Category Archives: Family

Coupon Clipping

Let’s face it, the economy sucks. So, I have come to a small, yet helpful decision. I have decided to join the masses and start clipping coupons. Think about it. You can save money and stock up on food. You never know what natural disaster may leave you without electricity. So why not use that food you saved money on by clipping coupons? Just don’t lose the can opener, I know I have- a couple of times, to be exact.  What can I say? It easy to lose stuff when you don’t remember where you put it. Perhaps a coupon organizer might be helpful…

couponsWhat changed my mind on coupon clipping? To be honest, it was the October issue of the Woman’s Day magazine. As I was finding the next article, I saw the insert of coupons. A light bulb went off in my head. I immediately thought “Coupons! How perfect!” It kind of spiraled from there. I believe I have a few “free” coupons laying around the house. What’s better than free? Oh wait… don’t answer that.

Since I have decided to start this new money-saving hobby, I thought I would share websites that contains legit coupons.
http://www.retailmenot.com/

http://www.redplum.com/

http://print.coupons.com/CouponWeb/Offers.aspx?pid=13306&zid=iq37&nid=10

These are legitimate sites. Believe me, I love researching. So, I spend a lot of time searching for the good ones!

Time to start saving~

Snack Holders/Containers

cupcakes

A few days ago, I was laying in bed watching the Food Network channel. The show “Unwrapped” with Marc Summers was on. Well, they were discussing back to school and snacks. The word “snacks” just sends your stomach into a grumbling mess. Believe me. On this particular episode, during one segment, they showed all different types of containers to hold snacks. I found this not only fascinating, but I was a (tad) bit jealous. I do believe that they did not have any of these snack containers when I was younger. So, I decided to do some searching (online) to see if I could find any of the ones I had seen on the television. So far, out of the 10 (okay, maybe 6) I saw, I’ve found 2.

Really, there is a point to this jumbled madness. If you have young’ins or you want your kids to be able to hold onto their snacks while eating or carrying, then snack holders are just for you! Some of these holders are very tough, so if they accidentally drop it, there’s no reason to get upset. They won’t get broken- unless dropped from a 4 story building, maybe.

51z539feApL._SL500_AA280_Meet Twinkie, The Kid. He is is a Twinkie holder. So, if your kids are  taking Twinkies to school as dessert or a snack, then place the Twinkies in here so it doesn’t get squished. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate eating squished Twinkies. Plus, you never know; it could get extremely messy and hard to clean up. You just don’t want to mess with a sticky backpack filled with Twinkies filling. (PS: That link is to the Amazon sellers page)

Also, who doesn’t like the Goldfish snacks? I know I certainly do! They also sell containers to hold those fishies inside. This would have been great for my sister’s last job. She worked at a church as basically, a babysitter. The kids would often have snack time, and most of those times, the snack would be Goldfish. So, they would either sit at a table or on the floor. There would be a huge mess to clean up afterward. So, if the church would have invested in some of these little guys, the babysitters (there were usually 2 working with my sister that day), wouldn’t be cleaning an hour later!
containerSo don’t be afraid to send your children to school with snack containers. Most of their peers might even think they are neat and will ask their own parents for one.

Let’s look at the benefits of snack containers:

  • They hold quite a bit of snacks inside
  • They do not break when you drop them- especially for the little ones’ hands.
  • They are neat looking. I want one!
  • They save you money. You no longer have to keep using sandwich baggies to hold those snacks.
  • After you have used them and the kids don’t want to use them to hold snacks, they can use it to hold anything else they want! It can be useful in 2 ways.
  • No messes to clean up in the backpack. The snack stays still even if your child isn’t.

If you want to grab some of these, head to your grocery store or search online. You’ll never know when one will pop up!

    A Chocoholic Goes Grocery Shopping

    If you’re a lover of chocolate like me, then you’ll know exactly how I feel! As a lover of chocolate, even a Snickers commercials makes you drool! Well, last night was no exception. Except, however, that it didn’t involve Snickers or a commercial. It did involve chocolate, I promise that!

    chocolate

    Last night we needed to go grocery shopping. It was near 8pm, so I figured it wouldn’t be that hot. It was. Never underestimate the power of heat and humidity. You step outside and it’s like you’re being engulfed by a flame-less fire. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that hot, but you get the idea of it. So, my sister, dad, and myself piled into the car and headed to WalMart.

    Personally, I didn’t think that WalMart was going to be busy on a Thursday night. I usually thought they crowded the stores on Fridays and the weekend. Again, I was wrong. It was crowded and people were, it seemed, in a bad mood. I blamed it on the heat.

    So, we’ve gotten almost everything. We were only missing 2 items: stuffing and “Thank You” cards. We knew where the cards were- on the other side of the darn store. We had no idea where the boxes of stuffing were! We checked down almost every isle that contained boxes. Well, I decided to try the cake mix aisle. Bad bad idea!

    I stopped in front of the chocolate frosting to see if my sister or dad was behind me. When I looked and saw what was in front of me, I started drooling!! I grabbed 5 tubs of the chocolate frosting into my arms and attempted to put them into basket when they stopped me. Sasdly, I put all 5 tubs back onto the shelf and walked away.

    Perhaps one day I will get my chocolate frosting! Perhaps one day…

    Back To School: Supplies List

    27023-Clipart-Illustration-Of-A-Red-Pencil-Marking-Of-Items-On-A-Check-List-On-A-Clipboard

    Every state has them! I’m talking about supplies list for back to school shopping! When I go into WalMart, I see a kiosk-type thing with tons of list from every grade and every school in my area. So, I decided that I would help you and give you some links on where you can find a list of supplies your child may need. Now keep in m ind that these are just ordinary lists- they don’t involve also what you may need from your school.

    logoHave you had trouble finding a list from the school your kids are going to? Well, at PrintSchoolList.com, you have the ability to search for that list. All you have to do is plug in your zip code, find your state, and then find what grades your kids will be going into. Unfortunately, none in my city are listed. That means that I must head to Wal-Mart and fight the crowd! It’s really easy to search. Not every school will be on there. I’m thinking that the smaller cities ma have to go another way of getting their school list.

    At GreatSchools.net, they give you a a list to get you going. They also advise you not to spend money on writing utensils that don’t work or will quit working. Keep it to a normal pencil and erasers. I would have to agree. While it may be a cool look, it can also be distracting to some when they see the eraser light up. We weren’t allowed to have those things in class when I was younger. It’s good to see that some of the times haven’t changed and they still make education number 1!

    I’ve mentioned WalMart before, but never did I know that they had a Back To School Shopping List finder! Wow! This takes out a lot of the guess work on seeing if they have the list at the stores! Again, they don’t have every city listed. Unfortunately, it’s back to the store for me! However, this allows you to download or print your supply list. They also have pre-made lists for you to print out. So, if you can’t find your list on the finder, you can have a backup! Just a little note, when you click on the finder link, and on the left side of the page, you will see the links to the pre-made supplies lists.

    Staples also is helping you with supply lists. They have divided the supply lists into groups: Pre-K to Kindergarten, Grades 1-3, Grades 4-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, and College. I am so happy to see that they have included the college students! Not everyone going back to school is young, and this helps those college students who have no idea what they need to have. Personally, I may have to print out the college list so I have it on file when I go to college!!

    For those who are eco-friendly, there is also a list out there that tells you what to buy and what to avoid. Some of these ideas may not be for kuba_crystal_earth_recycleeveryone. We didn’t have those options when I was going back to school shopping. Most of them were not made yet, or they were way too expensive for us. On EcoMall.com, they suggest not buying any magic markers or acrylic paints. The acrylic paints can contain lead which can be fatal to small children who want to eat them. They also suggest to do your shopping online. I think this is a fabulous idea for those who can do it. Not only can you find the best eco-friendly websites, you know exactly what you’re going to buy and what is in it! I do have to suggest that you go to those green sites that only you know about. If you need to, do a little research on the sites you are thinking about buying from for the first time. If it looks like a great catch, then go ahead and buy!

    BTS: School Shopping On A Budget

    saving money clip art
    When my sister and I were in school, Mom knew she had to spend as less money as possible. That’s not to say that she didn’t get everything we needed- because she did! She was the master at making a budget of how much she wants to spend. Of course, I learned a few things from her all of those years ago and I thought I would share what I learned! I will tell you that this won’t work for everyone.

    • When buying clothing, look for sales! Your kids don’t always have to wear name brands! As long as the clothes are in good shape and seem like they would last your kids a long time, then there is no problem. Often times, WalMart will have a sale on clothes for going back to school!
    • Try the dollar stores! My mom would get most of our supplies from the Dollar Store. Not only were they only a couple of dollars, there wasn’t a huge crowd in it. She was able to shop with ease and knowing that she would save money! So, instead of getting a pack of pencils for $5 at WalMart, she would get them for much less!!
    • Backpacks don’t need to make a fashion statement! Some kids want that more expensive backpack because it’s cool. Buy a backpack that is half the price you would regularly buy. Remember, your kids are only using it to store their school stuff in. They aren’t going to a fashion show and walking down the runway with it on!
    • Check online for sales! If you like to buy your school supplies online, then go ahead! You can always search for great deals. If you need a little help, just Google “back to school sales 2009.” You will be able to find a ton of sales and save money!
    • Reuse last years supplies if possible. Most likely, the lunchboxes and backpacks are still good. If they are, then you won’t need to rush out and buy those again! Keep in mind, you are saving money! I know some kids will go “Mom! That was last year! This year, I want a new one!”; just hold your ground!
    • Buy in bulk! If a store is having a great sale on supplies, buy as much as you can and keep it back for next year. This allows you to save more money next year and it will still be brand new to the kiddies!
    • Make your kids’ lunch at home. If your child is young enough to take his lunch, but still old enough to get a paid lunch at school, I’d go with the first one. Making your kids lunch at home will be cheaper than sending him to school with money for food. Plus, you will know that he’ll be getting a much healthier lunch than he would at school!
    • Don’t be afraid to use coupons! If you have 8 coupons for 8 different items for supplies, use them! Even if they are only a few cents off, that’s a few cents you could be saving than having to buy them at full price!
    • Place only what you want to spend in an envelope. Putting the money in an envelope helps you to not overspend! You will know that the money that is in there is the only money you will spend when you go school shopping. Of course, my mom was buying for me and my twin sister, so amounts will be very different!

    These are just some of the ways to help you this year!!! I’m sure you will be able to come up with your own, too!

    CIJ- My Top 10 List Of Favorite Christmas Songs

    MusicalNotes

    I love music! Well, who doesn’t? I especially love the songs they play at Christmas. Not only do they have modern songs by the new artists, they still play some of the great oldies! So, last night, before bed, I decided I would post a list of my favorite Christmas songs. Who knows, some of them may be your favorite, too!!!

    1. White Christmas by Bing Crosby: Frankly, I love  the movie. This song just oozes Christmas- even if you live in Florida where there is no snow. Hearing this song brings back so many good memories for me and I’d like to keep it that way!
    2. Believe by Josh Groban: Ahh… that wonderful and sweet voice. If you’ve ever seen the Polar Express, then you know exactly what song I am talking about. This also oozes Christmas and no matter how old you are, gets you into the spirit of Santa Claus.
    3. Jingle Bell Rock by George Strait: Remember he was on my Drool Worthy list? If you must know, this is my most favorite Christmas song by him. You can ask my family- every year at Christmastime, the 20th Century Masters Christmas Collection: George Strait album goes into the CD player and plays all day. Jingle Bell Rock sang by George Strait is toe-tapping good!
    4. Christmas Don’t Be Late by The Chipmunks: This is a classic and I haven’t heard it in such a long time! I remember having an Alvin doll when I was younger and I loved that doll!
    5. Feliz Navidad by José Feliciano: I absolutely love this song!!! Last year, after visiting my grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve, this song came on. So, what did my sister and I do? Well, we dance and sang to it. I believe I now know more Spanish than I learned in High School!
    6. Up On The Housetop by Gene Autry: I love Gene Autry and I love this song. I can remember singing in elementary school with the choir. This has always been a childhood favorite and it continues into my adulthood. Way to go Gene!
    7. Frosty The Snowman by Gene Autry: It was actually recorded first by Gene Autry… but nonethless, this is a feel-good, happy song. If I don’t hear this song at least once during Christmas, I’ll find a way!
    8. The Twelve Pains of Christmas by Bob Rivers: This one is always a favorite. Somehow, most of those are true. It’s especially true when you’re trying to rig up the lights. We always seem to run short of extension cords, or one set doesn’t blink when it’s supposed to. Ahh.. the joys of Christmas. Oh, by the way, you can view the hilarious lyrics HERE.
    9. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer by Gene Autry: Have you noticed a pattern here? Gene Autry seems to have LOVED Christmas more than I did. This song is and will forever be a classic! When I hear this song, it makes me want to get my own Rudolph!
    10. Jingle Bells: I have no idea who originally sang this, but if you can find out for me, I’d be more than happy! This song is a silly song that you can dance around to! This is another song I loved to sing when I was in school.

    So there you go… my Top 10 list of my favorite Christmas songs!

    To listen to Christmas songs 24/7, visit the following links:

    http://www.christmasradio.net/
    http://www.merrychristmasradio.com/
    http://www.accuradio.com/holidays/
    http://www.shoutcast.com/radio/Christmas
    http://www.live365.com/cgi-bin/directory.cgi?genre=christmas

    Christmas_Lights

    CIJ- Just Between You And Me

    With Christmas around the corner, and Christmas is a time to spend with family, questions arise that you may not want to ask outright. I’ve been guilty of that, too. You either don’t want to start conflict or you just may be naturally curious. Well, Sand Dunes Publishing has now come up with a way to ask those burning questions in a fun way. The Between You and Me Journals are just that- journals between you and another person. They have journals for almost every family members: sister, brother, mom, dad, cousin, grandparents, friends, boyfriend/girlfriend (that would the “HONEY” journal.), etc. All of the journals are unique in their sistermainquestions and the looks of the cover. In each journal, there are 35-45 questions asked!

    On the website, you can even look at sample pages. Looking inside the “Sister” journal, one of the sample questions asked “When we were kids, what did you like most about me?” If I asked my own sister that, she’d probably say “You shared your Barbies with me!” Yes, I have to say it- I was a Barbie lover when I was younger. My sister and I would have Barbie marathons and the clothes and items were strewn throughout the living room as far as the eye could see. The only time we would stop would be when inner was ready or needed a bathroom break. Those are definitely precious childhood memories!

    These journals are great for any occasion and in a previous post, I had said I definitely want a Sister journal. Let me see if I can find that specific post. I did find it, and you can see it here. I am hoping that one day I actually do get one so my sister and I will be able to take a peek into each others brains- even though we are two peas dadmainin a pod! I have come to love looking at the journals and imagining what my family would write back when asked one of those questions.

    So, with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up in the next months, these would be a great gift! They are family keepsakes that you would want to treasure and cherish! And for Spanish speakers, they have Mama and Papa journals. So, to get ahead of that ever frustrating Christmas rush, go get them now!!

    Would you like to save a little money? Place the code “CIJConfettiDreams” in the comment section to save $1.00!