Sunday, January 30, 2011

When you give my husband a paintbrush...

My daughter loves the books When you Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. As we have been working for the past few days on painting our kitchen, I have realized that when it comes to a home improvement project, my husband could be her inspiration for her next book. (Hubby, if you happen to read--you are enormously fantastic and you save us loads of money with your handyman skills, but admittedly sometimes your projects don't go as planned.)
If you Give My Husband a Paintbrush...
He's going to be taping off the trim for about a week (and if you have a toddler they are going to be untaping the trim for about a week).
Then he will proceed to use 5 different tools to paint the trim unable to decide which gives the straightest edge.
While he is stepping back to judge his handiwork he might knock a wine glass off the counter.
After this gets cleaned up and he goes back to painting, he will decide to pull the oven out to be sure that every area is painted thoroughly.
And as he moves the oven out the oven door will fall off, which then proceeds in to an hour-long event of trying to get it back in place.
While the wife is helping him she might notice how dirty the oven door is and decide to scrub it down while it is in place.
And then at the end of the day they notice the kitchen walls are still yellow, not green like they had planned. :)

Just kidding, it looks great. And my husband is extremely handy, but no matter what the project there always seems to be at least one mishap.

Touche Previous Homeowners

One way we have been able to redesign the home that we bought for a steal 2 years ago is by being willing to pick up our paintbrushes. Actually the house itself is only 12 years old and was in fantastic shape, but the previous owners had an interesting color palette, to put it mildly, which kept it empty on the market for several months. We put in an offer and after negotiation it was accepted for $65,000 below the original asking price. Seriously with it just needing paint we thought we had scored the bargain of a lifetime.
When you walked in to the tall foyer you were met by walls in four contrasting colors, ah lovely. That was the first to go. Ah, it's now a nice neutral sophisticated khaki color to offset the white trim. Because this was a huge job to tackle and it required hubby to be up on a 18 foot ladder painting trim, we had taken a little break between painting jobs.
Everything else was tolerable, until I was 9 months pregnant and two little marks on the wall were driving me crazy and I insisted to my husband that my baby could not be brought in to the world until the marks had been painted over. Not a big deal, he went into the garage found the can marked family room and carefully painted over the marks. He then proceeded to touch up a few other scuffs on the various walls in the room and that's when we found we had been had.
As the paint dried we noticed it didn't match the color on the wall, very close but not quite. Hubby double-checked the label, ran out in the garage to make sure that there was not another can and we looked at the wall again. Ah, but those two little pesky spots that started it all, they were gone and the color matched perfectly on that wall. After some deduction we found that each of the four walls in the room was a different color, each one only slightly lighter than the preceding wall. In the corner where the two walls met it allowed your mind to believe that shadows caused the slight difference in color.
As we have looked through the house now we still cannot tell if the walls are the same color or different in most of the rooms, but it seems that the 4 color approach was used in almost every room. It is kind of a fun game to play, are these walls the same or not?

Mamapedia Deal: $15 for $30 Shari's Berries

Yum! What a great gift idea for Valentine's Day. You can purchase a $30 voucher for Shari's Berries for $15 from Mamapedia (a daily deal site similar to Groupon). I think the best part apart Mamapedia is that they donate 5% of your purchase price to the school of your choice.
Today's deal can be used towards shipping costs. Also if you are a new member of Mamapedia, use coupon code COUPONCAB4 to save an extra $4, making this only $11 for a really nice gift.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Entertaining on a Budget

I am hosting a party soon and I am not planning to go above my regular monthly food budget for this party. The way I do this is by stocking up throughout the year when I find good deals on items that can be stocked in the pantry or freezer. I will also use a combination of coupons and store deals to help me.
Planning a menu and sticking to it is helpful to keep to a budget. Of course there may be minor changes.
My rough menu for this party includes:
Buffalo chicken dip
Butternut squash ravioli in a sage butter sauce with amaretto crumbles
Cheese, sausage and crackers
Ham and spinach cups
Black bean quesadillas
Chips, guacamole and salsa
Hummus and bagel chips
Pizza poppers
Hot pretzel bites

Magnolia vanilla cake
Snowflake sugar cookies

This party is a kid's party, which is why the foods are more finger friendly and appetizer like.
I am also hoping to find some good deals on beer as the Super Bowl gets closer and pairing the deals with rebate forms the beer companies often provide. This keeps hubby and his friends happy at our parties.

$15 credit at Joss&Main, new site

Sign up for a free account at Joss & Main, a new online store selling home furnishings and decor at discounted prices for limited time. This is similar to sites such as RueLaLa and Gilt.
You will receive a $15 discount code when you sign up and if you refer friends to Joss & Main you can receive a $15 credit.

They have some nice flasks that are only $14.95 right now.

Baby Houdini

Seriously, my baby may aspire to become a mountain climber/magician. She is constantly climbing on anything that she can. She considers books simply a tool to stack and use to get higher.

Today I had her in the highchair (strapped in) while I was making lunch across the kitchen. Within 30 seconds I turned around and she had somehow wriggled out of her straps and gotten on top of the tray and was trying to climb on to the kitchen table. Aaah! What the heck, seriously and this was all done silently. Luckily I got her down before anything horrible happened and now the kid will be strapped down extra tight.

I am just hoping that she lives to see her first birthday, thank goodness we have health insurance. This child is so different from my first born lovely little rule follower.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Five Question Friday

I thought this would be fun.

1. Where did you meet your spouse and did you instantly know it was love?

2. What is your favorite room in your house?

3. Can you wiggle your ears?

4. What is your evening ritual?

5. How many hours of sleep do you need to function?

My answers are below.
1. Where did you meet your spouse and did you instantly know it was love?
I met him at a friend's bbq. We were both very instantly intrigued by one another, but I was with my boyfriend at the time. After meeting him though I ended up reevaluating the boyfriend and have never looked back.

2. What is your favorite room in your house?
Our sunroom (except for in the winter) I hate being cold!

3. Can you wiggle your ears?

4. What is your evening ritual?
Pick a kid to put to bed; chill out with hubby playing Wii or watching TV, reply to work emails on computer, or lately painting the kitchen

5. How many hours of sleep do you need to function?
2 hours, the baby has been pretty sick over the past few months and that is all I have been getting, but I would LOVE to get much much more.

Just when I thought it was over...

So I have not been blogging alot this week because myself and my kiddos have been horribly sick. I made the mistake of bragging about how healthy I have been staying even though every else in my house has been sick. I thought I was beginning to feel better and then woke up in the night throwing up, so it looks like I will be sick for a couple more days.
My no spending challenge for the week has been delayed because hubby has been in charge of preparing meals and he picked up a pizza one day and bought me a chai tea one day.
Hope you all are staying healthy and warm.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

$1 Subscription to Parents Magazine

That's right only $1.00 for a year subscription and this magazine frequently contains coupon codes for, etc. Go to Barnes and Noble and add Parents magazine to your cart, there is no charge for shipping. At checkout enter the code K9B9J4H.
As always shop through ShopatHome to earn 5% cash back on your purchase.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Awesome Deal $20 Amazon gift card for $10 on Living Social

Move quickly to get this deal before it sells out. On Living Social today you can get a $20 Amazon e-card for only $10. Great deal for buying all sorts of things, diapers, home goods, electronics, etc.
Hurry and check it out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Body Shop Free Shipping Today Only

I received an email from The Body Shop with a coupon code for Free Shipping for today only. At checkout enter the code FREESHIP17 . Combine this with their 75% off holiday sale for a great deal. You can get a full-size Cranberry Joy Body Butter for $5.00 with free shipping. This would be great for gifts possibly even for Valentine's Day. I am really wishing that I was not in my no spending week; this is a tempting deal. Also they have Bath Lilies for $1.00.
Be sure to shop through Shop at Home for an even better deal receiving 10% cash back.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Great Deal on Eversave $1 for Personalized Calendar Vistaprint

I love Vistaprint; we have been using them for almost 4 years with our business and have been very impressed with the quality of their products and the prices. Today's deal at Eversave (a daily deal site similar to Groupon)is $1 for a personalized calendar and 50% off shipping costs at Vistaprint.

I have an order to place at Vistaprint anyways so I might as well add a personalized calendar of the kids and enjoy 50% off all of my shipping costs. I recently ordered some address labels from Vistaprint and absolutely love them. They have an amazing price on banners also if you need one for an upcoming event.

Go ahead and visit Eversave for today's great deal.

Day 1: The No Spending Challenge

Ok, so I have a decent stockpile of food at my house and in effort to cut our bills even lower, we decided to spend no money this week and to eat from the pantry/freezer. The only exceptions on spending money are if we need gas for the car, paying regular household bills, or if an emergency arises.

So today was Day 1 and I woke up feeling horrible. After months of avoiding the flu and colds everyone else in the house have had, I am officially sick. So my cooking plans were pushed back. I contemplated having my hubby just go out and pick up something for dinner, but I decided to suck it up.
Day 1:
Breakfast: Oatmeal and banana
Lunch: Grilled cheese
Dinner: Whole wheat linguini with turkey meatballs

I baked some lemon poppyseed muffins last night to have for breakfasts/snacks during the week. I have two loaves of bread rising right now for sandwiches, etc. for the week. I have leftover turkey meatballs that I made for meatball sandwiches later this week. I feel like I am doing pretty well and glad I didn't put off the start date and I am excited to have more space in my freezer.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Embarking on a Pantry Challenge

In an effort to keep our grocery costs down, we are getting ready to start on a week long pantry and no spending challenge. I need to run out tonight and get some milk and eggs. The key to this will be for me to have an organized plan. Hmmm but organization is my biggest flaw.

Friday, January 14, 2011

DealPulp, get a $5 credit

Sign up for a new account at DealPulp, a new daily deal site and receive a $5 credit for signing up. Their deal yesterday was for a $10 Target e-card for a discounted price, so you can save your $5 credit and hope to see another great deal to use it on soon. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Inexpensive Magazine Subscriptions

There are some great deals on magazine subscription deals.
Visit Mamapedia the National Deals to purchase a yearlong subscription to Kiwi for $6. Kiwi is a family magazine about making organic and healthy choices. If you are new to Mamapedia you should receive a $5 credit for signing up for an account, which would make this magazine only $1 for a subscription. New members, you can also save your $5 credit and use the code 1YEARKIWI2 to make the subscription only $2. (Unfortunately this only works for new members.)
Living Social in Savannah has a great deal for 2 subscriptions for $10. This includes a yearlong subscription to Everyday Food and Whole Living. If you don't have a Living Social account (daily deal site like Groupon), you can sign up through this link and receive a $5 credit.

Life has kept me busy

Ah, just when I thought this household was going to be healthy for a while, I have had two sick kids the past week. One with a cough and cold and the other with an ear infection, which equals myself not sleeping for 5 nights straight.

Last week was also Super Doubles at Harris Teeter, which was great and enabled me to stock up at great prices. Coupled with my successes at today's Target toy sale, it has been a good week for shopping.

I do plan to continue working on my blog and posting on a more regular basis and hopefully providing you with great deals.

Target Toys are 75% off

I will post more later, but I have to get my kiddo to dance class. One of the Targets in my area went to 75% off on their toys today, of course not the one I chose to go to this morning. I was able to still get some great deals. Head over to your Target and check out your clearance aisles. I will post what I got later.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Writing on the Walls

We redeemed a gift card that we received for Lowes to buy a quart of chalkboard paint. We have been planning to change the color of the paint in our playroom, but it is the last room on our list of rooms to paint, which means it will not be painted for a couple of years. I figured if we painted one wall in the playroom with chalkboard paint the girls would enjoy it and it would be handy for writing down messages.

We waited 24 hours for it to dry (so hard to explain to a child) and then we let them go at it. I am thoroughly impressed and it has been alot of fun.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Disney Store-Free Shipping

The Disney Store is offering free shipping on any purchase using the promo code freeship. There are some great deals when you combine this with their Twice a Year Sale. This 5 piece Handy Manny playset is $2.99. There are several ornaments for $2.99 as well. There are also some cute silver Tink shoes for $5.99; these are tempting me.
Be sure to shop through ShopatHome to earn 5% cash back on your purchase.

Now I Understand...

Have you ever talked to a mom of a young child and she has her figure back and then some and you know she doesn't spend all of her free time at the gym? You ask her how she did it and she tells you it's just from running around after her child all day. I never really understood before.

My firstborn was a dreadful baby, seriously it is lucky I had taken a year off work to stay home with her because no babysitter would have done it. She was colicky from day 2, you think I exaggerate but the nurses in the hospital would not keep her in the nursery because she was "too disruptive to the other babies". Really, too disruptive at the age of 2 days, I can only imagine what her future will hold. :) She had to be held at all times and even with that we had 5 hours of nonstop screaming all night. Ugh...I read everything I could on the subject and tried everything. Baby-wearing (carrying in a sling) helped immensely except for it intensified her need to be next to me at all times including napping and sleeping, meaning if I tried to let her sleep in her crib she screamed her bloody head off. The crying it out suggestion never met a child with willpower like mine. The situation was resolved finally when she was 6 months old and decided she would like some space and the kid was as good as gold pretty much ever since.

Now we are going through life with my second baby and she was the kind of infant that makes you want to have another, until now (thank goodness we didn't give in). Now she is the baby who is constantly on the move and I am the mom who is constantly chasing after her child. I am baby-proofing all the time and we currently have 5 baby gates sets up just downstairs, which she has tried to head butt and climb. I love her to death and it is funny watching her, but she is really moving whenever she is awake and the word no seems to have no impact on her. When my older daughter was the same age we would sit and read books and practice signing. If I try to read a book with this one she squirms out of my lap and tries to push the book to a gate and see if will allow her to climb over.

I love both of my girls like crazy and I am enjoying watching them grow up although I wish they would slow down a little. It is funny though to see how different they are. I am kind of wondering when I am going to have my figure+ back like all those other moms who say it just from chasing after their kids. :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Free Hot Chocolate

Hurry! Quickly go and print this coupon for $2.00 off a box of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate. Combine this with a sale and you should definitely be able to get a box of hot chocolate from this. This coupon will probably not last long.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Target Toy Clearance, It's Coming!

Twice a year Target has a huge toy clearance, this occurs typically mid-January and mid-July. I have used it the past two years to buy the majority of my toy purchases for the year for birthday presents and Christmas presents. I usually wait until everything is marked 75% off and it makes me feel like the toy prices are finally reasonable.

I was at Target today and my toy department has 3 rows and all toy end-caps filled with toys marked at 30% off. There are boardgames, baby toys, Toy Story 3 toys, and all sorts of toys for boys and girls. The percentage off will slowly rise until that blissful 75% off day arrives and just in time for me with 3 kids' birthday parties in February.

To make this deal even sweeter, save this Hasbro rebate form. If you purchase $20 of select Hasbro toys between 12/25/10-1/31/11 you can submit and choose a free toy to receive. You can submit this rebate 5 times. The free toys can be added to a birthday box or might be nice for an Easter basket. If you are already spending the money at the toy clearance, this is just an extra bonus!

Free Photo Gifts & Prints from Target , Kodak, and Shutterfly

In the Sunday Target ad there was a fold out on the first page with a coupon for 10 free 4 x 6 prints. Inside that flap is an advertisement for a free 5" x 7" photo book. To take advantage of this deal visit and enter the code tgtfreebook when you checkout. You will have to pay shipping charges, which should be $1.99.
The final deal in the insert is a free photo calendar. This is for a free 16" x 20" calendar poster when you join Shutterfly. This is only for new customers to Shutterfly. To redeem visit
I will probably take advantage of the 10 free prints and the free photo book, my girls love books all about them.
Welcome To Making Friends Monday Blog Hop 1/3
This Blog Hop is hosted by Living on Love and Cents,  The Thrifty Things,  Reviewed By Mom , and  Coupons are Great.


This week's spotlight is Champagne Taste on a Budget. This blog is #5 on the linky this week. Stop by and tell her hello! Here are some things she wanted to share.

 I am excited to share stories of my life as a mom, a wife, and a semi-shopaholic (with no money to spend). A few years ago my husband and I decided to take a leap of faith and he left his solid office job as a landscape architect to start our own landscaping company. The company and our family has slowly expanded and I am now a stay at home mom of two little girls. In order for me to stay home we have been forced to live by a very tight budget. As someone who loves shopping and is a food snob, living by a strict budget has been an adjustment. In this blog I will share my financial successes and my parenting adventures. I hope you will stop by for a visit. Please leave me a comment if you are a new follower so I can follow you back. Happy New Year!

 Would you like to be our spotlight? Follow these rules and leave a comment! We will randomly choose one blog to be spotlighted! Then you will be added to our linky!  
Will it be you?
1. Follow the Making Friends Monday Hosts publicly(Listed as # 1-4) We WILL follow you Back!  LEAVE A COMMENT so we can follow you back!
2. Grab our Making Friends Monday button and include it in a post on your blog. Grab our linky code to for even more followers!
3. Start hopping and remember following back is appreciated!

If you have any giveaways ending THIS WEEK go link up HERE. Take a minute to enter some too!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Slow and Steady ...

There are several sites on the Internet that allow you to enter codes and earn rewards as they accumulate. These sites are free to join and if you have patience can be well worth your effort.

Pampers Gifts to Grow If you have a little one in diapers, you can acquire unique codes from the packages of diapers and wipes that you buy. You can also find codes posted on Facebook or other places. Points can be redeemed for a variety of items, such as items from Shutterfly, puzzles, bath toys, and gift cards. I have been saving my points up and will be redeeming them for some toys for my daughter's birthday.

Huggies Enjoy the Ride Again these codes can be found on packages of Huggies diapers and other codes are frequently released on the Internet. Points can be redeemed for free packages of diapers or wipes, crayons, toys, and instant win games. I won a $20 gas card from here once.

Disney Movie Rewards If you have young children at home and a cabinet full of Disney movies you are in luck. You probably have enough points for a great prize already. There is a piece of paper with a code on it located in most Disney DVDs. Enter this code and earn points. Most movies are worth about 100 points. Save your ticket stubs if you see a Disney movie in the theater, this can earn you points as well. The site also sends a monthly newsletter with some points and offers codes periodically. I redeemed the points that I accrued in less than a year and ordered the pictured Tinkerbell CD/Mp3 player for my daughter. It is extremely well made and at no cost to me, the shipping is taken care of. I am already up to 500 points again since redeeming just from released codes and entering from a movie we got at Christmas.

I will post some other sites that I use to accumulate reward points another day. All of these programs are free to join and if I am already purchasing the products, it is nice to get something back from them. Freebies4Mom is a great site that keeps track of released codes from the sites listed above and others. But if you have a little patience, these sites can provide you with a nice reward in time. coupon

I have one individual discount code that is good for 20% any diaper order from They have great deals frequently, but I am stocked up on diapers for a while. Please leave me a comment if you would like this coupon and I will send it to you. I only have one of these available right now.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ah...The Resolutions

Today is January 1st, time for resolutions to be made and hopefully kept throughout the year. I have made many goals this year, some personal and some financial. I am hoping to use my blog to help hold myself accountable for keeping these resolutions.
Now before I tell you my resolutions let me give you some background. I love organization and making lists, seriously love it. There is nothing I like more than a fresh notebook ready for list-making or all of the bins and containers in the office supply store. The problem is although I love organization, I am not good at it. I am more of a person whose desk is filled with organized clutter. Those fresh notebooks with all of my lists usually end of lost after about 10 pages in. (My preschooler has not helped with my lack of organization as she is constantly swiping my notebooks, etc.) Anyway, on to the resolutions.

1. At the beginning of each month, take out $150 in cash for groceries and restaurants for the month. This is for a family of four and I honestly think this may be a little high because I use a large number of coupons. However any money that is left over at the end of the month can be used in whatever way hubby and I decide (date night).
2. Date night once a month. Seriously we need this badly, and this can include date night at home where we make a nice dinner after the kids go to bed and enjoy some wine.
3. Continue to work on building my blog.
4. Bring a list for planned trips to the grocery store to make shopping with coupons and children easier.
5. Keep mail in one centralized location. (I used to be great about this, but for some reason have become a terror.)
6. Save more money and work to eliminate remaining student loans.

Whew, I actually have more but I wrote them all down in my fresh 2011 notebook and ha, I can't find it at the moment.

Happy 2011!

Happy New Year's! I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year's Eve and that you are enjoying the first day of our new year. I hope that your 2011 is filled with love, laughter, and happiness.