Saturday, August 30, 2008

Four Things

I stole this from Marly (even though I wasn't tagged)....

Four place I go over and over:
Rite Aid
mom & dad's

Four people who e-mail me (regularly):
Aunt Carol

Four places I would rather be right now:
still in bed
on a cruise
somewhere other than home (assuming my family is with me too)

Four TV shows/programs that I watch over and over:
CSI (original)
daily news

Four things I have for breakfast:
kids cereals (Fruity Pebbles, Froot Loops, Lucky Charms)
bacon & scrapple

Four animals I like best:
Baby ducks

Four beaches I’ve been to:
Clearwater Beach, FL
Myrtle Beach, SC
Ocean City, MD
Virginia Beach, VA

Tag 4 people:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

FREE kids coloring pages

It never occured to me to look online for coloring pages/books rather than buying them at the store (even if I already get them at the Dollar Tree). Just do an internet search for "coloring page," adding whatever theme it is you are interested in.

Here are some links for some cute things. You'll have to pardon the fact that most of them are health related.
Scrub Club
Color Me Healthy
Farmer's Market

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

***Yard Sale Announcement***

I will be holding my annual Labor Day weekend Yard Sale this coming weekend.

Saturday, Sunday & Monday
Aug 30-Sept 1
7-11am, no early birds please

Deal Island, MD
1st house on left just over Deal Island harbor bridge

A little something for everyone:
baby stuff (clothes-boys & girls, swing, toys)
adult woman clothes & shoes
household items (lamp, etc)
NEW health & beauty items (diabetes monitors, shampoo, soap, etc)
NEW Home Interiors items (former consultant looking to get rid of her "inventory)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Exciting Savings!

Here are some savings thoughs for this week that I'm pretty excited about, so I thought I'd share with you.

The store brand diapers are being clearanced out, because the packaging has changed (old is red, new is light green). I found some BIG packs for $2.50 each, and the "regular" packs were $2. They had a $5 off $20 coupon that was valid Fri & Sat, which I used when buying these diapers. Oddly enough, there were only sizes 3 & 6 left on the shelf, which are the sizes my kiddos are in, so I cleared the shelf. I got 7 packs of diapers, a bag of cheetos, a Cars book for Lucas, and 2 Baby Einstein teething toys (which were also on clearance for $1 each) for Caroline all for $18.xx
After I left there, I had an "AHA" moment, remembering there is also a $5/2 Walgreens coupon in the Easy Saver book that I could have used, which would have made the diapers FREE (but then I wouldn't have been able to use the $5/$20 coupon unless I bought some other stuff). They also had Pampers Easy Ups (girls) on clearance for $3, which there are coupons out there to use.

Is having triple coupons and Bonus Bucks this week! Not sure what I'll be getting yet, but I'll definately be making a trip (or 2) in there! Be sure to pick up a copy (or 2) of the current Easy Solutions booklet as there are some store coupons in there to be combined with manufacturer coupons for sale items (BirdsEye Voila!) that are also Bonus Bucks items.

Rite Aid
Has a few things that (I consider) are a good deal, including some FAR (free after rebate) this week, including:
~Duck Brand EZ start packing tape ($1.50, FAR)
~Huggies $9.99 (counts towards Kimberly Clark rebate offer, this is now almost $3 cheaper than RA regular price of $12.49 since the diaper increase at the beginning of this quarter)
~Pert shampoo 99c (after $2 rebate, there are $2 coupons out there to use, as well as a mail in rebate, both of which would make this a money maker)
~Bandaids B1G1 50% off (counts towards Johnson & Johnson rebate offer, $1
coupons out there to use)
~ItchX ($3.99, FAR)
~Adult Aconomel treatment 99c (after $5 rebate)
~Albolene cleanser 99c (after $7 rebate)
~Certain Dri feet 99c (after $4 rebate)
~CompoundW 99c (after $6 rebate)
~Pledge dusters 2/$2 (after $2/2 rebate, $3/1 coupons out there to use on )
~Oust Surface & Air (1.99 after $1 rebate, there is a $2/2 printable here)
~Lysol sanitizing wipes B1G1 ($1/2 printable here, a good deal if you're interested in the $5 Lysol pediatrician deal)
~Fantastik & Shout 2/$2 (after $2/2 rebate, $1 coupons out there to use)

***Rite Aid policy is to NOT accept internet printed coupons, however, YMMV.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

ebay rant

I used to sell (& buy!) a lot on ebay. But, since they changed the rules, and increased their fees (ie commission), I have backed away from it, finding other outlets to sell my items. Recently though, I have run into a situation that I want to vent about.

Before my daughter was born, I purchased a beautiful pink toile & polka dot design car seat cover from littlesheepboutique. I was pleased when I received the item. However, upon washing it this past weekend, it came apart at the seam where the 2 patterns met. I took a picture of it, and emailed the seller, asking her how we could remedy this problem. At first she seemed like she was willing to work with me, asking if there was another pattern in her store that I liked. I picked one out, and she then emailed me back with the (reduced) price that she would charge me. When I replied that I didn’t have the funds to purchase at this time, she got snippy, and advised me that she would only be able to offer me this price for a few more days. I (kindly) asked how I would be sure that the new one I bought would not do the same thing upon washing it. She then told me that her “new” patterns were double stitched, whereas her “old” design was only single stitched. In other words, since I had an older, single stitched pattern I was simply $h!t out of luck. That’s customer service for ya!

Even though she has a pretty good feedback score, I am offering some words of wisdom to beware of this seller if you are looking to purchase a similar item.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I'm a Winner!

I failed to post about this sooner, but not because I wasn't excited about it!

During the Bloggy Giveaways, I entered A LOT of giveaways, not really expecting to win, just because, well, I don't ever win things. But, I did win! In fact, I won a brand new Lord of The Rings DVD from danandmarsh.

I also got a comment from Jennifer to let me know that I'd been selected as the winer to receive business cards of my choice from Giggle Print. The cards themselves are free, so she was covering the shipping (which is a steal at only $5.25). This came at just the right time since I needed to get some more for my doula business.

Thanks for the opportunity to enter & win on your blogs!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Lucas must think I'm Yucky...he put an entire sheet of Mr Yuk stickers on my arm, and not just once. He took them off & put them back on later. Maybe he's trying to tell me something?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Backseat driver

My darling little boy, Lucas, is already too much of a backseat driver for my own liking. Yesterday, he was ever so politely asking for mommy to hand him a book (which happened to be in the floor in front of his car seat)....happy to oblige, I handed him the book, but as I was doing so, I ever so slightly crossed the yellow line (no worries, we were on a pretty quiet road & there was no traffic in sight). He did nothing but look at me and say, "Mommy, you not driving good"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Random Household Tips & Tricks

I got the following tips in an email from my mommy friend, Tarin. Thanks for sharing!

*Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it.
*Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

*Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

*Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.
*Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

*Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

*To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich, add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

*For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

*Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

*Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm.

*Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy.

*For easy deviled eggs, put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done for a super easy clean up.

*When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

*To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

*Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

*Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

*Place a dryer sheet in your pocket to keep the mosquitoes away.

*To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

*To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

*Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and no more static!

*Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

*Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car . When the window s fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

*If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

*Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

*To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

*Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it, and it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Driver's Ed 101--Melissa style

Apparently I have a case of raod rage when it comes to how others drive. There are certain things that just irritate the crap outta me when I'm driving. So, here's Driver's Ed 101 for you--Melissa style:

~Here in the great state of Maryland, it is a law that you must use your headlights when operating your windshield wipers. Reason behind this is, if you need to use them, then chances are, visibility isn't all that great, and others probably can't see you all that well either. Certain highways even require the use of headlights at all times. It's to protect you AND those driving on the road with you. Another time to use them is when it's foggy....dusk and dawn...heck, just make it a habit to turn them on when you start the car. But, don't forget to turn them off when you get out. I can bet if you do forget, you won't do it but once, especially if you come back to a dead battery.

~If I'm riding in the fast lane, which I have a habit of doing (since I'm usually going [slightly] faster than the speed limit), please don't come speeding up behind me, thinking that you are going to intimidate me to moving over in the "slow" lane. I have just as much right to be there as you do. Also, don't try to speed by me in the right hand lane if you want to get around me. If I have the opportunity, I will speed my vehicle up, so you are unable to pass, with the help of other cars in the right hand lane. Blinking your headlights at me won't get you anywhere either. If by some chance you do pass me, make note, because most likely, we'll be sitting at the next stoplight/sign together anyways, so you won't have gotten too far ahead in the grand scheme of things.

~Use your blinker! You know, that little "arm" on the left side of the steering wheel...push up when turning right (or moving to the right lane), down when turning left (or moving to the left lane). Again, this is not for you, but so others know what you are doing while driving....Myself, I'm not a mind reader, so I can't tell what your intentions are if you move into the same lane as I. If no blinker, I assume you are not paying attention/drunk/sleeping & drifted over there by mistake, and are therefore a risk to me & my family. On occassion, I have been known to call the police with vehicle descriptions.

~If I do manage to piss you off with my driving skills, don't think you're going to hurt my feelings by cursing at me or making certain hand gestures at me. When I notice people doing this, usually I just smile & wave at them. You know, kill 'em with kindness kinda mind set.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Birthday wishlist

My birthday is coming up next month. My dear husband usually asks me about a week before what I want, and I never can think of anything to tell parents ask as well, but a little sooner than that.

Well, this year I'm on top of things & am posting my list of "wants" here for them to refer to when they need to.
--I want someone to come hook my dishwasher up that we bought brand new almost 2 years ago when we moved into our house....but it's just been sitting there because it's not hooked up.
--I want ceiling fans installed in the kids' bedrooms & 1 in the family room. I think we have them all purchased, again, it's just we need someone to come do the installation.
--I would like to have a new glass front door so I can open my door on a cool fall/spring day and let the breeze blow through.
--A new door installed between the dining & utility rooms, so we can take down the afghan that's been hanging there for over a year now.
--A nice set of silverware to go w/ the new dishes I'd like.
--If all else fails, Bath & Body Works sweet pea body cream is always a welcome item

While I'm at it....Honey, I want this (or something like it) for our 5 year wedding anniversary coming up in February. :-)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Be Prepared--part II

I realized after posting, that I left out our furry friends when preparing for a disaster.

Since many times, warnings are issued well in advance of the potential disaster's occurance, you may want to bring your pet inside so you don't have to search for them should you need to leave your area quickly. Make sure your pet has on a collar and up to date identification.

While I mentioned that most shelters do not accept pets, in the event that you find one who does, it might be important for you to know what to take with you.

1. Medications & medical records, especially rabies vaccination information.
2. Leash, harness, and/or carrier to keep pet confined.
3. Photos in case your pet gets lost.
4. Food, water, bowls, liter pan & can opener.
5. Pet bed and/or toy(s).

Be prepared for the fact that while the shelter may offer space to temporarily house your pet during a disaster, most likely they will not be allowed to stay with you, but in a separate part of the shelter. You may also be required to sign an agreement of sorts which explains the guidelines for having your pet in the shelter.

Be Prepared!

Since I have a job in Emergency Preparedness, I thought I might post a blog about how you can prepare your family for a disaster. It might just come in handy (though I honestly hope not) now that we're entering the most active part of Hurricane Season.

1. Make a plan
~Consider what events are most likely to occur in your area. Think about the different ways to respond to a natural disaster (hurrincae, tornado, flood, etc), terrorist event (9/11/01), or a major public health emergency (Avian Influenza outbreak).
~Know who you will contact. Ask an out of state friend or relative to be your "family contact" so other family members can call this person for updates from you in case you are unavailable.
~Know where you will meet. Pick 2 places--one right outside your house in case of a sudden emergency (like a fire), and the other outside of your neighborhood in case you can't return home. Everyone should know the address & phone # of this location.
~Know where you will stay. Discuss the possibility of evacuation the area or sheltering in place (staying where you are aka "riding it out"). Develop a plan for kids in daycare and/or school, older adults, those with special needs and/or assistance. Don't forget to plan for the care of your pets as well. Most shelters do not generally accept animals.

2. Make a kit In the event that you have to shelter in place, the following items are considered essential in the event of an emergency.
~Water--You will need 1 gallon of water per person for a minimum of 3 days
~Non-perishable food--consider pop-top lidded cans of pasta, tuna, soup, etc. You should have a 3-5 day supply of food for each person.
~Clothes--At least 1 change of clothes (including footwear) for each person, which is seasonally appropriate.
~Medications--3 days worth of any medicines you are currently taking
~Flashlight & extra batteries for use when there is no electricity
~Manual can opener (in case you forgot to purchase pop-top lidded cans)
~Radio--Battery powered for listening to news & weather reports in case electricity is out.
~Hygiene items--Basics like soap, toilet paper & a toothbrush
~First aid basics like antiseptic, gloves, bandages & non-prescription medicines (Tylenol, Benadryl, etc)

Sources: Red Cross, FEMA, CDC, Homeland Security, Disaster Help

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Coupon brags of the week

This week (8/1-8/7), SuperFresh (SF) is having triple coupons! I went on Saturday to pick up a few things. While it wasn't my best trip, savings wise, I was still pleased with what I picked up....and I do plan to go back again before it's over.

Pampers Baby Dry diapers were on sale for $8.99--I had $2 coupons to use
Pampers Easy Ups were also on sale for the same price--I had $3 coupons to use However, over on their clearance shelf, I found some Pampers Feel & Learns marked down to $6.99, which I could also use my $3 coupons on, so I put the Easy Ups back on the shelf.
Lysol foam hand sanitizer (small bottle) is on sale for $1.99. I have a 75c coupon to triple ($2.25), so it ends up being free. Plus, they are sponsoring a promo where if you buy 2 Lysol products & have a pediatrician visit, you are eligible for a $5 rebate. Here's the info in case anyone is interested.
Land o' Lakes butter was $1.99 and I had a 40c coupon to triple ($1.20), plus a 40c store coupon, so I only paid like 39c for a tub of butter. We might not need it right now, but we'll use it sooner or later before it gets yucky.

My FAVORITE store to shop at is RiteAid (RA). They make their rebate redemption so seemlessly easy with online submission, which in turn makes it even easier to "double dip" on rebates you need the original receipt to mail in. They also allow coupon "stacking" (using a store coupon & a manufacturer coupon at the same time for deeper savings), which is another incentive to shop there (they often distribute store coupons via their website, in store, etc).
This week I plan on buying a few things, which will be free after rebate (FAR):
ReNu contact solution twin pack
Revlon nail polish
Gillette Fusion mens razor
Gillette body wash
Charles Worthington hair care products
Old Spice mens disposable razor

Heads up because there is a coupon book coming out this weekend with store coupons in it, valued at over $260. I was able to get my hands on one last night, but the coupons aren't valid until 8/10-8/23.

Last week, I ventured into Walgreens (WAGs), which is something that I don't normally do, mainly because I'm not as familiar with their rebate system as I am RiteAid (and I find it a bit more time consuming & confusing). WAGs also allows "stacking" of coupons, and with this I did score some deals.

Apparently the WAGs brand diapers just went through a packaging design change, so they clearanced out all the old styles at $5.99 Well, that was last week, but the signs were still up, so I scored 2 packs at that price. Plus, there was a coupon in their booklet for $5/2 packs, so I paid a total of $6.98 for 2 packs for diapers for Caroline to grow into.
Kotex had a $1.50 store coupon & I had a $1 manufacturer coupon, so I paid 49c each for 2 packs of pantyliners. Not free like you can get elsewhere, but I was also trying to rack my bill up to a little over $20 in order to use my $5 off $20 coupon that was valid last Thurs.
If you visit this blog, you can get some great WAGs deals as well. Thanks for sharing, Mercedes!

Friday, August 1, 2008

We have a WINNER!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-08-01 19:47:56 UTC

So, this means that kathleen is the winner! If I have not received her information by Sunday night, then I will choose another winner. Thanks to everyone who visited. Come back soon!