Friday, January 30, 2009

Reminder FAIL

Yes, this arrived in our mailbox last week.

For more funny moments, check out the original FAIL blog.

P.S. I made it an official fail!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CARES Team Event Planning 101

  • You can never have too much food. We discovered this the hard way when 70+ people showed up to get their picture taken with Santa last December.

  • Always bring your camera with you, everywhere, even to the most mundane events. And make sure your batteries are charged or that you have spares!

    Case in point: Last Thursday morning, Jacob and I arrived at the office to bake cookies. (We hand them out to the kids after school every Thursday.) As we were getting out of the car, we noticed the lake was still mostly frozen over, as it had been for days. The fountain was on, so there was a circle of unfrozen water in the middle of the lake. We also noticed the ducks had returned, but were quite confused by their lack of swimming area. We saw two ducks attempt to WALK ON THE ICE to get to the patch of unfrozen water. Hilarity ensued. It was a shame that the ice melted before we came back that afternoon, camera ready.

  • Utilize Facebook to network with possible vendors. I've already gotten two promising responses to my late-night last-minute request for a local jazz band, and both are WAY more affordable than the one I originally contacted.

  • Google Calendar! I couldn't live without it, color-coded events and all. The ability to move events around from day to day and hour to hour with a click of the mouse keeps me somewhat sane. However, my lack of a mobile device or laptop means I have to take printed copies with me when I go out, which severly limits the whole "interactive" function. Your milage may vary, especially if you have an iPhone or other cool cell with internet capabilities and a touch screen. *sigh*

  • Always, always, have a backup plan. And have MULTIPLE backup hosts if you are expecting a baby within a week of the event date. You know, just in case one gets bronchitis.

  • Monday, January 26, 2009

    How to Stock Up on Diet Mountain Dew

    (This is for Amy. I just saw she requested this in the comments and I wanted to post this quickly since sometimes the stores run out by mid-week! I got mine last Sunday night on last week's deal, which was 4/$12, but with the ECBs* it still works out as way cheaper than grocery store prices!)

    1. Notice the ad in Sunday's paper that says Pepsi product 12-packs are on sale at 3/$10 AND that you get $10 ECBs back if you buy $20 worth of Pepsi products. (You are welcome to buy other Pepsi products to complete the deal--check the ad. I'm just explaining how I took the opportunity to stock up on Gaines' favorite soda before the baby arrives!)

    2. Acquire a CVS ECB rewards card (this is free!) if you don't already have one.

    3. Call you local CVS and make sure they have enough 12-pack boxes of your favorite Pepsi product this week. In our case, it is Diet Mountain Dew. And yes, I called ahead last Sunday night before I made the trip because not all CVS stores carry my husband's favorite beverage, especially when they have a big sale!

    4. Buy $20 worth of Pepsi 12-packs. In this case, that would be 6. That means you paid $20 for 6 sodas at a price of $3.33 per box, which is a good deal in itself. But...

    5. If you have a CVS card, when you make your purchase you should get $10 ECBs on your receipt. Wow! You can then use those ECBs to buy anything else in the store, even more sodas...

    6. To make the most of this deal, make another purchase and buy 3 more 12-packs of your favorite beverage with your $10 ECBs! You will have gotten 9 12-packs of soda for only $20! That's $2.22 per box, which is way better than the $4 "sale" price in the grocery chains!

    7. Just so you know, last week I bought 8 boxes of Diet Mtn Dew at 4/$12, and I got back $10 ECBs, but I also had a $4 off any purchase of $20 or more coupon I'd gotten in an e-mail from CVS. That means I got 8 cases for only $20, or a price of $2.50 per box! I did not use my $10 ECBs to buy more sodas. (If I had, I would've gotten an even better deal, but I'm hoping 8 will last at least a month in our house!) Gaines said it depends on how much (and when) the new baby sleeps! ;)

    *ECBs = Extra Care Bucks, or money you can only use at CVS. But I can find almost anything I need there, so I love this program!

    Bonus! If you also like Doritos, Tostitos or Lays, keep your receipts! If you buy a qualifying purchase (I think it is 3 cases of soda and 3 bags of chips by the end of January), you can send in your receipts and get $15 worth of coupons from Pepsi/Frito-Lay by mailing in this form.

    (If anyone is curious...using coupons and my $10 ECBs, I picked up a professional haircutting kit for only $10. That's less than the price of ONE haircut. And yes, I do intend to trim my son's hair...I'm just trying to build up the courage AND figure out how to position Jacob in front of the TV in a chair while also keeping the hair cuttings off the carpet. Anyone have any ideas? I tried the bathtub approach, but he is way too wiggly for that!)

    P.S. For more info on the CVS deals this week, I like Money Saving Mom and The Centsible Sawyer.



    Today I have...

  • Gotten up early enough to take a shower without having to resort to sitting Jacob in front of an episode of Curious George. In fact, we haven't had the TV on yet all far. It's an experiment in (my) self-control.

  • Eaten breakfast AND lunch. Some days this is a major accomplishment.

  • Given Jacob a much-needed bath.

  • Organized all of baby's recently washed 0-3 month clothes (as well as blankets, burp cloths, and other necessities), and Jacob's current pajamas and pants, into the 6 dresser drawers in the boys' room (as seen below in photo from last summer).

  • Labeled and organized storage boxes with 12-18 month and 18 month summer clothing that Jacob has outgrown. Now all that's left is acquiring/filling boxes for 6-9, 9-12, and 18-24 month stuff! (Currently these clothes reside in some of those vacuum bags, which are unwieldy for stacking and don't stay compressed. They are better for under-bed storage or blankets, I've discovered.)

  • Heard Jacob sing the "Happy Birthday" song. Twice. We went to a friend's party yesterday and I imagine this has something to do with it!

  • Reserved Jacob's 2nd b-day party at one of those little-kid activity places. It's not my usual frugal DIY party, but I'll have a one-month old. I still want to make his cake, though. We've been to two b-day parties in the last two weeks and discovered that he still will not eat cake. Cookies are okay, but not sugary b-day cake with icing. Perhaps I'll make a carrot cake sans icing for him (or just buy a cookie cake?) and bring a regular cake for the rest of us! ;)

  • Went shopping for party supplies for upcoming CARES events: Super Bowl Party (I'm blessed with 3 backup hosts AND 5-6 volunteers just in case Li'l Brudder arrives early!), something Valentine's themed, beads for Mardi Gras just in case we do something for that, and some green tablecovers for St. Patty's Day.

  • Washed and dried a load of laundy. I'm off to do more! And fold! (And possibly squeeze in a nap!)

    Update: (4:22 p.m.)

  • Spoke with THREE possible vendors for upcoming Aparment Life/CARES events. I'm on a roll today!

  • Published not just one but TWO blog posts for your enjoyment!

  • Saturday, January 24, 2009

    Things I'd Like to Post About Before Baby #2 Arrives

    We've got 12 days until Baby Boy #2's due date and I'm trying to get in as much as possible around the house before his arrival (whenever that may be). I can't promise lots of blogging this year, since we haven't made any substantial posts in 2009 yet, but I appreciate this outlet and want to keep on blogging when I can.

    For all 3 people who read this blog: I have my favorites, of course, but if you make a comment about something you really want us to blog about, I'll try to get to it. And maybe get Gaines to weigh in on some things as well. He should at least post about his bomb-threat scare at work last week. Excitement abounds! ;)

    So, without further adieu, this is my to-do list:

  • Heaven Misplaced Book Review, long overdue

  • "8 Things" (tagged by Courtney)

  • Events/happenings from 2008 that weren't blogged about but were exciting/cool just the same

  • Christmas re-cap??? It's almost the end of January! We'll see...

  • Jennifer & David's Wedding Celebration Weekend

  • About my cousin Mitch

  • Childbirth Class Notice FAIL

  • Comic from last Sunday that an English teacher would appreciate

  • Review of Pullman's "Dark Materials" Trilogy that we both finished during the holidays

  • LOST

  • How I got 8 12-packs of Diet Mtn Dew for $11

  • Ducks on ice (not about hockey...)

  • Jacob and the potty

  • Gaines' grad school grades (mwah hahahahaha!)

  • Thursday, January 01, 2009

    Books Read in 2008 (Gaines)


    Books Read in 2008 (Allison)