March 26th is PURPLE DAY

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Purple Day is March 26th - Wear your purple to support epilepsy awareness globally.




My cousin Jamie, who has epilepsy. 





Visit her blog by clicking on the link below!

Spring?

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Crazy weather we are having here in Southern Ohio. The past couple of weeks we've gone from cold to very warm to downpours & hail, and then bright blue skies & calm. Gotta love spring! Next week, they are saying low to mid 40's. It's going to be hard to get used to jacket weather after being spoiled with the short sleeve weather!

My husband and 3 y.o. planted trees a few days ago: 1 apple & 1 peach. Hoping the apple tree will pollinate our other sad little apple tree out back. Would be wonderful to have apples and peaches to eat and make pies & jellies with. Grass seed has been planted as well. Looks like the garden will be next. Not sure what we will plant this year, but whatever it is, I hope I can get some canning done. Not that I *like* to can, because I don't. But, it sure is nice opening up a jar in the dead of winter and having fresh fruits and vegetables!

CSN Stores Review Update

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REVIEW UPDATE
The Taby Tray is focused on making travel a pleasant experience for the whole family. The Taby Tray is an entertainment center for kids that attaches to car seats and strollers and gives the kids the ability to play and eat while on the go. Imagine the long road trips, pushing the stroller through the mall, or being stuck in traffic... Having the Taby Tray makes moments like these fun for kids, as it's the perfect little entertainment center.


We recently visited Columbus, about 2 hours away, which provided the perfect opportunity to try out the Taby Tray which we chose to review from CSN Stores. It was difficult deciding what to pick, with over 200 stores to choose from, but once I saw they carried the Taby Tray I knew exactly what I wanted. I have been looking for another one for quite some time and was thrilled when I realized they sold them!



I love the cup holder, the tray for pencils/crayons, and the raised sides which keep items from sliding off. Mr. "B" entertained himself driving his car around, reading, eating, and coloring. The tray kept his crayons in place and off the floor which is a definite plus for me. Usually, we have to stop several times to pick dropped items up off the floor. Not so on this trip! Currently priced at $18.95, this is a great deal.

CSN Stores have excellent customer service and I was very impressed with their prompt delivery. If you have never visited the CSN Stores website, I highly recommend it! While some exclusions do apply, they have Hassle Free Returns & Free Shipping on just about everything.

Right now, they are having a Spring Sale! One item I know I am interested in is the SeedHouse, Jr. Greenhouse . It is currently on SALE for $35.99 with FREE shipping. Spring is just around the corner and it's going to be time to start those seeds. While they do carry bigger greenhouses, I think this size is perfect for our homeschool projects.


 They have many other items for sale right now, as well as great prices and deals on almost anything else you might need or want. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter as well.

*All opinions expressed are my own. I was given a gift code and my choice of item to review. The Taby Tray is mine to keep, but I received no other compensation.

POSTED PREVIOUSLY

I was recently given a chance to purchase an item from CSN to review. They have over 200 stores so it literally took me over a week to decide what I wanted to review. Then, I found this - the Taby Tray (pictured below).



I had one of these years ago and I absolutely loved it. Then, my kids grew too big for strollers and car seats, and thinking I was finished having kids,  I passed it on. Eight years later, number 4 came along and I have been looking for one of these trays ever since then but have been unable to find this exact tray. Until tonight, at CSNstores.com. I am thrilled and cannot wait until it arrives! This is perfect for long car trips. I am anxious to try it out on our stroller, as I had never thought to do that before.

I was very pleased with the ease of the ordering/check-out process on CSNstores.com. Looking forward to the "box man" (as my 3 year old calls the UPS/FedEx guy) showing up at my door!

Check back soon for my review. Until then, visit CSNstores.com to browse or shop and visit their blog. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter .

Irish Spring Deoderant Deal at Walgreens Next Week

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Sunday, Mar 13th - Saturday, Mar 19th  Walgreens will have Irish Spring Deoderant on sale for 2/$6 with $4 RR back good on next purchase! Coupons.com currently has a coupon for $1 off any size Irish Spring Deoderant. I was able to print 2, which will = FREE! Be sure to print it soon, before it becomes unavailable. I'm not sure, but there is also supposed to be a coupon in the Sunday paper. I have no idea what value though.

Boost My Blog Friday

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BoostMyBlogFriday

Be sure to leave a comment so I can follow you back! Happy Friday!

Thirsty Thursday Blog Hop

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OOPS! Today isn't Thursday, it's Friday. LOL. How did I miss a day?

Obviously MARvelous

Please leave a comment so I can be sure to follow you back!

Easy "Alice" Tutu Tutorial over at Precious Cupcakes

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Head on over for an easy tutorial on how to make the "Alice" Tutu. Cynthia makes it look so easy. I can't wait to try to make one for my 11 month old. She has a 1 year birthday coming up next month and I was thinking "Princess" theme for her party. The tutu would be perfect! I think I'll head to JoAnn's this weekend (I  have a 40% off coupon) and buy some tulle & ribbon. I can't wait!

Coupons, coupons, and more coupons

Ok, an update on my altered page protectors: my mother's sewing machine sewed through the plastic with no trouble at all and I am hoping to work on some when I visit her this weekend. Seconds to sew, versus 20 minutes just might make this doable! I will post pictures of my "finished" product hopefully by the beginning of next week.

Now, I am on the lookout for a Trapper-type binder, but not having very much luck finding one. I need to scout out a few couponing blogs to get some ideas as to where to purchase one. I got my hopes up when I was at Target today and I saw one on clearance, but when I saw "clearance" was $8, I set it down like it was on fire. I did get a .25 pack of graph paper on clearance, 1 FREE (after coupon) pack Shout travel wipes, and 2 FREE (after coupon) packs of Reach dental Floss. Not bad!

I also visited CVS today, to use a FREE candy/drink coupon and while I was there, I scanned my CVS Rewards card at the in-store scanner and received a 25% off entire purchase coupon. I picked up some bobby pins & a pack of pony tail holders (which were on clearance for 75% off), as well as a box of Necco malted milk balls and after my coupons, I only ended up paying for the bobby pins plus tax. While I was waiting in line, I noticed a GIGANTIC binder in the woman's cart in front of me. I cannot believe how many coupons she had! It kind of scared me. lol. Funny thing is, I can see myself getting to that point. When I see something on sale in a store ad that I need to purchase, I immediately go online to search for a coupon for it or look through my on-hand coupons. I am getting quite the collection. (I REALLY need something to store them in!).  It is SO addicting saving money (even if it is time consuming).

I paid .52 today at Walgreens for 3 bottles of Pediacare Fever Reliever, a hair brush, a highlighter, and 2 bottles of Coffee Mate creamer. I love coupons!!!


My Freebies so far this week. Not pictured are the ponytail holders.

Sorry this is sideways! This is a free Cosco stroller that I got for buying baby products at CVS this week. I still need to attach the front wheels.
 I think I am done shopping for the week and am looking forward to getting my sneak peak of Walgreens and CVS weekly ads for next week so I can match up coupons with sale items.

If you would like to get a Weekly Ad Sneak Peek at Walgreens, click HERE to sign up to receive it via email. Click HERE to sign up to receive the Weekly Ad for CVS, as well as other offers.

One site that I am crazy about, is http://www.freebieshark.com/. Not only does he list current freebies & samples (AND updates to let you know when they have expired or are no longer good), he posts great coupon finds and lets you know where to download them! I'm constantly checking the site throughout the day. They can also be found on Facebook!

                            


My Latest Couponing Project- Altered Page Protectors

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I recently started using coupons again. I stopped because it was getting so time consuming, and with 5 kids, time is not something I have in spades. But, money is not something I'm pulling in hand over fist either so I thought I'd give it another go.

One of my biggest issues, besides time, is organization. I really didn't have much of a system and I would sometimes forget some of my coupons. I am determined this time to do everything I can do to make it work FOR ME. I've seen people pushing their carts around with their huge binders filled with coupons, organized this way or that in baseball card sleeves, taking up the entire front of the cart. Most times, I have a 3 year old taking up the front of my cart, so taking a binder to the store is not going to work for me. I'm planning on trying to utilize a small photo album (such as the one pictured below) for that purpose and just changing out the coupons that I need for each trip. That will require me to adhere to my grocery list, which I often stray from.

Pioneer IP-60 Photo Album (holds 60 photos)


I am planning on using a binder system at home though and being home schoolers, I do have binders and page protector sleeves already on hand. I was unable to find baseball card protectors at our local Walmart or Target although Office Depot did have a pack of 10 for around $3.67. Personally, I don't think those would work for me. I print a lot of my coupons out at home and they are considerably bigger than a baseball card. I had an idea to alter some page protectors and once I can find a way to sew them on my sewing machine without it eating the plastic, I think they will work out quite nicely.


I started off by cutting just the top layer of plastic to create a bottom pocket. The envelope inside is to keep the blade from cutting through both layers. 

Next, I found the center, and with a dry erase marker, drew a straight line for a sewing guide.

Using a large needle and nylon thread, I sewed down the middle on my guide line.

Sewing done!

I used clear packing tape to secure the stitches, both on the front and the back.

I opened the bottom pocket and used the packing tape to tape the bottom of the top half to form two top pockets. 

The bottom pockets nicely hold the coupons that I print out from home while the 2 top pockets contain my MFG coupons.



This was my first attempt (notice the white thread that is NOT straight down the middle LOL). The bottom pocket holds the coupons that print out at the register, the top two contain store specific coupons and reward bucks. 



It took me about 20 minutes to alter each one but I am hoping to cut down considerably on the time it takes to make one by figuring out how to sew it on my machine. My mother suggested using masking tape, rather than the tissue paper I was trying to use, when sewing and then just ripping it off afterwards. I am also going to experiment with different thread types. I tried cotton quilting thread the first time on the machine, and then a leftover piece of clear nylon thread that I found in my sewing box. Really hoping I can make this work so I don't have to go out and *buy* supplies to help me save money!

COSI Pictures

Besides an incident at the Polaris mall where I was accosted by an overly-pushy sales attendant at one of those mall kiosks, we had a great time in Columbus.

The following are pictures from COSI (Center of Science & Industry).

This is "E" either getting ready to shove off on the High Wire Unicycle, or him coming back in. Not sure now!
"E" in the middle of the High Wire. The 250lb weight hanging from the bottom is what keeps the unicycle on the wire.

I SO wished we lived closer than 2 hours away. I would take the two littles here several times a week. They had a ton of stuff to entertain babies & toddlers including an indoor jungle gym with slide, simulated play areas, riding toys, and more. It was wonderful!








The Progressive History Exhibit
This is my daughter's absolute favorite exhibit. I think she could live here. 











Hello! There really was somebody talking on the other end. Just a recording, but Mr. B thought it was pretty cool.

I would have added more captions, but for some reason, my pictures kept getting moved around when I typed the text. I also had a post started last night and accidentally deleted most of it. Ugh!

If you are visiting Columbus with your kids, you really should consider going to COSI.  For membership information, click HERE. They used to provide a discount to Homeschool teachers, and I think they still do, so make sure to ask about it if you are a homeschooler. 


They currently have a Gecko exhibit. My 3 y.o. LOVED it and we took many pictures. He had fun looking to see where each one was hiding. Click HERE to read more about it! 

If you are interested in doing a lapbook study, Download N Go is offering the following for grades K-4, for $7.95. I LOVE Download N Go!






The Toddler Play Area