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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Magnum ice cream and other deals at Target

There are some great deals at Target this week.
Magnum ice-cream is teaming up with Target to provide you some delicious Belgian Chocolate ice cream or Fruttare for only $3 a box! Check your local store as it should be a temporary price until 7/5/14.
Tide detergent is another deal you should look into. There is a sale for the 100oz bottles for $9.99 starting today. Pair this up with the $2/1 coupon from the 6/1 P&G insert or print out this $1.50/1 coupon. Combine this with the Mobile coupon (text Grill to 827438) to make them even cheaper.
Get free samples of diapers and wipes from Huggies. Just go here to request yours now. You have to be a member of the Huggies site to get yours. Just use your Kimberly Clark login.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ghiradelli savings!

Here is a high dollar coupon for the new Ghiradelli Minis! Hopefully soon sales will start popping up and you can save even more. Target has them for $3.99 a bag. This coupon is $1/1.
http://wm6.walmart.com/Ghirardelli-Minis-Coupon.aspx

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Schlitterbahn! Bring your own food!

Schlitterbahn is one of the most amazing water parks I've ever been to and taken my family to. There are so many reasons to love it. The recycled river water makes it an eco-friendly park. So many rides to choose from for every age means everyone can have fun. I know its safe because of all the friendly life guards standing at the ready at all times. There are plenty of covered areas to rest in to prolong the days activities without exhaustion or overheating striking. And there is FREE parking! Most parks require you to pay for daily parking and its quite pricey. I'd rather save my money for fun inside the park, wouldn't you?
But there is one reason why this park beats out the competition from others. They allow you to bring coolers of food and drinks from OUTSIDE the park! Sure, they offer concessions and restaurants. But some families look to save money by bringing their own. Or families who have special dietary needs can ensure they stay on track without missing the fun. No glass or alcohol as it is a family park! Its a great idea that makes moms happy. It lets you stay ALL DAY so you maximize your fun while saving money. But what would you pack for your families hunger and thirst needs?  I've got my own ideas for the Mom's Ice Chest Challenge.
Start with a cooler and remember to pack the ice! You don't want your food going bad. Water and Capri Sun pouches are a must. Keep your family hydrated throughout the day to ward off fatigue as it greatly depreciates the fun! (And its really not healthy.)
As far as foods? These simple recipes mean that my picky eaters will keep satisfied so I don't have to spend valuable time in lines at the food places instead of riding the water slides.

Pizza or sandwich roll ups
My kids love pizza and pepperoni. So I take a tortilla or wrap, spread on a dab of mayo, add their favorite sandwich meat or pepperoni and a slice of cheese. Roll up several and put into a zip lock bag. They can choose one or more depending on how hungry they are feeling and go back later for more.

Cookie Cutter fruits
Watermelon works best, but cutting fruits with cookie cutters or into shapes makes eating them more fun. Bring a plastic dish full of them to much on throughout the day to provide a healthy snack. They also add to the hydration levels from the natural juices inside.

Macaroni Salad
Its easy to put together, easy to substitute what your family enjoys in it and tastes great even when its cold.
1-2 cups of pasta
1 cup of tomatoes
1/2 cup bacon, chopped
1/2 cup cheese cut in small chunks
2 spoonful's of your favorite dressing to taste

Cook the pasta (my family prefers rotini pasta in the veggie type). Set it aside to let it cool. Chop up tomatoes or add cherry tomatoes cut in half. I like to add chopped bacon to mine. You can add small chunks of cheese, personally I like feta. Add your cooled pasta and mix. To top it off, I like to put a couple spoonful's of Italian dressing. You can choose to add Ranch or another dressing as your family favorite might differ from mine.

For dessert ideas, cookies work well. I make chocolate chip cookies or even a pan of brownies. My best recipe is for brownies with white chocolate swirled in.

White Chocolate Swirl Brownies
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix the butter, eggs and vanilla extract briskly with a whisk. Add in the sugar, cocoa, flour salt and baking powder one at a time until fully mixed. Batter should be smooth. Pour into a greased pan. Pour about a cup of white chocolate chips into a microwaveable bowl. I spray a tiny amount of cooking spray on top before microwaving them at 15 second intervals stirring in between until fully melted. Swirl the white chocolate in with a spoon. Another way is to use a bag with the corner tip cut off and squeezing it in while swirling. Though this method makes the white chocolate deposit a bit thicker on the top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. These are easy to cut and put in a bag when cooled. They make great finger desserts to take along and finish off your meal!

Feel free to join in the fun by sharing recipes and let me know what you would take on your trip! texanmama08 at gmail dot com.

Its officially SUMMER!!!

I don't about where you live, but it has been feeling summer for a little while now. Texas heat has settled heavy and dry with a strong drought. We carry water everywhere. We bring along the sunscreen because we know that sun is burning straight through us just by walking outside.
On the positive side, water parks are in full swing! Time to get out and splash with the family. I can't tell you how excited my family is to be going out some time. My kids are water babies through and through. Add some slides and wave pools... Ahh summer heaven!

I'm happy to offer you all a way to share in the fun this summer. For those of you in and around the San Antonio area, or if you are coming down for a summer vacation, you can save $5 off at Splashtown in San Antonio with this coupon!!! This is good for $5 off a child or adult admission before 4PM. Its valid for up to 6 people at a time. And it expires 9/14/14. So come on down and have fun with us! Share this deal with your friends and family. Lets keep cool.
Here is some information to plan your trip with:

Splashtown San Antonio is 20 landscaped acres of cool, clean water excitement!

Location - Just 3 minutes north of downtown San Antonio

Information - Our Family Waterpark has something fun for everyone!!!

* Over 50 Rides & Attractions
* FREE Life Jackets
* Covered Public Picnic Area
* Restaurant & Concessions
* Dive-In Movies
* Lockers for Rent
* Professionally Trained Lifeguards
* FREE Parking
* Restrooms with Shower Facilities
* Souvenir Shop
* Special Events

Sorry, NO outside food or beverage allowed in the park. No pets allowed. Swim Diapers required in park.

Splashtown Accepts Discover, Master Card, Visa, American Express and Cash.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Getting back into my routines...

Getting back in the groove...
My laziness in home life responsibilities has been showing lately. Home schooling while also working a full time job had become overwhelming to the point I wanted to just call it all quits and put them in school. My husband, who wasn't being supportive, was all for it. After all, he didn't want to take time out from what he does to help with what he deemed my responsibility. It made for quite a frustrating month. 
It came to a breaking point this past week. The conversation of divorce even entered the arena. Stress levels and migraines went through the roof as I tried to make sense of it all. I desperately grasped for moments of calm in the sea of chaos. Where did I go wrong? How do I get my feet back on solid ground? It didn't help to have someone accusing me of being all the things I strive to NOT be. Insult upon injury. 
I can't say my husband and I are getting better. But I do know I'm determined to fix my mothering issues. I've buckled down on being on a daily schedule. It's helped me catch up on what I've fallen behind in. They are enjoying the school work a little more so it's not a chore.
I'm cleaning as needed instead of all the time as a way to avoid other projects. Don't get me wrong, I'm still OCD about cleanliness. I just won't clean the same mess every couple minutes (kids toys) just so I don't have to do something else that is more important. 
I've noticed that the stress and lack of enthusiasm (depression if you will) has caused the pounds to once again pile on. Normally I'd consider it a blessing. I've gone down two pants sizes in the past three months. But considering my only workouts are those at work or cleaning at home, the excess is gathering in the middle. At work it's all weight lifting and walking. Carrying those 50 pound bags of dog food or hauling 20 pound boxes up ten foot ladders. The upper body strength is great. It's one of the things I said I'd work on this year anyhow. But it's not trimming the stomach which is building a gut. I've also gotten to where I eat simply because I'm depressed and not because I'm hungry. The things I eat aren't part of the healthy spectrum. So I'm getting back to disciplining my health. I need to set a better example for those looking up to me.
Cutting back on sweets. Limiting my portions. And working out those abs more. I've got Just Dance games for the Xbox 360 as well as the Wii. Playing them will also give me a chance to have fun with my kids. I used to be so much more energetic and fun. It's time to bring that back. 
I can't guarantee roses and sun shine every day. The daily grind and constant battles that I feel I must fight alone, often threaten to drag me down. I get my happiest moments from my children.
It's a conscious choice I have to make to get up and push back. To tell myself I can take it and more without falling. I'm not going to accept  failure and give up. It takes a lot, and I'm not alone in this scenario. I know I can't fool myself all the time. Some days I'm going to feel broken and I might even cry. I'll try to grab my journal and write the thoughts furiously flowing from head to hand in a river of emotions. Then I'll move on as if nothing is wrong. It's not always easy, but it's how I cope. And this is how I get through the difficult times. I'm getting back in the groove of accomplishments. I am going to make a better life somehow. One day at a time. For me and my kids. 
Remember this saying: "This too shall pass." No matter what it is, good or bad, it has it's limits and won't stick around forever. 

"The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly."
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Label Daddy review via US Family Guide

Time for another review! This one is in league with US Family Guide and provided by Label Daddy.
I've written about the importance of having things labeled before. You always need to have your belongings marked in a way that others know it's yours. Especially if you have children. Whether for camps, overnight trips or just to differentiate between your kids belongings and keep them from fighting... Labels are crucial! While I didn't choose actual labels this time, I still love the various sizes and packages they offer.
For my review, I chose zipper tags instead that can clip to just about anything.
Since my husband loves the Spurs and they were in the championship games, (Go Spurs, Go!) I chose to have little 'Go Spurs' ones made.
You can clip them to zippers easily. Show a little team spirit while having your name on the other side. They do not interfere with the daily use of the items they are attached to. You get a pack of 10 customizable zipper tags for $24.95. Creating my tags took just a couple minutes with the easy-to-use form.
My husband loves his. He attached one to his pool stick bag and another to his key ring.
They are sturdy little tags too. Perfect for my not-so-gentle man to take on the go. He plans to spread the Spurs fever to his friends especially since they won the Championship.
Label Daddy offers packs designed to fit your needs like the Camp Pack.
Definitely check them out! And leave me a comment about what you think about them. What is the best reason for you to consider them?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Target finds

Okay so this isn't a deal but it's so cool! Target has these new tumblers for kids (or adults) in the Dollar Spot!
They are $3. Perfect for your little Star Wars nerds! 
What side are you on? 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Having a fun filled Saturday

It's already a long day. My sinus problem has become a bother. I was up early. But pressing on is what I'm doing. We took the boys to Lowes to build a Toothless dragon.
It's actually a fun kit to make and would have been cool for a displayable trinket. I wasn't impressed by the fact that my sons kit had a part split and they didn't have extra sets for just such a case.
So we had to keep building and just deal with the fact that he ended up with a defective dragon who can't flap it's wings. It was difficult for them to do without a large amount of parental help. Even I had difficulty attaching certain parts. I prefer taking them to Home Depot builds. Those were always more fun. Plus we had to sit on the cold concrete floor. So wear pants that you don't mind getting dusty in. 
Then it was over to Toys R Us for The Lego Movie Master Builder event. Again I was disappointed. They said there were no instructions and IF everyone at the front stuck to 30 pieces a person, there would be enough for those of us at the back of the line. It was to build a sort of mecha suit with a mini figure head.
Arrive early if you want to be first because when we got there about noon the line was pretty long already. I do like that it encourages kids to have creative minds. 
Then it was back to work clothes shopping! I have decided I can't shop with kids and husband in tow. It just doesn't work. I have also decided I hate being so long legged. It's not being tall. It's have your body be mostly legs that is such a pain. Couldn't find skirts anywhere (pants are nearly impossible). I finally found a pair of pants at American Eagle that fit perfectly in waist and length but it cost me $40.
And they only had one pair. It was that or a $30 short skirt from JCPenney. Target just had to pick red and khaki for their colors didn't they. I did manage to order my free 8x10 photo collage from CVS. Today is the last day, remember to get store pick up! Use code DADCOLLAGE at checkout. 
Forever 21 had $1.80 cami's and $3.80 leggings. Make sure you get the right size before hand though as you can't return, only exchange. 
Well, kids are having a blast at the Lego store. I'm looking forward to medicating and climbing back in bed as soon as we get home. Enjoy your Saturday! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Enjoying life

I'm looking forward to going to sleep very soon. Not even 6:30 PM but considering the fact my day started at 2AM... I'm ready. 
My day was filled with all sorts of adventures. Fun at work, where I brought rich brownies for my team.  
I work with a group of interesting characters from all walks of life. They each bring something to the table and play a key role. While I'm sad that two of them are heading out to better jobs, I'm also happy for them. Nothing like going somewhere to get paid more and possibly have better working conditions. Better than the creature who met some merchandise in the wrong way...
We went Target to pick up a couple things. Using coupons, I managed to save about $25 off our bill and get a few freebies!
I tried shopping for more work clothes with no luck. Being tall can really be a curse especially when your job dictates the colors you have to wear. Red and khaki is NOT an easy pair. Why can't I just be like my daughters Barbie? Forever being undressed.
Okay, so I don't want to run around naked. Definitely not the nudist type here. But wearing whatever I wanted would be nice. Like pajamas. 
When we got home, it was time to cook. It seems I spend most of my time at home, in the kitchen. I should consider putting a cot there... We took silly pictures while we waited for it cook.
No matter what kind of day I'm having, I have 3 little rascals who can make me smile and act like the fool willingly. They are my heart and soul. 
Dinner conversation went from my 5 year old asking me to teach him to drive the van when he "grows up" to who has what color eyes and which parent did it come from.
I find that children are fascinated by the smallest of things. Their desire to learn makes me want to get my butt back to school and finish my education. But it also makes me proud that they take after me. 
I've got everything set for us to take the kids to Lowes tomorrow morning. Can't wait to build Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon! He's the coolest so far. Let's just hope my sinus issues don't make a scene. Remember to enjoy the little things. Appreciate what you have. Don't be the cynic. 

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. - H.L. Mencken

Free 8x10 photo collage!

Head over to CVS.com to create a free 8x10 photo collage using the code DADCOLLAGE! Remember to choose in store pick up or you will have to pay for shipping. http://www.cvsphoto.com/Prints?WT.mc_id=PhotoEM_061314&stop_mobi=yes&utm_source=Photo%20Email&utm_medium=Marketing%20Campaign&utm_content=2014&utm_campaign=061314

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New great Target deals!

Just caught up reading emails from All Things Target. I saw a couple that were really good, including free Dove chocolate ice cream bars and Axe for just .69 each! My brothers use Axe so I know my mom will love this deal and I plan to get me some ice cream.... So check out the posts she has here.
The deals may vary depending where you live so don't forget to check your local sales ad.
For the Axe deal, you will need to print some coupons and will get a $5 gift back. This is the scenario she worked out:
Buy 2 Axe Deodorant at $3.89 each and 2 Axe Shampoo at $3.99 each. Use the $5 off $15 personal care Target mobile coupon (text CARE to 827438, printable or in-ad) and 2of the $1.50/1 printable coupon (limit you can only print 2)
You will pay $7.76 up front but get the $5 gift card back when you buy 3 (sale ends 6/14) making the final price .69 each!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Free donut!

Tomorrow is National Donut Day and Krispy Kreme is celebrating by giving away free ones! Enjoy ANY flavor!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Learning life's lessons....

What a day. Went grocery shopping. It's always a crazy chore. Especially with 3 kids under foot. The boys want to run around the aisles and my daughter wants to follow them so she tries to climb out of the cart. We found a couple great deals and otherwise did our week and half shopping. $190 wasn't bad. It covers 3 meals for each of our 5 members for the next week and half plus snacks and oddities we found along the way. One deal I wanted to share was the Maruchan Yakisoba meals.
I don't think you should buy these to eat often but when you need a cheap lunch and don't have leftovers on hand, they'll do. They are 64¢ each and I had the $1/2 coupon making them 14¢ each. Then you have the Nabisco coupons for 75¢/2.
Pair these up with the buy one box of Ritz crackers, get a box of Itza crackers deal or the buy 2 packs of Nabisco Oreo cookies and get a free carton of HEB Mootopia milk for some extra savings. 
When we got home, I had to put everything up and make lunch. My oldest son ran up to his room saying he was going to play. This was a little unusual, but I had my hands and mind busy on other things so I let it go. When I called him down to eat, however, it was all too clear why he ran up there so fast. His lips and tongue and around his mouth were colored blue. I asked him what he had eaten. While he tried to answer without telling me everything, I ran through a list of possibilities in my mind. His answer was "candy that I put in my pocket". Immediately I knew what he meant, he had taken candy from HEB and stuck it in his pocket. He stole candy. It was just a lollipop. But I wasn't going to just let him get away with thievery. I wanted him to learn that stealing was a crime. A serious crime. So after talking to him and we ate lunch, we went back to HEB. I made him tell the manager what he did as well as asked the manager to tell my son what he does to those he catches stealing from him. We explained where criminals go and what happens to them. I sincerely hope we got through to him. Then I paid the 54¢ and told the cashier to throw it away. He wasn't going to get it back. When I worked security, I had a mom do the same thing to a son who was slightly older than my own. He was a little scared and a lot embarrassed. I'd be pretty shocked if he ever did it again. 
After our trip to HEB came a stop at the Lego store for the monthly mini build!
It's certainly gained popularity as the line was forming before 4pm and stretched all the way back to the Bath and Body Works store when I arrived shortly after 4. People even brought foldable stools to sit on while they waited. If I had planned a little better, I'd have brought the iPads for the kids and a book for me. At 4:40 I was in the middle and it was snaking all the way towards JCPENNY. 
Mall security had to set up ropes to keep the line orderly and prevent line jumpers. It was to build a speedboat that is actually big enough for a mini figure to fit in. Can't wait to see what next months build will be. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Free Tai Pei dinner coupon

Simply click this link http://www.taipeifood.com/fsi/mobile/registration.aspx
Enter your information and wait for the coupon to be mailed to you. It's good for one free Tai Pei dinner. These are usually about $2.18 each. 

Internet controls?!

My husband just showed me a very interesting post on a website called the Open Internet. I'm not sure where they are getting their information and I plan to look into this further.
In my search, I also found another article that talked about how ISP companies plan to extort more money and fill their pockets.
It sickens me the way they think they can get away with it. But at the same time, it goes to show how stupid they have become. This blogger will give up Facebook, the blog, Twitter (hate it anyways), and stick to only running internet searches for information if they try to enforce paying to use just certain sites. Or if they try to slow down my service and charge more for "premium" service. I won't do it. I rather have more money in my own pocket that be held captive to the ISP. Content providers like Netflix already have to pay "tolls" to provide you with service.
You know how you see "Buffering" pop up and the video takes a while to load? That's not Netflix or YouTube being slow. That's your ISP slowing your service. This is their sick way of making you suffer because they have nothing better to do and are trying to get more money from anywhere they can.

We need a strong net neutrality for sure. No ISP controls or FCC regulations to determine what internet options we can access and how fast we can do so. We as consumers need to know more about our options and be more aware of what is happening in the cyber world. Our Age of Technology will be plunged back into the Age of Books pretty soon as not everyone can pay fees to use various content providers. I, for one, don't need YouTube on a regular basis to warrant me paying a monthly fee to use it. As much as I enjoy watching movies on Netflix with my kiddos, I will give it up and save that extra $X to buy Blurays instead or go back to reading books in my free time. If I can't blog without paying additional fees (even though my blog is free through my Google accounts) then you won't be reading any more posts from me in the future. I won't be forced to pay for something I do as a service and receive no monetary benefit in return for. I'd rather put my money to better use.

While this all comes as a bit of a shock considering I have strayed from keeping up with technological advances of late, its also not as shocking as it should be. Todays day and age has become run by money-grubbing-whoring companies. Everyone is out to get what they can at others expenses. There is no such thing as "FREE" anymore. There hasn't been for quite some time. Somewhere, somehow, someone is getting charged.
So what are we learning here? First off, ISP companies aren't interested in servicing your needs. They are only looking to reap as much from your pockets and the providers you seek services from as possible. If they continue to go unchecked, they will basically (and forgive the blunt or crude wording) be raping everyone overall. You will be paying multiple fees for one service. Let's take for example Netflix. You already have to pay Netflix to stream or rent movies. You also have to be paying for high speed internet to accommodate the streaming. There are two separate payments for one service. But if the ISP wants more money from you, they will start charging a fee just for streaming videos. So now you are paying a third price for the one service. They will be making you choose what you use your internet for instead of allowing you to use it for whatever you previous wanted. Gaming, videos, email, social networks - all of it will change. Will you start paying to share photos and status updates with friends and family? Will you pay Microsoft, ISP and a fee just to play a game every couple of days when you have time? And consider this... You work hard or save in some other ways to pay for the fees for gaming or Netflix already. Are you ready to work more hours or save more elsewhere to continue those things? I know I'm not.
If this is where my internet usage is truly headed, count me out. I know I wanted to get offline more and into the real world where life is happening. And that's exactly where you will find me if these changes happen in the future. Books will make a comeback after all. Parks will receive more traffic. And perhaps obesity will take a plunge. Maybe its for the best that the poorer folks will no longer be online like they are now. But then maybe not. Technology has served as a way to get information out there. When no one can afford to access it except the rich, the age of learning and information may also decline. Ignorance will possibly make a huge come back.
Where will you be?