Thursday, March 31, 2011

Walgreens, 3/31/11

I am pretty impressed with this trip to Walgreens trip. I bought $72.88 worth of product and spent $28, so 61.6% savings. But, to put this in a better perspective, if I had not had to purchase the Prevacid for hubby (which I ended up using manufacturer coupons and Walgreen coupons to get $6 off), I would have only spent $8.91 and had a savings of 82.5% on $53.79 in product.

For today only they had a coupon for 15% your entire purchase (20% off Walgreens products). The only thing that I wish I had focused on was getting one more of the travel items that were listed so that I could have gotten $3 Register Rewards back. On this trip I got $4 in Register Rewards and I actually got $4 back after the manager came over and realized I should have gotten $4 more Register Rewards based on the ad.

The best part of this is that hubby is learning to say great job each time. I know the savings isn't necessarily a big deal to him, but he is realizing how much I love it and feel even more accomplished.

So, this trip, I got:

(2) 10 ct paper Chinet plates - $2.99 BOGO, $2.54 after discount- (2)$1 cpn from Chinet website = $0.54 or $0.27 ea

Aquafresh kids toothpaste - $2.29, $1.95 after discount - $1.00 instore cpn = $0.95

(4) travel size Listerine - $1.99 ea, $1.69 after discount - (2) $2/2 Listerine cpn = $0.69 ea

(2) Snickers Creme eggs - $0.29 ea, $0.25 after discount - $1/2 Mars Easter Products 3/20 RP (Red Plum) = $0.50 money maker

(2) Mandarin oranges - $1.29 ea, $1.10 after discount - $1.36 instore cpn = $0.42 ea

(2) Colgate 360 Toothbrush - $4.50 ea, $3.82 after discount - (2) $1/1 cpn from All for You magazine = $2.82 ea, plus $4 in RR, so $0.82 ea (now that I type this up, I realize that I need to go back and find out why these didn't ring up for the sale price. Hard to keep track of everything with two kids in tow)

42ct Prevacid - $25.99, $22.09 after discount - $3 instore cpn - $3 Prevacid cpn = $16.09

(2) Secret Clinical travel size deodorant - $2.99 ea, $2.54 after discount - $3 Secret mailer cpn - $2 Secret mailer cpn = $0.04 ea

Secret travel size deodorant - $0.99, $0.84 after discount - $1 Secret (P&G cpn booklet) = $0.16 money maker (2) Colgate Total Advanced - $3 ea, $2.55 after discount - (2) $1/1 Colgate mailer cpn = $1.55 ea, plus $4 in RR, so $0.90 money maker

Now time to get my Aldis, Kroger and Target lists together.

What deals have you gotten this week?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: What does kindness look like to me?

So, my friend at Adventures in Mommyhood:  Mommy Outnumbered,  was doing a post today for Wordless Wednesday Random Acts of Kindness Month.  Being the last Wednesday in March she had asked for us to send her pictures of what kindness means to us.  I was an all too willing participant, sending her 5 or 6 photos.  Yet, between my computer and hers, she was able to look at the photos in the e-mail but not download them to use on her blog.  So, here is my contribution to Wordless Wednesday:  What does kindness look like to you?

Kindness is:

Sharing a bed with your little sister.

Sharing parenting duties.

Waiting patiently while the women shop.

Complimenting someone on their shoes (and going into a deep discussion about them).

Sharing the LOVE!

What does kindness look like to you?

Seven Slings Review

    I will admit that I had never heard of Seven Slings LLC prior to getting an e-mail with a coupon code for a free sling.  I went to the website and liked the look of the slings.  I figured that they would be more convenient than the Moby wrap when going out during the summer with Sweet Pea.  Plus, how can you beat free!
     I was a little confused by the sizing.  When going by height and weight and all other criteria, the sling size would have been a 3.  But, when going by the shoulder to hip measurement, I would have been a sling size 5.  When I tried contacting a representative, I was told to go with the 3, so I did.
     They do have a wonderful selection of colors and designs and I found it hard to choose which design I liked best.  I ended up going with the Supernova.  It is a great purple color with white design.  The slings regularly retail at $48, but have been marked down lately to $39.  I do have to say that they may have the most expensive shipping for such a small product.  Over $11!  Since I wasn't paying for the sling, the shipping still made it cheaper than the other wraps I had purchased.
     It took a while to receive the sling, possibly due to being shipped by USPS, but I have received other items from USPS quickly, so, who knows.  When I first opened the sling, it had a strong smell, from the dyes and the chemicals.  I was really torn between trying it on with Sweet Pea or washing it.  Since I had spoken with someone at the company who had told me which size to get, plus the fact that I did not want any of the chemicals from the dyes touching Sweet Peas skin, I went ahead and washed according to the directions.
     After getting it all clean, I looked at the instructions on how to use the wrap.  They can be slightly confusing at first, but, since it is obvious how the sling should work, you eventually figure it out.  Since Sweet Pea is almost 4 months, we went with the front carry.  It requires that her legs be crossed the entire time.  I found it really hard to get her situated in the sling.  After some finagling, I finally got her situated.  She really seemed to enjoy it, but the sling was uncomfortable for me.  I looked on the back and realized that she was not sitting in the sling in the "ideal zone".  Meaning that the representative should have had me go with the bigger sling.  The sling kept digging into my neck and shoulder.  I wore it around for a while to see if it would get any better.  Again, Sweet Pea loved it.  We went outside to push Wild Man on the swing and enjoy the sun.  The only reason we cut the use of the sling short was due to me being uncomfortable.
     I went back to the website to see if I could return the product, but since it had been opened, I could not.  That was a shocker because, how is someone going to know if the sling is the correct size if they don't open it and try it on with the baby?  I can see not wanting to have a product returned that had been washed, but I also think it is unprofessional to send a product that smells of chemicals and expect people to try using it with a baby without washing it first.  The only way the company does returns is that they will credit back to the card for the purchase price minus shipping and handling.  Since I only paid shipping and handling, it doesn't do me much good.
     So, I do believe this product would work really well for someone that it was correctly sized for.  I think I will even have to look for a different product like this so that Sweet Pea can use it because she really did like this sling. 
     Here is what I am willing to do, go to and look at the sizing chart.  Again, mine is a size 3, but I would recommend basing your size off of the shoulder to waist measurement, assuming that all other measurements fit into that sling size or a lower one.  Then, come back to this page and let me know if you would fit this sling.  I will give this one away to those who would be interested in trying it.  If more than one person is interested, then I will use to select someone. 

A Very Crafty Weekend (and the starts of a business)

So, my parents came out for the weekend and my mom and I went a little craft crazy.  We are planning on starting our own business and have been trying to build up a stock.  Sweet Pea is our lovely model for the headbands that we created.  The great thing about these is that we used some very soft fabric on the underside of the headband where the flower is so that there is no mark left on all the little one's heads.

 Modeling her new Sunlight Hugga Buns.

 Who doesn't love a Monarch Butterfly?

 Bring on the bling!

 My little ladybug!
 Pretty butterflies!

I love the dragonfly!
 It is only appropriate that my Sweet Pea has her own sweet peas!

 We discussed on future headbands putting little ants with the peonies since they are always present in nature.

 Then we hauled out the latest Family Circle, made a few modifications, and now we have our Easter decorations:  The Peep Tree!
The following are some focal beads and/or lamp or fan pulls.  They are all hand stitched.  We decided to try with these colors, but we can create them with any color combination.
 Above is the Marquis style focal bead.
 Above is the Lantern style focal bead

Above is a Lantern/Marquis hybrid focal bead

So, what do you think?  I believe we are getting a pretty great start.  We are looking forward to getting an Etsy site started and being able to take some custom orders.  I know this weekend has gotten me more pumped to dive into some other craft projects I have been meaning to start.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Freebies for the week of 3/21

 The star shaped item is a dog biscuit to help with fresh breath that I got from Wal-mart.  The Bath and Body Works gift card is a $15 gift card I received for contacting them regarding a pump on my lotion not working and also recommending an improvement they could make to a different product.  Companies really do like to hear from you.  I have received tons for free coupons, and today I even received a $60 gift card from Yankee Candle, but I will talk more about that next week.

More free coupons and samples.  Since I had company over the weekend, I had to take two separate photos of the free items.

MiO Liquid Water Enhancer

     As I had posted last week, I received a free sample of the MiO Liquid Water Enhancer and I felt I must share my thoughts on this product.  Especially since, as a EBF mother, I am suppose to be drinking a large amount of water, which I find hard to do most of the time because, lets admit it, water can get pretty boring.
     First of all, I was very impressed at the amount that I had received as a free sample.  The bottle, as it turns out, is the same size bottle that they sell in the store.  It has 24 servings, with one serving equalling one squirt per 8 fl oz.  I had the Berry Pomegranate flavor. 
     One of the best things about this product is that it is a liquid and not one of the crystallized flavor additives.  So, as you drink, you don't have to worry about finding any chunks of flavor floating in your water.  Most of the time I was drinking from a 32 oz container, but I only had to add 2 squirts to get a really great amount of flavor.
     Another great aspect is that there is no sugar, carbohydrates, calories or artificial flavors in the MiO enhancer.  The downside is that it does contain some of the dyes I know many of you are trying to avoid.  All 6 flavors contain Red 40 and depending on which flavor, at least one other dye.  I would love if they could create the flavors without adding the dyes.
     While on the topic of the dyes, I was concerned at first that my container was going to have a permanent discoloration when I finished my water the first time.  Lo and behold, it did not stain at all.  This is also great because I know lots of the other water additives that have sugar can sometimes leave a whitish discoloration on the container that can be hard to get rid of.
     Overall, I am really looking forward to trying more of the flavors.  There are a total of 6 flavors:
 - Berry Pomegranate
- Fruit Punch
- Strawberry Watermelon
- Sweet Tea
- Peach Tea
- Mango Peach
     If you are someone who finds it hard to drink as much water as you should and you don't like using the powdered additives, this is a fantastic product to try.  Plus, this week in the paper there was a $1/1 coupon and Target has a special where, if you buy 2 MiO's, you get a 24 pack of water free.

Target and Kroger Shopping Trips, 3/23

 Target:  $82.89 worth of stuff for $37.87.  The socks, Fish Oil supplements and jet dry were free.  I also got a $5 gift card.  So, around 54% savings.  I would have done better if my printer had not gone kaput so that I couldn't print all the triscuit coupons to make those free. 

Krogers:  $59.88 worth of product for $18, a 70% savings.  The pasta was all free, along with one of the cokes.  The chex mix was all less than $0.80 with double coupons.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

VELVEETA Cheesy Chicken Rotini recipe

I found this recipe when I searching through an e-mail I received from Kraft today and decided to make it. It was delicious! Just the right amount of spice and it was filling. Now, just like any recipe, I rarely follow it verbatim (normally because I am missing an ingredient, but I digress). Instead of rotini, I used penne pasta. Also, instead of the frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix, I just used mixed veggies. I also did not drain the RO*TEL. Wildman loved the sauce and the pasta. I also spiced up the chicken while it was cooking with some seasoning salt. The only thing I wish I could find is a substitute for the pasteurized cheese. I have yet to find a good substitute for any recipe I have done. So, if you have any suggestions, let me know. Otherwise, this is really a budget friendly meal. I had not planned on making it when I went to the store, but was able to make it with ingredients in my pantry. Let me know what you think of it.

VELVEETA Cheesy Chicken Rotini recipe

1-1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups water
3 cups rotini pasta, uncooked
1 pkg. (16 oz) frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot blend
1 can (10 oz) RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained
1/2 lb (8 oz) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

COOK and stir chicken in large skillet sprayed with cooking spray (I just used EVOO) on medium-high heat 5 min. or until no longer pink.
STIR in water. Bring to boil. Add pasta, stir. Cover, simmer on medium-low 10 min. or until pasta is tender.
ADD remaining ingredients; stir. Cook, covered, 5 to 7 min. or until VELVEETA is completely melted and vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring frequently.


     Isn't funny how you can go from feeling so proud of yourself as a mother and of you kids one day to feeling totally defeated the next.  That is where I am today.  The weather is gorgeous, the kids were acting as they do (no better, no worse) and yet I just felt utterly defeated today.  I can't even pinpoint something specific that happened that made me feel that way.

     We all have days where things seem to be falling apart, but we can figure out where it started.  Either the kids woke up on the wrong side of the bed (it's always easier to blame them, right?) or nothing seems to be going right.  Sometimes it can even be something as simple as what someone said.  One of my friends the other day blogged about her son saying those dreaded three words for the first time "I hate you".  Days where it is something said can be worse than the other two because you can't take words back.  Yet, the days I find the most frustrating are when you can't figure out why you feel so bummed and defeated. 

     On any other day, someone can ask me why I am upset or appear angry and I can tell them.  Today, my husband kept trying to figure out what the problem was (which, as we know, tends to make it worse) and I just could not give an answer.  Yet, because I can't give an answer, then hubby can't fix it, which frustrates him, and the defeated day just seems to get worse. 

     Do you have days like this?  I am sure all of you do.  I think the ones that I can't explain are due to just letting myself get stressed out over time and then it just builds up to a point.  At least that sounds like a good excuse, right?  What do you do to help recharge yourself after you feel defeated?  Looks like I am going to be climbing into bed with my two favorite kiddos and cuddling.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better, if not, I can just blame Wild Man for getting up on the wrong side of the bed ;-)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Free Things, Week of 3/13

These are the things I got free in the mail this week:
- 1-Yr Free Subscription to MORE magazine (offer has expired)
- 1-Yr Free Subscription to Newsweek magazine,
- Samples of Enfamil formula and two $5 coupons.  I got these through the Enfamil website.  I give the samples to a local moms group and I keep my eye out to see if there are any good deals that I can use the coupons for so I can give some full size containers away also.
- Home Made Simple coupon booklet ($35 worth of coupons),
- Free sample of sunscreen
- Mio water enhancer free sample and $1 off coupon by liking them on Facebook,
- 2 BOGO free Coke coupons (I used one already!).  I got these through and earning points, then trading them in for coupons.  The coke coupons were discounted for just 10 points each!

AMP diaper giveaway!

une petite plume: {AMP diapers giveaway!}

Thursday, March 17, 2011


My rainbow of fluff

     I was looking around today, feeling pretty proud of myself at all I accomplished on this lovely day, and I started thinking of a conversation I had with my mom a few weeks ago.  I can't remember if it was something I had read or heard, but it was about how you shouldn't focus on just telling your kids how proud you are of them, but also telling them that they should be proud of themselves.  Somewhere in the conversation my mom asked me if I was proud of myself.  I didn't even have to hesitate before I said yes.  These are just a few reasons why you should also be proud of yourself (and feel free to shout it out loud, except if you are reading this right after I post it because it is really late and you will probably wake the kiddos up :-)

You should be proud if:
- You are currently doing something in your life that you have chosen to do because it makes you happy.
- You are doing something differently then how you were raised (be proud for taking a chance)
- You completed at least one thing on your to do list today
- You saved even $0.10 at the store, we all have to start somewhere
- Your kids are happy
- You are happy
- You still have dreams you want to follow
- You are a parent
- Fill in the blank

     I am proud of myself because I am doing things as a parent that my parents didn't do.  I am changing it up and forging a new path.  I am proud because I am part of a loving marriage and we have known each other (and been married) for almost 7 years now.  I am proud because we have raised a loving, considerate and super smart little boy.  I am proud because I know I can do whatever I put my mind to, I have definitely proven that to myself during the past year and a half.  I am proud to know I am raising Sweet Pea the way that works best for her and not necessarily because that is how I did it for Wild Man.
     What makes you proud of yourself?  Just thinking of some of the people who read this blog, I can already think of reasons they should be proud of themselves.  For example, raising a daughter on your own without much help from her father is a major reason to be proud of yourself.  Staying sane with 4 kids 4 years old (almost 5 years old) and under is a great reason to give yourself props.  Starting a blog in order to help other mothers feel better about themselves is a reason to be proud of yourself.

     I think as moms, or women in general, we have a hard time accepting compliments.  I know it is something I have had to work on.  I always felt like I needed to rack my brain to come up with a great compliment to give the person back.  On top of that, we are so hard on ourselves because we read so much into everything.  We feel that any little flaw or slip up can reflect badly on us.  I know I have to constantly remind myself that there are certain things that Wild Man is going to do that is just due to his age (and being a boy).  It doesn't necessarily reflect how I parented.  Does that mean that I don't notice the looks from other parents or citizens if they don't agree with what he is doing?  I do, but I also feel that if they truly understood children, they would understand.  Some kids are going to take things from other kids.  Some are going to be bossy.  Some kids will throw temper tantrums.  I am just proud of myself for taking a step back and realizing this.  Heck, I was proud of myself at the grocery store because I got both kids through (Sweet Pea chose to stay awake) with no major meltdowns until we were paying.

     So, my challenge to you is to tell yourself, and us, what makes you proud of yourself.  If that seems difficult, start with making a list of the things you got done today, even if it is only that you got your teeth brushed.  On top of this challenge, next time you want to tell someone you are proud of them, try rewording it to "Aren't you proud of yourself" or "You should be proud of yourself".  You will be surprised at how taken aback, and then how happy someone (even a kid) is to hear that.  It really makes them think.

     Now that you have read this blog and passed it on to someone else, aren't you proud of yourself?  ;-)

Kroger's trip, 3/15

     So, I just realized that I totally forgot to take a picture of the items I got.  Must have been due to the unhappy baby and the fact I really had to get dinner going that day.  I am really disappointed in my trip this week.  I spent a lot of research time on making my list and I get to the store and the prices were either more or my store was one that chose not to discount the same things like the rest of the stores in our region.  Another negative mark for this town I live in.  On the positive side, my Kroger store has not had their computers updated so the are still accepting both e-coupons and paper coupons for the same item.

     Anyways, the total spent for 2.5 weeks worth of groceries was $91.91, the total amount of groceries I got was $185.58, total savings was 50%.  I will say that this was also higher because I started stocking up on items for a road trip we will be taking in a month so it wasn't just groceries for the next two weeks.

     Also, next time I will try and type this up before I go so I can include the exact coupons and the links.  I am new at this, so sorry.  Must learn as I go.

     The big deal this week was buying 10 items and getting $5 off, which was actually done as taking $0.50 off the price of those items.

10 Pillsbury Crescent (5 ct) and Cinnamon rolls (5 ct) $1.25 each
(2) $0.40/2 e-coupon
(2) $0.50/2 e-coupon
(3) $0.40/2 printed coupon
(2) $0.50/2 printed coupon
Total:  $0.85 each

Country Crock large tub $3.09
$0.40/1 printed coupon
Total:  $2.69

2 Yoplait Fiber One Yogurt 4 packs $1.99 each
(2) $1.00/1 e-coupon
Total:  $0.99 each

2 Yoplait Trix Yogurt 6 packs $1.99 each
$0.75/2 e-coupon
$0.75/2 Krogers coupon
Total:  $1.24 each

3 Krogers shredded cheese 3/$5
$0.40/1 Krogers coupon
$0.50/2 Krogers coupon
Total:  $1.37 each

2 Philadelphia Cooking Creme $2.50 each
$0.75/1 e-coupon
(2) $1.50/1 printed coupons
Total:  $0.62 each

Pringles $1.34
$0.25 e-coupon
Total:  $1.09

(5) General Mills cereal $2.18 each
$2.00/5 catalina coupon
$0.75/1 e-coupon
(2) $0.75/1 printed coupon
(2) $0.55/1 printed coupon
Total:  $1.11 each

2 Tostino's Pizza Rolls $0.99
$0.40/1 e-coupon
Total:  $0.79 each

2 Coke products 2 Liter $1.89 each
BOGO free coupon from
Total:  $0.94 each

2 Krogers large eggs dozen $1.69 each
Free eggs Krogers coupon
$0.55/2 printed coupon
Total:  $0.84 each

6 Chex Mix $1.29
(3) $0.50/2 e-coupon
(3) $0.50/2 printed coupon
Total:  $0.79 each

2 Gardettos $1.29
(2) $0.50/1 e-coupon
Total:  $0.79 each

Van de Kamp 30 ct fish sticks $3.19
cpn for free Birdseye frozen veggies
Total:  $1.59 each

     That is most of the big stuff.  I also had $6 off from the Daytona sale that Krogers had and $0.50 from a deal Cellfire was having.  I got 76 items in total.  I still love the fact that I got $93.67 worth of groceries for free.

     The most important thing I want you guys to know about coupons is that, while some stores may make it difficult to use them, or may even make you feel bad about using them, the stores get their money back plus some.  If you look on most coupons, it states that the manufacturer will reimburse for the face value plus some other amount.  So, stack those coupons and save yourself some money.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Good, The Bad, The Facebook

     I will be the first to say that I know I am not a perfect mother.  Now that I have said that, let me say that I am comfortable in the way I parent.  I don't sit back and question everything that I am doing.  I do what I feel is right.  I may try overly hard to please some people (yes, you honey!), but I am also very honest with how I do things (as if you couldn't tell by my previous post).  I will say thank goodness I was not connected to Facebook when I was pregnant with my first child!

     Now, don't get me wrong, Facebook has its' good aspects.  It connects people from all over the country and world who have similar interests.  Heck, I am friends with people I have never met in person.  Plus, I get to see how everyone that I went to school with is doing.  I enjoy being able to log in to a group I follow and ask a question and get some real life answers.  I just can't believe some of the information people post out there.  I mean, I can honestly see where some mothers would prefer to go with formula because it is easier.  What I mean by that is, if you log onto a site like The Leaky B@@b you read about sore nipples, hind milk, fore milk, latching problems, it's enough to have a newbie want to throw in the towel before they get started.  I am glad that the site is there for mothers who are having issues, it really can help a lot of people.  I am just waiting for some of those happy posts.  I want to start a movement where we all just log on and post how wonderful breastfeeding is and how closely bonded you feel to your little ones.  I exclusively breastfeed with Sweet Pea and had planned on it with Wild Man but had to supplement.  I had breast reduction surgery less that two years before having my son, so when I ended up working part time outside the house I could not pump enough.  I breastfed when I was around and was always pumping when I could.  The formula was normally made with breast milk added, but not always.  If I had found these pages at the time, do I think it would have changed anything?  Probably not, and I probably would have felt guilty about having to supplement. 

     But that isn't the main reason I was writing this.  I am floored by how many links I have been sent over the past month regarding little ones who had passed away.  The thing that always gets me is that all the links that I have been sent deal with children either around 3-4 months of age or 3 years of age, so the ages of my children.  Each time I read their story I can't help but cry.  I look at Sweet Pea and Wild Man and can't imagine living without them.  They truly are my life.  But I also have learned over the course of my years that things seem to happen for a reason.  I think what is most devastating about the children I have received links for who have passed on is that all of them are due to causes that have yet to be determined.  The younger ones seem to have succumbed to SIDS.  The 3 year old is yet to be determined.  I think that is what upsets us as mothers the most.  These are things that we couldn't prevent, they just happened.  We are suppose to protect our children from everything.  They are suppose to be the ones who plan our funerals, not the other way around.  My heart truly goes out to the families.  I hope that  I never have to experience anything like the pain of losing a child.  What I also can't imagine is if I was pregnant for the first time and reading all these stories.  I am afraid I would have wanted to put my baby in a bubble, even though that wouldn't necessarily protect them. 

     I am so glad that these mothers do have the connections they have made from Facebook because they will get the support they so badly need at this time, along with finding other mothers who have experienced the same thing.  I hope that all mothers hold their children a little closer each time they receive one of these links and says a few more "I love you's".  It is unfortunate that it takes reading one of these stories to make us stop and put life in perspective.  Our time here is short and precious, we hear that all the time.  So, turn off the Facebook, look at your children.  Are they happy?  Are they healthy?  Do they laugh?  Do you laugh with them?  If you can answer yes to these questions, you are doing things right.  Take what you read on Facebook and file it someplace where you can pull it out later and mull over it, just don't let it suck you in to the bad or the ugly.  Let it help you with the good.

     I will get my grocery shopping match ups on here tomorrow.  For now, I am going to go sleep with my babies!    

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

No Name Calling!

     I should really be working on my grocery list and coupons right now, but I had to get something off my chest.  Hopefully I don't lose my following.

     I feel lucky to be able to say that I can let most things slide off my back when it comes to people stating their own opinions on how they do things that may differ from how I do things.  I have made some posts on the blogs and Facebook pages I follow where I have stated what I may have done in that parenting or political or whatever situations.  I state my reasons, if there was an outcome, and I leave it at that.  I normally go back later on to see how the feed has progressed.  If it has started to get heated, I am one of those people who might step in to mention that this should be friendly debate.  I understand where the name calling comes from.  When we make decisions that we feel passionately about, no matter if it is the type of car we drive or how we parent our children, we sometimes blind ourselves to how other people  may come to their decisions.  Then, when someone dares to question our beliefs, we start to go on the defensive.  Yet, that isn't where the name calling even comes it.  The name calling comes in when you can't put into words effectively what you want to say and why you reached that decision.

     I am all for researching decisions.  Heck, I appreciate when most of the pages I follow post information on differing views than my own.  It helps me to understand how some people may choose to parent a certain way, or why they may have certain views politically, religiously, etc.  What I do have a problem with is those same pages, who are trying to educate, posting "informative pages" where they state that those that don't feel the same way are ignorant.  I am not going to state what posting it was tonight that got me off on this little tirade, but it had to do with vaccines.  In the article, as part of trying to explain why vaccinating is horrible, the author felt the need to state that those who vaccinated and didn't understand why someone wouldn't vaccinate are ignorant.  Why she feels the need to classify everyone who vaccinates in this category, I don't know.  I would say that would be ignorant of her, only because you should never classify everyone due to the views of a few.

     I vaccinate my children.  I don't regret it.  I understand why some people would not.  I don't judge.  I have yet to find strong data that proves to me that I should not vaccinate.  I have seen where there have been increases in certain populations in the country of certain diseases that were not very common or had been considered eradicated due to vaccines.  Some research points to the increase in unvaccinated children, but of course, I am sure some children who have been vaccinated are also included in those numbers of children who may have gotten the disease.  As of right now, we know that vaccines don't cause Autism, the scientist even admitted to lying about the results.  I find it hard to believe that vaccines didn't do some good with the fact that we have so many diseases that have not been seen in the U.S. in years.  That is just my view.  I don't think anyone is ignorant.  I know, just from college and working with different researchers that you can get different results when two people do the exact same study.  Nothing is guaranteed, nothing is definite.

     Just to add to the fire, my husband and I chose to circumcise our son.  I don't regret it.  I appreciated how it was done.  My husband and I never really discussed it, we just knew that is what we were going to do.  I knew, from speaking with our chosen pediatrician, that a scalpel would not be used.  It was actually a ring that they wrapped the skin around and it fell off around the same time as his umbilical cord.  I will admit, I didn't research this topic (I know, shock, what kind of mother doesn't research every little detail!) but it felt right for our family and we would do it again. 

     We also bed share with our infant and, many nights, Wild Man also is in bed with us.  Now, as per my previous post, most nights it is just me in the bed, but we do this even when my husband is home.  Again, I didn't research it.  It just happened with my son.  I would feed him in our bed since the pack and play was right next to the bed and I would find myself falling asleep.  My husband did not mind so the pack and play was there for naps or to lay him in so I could do something, but at night he would sleep with us.  Around age 1 was when he started sleeping in his own crib.  We still rocked him all the way to sleep and if he woke during the night, he normally was back in our bed.  He has gone from a toddler bed to a twin bed now and we still go through weeks where he is in our bed more often than his own, but we don't mind.  It has even become a tradition that when my parents come out to stay, he sleeps with them.  I know how he feels.  I remember growing up and feeling lonely in bed and wanting someone to cuddle with.

     So, I know I rambled, it just frustrates me that when someone is passionate about something, they can't seem to keep out the name calling.  I was also frustrated that a page that I like to follow, that normally prides itself on trying to stop the name calling, would then go and post this article, and support it, when it is calling someone like me ignorant.  Just remember, especially during this month of RAOK (Random Acts of Kindness) that words do hurt.  Parenting, and life in general, does not come with a guidebook.  We pick and chose, trip and fall, and blindly feel our way through it.  All in hopes that we make decisions that we don't regret or at least can learn from and that our children can learn from our decisions and mistakes.

    Off to make that grocery list now ;-)

Monday, March 14, 2011

This is Life!

     So, I have finally gotten around to getting back on here again.  Isn't it amazing how some days during motherhood you can feel like you might finally be in control of some things.  You have a schedule that worked that day and you might even get some "me" time.  Then the next day it all seems to get out of control again.  I know, that's motherhood.  Do any of you ever wish that you could have an hour or so, just to get something done?  Of course, whenever we get that hour, we don't know what to do with ourselves!

     My husband works long and strange hours, so, for the most part, the kids and I have ourselves to schedule around.  When he finally gets a day or two off, then we normally get completely off schedule, but we love it.  That is why I haven't been on the past two days.  Family time can be few and far between, so we try and take advantage of it when it comes.  Does your husband or significant other work a regular 8-5 job, shift work, or some other wonky schedule?  Right now, we are on a 6 pm-6 am Sun-Fri work schedule.  Of course, I find that misleading because they want the supervisors there at least 30 minutes before their shift, so my husband normally leaves between 4:30 pm and 5:00 pm and doesn't get home until 6:30 am or 7 am.  Then off to sleep.

     Are there certain things that you don't do with the kiddos until your partner is home?  I use to do that, but found my son was missing out on things.  I now find out from my husband if there are certain things that he wants to either be there for the first time or do at a later date.  What are some of your favorite things to do with your kids when your hubby is at work and/or sleeping in preparation for work?  We love going to BabyTalk at the library and, when the weather gets nicer, going to the park and feeding the geese and ducks at the pond.  At home we like to listen to music and play in the bug tent.

     A perfect example of not having me time, I started writing this blog last night at 6:00 pm and I am just now getting the opportunity to finish it.  Darn you Daylight Savings Time!  I had been on such a roll too.  Well, hopefully, if Wild Man doesn't catch the bug that has been going around the house, I will be able to get the grocery shopping coupons and list up tonight, it could be tomorrow though. 

     Have fun with your little ones!

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Few Couponing Websites

First of all, I have to say that my thoughts go out to all those in Japan and elsewhere in the world affected by the earthquake and tsunami. I can't even imagine dealing with that kind of destruction and loss.

I want to thank you for following me on here and to let you know I also have a Facebook page called Mintee Mama.

Here are a few couponing websites and other money saving websites I love: lets you see the upcoming coupon inserts has printable coupons let's you download coupons to your stores reward card has printable coupons that you can stack with manufacturer coupons has printable and electronic coupons, along with cash back options for cash back. I got a check from them for $20 for using them to purchase things online I already needed

These are the surefire ones that come to mind. I will update with more. I also never shop at a store online without first checking out to check for coupon codes.

Do you have any favorite online sites that you use for coupons?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Cloth Diaper Collection

So, here is my diaper collection.  Ignore the staining.  I really need a sunny day to get my diapers out on the line!  Out of pocket, I haven't spent more than $50.  I bought the Econobum covers during the BOGO sale, along with some prefolds.  My grandmother bought 10 of the white Econobums as seconds for $4.95 each and then two Bumgenius, so there is another $60.  On the left hand side you can see a lot of inserts, my grandmother has actually made those for me.  The fit perfectly and work really well.  All she did was outline one of the BumGenius inserts and then found a fabric, used 3-4 layers and then surged all around.  The Thirsties covers were a gift from my mom, so I don't know the cost.  Sweet Pea is almost too big for them, so I am looking at selling some of them back and maybe giving some away within the next month.  As for my wipes, a gift from my mom.  She had tons of fabric and she cut them out and sewed them together.  I also make my own baby wipe solution.  So, my collection is probably larger than most, but I also try to keep things frugal.  Not counting the Thirsties, I have 14 covers and 2 Pockets, cloth wipes, inserts and prefolds for around $110.

What do your collections look like?  What are your favorite diapers?  I need to figure out what I want to replace the Thirsties with.  I also need to find a swim diaper.  Need to keep my eyes open for some big sales!  Right now, the BumGenius and the Thirsties have hook and loop, but the Econobums are snaps.  Which do you prefer?

Well, time to hit the hay!

Walgreens: Week of 3/6

So, this week was a busy week, so I had the opportunity to make 3 trips to Walgreens.  The total amount spent:  $29.98; total amount of product: $111.27; total savings:  $81.29.  Wonderful savings, still looking to do better.  Here is a breakdown:

Always pads: $2.99
cpn from P&G cpn book -$1.00
RR -$2.00
Total: made $0.01

Colgate Sensitive:  (2) $4.49
BOGO -$4.49
Cpn -$1.00
Total: 2 tubes for $3.49 or $1.74/tube

Lysol wipes: (2) $3.59
BOGO -$3.59
Cpn -$1.00
Total: 2 containers for $2.59 or $1.29/container

Honey Roasted Almonds: $2.99 one day on clearance, the next day $1.99 on clearance

Covergirl eyeshadow: (2) $3.49 (I should have argued this because the tag said $2.99, but we were running late)
BOGO 50% -$1.75
Cpn -$1.00
Total: 2 for $4.23 or $2.11/shadow

Noxema disposable razors 4 pack:  BOGO free
Total:  $4.99
I was hoping to get the Venus razor that had the RR but they were out all three times, even though I made sure the third time would be when they were stocking shelves and I had been told more would be coming in.  Oh well!

Mandarin Oranges: (4) $1.29
In-store cpn - $3.16
Total: $2.00 or $0.50/can

Pedicare: (2) Allergy $7.49, (2) Infant $5.99, (2) Childrens Cold $7.49, (3) Children's Fever Reducer $6.99
In-store cpn -$45
Printable cpn $3/2 -$6
Printable cpn $2/1 -$4
Catalina cpn $1.50/1 -$1.50
Total: $6.41 or $0.71/box

I don't normally buy household cleaners, I prefer to make my own, but we have been hit hard with sickness this year so I figure, with all the company we have, I wanted something a little stronger to wipe things down after people leave. 

I just got the Krogers ad and the coupon inserts for Sunday, so I will try and get some things matched up and let you know what I find and how I do on my shopping trip.  Shopping probably won't happen until after Sunday.

Have a great evening!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Getting Things Started

     First, let me thank you for joining me on this journey.  First, I want to give you a better idea of who I am and what I am hoping to help you gain from this page.
     I am a SAHM who doesn't fit the mainstream mom role, but I don't feel I really fit in to the other groups.  I use cloth diapers on Sweet Pea (my youngest, 3 months old) but disposable pull ups just at night for Wild Man (my 3 year old).  I co-sleep, but Wild Man is currently content most nights sleeping in his twin size race car bed.  I breastfeed, but with Wild Man, I did have to supplement with formula due to a previous surgery I had and working part time.  So, I like to think I can most sides of the mommy spectrum.  I hope to get into more detail on each of these parenting topics and more.

     For the couponing, it has become an obsession for me.  This week I got around $80 worth of product at Wal-greens for $20.  I am still new so I am hoping to increase the amount of product and decrease the out of pocket as we go along.  So far, I am about 50% savings at the grocery store.  As I find good deals, I plan on passing them along.  I will also link in the other couponing blogs that I follow.

     Cooking, LOVE IT!  I know my husband gets a little tired of some of the experiments, but I just love to bake and cook.  I plan on sharing some recipes with you.  I tend to focus on the more frugal recipes and, at my husbands request, will be doing some more crockpot or one pot meals.

     DIY items.  I currently make my own cleaning supplies and washing detergents.  Just today I found out how to do reusable dryer sheets!  While I would like to say that this was all for environmental reasons, it started more about cutting costs.

     So, that is just a brief overview of what you can expect.  I am sure, as we go along, some things will get weeded out and, if this really takes off, I hope to upgrade to an actually website.  Let me know, as we go, if there are things you want more information about or if you need some pointers on something.  I know there are lots of blogs out there, but I feel that I should have something for everyone because, especially right now, parent or not, we are all looking to save money and that is really the basis of everything I do.
     Thanks again for joining me on this journey.  Be on the lookout for the next post.