Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The R-word, it hurts...

An old friend of mine just posted something on Facebook that really hurt so I think it's time for a post on how much words can hurt and hopefully get through to some of you how much it hurts. Rather than call them out on it, I hope to educate them along with others.

I actually remember the last time I said the word "ret@rded." I was pregnant with Joey and had just found out that he was going to have Down syndrome. I was watching TV when an actor did something crazy and I said out loud to myself, "that was so ret@rded!" 

I suddenly realized what I said, it had never dawned on me until that moment the power of what words can mean and how much they can hurt. Tears started streaming from my eyes as my thoughts instantly went to my baby boy that I was pregnant with as I felt him kick. I vowed from that moment on to never say that word again. 

The r-word is used to describe behavior that is clumsy, hapless, and even hopeless. But whether intentional or not, if it just "slips out of your mouth," the word conjures up a painful stereotype of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It hurts. Even if you don’t mean it that way...

Replace the r-word with a new one: RESPECT!

You can take the pledge to never say the r-word again at R-word, Spread the Word To End The Word

Please take one minute and listen that what John C. McGinley, a fellow parent of a child with Down syndrome has to say. Also, please take an extra minute and read Words Hit Like A Fist by Dave Hinsburger. 

Wordless Wednesday:Fun with sofa cover

*You can check out more Wordless Wednesdays here.

DIY: On the go coloring book tote

Every week, I'm shoving a coloring book and crayons into my purse to take to church (along with matchbox cars...). After I made the "on the go matchbox car mat," I decided I wanted to make this one as well! It was fairly easy, although I messed up on some of the stitching and had to rip out about 3 feet worth of stitches, LOL!!

Thanks Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! for the idea!!

CVS: free TRESemme shampoo & conditioner!!!

I absolutely LOVE it when deals like this pop up!!! I've scored 8 free bottles of TRESemme this week at CVS!!! And this is the brand of shampoo I've been using lately so I'm super excited, LOL!

The "magic coupon machine" at CVS is printing out a coupon for $2 off of any two bottles of TRESemme. If you still have the RedPlum insert from last Sunday, 1/27, there should be a coupon for Buy 1 bottle of TRESemme Get 1 Free! And as long as your cashier takes off the full $6 value of the coupon, the register is scanning it at $6 so it will work as long as your cashier isn't a jerk & adjusts the coupon down, LOL!!!

Here's the two ways to do this deal...

If you only have 1 of the BOGO coupons:
Buy two bottles of TRESemme for $3.50 each
Use one BOGO coupon (RP 1/27
Also use $2/2 any TRESemme CVS coupon from the machine
Final price FREE!!!! (you will most likely need to grab something for around $1 to cover the overage from the coupon)

If you have 2 of the BOGO coupons:

Buy four bottles of TRESemme for $3.50 each
Use two BOGO coupons (RP 1/27
Also use $2/2 any TRESemme CVS coupon from the machine
Final price FREE!!!!

If you don't have the BOGO coupon, some people are reporting that some of the bottles have peelie coupons on them for $1.75 off so you might still be able to get a decent deal on them!!

*depending on which state you live in, you might have to pay sales tax. Here in CT, you don't :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Coffee Cake Recipe

Growing up, one of my mom's favorite dessert recipes to make with me was my Great Grandma Sonderman's Coffee Cake. For the past few weeks I've been craving it so yesterday I decided to make it for a meeting I was going to attend at our church.

And let me just say, after at least 15 years of not getting a chance to eat this coffee cake, it tasted just like I remember and took me for a nice little walk down memory lane remembering the days of baking with my mom in our kitchen when I was little. Those memories are some of my favorite and I will cherish them for the rest of my life.

Great Grandma Sonderman's Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream together:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Once you've creamed together all the ingredients, add 1 cup of buttermilk a little at a time while you cream the mixture together with the buttermilk. 
  2. Mix together using the blender, add the dry ingredients a little at a time on medium speed until well mixed. 

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Mix together using pastry blender until it becomes crumb like.

Pour cake batter into 9x13 greased pan and sprinkle topping over batter.

Bake in oven 30-35 minutes or until edges of cake start to brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as our family has for the past 3 generations!! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

DIY: Sweetheart candy wall hanging

Leah has been complaining that we don't have nearly enough Valentine's Day decorations, aka we don't have  enough hearts throughout our house right now, LOL!! I had seen a similar DIY project on Pinterest and decided to give it a whirl since it look super easy!!

I went to Micheal's and bought plain wooden hearts, pastel acrylic paints, and pretty ribbon.

I painted each heart a different color like sweetheart candies you find in the stores this time of the year. Then I went on the computer and typed out each of our names in a larger font. Then I carefully cut each letter out then lightly traced  them each on the hearts with a pencil. After that I used a red paint pen (you could also use a red sharpie) to color in each of names.

After that I thought that they needed a little something extra so I took some clear glitter paint and added a coat on top of each of them. Then I used a hot glue gun to attach each of the hearts to the ribbon.

I'm so happy with the way this project turned out and I think Leah is too!!

Doing the right thing, thank you Michael Garcia!!

Stories like this make my heart jump for joy! You may have heard the news story from earlier in the week about a  Houston and a 5 year old little boy with Down syndrome that was eating at a restaurant with his family. Another customer at the restaurant started complaining about the noises that the boy was making to a waiter named Michael Garcia, who then refused to serve the people that complained.

Garcia said “I heard the man say, ‘Special needs children need to be special somewhere else. My personal feelings took over, and I told him, ‘I’m not going to be able to serve you, Sir.’” “‘How could you say that?’” Garcia said he asked the man before he left the restaurant with his party. “‘How could you say that about a beautiful 5-year-old angel?’”

Being Joey's mom, I find it hard myself to take him to restaurants for this very reason. Although no one has ever said anything to us about Joey's noises and the way he acts, I've still seen the looks people give each other after seeing Joey and it hurts, it really hurts. The looks, the whispers, all of it. I know not all of the people do these things in mean/ negative ways, many are just curious but it still does hurt. People need to remember, words hurt, even if we don't hear people say them directly...

We rarely taking Joey out to eat unless it's to a McDonald's that has a play-land mostly due to the fact, he can't sit still long enough for us to eat an entire meal at a restaurant. We've slowly been trying to take Joey out and do new things. He gets overstimulated so easily and at times, it's too much for us to handle. But we also know that we can't keep Joey away from doing things forever.

We take one day and one step at a time and pray that Joey will overcome being overstimulated and someday enjoy sitting down for a meal at a restaurant. Stories like this give me hope that if we were ever in a similar situation, someone might stand up for Joey.

I personally want to thank and give major kudos to Michael Garcia for standing up for our beautiful children and doing the right thing!!!

Proverbs 31: 8,9 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…
defend the rights of the needy.”

Fox News: Houston waiter refuses to serve customer who insulted Down syndrome boy
NBC Today: Waiter hailed as hero after standing up for boy with Down syndrome
New York Times: A Child With Down Syndrome Keeps His Place at the Table
People Magazine: Waiter Michael Garcia Refuses to Serve Man Who Insulted Boy with Down Syndrome

Homemade Buttermilk Recipe

Even though I had heard in the past that you could make your own buttermilk, for some reason it never registered for me to give it a try, LOL!! I can't even count the number of recipes I've passed up making just because it called for buttermilk! Yesterday, while talking to my mom about wanting to make my Great Grandma's coffee cake but not being able to make it simply because I didn't have any buttermilk.

Thankfully my mom reminded me that I could make my own buttermilk and it's so incredibly easy to make and it's cheaper than buying a carton of buttermilk from the store!!!

Homemade Buttermilk

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Just pop it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes then it's ready to use!! 

Thanks mom!!! 

Couponing tip: Walmart gives overage from coupons for free items!!

One of the awesome things about couponing at Walmart is that you will get overage from the coupons that are worth more than the item you're buying! I've actually gotten cash BACK from Walmart on one of my free trips (although it was only $.15)!!

Example: let's say you get a free travel size deodorant that is priced $.97 and the coupon is for $1/1, you'll get $.03 overage!! You might not think this is much but if you have a pile of various free items and other things in your cart, that overage helps to pay for those items!

During another one of my free trips to Walmart, I knew I was going to have at least $5 in overage from my coupons. I grabbed a pack of socks and ended up only paying a few dollars for my entire order!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Coupon Tip: Check for size restrictions on coupons!

Always check your personal care item coupons for size restrictions, if it doesn't say "not valid on trial/ travel sizes" or doesn't have a liquid/ weight on it then you're in luck!

A lot of times, it's a really easy way to score free trial or travel sized goodies! I can't even begin to count the number of free deodorants, toothpaste, shampoo and more I've gotten for free just by doing this!! I get the majority of these at Walmart and Target.

These coupons are becoming more and more rare but when you see them, jump on the chance!!

Sunday Coupon Preview: 1/27/13

I've had multiple people ask me how many newspapers I buy a week. Truthfully, it all depends on how many inserts will be in that Sunday's paper. If it's a good week (three or more inserts) then I buy eight papers, if there's just one or two, I typically only buy four. 

This Sunday, 1/27, there's going to be 4 inserts so this week is an eight paper week for me! You can expect one Procter & Gamble, one Smartsource, and two Red Plum inserts!! 

Head on over to Sunday Coupon Preview more details on what coupons you might find in each of the inserts! Just remember, sometimes coupons are regional. They might appear in one newspaper but then not somewhere else. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

DIY: I "Wheelie" Like You Valentine

With Valentine's Day less than 1 month away, I wanted to get a jump start on Leah and Joey's Valentines to hand out to their classes.

My dad went to an auction one day and bought an ENTIRE lot of matchbox cars brand new in the packages and there was many more than my kids will ever play with, LOL!! One of Joey's favorite things to play with is matchbox cars so I saw this as the perfect opportunity for Joey to give some to his classroom friends!

I got a package of Wilton Treat Bags at Walmart then printed off the labels and glued them to red construction paper. If anyone wants to download the labels and make your own, you can get it here.

Thank you to Avoiding the Laundry for the idea!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Bzzzzzzz About Morningstar

I got chosen for another BzzCampaign from BzzAgent, this time for Morningstar products! Although we eat meat on a regular basis, we're in no means vegetarians, LOL! I bought a box of the Morningstar Chik'n Strips and made them for Leah and Aiden one day for lunch. They LOVED them, they couldn't even tell a difference and I even tried one and I couldn't even taste the difference! 

I give this one 4 out of 5 stars!! 

If you're interested in signing up with BzzAgent, give it a try! But first, you'll first want to get signed up with MyPoints, that way you can earn credit for the surveys you'll take through BzzAgent. So, sign up first with MyPoints then BzzAgent.

USPS Stamp price 1/27, buy stamps now to save!

Ugh, time to go out and buy more stamps, USPS is increasing the price of postage stamps to $.46 and postcard stamps to $.33. Looks like I'll be stocking up on Forever Stamps this week...

Thanks Mojo Savings for  the heads up!

DIY: On The Go Car Mat

Joey and Aiden LOVE to play with matchbox cars and I always have a few somewhere in my purse. Typically in church I'll give him a few of them to play with during mass but he gets bored after a few minutes. When I saw  a few of the "on the go" car mats on Pinterest, I knew I had to give it a whirl and see what I could come up with myself although I wish I would have made it a little bigger and added a handle to carry it by. I do know I want to make more of these as gifts!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Free Oscar Mayer Pulled Pork!!!

WAHOO!! Last year, Oscar Mayer had a freebie similar to this one and it's back again this year! Hurry over to their Facebook page and last year by the time from promotion was over, I ended up getting  a coupon in the mail for a free pack of Oscar Mayer lunch meat!

Head on over to Oscar Mayer's Facebook page, "like" the page, then submit a "taste-a-monial" (you can write anything) and you'll be signed up for the coupon to be sent to your house.

And if you don't want to keep Oscar Mayer on your list of FB pages you like, you can unlike it after you're done.

Dr. Jérôme Lejeune: future saint?

Many people give all the credit to Dr. John Langdon, an English physician for "discovering Down syndrome, after all, it was named after him. In 1866 he published an accurate description of individuals with Down syndrome, he described the similarities between them.

BUT more of the credit should go to Dr. Jérôme Jean Louis Marie Lejeune. In 1958 he discovered the extra 21st chromosome. Dr. Lejeune dedicated his life to individuals with Down syndrome and trying to improve the lives of all individuals with Down syndrome. He is known as the Father of Modern Genetics.

Dr. Lejeune was a devote Catholic and close friends with Pope John Paul II who made him the first President of the Pontifical Council for Life. They remained friends until the day Dr. Lejeune died.

In 2007, Dr. Lejeune's beatification was opened. We may have the future saint for families of children with Down syndrome on our hands. We just need to hope and pray that this happens. I find myself praying to Dr. Lejeune whenever Joey is sick praying that he intercedes and heals Joey quickly.

 Here in the United States we have the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation that provides "research, care, and advocacy to benefit those with genetic intellectual disabilities. This is carried out by conducting, promoting, and funding in the United States therapeutically oriented research; by assisting in the development of healthcare services for these individuals; and by serving as their advocate in a spirit of respect for the dignity of all human persons."

I don't have the writing skills to give Dr. Lejeune enough credit and explain all of his life's work for our beautiful children. Below are some of my favorite articles and other blog posts about Dr. Lejeune.

“Never tire of firmly speaking out in defense of life from its conception and do not be deterred from the commitment to defend the dignity of every human person with courageous determination. Christ is with you: be not afraid!”
Pope John Paul II

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Joey, our little dancer

This morning, I started looking through the old videos we took of Joey when he was younger. He LOVED dancing when he was a little toddler!! Enjoy!!! Now I just wish I would have taken more videos of Leah and Aiden, LOL!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Joys of Potty Training 2 Boys at Once...

Ugh... so not only are we in the process of potty training one boy but TWO!!! Two little boys that are both extremely stubborn and neither of which minds having on a dirty diaper... I've been changing diapers for almost the past 7 years...

With Aiden, we've tried using a sticker chart, bribing him with candy, action figures, matchbox cars, and I even went as far as decorating a "treasure chest" and showing him all the goodies I bought to put in it for him! And even aiming for cheerios didn't work!!

I've filled him full of fluids and taken him to the bathroom every 15-20 minutes. NOTHING IS WORKING! He's 3 1/2 years old, this is driving me insane that he's not ready! But with a little more time, I know he'll catch on soon! He's just so darn bullheaded, LOL!!

As for Joey... (sigh...), I've been changing his diapers for a very long time (he will be 7 in March...). I dream of the day when I will no longer have to change one of his diapers. They've been working with him at school and potty training as well. They even did a 3 day intense "potty training boot camp" where they pretty much moved his desk into the bathroom attached to his classroom and filled him full of fluids.

The "potty training book camp" helped  a little but we're still a way away from getting out of diapers. He will occasionally pee on the potty and if you catch him getting ready for a #2, you can typically get him to the bathroom in time.

I've tried books and story boards with both boys, Potty Time by Signing Time and Elmo's Potty Time as well...

I think the really big issue with Joey is though that it was discovered during his last hospital stay that his bladder is extremely large for his age. He likes to hold his pee and I'm not just talking a little, it's enough to where it would truly be painful for anyone else. They did a bladder & kidney ultrasound on him. They found out that his bladder is large enough to the point that a urologist was called in to take a peek and give their opinion. Time to add another medical specialist to the list, we go see the urologist in a few weeks.

I just pray and pray and pray that there will someday soon be an end to changing so many diapers. And to add to the frustration, Aiden uses the excuse that Joey still wears diapers as to why he can still wear them...

I will keep you updated on the progress with BOTH of the boys since I know MANY of you are in the same boat as us! If you have any tips or suggestions for either of them, I'm all ears, LOL!!

Here's a few of the articles I've read online:

Potty training any child
Potty training kiddos with Down syndrome

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What do all these famous people have in common?

Do you know what all these famous people have in common?
  • Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Washington Congresswoman)
  • John C. McGinley (actor)
  • Albert Pujols (MLB baseball player)
  • Heath Bell (MLB baseball player)
  • Charles Darwin (naturalist)
  • Eva Longoria (actress)
  • Gene Stallings (college football coach)
  • George Will (news writer/ columnist
  • Jamie Foxx (actor/ musician
  • Sarah Palin (politician
  • Roy Rogers (actor/ musician)
  • Dale Evans (actress)
  • Julie Newmar (actress)
  • David Ragan (NASCAR driver)

Free Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes at Target!!

You can score totally free Neutrogena travel sized makeup remover wipes at Target right now! Print this coupon off while before it runs out of prints!! This coupon has NO size restriction so you can use it on a travel sized item! I absolutely LOVE these wipes! I use these almost everyday so this one makes me super happy!!! They're typically found in travel size section, but I've also found them on an end cap in the makeup section.

Neutrogena Make-Up Remover 7-Count $1.99 
Use the $2/1 Neutrogena Cosmetics Coupon (use area code 06489 if you can't find it under yours)

Couponing Tip: Find your stock up price for everything!

Another tip I have for those of you that really want to get into couponing is to have a stock up price for items when you go to buy them. Now that I have my stockpile in our house, I only buy things when they're on sale, I have a coupon for them, and they're at the "stock up" price.

Obviously anything I can get for free, even if I don't need it, I get it. I either give it to a family member or friend that can use it or I donate it to our church.

Things that I get for free that I will never buy again as long as I'm couponing:

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Deodorant
  • Body wash
  • Lotion
  • Shampoo/ conditioner
  • Air freshener

A few good examples of stock up prices for me:

  • Paper towels $.35 a roll or less
  • Toilet paper $.01 per sq ft or below
  • Tissues/ Kleenex $.30
  • Name brand household cleaners $.99
  • Laundry detergent (Purex or Ajax) $.99
  • Ziplock bags $.50 a box
  • Diapers/ Pull Ups (Huggies) $4 per pack 
  • Shaving cream/ gel $.25
  • Mouthwash $.75
  • Ketchup $.88
  • Mustard $.40
  • Cereal $.50 
  • Salsa $.50
  • Coffee creamer $.40
  • Greek Yogurt $.40

A Walk Down Memory Lane With Joey

I used to have a blog called Raising Joey. Unfortunately  I let the domain name expire and when that happened, I lost ALL of the posts I had written for over 5 years, my pregnancy with Joey up until Aiden was born. I have a lot of it backed up onto my computer but can't get it to download onto my new blog. Someday I'll figure it out, LOL!

Anyways, today I remembered the site that I had downloaded all of the old videos and slide shows I had made in the past, especially about Joey! I've been sitting here (almost in tears) watching them all.

 "The 21 Reasons Why I Chose Life:"

Make a video - it's fun, easy and free!

And this one "I Can Change The World"

When Joey first started walking (a HUGE milestone I must add!!)
Make a video - it's fun, easy and free!

And it was love at first sight for Joey and Leah

Crock-pot Chili

We woke up this morning to about 6 inches of snow on the ground, so I knew today is the PERFECT day for chili!! Growing up, one of my favorite dinners that my mom made was chili! My mom always added sliced carrots, and celery to her chili as well and sometimes corn. I would have added the carrots to mine but to my disappointment, I'm out.

Over the past few years, I've tweaked her recipe a bit, but still reminds me of my mom's. And she always did hers on the stove, LOL!

And to make this meal even better, it freezes very well! I typically take the majority of the leftovers and make myself single serving sized microwavable bowls to freeze for future lunches!!

Crock-pot Chili:

  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey, browned
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced in garlic press
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (more if you like a sweeter chili)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can  Ro*tel® Diced Tomatoes 
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can kidney beans

  1. Cook ground beef on stove until browned. 
  2. Drain and rinse kidney beans.
  3. Mince garlic and chop up onion.
  4. Combine all ingredients and let cook in crock-pot until ready. (I usually do mine on low all day)

Googly eyed monsters

There's nothing better than project to help move a snow day along, LOL!! I had some googly eyes in my craft closet and thought making some monsters was an excellent idea after Joey watched Monsters Inc. last night! 

I just glued the eyes on paper, gave the kiddos markers and let their imaginations go wild (except I had to help Aiden and Joey a little...)!   

(Leah insisted on taking a picture of me, LOL!!)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DIY Taco Seasoning

Lately I've been all about making things from scratch even our seasonings. I have been backing away from store bought seasoning packages, my husband and Joey are both on gluten free diets so you never know when there might be gluten used as a anti-caking ingredient or even color. Also because of all the added sodium!

A while back, I found a recipe for taco seasoning, tried it and LOVED it! It tastes so much better than the ones you buy in the store! Not to mention, in the long run, it's A LOT cheaper!

Just mix together:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
I also saved an empty spice jar and store it in there until I'm ready to use it :)

*I usually triple my batches to have extra for the next few taco nights

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Couponing Tips & Tricks: Check clearance racks!

One of the best ways to score free or extremely cheap makeup, hair dye and other personal care items with coupons at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid is to check out their clearance racks!!

At these stores you can use a coupons on a clearance items and many times get them for free or for very close to it!!

Whenever a  manufacture changes the design of one of their labels, the item with the old label gets put onto clearance!!

I haven't paid for hair dye for about 1 1/2 years due to this trick!!

I've also scored TONS of free makeup especially at Target! In addition to using manufacture coupons there, you can stack them with Target coupons you can print from Target's website.

Check back soon for even more couponing tips & tricks!!

CVS: FREE Stayfree Maxi Pads this week!

OMG! How did I miss this one on Sunday?! In many of last Sundays (1/6/13) Smart Source coupon inserts there was a coupon for Buy 1, Get 1 free Stayfree Maxi Pads coupon and this week CVS has them on sale for Buy 1, Get 1 free, which mean TOTALLY FREE MAXI PADS!!!

Guess where I'm going first thing in the morning, LOL???

I remember this same sale with this same coupon last year at CVS, I stocked up!! I haven't bought maxi pads in over 1 year, they've all been for free!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Bzzzzzzzzz about Norwegian Formula® Hand Cream

I was chosen to try Norwegian Formula® Hand Cream through BzzAgent. I was skeptical since I suffer from SEVERE dry skin due to eczema that flares up pretty bad during the winter months. But to my surprise, it actually cleared up a very bad patch on my hand in less than 2 days!! That's just as good as the prescription strength hand cream I use from my dermatologist!! And it only takes a little bit since it's a concentrated formula!

I give Norwegian Formula® Hand Cream a 5 star rating! Totally awesome!

If you're interested in signing up with BzzAgent, give it a try! But first, you'll first want to get signed up with MyPoints, that way you can earn credit for the surveys you'll take through BzzAgent. So, sign up first with MyPoints then BzzAgent.

Free Icy Hot at Walmart!!

I love it when this coupon pops up!! Especially right now, I have tore the rotator cuff in my right shoulder so this one is right up my alley right now, LOL!!! 
Icy Hot .5 oz – $.97
Use $1/1 Icy Hot or Aspercreme Product, exp. 2/24/13 (From RP 01/06/13)
or use $1/1 Icy Hot printable coupon
Final Price = FREE + $.03 MM!!

These $.97 Icy Hots can be tricky to find. They're typically located on an end cap of an isle somewhere in the personal care section of the store.

And to make this freebie even more awesome, you'll actually earn $.03 in overage from each Icy Hot you buy!!! Walmart gives overage on items that you get for free if the coupon is more that the actual item (unless specified on the coupon itself)!!!

I just LOVE getting paid to shop!!!

Thanks for the photo and deal, I Heart The Mart!

Office Depot: Free Organize Me 2013 Calendar!

If you’re heading to Office Depot soon, you can score a FREE Organize Me 2013 Calendar when you click the bottom banner of the page to get your coupon. Coupon expires 3/15/13.

Thanks Coupon Pro!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Couponing Tip: Using a binder to keep yourself organized!!

One of the most important tips I have for someone that's interested in getting hard core into couponing is to keep your coupons organized and don't get rid of ANY of your coupons until they've expired!

I prefer clipping all my coupons and keeping them in a binder, although during the holiday season, I found it VERY hard to keep up with.

I have my zipper binder divided into 4 sections: health  & beauty  household, refrigerated  frozen foods, and shelf stable foods. Then within those sections I have pages with just the certain items: deodorant  soap, toothpaste, hair products, ect...

I use baseball card sleeves for the smaller coupons and currency sleeves for the long coupons. You can buy the sleeve pages online on Amazon, eBay and in stores like Walmart and Target where the baseball cards are located in the store.

I also keep a pencil case (that I use for loose coupons), pens, pencils, post-it notes, highlighters, a pair of scissors. and a calculator in my binder as well. I also bought a binder that has a filing area in it so I can keep m favorite stores' weekly ads in it!

I typically buy 4-8 papers a week depending on how many inserts are in that week's paper. If there is a certain coupon I want more of, then I order extras either from a coupon clipping service or from eBay.

When I go to clip my coupons, since I have multiple inserts from all the papers I buy, I stack all the same pages together, so the same coupons are on top of each other in piles. Then I staple the pages together, but just make sure the coupons line up exactly together or you may cut into the bar codes or the expiration date! Also, make sure you don't staple through the bar code, this may make the cash register not able to scan the bar code!

If you cut off the expiration date on any of your coupons, the stores will not be able to accept your coupon with the missing expiration date on it!!

Also a huge help if you find yourself overwhelmed with cutting all the coupons with scissors, you can always order a paper trimmer.

Then file your coupons into their proper page in your binder!!

Enjoy and welcome to the world of couponing!!!

*check back soon for even more couponing tips & tricks!!!

More salt dough fun!!

I posted last month my recipe for salt dough and a few of the ornaments I made. I made these as well from Joey, Leah, and Aiden's hand prints. I hope to make this DYI project an annual tradition, this will be the perfect way to watch my kids grow through their hand prints. 

Hurry! Free sample of Elmer's Pro Glue!!

Hurry over to Elmer's Facebook to score a FREE Elmer’s ProBond Glue Sample when you click the box on lower right of the page below the video. I just got one!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

DYI Christmas Present: "For your mistletoes"

Even though Christmas has come and gone but I wanted to share this one as well. As many of you know, I LOVE my couponing and I get a lot of stuff for free including free nail polish I scored a few months ago. Seeing that I have one sister and eight sister in laws, I'm always looking for super cute things to add to their Christmas gifts!

And I couldn't pass up the opportunity to add the "for your mistletoes" tag to the polish!!

Friday, January 4, 2013

DIY Project: Birthday Board

My husband is the oldest of 7. The majority of his siblings are now married and are having children so our family has been growing very quickly!! It's very hard to keep track of everyone's birthdays and I knew this would be the PERFECT Christmas gift for my mother in law!

My mother in law has 7 children, 3 daughter in laws, 1 son in law, 1 mother in law, 8 (soon to be 9) grandchildren, her mother in law, 4 of her own brothers, 3 sister in laws, 1 brother in law, 2 nieces, 3 nephews, and I'm sure I might have left a few more out, LOL!!

In addition to all the disks I already personalized, I've painted an additional 12 since I know our family will continue to grow for several more years!!

The large board I got at Michael's Craft Store and used one of the 50% off coupons so I got it for $7!! I spray painted the green base coat that way the paint would be nice & smooth. For the letters, rather than going out and buying stencils, I found the perfect font and printed out the letters in 150 font then cut them out and traced them with a black sharpie marker and painted them in black. I also added a coat of black glitter paint on top of the letters so they would "pop" a little.

Then I bought a few bags of little wooden disks similar to these. I painted them then drilled small holes in them. For the lettering I used a black fine tipped Sharpie Marker. Then I added a clear clear of glitter paint to the top to make the disks sparkle a little.

Then I used metal jewelry findings similar to these  to attach the disks to each other.

I am tickled to death how awesome this turned out!!