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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Free 20 page 8x8 photo book!

This coming to you from Shutterfly! My Coke Rewards members can redeem one FREE 20 page 8x8 hard back book without using any of their points. This offer is limited to the first 50,000 members only and the code will be emailed to you. It expires July 31st (11:59 P.M. PT). You can get it through Shutterfly.com or the Shutterfly Photo Story app for the iPad. Offer can only be redeemed once per account and/or billing address. This particular code can only be redeemed once. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Makes a great gift idea for family members.

Samsill product review via Shoplet.com

It's that time again! Another review coming to you by courtesy of Shoplet.com. This time it's for two products from the Samsill line they carry.
First we have the iPad holder case.
I love how well padded it is. Its comfortable to carry around.
It also has built in bumps that allow it to become a stand so you can go hands free.
There are two landscape positions to choose from. It's compatible with 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation iPads.
The front cover is magnetic allowing it to snap closed and shut off the iPad to save your battery. Likewise, when you open the cover you wake up your iPad. It comes with debossed diamond designs and bright colors to match your style.
It has the cutouts so you can still take pictures, plug in and access controls without having to remove the case. Overall, its great for protecting your iPad, looking great, and serving multiple purposes.
The next office supplies product I have to show you is the Office Binder with Label Holder. I use binders for so many things. I have one for my coupons, recipes, instruction manuals... They are pretty much everywhere in my home. I decided to test this one out for my new recipe book. It's sturdy. I love that I can open and close it single handedly. I'm often holding something or someone with my other hand so I can't deal with multitasking without a little help. There is a place on the side for your personalized label so you can clearly see what you have inside without opening it.
There is a pocket on the inside for loose sheets as well.
It opens on the left side with the curved spine that optimizes the ergonomics and prevents the spine from cracking and breaking quickly like others have a tendency to.

These products aren't the only things you can find on Shoplet.com. They have everything you might need for your home or business office needs. They also have promotional products to get your business name out there. They also now sell medical supplies. And lastly, you can also find specialized office stationary which does come from the UK.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Another long but fruitful day

I cannot tell you how exhausted I am today. But I'm also quite satisfied with after working late, I came home to shower and change before we left to take the kids to the local Lego store. The Lego store at the North Star Mall is celebrating their anniversary! With that, they are having all kinds of fun events this weekend.
They are holding raffles and random giveaways. My son answered a question correctly and won the Minecraft set he's holding. 
And the grandest part is letting kids build their own designs and have them placed in a large US outline. I really look forward to seeing the finished design. Those who participated were given vouchers to bring into the Lego store and get Certificates.
They had also given us 10% off coupons towards any one City Lego set. It was totally fun and as always, I enjoyed chatting with the employees. 
Then we went to the Bath and Body Works store around the corner. Right now the newest fragrance, the Weekend one is $5. Plus they had three others for half off. I chose to get the Tokyo Lotus. I bought 2 for about $12 and got the Sweet Pea for free using one of the coupons for buy $10 and up and get a free item. The other half off scents were the Moroccan Orchid and one with London in the name. Sorry I wasn't really paying attention after I smelled the Tokyo Lotus....
Our next stop was the Super Target. I was determined to get some cheap Digorno pizzas for us to have on a night when cooking was out of the comfort zone. Like tomorrow when I'll work 4 am to 4:30 pm... Not going to want to cook. I really love the BOGO deal on the pizzas. However, I tried using the 4 coupons (2 Target and 2 Manufacture). But for some reason the system made one of the Design pizza kits as the the free one so my $1/1 Target coupon couldn't be used on one. Still, I got a good deal and couldn't complain. On the way to the register, I came across several end caps of clearance grocery items. There were a lot of cake and cookie mixes, boxed potatoes, stuffing, vanilla frosting... Just so much! 
So be sure to check your local Target and if you can, the Super Target. They will have far more selections. 
We got a Reese's cupcake mix for $1.90, a Hershey's chocolate chunk cookie mix for $1.94 and some BBQ sauces for about 71¢ each. 
Deals and steals are slowly popping up as the summer heat settles. Can't wait to see what the next couple months have to offer! 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Huge savings at Target today

The mail brought more happiness in the form of freebies after a long but great trip to Target. Did you get your Kotex sample pack?
Today's shopping trip to Target was a success. A $200 amount brought down to about $128 with coupons, Cartwheel, sales deals and plenty of planning. I didn't get the buy one get one free pizzas I planned on, but there's always until Saturday! For now, I'll show you what deals I saw and got...
The Coppertone Sunscreen was one of my first stops. Buy 2, get a $5 gift card back. Plus the $3/2 coupon that I posted about. These were $6.99 and $4.89 each but there were multiple kinds if you didn't want these. And remember Cartwheel has the 5% off. 
I got the smaller one for my husband to bring on his fishing trips. The spray is for days when I take the family out for fun in the sun. 
Down the paper aisle we found all the Charmin on clearance. I added a $2/1 mega roll pack coupon and got extra savings on the mega size mark down. Score for stocking up on something we use a lot of!
Then on the end cap, there were these packs of napkins, paper plates, paper bowls, and plastic cups all marked down to $1.48 each. We grabbed 4 of the napkin packs, 1 paper plates and 1 of the cup packs. Each one also had 5% off in Cartwheel. Again, savings on things we use daily plus Cartwheel! 
Dr. Pepper was on sale 3/$3 on the 2 liters. I also had a coupon from inside a 12 pack for $1 off two 2 liters or one 12 pack. I paired it up with the 2 liters and got 3/$2! My husband drinks this stuff like I do water. 
I planned to get Digorno pizzas using the Target and Manufacture coupons together. However, the Target one is only for the Build a Pizza kit. This Target had so few pizzas left and none were that kind. So I plan to try another Target or two later. The sale is BOGO free. Add in the coupons and you have really cheap dinners! 
If you or someone you know is an Angry Birds fan, check out the clearance stuff in office supplies. I found folders marked down to 52¢ each.
The Lego Friends and a single Chima one were also marked down again. Those were 94¢ each. 
Cartwheel had 40% off men's apparel today only. I had a coupon for employees only giving another 20% off swim suit items. I planned to use that and the mobile coupon for $3 off a $15 purchase to get my husband new swim shorts but they didn't have his size in the ones he wanted. So instead we bought 2 shirts (one of which was already 40% off the regular price) while adding the 40% off men's clothing in Cartwheel and my discount. Making these a little over half off. Now to get him to toss a couple of his raggedy ones... 
Since he decided not to get the swim shorts, we instead used the 20% off coupon to get me a new one. The Xhilaration swim wear has a 15% off Cartwheel offer as well. 
Remember to check Cartwheel often and pair up your coupons as often as you can! The deals are there but it takes planning and effort to get them. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Super savings for summer fun!

My good friend Sue let me know about this excellent deal on Coppertone Sunscreen.
Target currently has them on sale for buy two get a $5 gift card back. Plus you can go here to get a $3/2 coupon. Plus add in a 5% off with Cartwheel! There are a couple kinds you could get:
Coppertone Sport for $4.89 x 2 = $9.78. Subtract the 5% and $3 coupon so you pay $6.27. Get the $5 gift card back and it now means you really only paid .63 each!
Or get the Coppertone lotion or spray for $6.99 x 2 = $13.98. Subtract the 5% and $3 coupon so you pay $10.25. Then get the $5 gift card back making it really $2.62 each.
Stock up for summer! And do your skin a big favor.

Nexcare sample and other free stuff

Give and get in the Nexcare pledge! June 14th is World Blood Donor day. So Nexcare is giving samples to those who pledge to give. Help raise awareness in the need for more blood donors.

Cherishables is offering everyone 1 free Fathers Day card. Just pick your card, personalize, and then enter your information. At checkout, use the code: DAD14C to make it completely free including shipping! You don't have to enter any payment information and be sure to order it before June 1st!

Send a free Postcard via Redcross on Facebook! Use your Facebook photos to create a postcard. Create your postcard and send it to people on Facebook or make one for a friend that will be mailed for free! You can get up to 5 free postcards by sharing your creation on Facebook. https://apps.facebook.com/postagram/RedCross/Holiday
Get 50 bonus points for your Kelloggs Family Rewards account by using this code: JUSTBECAUSEBONUS
Or this one for 20 points is still available:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My vacations end has come...

I'd like to think that I have accomplished much during my time off. Today marks my last day of vacation. I'm managing my husbands business, raising 3 young ones, and trying to keep a tidy home. I gotta admit, I just about broke down on day 3. It took several deep breaths and a moment of music while pulling an order for my absent husband to think of everything and get the emotions in check. It also took a text from my best friend telling me it would get better. Just those little things made the calm return so I could focus on getting every task completed.
I've accomplished more than I thought was possible. I pulled all but the latest order for my husbands business. And that's only because it came in late last night. I even took a chance on taking my kids to Target on a Saturday evening without losing my mind! We went to the park nearby on Sunday and I let them run wild.
Can you imagine how well they slept afterwards??
Monday, I got my sons stitches removed.
We went to the Lego store after I had a friend watch them so I could run errands. I needed a quick break away from them as I was feeling a little burnt out. My spirits always brighten after a trip to the local Lego store. Why? Because the employees are not just the guys stocking shelves. They are like friends! Taylor is huge nerd and I absolutely LOVE catching up on the news of what's what with him. Guess what?! New Ghostbusters set coming out next month!!
But I'm getting carried away with my nerdiness...
I've learned a few things during my time off. First off, I am WAY too OCD for my kids. I think I must have swept the floors at least half a dozen times daily. Secondly, I should face the music and realize that in between meals I'm lucky to complete one task. Thirdly, for every mess I cleaned, two more popped up. Mostly when I heard the silence. You other moms know what that sounds like. Its that ominous, up-to-no-good sound void. Every time I was busy with something, so were they. And the way they blame each other... Okay so its my boys. My daughter doesn't tend to get into things like they do. But as soon as the jig is up, fingers point and voices try to climb over each other until I yell, "Enough!" My oldest spent a lot of time filling up his bathroom sink with water and adding toys. My youngest and only little girl didn't want to eat very much. Things I used to make her all the time like peanut butter sandwiches weren't appetizing for her this past week.
She's doing a little more eating but not of the things I'd prefer her to eat. It was driving me insane when it all came together.
My best friend told me to relax. I did what I always do - laughed. Moms don't relax. They don't get real vacations. They sign away their lives the minute that test reads positive for a new life being made. They also lose that "perfect" body they had. I tried to sit down every once in a while. But then I feel lazy and tired and don't want to get moving again. So back to work I'd get. And then I ran into an old friend of mine. We hadn't kept in touch much over the past couple years but it was good to see a friendly face. He complimented me on how well I looked having carried and delivered three kids. And then he asked me something that most people don't. "What's your secret? How did you get back to looking so amazing, so quickly?" What I wanted to answer was the same way I do when anyone talks about how I look, "Oh you know, eat healthier and less while being crazy active!" But let's face reality and answer the truthful way, "Stress. I'm always stressed about something." Then came another question that gave me pause, "When you look in the mirror, what do you see?" I could've said, "I see an amazing nerd!" Which is what I tell people often. But again, deep down, I don't believe it. "A worn out mom." A tired, worn thin, stressed out, mid-twenties, young mother who struggles to be the perfect woman and do everything right. And then considers herself a failure when she can't meet her goals... 
This friend of mine often seems like the carefree, almost on the verge of being a hippie type but occasionally he says something deep and meaningful that makes you think. His response was along the lines of how sad it was that I don't see what others do, so clearly. And that it's a way of thinking embedded deep within the neurons that needs to change. He told me to instead look in the mirror and tell myself what I am. Or what I want myself to be. No, I can't tell myself to be the perfect balance of thin/weighted and have a good cup size up top. But I can change my attitude towards myself by telling my reflection that I'm beautiful, intelligent, and worth more than the time of day. I can also choose how to feel when others try to put me down. I can choose to accept their words for truth or say, "No. I know better and you can't get me down." His words sparked something that others never did. And now the encouragement that others have offered has new meaning as well. I may be tired. I might be stressed out. But from now, I'm going to think of myself more positively. And hopefully one day, I'll see myself through others' eyes. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Day two of my vacation...

There's a reason why I can't share my bed with my daughter. Only 1 1/2 years old and she makes a queen size feel as small as a day bed! To get her to calm down and sleep, I laid her next to me and told her good night. Before I could finish my nightly check routine on my phone, she'd pushed me to the edge and was snoring like her dad usually does. Such a boss...
After getting her into her own bed though, I got to curl up in the middle of this big bed and sleep like a rock! Haven't woken up this late (7:30) or refreshed in quite some time. Vacations are amazing, especially the stay-cation kind. I'm not out spending money I don't have, I'm not going insane chasing my kids in parks... Though I am going crazy trying to juggle the activities of the day. We managed to get some schooling in this time. Then I attempted to organize everything for the yard sale I'm supposed to have tomorrow. I let the kids run around in the front until I got tired of trying to sort and yell at them for running too close to the street. Back inside we went when my daughter spilled her bubble wand and went to playing in the soapy mess. 
Since it was getting to be her nap time, I thought I'd lay on the couch and try to hold her until she fell asleep.
Mistake... I dozed off for a few minutes and all three kids ran to play upstairs. So glad they didn't get into trouble. 
Back to work I went. I posted an ad for the yard sale, posted a deal or two on the blog, sorted Legos for my husband upstairs, and what do you know? My daughter decided to crash on the couch after all. Score! Then the AC repair man showed up and told me how the previous tenants never used a filter and there was a build up causing issues. No wonder I feel like I'm in a sauna! After he leaves, I start making dinner for my rascals.
Each one wants something else. Then I made muffins for tomorrow's breakfast. I want to be prepared as I'm already planning to get the yard sale started around 7:30ish. 
And it's not even 8pm so I have to find more ways to entertain the little monsters. Until bedtime at least... 
Update since I typed the above... It's now 10pm and the boys are sleeping soundly. My daughter has my iPad and is still very awake. I made signs for my yard sale. 
I even managed to start typing up my latest review. We went to Target where I bought things using coupons and sales and came home feeling like a boss. But that's on another post... Why can't they all sleep when you, the parent, are ready for bed? Where is the Off switch?! Baths don't always work. Not fast enough at least. Here's to another successful day. And hopes for a better one tomorrow. 

What a way to wind up my day!

I am so super stoked about the amazing shopping trip I just had at Target! I paid about .21 for 2 packs of pads, 2 packs of liners, and two stand up bags of Mars candy!
No joke. And here's what I did:
So you guys remember my post on the Poise pads coupons right? Well, true to my word, I checked the sale and you do get a $5 gift card when you purchase 2 packs of pads or liners.
Then you use the coupons (x2) for $2/1 pack. While I was grabbing my packs, I also came across an abandoned Target coupon for $1/1 27-66 count pack.
So altogether I had 5 coupons for the 4 packs. And I got back the 2 $5 gift cards.
Then I headed over to the candy aisle. The Mars stand up bags are currently 3/$8 or $2.66 each.
I grabbed 2 packs using the Target and Manufacture coupons I printed after posting about them.
At checkout, I used the coupons and Cartwheel. I also used my team member discount and Redcard. I paid $10.21, however, I received $10 back in gift cards! So basically, only paid .21!!!

Chocolate anyone??

High value coupons for Mars brand candy bites! Refer friends or post on your social site to get either coupon.
If you shop at Target, you can stack these with the Target coupon and Cartwheel! Yummy treats!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What a day...

Today I got a taste of what a single mom must go through. I drove my husband about halfway to Houston (1 1/2 hours) to meet his best friend for a guys sleepover. The whole drive home I heard whining, complaining and crying coming from 3 backseats. 
"Mom, I'm hungry!"
"Mom, can we go to the playground?"
"Mom, how much longer?"
I'm surprised I didn't end up with a migraine. I did catch myself gripping the steering wheel a couple times though. 
Upon arriving home, it was leftover pizza for lunch. Then my daughter wanted to be held for a while. She's going through a bout of allergies. We all watched tv for a bit and the sleepiness started to drift in on me. I decided to send the kids to play as I hate lazy little ones. I started researching deals and cutting coupons to stay awake. Next thing I know... Dinner time?! How did that happen??? 
Time to make pigs in blankets! It wasn't as much of a hit as I hoped but they at least asked for seconds. Then of course it's time to clean up which means baths for the boys. This also means cleaning the bathroom as they love splashing. 
Then my little girl wakes up. Dinner time starts all over again. The boys cry for movie time. 
I wish this was the end of my day. But this is my second wind. Teeth will need brushing, daughter needs bathing, one son needs sheets on his bed... 
My daughter, however, did bring a smile to my face. She's in love with shoes! So every chance she gets, she takes them from the closet and puts them on (even if they don't match). She loves to play dress up now too. 
Tomorrow should be a fascinating day. Not sure what we will do yet, but I'll do what I can to make it fun! 

Poise pads deal

Here's a deal you might want to look for! Target should have Poise pads on sale for about $4.89 each. Buy 2 packs and get a $5 gift card back. Go to http://www.poise.com/samples-and-offers/coupons to print out 2 of the $2/1 coupons offered by Poise. You may choose pads or liners or BOTH! Pay $5.78 for both packs and get the $5 gift card back meaning you really only pay .78/2 or .39 each!! This is great for stocking up. You can only print each one twice though. And you do have to have an account with Poise to access the coupons. Remember that not all stores are the same and prices vary.
I haven't been to my store yet, but totally plan to! Let me know if it works out for you!

Found some cool deals

So I've been going through the coupons that we get in the free Redplum paper and checking out deals. Target seems to be geared for a holiday weekend but didn't have much that could be matched to the coupons.
Walgreens has a few that caught my eye.
This $1/1 coupon was in the Redplum It makes for a great stock pile price if you use this kind.
So these are on sale for $1 each. There is a buy two get one free coupon. This will make them only .66 each for 3 boxes!
There is a .75/2 coupon for Nabisco products. Combine this with the 2/$5 and you get 2 packs for just $2.12 each. Not a whopping deal, but still better than what they normally are at about $3 a pack.
I haven't found any other spectacular finds for this week. But since my husband is out of town, I'm taking a little time off from online and shopping to enjoy time with the kids instead. Let me know what your area has! Have a great holiday weekend everyone.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Free DVD rental from Redbox

Text EMAIL to 727-272. They will respond with a text asking for your email address. Once you have sent that, they will then email you a confirmation email that you click the link in to confirm. You have to subscribe to their newsletter but you can always unsubscribe later. Then of course you wait. I've done it twice so far but haven't received my code yet. Its supposed to be good for 2 weeks. I don't know about you, but I love getting to watch a movie for free first so I know whether I want to buy it or not. Let me know how it works for you!
Check out the movies available near you: http://www.redbox.com/

Monday, May 19, 2014

Growing pains

Today, while I was at work, I received urgent messages followed by frantic calls from my husband. 
My oldest son had hit his head on the table or chair and gashed the back open. The cut was about an inch long and fairly deep. Bleeding stopped rather quickly according to my husband but after finally getting me to answer, I knew it was bad. I consulted with my dad about if it looked stitch-worthy and he said yes. 
After alerting my supervisor, I left work early. I had to keep checking my speed as I was consistently hitting the 80+ mark on the speedometer and didn't want to add a ticket to my going-downhill day. In my mind I was arguing with myself. I was angry that I wasn't able to protect my son from harm. I was understanding that I'm not a god who can't save him from all pains in life. I was upset that my husband was panicking in the face of an emergency. I don't panic. I keep calm and approach things with a level head. And while I know not everyone else does, I will get frustrated with others for their panic. 
So many thoughts and emotions flowing through me at once. It was enough to take my light headache up a notch and make me wish I could've taken the Excedrin sooner. 
As I see the wound in person, I was completely convinced that stitches would be needed. There's no getting around it for something that opened that wide. My fear and anxiety were coming alive. A mother doesn't want to see her children in pain. Especially when there's nothing you can do to take it away. And what would the doctor say? Would he accuse me of child abuse? We loaded the kids into the van and drove to the local clinic.
It took about 2 doses of pain killer to numb the spot.
About 2 hours later, he had 3 stitches and had behaved so well I wanted to cry in pride. 
My little boy is growing up. I cannot stop him from getting hurt. I cannot wrap him up in full body protective gear and expect him to enjoy life. While my heart aches at his pain, I'm going to hug him and kiss his head while I tell him that he is my little man and everything will be okay because I'm going to be there for him no matter what. 
It's a Mom thing.