Can't Find What Your Looking For?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bathtub Crayons: Not Just for Kids!

I do my best thinking in the shower. Maybe its because I'm alone (usually) and without interruptions (usually). Those of you moms out there know how sacred a shower can become. :D But the problem with having brilliant thoughts in the shower is that by the time you get out and dried off you've forgotten. So while relaxing in the bath last night, I realized I needed somewhere to write things down and then I realized that I could use my kid's bathtub crayons, write myself a note and transfer it to my notepad later. Brilliant! Hope this comes in handy for you too!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Great Deals at the Grocery Store!

Let me start by saying I know I've missed two days of blogging. I also have been so busy that until I got on here to write this blog I didn't know I had missed two days.

I recently read the book The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half by Stephanie Nelson. She talks about combining sales with coupons to get the most out of your money.

So my first success was last week some time. Smith's had Colgate toothpaste on sale for 10/$10 or $1 each. And I used a 75 cents off coupon to get my 4.6 oz. tube of toothpaste for $0.25.

So this week they are having a huge Mix & Match Sale. Here's what I got and for how much and what coupons I used. Let me start by saying for my family (me, my husband and our toddler) we have a $40/week grocery budget. Thats not usually what we spend but it's what we should to not rely on overtime to stay within budget.

I bought 40 items for $40.89. I'm sure most of you are going to look at this list and say but what are you going to eat. We will eat from a stocked full cupboard and freezer that has been filled in better times.

Here's the list:

Gatorade: 10 @ $0.49 = $4.90 (hubby takes these for lunch, saving money from eating out)
Pasta Roni: 2 @ $0.79 = $1.58
Rice-a-Roni: 4 @ $0.79 = $3.16
Sobe: 6 @ $0.88 = $5.28
Loreal Vive Shampoos & Conditioners: 7 @ $2.00 each with 7 $1.00 off coupons = $7.00 (saved $27.93 on that one)
Colgate Toothbrushes: 2 @ $2.00 each with 2 $0.75 off coupons = $2.50
Colgate Toothpaste: 1 @ $2.00 with $0.75 off coupon = $1.25
Breyer's Ice Cream: 2 @$1.97 with $0.75 off 2 coupon = $3.19
Carefree Panty Liners: 2 @ $2.00 each with $1.00 off 2 coupon = $3.00
Bissel Hepa Filters: 2 @ $2.00 each from Clearance bin originally $6.59 each = $4.00 (saved $9.18)
6 pack Snapple: Free I won it on Smith's site. They've got some kind of spin the wheel game going on right now. (saved $4.99 sale price) & I love snapple but I don't buy it cause its too expensive.
Bakery End of the Day Packaged Donuts: $3.49 label says $2.49 so I'm gonna have to take the package and the reciept back tomorrow and get some of my money back. Which brings up another point the coupon mom makes. Always check your receipts.
Taxes: $1.54

Grand Total: $40.89

I'd say $0.89 over budget is pretty good. I could get that from the change jar or the sofa cushions.

Another thing I thought I'd add to this grocery shopping post is about Price books. One of the best ways to know whether or not the price on something you need is a good one is to check your price book. For instructions on a great one check out Heather's Post: How to Keep a Price Book. Hope you can all start finding some great deals and use your coupons.

The book has lots of other tips and information and it was an easy read, only took me a few sittings.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Local Library!

So today I went to the local library for the 1st time since I moved here. (aside from the university libraries). You pretty much don't have to interact with the library staff at all if you don't want to. You can go in look around, use the computer to find something in particular and then scan your library card and all your items and they print you out a reciept with the dates all your items are due back and away you go. On top of that you can have up to 35 items checked out at once. 35! With that many your likely to lose something! My husband said thats the idea, you lose it then you have to pay for it. :D Anyway I was just really impressed. Plus they had these neat little set ups of books displayed by topic for example books for moms or science or nautical literature. Books of interest picked out and set up by volunteers. All in all I was very pleased with my local library today. Can't wait to start reading. Anyone want to recommend a book? Leave any suggestions in the comments.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Business of Being Born

In January of 2008 I found out I was pregnant. We weren't actively trying but we weren't actively preventing either. I called my doctor & they said if I thought I was pregnant that the first step was to go get an ultrasound. So my husband & I go have our ultrasound and despite the fact that the technician did a very good job or acting like everything was normal, there was no heart beat. It was about 5.2 weeks into the pregnancy. According to most books I had read it wouldn't be until the sixth week for a heart beat. (And considering my baby was born a week past her due date maybe it was only 4 weeks). So I go to work the next day like everything is normal and while I'm there I get a call from the doctors office telling me I need to go have blood tests, today and again in 2 days. Totally freeked me out. Then I have any appointment to see the doctor & I go in and she tells me that somethings probably wrong since there was not a heart beat and that they might have to go in and clear me out. Then she tells me to make another ultrasound appointment for the following week. So I go in for my 2nd ultrasound and everything seems fine... there's a heart beat. After maybe 1 or 2 more visits I started looking for a midwife.

Anyway, long story short is that everything turned out fine. I gave birth to a 7 pound 12 ounce 22 in baby girl, despite having gestational diabetes, at home in a birth pool. This would never have happened had I stuck with the doctor. The day I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes would have been the day the doctor scheduled my c-section. Anyway, despite the fact that I have not yet been able to see the whole film, I'm sure just by watching the trailer that its views are in line with how I felt about the medical profession and being pregnant. So check out The Business of Being Born produced by Ricki Lake.

As a side note: if your looking for a midwife in the las vegas area check out Baby's 1st Day &
April Kermani my midwife. Or various other midwives and birth professionals at Well Rounded Momma.

Take the time to look into who's caring for you and your baby, its a precious season that you won't want ruined.

Buy it here.

Friday, April 8, 2011

How to Make a Diaper Cake!

Back in March I made this diaper cake for my sister in law. She was hoping for mostly diapers and wipes as this was her 3rd baby. My sister was hosting the shower so I offered to make a diaper cake as the table center piece. However, I didn't know exactly how to do it. I searched & searched the internet and despite people claiming that their instructions were easier than most none seemed all that easy. So I'm going to show you how I made mine. It is likely a combination of many blogs I read and sorry to anyone who thinks it sounds too much like theirs. (For images for a Nautical cake click here.)

Here is the completed diaper cake:

Supply List:

14 in Cake board
1 in wide minimum ribbon
Cake topper
Items for decoration (according to the nursery theme)

I started with the bottom tier. I fanned diapers around the the edge inside the 12 in cake pan. The folded side of the diaper should be showing not the open end. When there was enough around the edge of the pan I rolled a few up to put in the center. Then I had to have my husband help me stretch the rubber band around the diapers and the first cake layer was made.

I then completed each layer in the cake the same way.

Then I began to add the ribbons to cover the rubber bands. I held them together with safety pins because it was a punk nursery theme but you could use diaper pins instead for a more traditional look or just tape them together.

Then I stacked all four layers on top of the cake board. Some tutorials I read decorated the cake board. If I had more time I might have painted it black and covered it with hot pink tulle or just wisps of pink paint. I also could have glued safety pins around the edge. I'm sure there are tons of variations.

I offset the safety pins and began adding the baby toiletries. Then I added the topper. Lastly I curled up tape and put it on the back of my mini iron on skull and cross bones decorations. Here are some close ups.

Hope this is clear and helpful. Feel free to ask questions.

One last thing. A lot of what I read and one's I have received had something going down the center to stabilize it. However, since I had to travel 4 hours away I decided it would be easier to pack the layers in a box and reassemble when I got there. And since it was just going to sit on the table I didn't feel the need for it to be stuck together in anyway. Hopefully you don't either. (Need more inspiration click here.)

Note: This is by far my most viewed post, but I haven't received any feedback as to whether or not it's helpful. If you've got a moment to leave a comment and let me know what you think, I'd really appreciate it.

Find more Homemaking Hints at Heavenly Homemakers.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Free Coin Counting from Coinstar!

In case you haven't heard, Coinstar (the green coin counting machines) are counting your coins without the typical 9.8 cent per dollar fee. With one catch. You have to accept your money in the form of a eCertificate or Gift Card from one of 15 (at the time of writing) merchants. And I'm sure everyone can find something. Last time we turned in our half full coffee can of coins we ended up with $170 dollars, which would have been a fee of $16.67. Instead we accepted an eCertificate for Amazon has just about anything so its a good choice. But they have places like Albertsons, JCPenny and Starbucks. Don't give away your hard earned money!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Check out the Blogs I Love! Page

Take a look at the "Blogs I Love!" page I just created. It has 10 of the blogs I follow and why I like them. I will try to add a few each day until I've added them all. Enjoy!

Update: This has become The Inspiring Blogs Page.