The concept for this blog, believe it or not, came out of Facebook. Every day, like millions of other people, I post my "status" on my FB profile. Most of the time, my status updates are funny commentaries on things my children have said, or things my husband did or my take on our crazy little life together. Sometimes they revolve around good "deals" I've found at stores or online. Time after time, though, I received comments from friends about how much they enjoyed my updates - how my sentence or two each day would make them laugh or feel like they weren't alone in this crazy world of parenting. After much encouragement to do something with my writing besides entertain everyone on Facebook, this blog was conceived.
I am happy to say that I am not only going to pay NOTHING for school supplies this year, I am actually going to end up "ahead."
I have been turning in my used ink cartridges at Staplesand receiving $3 per cartridge in store credit. I have accumulated $39 thus far. Yesterday, I went to do our back-to-school shopping this year. Combined with their sales, I purchased nearly everything on the school's list. In addition, three of the items had rebates attached to them. Thus, not only did I shop with my "free" store credit, I am also expecting to get $25 back in either the form of a check or some more store credit. Yeah!
The sad news, though, is that, while I was there, I learned from the cashier that Staples has changed their store ink cartridge policy. Starting this month, they will only be giving $2 per cartridge. I guess they were losing money by giving $3.
It's still a good deal to get $2 for an item I would have just thrown away, but I'm sad that they've lowered the amount.
A lot of the funny and interesting conversations I have with my kids occur in the car. (I guess we spend a lot of time in there.) The one that follows is no exception.
My kids and I were driving somewhere last week when my 3-year-old son, Bennett, began to discuss a family friend (who I am going to rename “Ms. Ann” – for reasons that will become obvious in the next few sentences).
Ms. Ann is a relatively large, middle-aged woman. (A lovely woman, but a tad bit portly.)
While talking about her, in what context I do not remember, Bennett said, “Ms. Ann is old and squooshy.”
“Really?” I said. I honestly couldn’t think of what else to say. “Old and squooshy, huh?”
“Yes,” he said. “She’s old and squooshy.”
We drove without speaking for a few moments.
“Mommy,” Bennett said, breaking the silence. “You’re not squooshy.”
I smiled quietly. That’s a relief, I thought.
Not a moment later, though, my smile was gone.
“No, you’re not squooshy,” Bennett repeated. “You’re just old.”
I have to admit up front, I have not yet tried this recipe. But, I plan to do so in the next week. I'll let you know how it goes - and please, if you make it, email me or comment on this post about how it turns out!
I not only write a blog, I also love to READ other blogs. I came across the recipe today and thought I'd send some of my traffic over to Cook Like Your Grandmother! He has the whole recipe posted with photos!
The recipe is for homemade ice cream - and ALL you need is bananas and MILK! AND, get this, the milk is OPTIONAL!!
You can also "jazz it up" with chocolate chips and strawberries!
I bet the kids will have fun helping out with this one (making it AND eating it!)
I was driving by a Sonic last week (and then another one today) and they both had a big banner outside saying that all large soft drinks and iced teas are now 99 cents.
I couldn't find anything about this online, but I imagine they are trying to compete with McDonalds who now sell all of their drinks (no matter which size) for $1.
I am, personally, very happy about this news. When I'm in "need" of some caffeine, there are always numerous Sonics around but it seems, in Austin, very few McDonalds. This will make my life easier (and a little cheaper!)
The sign did say something that prices do not apply during Happy Hour. I'm not sure what that means . . . maybe because drinks are 1/2 price during happy hour from 2-4 PM, they are saying that the drinks aren't half of 99 cents . . . ???
I just discovered a new website that I think will come in handy for a lot of us.
It's called ABC Giftcards and they sell discounted giftcards to numerour major stores and restaurants.
I just glanced at the site and you can get Gymboree giftcards at 20% off, Express cards at 16% off, Borders ant11% off and Ruby Tuesdays at 8% off - amongst many others.
This is a great site if you are planning to buy a gift card for someone else or if you know you'll be making purchases at a particular store and want to save money. For example, if you know you'll be doing a lot of home improvements in the near future, you can get Home Depot gift cards at 7% off - and then use them yourself.
In addition, you can sell or trade gift cards you have for others you may want. So, if Aunt Eloise gave you a gift card to Build-a-Bear but you don't have any kids - trade it in for one to the Spa Finder!
I know I've talked about Adealio before, but at the time, I said it was just for Austin. It turns out that they now are in many cities all across the US.
It works like Groupon - you get a "Deal of the Day" mailed to your inbox and you have until the end of the day to buy it.
I've gotten some great ones - half price haircuts, half price meals, half price massages.
The best deal I got with them? Two weeks ago they were selling $50 worth of Adelio "bucks" for $25. I bought that deal.
Then, the next week, they had Regal Movie tickets (never expire, no restrictions) for $5 each. I bought 10 of them for $50 - but, since I had only spend $25 for that $50, I ended up just spending $2.50 per ticket!
Sign up for their mailing list by clicking here and then enjoy all the great deals!
I apologize to those of you who don't live in Austin, cause this is an Austin deal.
I was at a party this weekend and was speaking to a mom there about a beauty school in Austin (called Avenue Five) that has great reviews (see them for yourself here) and is reasonably priced.
According to this mom (and the reviews) the haircuts they do a great job with stylish and trendy cuts (but only charge $12!), do color and highlight for between $30-$55 and are known for the fabulous $25 facial they give!
Here's the site. Next time I need a cut, I think I might just check them out.
As I write this blog post, I am just a few hours shy of my 37th birthday. (Ssh. Don’t tell my daughter. When she asked me this week if I was going to be 26 or 27, I replied, “Twenty-six.”)
But alas, I lied to her. I am about to turn 37. Funny, though, I don’t feel 37. In fact, I still feel 17. But, the date on my driver’s license (which I will have had in my possession for exactly 20 years come tomorrow) says I really am.
I’ve already experienced 36 birthdays. I have to say that most of them have been really wonderful. At least, I think they’ve been. While driving the car today, I tried to come up with as many memories as I could of past years. It’s not easy to do – try it sometime. I did, however, compile a list of what I will call my “Top 8 Birthday Memories” (I couldn’t come up with ten!) and I hope you’ll indulge me as I share them with you.
1. I will never, ever, ever forget my 8th birthday. My childhood best friend, Jen, and I both received our first sleeping bags the Christmas before and we were anxious to try them out. My parents agreed to have Jen come over for a sleepover. The most exciting plan for the evening, though, was that we were going to go to a drive-in movie (a first for both of us). The film? ET.
I’m sure this initially seemed like a good idea to my parents, but it ended up not turning out quite as they had planned. Though ET wasn’t particularly scary, when you are 8 and sitting in a dark car in a field watching it on a big screen – and people are searching for ET in the dark woods - well, let’s just say that it frightened the living daylights out of Jen. From my recollection, she sat in the front seat between my parents crying her eyes out (while I sat in the back) throughout the whole movie. Then, when we finally got back to our house, she was so scared, she wouldn’t sleep with me on the floor of my room in our new sleeping bags. She ended up crying most of the night in my mom’s bed, my dad ended up in mine and I slept on my hard bedroom floor – all alone - wondering how this had happened.
To this day, I (of course), being the “true” friend I am, always make sure to tease her about it at least once a year – usually when my birthday rolls around.
2. On my 32nd birthday, my husband was in Iraq and I was visiting my parents in NJ. It could have been a very sad day, but turned out to be quite wonderful. My mom took me to a spa for the day (while Grandpa watched my two year old at home!) and then, as we ate lunch outside on a beautiful patio, my cell phone rang. Phone call from Iraq! What perfect timing. When I got home, there was a package from Amazon.com waiting from me – Rob had ordered my gift online and it arrived right on time.
3. My 24th birthday was celebrated at Ft Riley, KS. Rob and I were newly married and I had just become friends with my-soon-to-be best friend, Renee. Neither of us knew each other’s husbands very well, since they had both been away on different military adventures. Renee decided that my birthday would be the perfect time for she and her husband, TJ, to have me and Rob over for dinner. In those days, Rob was always incredibly exhausted from his Army work and my birthday was no exception. Though we barely knew Renee and TJ, Rob literally fell asleep at their dinner table during my birthday party! (And Rob wants me to clarify for him that he wasn't even drunk!) :-) To this day, Renee and I laugh hysterically every time one of mentions him dozing off.
4. My 30th birthday is memorable to me because it was the first one I spent as a mom. I remember going out to lunch with two of my close friends and their children (all much older than mine) and then, afterwards, we went over to my friend, Michele’s, house to swim. This birthday is particularly special to me because Michele’s sister, Marilynn (a dear friend of mine), came to join us at the pool. Marilynn would pass away just a few years later and so that would be one of my only birthdays spent with her.
5. The thing I remember most about my 26th birthday is that Rob and I had just moved to Austin two weeks earlier and I did not know a SOUL in town. No one. Rob went to work that day and because the school year had not yet begun (and thus, I wasn’t teaching), I had no one to spend my day with. I took myself to the Texas Governor’s Mansion for a tour and then spent the rest of the day shopping at the local mall (which I found after much trial and error). A few hours later, I called Rob at work to tell him about “all the great things he had just bought me.
6. I think I need to lump all of my childhood birthdays into one. That’s the great thing about tradition. Every early birthday, though uniquely special, was also comfortingly familiar. Every year, on the last day of school, my mom threw me a big party in our backyard (at our pool) for my entire class. The strongest memory? All the kids lined up on the edge, legs splashing in the water, posing for our yearly photo together. And, because my birthday is so close to the 4th of July, we always celebrated with a “family party” on Independence Day. I grew up thinking every kid got fireworks to celebrate that they were one year older!
7. In New Jersey, you cannot get your driver’s license until you are 17 – and so, on July 2, 1980 my dad took me down to the NJ DMV to get mine. I don’t remember the test much, but I do remember immediately dropping off my dad at home and heading over to pick up my 80-something year old grandmother, Mimi. She was the first person I wanted to take for a drive. I took her out to the lunch, to the local “Windsor Diner.”
8. Last year, my 36th birthday, was a particularly sad one. I flew to California the day before because our close friend, Major Jason George, was to be buried on my birthday. Jason had been killed in Iraq. Though, it was a terribly sad way to spend the day (not to mention being away from Rob and the kids), it was also a very special birthday because I was reunited with so many incredibly dear friends from our days at Fort Riley.
And now, here were are, just two and a half hours away (as I write this) from my 37th.
I was hoping to spend the whole day with my kids, still under the guise of it being my 26th, but my mom “outed” me today.
When she came over, she said to my daughter, “Thirty-seven years ago today, I was very uncomfortable and pregnant!”
“With who?” Jordan asked.
My mom looked at her with a odd expression.
“With your mom,” she said.
Uh oh. I forgot to tell Grandma that I’m only going to be 26!
Okay, I have been TRYING to cut back on soda, but today, I really, really needed one on my way to pick up my boys from school.
So, I drove through my local Wendy's drive-through. As I was paying for my drink, I saw a sign on the cashier's window that said for a $1 donation (to what, I do not remember) you would get a coupon book with 4 coupons for FREE small Frosty's. That comes to 25 cents a piece!
Sometimes I find that I'm overwhelmed when I need to purchase a new product, such as a coffee maker or toaster oven, and there are so many choices. I don't want to pay too much money for one, but I want to get one that lasts.
I usually Google for reviews on certain products, such as the new pots I want to buy, but that, too, can be a daunting task. There are so many websites out there and so many various opinions.
I may have found a way to solve my problem, though. It's a site called ShopWiki. They don't SELL anything, but instead, it's an online crawling engine which supplies product information and deals based on what consumers are searching for online. Unlike other search engines, they don't accept any fees from merchants (such as those selling blendersor wine glasses) in exchange for listing their products.
So, next time you're in need of a steamer or other electronic gadget, check out ShopWiki for to compare the latest deals from all the hottest retailers.
I'm a 39 year old mom of 3 kids. One girl (age 10) and two boys (ages 6 and 4). I’ve been married (to the same man, no less) for over 16 years. I'm both a stay-at-home mom and a working mom. (In this world of modern technology, that's a possibility - and, as you'll learn from my blog, I work many "odd" jobs). I struggle each and every day to be the best mom and wife and woman I can be. Sometimes I succeed. Lots of times, though, I just need to take a nap.