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Entries from August 2012

GIVEAWAY & Product Review: Creativity For Kids Craft Kits

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, MamaP of Fostering Love. Enjoy your prizes, MamaP & Kids!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Creativity For Kids and, in which we were given three craft kits to use for this review. No monetary exchange has taken place. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.


Wow! Like I've said, sometimes this blahgging thing has its perks, and this time we really enjoyed that. We received three kits from Creativity for Kids in the mail to review:


(1) the Deluxe Glitter Art Kit (MSRP: $29.99);


(2) the Mossy Meadows Gnome Garden kit (MSRP: $29.99); and,


(3) the Tile Art Necklaces kit (MSRP: $15.99)!

The first kit we broke into, per the kids' request, was the Deluxe Glitter Art kit. At first, it being on the 'girly' side, Jack had no interest and stayed in his room watching plane crash videos on YouTube on the laptop. So the girls and I dug in with the first of three separate activities within the kit:

Creativity For Kids Blog

(click on photos to embiggerate)

Sophia, Chloë and I each made our own trinket boxes. Everything was included in the kit that we needed, from glue to glitter and rhinestones to the boxes themselves, so there was never any need for me to get up and go get something that we didn't have. Well, except plenty of newspaper, since we were working on Chloë's bed!


I thought all the boxes were lovely, but since my girls declared mine "the best," here's my finished product! I used lots and lots of glitter, glitter pens, and glue to make my box, and here it is, over a week later, still intact after plenty of drying time. Isn't it so cute?! I gave it to Chloë, but now I'm wishing I'd have kept it as a memento of the fun time we had crafting together.


Having wandered in and discovered that, hey, this is actually pretty fun, Jack sat down and joined us for the second activity in the kit: decorating pre-glittered gift tags, which will be super fun to use for birthday and holiday presents! The only problem we ran into with this activity was keeping our four cats off our drying table! They kept hopping up and smushing our glitter glue. (We eventually got smart and kicked them out with the door shut, but that took an embarrassingly long time to figure out.)


Our finished tags: the kit came with 12, so we each got to decorate three. Pretty cool, huh? (There are ribbons to tie them to packages and what-not, but at this point they were still in the drying phase.)

Creativity For Kids Blog (2) 

The third activity in this first kit saw us making eight glittered and bejeweled cards, which came with envelopes. What fun it'll be for the kids to send out their thank you notes and other correspondence on note cards they decorated themselves!


Our finished cards - two for each of the four of us to make.


The kit comes with a detailed instruction sheet, as well as project ideas, so you'll never be at a loss for what to do with this Deluxe Glitter Art set!


The second kit, the Mossy Meadows Gnome Garden, has been the most anticipated project by the kids, especially Jack, since it's less girly than the other kits. Like all the Creativity for Kids kits, at least in my imagination, it comes with thorough instructions and wildly colorful depictions of what to do with it. The back of the box is cute, too, showing all the contents and even telling a little background of what's being made.


I insisted this kit be worked on outdoors, but unfortunately, the weather hasn't cooperated, and we haven't had a dry day in weeks to complete it. (Apologies to those suffering with a drought!) This is what I found when I first opened the box and pulled out the pieces: Lots of "stuff" to explore here!


Look at all this cool project material! The kids are absolutely chomping at the bit to get into it, and truth be told, so am I, because it looks so cute and fun. There are little ladybugs and wee gnomes and everything! Rain, rain, go away...


Finally, after several days, we gave up and got into the last kit, the tile necklaces. Just like the others, everything necessary came with the kit so that we had every last thing we needed to make our necklaces from start to finish. Even scissors and glue were included! I think that's really smart, because busy moms like me are often willing to do crafts with the kids, but we're pressed for time and often don't "want to get into it," when it comes to searching for and procuring all the necessary materials for a given project. Creativity For Kids is awesome, because it solves that problem - at a wide variety of price points for every budget.

Creativity For Kids Blog (3)

As you can probably tell from all the pictures in this collage, this project was a bit more involved. Some parts were a little troublesome for the kids, each of whom was able to decorate three tiles, though the project technically only comes with ALL the materials for eight necklaces. I merely sat by at the ready with my handy-dandy camera and a helping hand where needed. It took several hours to finish - well, more if you count drying time - because it's geared for ages 8+, and it really means it, darn it! There were quite a lot of steps, but they enjoyed making the necklaces every step of the way.

How much did Jack like making these projects??


Yes, this was literally his answer to my asking that - no staging required! They had SO MUCH FUN.

Oh, you wanna see the finished necklaces? Okay, of course:


One of Sophie's findings came unglued while she was threading the cord, so it's re-drying now. She's keeping all of hers, natch. She is seven, after all.


Chloë was going to give two of hers away, but she's capricious like her mama and keeps flipper-flopping about that decision! The third needs a finding and cord still, too.


Jack's decided to give his three away for presents, and to help with that endeavor, the kit even came with three cute little gift packets! He's all excited now, to give his presents to some very nice ladies we know. :)

So now that I've told you how awesome Creativity for Kids can be, how would you like a giveaway, hmm? Oh you would, would you? Well, one lucky reader of this blog is going to win not one, but TWO kits from Creativity for Kids!!! YAY! The winner will receive the Deluxe Glitter Art kit:

...along with yet another awesome kit that I didn't review:

the Beach Buddies Shell Crafts Mini Kit (MSRP: $5.99), which, I have to admit, makes me jealous, as a marine biologist! Ooh, pick me, pick me!

Contest Rules:

- The winner will be chosen from the Random Number Generator at 11:59 PM EST on September 1, 2012.

- ONE entry per person, please.

- To enter, you MUST leave a comment on THIS post telling me which Creativity for Kids kit intrigues you the most, who you will use it with or give it to... and your favorite colour.

- You may refer friends via Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc., but there is still a limit of ONE entry per person.

Any questions? Let's begin! Good luck!!!


Sunday Stealing: The 88 Meme, Parte Uno

If you so choose, the participation link is here. C'mon, jump in and join the fray!

Sunday Stealing: The 88 Meme

  1. What type questions do you hate on a meme?

Anything that asks me my favorite this or that. Really, no one gives a shit, and I'm too capricious to stick to favorites for long, anyway.

2. If you married the last person you texted, what would your last name be?


3. Were you happy when you woke up today?

Well, I'm up all night for the third consecutive night, so it's all relative to me. I took my happy pills, I'll say that much.

4. When were you on the phone last? And with who?

Does listening to my dad's voice mail and choosing to call him, maybe, count? (A little Carly Rae reference there; if you caught it, holla!) If not, then... the appointment schedulers for the military docs. Far less interesante, no?

5. Who are you excited for?

I'm excited for my friend, "The Other Melanie," to have Baby #8!! Yes, you read that correctly. And she's my age. *faint*

7. Honestly, who was the last person to tell you they love you?

Oh, God, you had to say "honestly," didn't you? I'm going to get in trouble for this, but I cannot tell a lie: it was my friend D, to whom I am not married.

8. What's the last thing you put in your mouth?

Well, since you didn't say "honestly" this time (just kidding; Hubs is in bed - ha!)... It was a swig o' Diet Mt. Dew.

9. Have a best friend?

Listen, I've been around the world and had a best friend everywhere I go, but my true, honest-to-God besties are Hubs and Dr. Lisa, whom I've known since Grade 6. (Not Hubs; I've only known him since we got married + two months.)

10. Were you ever or are you scared to fall in love?

Nah. I'm one of those foolish girls who is in love with being in love. I love to love.

11. Do you think teenagers can be in love?

Young teenagers, like 13 or 14, hm, to some extent, but I think it takes a certain amount of maturity that only comes with age and experience to really know what being "in love" means.

12. Last person you wanted to punch in the face?

The douchebag who blocked my driveway, so I had to do some maneuvering I'm barely capable of to get OUT and to the road.

13. What time is it right this second?

I'm not going to check seconds, but fo' real, it's 4:44 AM.

14. What do you want right now?

That's a long list, but if we're talking immediately, then I'm all set, thanks.

15. Who was the last person you took a picture with?

That would be Hubs. And I love the pic:

Rob and me

16. Are you single/taken/heartbroken/or confused?

Very much taken, in more than one sense of the word.

17. When was the last time you cried?

Thursday. I was exhausted and felt like crap.

18. Do you have a good relationship with your parents?

Mom died when I was 7, and my Dad... we have a tenuous grip on a decent relationship, but until and unless he becomes more enlightened and self-aware, it won't be much better than that.

19. Do you find it hard to trust others?

No. I'm pretty naïve for such a jeenyus. ;P

20. How fast does your mind change?

How fast did it take you to read this sentence?

21. I bet you miss somebody right now. Who is it?

I always miss my mother and my baby boy, whom I lost 9½ years ago, now. I miss my sister up in NY, and my friends... shoot, I even miss Hubs, since he's all the way in the other room, sound asleep. Sometimes I like to bother him awake to play and chitchat. Sometimes he lets me. (I'm obnoxious; I admit it.)

22. Can you honestly say you're okay right now?

Yes, I am. Ask me every 20 minutes or so, and you'll see how much fun it is being Bipolar I, though. (Hint: I cycle very rapidly up and down. I'm a true joy to be married to, doubtless.)

Welp, my friends, that's the end of this quarter-meme, so I better get on with my knitting. Leave me a comment and tell me something. Your favorite color, even. Just so I know you were here.


Saturday 9: I'm So Excited

000Enfield Orlando II

Link up here if you're playing along today!

1. What was the last event or situation that got you really excited?
We had a 'nooner' on Tuesday that was pretty awesome. Heh. TMI?
2. How old were you when you started working and what was your first job?
Other than babysitting, I started as a cashier at a small, local grocery store at 15. I ♥'d that job!
3. Tell us about your grandparents.
I never met my dad's parents, but my mom's parents were about the only good things from my childhood. They made living through all the really bad stuff bearable, and they gave me plenty of wonderful memories. I miss them both so much.
4. Do you procrastinate or are you usually on top of situations?
I thrive under tight deadlines. Answer your question?
5. What would others say about you?
"That girl is a whackjob. She's cute, but she's crazy..." For real, though, people either love me or hate me. I'm like mushrooms. It's a texture thing.
6. Do you believe in life on other planets?
The question is improperly phrased. I believe it's possible, sure, but I'll believe that it exists when it's found.
7. When was the last time that you were called too thin?
Uhhh... Yeah, never. I've been called skinny in the last 18 months, a few times, but never "too" thin.
8. Do you work out?
Theoretically, yes. In practice, hardly ever.
9. Do you feel that you utilize all your intelligence in every situation?
No. There are different types of intelligences. In matters of the heart, I utilize my emotional intelligence over my academic intelligence, for example. I don't think there's any situation in which you can use all your intelligence. It would be pretty intense, if so.
The end, already? That was fast. Enjoy your Satuday, poughkeepsies!

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

Link up here if you're fragmented today, too!

I'm all in a blahgger's tizzy right now. Why? Typepad, for some unknown reason, stopped auto-saving posts during composition, and my stupid feckin' PC shut down 2/3 of the way through my initial FF write-up! What the heck?! On both counts. Argh. So now you're REALLY going to get the fragments, instead of my usual run-on blather. Well, maybe. It's still me, after all.

I'm still trudging along with the same [email protected]$$ keyboard as last week, should you care to know. I tried a replacement, but it was a dud. So frustrating!

I'm super annoyed at my 9yo son right now. Why? We have a Keurig (♥), and I was down to my last two K-cups of coffee. Meanwhile, I make sure to keep the hot cocoa K-cups stocked for the kids, which they love. Well, Jack, my boy, LOVES coffee, and while I was in the shower, he helped himself to both of those last two cups of mine! And NO, we don't allow him to drink it, save for the blue moon sip here and there, so I'm doubly annoyed! I can't believe he managed to fall asleep and isn't bouncing off the walls. Actually, there's my silver lining. It could be worse.

If your blood type is O- like mine, and you've ever given blood, I'm wondering if you get sick of all the calls from the American Red Cross, too? After three calls begging me for more blood - which I'm honestly happy to give, don't get me wrong - three more to remind me of my appointment, another to thank me afterward for being a 'hero,' and then probably one last to ask me to take a survey about my experience, I'm over it!

Speaking of blood, I'm actually excited to go see my oncologist/hematologist today. I don't usually get a thrill seeing any doctor (well, unless they're cute, like my OB/onc, but anyway), but today I'll find out if my labwork from Tuesday shows the need for another iron transfusion. I soooo hope so; I'm really dragging my butt around lately. It's bad. Between that and a recent onslaught of horrible migraines, I barely got out of bed the last two days. No good!

And speaking of excited about tomorrow, I can't wait to go to the big Etsy Craft Party at my friend Michelle's all-handmade goods shop, Kitsch! Woot! I'll get my craft on, mingle with my artsy friends, and sample some local eats. Big fun!

During my downtime, I'm forever on my iPhone, playing my favorite games: Words- and Hanging With Friends, and my latest addiction, Jewels (multi-player as well, but not from Zynga). Do you play? Challenge me! I'm Smellyann there, as well.

If you've got kids, be sure and check back tomorrow when I post a fun giveaway for you to enter and win a really fun prize for them! Don't forget!


I hate not to end on a photo or kid-quote of some sort, and since I didn't get out much to snap any personalized plates this week, I'll leave you with this one of Chloë & Sophia getting some arts & crafts goodies from a recent Crayola sale at Toys 'R Us. My girls love to craft as much as their mama, so they tore them open and got started right away. Oh, Jack got something, too, but he didn't want it "right now," which is Jack-code for "pretty much ever, thanks." My feelings aren't hurt. It was free, after all. Hee.

Y'all have a good weekend now, y'hear?


Aloha Friday


Link up here if you're playing along with Kailani & friends!

My question for you this week is:

Do you have any kind of dietary restrictions? Care to share what and why?

The rest of my family don't have any restrictions -  no allergies, thankfully - but I do. I'm semi-vegetarian (used to be full-on vegan at one point and may eventually go back to that), which means I don't eat anything but chicken and certain sea creatures. Certainly none that I studied in my former life as a marine biologist! Also, because of my gastric bypass surgery, I can't have solids and liquids at the same time, so no bowls of cereal, no soup... and no high-sugar or very fatty foods, either. Basically, I'm on a high-protein, low-carb diet, which means lot of nuts, cheeses, and hummus for me!

What about you?

Have a great weekend and don't forget to check back tomorrow if you've got kids - I'll be posting a fun giveaway for you to enter!


Weekly Steals & Deals

As always, thanks go to Collin over at Hip2Save for help putting these deals together. I couldn't do it without her awesome blog. Visit this page for more information on the coupon lingo I'm using below, too.

I have been doing the deals weekly since the last time I posted, but I wasn't sure if people cared to read them every week, so I haven't been posting them. Let me know in the comments if you care (or not) one way or the other. However, I haven't been visiting Walgreens, preferring instead to stick with the deals at CVS and Rite Aid. No particular reason, other than I prefer the rewards programs of the latter two stores. Tuesday, I shopped CVS in two transactions and Rite Aid in 5, to maximize my savings. Here they are:

CVS - Transaction #1


I went into this transaction with NO ECBs, having used them on my last transaction the previous week, but I had a CVS gift card with some change on it, as well as two $5 Viggle gift cards.

Purchased in this transaction:

- (2) boxes flavored Cheerios: on sale 2/$5, used $1 Magic Coupon Machine (MCM) SQ plus (2) 50¢ MQs from MyPoints (many of my IP Qs come from there, and I get rewarded for that, so there's my referral link ;)), rec'd $2 ECBs for #2

- (4) Revlon nailpolishes: on sale $4.99 each, used (4) $1 MQs plus $3 MCM SQ, rec'd $12 ECBs for #2

- (2) 72-ct Listerine PocketPaks: on sale $2.99 each, no Qs (Rob really likes these, which is why I bought without a Q), rec'd $4 ECBs for #2

- (2) Right Guard Total Defense 5 deodorants: on sale $2.99 each, used $2/2 MQ, rec'd $2 ECBs for #2

- (2) Nivea for Men Shave Gel: $4.49 each, used (2) $2 MQs BUT DID NOT RECEIVE EXPECTED $3 ECBs b/c I PURCHASED LESS THAN THE REQUIRED $10, so I need to spend another $1.02 to get it. (Might take these back & exchange for the $4.99 items I was supposed to buy but forgot, which will total $9.98 & is close enough to generate the ECBs.)

- (2) Schick Hydro 3 Razor: $8.99 each, used (2) $4 MQs, rec'd $8 ECBs for #2

- (2) Crest 3D White Rinse 32-oz + (2) Crest 3D White Rinse 16-oz: $7.79 each & $5.79 each, respectively; used (2) $5 B1G1 $5 off MQs BUT DID NOT RECEIVE EXPECTED $10 ECBs BECAUSE I PURCHASED WRONG ITEMS & WILL EXCHANGE FOR CREST WHITENING. (OOPS)

{So as you can see, even the pros (haha, I jest) goof up once in a while, and my scenarios will be improved once I make those changes. I'll continue with my actual transactions, though, so it makes sense to all of us.}

TOTAL OOP (after the GCs mentioned above): $51.87, though I will submit for the P&G MIR of $5 on $25' worth of P&G products (Crest); TOTAL VALUE: $111.04

Transaction #2


I went into this transaction with the $28 ECBs received from #1. Generated $0 ECBs in this transaction for next week. Purchased:

- (2) Colgate Baking Soda & Peroxide Whitening toothpastes, 6.4-oz: on sale 2/$2.69, used (2) $1 MQs

- (3) 2L Mt Dew bottles: 88¢ each, no Qs (for Rob; can never find Diet, dang it!)

- (4) Renuzit Adjustable air fresheners: on sale 88¢ each, used 50¢/3 and 55¢/1 MQs

- (4) BumbleBee Chunk White Tuna 5-oz cans: on sale $1 each, used (2) $1/2 MQs from Recyclebank rewards

- (4) Scotch clear packing tape rolls (I go thru a TON of pkg tape!!): on sale B1G1 50% OFF, so (2) were $3.79 and (2) were $1.89, used (4) 50¢ MQs

-(2) 3M (Scotch) Magic "Greener" Tape, $6.79 and $3.69, WHICH APPARENTLY WASN'T PART OF THE B1G1/50% DEAL, SO I'LL EXCHANGE FOR REGULAR; used (2) 50¢ MQs

- (4) Caliber Notebooks: on sale B1G1 50% BUT WERE INCORRECTLY RUNG UP, SO YET ANOTHER THING I NEED TO GO FIX (sigh), so they came out to be: $5.79/$2.89 and $4.79/$2.39, used $3/$15 MCM SQ

Again, going by actual instead of woulda-shoulda:

TOTAL OOP: $13.87; TOTAL VALUE: $75.48

* I may come back and update this post after I fix the two transactions; we'll see if I'm up for it ;) *


Rite Aid - Transaction #1


I went into this transaction with $61 (!!) +UPs from last week. Purchased:

 - (2) Arm & Hammer deodorants: on sale $2.99, paid $2.87 with my Gold-Tier 20% discount off the regular price of $3.59; rec'd (2) $2 +UPs for #2

- MagniLife Restless Leg Cream: Reg. $14.99, on sale for $11; used $2 SQ, rec'd $11 +UPs ($2 moneymaker!) for #2

- Conair 2-in-1 Style-as-you-dry curling iron: Reg. $17.99, on sale $16.99, paid $14.39 with my 20% off; used $10 SQ, rec'd $7 +UPs ($2.61 moneymaker!) for #2

- Arm & Hammer Kid's Spinbrush MyWay toothbrush: Reg. $7.49, sale $6.99, paid $5.99; used $2 MQ, rec'd $2 +UP for #2 (and made Chloë VERY happy!)

- (2) Revlon Quick Dry nail products (base & top coats): Reg. $5.75, paid $4.60; & (2) Revlon nailpolish: Reg. $4.99, sale $3.99: rec'd $3 +UP for #2 plus will get a $2 and a $4 SCR!

- (8) Wet 'n' Wild eye pencils: Reg. 99¢, paid 69¢ each, rec'd $2 +UP for #2

- (2) Lichi Meal Replacement 16-oz canisters: Reg. $9.99, paid $7.99 with 20% discount; rec'd $20 +UP ($4.02 moneymaker!) for #2

TOTAL OOP: $3.14 - $6 SCRs = -$2.86 NET; TOTAL VALUE: $99.37!

Transaction #2


I came into this transaction with $50 in +UPs from #1 (except $3 from last week, which I didn't use on #1). Purchased:

- Gillette Mach 3 Razor: Reg. $9.99, sale $8.99, paid $7.99; used $3 MQ and rec'd $4 +UPs for #3

- (7) I Love... skin & bath collection products: Reg. $7.99, sale $6.00 each; rec'd (4) $5 +UPs for #3 ($10) and next week that I didn't need today ($10)

- Arm & Hammer Kid's Spinbrush MyWay toothbrush: Reg. $7.49, sale $6.99, paid $5.99; used $2 MQ, rec'd $2 +UP for #3 (and made Sophia VERY happy!)

TOTAL OOP: $3.78; TOTAL VALUE: $76.21!

Transaction #3


I had $16 +UPs from #2 for this transaction. Purchased:

- (2) Futuro Restoring Dress Socks for Men: Reg $14.99, sale B1G1 50% off; used (2) $3 MQs, rec'd $10 +UP for #4

TOTAL OOP: $1.60; TOTAL VALUE: $31.10!

Transaction #4


I went into this transaction with $10 +UPs from #3. Purchased:

- (4) Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers: Reg $1.79, sale 99¢ each; used (2) $1/2 MQs

- (2) Haribo Godld gummi bears: Reg. $1.69, on sale 99¢ each; used (2) 30¢ MQs

- (2) Nair Precision Face & Upper Lip Kits: Reg. 6.99, sale $3.49; used $3/2 MQ, rec'd $2 +UP for #5

- (2) Nair Cucumber Melon Body/Leg lotion: Reg. $7.29, sale $3.64; used $3/2 MQ, rec'd $2 +UP for next week

- Children's Benadryl Allergy Relief 4-oz: Reg $7.49, on sale $5.99; used $1 MQ, rec'd $2 +UP for next week

TOTAL OOP: $3.45; TOTAL VALUE: $47.45!

Transaction #5


I came into this transaction with $2 +UPs (plus more for next week). Purchased:

- (2) Hershey's Simple Pleasures chocolates: Reg. $4.49, on sale $2.99; used (2) $2 MQ and $1/2 SQ

- (2) Samy Fat Foam haircolour: Reg. $9.99, sale $8.99, paid $7.99 w/ my 20% discount; used (2) $5 MQs and (2) $6 SQs ($6.02 moneymaker!!)

- Revlon Nude ColorStay Whipped Creme Foundation: Reg. $13.99, sale $9.99; used $2 MQ and $2 SQ and will receive $2 SCR

- (2) Cella Chocolate Cherry candy: Reg. 33¢, paid 26¢ with my 20% discount

TOTAL OOP: $1.67 - $2 SCR = -33¢ (!), TOTAL VALUE: $44.74!


So while I did okay at CVS, I think the clear winner here was Rite Aid! With the five transactions, my total OOP was: $13.64, total value was: $298.87, PLUS I'll get back $8 in SCR and came away with $14 in +UPs for next week.

NET: They paid me $8.36 to buy almost $300 worth of quality merchandise!

Dudes. I call that a WIN.

Happy shopping! How'd you do this week?


My Well-Being, Powered By Humana

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of My Well-Being Powered by Humana for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

MWB Logo (3)

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Saturday 9: My Generation

000Enfield Orlando II

Link up here if you're playing along this weekend. Or not, it's a free country.

1. What do you think is the most unique thing about your generation?

Hell if I know. High bangs, 80s music and teen pregnancies?
2. Do you speak out as often as you should?
The older I get, the more I do...
3. How often are you tough and unreasonable?
Not very often, only a few times a day or so.
4. Do you believe that sometimes you learn more from a failure than a success?
It's not really a failure if you've learned something from it.
5. Do you feel that you always have to win?
I like that saying, "Would you rather be right, or happy?" but I am a stubborn ass, so I don't live it very well.
6. Do you think tradition matters?
Yes, but there's something to be said for making new traditions and spontaneity, as well.
7. Do you tend to root for the underdog?
Leave me alone. You planted a seed from which many thoughts have stemmed... okay, the "root" Biology joke was working better in my head... now I just look stupid for not deleting this.
8. Have you ever felt that you want to exceed your parents’ successes?
The question is only applicable to my father, unfortunately, as I lost my mother as a young child, and the only success I care about comparing mine to his is as a parent. That would be an "abso-freakin'-lutely yes."
9. Of all the cartoon characters that you know of, which is most like you?
If Jessica Rabbit and Goofy had a daughter, that would be me.
Run along now, and fetch me some crackers. I have an upset tum.

Aloha Friday


Link up here if you've got questions for Kailani and friends today!

My question for you this week is:

If you were an athlete, an Olympian, say, would you rather win by a close or a wide margin? Would you rather lose by a close or a wide margin?

Hubby and I differ in our answers to these questions. I'd rather barely win, having hung on through a tough, close game/match/meet, and squeaked out the victor, leaving the fans on the edge of their seats the whole time and on their feet cheering when I win. If I had to lose, I'd rather get absolutely trampled, with no hope of a win at all, than come so close and miss the Gold or whatever by a painfully narrow margin. Rob is the complete opposite. Guess they do attract!

So what do you think about it?

Have a great weekend, y'all!


Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

It's that time again, when all the bits and pieces floating around in the ol' noggin get gathered together and shared with Mrs.4444 at Half Past Kissin' Time. Join us here, won't you?

First things first. My keyboard is driving me crazy. I don't know what's going on with it, but it's skipping letters and symbols I'm typing, like, every four characters. How do I fix it, other than replacing it? I'm afraid I don't know. And since I've just had to replace BOTH my fried hard drive and, a week later, my monitor, I'm thrilled to death at the prospect. :\

Secondarily, I've been on a major mystery shopping spree lately. I go through fits and starts where I'll go nuts doing tons of shops and then get burned out and refuse all but the most plum assignments. This is the 'nuts' part, which it seems I always do in the summertime. It's fine, because we get to have lots of fun, travel, and lots of paychecks come in to boot! Once September comes 'round, I'll slow down and get back into the school groove with the kids full-time, so it's now or never next year.


One such shop was last Thursday, a trip with me and five kids 7-11 years, to our local waterpark. Oy vey. I paired everyone up: Chloë with her little beau, Jack with his bestie (the beau's younger brother), and Sophia with - Mama didn't raise no fool - ME. Guess who behaved the best out of all of them? If you know anything about my kids, you'll be shocked to hear it was Sophie. Chloë and Beau disappeared without checking back in for HOURS, Jack and Bestie kept splitting up, and Sophia stuck by my side and did everything she was told to do. Now that's crazytown. Like a parallel universe.


Last night's series of shops found us driving all over the Hampton Roads area - well, the Southside, anyway, not the Peninsula - and all the way up the Eastern Shore of Virginia, almost to Maryland.  Yes, it pays well, or else I wouldn't put that much gas into it! This picture is cruising along on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT), before we hit the Eastern Shore. I like Virginia's ES okay, but it's not very beachy-kitschy, which I tend to prefer. I like the scene in North Carolina's Outer Banks better - and the Florida Keys best. Wonder what I'll think of the San Diego area??

August 2012

Of course, mystery shopping involves lots of dining out, so we found ourselves at a popular steakhouse on kids' night Tuesday, where the kiddos had a great time getting these balloon animals and such. Sorry for the poor photo quality; guess I need to clean my iPhone lens!


Aside from shops, there's this latest excitement in the house: I'm signing the kids up for lessons on their respective instruments, starting in September. Chloë's had her flute, and Sophia her guitar, for a while now with no action, so it's time we got into it. Jack settled on keyboarding, so we went to the music lesson shop tonight and picked him out the starter model. Can you believe this thing? When I was his age, a similarly-priced Casio was given to me, and it was about 1/100th as cool, with way fewer bells and whistles. He's absolutely giddy over it, which I love to see.

I can't wait to see how they do, learning music professionally. There's a slight chance I might give up my role as their voice teacher and get lessons in that as well, but I'm not sure the budget will allow for it. Besides, I've been classically trained, and despite the fact that it's been 18 years since I sang in an ensemble, I still know a thing or two about singing. So we'll see.

I have a billion other things going on, but I should get some rest. I'm taking the older two and myself to the doctors' offices for various ailments tomorrow afternoon, and then Rob and I have a mystery shop date at a bar. So I'll leave you with these latest personalized plates spotted around town:


AWESEEM!!! I don't know why I like this one very much, but I do. It tickles my fancy.


What the what?! Someone explain it to me. For the longest time, I thought it was somethin like "SEX PIMP," (hee) until it dawned on me that it might be "PMS EXPERT" or something. But why in Heaven's name would you want to advertise that?!


And finally, an "aww" one: This parent is proud of her/his "TWO LITTLE PEAS." Cute stuff.

Anyway, I hope you all have a weekend of fabulosity, and I'll fill you in on the fun stuff we're doing next week. Same place, same time. 'K?


Back-To-School With Famous Footwear

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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My Mother's Secret


I have precious few memories of my mom, but I'll share this one with you: When I was very young - three, four, five - my mother had a little game she played with us girls, my sister and me. It was like a magic trick for us, and we had no idea how she did it, but it worked every. single. time:

Sitting at a red light while driving - er, not driving - she knew JUST the right moment to count to three with us, and then BLOOOOOOW the red light to green, so that we could go again.  Sometimes we had to wait just a few seconds for the countdown, sometimes a minute or two, but Mom always knew that magic moment.

I had forgotten about that game she played with us after she died a couple years later, until it was my turn to drive. And then, duh, it dawned on me, how she figured out her little secret: you can see the lights on the cross streets turning from green to yellow! A-ha! I've found myself, even when I'm alone in my car, blowing out the red lights ever since. (Sometimes I have to breathe twice; yellow lights must've gotten longer in the interim! Either that, or my lung function is subpar. We'll go with the former.)

Of course, I have played this game with my own children, too. Not every time, however we'd been doing it more often lately. My kids are older and savvier than I was, though, and they were catching on to the game. So I told them about my mother's trick, and how I thought she had magic up her sleeve, and how amazed I always was.

I think it's okay that they know the secret. You know, it doesn't make blowing out the red light any less fun. And now we're all doing the magic together. I give that a green light.



Sunday Stealing: The Authentic Meme

Link up here to play along today!

1. How long have you been blogging?

I started my first blog on MySpace when that was all the rage, in '05 or '06. I think I started this one in Oct. or Nov. of '07, to give it more public access and change the vibe. So, coming up on my 5th Typepad blahgiversary!

2. Did you go to college?

Indeed. I did my B.S. with a double major in Marine Science & Biology, and a minor in Chemistry, at the University of Miami (FL). Then I worked on my Ph.D. in Elasmobranch Ecomorphology (Biology) at U. of South Florida for 1½ yrs before changing focus to a Master's in Science Ed. I did that for a ½-year before taking a break, during which I unexpectedly got married and immediately got preggers. So, one day I'll go back, but with a different goal altogether: Law School.

3. Where have you traveled?

Guam, Canada, Mexico, lots of Central America & the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean. I think I listed all the countries specifically last week, if you really want to know. ;)

4. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?

I've been called Molly Ringwald more than once, when my hair is redder than it is now. And shorter. I don't mind that a bit; love her!

5. What are your three biggest pet peeves?

Drivers who take 11 billion years to make a right turn in front of me. Smoking around children. People who are too lazy to do the very easy task of recycling.

6. What is your favorite movie?

It's a toss-up between Dirty Dancing & Grease. Footloose is pretty high up on the list, too.

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?

Of the first three, definitely NOT beer. Of the last three, Diet Coke or Diet Mt. Dew.

8. What is something you enjoy doing when you have me time?

I love to knit. And if I don't have enough time to do that, admiring and petting my pretty yarns is enough. (You have to be a fiber enthusiast for that not to sound weird, I think.)

9. What is your biggest phobia?

Bugs landing on me without my permission. I. Freak. Out.

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past?

When I was super-huge pregnant with Chloë (my first), there was a cockroach in the bed. I didn't know it. I didn't have any undies on. Long story short, when I rolled out of bed with my big belly in the way, and walked to the bathroom, I felt something... the cockroach was stuck in my buttcrack. Yup. It happened. I screamed bloody murder. Good thing that mofo was already dead...

11. What day would you love to relive again? Why?

The day Rob and I eloped - funnest day EVER!!!!

12. If your life was turned into a movie… what actor would your best friend think should play you?

Oh, gosh. Someone really smart, funny, and weird... Parker Posey comes to mind.  I'll have to ask her that, though. ;)

13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?

Let's see... I worked as a cashier at several different grocery stores, working my way up to Front-End Manager at Publix in college. I worked the Alumni Association (basically calling up graduates and begging for money) for Work-Study for a year or so. I worked at the SCUBA shop where I got certified, talking myself into a job there because I could tell they needed my organizational skills! I did a paid internship at Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota, FL, and was offered a position that I had to decline because of other obligations, unfortunately. I was a live-in night nurse to a quadriplegic who has since become a close friend while I prepared for grad school, studying for my GRE (which I KILLED on, tyvm). I was a legal secretary in an estate-planning law firm, a Biology TA, and a gas station attendant at various times during graduate school. Oh, and I worked at Kaplan.  And I did lots and lots of babysitting!

14. Show us a picture from high school or college.

Me with my college BFF, Trini-mama.

15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?

I'd be packed for Australia in about 10 minutes flat!

16. Where do you see your life 6 and 1/2 years from now?

I honestly don't know. Either living the farm life somewhere between/near San Diego and L.A., or traveling the world by boat, while still homeschooling the kids. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out in the meantime!

17. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be and why?

Twenty. It was an awesome year for me, I felt great, I was cute and young and livin' the life. But I wouldn't; I enjoy getting older.

18. What 5 songs are included on
the soundtrack to your life? (You can pick "Middle School", "High School",
"College", "Post College" or any format you like.)

"Crazy," by Gnarls Barkley. "Tears in Heaven," by Eric Clapton. "The Day You Gave Me a Son," by Babyface Edmonds. "Give Me One Reason," by Tracey Chapman. "If I Had a Million Dollars," by Barenaked Ladies... and sooo many more!

19. Romney picked Paul Ryan to run as his veep. Any thoughts?


20. Your chance: Pick a meme you've done for us to steal. Bud and Judd will visit EVERY post today. Feel free to say, "Bugger off", or anything like that.

Bugger off, or anything like that. I don't know; are you running short? Make some up! ;)


Saturday 9: If Loving You Is Wrong...So Be It


Link up here if you're as late to this game as I am!

1. Has you ever done something that you knew was wrong, but because of love or lust, did it anyway?

Yes, I have.

2. Do you take longer to dress for a special event?

I am a female... that's a given.

3. Do you consider yourself a good driver?

I did until I got the Odyssey two years ago this month... for some reason, I seem to hate that van!

4. If you won Powerball, what would be the first thing you spent it on?

World travel, no 'bout adoubt it.

5. How much of the Olympics have you watched? Why?

Less than Viggle thinks I have... Our living room is currently filled up with various pieces of furniture that don't belong in there, so watching TV isn't really a comfortable option at the moment. Otherwise, I'd be all over it!

6. Have you ever changed your appearance because of a random happenstance?

Yeah, I got caught in the rain and all my makeup ran down my face, without my knowledge. I looked awesome in Publix, I'm sure.

7. Do you consider yourself attractive?

Of course I am. Look at me, baby! ;P

8. If you started your own religion, what would it be like?

For one thing, I would never do that, but if I did, it would be a tolerant, peace-loving religion, with acceptance of all people. ALL people.

9. Have you ever given up too easily in the game of love?

Not that I can think of... although I do love to sabotage my relationships. :\

That's all, folks!


Glad To Be Here!

Disclosure: I received products for review from and as described below. All opinions are and will always be 100% mine.


For participting in the BlogHer conference in New York City this past weekend, I was given a Mom-Made Meal Kit from Glad to help prepare my family for eating in my absence. Sorry about the blurry picture above; we received a recipe for Mom-Made Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas, along with some of the ingredients: tortillas, Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce, and Ortega Diced Chiles.


And of course, I was given a package of Large, family-sized Glad FreezerWare containers for storing their meals while I was going to be away.

However, as is typical for us, I didn't have all the necessary ingredients on hand for the recipe, nor did I have the time to go shopping beforehand, so we impovised and used the Glad FreezerWare containers to make three boxes of macaroni and cheese, all different kinds for variety's sake (I mean, kinda, hello), instead.


Here's Rob (aka "Hubs") putting the first batch of mac & cheese into a Gladware container for freezing.


Makin' sure he gets every last drop of cheese, because this is the good stuff! ;)


After the first batch was made, Chloë (aka DD1, aged almost-11) put the container in the freezer for the duration. I don't have a picture of the 2nd variety being made and frozen, but Sophia (aka DD2, aged 7) got to put that one in the freezer, if it's important to you to know!

As for Batch Three? Well, two things came into play at that point: We were out of Glad FreezerWare containers, and our mouths were watering from the first two batches of mac & cheese. So we all dug in and ate that right up. Hey, ya gotta eat every day, right?

So how did the frozen macaroni and cheese fare in the Glad FreezerWare containers? Perfectly! There was a tight, secure seal on the lid, and the food within tasted as good as freshly-made M&C when reheated a day or two later. Or three; I forget.

Maybe we'll get around to that Enchilada recipe sooner or later, but one thing's for sure: Glad FreezerWare containers are sticking around this household for the long haul! And, well, so is the macaroni and cheese. Heh.


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Sunday Stealing: Useless Questions Meme

Link thyself up here if you're a thief like us, m'kay?

1. Have you ever written a song?
Actually, yes, in junior high, my then-BFF wrote the music, and I wrote the lyrics to a song for another good friend of ours that was moving away, and it was recorded in then-BFF's dad's studio. (He's a locally famous singer. Todd Hobin & The Heat - you may have heard of them, if you're near Central New York?)
2. Have you ever been in the opposite sex's public toilet?
No, I've never fallen into a urinal. Gosh, I hope I never do...
3.  Are you superstitious?
Nah, but I'll knock wood just for shits and giggles.
4. What's the most daring thing you've done?
I married a guy two months after the first time he emailed me from an internet dating site. We're coming up on 12 years. I knew what I was doing.
5.  Did you have a baby blanket? Do you still sleep with it?
Yes, my grandma made it for me. I don't still sleep with it, but I will keep it forever.
6. Have you ever tried to cut your own hair? If yes, how’d it work out?
I have cut my bangs a trillion (that may or may not be hyperbole) times, but between Hubs and me, we cut my mid-back length hair down to this:
I thought it was pretty cute, but I'm growing it out again now, as you can tell by my banner up there.
7. Have you ever sleepwalked?
No, but I talk in my sleep constantly. Apparently I'm pretty funny. But of course I am.
8.  If you could be any age, what age would you be?
I'm happy with being 35. Since I grew up thinking I'd drop dead at 33 like my mother, I figure every year after that is a bonus.
9.  What is your dream car?
Right now I want a Vespa. And/or a Smart For Two. And/or a cute little red convertible Mazda Miata.  Love my minivan, but it's not itty-bitty. I like itty-bitty things.
10.  What is your favorite cartoon of all time?
The Smurfs, duh!
11. If you were in a car sinking in a lake, what would you do first?
Swear at Rob, 'cause he's probably the one driving.
12. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
At least half a dozen times. We are a family with frequent-flier passes to the ER.
13. How many foreign countries have you visited?
Does Guam count? Do the USVI? Does Puerto Rico? Let's see... Canada, Mexico, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Bahamas, Panama, Spain, France, Monaco, Italy (mainland and Sicily), Greece, Croatia... and the aforementioned three US territories. However many that is.
14. If you fell into quicksand, would you try to swim or try to float?
I think you're supposed to do the latter, right? I don't see it happening anytime soon, though.
15. Do you talk in your sleep?
You weren't listening, hm?
16.  Have you ever slipped in the bathtub?
Yeah, but one time, my older stepsister passed out in the shower and fell on the floor. It was scary at the time, but now it's kind of... well, no, it's not that funny, I guess.
17.  If you could invite any movie star to your home for dinner, who would it be?
Matt Damon, if a menage a trois is included. What?
18. Have you ever re-gifted?
Sure have. Win-win, I think.
19.  If you could attend an Olympic event, what would it be?
Anything; it's on my bucket list. Ideally, gymnastics or figure skating, though. Oh, so exciting! A friend of mine lives in London and has passes to three different events this summer. Jerk.
20. If you could participate in an Olympic event, what would it be?
The same ones I'd want to watch. Makes sense if you think about it, no?
21. If you won a $5,000 shopping spree to any store, which store would you pick?
If it had to be a store you've heard of, I'd either go the A.C Moore/Michaels route, or IKEA (to which I've never been - bucket list item!). Otherwise, some obscurish specialty yarn store with beautiful fibers... ahhh, now, how do I enter?
22. What do you think is your best feature?
I think my face is pretty cute. Unless you meant ON my face specifically, and then I'd have to say my nose. I had a customer once tell me it was "perfect," and I'm taking her word for it. ;P
23.  If you were to win an Oscar, what kind of movie would it be for?
Probably a documentary, or anything Meryl Streep would do. She picks good roles. Hello, understatement.
24.  Which of the five senses is most important to you?
Sight. I live my life in big, bold, beautiful colour, and I'd be lost without that.
25. Would you be a more successful painter or singer?
Oh, singer, definitely. I'm horrible at painting, but I can carry a decent tune.
26.  How many years will/did you end up going to college?
I did my B.S. in 3 years, and I worked on my Ph.D. for a year and a half, and a Master's for the rest of that second year... I'll go back to school one of these fine years, hopefully for a J.D.
27.  Have you ever had surgery?
If dental surgeries are included, I've had about 10. If not, 7 or 8.  Three of those included evicting my four children.
28. What do you like to collect?
Shot glasses. Pressed pennies. Beautiful yarns. And cats, apparently.
29.  How many collectibles do you have?
I don't know, and I suspect no one really cares, so I'm going to take this opportunity to tell you that I have had a kitten napping behind me throughout the writing of this post, and she keeps stretching and scratching her claws down my bum. Every time I move her, she moves back.  She's not my favourite person right now.

Is that it? I hate ending on a prime number.

Have a swell week, folks!


Saturday 9: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere


Link up here if you want, whatever, it's your choice.

1. Do you ever feel like you are nowhere?

On the contrary; I often feel like I am everywhere, doing everything, all at once. Not in a ubiquitous, God-like way, but in an, "Oh, my God, does my life ever slow down?!" way.

2. Do you keep your cool no matter what is going on around you?

On the contrary; I lose my cool no matter what is going on around me. I excel at going berserk.

3. Do you feel that career should be more important than your love life?

On the contrary; I think family, including one's spouse or sig-o, should always come before one's occupation if one is truly going to pursue happiness.

4. In what way do you feel that you are unique?

On the... oh. I guess I need to cut that out now. I am unique in many ways.  In the movie of my life, only I could truly play me. Anyone else wouldn't be able to capture the quintessence of my spirit.  Well, maybe Natalie Portman. She's pretty good, you know.

5. Do you feel that there is a part of you that you need to hide from most people?

Absolutely, there is a part of me that I keep hidden except from the guy I married and the gal who therapizes me. Everyone else is kept firmly on the other side of The Wall.

6. Have you ever held on to a relationship even though you truly knew it was already over?

Sad to say, but yes. I needed help paying the rent, after all. There it is, in print. (P.S. Then he broke my two front teeth, and I managed to pay the rent just fine after that, thanks.)

7. Would you say that you are a winner in this game of life?

It's too soon to tell. I think it's a tie. I still have plenty of work to do.

8. Can you tell us about a time when you were broke and yet still happy?

Honey, we are broke as a joke right now, but every time my guy walks through that door, whips me into his sweaty, overworked arms and says, "Hey, baby," I know I'm the luckiest girl in the whole wide house.

9. Do you think staying celibate between relationships is important?

Celibate? Isn't that a kind of fish? Dudes. You are asking the wrong person that question. Hablo en serio.


Weekly Steals and Deals

You know why I haven't posted one of these in ages? Because I haven't gone deal-shopping in ages. Between the move that never ends, not feeling well, out-of-whack finances and so forth, I just haven't kept up with it. I finally got my coupons in order on Monday, and I was about seven weeks behind! Yikes. Now, remember, those of you who want to find fault with what I buy: these are the DEALS. Not all of the food here will go in our (kids') bellies, nor is everything that does go in their tummies shown here. As for the rest, if we can't use it ourselves, because, say, it conflicts with my Jafra business, for instance, I use it for donations to Samaritan House and other charities. Ya dig?

As always, thanks to Collin at Hip2Save for helping me put together my deals! (Refer to her site, also, for the coupon - or 'Q' - lingo I use below.) I shopped Rite Aid, CVS, and Target (x2) in that order, not finding anything too impressive to warrant a Walgreens visit. Here's how I did this week:

Rite Aid



  • (2) Revlon Designer Tweezers: $6.00 each, minus BOGO 50% off sale, minus (2) $1 MQ, minus $2 SQ, minus $2 SCR, minus $4 +UPs = $1 MM!!
  • 0.75-oz Super Poligrip Denture Adhesive Cream: $1.99 minus $1.99 SCR = FREE!
  • (2) Crest ProHealth Clinical Toothpaste 4-oz w/ BONUS Rinse sample: $3 each, minus (2) 75-cent MQs, minus (2) $3 +UPs = $1.50 MM!
  • (2) Pantene shampoos & (2) Pantene conditioners: 2/$7 each, minus (2) $3/2 MQs, minus (2) $2 +UPs = $1 x 4!
  • (2) Venus + Olay razors: $9.99 each, minus my gold status 20% off, minus (2) $4 MQ, minus (2) $4 +UPs = FREE x2!
  • (4) Head & Shoulders shampoos: $4.99 ea., minus (2) BOGO MQs, minus $2 +UPs = $2 x4 (not stellar, but Rob needs these)
  • (2) Bayer 100-ct tabs + (2) Bayer 50-ct tabs: $6.99 + $3.49 (BOGO 50% off) + $5.49 + $2.74 (BOGO 50% off), minus (4) $3 MQs, minus $5 +UPs = $1.03 MM!
  • Aquafresh Extreme Clean Whitening 5.6-oz toothpaste: $1.99 minus $1 SQ, minus 50-cent MQ = 50 cents!
  • (2) Biotene Mouth Rinse 16-oz: $4.49 ea., minus (2) $1 MQ, minus $3/2 SQ = $1.99 each
  • (2) Crest Rinse 1-L w/ bonus toothpaste: $5 each, + (2) Crest Rinse 500-mL: $4.23, minus (2) BOGO MQs, minus (2) $3 +UPs = $1 x4!
  • (2) K-Y Yours + Mine: $20.99 each, minus BOGO 50% off, minus (2) $7 MQs, minus $10 +UPs = $3.74 x2!
  • (2) Oral-B 3D White Action toothbrushes: $3 ea., minus (2) $1 MQs, minus $5 +UPs = $1 MM!
  • (2) Futuro Compression Stockings: $18.49 ea., minus BOGO 50% off, minus (2) $3 MQ, minus $10 +UPs = $5.87 x2!
  • 3.5-oz Lanacane Spray: $5 - $5 +UPs = FREE!
    TOTALS: Value = $291.13; OOP = $126.47; SCRs = $3.99; +UPs = $65; NET: $57.48 for almost $300 worth of merchandise!
  •   DSC_7174


    • (4) Halls Warm-Ups Mocha Mint Drops: 49-cents ea., minus (2) $1/2 MQ = FREE x4!
    • (2) Carmex Lip Balms: $1.67 ea., minus (2) 75-ct MQs = 92 cts X2!
    •  (3) Dawn dish liquids: 99-ct ea, + (3) Puffs Plus tissues: 88-ct ea., minus (3) 50c MQs, minus 25c/3 MQ - $1/5 SQ = 48-ct x6!
    • (4) Olay facial cleansers: $3.74 ea. + (4) Olay body wash: $5.99 ea. - (4) B1 cleanser G1 body wash FREE MQs - $3/15 SQ - $5 ECB - $10 Olay MIR = $3.04 MM!
    • (4) Kellogg's Raisin Bran + (2) Froot Loops + (2) Apple Jacks: 3/$6 - (4) $1/2 MQ - $5 ECB = 88ct x8!
    • (2) Hellmann's Mayo: 2/$7, + Lipton Tea Bags 100-ct: $3, minus (2) $1 MQ, minus $3 ECB = $1.67 each!
    • (3) Suave deodorants: $1 ea, + (2) Suave bodywash: $2 ea, + (2) Suave shampoo & conditioner: $1.75 ea., minus (3) 75ct MQs - $4 ECB = 61 cts each!
    • Bengay 2-oz cream: $5.99 - $2 MQ - $3 ECB = 99 cts!
    • (9) Cadbury chocolate bars: $2.19 ea, minus B2G1 FREE, + Almond Joy & Reese's Fun Packs: 2/$1.98, minus $5 ECB = 92 cts x11!
    • (2) Kellogg's Frosted Flakes: $1.99 ea, minus (2) 70-ct MQs = $1.29 x2!
    • (4) small packs Nabisco cookies: 3/$4, minus (2) $1/2 MQ = 83 ct x4!
    • (4) Carefree liners 20-22ct: 99c ea., minus (4) 50-ct MQs = 49 cts x4!
    • (2) NatureMade Magnesium 250-mg 90ct: $9.49 each mi

TOTALS: Value = $231.44; OOP = $80.09; MIRs = $10; ECBs = $21; NET: $49.09 for over $230' worth of merchandise!

Target - Transaction #1



  • (5) Kellogg's Nutri-Grain bars: $2.54 each - $1/3 SQ - (2) $1/2 MQ --> $5  GC for #2
  • (5) Kellogg's Fruit Snacks: $1.99 each -->$5 GC for #2
  • (4) Kellogg's Rice Krispies: $2.55 ea. + (1) Kellogg's Fruit Snacks: $1.99, minus $1/3 SQ, minus (2) $1/2 MQ --> $5 GC for #2
  • (2) Gillette Venus + Olay razors: $8.99 ea., minus (2) $4 MQ --> $5 GC for #2
  • (4) Old Spice deodorants: $3.99 ea., minus (2) $2/2 MQ --> $5 GC for #2
  • (4) Olay Body Wash: $5 ea, minus (2) $3/2 MQs --> $5 GC for #2

= $30 in GCs for #2!

Target - Transaction #2



* (2) Comet Stainless Steel Powder Cleanser: $1.99 minus $1 SQ minus $1 MQ = FREE x2! (except I forgot one and have to go back for it, oops)

* (4) Merona & Mossimo tanks & tees: $6 ea, minus (4) $3 SQ = $3 x4!

* Market Pantry Fruit Snacks: $1.69 - $1 SQ  = 69 cents!

* (2) gal 2% milk: $3.09 ea. (no deals, we just needed some ;))

*(10) 6-oz Chobani Greek yogurts: $1 ea., minus (10) 30-ct MQs = 70ct x10!

*(2) Chobani Champions 4-pks: $2.50 ea. minus (2) $1 MQ, minus (2) $1 SQ = 50ct x2!

* Philadelphia Indulgence Creme tubs: $2.49 ea., minus (2) 75ct MQ = $1.74 ea (not the original deal, so I had to improvise - and they are tasty! Gonna make something yummy with them, watch)

* Aquafresh Advanced toothpaste: $1.89 - $1 SQ - $1 MQ = 11ct MM!

* USA Write Dudes Gold Wood #2 pencils: $1 - $1 MQ = FREE!

* PaperMate Eagle Ballpoint Pens: 94ct, minus $1 MQ = 6ct MM!

* (6) Bic Pens: 99cts, minus (3) $1/2 MQ = 49 cts x6!

* (3) RoseArt watercolor paint kits: 97 cts ea, minus $1/3 MQ = 64 cts each!

* (3) 2-L Coke products: $1.25 ea, minus $1/3 SQ = 92 cts x3!

TOTALS (btwn #1 & #2): $221.63 value; $82.08 OOP after MQs, SQs, ShopKick rewards, GCs from #1... and will submit for another $10 Olay MIR, too!


Not bad, overall! I could do better, but since I haven't done my deals in so long, I didn't have rewards stocked up. Now I do and will go regularly again.

Hope this helps some couponing n00bs out there!


Friday Fragments


Link up here if you've got bits and pieces to string together for Mrs. 4444 and the gang tonight!


It's certainly been an up-and-down week for us here at Chez Odette, but I'd like to start off this post with one major announcement:

After SIX (originally typed "SUX," which would also have been appropriate!) WEEKS, THE LICE ARE GONE, THE LICE ARE GONE, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY, THE LICE ARE GONE!!!!

Now, I had to totally chop off ALL of Chloe's long, luscious curls to do it, but desperate times call for desperate measures, y'know? Thankfully, her hair grows back wicked fast, like her dad's and Jack's. It'll be back before we know it.



Two weeks ago, my CPU died. We replaced it. Last week, my monitor died. Can't afford to replace that, too, just yet... UGH! I'm stuck using the laptop. I hate laptops. Can't say why; I just do.

Plus, this one doesn't have a number pad, which is why I can't do my special ALT characters. Bah.



(SPOILER ALERT if you haven't seen the Olympics yet tonight)

Gabby Douglas, Virginia Native who trained at Excalibur, where Chloe will start next month in rhythmic gymnastics after a switch from another gym that doesn't offer rhythmic, won All-Around Gold tonight! The first African-American to do so. I'm SO super proud of her and her teammates! USA, USA, USA!!!



My boys, Hubs and Son, are at Webelos (Cub Scouts) camp all week. They were supposed to get there on Sunday, but we messed up and thought it was supposed to be Monday. On Monday, we didn't get paid, like we thought we would, and so they still couldn't go until Tuesday. Suck! But the main point is, I miss them so much!!! I can't WAIT to pick them up tomorrow (today) morning and hear all about their adventures!



My dad and I had a major falling out several months ago. I mean, MAJOR. I thought we'd never speak again.  We've made a lot of progress through emails, however, and finally, I called him on his 70th birthday on Tuesday. There was no awkwardness whatsoever, which was a huge relief to me. I don't do confrontation - especially with my father - well at all, and there just wasn't any. Very anti-climactic, and I'm glad for it.



Today, my toilet overflowed all OVER the bathroom, and indeed, it still IS. I cannot seem to plunge that da*n low-flow piece of crap for the life of me, and so it waits until Rob gets home from camp tomorrow. Not a fun time. To top things off, I broke a jelly jar pulling something else out of the fridge tonight, got glass lodged in my foot, and can't find the foxtail and dustpan anywhere. So that mess will be waiting for Rob, too. Unless I can find some paper towels somewhere... and yes, I'll put on some shoes. Oy.



I had multiple sales in my Etsy shop, I was commissioned to do knitting for another WAHM's Waldorf-inspired mini-dolls, my blog post about Virginia Beach was featured on a national travel blog, and I was invited to submit a chapter in a textbook. I'm not sure I'll do that last one - who has the time?! - but I might give it a go. Either way, cool. I do want to write my own book at some point, so it would be good practice if I did it.



My wrist, which I unwittingly somehow injured at the end of May, is still not even remotely healed. I think there is nerve damage, since the fracture we thought was there seems not to be, judging from later x-rays.  I'm in a hella lot of pain, and I refuse to take pain medication on an ongoing basis for it.  Back to the doc I go, I guess...



I had a LOT of me-time this week, with the boys away and my friend Saritah taking the girls along with her kids to Vacation Bible School - up to four hours a night! SWEET. I took advantage of it, because my migraines have been plaguing me lately, and did a whole lotta nothin'. That's difficult for me to do, but between the wrist and the brain-pain, not so hard at the mome.


Guess that's all I feel like jabbering about for the time being, though I feel I could go on for another half-hour or more!  I'm going to try REALLY hard and visit other Fragmenters this weekend; a rarity for me with all the chaos our lifestyle brings.


Take it easy, peeps, and, you know, stay away from Chick-Fil-A and stuff... ;)




Link up here if you've got questions for Kailani and crew today!

My question for you this week is:

Does it move you that the first African-American gymnast just won all-around gold for the USA, or could you not care less about her race? Were you rooting for Gabby Douglas (a Virginia Beach native who, by the way, formerly trained at the gym where my older daughter will be training starting next month!) to take gold?

You can probably guess my answers, but yes, I was on my feet, cheering, clapping and whooping it up for Gabby D. I'm SO super proud of her, and thrilled that a young black woman accomplished a feat that will inspire many young female athletes in the years to come! GO GABBY!

Have a great weekend!