Inactivate Your Teen's Cell Phone While They Drive

May 28, 2010

If you have a teenager who drives - or know someone who does - you'll want to check out this website.
My daughter is still about 9 years away from driving (or 20, if I get my way) and I'm already starting to worry about her talking on the phone or texting while behind the wheel.
In fact, a few months ago, I stopped talking on the phone while I drive.  One of the main reasons, (besides the fact that I might kill someone) is that I didn't want to set a bad example for my kids.  I didn't want them to think they could talk on the phone while they drove because "Mom always did."
Having said that, there is a great technology that I just discovered.  It's called "Key2SafeDriving."  How it works is that the moment your teen turns the key in the ignition, their cell phone will not longer take/receive calls or allow for texting.  If they turn off the car, the phone works again. (There is a special feature where they can still dial 911.)

Many companies are also using this technology in their company cars. 

I don't know about you, but this feature WILL be installed in my car by the time my kids start to drive!

Make sure to forward this post onto any of your friends or family members who have kids who drive!

PS  If you, yourself, have no will power, you might want to consider this technology for yourself.  You'll sleep much better knowing you aren't at risk of hurting or killing someone because you were distracted by your cell phone!

Friendly's Free Ice Cream Day and BOGO Salad

If you are lucky enough to live near a Friendly's (which, I am unfortuantely not), head over there on Saturday from 12 - 5 PM.  They will be giving away free scoops at that time.

Click here for details.

Click here to find a Friendly's near you.

Also, if you become a fan of Friendly's on Facebook, you can print out a Buy One Get One Free coupon for a Friendly's salad - expires June 4.

I was so depressed, when I did that, to find that the nearest one to me is 944 miles away.

That's just a tad bit too far to drive for a Reeses Pieces Sundae - though I am tempted!

Reserve Your FREE Chick-fil-a Spicy Chicken Sandwich

May 27, 2010

Click here if you have not yet reserved your FREE spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a.

It's kind of an odd promo.  You get a FREE sandwich, but you have to pick the day and time that you will pick it up - and then, print out your reservation.

The sandwiches will be available from May 31 to June 5 and quantities are limited, so head over there now!

Free Opi Nail Polish from Ulta

May 26, 2010

Click here to receive a FREE bottle of Nicole by Opi nail polish.  It's a printable coupon, from Seventeen magazine,  for you to take to your local Ulta to redeem.

It's summertime - a GREAT time to get a new shade of nail polish!

PS. I think it normally retails fro $8!

Free Limeade Sparkler at Taco Bell

May 20, 2010

Taco Bell is giving away FREE limeade sparklers (valid through 7/11 or until 500, 000 have been printed).

Click here for your coupon - one per computer.

Become and Oprah DevOtee!!!

May 19, 2010

I don't know about you, but I am an Oprah FANATIC!!!

If you can count yourself into that group, this might be the website for you.

It's called Oprah DevOtees and if you sign up with them, and are selected to participate, they will periodically send you surveys to complete.

Once you complete them, you have the chance to win prizes and sample products before they ever hit the market.

Click here to sign up.

Safety Tatoos

May 18, 2010

We had a horrible experience this past weekend when our daughter got lost in a state park for over two hours.  That story will ultimately be it's own blog post.  But in the meantime, one of my friends on Facebook (thank you, Leslie) suggested this site to me - for those future family outings.

And so, I'm suggesting it to you. It's called SafetyTat.

It's a website where you can create your own personal rub-on tattoos for your child - that say, "If LOST, please call" and your phone number.

My girlfriend says she puts them on her kids arms whenever they go to an amusement park, rodeos or state parks, etc.

What a great idea!

They are a little pricey - about a dollar a "tat" - but I figure, we only go to big events like that every few months, so it shouldn't cost too much per year. 

I have become really paranoid since this past weekend about losing my kids and so, I'm headed over to that site, right now, to make our own tattoos.

Borders AND Barnes and Noble Kids' Summer Reading Programs

May 14, 2010

If your child is 12 or under, there's a great reading program at Borders you might want to have them participate in!

If they read 10 books before August 26, 2010 and bring in the completed form listing those books, they will get a FREE book!

Click here for details.

The books they can select from to get for FREE are included on the link, but some of them are:  Flat Stanley, The Babysitter's Club and Ramona the Brave.

Thanks to my cousin, Terri, for this tip!

As my friend, Jennifer, just pointed out to me, Barnes and Noble has a similar program.

The kids have until September 7 to read those books.
Click here for details.

Kids need to read 8 books for this one.

$5 off at Supercuts

May 13, 2010

I always get my kids' hair cut at Supercuts.  It's pretty cheap ($10.95 for a kid, $12.95 for an adult) and if I go on a weekday, they aren't usually very crowded.

Rarely, though, do I see a coupon for more than $2 off a haircut.  But, now there's one for $5 off!

Register for ESPN’s sweepstakes HERE.  At the end of registering, you will be able to print a $5 off any haircut at Supercuts coupon. That brings your kids' cuts down to $5.95 and adults down to $7.95!

Make sure you turn off your pop up blocker before filling out the sweepstakes entry form.

Even better news:  the $5 off coupon is a PDF, thus you can print it as many times as you want.

Haircuts anyone?????

$5 off $25 Payless ShoeSource Coupon

May 12, 2010

It's rare that Payless ShoeSource has a coupon, so you might want to jump at this one.

Click here to get a $5 off  a $25 purchase until May 31.

What Do You Love To Do?

May 11, 2010

This week, my 7-year-old daughter, Jordan, and I were in the car, coming back from the grocery store. On our drive, we began to discuss what people do for a living and how they make money.
My advice to her was to find something she loves to do and then figure out how to get paid for it.

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“Well,” I said. “If you love to paint, find out how to make money doing that. Or, if you love to dance, figure out how to make a living doing that.”

“Oh, I get it,” Jordan said.

Pleased with myself for teaching her a valuable life lesson at such a young age, I asked her, “What do you really love to do, Jordan?”

She paused for a moment.

“I love to drive you crazy” is the response she gave.

I had to stifle a giggle.

If Jordan and her brothers could find a way to get paid for that, we’d be a very wealthy family.

FREE Movie Ticket Screening Passes

May 10, 2010

I just came across a new (to me) website.  It's call GoFoBo and this is how it works:

It seems that many movies do a "sneak peak" screening the week before - and you can get FREE passes to it.

Go to the website by clicking here.  Then, create and account.  You have to wait for them to email you your account confirmation and that took me about an hour yesterday.  Once I got it, I logged on and clicked on "screenings." Then, I typed in my zip code and searched for what screenings were nearby.  Letters to Juliet in Austin was doing a screening yesterday, on Mother's Day, and my parents, my daughter and I were planning on going anyway. 

Some of the screenings (in various theaters) had already given away all of their passes, but I found a few theaters which still had tickets and I printed out my FREE passes.  You can print up to 4 passes per theater.  I printed out passes to 3 theaters and gave away the extra 8 passes to friends.

Now, these passes do not guarentee you a seat.  It's "first come, first serve."  The first 100 passes get in and they give out more than that (I'm not sure how many) to make sure to account for people who don't show up. 

BUT, I called one of the theaters to ask how early I needed to get there to make sure I got in.  The manager said to come about an hour early.   When I asked, though, if I could come early in the morning to redeem my passes for "real" tickets and then come back later, he said, "You can come tonight if you want."

So, that's what I did!  On Friday night, my daughter and I stopped at the theater on our way home from seeing the play "Stomp."  We redeemed those passes for tickets so that I didn't have to worry on Sunday we wouldn't get into the show.

The movie, by the way, was awesome! It was a great way to spend Mother's Day - and it was FREE!

I just wish I'd known about this site when they were handing out the Sex and the City passes in Austin.  By the time I'd clicked on that screening, all the passes were gone . . . so sad . . . guess I'll just have to wait until opening night!

Half-Off Deals

May 7, 2010

If you're always looking for a way to spend less money, there is a website called Half Off Deals that I just dicovered.  It's available in a number of cities, from Austin to Rochester - and even Wichita.

The deal is that they have (generally) half off at local restaurants, stores and services. 

Last week I bought a $30 gift certificate for Red Robin for $15.

Click here for the website.

The bummer?  Unlike Groupon, you have to wait for them to mail (as in via the post office) your certificate to you.  AND, they charge something like $3.95 for shipping.  So . . . your deal is not QUITE half off if you add in the cost of shipping.

Still, it's a better deal than full price!

Paid Online Surveys

May 6, 2010

Okay, usually I shy away from sites like this because I'm not sure if they are a scam or just one big hassle. 

But, when a friend recommended it to me and said that she had signed up and was participating (Thanks, Michele!) I decided to research it.

If you sign up with Opinion Place (which is owned by an AOL company), you will be matched (demographically) with surveys to complete.  According to their site, once you complete a survey, you can choose to be compensated by either "® gift cards, PayPal® credits, AAdvantage® miles, an entry into their monthly $1000 sweepstakes, or if you pay for AOL services, we can put your reward on the credit/debit card that is associated with the master screen name you provided AOL.  If you qualify for and complete an Opinion Place survey you will typically receive $1.00 to $5.00 in gift cards, $1.50 to $ 5.00 in AOL or PayPal credits, or 75 to 150 AAdvantage miles."

You can take a survey once every 7 days.  Most surveys take 10-15 minutes.

I read a number of reviews and they were all good.  Click here to read one.

It seems the one downside is that you have to log in every week to find to fill out a quick prescreen survey to see what you may qualify for, as only some are emailed to you - thus you need to be proactive.  If you don't qualify that day, you can try again the next day.

If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, though, click here.

Getting Your Kids to Eat Healthy Food

May 5, 2010

If I had to pick the biggest complaint (uhm . . . er. . . concern) I hear from my “mom friends,” it would be how hard it is to get their children to eat healthy foods – and a variety of them.
Now, I am no expert in this area, but since we have had a pretty good rate of success with this battle in our family, I thought I’d share some of our “tricks” (for lack of a better word).

I think it may almost be unfair to include my daughter in this discussion because, from day one, she has been a fabulous eater. She’ll eat anything – from shrimp to asparagus to brussel sprouts. When she was a newborn, she was actually diagnosed with “failure to thrive” – we didn’t realize that she wasn’t getting enough breast milk and was thus, losing weight. Once we began supplementing her diet with formula, however, she became a “zealous” eater and hasn’t slowed down since. We often joke that once we stopped accidentally “starving” her, she wasn’t going to turn down a single food item offered to her!

My boys, on the other hand, are not quite as easy. They have an opinion about all things, especially food, and aren’t scared to voice it. Thus, I’d had to be a bit more creative with the way I approach their meals.

This is what I have found works for us:

Take your kids shopping with you: Okay, I admit, I hate doing this. I hate, hate, hate taking my kids to the grocery store with me. If you need proof, read this blog post I wrote last year. Having said that, on occasion, I will bring the boys with me when I need to run into a store to get a few items and I let them “help” me pick out some of the veggies. In our grocery store, when you weigh it, you push a button on the scale and it prints a price label for you to stick on the produce bag. The boys like to push the buttons and bag the vegetables. I feel that picking out the food gives them a sort of “ownership” over it.
Plant a garden: If you know me, you know that gardening (and sweating in the hot sun) is not my “thing.” Good thing, then, that I have my husband! He plants a pretty big garden on the side of our house every year and gets the kids actively involved in the whole process. They help him plant the seeds and small plants, they dump our kitchen leftovers onto the compost pile and then get to “pick” the lettuce and tomatoes and radishes. Rob also allows them the joy of running into the kitchen to me, with their produce, screaming, “Mommy! Look what I grew!” We’ve found that if the kids “grow” the vegetables, they will almost always eat them.
Let your kids help you make dinner: My children love, love, love to help me prepare dinner. And, to be honest, I really enjoy this time, too (despite the inevitable food that ends up on the floor and all over them – and often, me). If I’m making a crock pot meal, I let them pour the ingredients into the pot and turn it on. If I’m making a salad, I give my 3-yr-old a butter knife and permit him to cut up a few cucumbers, carrots and peppers. If we’re making enchiladas, they get to layer the dish. Once again, if the kids make it themselves, they are more likely to at least “try” it when dinnertime arrives.

Never make them a separate meal: This is a cardinal rule we never, ever break. I make one dinner. ONE! If they don’t like it – that’s too bad. If they don’t eat it, they don’t get anything else. Some parents worry that their children just won’t eat the food that’s prepared for the parents for dinner. Trust me. They will not allow themselves to starve. When they get hungry, they’ll eat. We’ve even gone so far, when one child has refused to eat anything, to put the meal in the fridge and when they were hungry a few hours later, pull it back out again. That’s dinner. Eat it or go hungry – and then eat it when you can’t stand the hunger any longer.
Along those same lines, if we are invited to someone’s house for dinner, my kids are expected to eat whatever it is the host prepares. I do not preheat chicken nuggets to take with me. They need to learn to eat the meal that is provided. And, trust me, they do!

Reintroduce foods, reintroduce foods, reintroduce foods: I have heard that it may take presenting certain food items up to 21 times before a child will eat them. It certainly took that long (if not longer) to get my boys to eat asparagus. Rob and love asparagus and so I make it about once a week. Thus, my boys have it presented to them at least 52 times a year. They would occasionally stick it in their mouth and munch on it, but it inevitably always ended up back on their plate. Last week, however, I don’t know what changed, but something did! Not only did both boys chew on it and swallow it, but they both asked for more! Never give up!
Watch the Food Network: My kids love the Food Network and I love that they want to watch it. As a family, we watch the chefs prepare delectable-looking dishes and then, when something seems particularly appealing, we go over to our computer and find the recipe on their website, saving it in our “recipe box” on the Food Network’s site. My kids are anxious to make meals (and eat them) if they see the chefs on TV prepare them first!
For younger kids, Sesame Street has a great DVD about eating your vegetables (I bet other shows have them, too.) If you can teach them, at an early age, about the joy of zucchini (in song) they will be more likely to be excited about it when they see that veggie on their dinner plate.
Never underestimate the power of a good dip: Doesn’t everything taste better with some dip? Well, kids usually feel the same way, too. I often have a plate of veggies (cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, cucumbers, green and red peppers) on the table after school for them to munch on – accompanied by a bowl of lowfat dip. The dip varies: onion, ranch, hummus (I’m still trying to get the boys to love that last one as much as the rest of us do). And, of course, I have to teach the boys that yes, you do have to actually eat the carrot.  You can’t just keep re-dipping it and sucking off the “good stuff.” But, if the veggies are around and easy to grab, more times than not, the kids do just that.
I say all of this to give you hope in the battle against chicken nuggets and PB&J!!

You can get your kids to eat healthy. It just takes patience (and a little creativity!)

Join the Home Depot Garden Club

May 4, 2010

My husband is a gardening fanatic, so I immediately signed him up for the Home Depot gardening club when I heard about it!

If you join, over the course of a year, they'll send you coupons valued up to $500.  The coupons will be for their garden center and sometimes, items in their store.

They'll also send you tips geared towards you area of the country and climate.

Click here to join.

Entertainment Book - $15

May 3, 2010

The entertainment book is now only $15!

That's a great price and most likely, as low as it will go.

We buy one every year and save a ton of money with it!
Click here to order yours! 

$10 off $10 Purchase at JCPenney

If you use the coupon code 4BESTMOM on JC Penney's website, you will get $10 off a purchase of $10 or more.

The good news:  It works on all items, even outlet ones. 

The bad news:  You still have to pay shipping ($5.95) or a store pick-up fee ($4.50).

But, if you are going to shop at JCP anyway, it's a good $10 coupon.

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