Thursday, May 30, 2013

Free eBooks

Of course I would first and foremost recommend hitting up your local library. My daughters and I love the library. There is something about it. And it gets us out of the house - we are doing something as a family, and they are finding their own love of reading.

Another benefit is free eBook check outs. Many libraries now let you check out from the eBooks library if you have a library card. Every library is different - so I would recommend calling or stopping by your local branch. 

The library can also be a great resource for audio books, DVDs and even music CDs.

Either I (or someone in my immediate family) owns an iPad, a Nook and Kindle Fire. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Meet Zoe

We never call her Zoe…it’s always Zoe Blu. I knew Zoe would have blue eyes like her dad and sister. I named her months before she made her entrance.

After I had my middle daughter Leah, I actually landed a job. I had gone on the interview 9 months pregnant. I hadn’t heard anything back. It wasn’t until a couple weeks after Leah was born that they called and offered me the position. I couldn’t believe it.

Soon after we were able to get our own place again. We had been living with my mother-in-law after losing my job and condo. But it seemed like the tide was turning and things were looking up.

Fast forward a year and a half later – and here comes Zoe Blu!

Meet Leah

When I got pregnant with my second child I was in the middle of a lot of changes. I had lost my job, my home and my security. It had been a rough few months, and I hadn’t planned on mixing a new baby into all that. My boyfriend Dustin and I hadn’t been dating that long – even though we had known one another our whole lives. It still felt too new and too soon. Too uncertain. But God had other plans.

My second sonogram the doctor told me it was a boy. I was pretty excited. Deep down I had secretly hoped it would be a girl. But I knew having a boy would be a whole new adventure.

Dustin has a job in a restaurant. It was only part time. And we had moved in with his mother. Things were tight. Money was tight. I couldn’t find a job and by my second trimester I didn’t think it would even make sense to start working anywhere.

We had a wonderful baby shower. I got so much stuff. Tons of little blue baby clothes. A green pack and play. A brown car seat. My friends and family were pretty excited. I was as well.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Meet Makayla

I was 22 when Makayla was born. And I had no clue what to expect from motherhood. She was my first baby. She taught me everything I know about being a mommy.

Makayla was born with a bi-lateral cleft lip. You can read more about our journey HERE.

Makayla was a chunky baby and toddler. She had this head full of dark curls. You can’t imagine what it would look like in the mornings. She always called it her Kooky Hair.

Makayla also had this big eyes and long lashes. She was just beautiful and sweet. Very affectionate – but also independent. She has always held her own.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Birthday Freebies - HUGE LIST

Signup for free email alerts, deals and promotional mailings with these sites - and you get freebies each year on your birthday. Who doesn't want to be pampered as much as possible on their birthday??!

Note: I set up a separate email account just for these offers. That way all my birthday freebies, coupons and updates come to one email - and they don't mix up with my regular email account.

Abuelos e-Club - Snag a free gift for joining and a special surprise on your birthday.

Amato's - Snag discounts and freebies and a birthday surprise.

AMF Bowling - Join their free eClub and get coupons, free bowling perks and more - which includes a free game on your birthday.

Applebee's - Join their free email club and you get a free dessert on your birthday.

 Arby's - Signup for awesome coupon deals, special offers and a surprise on your birthday.

Au Bon Pain e-Club - Snag offers, healthy tips and a birthday surprise.

Auntie Ann's Pretzel Perks- I am HUGE FAN! I love the garlic pretzel and I get one anytime I go to the mall. You can sign up for coupons and receive a free pretzel on your birthday. Extra awesome - you can add your spouse and kid to the birthday signup and they will also get a free pretzel on their birthdays.

Backyard Burgers e-Club - Signup to hear about all the latest promotions and receive a free burger on your birthday.

Friday, May 10, 2013

My Coupon Journey - Too Extreme??

Two years ago I began my coupon obsession. I dove in full speed ahead. I purchased at least 2 newspapers every Sunday. I also searched every recycle bin in our neighborhood for discarded coupon inserts. I started my journey with The Krazy Coupon Lady using her binder method. 

                I also printed coupons offline at, RedPlum and SmartSource. I even joined a coupon exchange. Every week a huge envelop of coupons arrived in my mailbox. I sifted through them. I took the ones I needed. I added coupons from my own collection that I would never use. Then I sent it off to the next person in our exchange.

                Every week I checked all the local grocery ads. I compared all sales with the coupons I had. And I usually went to at least four different stores on my designated shopping day.