Friday, April 1, 2011

My first product recommendation!

I think it's safe to say that I'm not into trends. Probie doesn't have a rock and play, a sophie teether, a jumperoo (although I think that's coming), a baby crack machine or a glow seahorse (to name a few). You sure as heck couldn't catch me sucking the snot out of his nose with one of those nosefrida things. So when people said "You have to try one of these drooler bibs!" I honestly rolled my eyes.

So it's no secret, Probie is a major drooler and a major happy spitter. Due to this fact, I found myself constantly doing laundry trying to keep him in clean onesies, sleepers and bibs. He would seriously go through about 3 bibs (minimum) and 2 outfits a day and would still be wet. His little chin/chest was starting to chafe, despite my best efforts keeping him dry.

Finally, after hearing about it over and over and over again, I thought "I've gotta check them out".
First of all, the fabric gallery is amazing. Picking just three?!? Nearly impossible. I was only going to start with three because honestly, at the price, I didn't want to get burned. They said it was awesome, but :shrugs:. So I picked three and got my order in just in time. She opens the shop with a set number available and when they are gone, she closes again. When gets the orders done and shipped, she re-opens and it starts all over.

I knew they were arriving yesterday and I was so freaking excited. They were in my mailbox and before Probie even registered we were home again, I had ripped open the package, awwed at their cuteness and slapped it on him. How freaking cute!
Night Owls, Blue Whales and Play Dot

However, today was the real challenge...his first full day in his bib. I can say, after being in his Night Owls bibs for one full day, he stayed dry and clean all stinking day!

I'm sold. I'm also anxiously awaiting the arrival of the store to open again....I mean, 12 bibs aren't excessive---are they? :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring is almost here!

Today, I opened the windows in our place.
Thirty minutes later, I shut them because I was freezing.
I suppose thirty minutes of fresh air is better than none?

I can't wait for 70 degree days!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Couponing Craziness

I just wanted to take a moment to let you all know that you're missing out on some fantastic deals when it comes to couponing.

First things first, the common reasons why people don't coupon.
1) "The things I buy never go on sale!"
2) "It takes too long to cut them all out"
3) "Generic is still cheaper, even when you use coupons"
4) "I get so confused by all of this couponing stuff"
5) "I can never find coupons"

Before I defend couponing against these common complaints, I'm going to start off with the fact that in order to be a successful couponista, it usually takes a month before you start seeing real consistent improvements. The keys are flexibility and dedication.

Here's my answers to the complaints:
1) You have to be willing to change your mindset. Don't go in with a list and then looking for coupons/sales. You have to look at what's on sale and make your list from that. Once you've got a successful stockpile started, you'll find that your menu planning gets a little easier.

2) It does take a little time to cut, sort and store. However, when you figure that you can successfully save $10 (easily) or $100 (a little more planning) you're paying yourself to work. Even if it takes you an hour (which it rarely does) and you *only* save $10, you're paying yourself $10/hr. You can make weekly coupon dates with a friend/spouse or even just watch some tv while you do this to make the time go faster. Bonus on working with a friend, you can trade coupons that don't need for ones you do--and you can plan your shopping trips, taking advantage of buy one get one free sales.

3)If you're going in buying things off your list and finding coupons for items on your list, you're right, generic probably is cheaper. However, the key is finding the coupons to match the items on sale and stocking up when it is free/cheap (even if you don't need it right that second). For example, over the course of the week, I ended up with 5 *FREE* boxes of pediacare infant fever drops. One for me, a couple for various other pregnant/new mom friends and a couple for donation to a food bank! The only thing better than free is when they pay you to take an item out of the store and that's possible (but rare) too!

4) You're not alone, I get confused too. However, there are TONS of coupon and sale blogs out there on the internet if you go looking for them. Some of my favorites?

Most of these blogs have Facebook pages and newsfeeds and regularly post deals and coupon links there as well. They almost all have more in detail couponing hints/tips/tricks and more store-specific information as well.

5) Finding coupons is as easy as finding the blogs I mentioned previously. The Sunday paper has coupons, most store websites have coupons (Target, Meijer, Kroger, Walgreens), websites (,, and company specific websites ( The nice part about the blogs is that when they have a specific deal involving an internet-based coupon, they'll give you the link to the coupon. Most of the coupon sites require downloading a printer service, which are free and easy to download.

There's a wealth of opportunities out there if you're willing to do a little initial legwork. Once you get started, you'll find the deals just popping out at you! I'm going to try to keep up and share some of the great deals as I find them.

Your first great deal? Walgreens has Irish Spring deodorant on sale for 2/$6. When you buy 2, you get a $4 register reward (basically a coupon worth $4 that you can use on another order at walgreens). If you have 2, $1 off 1 items, you're saving $2 in coupons, paying $4 out of pocket and getting a coupon for $4 off a future transaction. So you're walking out of there with two Irish Spring deoderants for free (in a sense). The trick with Walgreens Register rewards is remembering to use them before they expire. This is why I usually separate my register reward earning items and my non-register reward earning items into two transactions. Then I can turn around and use them to pay for my other items. Personally I think walgreens is the trickiest couponing to understand, so for more information, you can check out:

Happy Savings!

Abc's of me

Here’s a little alphabet of me!
A. Age: 27

B. Bed size: Queen

C. Chore you hate: Dishes

D. Dogs: None, sadly. We do, however, have two fish: Gibbs and Dinozzo. We used to have a third, abby---and the other two ate her.

E. Essential start to your day: Facebook Newsfeed

F. Favorite color: Dark red

G. Gold or silver: Silver

H. Height: 5’7

I. Instruments you play: None lately, but I used to be first chair clarinet and used to play piano.

J. Job title: Teacher

K. Kids: 1, Probie, almost 4 months old

L. Live: Indiana

M. Mom’s name: Kikie

N. Nicknames: Ballsy, Boo, Mandie, Muhmanduh (a three year olds butchering of my name)

O. Overnight hospital stays: When I was little and broke my arm and in November when they gutted me like a fish to get Probie out.

P. Pet peeve: Being lied to. I always tell people "Lying to me is just your way of saying I'm either too stupid to figure out the truth or too immature to handle it"

Q. Quote from a movie: "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore"

R. Right or left handed: Right

S. Siblings: Just one, Wes

T. Time you wake up: 5:30am-ish

U. Underwear: plain old mom undies

V. Vegetables you dislike: Mushrooms, Zucchini

W. What makes you run late: My inability to motivate myself to get ready

X. X-Rays you’ve had: Um, 3 that I remember.

Y. Yummy food you make: Loads

Z. Zoo: Ok, I don't get this one. Do I live in a zoo? Do I like a zoo? Have I been to a zoo?

One of my favorite pictures of Chef and Probie

Well, here we go again

So I have a horrible habit of starting new blogs, writing pretty steadily for about a month or so and then I get distracted by something shiny. Hopefully this doesn't happen here. However, as a result, the blog will probably end up pretty random.

I'll start off with a little intro---I'm Mandie. I married the mister, who I'll refer to as Chef, in October of 2006. We began ttc that December and after 3 years, one miscarriage and a double IF diagnosis of PCOS and MFI, we welcomed Probie into our crazy life.

I work full-time teaching preschool and in my "free time" I enjoy travelling and photography among other assorted hobbies. I'm pretty much making up this mom thing as I go along and I've discovered anyone that tells you they aren't, is delusional. My latest thing is delving back into the world of couponing and shopping more frugally.

I might occasionally repost things I find online if I agree with it or think you might enjoy it. I might occasionally post things that will make you laugh or enrage you. I might occasionally bore you.

However, I will always be honest, on this you have my word.