Amazon Deals

Amazon Daily Deals are going to break my bank- but help me get great items for my littles for Valentine’s Day, Easter, and any other holidays this gift-giving-loving mama can justify!

Today’s Deal is 50% off a selection of preschool toys. My top picks are the tea set (pictured above), the Moluk Bilibo, and the B. Spinaroos.


Sensory Activities

At any given time, I have a half a dozen activities in my head that I want to implement with my toddler. She has a very active mind and is curious about the world around her. We rarely have a day where we stay home, because my social butterfly needs to see the world- even if that world is Costco.

The project I have wanted to experience with for a while is creating Sensory Bins. It is creating a space for exploratory play using objects and textures. Playing with dry beans would be an example, but I envision beautiful bins with colorful water beads, plastic animals, and carefully crafted scenery. I obviously still believe I can create what I see on Pinterest.

Here are some of the sensory ideas I want to try:

– Colorful spagetti

– Pond life with water beads, small plastic animals, etc.

– Glass marbles/ stones (I have some larger ones that are not choking hazards)

Pictures and feedback to come!


Baby Update


It was a good week making baby progress! I found a great deal on my stoller (Target sale!), combined it with a few gift cards, and saved an extra $5 with an online promotion. It was shipped to my house for free, and I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived yesterday, just a couple days after I placed my order!

I found BabyCatalog.com when I was searching for a good deal on my co-sleeper. It was a better deal than I saw anywhere else (even beating Amazon’s great prices!), and having ordered this past weekend, it will arrive tomorrow. So far, I’ve had great customer service, and I will definitely check out BabyCatalog.com when comparison shopping in the future.

With storage being at a premium in my house, I have been doing some rearranging, packing away, etc. I managed to make great headway on the closet in my little Blueberry’s room, picking up some shelving and storage bins to organize cloth diapers, onesies, etc.

I really don’t like paying full price for anything. When shopping for baby, it’s been no exception! I have found that I can save at least 10% (with the goal of saving at least 15%) on most items by searching for sales. For some people, it may not be worth the time to save  a few dollars, but it does add up. And it’s not too hard to find the savings with an online search. It’s also helpful for me to have an idea of how much I need/want to save in order to make the purchase. It’s great if I can find a half price bargain, but I’ve found it’s more realistic to save 10-15%. Combined with free shipping (which is a must for me!), the savings is adding up!


Entering Giveaways- Part II

After winning the cloth diaper in a contest last week, I decided it is definitely worth the efforts to enter contests. Some contests I have found have relatively low entries, so the chances of winning seem worth the time it takes to enter. Other contests I have a much lower chance of winning, but I still find it fun to enter. If I won even ONE of the bigger (cost-wise) items that I need for the baby, that would be a great blessing to my budget!

I figured out a few things that I think are helpful if you are in the market for any item.

– Google the item name + giveaway + current month and year. Example: carseat giveaway January 2012.

– Using these specifics, I was able to find great contests for several items I specifically am hoping to get for the baby. You can be more specific and use the brand if you prefer: “Britax giveaway January 2012”.

– One of the great giveaways I came across is for the Britax Boulevard 70.  A Nation of Moms has a contest going on right now where someone will win this great car seat! I am excited (and hopeful!) as this is one of my top car seat choices for the upcoming arrival. We really would like a car seat that goes from birth – toddler size. I’m not a carrier car-seat person, and we don’t have extra space to store a second seat. Britax safety record makes it my top pick!


I’m a Winner :)

I mentioned Entering Giveaways a few days ago in an effort to acquire some needed baby items. Yesterday I found out I won a contest from Monkey Butt Junction for a BumGenius Elemental diaper courtesy of Dearest Diapers. I am THRILLED! BumGenius has such a great reputation, and this will be the first all in one diaper that I am adding to my stash. I have spent a bit of time researching cloth diapering, and I am very excited about the cost savings and the benefits to my baby (more on that in future posts).

This has definitely inspired me to keep entering giveaways! Thank you MBJ & Dearest Diapers!


Kitchen Tip: Tomatillos

As I made my Weekly Menu Plan this week, I decided to try a new recipe: Mexicali Corn. I’m not a big recipe follower, but I did decide to add an ingredient to my shopping list that I have never purchased. Tomatillos. I didn’t even know where to look for them. And I certainly can’t pronounce the word. And with my luck, the manager at the store looked like he was fluent in Spanish.

I did the nervous innocent shopper thing and asked the manager if he knew if they sold those green-Mexican-tomato things. The word “tomatillo” rolled off his tongue with a flare I can only hope to emulate one day. It cost $0.48 for one usable sized tomatillo. And I am looking forward to trying it out in the recipe later this week. If it’s edible, I will share the results.

My tip: don’t shy away from a recipe because of a foreign-to-you ingredient. And don’t be afraid to try out a new product even if you can’t pronounce the name of it. 🙂


Weekly Menu- 1.9.12

I definitely find that meal planning helps our family. With planning, I save money by shopping for specific meals versus random products that sound good on a whim. I save time both in shopping and in cooking, since I have a plan. I don’t have to forage through my fridge to try to come up with plan for dinner when I already have the menu laid out. Since my work schedule is mostly afternoons/early evenings, it is important that I have dinner put together before I leave. On days when I work, I try to have something that is easy to reheat or easy to put together when I get home. Soups, crockpot meals, and one dish casseroles are my go-to choices. Since we are a family of two, I can stretch most meals into at least two days. My husband is a fan of leftovers, so it makes my job much easier. 🙂

Also- I tend to have my greens for lunch (big salads with fresh veggies, hard boiled egg, etc.) so dinners don’t always include a green.

Monday- Chili & Cornbread

Tuesday- leftovers

Wednesday- Crockpot Barbecue Chicken (shredded for sandwiches) & Mexicali Corn

Thursdays- leftovers

Friday- pizza night!


Entering Giveaways!

In a search to stay on a reasonable budget while getting everything needed for a baby, I have started participating in giveaways. So far I haven’t won anything, but I’m not giving up yet!

Diaper Junction is giving away an XBOX Kinect as well as some great gift certificates!