Monday, March 31, 2008

14 Month Bday Tomorrow!

I think this picture is a good look into what she'll look like as a little girl instead of a toddler (but with more teeth!).

Free Ink on Tuesday the 2nd :)

Click here for your magic coupon!

Or send it to someone to print for you..because you are out of ink! (like me!)


Colgate-Palmolive and Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation have teamed up again this year to help seriously ill children and their families cope with the pain, fear and isolation of illness. By providing hospital FUN CENTERS, these children can forget about their condition for a moment and remember how to have fun.

The outpouring of support from 2007 Colgate-Palmolive and Starlight national online Fun Center voting contest was wonderful and resulted in an overwhelming success, with more than 2 million votes cast. This year, Colgate-Palmolive is awarding all 30 participating hospitals a Starlight Fun Center – a mobile entertainment unit that kids can enjoy at their bedside or anywhere in a hospital setting. And now you can make an even bigger difference. The ten hospitals that receive the most online votes will receive two Starlight Fun Centers, generously sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive. That's double the amount of fun and laughter offered to children undergoing treatment for chronic and life-threatening illnesses.

If you have a minute click here. Then choose NC then Brenners please! A friend's little girl goes there all the time. Thanks! - Kim

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Run run! Target is 90% off! :)

I might be totally behind the game, but I just found out Target is at 90% today for Easter :) I really loaded up :)

I got a princess dress up basket for $1.49 (the hair scrunchie on top was worth that!), a little chick reeses egg that the baby wouldn't let go of for 9 cents, 12 big pretty pastel eggs for 14 cents, easter "grass" made from paper for 14 cents, FIVE bags of dark chocolate eggs that are half nestle crunch and the other half is caramel for 27 cents each. Pure bliss right there I tell ya! I also grabbed a bag of Hawaiian punch jelly beans for 19 cents and a pack of stickers for 14 cents. Whew!

The chocolate eggs (minus half the bag I just ate - oops) are going to work to stock up the sugar bar Ann has set up on her desk. The big eggs & stickers are for the egg hunts next year. The costume basket has been taken apart, she can wear the costume now but the rest is too big for her.

Kohls is also having a big sale. If you go here and give them your email, you'll get a $5 coupon. I went with every intention of buying just 1 $5 thing but...

I found another set of Carter's princess PJs for $2 and...
another set of kitty PJs in a larger size for $4 and...
a super cute Osh Kosh winter shirt for $2.10 and...
and adorable pink shirt for next winter for $1.60 and...
a pair of sleep pants for a Christmas present this year for $4.40.

After tax and coupon I paid $9 something for all of this.

After this shopping fun and a trip to Walmart earlier in the week, I am about $100 in the hole for March. Better than Feb but not as good as I wanted. Maybe I'll be a good girl for April, a beach vacation is a great incentive not to spend any money! :)

The $25 freebie ends April 15th, be sure to get your account and not miss out!
Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Picture Reminder :)

I have spent hours now organizing my pictures on my PC. Why? Because someone (me! hehe) has filled up her 80 gig hard drive with baby cuteness :)

So now I have a picture schedule. Every Saturday night I am going to upload my pictures to Walgreens to wait for a coupon deal (I think the 25free code is still working BTW - you can use it 5 times).

The first day of every month I am going to burn last month's pictures to a disk.

I've not posted picture since last Saturday? What's wrong with me? lol

Easter Day :)

(action shot coming to Mama!)

The other day she woke up an hour early. I didn't know what to do with her so I made a bottle (she is back on formula, she likes it better than milk and I like how she drinks 8 ounces now compared to 4 before). I took a quick shower and came back to this...

The bottle in her mouth made her snore lol

Ok that is it for now. I have more pictures but they are trapped in my camera until I burn my pictures to disk. No joke, I have 68 gigs to burn!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Revolution Money!

I got a new button for Revolution Money today...

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange
Let me tell you why I like this service/bank. I am a big Ebay fan but the fees are getting out of control. I know advertising costs money and those cute commercials were really funny. But over the top advertising for a company that didn't need any of it..well that is silly. So now they have to make up for all those high costs by increasing the fees for sellers. I know they are doing a penny listing week, but only for those with certain ratings. People like me who would like to list 100 things at a penny, can't because I've not sold anything in awhile. It doesn't matter that my 600+ feedback is almost perfect and that I've been a member since 1999. Nice huh? Plus think about this, when you buy something on Ebay, how do you pay? Paypal of course! Owned by Ebay. Your poor seller is again hit with credit card fees, EVEN if you don't use a credit card to pay them.

So here is money revolution. I'm not telling you to not shop Ebay (because then I'll have to stop shopping Ebay and I'd cry!) but maybe you could try paying in a different way. Revolution Money is a banking service and when you sign up you'll get $25. You will need to provide your social (patriot act) but you'll be able to use that $25 to have fun with. Get your friend's and family to sign up and you'll get $10 per referral too.

So back to my button...
Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange
Pretty huh? Want $25? Please click and sign up and I'll stick that $10 of referral moola into my adoption fund. Woooohhoooo!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lookie! I've been tagged!

You have been tagged. List 10 random things about yourself and tag 5 other people.

Southern Seven

Let's see....10 random things
1. When I dream I am normally at the beach :)
2. I no longer have anxiety dreams looking for Natalie (dream theme here, can you tell I am tired?) :)
3. I have huge car envy every time I see a local 70 something Camaro all restored. Why does it have to live near me? :)
4. I secretly love shoes but because my feet are huge I have a hard time finding ones that fit. :)
5. I'd wear a cocktail dress everyday of my life if I didn't think they'd lock me up :)
6. I am addicted to purple grape juice (not white!) :)
7. I get a little thrill every time I buy something for the baby :)
8. I love shopping Ebay for coupons :)
9. Next year I am the maid of honor at my best friend's wedding! The dress hasn't been picked out but she is leaning towards lilac, one of my favorite colors.
10. I talk too much about how cheap I buy stuff (can't help it, I get excited lol)

I tag...

Have fun :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Quick Wednesday Update

The baby is asleep and I want to be lol

Scooter is finally comfortable with daycare. How do I know? She blows kisses and waves bye bye to the teachers when we leave.

I made out a monthly meal plan for April. When I put together all the ingrediants it looks like a huge amount of food. If any of you do a monthly meal plan and you have sites I can check out, please let me know in the comments.

I've been tagged too! I'll do it tomorrow night :)

I have some cute pictures of the baby. This morning she woke up too early so I gave her a bottle while I did a speed shower. I peeked in on her and she was asleep with the bottle still in her mouth. She had sort of fallen over and was out like a light. Of course I took pictures, I don't want to be kicked out of the crazy camera mommy club.

Night night!

Monday, March 24, 2008

March Budget - Kablooey!

Hehe it's not horribly bad. But on paper I am out of money for the month of March and I still have a week to go! And I am missing $25 of the consignment money I wasn't going to spend. The cash was just too tempting I tell ya! I spend cash so frivolously, I hid my debit card so it would be harder to get cash. At least when I use a credit card, I can see exactly where I spent all my moola!

So here are my totals. I've gone over it in my head, what was my downfall? Why cute little baby things of course!

Groceries - spent $204.23 budgeted $160 (this number isn't 100% accurate because I had a walmart trip that I couldn't find the receipt for and I put the entire amount in groceries even tho it wasn't all groceries)
Eating Out - spent $22.15 budgeted $40. And if the truth be told, my missing $25 went into this category. But we'll worry about that later!
Cats - spent $22.64 budgeted $50 I will need to spend $10 more on food this week.
Baby Loot - spent $100.62 budgeted $20 HA HA HA HA No really, I do need to do better!
Gas - spent $42.01 budgeted $60 I had a Shell gas gift card from my credit card points that I put $35 on. So I might need to rethink my gas budget.
Walgreens - spent $0, budgeted $5 (I really need to grab some of the freebies but I spent my GC on pictures - boo hoo lol)
CVS - spent $0, budgeted $15 I've not been in a CVS mood, I need to get back into it.
MISC - spent $119.62 budgeted $151

So for my second month of my budget, I am feeling pretty darn skippy. The first month, I was WAY over (wasn't it $400 something? I try to block it out). This month I am $25 mystery cash plus $11.27 on my spreadsheet. I feel good about that. I also have $115 in cash left from the sale and a 2 refund checks for another $115. So technically I am not over but I want to keep my "found" money for my beach trip.

NOW the question is, how do I go about actually being UNDER budget to make up for these two months? Now that is a good question. I do know...
  • I have enough CC points to buy $100 in gas giftcards for free. I will be cashing those in tonight. I also have $15 left on my current card. I will "sell" one to my beach budget.
  • I have a house full of food, I just need to plan it out by the month, not the week.
  • I need to pack my lunch with more interesting things so I'll eat it
  • I need to cook only what we'll eat, I am tossing too many leftovers
  • I got a $20 GC for getting a Petsmart CC. I re-evaluated my points card. Right now I have to charge 6K to get a $50 gift card. With the Petsmart card, if I catch all my supplies on sale (which is less than WM) and spend $600 a year, I'll get 1800 points. I think that is a $18 GC for Petsmart compared to $5 for a gas card. Plus they put Wookie on my card :)
  • I am not going to buy baby stuff like I did this month. Retail therapy is bad bad bad! lol
  • Clothing wise, I am only going to buy the baby a bathing suit for the beach trip in May.
  • I am going to take advantage of Ebay's 1 cent listing sale for items that start at 99 cents and clear out some Disney cards (that you can frame). I have 60 of them leftover from my old Ebay store.
  • I am going to go into work earlier to see if I can't catch more PPP opportunities in the afternoon when we get home.
  • I am going to see if I can't get a yard sale going on April 19th. It depends on the weird weird weather we've been having. This will go into my beach fund too.
  • I am going to cash out my inbox dollars account ($41ish) for my beach trip
Ok I think that is it. I will post on Sunday the total damages. I like to end my monthly budgets on Sunday and the 31st is a Monday - close enough.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lookie at our eggs!

Since there are just two of us and we prefer our eggs scrambled, I did just 6 eggs this year. Maybe next year Natalie will help, all she did tonight was try to throw the eggs.

I boiled the eggs wrapped in onion skins for the first time! It was really cool! Here are the instructions...

I forgot to soak the skins and wrapped them dry on the egg. I didn't have any cheesecloth either so I used flannel. My eggs came out really pretty, a little splotchier than what they would of been if I had soaked the skins. Next year I'll do it again and maybe dunk them in beet juice after I do the onion part to get a fun mosaic look.

Tada! I like them , they are different :)

Egg Hunt - Take 2!

We went to Tia's church today to egg hunt. Natalie "found" 5 eggs and got a prize for finding a fancy one.

Cute huh?

She wore my new favorite outfit, her butterfly capris and her little green top. Her sandals were a little too big, maybe this summer they'll fit a little better. And her capris are more like cropped pants, maybe she'll be wearing these next year too!

Power napping before the great hunt!
Lemme out of here, I wanna hunt eggs!

Sweet little baby!

Me and my peep Tia!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Update with a TON of pictures :)

The playdate was lots of fun today :) I worked from 6:30 (yes you read that right!) to 10:30 to do my half day to go with my half day from last week.

We had Japanese which is good but not my favorite. But that didn't matter because Natalie was all about the carrots! They don't have carrots at the Chinese place lol

We went to a park and hunted eggs. Natalie got 12 great eggs from the hunt, two had hair ponies in them and another had bubbles. I think next year I will do hairstuff too. It really isn't expensive to make hairbows, just a little time consuming. My eggs were free from CVS but I'll pick some up at 90% off for next year just in case. So 60 cents for clips, $2 for ribbon, 20 cents for eggs and you have 12 candy free eggs for $2.80 :) (now comes the hard part, remember to make them!)

Picture time!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday Update

Natalie is still snotty. I still look like I lost a fight. Besides that, everything is normal!

Today they did Easter at daycare. I was really surprised with all the stuff a 1 year old got! Natalie gets a little bit of chocolate, if I give her, say 2 chocolate kisses, she'll drive me nuts. So she gets chocolate chips, like 4 of them spread out. She got chips, sugar cereal packs, suckers, candy bars, bubbles (really cute) a necklace (we'll keep), peeps, jellybeans, gumballs, gum - a TON of stuff. I was just really surprised.

We aren't much of a trinket sort of household. I'll keep her egg necklace (a plastic egg with holes drilled for a ribbon with easter grass glued in the bottom with a chick made of pipe cleaners glued to the grass - it's cuter than it sounds!) and bubbles. I'll give the sugar treats away. Mean mommy huh?

Tomorrow is our Easter playdate with all the other little Chinese girls. We are eating Japanese then going to a park to play. We are taking 12 eggs to hide, filled with stickers and a little bit of candy (I know, after I just complained about the candy she got lol). She'll get to bring 12 eggs home and I think that will be it for what she gets for Easter. I am not sure when Easter became such a commercial holiday but it's crazy. I might sound like crazy mean mommy but she doesn't need anymore stuffed animals, I have tons put away that she hasn't even seen. She doesn't need candy, I have a hard enough time brushing her teeth as is. I saw a little girl throw a fit screaming that she wanted a princess basket in the isle at all are my witness - I will not have a child like that! We are also doing another egg hunt at Tia's church on Saturday, that will be a lot of fun too!

So let's talk about grocery prices and how they are going up. I didn't notice a difference until this week. What set it off was the lack of cheap eggs for Easter. Eggs are always cheap this time of year. But not this year, $1.50 a dozen was the best they had. My grocery bill was 20% higher this week than previous weeks. That is quite a jump.

Now not to start a "holy cow the worlds gonna end!" type of discussion, but I think prices will continue to climb as we slowly sink into a recession. I am thinking about pulling $200 out of savings to stock up on pantry items before prices get any higher. Has anyone else thought about doing that? What items would you buy?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dove Samples

I've not bought deodorant in a year because I always sign up for the samples Dove offers. They give out so many, you really can order enough so you don't have to buy any lol

Here is a new link I just got. They are offering grapefruit and lemongrass scent. I'm all over that, citrus stuff - love it.

I hope this works for everyone!

Wednesday Update

We are once again sick in the Neatokimmo household. I've had problems since day 4 in China, getting sick over and over. I didn't want to press my luck, but I did mention to a coworker that I felt great and that I hadn't been sick for 2 weeks. Why oh why????

I now have an ear infection and pink eye. Pretty huh? I didn't go to work this morning because I couldn't open my left eye. The upper lid had swollen over the bottom one. I sort of looked like I had been in a fight and lost lol Now the swelling is down a lot and my whole eye is blood red. I am on 14 days of amoxicillian for the ear. I am undecided if I will get the drops for my eye. It reduces the irritation by 1.5 days and it stopped itching this afternoon. I've used two entire saline bottles flushing it out and it has really helped. If you haven't eaten recently google baterical conjunctivitis, there are some super gross pictures out there.

This brings me to the moral of my post (yay a moral! not had one of those in a long time!)

Don't pick up other kids at daycare no matter how much they whine. They are snot infested little germs carriers. Kick them to the side (I'm only partially kidding, you should see my eye and feel my ear). Only pick up your child! And maybe the other cute Chinese one named Tia!

Natalie's nose is running like a faucet. She screams if she sees a tissue. Like a moron I kept her home with me today, I got zero rest. She pitched several good fits today, one lasted for 10 minutes. What do you do when your child pitches a holy fit? Video tape it of course. She didn't want to be held, put down, put in her crib. She wasn't wet or stinky. She wasn't hungry or thirsty. She doesn't have new teeth coming in. So you tell me why she was so cranky? Sheez! I am keeping that lovely little video to show her prom date :)

Ok I think that is it for now! I am waiting for the magical hour of 10pm so I can take another pill and go to bed. Woohoooo!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

CVS Deals of the Day

Well I was really disapointed not to get the pot of gold chocolate promo they had going on. It was probably one of those deals where they just had a few in each store. I did get two of the monthly lip glosses, a lipstick for my mom, 2 bags of big eggs and a box of tissues for $2.68 :) I got a 1.98 ECB, a $5.98 ECB and a $8.99 ECB back. Woot!

I have to update my totals for the year, I've not CVS-ed in a long time. It got a little overwhelming and wore me out trying to get all the deals. Plus I just don't have the time anymore.

I ended up with $143 and some change from the consignment sale (I was really excited, I thought it was $150 but I miscounted - poo lol). All the used items sold but not the new stuff priced at used stuff prices. Weird huh? I now know what to buy for the next two sales :)

Here is miss priss pitching a royal fit. I wanted a picture of her new outfit and all I got was a snot fest. The little stinker.

In a much better mood tonight - see ya mama!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Meal Plan Monday 3/16/08

First I'd like to mention we stuck to the meal plan all throughout the week except for today. Woohhooo! With the baby and I both being almost sick, I just didn't want to smell a chicken roasting in the oven. Since I was tired all this week, it was nice just to look at a list and make it, no thought or planning needed.

Monday - Ham and Cabbage stir fry (cabbage, carrots, onions and ham with 5 spice powder over rice noodles)
Tuesday - Bean, ham and carrot soup in the crockpot (this will use up the last of the Feb ham I hope!) Leftovers from Monday, it made way more than I thought it would.
Wednesday - Spaghetti over rice and peas (leftovers from freezer) I found a t-bone steak in the freezer! Woohhoo! I cut it in little pieces (for the baby to chew) and marinated it in Italian dressing. She'll love that, she's all about the stinky stuff. We will also have mashed sweet potatoes. I also put a whole chicken in the oven this afternoon :)
Thursday - Taco rice (chickpeas, chicken, rice, cheese, taco seasoning, onion...stuff like that)
Friday - BBQ Chicken and summer medley veggies (I am going to BBQ it after I take it off the bones so I can make stock)
Saturday - repeat Friday
Sunday - family dinner at my grandparent's house

So there you go. It is simple and easy food but at least I am cooking and not going through a drive through.

Baby Loot Update

Ok, I cheated and went online and borrowed pictures of the second batch of baby loot I bought at the consignment sale :)

Here are the three blankets, butterfly capris and butterfly sandals. I love them! I have everything washed and hanging to dry (I am trying a new thing, I've read a lot lately about air drying all the clothes to make them last longer. I put them in the dryer to knock off the lint and airdry them the rest of the way.) She is taking the butterfly blanket to daycare tomorrow. I love that it's so cute and it's really soft and that if it does get messed up, I invested $4 not 20 something. Yay for consignment sales!

Just the capris here, I have a green top for her to wear with ruffles that is also Gymboree that I bought at Ross years ago. Nice how they don't change the colors and you can match things up from year to year :)
Mine are new with tags.

Fun stuff huh? :) Tomorrow I pick up the things that didn't sell and my check! I think it will be over $100 easy with the stroller and hairbows being gone. I didn't mark any of my stuff to go half off today because I priced it low enough already. Plus half off then 70% of that is 35% of the original price. I'd like to try 50% at a consignment store before I try that. I am excited to see how much sold :)

We've been a family for three months :)

December 16, 2007 :)

March 16th, 2008 :)

Happy 3 months to all my travel peeps!