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!

patches
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.)

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BTS: School Supplies Online

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Not everyone wants to go to Target or WalMart to buy their school supplies. Most buy them online nowadays. Heck, even I plan on buying online when I go into college! To be quite honest, there are many perks to buying school supplies online. Some of those perks are: you get to avoid the mass crowd, the long lines, and you get to save money! I’m pretty sure there are many others, they just don’t come to mind at the moment!

If you don’t know where to start on buying school supplies online, then don’t despair. There are so many supplies websites on the Internet that it can get confusing. You don’t know if they are reputable or not. You don’t know if they have what you want. Well, most supplies places do that what you want or need. As far as being reputable, here’s a tip: Stay with what you know. If you are more comfortable buying from Staples, then that’s perfectly okay. Or, if you prefer Office Depot, then you don’t have to worry. You know that both Staples and Office Depot are well known! Plus, I just looked, and their prices are fantastic! So, even though you may have one or both stores in your city, you can buy online without having to leave the house.

Most kids love having supplies that have some type of design. I know I did (minus the backpack). If there was a notebook that had a specific design but was cheap, I would ask my mom if we could get it. 9 times out of 10, I got it! What can I say? I’m a big girly-girl at heart! So, if you or your kids want something cute but affordable, then try CarolinaPad. Check out their collections. I am pretty sure you will find what you want! My sister had gotten the chance to review their products, and because she loved me (AWWWW!!!), she ended up giving me a notebook. I use it every other day. I absolutely love it! Now I just need to buy me a few more of their notebooks and I’ll be good to go until Spring!

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Pencils can be quite cheap- if you know where to look. I love getting their catalog, and that is where I got this next idea. Oriental Trading has so many great deals- and you don’t just buy 2 or 3 of an item, most of the time, you get a gross (that’s 144 pieces)- but not always. Oh yeah, they’re super cheap, too! Also, if your kid is wanting something that makes a statement, then they have many designs of school supplies to choose from. We have ordered from Oriental Trading in the past (it was for Christmas candy canes that you stick in the ground), and we’ve never had a problem. They are great to work with, and you just might find something else to buy!!

So, get out that credit card or Paypal information, and let’s go online shopping!!

Halloween In August?

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With Halloween 2 months away, there are already plans being made! My sister and I are planning everything ahead of time! We’ve also planned it, in detail, on paper. That’s right, paper. It’s quite detailed. We’ve put everything into categories, and then planned on where everything was going to be placed and what we, as the humans, were going to do. We made sure to cover everything!

Halloween just happens to be one of our many favorite holidays! We get giddy with the talk of fall, candy (YUM!!) and  haunted houses. In fact, we’ve already decided what we need to buy!  So, what are we planning? Well I can’t tell you everything! What I can tell you is that it involves a 63″ (I have no idea what that is in feet) Grim Reaper, strobe lights, a huge spiderweb and kitty litter. Okay, maybe that’s not everything it involves.  We may not get many trick-or-treaters, but, we hope that this year, our house will be the coolest on the street! I can only hope it won’t rain! Please, Mother Nature?

Oh I’m getting excited just thinking about it! This year, Halloween will be ours!
cat-halloween-clip-art_03We also know what our costumes are going to be! I’ll be dressing up as a witch. Although I would love to have an elaborate costume, it’s not going to happen. So, my sister has a skirt I can borrow. I would need to buy a cape and one of those bell-type shirts. Oh, and you can’t forget the hat. However, I know where to get one for cheap and it’ll still look good. Okay, add a wig to that, too! The rest will be done at home and made. I would love to tell you what my sister will be doing, but I have no idea how to explain her “costume”- if you want to call it that. You’re better off asking her!

Right now we’re in the process of trying to save up enough money to do all of this! Once we have gotten everything we need (UPS and the mailman are going to hate us by the time October 31 comes around!), we’ll be able to set up and assemble! Wahoo!

The Bright Glow Of A Computer Screen

It’s almost turning 6:30am and I have yet to go to sleep. My mind and body are at war with each other. While my body is saying “Go to sleep already! You’re killing me!”, my mind is saying “Nope! I’m not ready for you to fall asleep! You must dwell and dwell and dwell!” Gosh darnit, I’m tired of dwelling. Well, actually, it’s not really dwelling. You know when your mind decides that it wants to think about stuff you want to do the next day or the next few days? Yup, that’s me. I’d think about what kind of music to add to the iPod (mainly old country and 70s love songs. Infomercials are the best way to get ideas! Thanks, Timelife!) or what I should blog about when I am coherent enough to form a simple sentence.  Well, I’m certainly coherent enough.

I was in bed for 3 hours, tossing and turning trying to turn my mind off. The room was cool enough, so I didn’t have a problem with it being hot. My cat was at the foot of the bed fast asleep. She had the perfect idea. Sometimes, I wish my body was almost like a cat’s- no problem falling asleep wherever my body was. Although sleeping for 16 hours doesn’t seem like the most fulfilled life, at least they are able to sleep.

There really is not point to this post. I guess I was just pointing out my distaste for sleep- or lack thereof. At first, I thought I had something that worked- Unisom. For a while, it actually did work. After taking it, 2 hours later I would be sound asleep. Not even a train running into the house could wake me up. I guess when you live in a house that has paper thin walls (literally, we have no insulation!!), eventually your sleeping trick turns out to be a traitor.

I constantly joke “Who needs sleep?” To be quite honest, it would be nice if I did! I’ve tried everything and nothing works. I guess I’m just going to be an insomniac for my natural born life.

Insomnia does have it’s perks, though. You get to watch the sun come up. It’s gorgeous, by the way. You get to plan out your day, even if it means catching cat naps. Cat naps are fantastic! Last but not least… Okay, so it only has 2 perks. Oh who am I kidding… You become a walking zombie when you’ve been up for 24 hours. If you want to be cast as a zombie in a horror movie, you have the mental part down, all you need is the makeup! Okay Stephen King, I’m ready!

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!

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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

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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

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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!