keep hearing about another site called Freecycle. It works much like Craigslist except all of the items listed are free. You can post items that you want or you can offer items.


Thursday (October 1st) is Homemade Cookie Day. Mrs. Fields' is giving away a free cookie at participating stores from 11am-1pm. Unfortuantely for those of us in the Lehigh Valley, the nearest store is in King of Prussia.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Smucker Up

What kid can resist pb&j? Starting today, Smuckers is asking parents for after-school organizational tips. For submitting a tip they will send you a coupon for a free 4 pack of Uncrustables. Check it out, pronto! Only the first 20,000 people will receive a free coupon. After entering your personal information and your tip, a new window will pop up to tell you if you were one of the lucky ones.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Quick Snack for Those That Like Parfaits

I like parfaits but I am not fond of the mushy fruit that is often found in the McDonald's version. Too often they're too sweet because of the added sugar. I attempted to make my daughter a healthier version with just crushed up graham crackers, Dannon All Natural LF vanilla yogurt, and fresh blueberries and strawberries. You can also sprinkle some granola on top. She didn't like it, but I did of course. I have scaled it back even more for the sake of time and this afternoon for lunch I took two graham crackers and spooned two dollops of Stoneyfield's strawberry LF yogurt onto them and dropped a few blueberries on top. I thought it would be messy but it wasn't at all and it was yummy.

Staying Sane in the Midst of Chaos

Did you ever wonder if you have more than your share of bad luck? It is as though Murphy's law was written just for me. Nothing seemed to go right yesterday. I attempted to give my 2 month old her vitamin (through a dropper of course). I set her in her swing where she loves to be thinking she would be more agreeable there. Note to self: Don't attempt this after just nursing her. It was going really well. I was dispensing it slowly. My older daughter used to hate this and would just spit it out. It has a horrendous cherry smell (probably why I am not fond of anything cherry, a holdover from my own childhood). I digress. As I finished squeezing the contents of the dropper into her mouth, she projectile vomited everywhere. At that moment I hear my two year old from the other room yelling out, "Mommy I got poopies". Seriously, Calgon take me away. I. MEAN. NOW.

Which crisis do I handle first? My youngest daughter whose clothes are soaked with vomit (who is smiling at me, can you believe it?) or my oldest who is known to strip off her clothes and go running around the room after having a poopy diaper? Since my oldest is getting better about keeping her clothes on, thank you potty training, I dealt with my youngest first and kept an ear and an eye out for a streaker. Needless to say I got both girls cleaned up and changed within ten minutes. I'm learning how fast I can really hustle when the need arises.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Parton Me

Everyone knows who Dolly Parton is so no introduction is needed. She is known for something other than her double Ds. She started a reading program that has expanded across the USA. A friend of mine who is a former children's librarian told me about this program. The program is called Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. It is not available in all areas across the country-only if your local community funds the program. You can enter your zip code to see if your community participates. If your community does, you can sign your child up and at no cost to you, they will send your child a new book every month. The first book your child will receive is the children's classic The Little Engine That Could and the last book that they will receive when they turn five is Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come. What a great way to promote literacy!

I Need a Butler

As an alum of KU I get their alumni newsletter. In a recent issue, they featured an alum of KU who made a name for herself selling her handbags. Her name is Jen Groover. I love her bags. They are called Butler bags and are for those women who strive to stay uber organized. I couldn't afford her Bouture line which starts at $800 and is popular with many Hollywood celebrities. She does have a more affordable line called the Boutique line. I want the Black Hybrid from her 2009 collection. It is $165 but it is a lot less than a lot of the designer purses on the market such as Coach and Dooney & Burke. It is also a larger handbag and made of leather. They are very stylish. The best part is the compartments inside the bag and the fact that it zips instead of snaps. Unfortunately the black is always out of stock when I frequent the site. After just visiting the site today I realized that they are available in select boutiques and there is a store in Emmaus that carries them called All Bright Ideas. There is also an interactive tool on the site that lets you put items you carry in the bag of your choice to help you determine which bag would work best for you.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Creative Minds

I just placed a huge order with Oriental Trading. I couldn't resist their spend $49 sale with free shipping. I bought enough crafts for the next year. I like the idea of them having all the pieces in one package. All my daughter needs to do is assemble the craft. Usually the crafts come in a unit of one dozen so they are perfect for playgroups, daycares, etc. No need for me to run around the craft store or search online for hours to find cute craft ideas that are suitable for toddlers.

Occasionally I do look for craft ideas online. I did find an awesome website while looking for ideas to put together a tea party called It has crafts, activity ideas, and even art lessons. I just learned how to draw a monkey in 8 easy steps. How cool is that.

Is My Nose Growing

Should I feel guilty lying to my two year old, again. Nah. Is it really lying when it is for her own good? Seriously, how often in the course of a day do we lie to our kids? "Yes, dear, Dora is tired this morning and is still sleeping. She, Mickey Mouse, Oso, and all their friends were at a party last night so they didn't get to bed until late." It's nighty-night time for them. Yep, that is why you can't watch tv, my little addict. No one told me that once I opened the door to tvland that I would never be able to shut it again. O.K. maybe they did warn me and I just refused to listen. I did what I had to do in my last trimester before my second daughter was born. Yes, sitting my oldest in front of the tv for more than one hour a day is partly how I survived that time. I never meant for my child to be able to recite the lineup on Disney on weekday mornings.

What was my point, again??? Oh, yes, the lies we tell our children. Do we feel guilty for those little white lies. No, at least I don't. Okay so sometimes I feel a little niggle of guilt but I try to ignore it and tell myself she's too young to remember. It gives my husband and I a laugh sometimes when she wants to watch Dora and we tell her no. She looks at us. We wait for the tantrum to begin. But, all she says is, "tv...nappers". Yes, my little darling, the tv is tired and needs to take a nap.


Okay, why did I start a blog? That is what I asked myself the other day. One more thing to keep on top of in my crazy life. Actually I did it because I am always writing stuff down on post-its and on my legal pads. Things get crossed off, they're illegible, or I lose them (as is the case with 90% of my post-its). Don't laugh I know you do it too. If you don't, tell me your secret. Also, my bookmark list on my computer is frightening. I have a ton of folders filled with websites. You'll notice on my blog that there are a lot of links. This is my shortcut to some of my favorite sites. Anyway, this way I can keep track of stuff for myself and if someone else finds it useful, great. If I'm really honest, I am also doing this to exercise my brain. I love staying home with my daughters but sometimes I need to do something that connects me to other moms or women in general and not just my two girls.


For a few years now I have participated in Bzzagent. It is an online site where you can sign up to try out new products. All you have to do is buzz (or tell your friends and family) about your experiences with the product. Then, log onto the site and post what you said and everyone's reaction (ie. Would they buy the product?). It's easy and takes a small amount of time. You can gain MyPoints which can be redeemed for gift certificates. My favorite part is that you get to try new products (often just as they are being launched into stores). This year alone I have been part of the following campaigns: CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain, Pledge Fabric Sweeper, Palmolive Pure + Clear, Afrin PureSea, Children's Claritin, got2b smooth operator smoothing lustre lotion, Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunblock SPF 60+, OFF, Windex Outdoor All-in-One, and Fruit2Day. You get free coupons for products or you get the actual product in the mail to try. Sometimes you'll also get samples to pass out or additional coupons. Keep in mind you have to work your way up the honeycomb to get the best campaigns. It's all about word of mouth.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Birthday Party Invites

Recently my daughter turned two and we had a small party for her birthday. Since I had just had our second daughter only a month before I was looking for ways to keep this party simple. I knew the theme,Dora,of course, my daughter's favorite cartoon. I came across two websites that created FREE Dora (and other character) invites: I- and DLTK. These two sites let you plug in the information and print out however many copies you need. My kind of invites. For all of our friends and family who have email, I just signed up at evite and sent out online invitations free of charge. No writers cramp to worry about. Evite is fabulous. People can click on the link and rsvp (you can set it up so that when people rsvp you receive an email). Also, when you access your events invite, you can see when people opened the email (your guests can't pretend they didn't see the invite). It is a wonderful party planning tool. You can use this site for events other than birthday parties. If your having a picnic and you are having people bring items you can set up your invite so people can put what they are bringing.