Archive for March, 2010

I have to say J and I make a pretty good team when it comes to parenting S. He’s not afraid to get right in there with the “dirty” work (changing diapers, boogies, etc.) and pretty much has established the “bath-giver” role (gives mommy a chance to get in a Shred workout!). When it comes to bedtime, I’ve usually got that covered with the teethbrushing and storytime before bed. J’s great about being patient with S in her learning new things and always takes the time to practice new words with her. I love that about him. He’s a great father to S and she and I are both very lucky ladies. Another thing I love about him is that he doesn’t shy away from the “girly” things related to having a daughter. Take, for example, this weekend morning when J got S dressed. She came downstairs looking like this…

with her hair all pulled back in two little pig tails. Courtesy Dadda.

It’s not a style I would normally attempt because I love to see her bouncy curls, but I was impressed that J took it upon himself to part her hair and style it so cute!

I can’t wait to see if this trend continues once S starts getting into nail polish and make-up!

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Fun-Filled Afternoon

S and I enjoyed some mommy/daughter time this afternoon. I picked her up early from daycare (actually had to wake her up mid-nap) because she had her ear tube re-check appointment. Her hearing was evaluated and she passed with flying colors. She also impressed the audiologists with her talking and counting skills. The doctor checked her tubes and everything looks fine, her bright blue tubes are still there and hopefully preventing her from any more nasty ear infections. Since her tubes, she hasn’t had any more ear infections…just a sinus infection, so they seem to be doing their job.

After her appointment I decided to take advantage of the sunny afternoon and headed to the trail so S could run around for a bit. She enjoyed picking up rocks and being chased by mommy down the path. We met a doggy going for a walk in his own stroller and S seemed surprised that there was a dog in a stroller. She walked right up to the screen and tried to touch the little dog inside. 🙂

After enjoying the outdoors, we headed to Target for some shopping. I had some deals to hunt down and I also wanted to pick up a big ball for S to play with. With our new purchases in tow, we headed home and S got to try out her new ball on the deck before dinner time.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

It was nice to spend the afternoon with just S and me. Made me think about what summer will be like when I can be home with her all the time. I’m already planning on the swimming lessons, the walks on the trail, pooltime in the backyard, days at the park, checking out the zoo, watermelon, popsicles and all kinds of two-year-old summer fun!

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Take a peek at what was waiting for me in my mailbox last week!

Nescafe sampler

Free Family Circle subscription

Leapfrog Tag Jr. book for submitting three proofs of purchase from Stonyfield yogurt. (now just need the Tag Jr!)

Another 3-pack of Pampers Cruisers…love getting these!

Cream of Wheat sample

All Bran sample pack, which included some marigold seeds! Can’t wait to plant these with S!

South Beach bar

2010 Calendar (going to use this to keep track of when deals are ending, when I sent rebates, when I recieved them, etc.)

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J’s birthday is coming up and he’d been saying for awhile how he wanted a new TV for our bedroom. Sadly, we’d been using my ancient TV/VCR combo that I had in college. It was still hanging in there, but the remote had been lost along the way and the screen was, well, tiny.

A few days ago I recieved a coupon for $25 off any purchase of $100 or more at Shopko. I didn’t think much about it until I remembered that Shopko sold televisions! I checked them out online and wouldn’t you know it? Their TVs were all on major sale! The TV we were interested in was $250 off the regular price. Combine that with my coupon and we saved $275 on a brand-spankin’ new TV!  Whoo hoo! So, J got his present a little early, but I couldn’t pass up an awesome deal like that. The best part is that I get to enjoy HIS gift, too! 😉


Saved $31.00 on C-dog’s Frontline Plus medication. My vet was going to charge a lot more, but I ordered online and saved $26 that way. I also looked up a coupon code to get $5 extra off. Free shipping on all pet meds at http://www.drsfostersmith.com/. This should even out the cost of his special dog shampoo that I had to order yesterday and spend an outrageous $15 in shipping to get it here!

Target Trip. I saved $13.00 in coupons. I got some free Starkist tuna pouches (priced at $0.97) and I had two $1.00 off coupons. These were on the register endcaps. I also picked up the $0.50 beach towel from the $ spot. It will come in handy for S’s swimming lessons this summer and pooltime in the backyard! I was irritated that one of my high-value coupons didn’t get scanned for the Lysol Healthy Touch soap dispenser. I was willing to try it out for about $4.00, but my $5.00 coupon didn’t get scanned by the clerk, so I ended up paying $9.00 for it. I didn’t notice until I was out in the car and had S all strapped in, so I wasn’t about to haul her back in. I’ll just return it on a future shopping trip. I also found some Pampers Cruisers diapers on clearance in the baby section on an endcap. I saved $5.00 on a package of diapers combined with the clearance price and my coupon. They only had size 6 left. I’ll stash them away in S’s closet.

I also scored a free uddercover at uddercovers.com. If you enter code “babiesonline” you will receive a free uddercover (a $32 value!). I only paid $9.50 in shipping! I wish I would have had one of these with S, so hopefully it will come in handy with baby #2 someday…or I might save this for a shower gift. I don’t know how long this promo will last, so be sure to snag one while you can!


I scored some awesome deals at Copp’s tonight. Wednesdays are double coupon days, and I saved $13.75 in coupons! My favorite part about this trip was getting McCormick Vanilla and Snuggle fabric softner for FREE! I only spent $1.81 for everything in this picture:

The Crystal Light was only $0.25 and the Campbell’s Healthy Request soup was $0.39 a can!  (*note* I could have gotten better deals on these soups by not buying the Healthy Request kind, but I like to use the HR when cooking because they are much lower in fat, cals and sodium. I still think I got a great deal on these!) I’m so getting into double coupon days. This was only my second Wednesday trying this out, but so far, so good! CATALINA ALERT! I purchased two McCormick vanillas and I got a $1.50 catalina good on my next grocery purchase. 🙂

Another cool thing I tried this shopping trip was printing out a shopping list from the Copp’s website. I was able to go through the flier online, select what I wanted and print off my shopping list, complete with sale prices listed! It was so easy and saved me a ton of time since I didn’t have to write out my list by hand! Check to see if your grocery store has this feature. It is a great time-saver.


Wags Trip. I saved $14.50 in coupons. I got all the items in the photo for $6.81.

The Halls cough drops were all FREE (combined Wags Q and 3 Manuf. coupons). Four Swanson Chicken Broths were $0.59 a can. Three Desitin were $2.00 each (they were on sale for $3.00 ea and I had a $3.00 off 3 coupon). I also used $3.00 in Register Rewards on this transaction.


I was all over the place on Friday…let’s see if I can recall my savings.

Saved $3.00 at Hobby Lobby w/ %40 off one item coupon.

Saved $2.00 in gas.

Saved $3.50 BRU on diapers and got a $15 gift card.

Saved 3.50 on drycleaning.

Total Weekly Savings: $109.25

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Need Diapers?


Need some diapers for your little one (or ones!) and want to save $10? Busy and don’t have time to run to the store? Want your diapers delivered FAST and right to your front door?  Check out diapers.com. They have a huge selection of brands (Pampers, Huggies, etc.).

I placed my first order with diapers.com a few weeks ago and was very pleased with their fast service. My order was at my front door two days after I ordered it.

Curious how to save $10 with your first order over $49.00 and get FREE SHIPPING? Go to diapers.com, select your diapers, wipes, etc., and at checkout, enter code CRAI9878 (that’s the letter “I”, not the number 1). Check it out, I’m sure you’ll be as pleased as I was! Happy Diapering!

*Don’t forget to shop through Ebates for 1-4% back!*

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From the week of 3.21.10-3.26.10

Borba Age-Defying Concentrate and catalog

Another U by Kotex sample (this is a new one if you signed up a few weeks ago)

Everlast Energy Bar (choose from three)

Baby Barn baby shampoo and lotion

AgriMarks garden markers

Free Basil Seeds. Sign up for their newsletter and they will send you an address to send in a stamped envelope to recieve three types of basil seeds (Variety package includes 3 garden size packets: 1 each of Classic Genovese, Dark Purple Opal, and Lemon Basil.)

Gourmet Dog Treats

Sign up at the Skintimate site to possibly receive free things. No idea what they might be, but it’s worth a shot.

Pearlabella anti-aging pearls

Olay Body Wash

FREE Special K Protein Meal bar (you will need to register)

CPR Granite, Carpet or Leather cleaner (choose one)

Facebook Freebies:

Want some free gum? click on this link and the “see if you’re chosen” link on the left side. It will connect to your FB page and do something kind of cool!

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J and I got some time by ourselves last Saturday evening and went out to dinner at Muramoto in Madison. I was impressed from the moment we walked in the door at how packed this place was. It was hoppin’! Housed in the former Cocoliquot restaurant on King Street, Muramoto didn’t need to change much to fit right in with the minimalist decor.

Our meals started with cocktails (as any self-respecting meal should, right?). I had a yummy Japanese version of one of my favorite drinks (cosmo), a  “Shochu Pom” (Shochu, pomegranate, fresh lime) and J tried some saki. (am I the only one who feels the need to say “saki-it to me babe” in an Austin Powers accent every time they hear the word “saki”?)

We decided on two rolls. The Duck (duck, mango, avocado, duck soy redux) and the Deadly Catch (tempura king crab, red tobikko, wasabi mayo).  They sounded good to us and as our waitress said, “how can you go wrong with king crab?” These two actually complimented each other nicely. The duck was sweeter with the mango and the deadly catch was a little more “fishy”, but oh-so-good.

Honestly, these two rolls filled us up and we didn’t feel the need to order anything else. (plus we had plans to get free dessert at Culver’s with the hockey tickets that J got from going to the game last weekend). I was already on my second Sochu Pom and J had ordered another drink as well, so we just decided to sip on those and call it a night. We’re not sure if this fact deflated our perky, outgoing waitress or if she just got really busy with tables, but she barely said boo when she passed us our check. So much for perfect service…

This is a truly great sushi restaurant, as evidenced by the crowded tables and bustling atmosphere. Our rolls were wonderful, full of flavor. I’m sure other items on the menu are just as delicious.  If you just want to pop in for a lunch-time bite, there are seats along the sushi bar, too. I would highly recommend checking out Muramoto if you are a sushi fan, just be sure to make reservations. 

I would give Muramoto 4 out of 5 wine bottles (or should I say saki bottles??)

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I’m proud to admit that this recipe is entirely my own (ok, so I copied the basic caprese ingredients, but considering how I follow recipes for pretty much ALL the cooking I do, I’m taking the creative credit where I can). I’m always at a loss as to what to make for our lunches for the week (I do weekly cooking…usually on Sunday). By the time I plan the dinners, I run out of steam for the lunches. I’m reserving this one for those weeks when I rack my brain for lunch ideas and come up with nothing (so I’ll probably be eating this a lot…that’s ok, it’s so good!). How can you go wrong with basil, mozzarella and olive oil?  Another thing I love about this recipe is that it gives me a chance to use my Oilerie balsamic and garlic olive oil I talked about HERE.


1 box of pasta. I used Smart Taste Rotini pasta, but use whatever you like.

1 package of grape tomatoes (washed)

1 large bunch of FRESH basil (no dried herbs allowed in this dish!)

1 container of Mozzarella pearls

olive oil (like the kind you would lick off your finger…a quality oil)

balsamic vinegar

salt, pepper


Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, wash tomatoes and dump in large mixing bowl. Drain mozzarella pearls and add to tomatoes. Slice basil into thin strips (you know, “chiffonade” for all you Frenchy-types) and add to bowl. After draining pasta, rinse in cool water. Add cooled pasta to bowl. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic over pasta to your taste (I just eyeballed it, so I can’t really say how much I used. Use enough for a light coating over the pasta.) Add salt to taste and fresh cracked pepper. Toss everything together. I portioned mine into small containers for easy grab-and-go when I’m packing lunches in the morning. Enjoy!

This recipe  yields about 6 individual servings.

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Being under the weather (and sick of the weather…and quite possibly sick FROM the weather…), I didn’t do a good job of posting about my savings last week, so I’ll try to do better this week.


Wags trip. I was excited to get Oscar Mayer bacon for $1.50 per package. I also picked up some Olay Moisturizer and free shower moisturizer (wags promo) to qualify for the Olay Rebate. I also did the SC Johnson $5 rebate when I bought Windex and Fantastic cleaner. The Planters Trail Mixes were FREE. Clorox wipes were $2.50. The pencils were my filler items (check the clearance end-caps for cheap fillers…those pencils were $0.12 each!) I saved $19.75 in paper coupons.

Stopped at Cousins subs on the way home and saved $2.00.


Saved $3.60 on gas. One more punch for a free Brewers ticket! I haven’t won anything yet with the “alittlebettergame.com” promotion, only collected quite a few game pieces.


Free Pastry Day at Starbucks! I was going to check how much my low-fat banana chocolate chip coffee cake was, but I forgot. I was expecting to see a huge line when I arrived, but it didn’t pick up until after I was already in line (thank goodness because I was running a bit late).

Saved $9.75 on drycleaning.


Needed a few extra groceries, so I decided to try  my hand at my grocery store’s double coupon Wednesdays. It was my first time trying it and I can’t wait to start shopping on Wednesdays in the summer (right now it just doesn’t work with my schedule to do my big shopping on Wednesday). When my total is over $25, I can double up to 5 coupons (valued at $1.00 or less). I only used coupons on what was already on sale and all my coupon values were $1.00 to make the most of this deal. I got some olive oil for $4.00, crackers for $0.54 a box and two bags of coffee for $5.00 each. I saved $18.00 in paper coupons.


Yeah! I’m so excited about my savings from today! I went to BRU this afternoon and scored 4 Baby Einstein DVDs for only $5.00!!!! Yes, you read that right. Today and tomorrow all DVDs at BRU are BOGO Free. I had 4 $5.00 off Baby Einstein DVD coupons and I used my $5.00 gift card I got for becoming a fan of BRU on Facebook. These DVDs sell for $14.99 normally, so what would have cost me $60, I got for five bucks! Can’t beat savings like that! I’ll probably throw one in S’s Easter basket and save one for her Christmas stocking. The others I might save for  baby shower gifts. 🙂


Saved $9.00 in paper coupons grocery shopping.

Saved $4.00 filling up the gas tank. Finally got enough card punches to get a free Brewers ticket. Now just one more so J and I can BOTH go!

Saved $6.00 on a car wash using a Bucky Book coupon.

Total Weekly Savings: $127.00

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My mail-call from last week. Not a ton of stuff, but I was happy to see the full size sample of Pantene shampoo.

BumBoosa Baby Wipes

Post-It durable tabs

Another Yogi tea sample (I love throwing these in my desk at work!)

full size Pantene shampoo sample and a few coupons

not sure why I got TWO Burt’s Bees toothpaste samples, but I’m not complaining!

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