Friday, February 27, 2009

What a Deal!

Who doesn't love a little Dairy Queen? They are currently doing a promotion where if you post a blog about their new Sweet Deals Value Menu and what you would do to try it for free they will give you a $5 gift card. Soo, here's what I would do to try it for free: write a blog. That's about it. Here's the link if you want to write a blog and get a gift card, too:

Update: I got my gift card today (3/5). Yeah! A free blizzard!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mama's Girl

It's a household consensus (okay, just me and Mike really) that Carolina is looking like her Mama today. Mike says she looks like me everyday but I can definitely see it in this picture. Either way, she's a cutie!

Monday, February 16, 2009

What a Deal!

I know I have a few readers who love T.G.I.Friday's (one who mentioned it in her love story this week!) so here's a little deal I found: Buy One Entree, Get One Free. So take your sweetie on a little date and get a good deal, too! Click here for the coupon.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Adult Supervision

Here's the scene from earlier today: I'm checking my email with my two assistants on my lap (nothing gets done around here without my little assistants). Carolina is on my left leg and Clay on the right. Clay is playing with all of the things that are on the computer desk and I am trying to check my email as quick as I can. We are only sitting there for about two minutes before Carolina gets fussy. We get up and as I put her down on the floor to play I notice it- "it" being the ORANGE MARKER Clay used to color Carolina's clothes with while they were sitting in my lap.

So much for adult supervision, huh?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

We have had such a fun little Valentine's week. Clay and Carolina got cute little Valentine cards from their Auntie Jamie and Uncle Garrett. Clay kept getting frustrated with his card because once he closed it, he couldn't figure out how to reopen it. So funny! Now he shelves it with his books on his bookshelf.

We also made a few little Valentine's treats. We started the week with cupcakes and Clay only wanted to eat the sprinkles. He had the best time putting on his own sprinkles.

Yesterday morning we went to playgroup and made Valentine's gingerbread houses. Such a cute idea! They had a ton of candy choices but Clay and I voted on using "manly" colors for his. He still hasn't figured out that you get to eat the candy when you're done (and I'm not telling...).

Yesterday afternoon Mike's mom, Nana, came to visit us for the weekend. I was excited to have company (and help) while Mike is at work and the kids were very excited to see her.

This morning, we opened Valentine's treats. I filled a little basket with some goodies for our special day. Clay got Play-Doh toys and Carolina got a new toy to hang from her car seat. They got Madagascar 2 to share (Carolina loves watching cartoons with Clay).

Daddy brought home flowers and balloons this morning

I also made some puppy pops and put one in his basket. I saw them in a magazine and they were too fun to pass up! Here's Clay's (minus a few bites :))

Nana got them something extra special- Elmo Live! It was so cute watching Clay blow Elmo kisses and listen to his stories. Elmo talks, makes jokes, sits down on a chair and dances. Tonight he fell on the floor and he asked us to pick him up (not sure what to think about that?) but it's too funny watching Clay listen to him so intently and copy him. Carolina loves him, too. I think we will definitely have some fun times with our new Elmo doll!

We spent the rest of our day playing with our new goodies and had a fun Italian dinner (thanks, Papa!). It was definitely a day filled with love!

Our littlest Valentine

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What a Deal!

I have always been a sale shopper and I love it when someone shares a good deal with me. One of my projects for this year has been to work on using more coupons and being a better sale shopper.

I read the other day that if the average consumer uses $7 a week in coupons that they will save $364 a year. I know that's just simple math but I hadn't thought of it as that much savings before. I could definitely use another $364 a year!
I will say that I've never really been a coupon clipper but I started when I became a stay-at-home mom. Now that coupons are readily available to print off the internet, it is so much easier!

I have found some great sites for deals and coupons. I think we've all seen those people on television who buy $700 worth of groceries for $2 (or something like that). To me, that whole system seemed a little complicated. Double coupons, triple coupons- I'm just not there (yet). I don't have a lot of spare time to sit around looking all over the web for bargains but if a blog already has them all in one place then count me in!

I made a lot of the children's Christmas toy purchases based on bargain blog recommendations. These women have made a business of finding the best deals and letting their blog readers know when things are on really good sale. They sell advertising on their sites and I get a good deal. It's a win-win!

Anyhow, I'd like to start posting some of the deals I find on my blog. So to start it off- here's deal #1:

I found this one at Freebies4Mom. Deal #3 on her list is a Johnson's Buddies Soap coupon. It's $2 off 2 Johnson's Buddies Products. I went to Babies R Us last night and bought two bars of Johnson's Buddies Easy-Grip Sudzing Bar. My final total was $-.02. They owed me 2 cents! The bars of soap are only .99 cents and the coupon is for $2 off.
It did take me a couple of minutes to download the special coupon printers and sign up for some different sites but I have found it to be well worth it. Several of the sites I frequent post giveaways and contests that popular companies are running (i.e. Proctor & Gamble, Kraft Foods).

Like I said, I don't spend a lot of time doing all of this. All I do is read the new posts when they show up on my Google Reader. A couple of times a month there are new contests (usually in the form of games) posted and I play them if I get the chance (or I let Clay push the buttons to play them and he thinks he's doing some "computer work").

This week I received a set of vouchers in the mail for a game I won on the Kraft website. There are tons of winners every day and my prize was vouchers for a block of Cracker Barrel cheese, a box of Ritz crackers and a jar of Planters peanuts. It's not much but it's free and the game only took 10 seconds or so to play.

Here are some of my favorite bargain blogs:

Good luck deal hunting!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Happy Girl

Teddy Bear Picnic

Today I had the pleasure of being Clay's date to the Teddy Bear Picnic. Oh what fun! The local library put this event on and we couldn't wait to go!

I've been thinking about which bear to take with us all week long (he got the most adorable one for Christmas) but Clay made his own decision yesterday. When I went into his room he was making the bear in his bed do a little dance. So cute! Then last night when I went to check on him he had the same bear lying with him as he slept.

I guess he knows this bear is really special because he got it from Aunt Rebecca the day he was born. The perfect bear for a Teddy Bear Picnic!

The picnic was the cutest little event. There was a lady reading bear books and we sang songs about bears ("The Bear Went Over the Mountain" and "When Teddy Bears Have Their Picnic"). They handed out Teddy Grahams for a snack and everyone got to sit on their own "picnic blanket". At the end, we did a Teddy Bear parade through the library. It was so sweet!

There were SO many other people there and Clay was a little nervous when we first sat down. He didn't quite know what kind of place I had taken him! By the time we got around to the parade, though, he was ready to march! Cute, cute, cute.

After the "picnic" we were still a little hungry (Man cannot live on Teddy Grahams alone!), so we had lunch with Mike. Here's Papa Bear, Baby Bear and Running Bear leaving the restaurant:

And that was our "beary" good day!

Clay Day

Ever since Carolina was born, we have tried to make one day a week "Clay Day". It's so easy for us to get overwhelmed with cleaning up the house and getting errands done on Mike's time off that at least once a week we do something geared specifically at his age. He loves hanging out with both Mom and Dad and we LOVE watching him play and spending time as a family. We've had many Clay Days and they are always fun.

This week we did Planet Pizza. The best part about Mike's time off being Monday- Wednesday (+ Thursdays every other week) is that all of the places we go are basically empty because all of the kids are in school. We were at Planet Pizza for almost two hours and we were the ONLY people there the whole time! The ride operator had to follow us from ride to ride and she would let Clay ride until he told us "all done".

Here's a Clay Day in action:

Riding the bumper cars with Daddy

He was totally freaked out by the airplanes...

...until he realized they flew!

The pirate ship didn't last very long- Clay was done after a few swings.

Clay's "all done" (in sign language)

Here's a look at some of our other Clay Days:

Driving the train with Daddy at the Choo Choo Station

Mama and Clay on the Thomas Train

Waving to the animals at Rainforest Cafe

A little bounce house time at Boomerang's

He was so proud when he stacked all of these blocks up and they stayed!

What's a Clay Day without a little dessert?

Clay Days have been so much fun for us. We love seeing how Clay will react to all of the different places and getting to experience it all with him. It's made for such good memories for us and we look forward to Clay and Carolina Days (though we might have to come up with something a little shorter!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Three Months Old

I am a little belated in making Carolina's 3 month post- but better late than never! Carolina Blair is such a sweet girl. I look at her new developments every day and I can't believe how fast the time is going with her!

When I was pregnant with her, I always felt like she was going to be very determined and sassy. I am proud to say that I was wrong! She is very sweet and patient.

Last week, she started really trying to put her toys in her mouth. She works SO hard to grasp the toys on her bouncy seat or her gym. This week was the first time she was able to grab and hold the ones on her bouncy seat. Talk about a proud girl! She tried and tried to do it again.

Another favorite of hers is sticking out her tongue. She does this all day, every day. She loves to play the game where I stick my tongue out and she copies. She's so cute!

We also hear lots of noises from Miss Priss. She is and has always been the noisiest baby I have ever heard. It's nearly impossible for me to nurse her in quiet public places (church, uncrowded malls) because she makes SO much noise while eating. She is quite the talker and cooer, too. Mike and I were just saying yesterday how we don't even notice her noises anymore but other people always comment on it.

In the past month or so, Carolina has had a "beauty challenge" (she's still beautiful, though!). The poor girl got a bad case of cradle cap. It didn't bother me or seem to bother her (you'd be surprised how much a bow covers!) but we decided we needed to try and clear it up last night.

I covered her head in Aquaphor and Mike combed it all out. It took most of the cradle cap off but it also took something else off- her pretty dark hair! I almost cried when Mike was doing it because I'm so scared it won't grow back for a while (and it's her first hair :(). I also wonder if it will come back blonde like Clay's did. I've finally gotten used to having a little girl with DARK hair and now I don't want it to come back lighter! She's my dark haired girl! I guess only time will tell...

Speaking of Carolina's head, she almost always has it covered with a big old bow (we do scale it down to the small ones at home). She is so adorable in her bows but one of the side effects of having a bow and moving your head around is this:

I can't tell you how many times a day this happens! (And normally she doesn't handle it that well...)

One of my favorite things about Carolina is her cry (awful, I know). I LOVE the way she cries when she is really mad. It is the girliest "madder than a hornet" cry that I have ever heard. She doesn't do it every time- just when she is ANGRY. I have to apologize to her every time because I totally crack up. She is such a priss!

Lately, Carolina has been acting like a big girl! At the mall, I have been putting her in Clay's seat in the stroller so she can watch all the kids play. She loves to watch the kids and it's amazing how still and quiet she is when she's taking it all in.

It's been so much fun to watch Carolina grow. She is still such a pretty baby and she gets cuter by the day. Since the day she was born, I look at her several times a day and see someone familiar- her Aunt Mandy. She is the spitting image of my sister's baby pictures. So funny! If you know my sister at all, you'll know she won't be lacking a boyfriend at any age with looks like those.

Something I love about our girl is her love of being bounced high on your knee, on the bed or held up high in the air. I'm REALLY hoping this translates into a love for roller coasters and amusement park rides. She gets the biggest grin on her face when we toss her around (gently, of course).

We are so glad our sweet girl is growing up to be so fun! She is laughing, talking and playing more every day. She is very healthy and is moving on up to 3-6 month clothes this week. (This makes mommy a little sad.) We all (especially Clay) love to play with her and make her smile. Her little laugh is so sweet and we're constantly trying to hear it again. We love our little girl!