All I Want For Christmas Is………..

A few weeks ago I wrote about a super iPhone App, the FabricConverter , which easily figures the amount of fabric you need if you spot something that’s not listed on your pattern package.  Now because I don’t have an iphone, I had my daughter go with me on a little fabric shopping spree, and I’m here to tell you, with her iphone in hand she saved me a TON of money because the fabric converter app told me instantly how much fabric I needed in the various widths for the projects I wanted to get fabric for.

Now then, the greatest iphone app of all is available –iSewingRoom, which will allow me (or YOU) to take pictures of and record my fabric stash, the patterns I will be using as well as let me record the projects I’m working on and even do up a list of what I need when I head to the fabric store.  But I don’t have an iphone, and I certainly can’t do all my fabric stash, etc on my daughter’s iphone.

I REALLY need an iphone for Christmas!  Please Santa, please, please, please — I’ve been good this year! (Oh my, am I sounding like my grandchildren here???).  And, Santa, just remember, this is something I can use every day – not something just to lay around, so if you don’t mind, please exchange my lumps of coal for a nice iphone.

Rosinton “Kindermice” Float Gets First Place In Parade

As many of you know, my 5 year old quadruplet grandchildren (can’t call them grandbabies anymore!) are in Pre-K this year.  Their birthday is in October, so obviously missed the Sept. 1 cut off for kindergarten.  They love school and simply adore their teacher, Mrs. Roland.  The pre-K kids are called Kindermice, and at various times during the year they have an opportunity to wear little “mice” hats with ears and get their faces painted to look like mice.

This year Mrs. Roland decided the kindermice needed to have a float for the annual Christmas parade.  One of the parents let them borrow a trailer that they could decorate.  Several of the mothers pooled ideas and ended up with making little santa hats with “mice” ears for the kids to wear, and made the float into a large mouse.  It was just sooooo cool!  The kids (kindermice) LOVED being on the float, and Mrs. Roland had them practice how they should stand to throw the candy to the bystanders — NEVER lean “over” the side to throw – you have to stay standing up inside.  I snapped a couple of pictures – one in the parking lot before the parade started, and another as the float went by — here you go -  the first one has Jacob in front just in case somebody needed him.

 

The second picture had to be taken quickly because Jacob and I were busy picking up necklaces, stuffed animals and candy so we’d be sure to have enough to share with “the kids” since they weren’t able to pick anything up.

Isn’t this just a neat float!  No wonder it got first place!

Best Office Depot Trip Ever! $193.96 for $69.54!

Just had my greatest Office Depot shopping trip yesterday – wish I could duplicate trips like this!  Check out what I got……$193.96 in products for $69.54.

ONLY 4 items you say — and how could that be such a great trip????   Well, if any of you own an HP laser jet printer, you know the toner cartridges are NOT cheap.  As a matter of fact, the black one on top sells for $93.99 and the blue on the bottom costs $83.99.  Each of the 6-pack tape packages costs $7.99.

Here’s what I took in with me — an Office Depot worklife rewards gift card for $94.91, a $20/$100 coupon and a $15/$75 coupon.   SOOOOOO,  I had to check out twice in order to use both of my coupons.  When I put the black toner cartridge ($93.99) with the two tape packages (were on sale 2/$10.00), I went over $100 so could use the $20 coupon.  With tax included, my total was $90.29 – so I handed them my worklife rewards gift card which made this  first order come to a total of $0.00, with $4.62 left on my rewards card.

My SECOND check out order was the blue toner ($83.99), so I was able to give them my $15/$75 coupon, and used the remainder of my rewards card, so the total of this bill, including tax was $69.54.

The next best part is that when you buy toner/ink at Office Depot and use the rewards card number you get 10% back, so I’m accumulating some more money for the next quarter’s rewards total.

Well, I’m not nearly as good as the “coupon queen” – my daughter over at ShopperStrategy.com,  but she’ll be proud of my savings!

I Was On A “Deal” Shopping Mission Today!

There is no way in the world I’d get out in the Black Friday crowds, however there were a couple of places I really wanted to get some deal goodies!   Sooooo, today I talked my husband into going to Walgreens and Winn Dixie, where we scored some great savings!  Here is a picture of my Walgreen’s trip — WHOOHOOO!

Walgreen’s had 64 oz bottles of Mott’s apple juice 2/$3.00, making it $3.00 for a gallon, which is even cheaper than at the Commissary.  There was a limit of 4, so I got 4.  THEN, the biggest deal of all was their AA or AAA 4-pack batteries “Buy 1 get THREE free” — with Christmas coming up soon and 5 little ones under the age of 6 — you just know I HAD to get two sets of this deal.  I actually ended up with a bill of $14.58 for all this stuff, and after giving the cashier two $5 Register Rewards, my total bill was $4.58.  The register receipt listed $42.30 as my total savings — guess that’s about 90% savings!!!  Should have gone back in a second time for an identical order, but they only had 2 apple juice’s left and 3 packs of the AA batteries.  Oh well, the deal I got was SUPER for me!

Surprise Your Young Ones With Crinkle Toys!

When our now 5 year old quadruplet grandbabies were much younger, I made DOZENS of crinkle toys for them.  Small children simply LOVE to play with things that crinkle, jingle or make any kind of noises.

I’ve put together a pattern  package of the 10 most popular crinkle toys  I’ve made for the grandchildren AND I’ve included enough crinkle material to make all 10 toys plus extra.  Here’s a picture of three of the toys:

These toys were co-ordinating fabrics from my older grandson’s bedroom — then when the quads were born we used every kind of scrap fabric we could find so everybody could have toys.  We put crinkle material in all of them, but some also had a little bell stuck inside with the quilt batting so it would jingle AND crinkle.

You can read more about the crinkle toys patterns and the crinkle material at SewWithSarah.com .  This is a wonderful way to use up some of your scraps AND make some children very happy.

If you’d like to give the pattern as a gift to someone who sews AND you’d like one for yourself — if you order by December 10, we’ll give you the second pattern FREE – you just pay the shipping for the second pattern.  Give us a call at 1-800-883-2348 and we’ll take your order.

Some Little Engineers Live Here!

I’m really AMAZED at how “busy” our little 5 year old quadruplet grandchildren and their big 6 year old brother want to be!  They LOVE to help and BEG to do stuff for us.  Yesterday when the quads were sleeping Jacob, the 6 year old, pestered me to death about wanting to wash dishes.  Well, I figure the younger you let kids help with things, the sooner they’ll actually be able to do stuff on their own.  So I put the breakables into the dish washer and left him with the non-breakable glasses, cereal bowls, some silverware, etc.  He’ll wash and wash then rinse them for the dish drainer.  He has never yet quit in the middle of doing the dishes I’ve set aside for him.

Another thing these kids do is IF they start something before bedtime, they want it left alone so they can “work” on it again in the morning.  They’ll wake up, half stumble into the living room then head right to the place where their “work” is so they can get started again.  We have a variety of blocks for them – some cardboard brick looking blocks, other medium size blocks and some that are very tiny that they build with.  Check out this picture of what Jacob and Brandon built — also check out the jammies they still have on – no time to change before starting to work!

These guys can get pretty creative with their building projects, so I really believe we do have some little engineers here!

Need A Little Help Selecting The PERFCT Gift?

Boy Howdy – Christmas is right around the corner!  I just can’t believe the year has gone by sooooo FAST!  My daughter starts early in the year and when she finds things that would be suitable for certain people she picks them up, and many times gets great deals on them.  This year I wish I’d been like her — now I’m certainly NOT a procrastinator, but……….. with Christmas coming along so quickly, I realized I’d better be getting in gear and finding some things!

Denise has put together a super awesome list of Christmas gift ideas over at her ShopperStrategy  blog and I’m here to tell you I’m going to be putting that list to good use!  She has gift ideas for nearly every person you’d be getting a gift for —- here’s the direct link to the Holiday Wish List   page – the gift ideas she’s put together is great.

She has spent a great deal of time – nearly two weeks putting together “just the right things” for the Holiday Wish List, so if you need a little help deciding what to get for some of your family / friends / co-workers, check out the list and see what all you can come up with.

Awesome Weekly Special At Winn Dixie

I really like shopping at Winn Dixie — they have my husband’s favorite baked beans (best in the world he says), and I like the great deals that they have.  This week they had a special deal where you could buy an 18 roll pack of Charmin toilet tissue and get for free —3 bar pkg zest hand soap, Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, box of Winn Dixie facial tissues, and a canister of clorox disinfecting wipes for $12.99 and have a savings of $9.66.  WELL, with other sale items and BOGO’s I actually got $86.69 worth of products for $49.29, a savings of $37.40 or 43%.  Check out my haul:

Winn Dixie brand of peas, green beans & corn were all 50 cents/can, Ajax laundry soap was B1Get 2 free – so $6.99 got me 3 bottles of laundry detergent.  Head lettuce was BOGO, and tomatoes were on sale as well.

A few weeks ago there was a segment on HLN news regarding the “store” brand  of items such as canned vegetables, waxed paper, aluminum foil, etc — the bottom line was that many of the “store” brands are made in the same factories as the NAME brands, just that today’s run is “Name” brand, tomorrow’s run is “store” brand, etc.  That tells me that those store brand peas & other veggies are exactly the same as the expensive name brands.

Actually, while we were in the military and stationed in Taiwan, we visited a pants factory, and what I just was talking about was true there!  The day we were there, the factory was making pants for a high class expensive brand of pants and the day before had made pants for one of the discount clothing stores (SAME exact pants just different labels for different days).

With as many mouths as we have to feed, wash clothes for, and BUY toilet tissue for, these savings were awesome!!  If you have a Winn Dixie anywhere close by I’d recommend you grab one of their sales flyers and do some shopping there.

Statistics Show Our Nation’s Children Becoming More Obese

For the past few days I’ve seen several television news stations talking about McDonald’s major marketing dollars intended for our CHILDREN!  They’re asking whether or not McDonald’s should be going after the young children — toddlers to boot – with their advertising campaigns, trying to lure the kids into their stores.   They’re saying that with the hundreds of “choices” of childrens meals, only 12 are even close to being healthy, which is helping our nation’s children get heavier and heavier.

To tell you the truth, I’m on the side of several of those who called into the shows saying “the kids aren’t getting to McDonald’s on their own – who’s taking them?”  PARENTS!  And what’s up with parents who apparently are taking those children to McDonalds for FRENCH FRIES, greasy burgers, etc several times a week.  One lady called in with the comment that children are getting sugar cereal for breakfast, minimal healthy food at lunch at school, then parents take them to fast food restaurants for supper — and we wonder why they’re getting fat!

Our daughter with the 5 year old quadruplets and 6 year old son COOK every evening meal.  She is owner of ShopperStrategy , a blog with shopping deals and giveaways as well as information about freezer cooking, and every Monday she gives out her menu plan for the week — EVERY meal being cooked at home!  About twice a month, as we take the 6 year old home from spending the weekend with us, we’ll stop at McDonalds and get supper for them.  I figure a couple times a month on the chicken nuggets and a few french fries, along with juice to drink won’t kill them, but I’m apalled at those parents who spend the big dollars on fast food several nights or every night of the week.  Denise’s kids LOVE fruits, veggies and will BEG for cantalope or grapes or bananas (cut up in a bowl is their latest craze), and only ONE of the kids will even eat candy at all — the little candy eater is the chocoholic (like her mother and grandmother), but the others won’t even take any kind of candy if it’s offered to them.  Or, if they take it, they’ll take a lick and lay it down.  These kids also drink milk, juice or water – they never have tea or sodas of any kind.

Well, I’ll get off my soap box now, but I can definitely see why more and more aunts, grandmothers and mothers are checking out and buying our PlusSizeChildren’s patterns and pattern making classes  because there just aren’t clothing garments or patterns in the large sizes that these children require.  If you have overweight children in your family, check out the patterns and classes and at least help these kids look nice with clothing that actually fits them.

Great Deals At Publix This Week

I’m normally a Commissary shopper since my husband is retired Air Force, however there are times when the local grocery stores have offers that can’t be beat.

This week it’s Publix with the super savings and coupons!  I just LOVE using their Green and Yellow Advantage coupon booklets for coupons that can be used with sale items.  The current yellow advantage booklet has a $2.00 coupon on any Contessa MicroSteam or On The Stove Meal – AND their weekly ad has these same Contessa meals BOGO!  

I got $42.48 worth of groceries for $17.12 for a savings of 60%.

  Here’s my picture and the details of todays haul:

As you can see we’re doubled up on the Contessa meals because my husband graciously agreed to come in with me and check out with part of my order.

Contessa Meals, reg. $7.99 are BOGO, then we each used two of the $2/1 coupons, making the final cost $2.00 per meal bag.
The Spam was on sale 2/$4.00, which is cheaper than the Commissary has right now
Mustard was regular price
One gallon of fat free milk at Publix is $3.25, which is an awesome price compared to the other grocery stores.

We had one of the Contessa meals for supper tonight and it was DELICIOUS — and we actually had some left over.  My daughter said it’s too bad it didn’t come with bread and a waiter!  Can’t have everything I guess.