Friday, April 27, 2012

You Were Mint To Teach: Teacher Appreciation

For you homeschooling moms---I hope you take a week and make your kids give you gifts!

For moms like me with kids in public (or private) schools, Teacher Appreciation Week is getting close.

Here is one little thing I whipped up for my son's awesome teacher:


(Gum with a computer printed out label,
wrapped up in cardstock and tied with a ribbon)

I have a few other tricks up my sleeve that will have to wait until next week to post!
My Teacher Appreciation Pinterest board has a compilation of other ideas if you need some!

Thanks to Angie at The Country Chic Cottage for hosting a Teacher Appreciation Week and including my "Mint to teach" gum!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

3 Tips for Traveling with Toddlers

Not long ago we packed up and headed out of state for a couple days to visit family.  Knowing the kids would be more comfortable at a hotel, we booked a two night stay at the local Hampton Inn.

We came away from this trip with three tips for anyone attempting to travel with toddlers:

1---Colored Goldfish crackers in the hotel room are not a good idea.
Exhibit A:
This photo was taken before the two children decided that stomping on the crackers would be a good idea.

2---The Pack and Play that you haul with you to provide a place for the wee one to will be shunned.  Of course the shunning will only take place after you spend thirty minutes trying to set the darn thing up (WHY WON'T ALL THE SIDES SNAP INTO POSITION?), when later the toddler will fall asleep on your arms.

3---Bring cash to leave a tip for housekeeping.  Do it.

Warning--your room is going to smell like poop.  The toddler will poop and the diaper will go in the bathroom trash and you'll be napping with said toddler when housekeeping comes, so you will shoo them away and the trash won't get emptied.*
And then more poop diapers will pile up and possibly feminine hygeine products because OH YES, THAT WILL HAPPEN TOO, and your room will smell like a bloody turd for the duration of your stay.

But anyway,

*Yes, that is very "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie"ish.  Only in our twisted reality it is "If You Travel With A Toddler..."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mommy Etiquette at Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A has a great little play area for kids.  A little treehouse area for the littlest ones and then a larger set of tunnels and slides for the big ones.

The only problem is I experience Awkward Mom Syndrome in there.

We had a little visit to CFA over spring break.

Staff had taped up a sign saying you HAD to go in there WITH your kids (way to suck the fun out of it Chick Fil A).

So we go in.  Mom and kids. There are other moms in there too.    What is proper etiquette for this???

I feel like I am obligated to talk to them.  Chit chat.  Mom's Club or something.

i like you, dogs sniffing butt, dogs greeting, dog ecard

Do you know how much I suck at small talk?
UP dog, dog from UP, dog cartoon, dog drawing, i just met you and i love you, i just met you and i love you dog

Then one mom in there keeps calling one of her kids "Sugar Bunches." Yay for nicknames, but really when you are telling the kid for the eighth time that it is time to leave, maybe the ship has sailed for lovey dovey names.  But noooo, not Perfect Mom.

"Sugar Bunches come get your shoes on."
"Get your shoes on now Sugar Bunches."
"Sugar Bunches you are at a crossroads right now.  Are you going to choose right or choose wrong?"  (Honest to heck she said that.)
"Lets go Sugar Bunches."
"Now Sugar Bunches you need to say 'Yes Mommy I will obey right away without complaining.'"


Perfect Mom seemed to want us all to think she has it all together with her 3 boys and her calm nicknames and ten dozen warnings to start obeying and never losing her patience.  Perfect Mom eventually got Sugar Bunches and his brothers out the door...miraculously.
All that was left was me and one other mom.  She was young and fantastically skinny.  I wanted to say "I hate you for being so skinny, show me a stretch mark or something to prove that you DO have insecurities like the rest of us."

I did not say that.

What transpired was awkward moments of silence, grinning stupidly at each other's children as if THAT IS THE CUTEST THING I'VE EVER SEEN EXCEPT FOR MY OWN KID, OF COURSE, and two failed attempts at conversation on my part.
grumpy cat talking, grumpy cat why haven't you stopped talking, grumpy cat i have stopped listening

What gives??  Are we supposed to chat like friends in the Chick Fil A play area or NOT.
And finally, one last Awkward Mom Moment.  The treehouse area is labeled with two big signs that it is for 3yrs old and UNDER, ONLY.  Exclamation point, period, period, exclamation point.  The staff is serious about this.  The big kids wander in and out of the treehouse, climbing on it, inside it, etc.  I keep my mouth shut.  (Their mom was NOT sitting inside the play area with them.  Shamey shamey rule breaker.)  But at the end they got more wound up and my 2 yr old was trying to play and they were all hovered in there about to step on him.  So I said "Hey you guys can't be in there unless you are 3...MyKid, Out"  My older kid obeyed and left.  The others stood there looking at me and playing in there.

Look Jack, you step on my child and I will come up off this plastic covered bench with no back and knock you off the darn treehouse mahself.

Lucky for them, it didn't come to blows.  This time.
Just for making me endure all that garbage, I took six of the Purell packets by the door.  And four Sweet-N-Lows.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

$40 for foundation? Make Up For Ever under scrutiny.

For about 6 years I have been faithful to Bare Minerals foundation. It goes on lightly, gives a little coverage and doesn't look like you are caked with makeup.

Then my skin went....ape crazy.  Maybe it's because I'm edging closer to 30 and my skin shows it, a few little fine lines, some acne scarring, and zits.  Still with the zits.  COME ON, WORLD!

I wanted more coverage, something liquid.

Bare Minerals was $26 and in an effort to save money, I bought a $14ish bottle of Boots No. 7 from Target.

One shade too dark.


45 minutes away from Target, stuck with a product they likely won't let me return that makes my face look darker than the rest of my body.  No.  This will not do.

These people are not me.  But they need to heed the advice to find a more, uh, natural shade of foundation.
ISABELLE STRÖMBERG - fantasi är det vi vill ha, men verklighet är det vi får
photo credit

Somewhere a blogger said Make Up For Ever was good.  And hey if that blogger said bungee jumping with no cord was a good idea, apparently I would go for it because off I trotted to Sephora to try out this Make Up For Ever stuff.
HD Invisible Cover Foundation
We used a cleansing cloth to take off the make up I did have on and then the Sephora employee got to work.  She used a handy Sephora airbrush brush (an actual brush, just called "airbrush" because it gives you that effect) to apply the foundation to my face.

When she was done, I couldn't believe it.

I looked GOOD.  Great coverage, my skin looked healthy and even.  I walked around the store doing the rest of my makeup...some Nars blush here, a little lipstick from there, etc.

The title said "Make Up For Ever under scrutiny."
I lied.

There is no scrutiny.

Make Up For Ever foundation rocked my socks.  

P.S. The only thing is, it is pricey.  $40 a bottle.  I had a coupon and some money I'd earned last month. Save up for it, ask for it for your birthday, have a bake sale.  Find the money to get yourself a good base for makeup....moms deserve it. :)

P.P.S.  If you can go to a Sephora store they will let you try it on and also let you take home a sample so you can make sure you love it and that it is the right shade for you.  

P.P.P.S. No one gave me jack diddly to write this post. No freebie, no discount, no product, not even a high five.  If this was a crap product, I'd tell you.  But it isn't.  And hey, Make Up For Ever execs, if you DO want to show your appreciation for an unsolicited rave review, I'm a shade 115.  Mmmkay thanks.

sharing at A Little Knick Knack

Monday, April 16, 2012

7 Things We DO Buy!

Last week I shared with you how we save money by not buying some things (like tanning sessions and newspaper subscriptions).

To be honest though, there are a few things we splurge on.  So today, you get:

  1. Cable/Satellite TV
    We never had it until we moved to a new area and struggled to get an antenna to work.  We eventually got the antenna to work, but it would only pick up 3 channels, and that was iffy at best.  We opted to make some calls and get one of the least expensive packages out there.
  2. Haircuts
    Salons vary greatly in cost, I've found an average one close to me that gives a pretty good deal on the hair cut and highlights I want.  I don't go every 6-8 weeks like they say you should save money I stretch it into about 12 weeks between cuts and colors.  But still, we do spend the money for me to feel good about my hair.
    Husband has a haircut a little bit more than just a buzz that I could do at home, so he usually will get his done at a barber shop.
  3. Books
    Our oldest child is in school and gets those Scholastic things every month.  We generally try to buy him something if there is a book he is interested in.  He is just now really getting "in" to books and we want to encourage that!  You can never have too many books!  I also really like Usborne Books and joined to get a discount for when I want something for the kids.  Other than those two avenues we tend to get books from yard sales and amazon.
  4. Make Up
    This is not a huge budget item for us, but occasionally I will take some of my spending money or my husband will give me some money and tell me to go get some stuff I want.  Sephora is the happiest place in the world.
  5. Life Insurance
    Dave Ramsey may or may not be thrilled with the amount we have, but we do have some supplemental insurance that we pay for on top of what my husband's work offers.  This just gives us a little more security if something were to happen to either of us.  We want to know that the other and the kids will be "okay."
  6. Laundry Detergent
    A lot of people seem to be making their own.  One time I had coupons and got a cheap brand even cheaper and was like "ooh look how great i am!"  But then my skin started having problems, not that the soap was bad, it just irritated my ALREADY crazy skin.  So I had to go to a different free and clear soap and trying to make my own scares me.  Also, seems like a lot of work to make your own and we all know how lazy I am with things that require "ingredients."
  7. Sweet Tea
    I love a Sweet Tea from McDonalds.  Don't get one every day,  but a couple times a week.  Don't judge me, I see you in line for a tea too!  :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

3 Funnies For Friday--Cat style

**Don't forget to enter the $50 Over da Crib giveaway**

Just a couple cat funnies for you to enjoy today!
Lolcats, knitting, funny cat, black cat

cat, lol cat, mad cat, angry cat, cat in snow

sweater, cat, lolcat
*All from my funny pinterest board, which is acting up at the moment.  Will add original sources later. . .when pinterest/internet gets its head out of its butt.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Giveaway: Over Da Crib Modern Art-$50 Gift Card!

I have an awesome giveaway for you guys today!  If you have kids or grandkids or nieces and nephews, you gotta check out over DA crib.  You could win a $50 gift card to that store!

The artist, Sandra Steedle, creates all sorts of unique pieces of artwork for you put over the crib (get it?) or anywhere in your child's room or playroom!  

Sandra has a degree in Fine Arts and makes colorful creations for your kids' rooms.  Jungle animals, flowers, graphic styles, ABC's, cars, airplanes, and princesses are among the many designs she offers.

Personally, if we ever have girls, I am getting these:

Sale- TREE PAINTING, 11 x 14, Children Decor, Nursery Decor, Original Painting  Sale- FLOWER PAINTING, 11  x 14, Children Decor, Nursery Decor, Original Painting
    tree painting                                flower print

But then this modern graphic style appeals to me too.
Children Decor, GIRL MODERN PRINT, 8 x 10, Nursery Art, Nursery Decor, Kids Art
                                               Girl Modern Print

You could get the city print for a boy or a girl:
Children, Art, PINK CITY PAINTING, 11 x 14, Nursery Decor,Children, Art, Kid Art, Playroom Art

Isn't this airplane adorable?
Children Decor,  RED PLANE PRINT, 8 x 10, nursery decor, kid, wall art, red,blue, colors, boy, playroom

What are people saying about their Over Da Crib pieces of art?  Here are a few feedback pieces:
"I absolutely love them. They look so good in our black, gray and red nursery!"
"Wonderful print and excellent shipping time."
"Fabulous paintings!  Unique, original, and so adorable!"

Sandra is giving one lucky winner a FIFTY DOLLAR GIFT CARD to use in her shop!  

Mandatory Entry:
You have to do this to enter

Visit over DA crib and leave a comment telling which item(s) you would spend your $50 gift card on!

Extra Entries (leave a comment for each that you do): You can do any, all, or none of these--Follow my blog with GFC, Email, Networked Blogs, or RSS
--"Like" Over Da Crib on facebook
--"Heart" Over Da Crib on etsy (leave your etsy name so we can verify please)
--"Heart" an item from Over Da Crib on etsy (leave name of item and your etsy name)
--Tweet this giveaway (earn 1 extra entry for each tweet, must be 24 hrs apart and you must include tweet link with entry)
--Like me on facebook (leave your fb name)

FUN CAR PRINT, Children, Art, Children Decor,  nursery decor, playroom, kids, wall art, vehicle, red, yellow
  car print

Boring fine print: 
Giveaway ends Thursday, April 19th at 12noon EST.
Open to U.S. and International Residents 18 yrs old and older.
No change will be given on the gift card (if you spend $45, you don't get $5 cash back)
Winner will have 48 hrs to claim their prize

Monday, April 9, 2012

7 Things We Don't Buy

Inspired by a post of Money Saving Mom's, I thought I'd share how we save money with 7 things we don't buy.

  1. Monthly Cell Phone Plans
    We have pay-as-you-go type phones.  We rarely call or text but are glad to have phones for traveling or for emergencies. We spend probably $100 a year, max, on these.  Compared to $80/month for ONE iphone, this is an $860 savings.  *We do have an ipod that my husband bought and it has some games on it. I'm not completely living under a rock.  I have played Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. :-)
  2. High-end, new, kids clothes
    The kids usually get new clothes from the Grandparents at birthday and Christmas.  When we buy clothes for the kids, 95% of the time, they are second-hand.  I get them from a local resale group or yardsales.  Oh how I love yardsales!  I've scored great name brand stuff at sales too!
  3. Newspaper Subscription
    I like to get a Sunday paper occasionally for the ads and coupons, but we just swing by a gas station and buy one.  In my area, I have not found a good enough subscription deal for it to be worth that monthly fee.
  4. Tanning
    The doctors say tanning beds are  a big no-no, so in the name of living longer, I abstain.  Plus it saves money!  I go a few times a year for the spray on fake tan, it works well enough and isn't damaging to my body.  Because I have never been tanning, I don't know what this saves us for the year.  Hundred bucks?
  5. Gym memberships
    A local place is going to offer Zumba classes.  Have you ever tried it?  I'm thinking of giving it a whirl, looks fun!  It would just be a per class fee.  We haven't joined the local gym.  I have a thing against paying money in exchange for being humiliated in public (apparently I make an exception for Zumba)!
  6. Lavish holiday giftsWe do a couple birthday gifts, and at Christmas last year the kids got four gifts ("Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read"). 
  7. Name brand tortilla chips
    Kroger brand all the way!  A dollar a bag.  That is at least a 50% savings from the name brand.

At Money Saving Mom people were commenting that they don't buy paper towels, bread, home phone service, etc.  What are some things that you don't buy?

*come by next Monday for 7 things we DO buy!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Matthew 28:6 "He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay."

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life."

I guess youtube gives me the code to embed the video but then won't actually let it play here.  You can click through though, it is Casting Crowns singing "Oh Glorious Day" of my favorites and certainly appropriate for today!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sleep Sweetly Giveaway WINNER

RESERVED for ZUCCHINI SUMMER Burp Cloths Cudley Soft White and Black Damask with Red Fleece Backing, Baby Shower Gift for a Girl
Winner Winner! helped me pick a number and the winner of our giveaway from Sleep Sweetly is......  #37, "The Knapps"

An email is on its way.  Congrats!

A big thank you to Lizz from Sleep Sweetly for sponsoring the giveaway and sharing her handmade baby items with us!  

RESERVED for ZUCCHINI SUMMER Wooby Security Blanket White and Black Damask Wooby  for a Baby Girl

The 1 Thing You Are Doing That Makes Me Leave Your Blog

As a blog reader, I'm pretty tolerant really.  
But there is one thing that turns me off from a blog SO fast.

Do you want to know what it is?  Maybe it is the same thing that makes you click away?

When I click over to a blog and am greeted with:
  • a popup that wants me to email subscribe.  You have to physically X out of the pop up box to see the blog.  When I really like a blog, I will look around and find a way to subscribe.  A pop up as my very first taste of your blog?  I'm probably not going to subscribe now. I'll X out of it, read the post I was there to read and be on my merry way.
  • the scrolly thing along one side of your blog with all your facebook/pinterest/twitter links on it.  I scroll down, it scrolls down.  I scroll to read more, it moves too and it ends up covering up part of your text or photos.  Drives. me. batty.

Is it just me or are either of those things super annoying?  I know the blog title said "1 thing" but they are so similar I count them as the same category.

Other blog pet peeves that you think are worse than this?

Monday, April 2, 2012

3 Ingredient Punch

You know me, your resident lazy cook.  I love stuff with FEW ingredients and this recipe fits the bill!

When my husband was recently in charge of buying juice for our little guy, he didn't get apple juice like I usually do.  He got Juicy Juice Fruit Punch (still 100% juice, just a blend).  It was really good.

With the little guy's 2nd birthday coming up, I was in need of a recipe for punch....nothing too "red" that will stain all of our teeth (yeah, you know what I'm talking about!), nothing with 30 ingredients, and something that we'd actually allow the birthday boy to drink.

I found this recipe on the Juicy Juice website.

Mix together:
1 bottle Juicy Juice Fruit Punch
1 can lemonade concentrate (slightly thawed)
2 cans Sprite or 7-Up.


That is it!  We tried it and it is really good!  Sweet, but not too sweet.  Bubbly with the soda, but not too bubbly.  I'll be making a double or triple batch of it for the birthday party next month!  If you try it, let me know how you like it!

Shared at Making A Home Linky Party