Monday, September 29, 2008

Weird package.

I signed up awhile back with to participate in paid surveys. I figured if I could generate at least coffee money for myself that would be good. It's been pretty slow going, but I have had some surveys that I qualified for.

About a week ago, I received an email for a survey for salad dressing. I took the survey and totally forgot about it. I do remember it had mentioned that I would be receiving samples to try and then would complete the survey and be credited $10 after trying the samples. I guess I figured it was a long shot. Today, DHL arrived at my door with a package. Inside was 2 bottles of Kraft Ranch Salad dressing and a packet advising me on how to use them (DUH!) and asking me to keep a diary of my feelings on the dressings. (Weird!)So for the next two weeks, I get to try two different varieties of Kraft Ranch Salad Dressing and then let them know my thoughts and feelings on their test market products.

My son thought it was really funny that mommy was getting Kraft in the mail. I'll have to admit, I thought it was pretty weird too.

Free Redbox Rental...September 29.

I've come across another great freebie! The Financial Diva gets credit for tipping me off!

Redbox kiosk's can be found in grocery stores. You can go here to find a location near you.

When you go to check out your movie tonight, be sure to enter the code: LA45W7 for your free rental!

This code only works today September 29! HURRY!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

You can't read that!

Found this post over here and thought I would repost. This week is Banned Book Week (BBW). According to the American Library Association:

BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them.

After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

The following are some of the most banned books in the U.S. I urge everyone, in honor of banned book week, to post this list on your blog, and mark the ones you have read in bold!

Then go out and read one of the other books on the list.

Never take your freedom for granted!

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
20. Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Culture and Cash.

So, my dear son and I took advantage of free museum day today. We chose the local flight museum to go and have some fun. I tried my darndest to take pictures, but my camera wouldn't cooperate. I ended up with two photos on my camera phone. Ugh! We had a great time though. I will definitely add this event to our family calendar and see if it comes around again next year. Hopefully some of you had a chance to get out and enjoy some FREE culture.

Also, I wanted to let anyone who took advantage of the FREE gas promotion that Chevron had awhile ago know...I actually received my gas gift card today!

Whoo hoo! I love going to the mail and having goodies be there. Bills are no fun as we all know. Hopefully if you got in on the promotion, you will receive yours soon too.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another cool FREE thing to do on Saturday 9/27!

I love the internet...

There are so many great things I learn about that I otherwise would never have known. Take for example, this Saturday is Museum Day and you can get FREE admission to a museum in your area. Here's the link with all the details!

Hubby happens to work on Saturday so that leaves DS and myself at home with nothing to do. Guess where we're going this weekend. :)

Hopefully some of you might be able to enjoy the culture in your area as well.


Cheap Eats!

I just learned about a great website this morning!

Check it sells reduced price gift certificates for local restaurants in your area. You print them right from your computer.

The best part is, if you use the code FALL you will get to take an additional 60% off their already great price. I just bought my BIL and his girlfriend some gift certificates for Christmas and only paid $4.80 for $40 in gift certificates!

Great gift ideas and inexpensive too!

Oh, and if you are a Upromise member you can link to them from Upromise to earn a bit in your child's college savings plan too!

Double the bennies! Whoo Hoo!

We have to talk!

Last night Hubby got home from work and DS sits down in the living room with him. He plops his little 4 year old body in the chair and says. "We have to talk." Here's how the conversation goes.

DS: We have to talk.

Hubby: Ok, about what?

DS: About Blue. (Blue is the name of a dumptruck at Hubby's work which DS has decided is HIS and no one is to drive it...his exact thoughts on the subject are as follows: Blue is to sit at the work yard as a decoration until DS is old enough to drive it himself.)

Hubby: What about Blue?

DS: You aren't supposed to drive him! He's mine!

Hubby: But we have to, the boss said so.

DS: Well, you tell him that I said you aren't supposed to drive him, because he's MINE!

Hubby: Ok, I'll tell him that we can't drive Blue anymore because you said so.

I was in the other room, because I couldn't contain my laughter. My son was determined that this was the way it was going to be. I could tell it would be a doozy when he began with "We need to talk!".

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kid free weekend = SUCCESS!

This past weekend was blissful! Hubby and I had a kid free weekend. That's right, Friday evening to Sunday afternoon without the interruption of our son. It was fantastic!

My MIL picked up our son Friday after she got off of work and took him out to dinner, the next day was on to the science center and walking all around the city. He had a great time. The highlight for him was the bus ride to the science center! He has wanted to ride a bus FOR_EV_ER!! And he finally got to.

Our weekend was much less active but none the less exciting!

Friday evening, we got Chinese take out and some movies. We ate dinner at our table and got to talk about adult things without censoring them. We finished dinner, and had no dishes...woo hoo! We then watched Baby Mama, had popcorn and snuggled on the couch. Sappy I know!

Saturday, hubby had to work so I got to spend the day doing whatever I wanted! I slept in until 9:15!! Grabbed Starbucks and headed for Kohls. I bought myself a new handbag, wallet and some jewelry. It was so quiet for me. I also headed over to Target...and got to skip looking at the cars for once! Strolled on into Cost Plus World Market and then headed to the grocery store. It was a wonderful day to myself. When hubby got home, we decided to eat the Chinese left overs and watched Drillbit Taylor and had popcorn again.

Sunday morning, I went walking (at 6:30 am) with my friend like we always do so that Hubby could sleep in too. When I got home, we went out to breakfast and then visited the new mountain bike park. I was really impressed with the area! We then headed over to MIL's to have dinner and pick up DS. He was so happy to see us, which was nice. But he did have a great time.

Looks like we all did. As much as you love your family, it's sometimes really nice to have a break. Especially when you get to spend some kid free time with your spouse. It makes you realize why it is you like the person.

Our weekend was a SUCCESS!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Who knew?? September is National Coupon Month.

I just read this morning that September is National Coupon Month. I had no idea that such a "month" existed! But, I'm glad it does. Although the month is over half way finished, I will celebrate the rest of the month with a gusto!

I did a little research this morning and discovered that manufacturers offer more than $350 billion in coupons annually. That is a LOT of savings my friend!

The average coupon value is $1.25. If you just used 10 "average" coupons per shopping trip, you would save your family $12.50. That works out to be about 3.37 gallons of gas at $3.70 per gallon. If you shop 4 times per month using coupons each time, you would save enough money to fill your gas tank with 13.48 gallons of gas. That would fill my tank 80%!! And all you need to do is clip coupons!

Makes me so glad I started "couponing", as DH so affectionately refers to my new hobby.

Take a peek at your Sunday paper and see what goodies you can find.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Super Savings Saturday 9/13

Another great deal at Walgreens. Last minute before the sales change tomorrow.

There were 3 transactions.

Trans 1:

5 boxes Nature Valley Granola Bars
1 bottle Crest ProHealth Mouthwash

Coupons used:
(5) .50/1 Nature Valley
$10.00 off purchase of $10 or more

Total OOP = 2.39
RR Earned: $3.50 from Nature Valley and $4.50 from Crest

Trans 2:

4 Scrubbing Bubbles Flushable cleaning wipes

Coupons used:
(2) BOGO Free Coupons Here
(1) $4.50 RR from Crest above transaction

Total OOP = $1.48
RR Earned: $5.00 from SC Johnson

Trans 3:

1 bottle Crest ProHealth Mouthwash

Coupons used:
$3.50 from Nature Valley above transaction

Total OOP = $1.39
RR Earned: $4.50 from Crest

Not too bad for a quick trip!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gotta love free organic berries!

We live really close to a HUGE blackberry bush that not a whole lot of people take advantage of. It's on public land and is free for the taking when the berries are ripe. Surprisingly to me, most of them go bad while still on the vine. This year is the first year we have taken advantage of them ourselves and we've lived nearby for 7 1/2 years. I've already picked enough for a berry crisp which was DELICIOUS! And I've frozen a full gallon sized zipper bag for later use.

Yesterday, I was in need of a bit of "me" time so I decided to gather my containers and bag and head over to the blackberry bush. I was shocked at how many were ready to be picked as well as how many were still in various stages of ripen-ness. I picked 4 more containers which worked out to be just enough for a batch of jam and some left over. YUUUMMMMY!

I came home with my haul and transformed these:

Into THIS!

I love me some home made freezer jam!! And it only took about 45 minutes. So easy, so yummy and so affordable.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Soooo tired....

I have not been sleeping well lately. I think it's because hubby and I are in desperate need of new pillows. I really need to just go out and pick some up. Bbut silly me...I'm having a really hard time justifying the expense. Do you know that a good pillow can cost in the upwards of $20+? Come on! That's a bit much. I've had my share of the cheapo pillows though and they just aren't the same. I really need to just break down and buy new pillows.

Have a favorite brand? Please share. I want to be off to the land of nod quickly and stay there for a looooonnnnnngggg time.

Oh yeah, I have a four year old. That's not going to happen any time soon. :(

Well, one can dream right?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Oh, to be a four year old boy...

My son recently got his hair cut. He decided that he must have a mohawk. We decided that this was OK being as he is only four. It's kinda cute. I'm not just saying that...many people have commented...really. :)

He has also decided that "he" doesn't want anyone to tell him they like his hair. I've tried to explain to him that people with exceptionally cool hair cuts often hear remarks about them. He just doesn't want anyone to look at him. So when they do, he tries to crawl into my skin. This has become quite annoying for me. Everyone else thinks it's cute that he's "shy".

If only we all could be blatantly rude and be thought of as cute.