Sunday, November 28, 2010

Shop 'Til We Drop

Let me be the first to admit that bargain shopping takes some effort. I don't mean things like clicking on a link to a hot deal or being at the right place at the right time for a good markdown. I mean things like serious couponing and configuring and calculating.

On that note, the very patient night manager at a nearby Walgreens, who goes by the name of Brian, gets my vote for Deal Helper of the Year. You see, my friend and fellow couponer Jamie and I hit the 24 hour Walgreens at midnight on Thanksgiving (so, Wednesday into Thursday) and were ready to shop.

And we did.

But not without snags.

First, the deals did not kick in, so they were not producing the required Register Rewards (store money) to make the deals work. The prices were also not reflecting the Thanksgiving Day sale, so they would have to be manually overridden.

Poor Brian! He tried everything he could think of to get us our deals and get us out the door and back to our cozy beds. Finally at 2:30am, a mere 2.5 hours after our arrival, the register rewards started kicking out. WHEW!

But wait! The prices still were wrong! So the ever understanding Brian had to type most of them in by hand.

"So?" you say. "Big deal."

But you misunderstand. Because Jamie and I were not buying a few things. We were buying with a vengeance. Couponers on a mission, if you will. It was our goal to get enough stuff to send off a great box of goods to the troops overseas AND a local woman's shelter.

What do you think? Think we managed all right?

Oh, it's time for that En Vogue style breakdown:

24 tubes of toothpaste
10 bottles of women's body spray
10 bottles body wash
10 toothbrushes
10 heat wraps
10 bottles of men's body spray
12 bottles of shampoo and conditioner
6 bottles of hairspray
16 containers of men's shaving creme
10 packs of GUM dental flossers
10 packs of ponytail bands
10 boxes of candy (4 not pictured)
2 bags of candy (1 not pictured. I ate it.)
2 sodas (the small ones. We drank them while shopping and wearing poor Brian out. Jamie saved
her bottle for the picture. I did not)
2 Reese's chocolate things (Jamie's fuel, not pictured)
18 (2 liter) bottles of soda (6 not pictured)
1 Robitussin
10 Nivea face washes
10 boxes of Advil PM
40 holiday pencils
5 Pillow Pets (not pictured)

All in all we spent $107 and most of that was tax. In California we get charged tax BEFORE coupons are taken off.

The five Pillow Pets alone would have run me $100 plus tax without bargain shopping.

We saved $497.02.

We left Walgreens at 4:30 in the morning, running on the fumes of the caffeine and candy we had consumed. I'm pretty sure, as patient and helpful as he was, that Brian was glad to see us go because, you see, each transaction has to be rung up separately. You can't ring all this stuff up at once. So we're talking 20 transactions here, at least. And remember, he had to manually punch in the majority of the prices.

Yes, serious couponing takes a lot of effort and not just from the couponers. So cheers to Brian, the Walgreens store night manager. This Thanksgiving, in the wee small hours of the morning, I was very thankful for him. I am also thankful that I have the know how to bargain shop my way into a great contribution for those protecting our country and for those less fortunate than myself. And I was (and always am) thankful to my partner in crime, er, shopping, Miss Jamie. We had a blast. Next year, we will do it again.

Brian already said he'd be taking the night off.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010



"Yes, StinkyMan?"

"I really really think that BabyGirl is the cutest baby ever in the world, don't you?"

"I don't know, you were a pretty cute baby yourself."

"OK, then she's the cutest baby right now and I was the cutest before her."

"You are all 4 very cute."

"So, BabyGirl is the cutest baby, and Peanut is the cutest 3 year old and Curly is the cutest 7 year old and I am the cutest 5 year old?"

"That's right."

"I already knew that."

"Well pardon me! I didn't know you knew."

"You're a cute Mommy. You are the cutest Mommy ever in the world."

"Thanks, Bub."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Look! Look!

I had a couple of people request a recipe, so I changed the one in the margin! You should make it. It's delicious!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010




"Can I put all the Mr. Potato Heads on your white cabinet?"

"Um, I guess so StinkyMan, but....why?"

"Did you know that you are 'sposed to have mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving?"

"I know that lots of people do, yes."

"And mashed potatoes are made from potatoes and all these Mr. Potato Heads are potatoes and I think it would be a good way to decorate for Thanksgiving, by putting all the Mr. Potato Heads up there."

"Um, sure, Bub. Sounds great."

My Thanksgiving decor is WAAAAAYYY better than yours. I bet you don't have one single potato decoration. Pumpkins, probably. Gourds, maybe. Corn, perhaps. But not potatoes.

I have 6.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Henglebur and Kitchen

Henglebur and Kitchen are not a law firm.

Henglebur and Kitchen are not accountants.

Henglebur and Kitchen are not a Vegas act.

In fact, Henglebur and Kitchen are Peanut's way of saying "hamburger" and "chicken."

You haven't heard cute until your 3 year old takes a spoonful of soup and says "Oooooh. I got a piece of kitchen!" or makes you a Play-doh meal and says "Mommy! Here's your henglebur!"

She is so cute, I can hardly stand it some days.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thanksgiving Awwwwwwww.

This came home in StinkyMan's backpack the other day:

In case you can't see, it says "I am thankful for my sister." with a picture of Curly.

And I'm so thankful he feels that way.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas Cards

I love Christmas Cards. I love getting them and I love spending time perusing Shutterfly, trying to pick out the card I like the best to send out. I especially love photo cards.

What I do not like is trying to get ONE good picture of all 4 kids. A picture where everyone looks neat and like someone loves them enough to wash their faces and comb their hair. A picture where everyone is AT LEAST looking in the same general direction, no one is blinking or talking with a mouth full of food. Forget smiling. I'm happy if no one is scowling or howling.

So when I saw an offer from Shutterfly to bloggers I knew I could participate. Shutterfly says that if I blog about their holiday photos past or present, I can have some free cards.

Well that's not hard at all. Because of my above picture requirements, you could say that one great picture of all my kids is somewhat of a mission impossible. But Shutterfly saves me every year because they are the ONLY picture website I have found that allows me to put in 4 pictures, one of each child at their best.

They have great gift options too, which I have also used in the past. I know that the mug with a semi decent picture of all my kids was one of my dad's favorite gifts one year. And every single year he and my husband get a calendar with pictures of the little hooligans all over it. It can even be personalized with important dates to remember!

So yes, this entry may sound like an advertisement for Shutterfly. After all, they are paying me in FREE Christmas cards. But I order from them every year, free or not. I encourage you to do the same. You won't be disappointed! And if you are a blogger, you can participate too! Their offer for bloggers getting 50 free holidaycards is here. Have fun choosing your cards!

Monday, November 8, 2010


I am about to tell you something so shocking that it will forever change how you see me. You will be surprised. Shocked even. You will wonder how it's possible that I feel the way I feel. But I do, and it won't be changed. Are you ready to hear it?

Are you sure?

OK, here it goes.....

I don't like Thanksgiving.

I know! I'm a freak, right?

I don't like turkey. I don't like stuffing. I don't like cranberries. I don't even like pumpkin pie.

It's not that I don't like them BECAUSE they are Thanksgiving foods. I just don't like the taste of any of the big Thanksgiving foods. And since it's kind of a food holiday, it's just not my favorite thing. I mean, I'd be more thrilled with a pizza.

Technically, of course, Thanksgiving is NOT about the food, I guess. It's about family being together and sharing thanks. I'm good with that part of it. I am thankful for a lot of things, not the least of which is family. However, I try to be thankful for that daily, not because there is a giant bird on the table and an over abundance of side dishes.

But as we head toward the holiday and plans are being made and assignments of who is bringing what are being given out, I find myself feeling just really unexcited about the whole thing and that I am starting to side with the retailers; it's just my official Christmas kick-off and a great day to get bargains at Walgreens.

Hey! There you go! I'm thankful Walgreens is open on Thanksgiving with a TON of great deals.

I'm a little more excited now.

I'm such a freak.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Flower headband

So enamored with her fun new flower clip, Curly requested some more flowers for other shirts and she wanted to help. Not sure how that would work out, we decided that she could trace the flower shapes and I would cut and man the glue gun. She was in charge of the rhinestone. This time we attached it to a headband. Super cute!

Forgive the poor picture. I forgot to turn off the flash and since I already pulled her out of bed after tucking her in I didn't want to yank her back out to take another. The pulling out of bed thing also explains the bad hair! The colors on this one are hot pink, lime green white and a deep purple/blue with a pink rhinestone middle on a line green headband and it looks really cute in her hair.

I'm starting to envision Mickey Mouse head clips for our Disney trips, candy canes or Christmas trees for the holidays, hearts for Valentine's Day and so on.

The best part was that Curly could help out too and it gave her a real sense of accomplishment to help make her head band. It was fun to have a project with her and to spend that time together. I'm sure we will be doing some more in the near future.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fun Hair Flowers

Twin Day at school has been taken to a new level. Curly is all into it. When she was in Kindergarten it was enough to wear a shirt that was the same color as her "twin." In first grade she just targeted a girl who owned the same shirt she did and they decided to be twins.

This year she picked the friend and then wanted to get the matching shirts. Lucky for us the friend she chose has a mom who works for a big clothing company. Bargain shirts! So Other Mom picked up shirts and darling bracelets for the girls and I was in charge of hairbows.

This is what I came up with:

On my head:

So cute and so easy. I think Curly will be pleased. I hope her twin likes them too. I see more flower making in my future. These were quick and (I think) came out really cute. Score one for Good Mommy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Take note

of the wisdom of my 5 year old son:

"You can change your mind about who you are going to marry until you marry them. When you are married you can't change your mind anymore, so you hafta be careful who you marry 'cuz you hafta love them forever!"

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thanks a lot

So yesterday, Halloween, we were headed out to a party. The kids were dressed and ready. For a month I've been telling them that in our family, really only the kids get dressed up. Mom and Dad just go as Mom and Dad.

Well Husband threw together a ridiculous looking Mexican wrestler outfit at the last minute which left me as the only uncostumed one. I'm fine with that. Mommies are used to being the party poopers.

So I was finishing up getting ready and felt like I was having a good hair and make-up day when Curly asked me what I was going to be for the party. Feeling happy with my appearance I said "I'm a super model."

Doubtfully, she looked me up and down and said "Well, I think you are going to need a lot more make-up, then" and walked out.

Thanks. Thank a lot. Good thing my self esteem does not lie in the hands of my seven year old!