Category Archives: Life

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~

Kitten Cuteness Overload

I believe that I have just created a new tongue twister. Anywho, I decided that it was time to introduce to you our new family members. Smokie, my sister’s cat, gave birth to 2 kittens about a month ago. I know, I should be punished for not mentioning it earlier or not posting pictures. So, without further ado (or is it adieu? I forget sometimes), here are the 2 kittens. They are both Siamese! We’ve decided to name them something so very simple: Brother and Sister. Of course, this is liable to change as they get older and run around the house, chasing the dog and biting on it’s tail!

Kittens2 004Here they are, half asleep. Of course, we have taken new pictures since the 13th, but they are still on the camera. I keep forgetting to transfer those! If I am correct, and sis, please feel free to correct me, Sister is on the left, and Brother is on the right.

They are getting very rambunctious. Often times, they will play so aggressively that one will yelp in pain and Mother Smokie will come to the rescue. She plays referee most of the time.

Kittens2 002As you can see, they are playing. They can’t run correctly just yet, but they are getting practice by “scampering” on the bed. Their personalities could not be anymore different. Brother is a big Mama’s Boy and loves to be held. He will become a lap kitty. Sister is the adventurer. She will climb any pillow mountain to get to the top.

They are eating a little bit of canned kitty food. They really prefer the sauce more than the food itself. What they don’t eat, Smokie and Princess will finish off.

Brother and Sister also wake up to every little sound. Here’s a scenario… okay, so it’s really not a scenario. It’s happened before. They were both sleeping on the bed while I was sitting in the living room playing with my dog. When I decided to go lay down for a bit, I looked to see if my sister had placed the kittens back in their bed or they were playing. Well, they were sleeping. As I walked into the bedroom, their little eyes popped open and you hear Brother meow. Oh great. I woke them up! But, they really do like to be around you and held.

I can only hope they give Zeus a run for his money.

Chaos

Yes I realize I haven’t updated in quite a bit. Well, to say the very least, things here at the home front have been quite hectic… chaotic, to be  honest. Some of it stressful, some of it worrisome, and some of it depressing. Boy, I love life, don’t you?

Thursday evening, we said goodbye to one of our most beloved pets. Patches, the cat, died Thursday evening. She is the daughter of Smokie, my sister’s cat. We are all very saddened by her sudden passing. The other 2 cats (Smokie and Princess) are still upset. They are mourning the loss of a daughter and a friend- as we all are. She is at that Rainbow Bridge. We love you!

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Patches
2004-2009
We’ll always love you!

So, let’s get pass the depression for a bit. I have a lot of things coming up in the next few weeks! We’ve got tons of reviews, giveaways, and hopefully, a bit of cooler weather here! Okay, a girl can dream! But honestly, I promise to update more often! Now that things have finally started to settle down, I can breathe and concentrate on my writing. It was a nice vacation, but it’s always great to come back to something you know and love.

By the way, it’s never a good idea to watch a pizza commercial when you are craving it like a madman (or rather, mandwoman.)

BTS: School Shopping On A Budget

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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- 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!

CIJ- Christmas Crafts

Whether you are or aren’t creative, crafts are always a fun and cheap way to decorate for the holidays. Even kids can get on it!! With tons of craft sites out there, I chose only one and I will share a few of the craffts from that website! I would share my o wn, but I’m not as creative as these people are!

This Pencil Snowman is perfect for the kids!

Materials Needed:
l pencil
l chenille stem
l bell
1 button
glue
2″ sq. black felt
5″ X 1″ felt strip
white card stock
fine black marker
pink marker or crayon

Directions:

  1. Cut a circle about 3/4″ diameter from white card stock, and glue onto the pencil, just below the metal of the eraser.
  2. Center one side of 2″ black felt square over the forehead area of the white circle, and glue in place. Bring the other two sides to the back, and glue.
  3. Cut 1″ from a chenille stem, pass the bell through, and gather the top of the hat, and twist the chenille stem around the top of the hat.
  4. 4. Glue the center of the scarf strip at the back of the pencil, bring the two ends to the front, cris cross, and glue in place.
  5. Glue a button in the center of the scarf.
  6. Add facial features with fine black marker, color cheeks in with pink marker or crayon.

I think it’s rather cute!!


I don’t remember ever doing this next craft, but frankly, who hasn’t? It’s the Popcorn Garland!

296_main_popcornstringMaterials Needed:
Fishing line
Popped Corn
Blunt darning needle for threading
(ADULT SUPERVISION NEEDED)

Directions:

  1. Using a needle, thread the fishing line through each piece of popcorn. Continue until you have a garland long enough to decorate a tree or room then tie a knot to secure.
  2. Try using Colored pop corn for a festive look.
  3. There are a couple of ways to successfully color popcorn.
  4. Add food color to the oil prior to popping, this gives a very faint color finish.
  5. Add powdered food coloring (found at cake supply stores) to popped corn for a more intense color.
  6. Add a little water to some food coloring and pour into a bag. Add the popped corn and toss till it is well coated.
  7. If the popcorn is NOT going to be eaten use a Powdered Poster Paint which can be bought from a toy store or the school may already have some.
  8. Then toss the powder over your popped corn. This gives off a very very vibrant color but it is NOT Edible.
  9. Generally these powder paints are actually non toxic so no harm would actually be done, but still not really edible.

Ahh… the smell of popcorn in the air!! Fantastic!


Next up is a Reindeer Christmas Ornament. This one is also perfect for kids and simply adorable!!

1127_main_1127_main_reindeerMaterials Needed:
1/8″ red ribbon
1 red craft fuzzy ball
2 craft google eyes
3 wooden, hearts
brown acrylic paint
paint brush/sponge
hot glue gun
(ADULT SUPERVISION NEEDED!)

Directions:

  1. Start by painting all three of the wooden hearts with the brown paint on the front and back. Let dry approximately 30 minutes.
  2. Glue the hearts together according to the picture given. The top two hearts should be upright and the bottom heart (the face) should be upside down.
  3. Next, tie a small bow out of the red ribbon. Place on top of the upside down heart. Glue on the eyes and nose (fuzzy ball) according to the picture given.
  4. Finally, create a loop with the red ribbon and glue to the back of the ornament. Write your name and year on the back of the ornament as a personal touch.

Are you feeling the creative juices flowing? Perfect!! For more crafts to do this year, visit Craftbits.com.

July 4th Recap

I hope all of my American friends had a fantastic 4th- rain or shine! Even if the rain had put a damper on your fireworks, I still hope you enjoyed the day!! What did my family do? Well, I am so glad you asked!

The day started with me being able to sleep in. I knew we weren’t going to leave until much later. So, fast forward to 4:30 (I mostly read up until that time!). We finally packed up the huge cooler and left. With food and chairs in tow, we find a picnic area, under a tree (shade!!!) and near the lake.

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It was really a beautiful place and quite peaceful. Before we set out the food, my sis and I vowed that after eating, we were going to go swimming in the lake. Now keep in mind that it has been years upon years since I’ve been swimming. this little information will come in handy soon!

So, after my father gets the car parked, we all pile out of it. It’s funny. The air near water feels a tiny bit better than in the city. Who knew? Apparently, not I! It was still hot, but bearable.  Ahh… the fantastic picnic weather had greeted us. It was the perfect setting. You could hear the boats on the lake. It was relaxing.

Our picnic foods consisted of chicken, rolls, 2 kids of potato salad (mustard & mayo), macaroni salad and Church’s Chicken mashed potatoes and gravy. Extremely yummy food!!

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image_12Okay, so the chicken from Church’s, too!

So, we’ve all eaten (with plenty of food left over). What happens next? Swimming. Well, actually it didn’t happen. My dad told us to watch out for snakes. Here’s where that information about me forgetting how to swim comes in. Worried about snakes now and scared, my sis and I just sat there splashing water each other like kids. It definitely felt good, on a hot day, to be in the water.

Fast forward (yet again) to the fireworks. This year’s fireworks were fantastic! In fact, I have a few to show you! My only wish is that I had a camera that takes pictures to keep up with the fireworks. I’m guessing it would need a fast shutter speed? Does one exist?

What a way to end Independence Day!

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(P.S. When I can, I’ll upload the firework finale video. When I do, turn down the volume on your computer as we were only 2 blocks away from where they were shooting them off. It’ll be loud!!)