Friday, February 27, 2009

Rookie of the Day

It's a banner day.

I found my first coupon to share with the world.

You see, in the world of moms saving money, there are certain 'celebrity bloggers' that the rest of us can only aspire to be like. Deal Seeking Mom and Money Saving Mom are two of my personal favorites.

Then there are the thousands of deal-seekers out there who can simply sniff the wind, and they know what direction the next deal is coming from. These coupon-savvy bloggers have a network of underground deal-sharing that would make the CIA envious. They work with precision, skill, and unbelievable speed in spreading the word about savings.

Well, yesterday, this newbie couponer may have become the newest member of the team. I happened upon this Buy One Get One Free Glade coupon (which is a great deal...and I hear you should wait to print it out) in my inbox and thought, "Hey, why not send it along to a few other blogs. No doubt, they discovered it months ago, but it doesn't hurt to try."

And so I dropped a quick e-mail to several of my favorite sites.

Nothing could have prepared me for the sheer delight I would experience when, upon checking these sites, I discovered MY NAME highlighted in that lovely linky blue, thanking little old ME for leading them to this coupon. I feel like I should thank the academy...

And so, if you are a fellow couponer who happened upon my little site today because of this, drop me a line. Say hey. I'd love to meet you!

Meanwhile, I'll be sniffing the wind.

update: Found a deal here! Go quickly to get a 15 or 20% off coupon at Old Navy before they run out! Thanks, Anca!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Because deals sometimes show up on Tuesdays...

I'm so glad you all are enjoying Money-saving Monday!

But now, I have a predicament. I just found some GREAT free magazines, but it's only Tuesday. Let's see...shall we call it Thrifty Tuesday?

And here they are:

Get a free 2-year subscription to Parents magazine here. (This is a great gift for expecting moms.)

Get a free subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine here. (Hurry! I've heard this one goes fast!)

And check out this free subscription to Woman's Day magazine here.

Thanks to Angela for help in finding these deals!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Money-saving Monday...

...and you, and you--you're gonna love me. Ooh, you're gonna love me. (yes, I am singing that in my head as I type the phrase. And I hope you join me.)

Ok, seriously now...I have a very fun find for my mom friends. Actually, it's for anyone who knows anyone with kids. And anyone who likes to take pictures. I'm guessing that's you.

And here we go:
1) I found coupons for 10 FREE Johnson's Buddies soaps. I LOVE these soaps. I have a growing collection of them and at this rate, my boys will still be using them in college! Click here for a $3 off 3 coupon and here for $2 off 2 coupon. Be sure to press the back button after you print each out, because you should be able to get 2 of each coupon. I have found them at Wegman's and on sale at CVS for $.99, so with all of your coupons, you should be able to score LOTS of free soap!
Tip: If you have trouble printing this in Firefox, try Internet Explorer. That worked for me.
NOTE: The expiration date on these coupons is March 1--so use 'em while they're hot!

Thanks to Deal Seeking Mom for this find!

2) Plan on taking a lot of pictures anytime soon? has a great deal for new customers. Right now, when you sign up as a new registrant, you can get 600 free 4 x6 prints and 600 free 5x7 prints! You only have to pay shipping. Check out the terms and conditions here.

Thanks to Lizzy's Language for help in finding this deal!

As always, let me know if you have any questions and I'd love to know if either of these is a help to you!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Art of Shopping with Children

I told Wes last night that my children may need to go through therapy one day because of me. They suffer a certain trauma almost weekly that may leave a lasting impression on them.

It's called shopping. With one child, the horrors were manageable. As long as his chubby little legs still fit through those leg holes, we were fine (which is until about age 12 in my book). But two children is a whole new world. I mean, what will his therapist think when my older son shares his haunting memories of being trapped in a steel cage for endless hours?

Grocery shopping is among the worst of the offenders. Two children + a pile of food = a lot of smooshed bread. But OH THE JOY the day that I discovered the car cart. Never mind that maneuvering it through the store requires brute strength and an aircraft navigational system...I'll take that over being one of 'those moms' with the screaming children any day.

However, since CVS is my drug of choice...I mean drug store of means squeezing two of them into a cart the size of my kitchen sink. And then finding room for all of my loot. And keeping Griffin bribed...I mean occupied. Fruit snacks are a blessing.

And why is it that the need to go potty always presents itself at the most inopportune moments? I think Griffin is a fan of the drug store bathrooms that are somewhere in the deep recesses of the stock room and require the help of a sales associate to find.

And then there is the check-out line. I am always so relieved when I find an employee who doesn't mind their credit card machine being attacked by sticky little fruit snack-covered fingers. And since my cvs shopping requires multiple transactions involving higher math and about 12 coupons each, heaven only knows how many packs of lifesavers have been swiped by my little one from those perfectly-eye-level candy shelves. But hey--I probably had a coupon for them anyway.

How about you? Do you have any horror stories? What's your secret to the art of shopping with children? Tell all and help save on my therapy bill when my children finally escape their steel cage.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Read a Book. Check.

If you recall, I made an adventure list a few months back. My very first goal was to finish reading a book. Just one. That's all. I made it my first goal because I considered it to be the easiest. However, it turned out that actually finishing a book was more taxing on me than training for and running an 8k.

But I did it! (Here's where you applaud, please.)

Interestingly enough, after starting a number of books, the book that I actually chose to finish was "The Shack" by William P. Young. I received it as a Christmas present this year and when I picked it up, I vowed to myself that I would finish it.

Here is where I step out of my comfort zone a bit. I do not consider myself a book critic. But I thought I'd stretch myself and give it a try. Here goes. Clears throat...

I did not like the book. I like a book that makes me like it, and this one did not. It wasn't even about the theology (although I often disagreed). It wasn't about the fact that God the Father was portrayed as a black woman named Papa (which frankly, just felt a little strange).

The best way I know how to describe it is that I got the same feeling reading this book as I do when I watch a Hallmark made-for-tv movie. Do you know what I mean? That feeling you get when the plot is too contrived, the characters are under-developed and sickeningly sweet, and every single issue must be completely resolved? Yep. That feeling. (My apologies to those who enjoy Hallmark's Hall of Fame. I am, admittedly, a big fan of their commercials.)

All that being said, I'm glad I read it. It has become a marketing phenomenon and has scores of people singing its praises and saying it has transformed their life. I'm glad I read it, so I can better understand what fascinates our culture. That's the kind of thing that fascinates me.

So, let me ask you. Why do you think this book has been such a success? Why are so many people in love with this book?

Oh, and while you are at it, I'd love a few suggestions on what to read next. Something that I like so much that I can't put it down and it makes me neglect my children, please.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Money-saving Monday

Last week's post on my 'deal spottings' of the week went over so well, I thought I'd like to make it a regular feature. Thus, my clever title: "Money-saving Monday"!

This week is dedicated to all of my coffee lover friends. And if coffee isn't your cup of tea, well then... you can opt for tea instead.

Here goes:

Gevalia has a fantastic new offer where you can buy 3 half-pound boxes of their gourmet coffee (or tea) for just $3, including shipping!

Plus you’ll get a FREE stainless steel coffee mug.

I just ordered mine!

Note that you will be enrolled in their autoship program, but you are under no obligation to accept future shipments. Once your initial 3/$3 order has shipped, you may cancel the autoshipment program by calling 1-800-GEVALIA.

*Tip: I keep a notebook by my computer for all of the free trials that I sign up for. It's an easy way to keep track of dates and phone numbers to call.

And for those of you who like a little somethin' somethin' in your coffee, you absolutely have to go to and sign up for their coupons. Since we are regular consumers of this creamer, I have saved quite a bit of money with these coupons. I think you can print out four coupons (maybe more?) by hitting your back button after the coupons have printed. But, you will also receive e-mails from time to time when new coupons are on the site.

(I also checked out the International Delight web-site just now and they have coupons as well. We are coffee-mate snobs, so I haven't used these yet, but I'm sure you can!)

Enjoy your cup of (almost) free coffee on me!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My heart belongs to Wesley

ALERT: Let this be your warning if you are not into sweet and a little bit sappy. Read no further. There's something about these holidays that tweaks my sentimental bone. Couple that with the fact that I forgot to buy Wes a card this year...


This is our 8th Valentine's Day together. Our first Valentine's Day was only a few days after we had gotten engaged...after dating for only four months. (But that's a story for another time.) And our second was after having been married for 6 months.

I recall a conversation between the two of us that year about whether we should buy each other gifts or not. I won't reveal who thought what, except to say that one of us ended up in tears. And Valentine's Day has been fully and liberally celebrated every year since then.

I will admit that I do love celebrations and this has put a good deal of pressure on you as my husband. Especially since you have to deal with my precarious mixture of love for surprises and my never-ending nosy nature (which I prefer to call curious)'s not easy surprising someone who always assumes that she is going to be surprised. You managed to pull a good one off the year of my 30th birthday, which was not easy considering I had surprised you the year before and so, of course would expect the same for me.

If I could go back in time and whisper into my naive little newlywed ears, I would have so much to say. I would reassure myself that there would be plenty of big celebrations and romantic gestures over the years to come. I would pat myself on the back for being honest about what was important to me.

But most importantly, I would say, "Just you wait, Kaley. You think it's the big things that matter. You will discover that it's the hundreds and thousands of simple gestures that show Wes's love for you."

Things like:
-getting me coffee every morning, just the way I like it
-putting toothpaste on my toothbrush for me at night
-getting up early with the kids so I can attempt to catch up on sleep (which is BIG in my book)
-laughing at me when I attempt to be funny
-still sounding excited to hear my voice when I call
-knowing just when I need a hug
-calling to make sure I don't need anything at the store before coming home
-actually enjoying watching endless hours of American Idol with me
-somehow summoning up enough energy to keep up with our boys when you get home at night
-getting up late last night after I had fallen sound asleep, so you could get this ready:

note the missing swedish fish--courtesy of a certain three year old

I love how you love me, Wes. It is a deep love that shows up in countless ways. You are a good man, an amazing father, and the love of my very blessed life.

Happy Valentine's Day.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

cheap diapers and a free meal

I've shared several times what a fan of good deals that I am. But, if there's anything I enjoy more it's helping other people find good deals. Recently, it hit me that it would be fun to share some of these deals with you all as they come my way.

So, here are two of my fun little 'deal spottings' for the week:

1) If you are a mom of a baby in diapers and have never used, now is the time to give it a try. All of their diapers are on sale and you will get $10 off for being a first-time buyer. Plus, if you get any friends to buy diapers from them through the end of February, you will get a $5 credit in your account. It really is a good deal.

Shipping is free on orders over $49 and very fast. I usually have my orders in a couple of days.

If you decide to take me up on this offer, I will be your best friend forever if you use my referral code: KAEH7706o or my e-mail address: Promise.

2) If you like free meals, T.G.I. Friday's has a 'Buy One Entree, Get One Entree Free' coupon online now. The good news is that you can print the coupon out as many times as you'd like between now and and March 1. The bad news is that you can't use it on Valentine's Day. But who says you have to celebrate Valentine's Day on Feb. 14? Besides, who wants to wait in those lines?

I'd love to know if you take me up on either of these deals. Making you happy makes me happy.

Friday, February 6, 2009

frogs and snails and puppy dog's tails...

I absolutely adore having boys. I really can't picture it any other way.

Griffin is a true Daddy's boy and if there is ever an option between doing something with Daddy or with Mommy, Daddy wins out every time. Usually this does not bother me because I get large doses of Griffin-time all day long.

But lately, I've tried to picture what my relationship with my boys will look like in the future. I've found myself wondering if a boy's need for his mommy just starts phasing out at some point. And when does that process begin? To be honest, I'm not sure I like the thought of the switchover from Mommy to just "Mom". I'm not even sure I know how to be just "Mom".

Then this took place:

Yesterday, Griffin and I were having a discussion over lunch about who is in charge. He's pretty sure that he is. I assured him that he is not and will not be until he's much older like Mommy and Daddy.

"Are you older?" he asked. "Does that mean you are going to die?"

I thought.

"Oh, honey....not for a long, long, long, long time. You don't need to worry about that, ok?" Then returned to my sandwich thinking that the discussion was over.

It was then that I noticed the quivering lip.

"Griffin, what's wrong?"

"I don't want you to die! Who's going to be my mommy?" And then tears.

Followed by reassuring hugs and a rephrasing of what a long, long, long, long time means (I had forgotten that in his eyes, that's how long he has to stay in his bed during rest time.) And just as quickly, the tears were wiped away and it was back to making roaring sounds and playing games with his lunch.

And that was it. It was all that I needed. Just when I thought I was being phased out, a brief, open window to the reality in my little boy's heart will fuel this mommy's heart for a long, long, long, long time.