Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: Love and Logic

Kids should come with instruction manuals.

I think as a parent, almost every one of you can agree with that statement. Now, I want to say honestly that we don't have bad kids. For the most part, we don't get bad notes home from school, they all make good grades, and they all generally listen. But, here recently it seems our almost 12 year old daughter has gotten a little attitude about her that makes me want to rip my hair out and scream and stomp my feet. But, I'm the adult here...and that's not adult-like behavior. So I refrain. Most of the time (lol). My almost 8 year old daughter has NOT grown out of the whining stage yet and it is starting to influence my 5 year old son. And I absolutely can NOT deal with TWO kids whining. And don't get me started on the bedtime ritual. So, needless to say, combine this with  me in college full time, my husband disabled on dialysis, 3 kids playing soccer (of which two teams that my husband coaches and I'm team mom),  million other "life" things. and you get one crazy, frazzled parent. So, when my kids' elementary school sent out a notice about getting your kids to stop their bickering, start listening the first time, and a million other things, I was ALL over it!

It was scheduled over three Tuesdays over the past four weeks, and luckily this is not a dialysis day for my husband, so he was  dragged by his hair more than happy to attend with me. ;) The information that was provide was absolutely gold! I can not even begin to tell you well it is working in our household and it makes parenting fun again. I don't have to feel like I'm the "bad guy" and I've learned that letting my kids make their mistakes is actually the best thing for them. The basis is to provide a heavy dose of empathy to match the consequence therefore, making the "bad guy" their own bad decision, not the parent punishing them! Genius! The program is called Love and Logic. It has helped me to realize that my angry yelling really wasn't affecting them. They really are just thinking I'm a crazy lunatic. And now I know how to handle the situation without the angry yelling and they are the ones learning from their own mistakes, essentially giving them back the chance to gain the values they deserve. Okay, so I'm still being very vague here, so here is a few better examples, but keep in mind that these do not even begin to touch on the vast quantity (or the quality) of information from this program!
  • Bedtime. In my house, that means I yell at them to "go to sleep" for at least 30 minutes. Note that I said "at least". *sigh* But! All is not lost! The Love & Logic bedtime ritual is different...Instead of me yelling at them to go to sleep, instead I tell them to get ready for bed, brush their teeth, etc. and then they are allowed to get in their beds and either read a book, play their DS, or do any other quiet activity. The compromise is that they are not to come out of their room and they must be quiet. I don't care when they go to sleep, but they must remember that they will be getting up the same time as always and they will not be taking naps. I do expect them to behave properly at school and their grades must stay at all A's & B's. I'm sure some of you are thinking, yeah right, but believe it! All THREE of my kids are asleep at least 30 minutes after we put them in the bed. Sometimes sooner- my son has barely been making it 15 minutes! Needless to say, I'm impressed if for no other reason than bedtime is no longer a stress for me. 
  • Fighting & Bickering. This generally goes on either between my son and my middle daughter or my middle daughter and my oldest daughter. And this is one of those things that I absolutely can NOT handle. It drives me crazy insane batty. I become a mommy yelling lunatic, screaming at them to behave and stop fighting. Does it work? Never. They continue to fight and argue, and I continue to loose control. Who wins here? No one. They aren't learning how to handle themselves, and I'm certainly not portraying to them that I know how to handle myself. Instead, it comes down to removing the object and letting them know that you would appreciate if they could continue their argument somewhere that you won't be bothered by it because it is hurting your head. Again, I'm sure you are thinking, REALLY?! But, it works. Very well. And I'm not a crazy lunatic. Which is most definitely a good thing, lol.
Now that I've given you two examples of what has changed in our household, I'm sure you are wondering where you can get this information from. Well, to be honest, there is a hefty price tag on a lot of it. However, there are a lot of free resources available:
free articles
facebook page
youtube videos
Plus, check your local library, school guidance counselors, and school parenting areas! Also, Amazon offers some of the material and you can always buy it from the Love & Logic website. And I have picked up some of the books and materials in the past at some yard sales and thrift stores.

Essentially, I haven't seen anything that this program can't help you with as a parent, I only wish that I had paid closer attention to it sooner (my mother tried to tell me about it, literally, a few years ago). This program goes over the idea of how chores should be handled an whether an allowance is a good thing or not. It has articles on divorce, how to make the internet safe for your kids, and so much more. Even though this special program is over at my kids' school, my husband and I are planning to use the free resources available to us to continue to learn and revisit the values and ideas in this program to help us with our challenge of raising respectable adults out of our unruly kids. I hope you find it to be just as helpful as we have!Pin It

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Printing Coupons, Ink Guzzlers, Facebook, and other general tips!

Quick post, then back to homework! A friend of mine is new to coupons and I'm trying to help her out, but my time is so limited.

First of all, she asked where to get printable coupons from. There are TONS of places, but one of the best places to start is simply There are more that can be found here from one of my favorite bloggers. Facebook and brands pages are also great places to get coupons. More & more "brands" are offering exclusive coupons only on Facebook. Since we are discussing printables, here are some tips for printing at home:

  • Use cheap paper. It doesn't matter if you use the whitest brightest paper or the heaviest weight, they will still scan and they will still cut. LOL. Also, if you don't mind forking out a little bit, buy in bulk. A lot of office supply stores offer deals and coupons that will lower your cost. I've even heard some people use notebook paper, but I haven't tried that yet. I'm afraid my laserjet will eat it all up, lol.
  • When you start saving some money, get a non-ink eating laserjet printer that prints only in black. Coupons don't need color to scan and neither do the stores.
  • Switch your ink settings to draft or the lowest quality available. Don't let your coupons guzzle up all your ink- that stuff is expensive!
  • Some coupons print on only the top portion of the page. In the past, I've cut that portion off, and used the half sheets to print other coupons I knew where only going to print on that top portion. I also keep a stack of the half sheets for my kids to use for crafts, drawing, etc.
 Okay, so now that you've "liked" tons of pages and blogs on facebook your news feed is all clogged up with hundreds of posts every freaking minute. You can hide them, but then you can't see when they offer a new coupon. Well, facebook actually did something right for once! You can create a "friend" list and put pages on it! So, what I've done is hide 90% of all my brands I like, stores, restaurants, and bloggers from my actual news feed and created a friend list for each one. This is much easier to show you than to tell you, so here is some visuals:

Okay, so one more HUGE tip. Create a new email address that you will use for only your coupons, blog subscriptions, sweepstakes, etc. I've even heard of people creating one for each, but I can't keep up with that many emails! LOL. I've also heard of some people doing the same thing for facebook, but I think it works fine with the above friend list idea. And one other tip, if you are entering contests, giveaways, and other things, check your SPAM frequently. If you happen to win, a lot require the winner to contact them within 24 to 48 hours and if you don't receive the email, you generally won't ever even know you won. I've had EVERY SINGLE thing I've won go to my spam filter, so make sure to scan them frequently.

Well, I hope this helps some of you out and if you have any questions, ask in the comments below or on my Facebook page, The Couponing Mommy!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

BzzAgent: Philips SatinPerfect Epilator

As a BzzAgent, I was recently chosen to share and review the Philips SatinPerfect Epilator. (Disclaimer: I did receive this for free, but all of the comments, thoughts, and ideas are solely my own and are truthful) As any mom will more than likely agree, shaving is one of those things that I never seem to do often enough. I hate every minute of it and it is what makes me dread the warmer months (besides the constant humidity here in SC). I have very fair skin that tends to be very sensitive, so I have to shave EVERY day and I almost always get bumps and itch. I've found a few products to help with it, but needless to say, I wish I was a guy when it comes down to needing to shave my legs. I've been shaving since I was 8 years old because even though I have more of a light brown hair, my leg hairs have always been BLACK and pretty thick. So, combine that with the ivoriest skin tone you can pretty much get and then add in pretty spring church dresses...Yeah, my mom recognized real quick that the fur on my legs was either going to have to go or else she was going to have to ban dresses on me, lol! So, 21 years later, I'm tired of it and I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels that way!

So, after being accepted into the program from BzzAgent, I was anxiously awaiting the epilator to arrive. When it finally did, I was ecstatic! I couldn't wait to try it out- till I opened the box. I hate to admit it, but it scared the crap out of me when I first saw it. It looked like some kind of weird torture device and there were so many pieces and the directions were HORRENDOUS! I really have to say, I think they should improve upon the directions. This is a MSRP of $149.99 so I would think a nice color booklet would be much more appropriate than the giganticly huge black and white poster size paper (see my smilebox to see it!). So, I packed it away to try to figure it out another day. If I had actually bought this in the store, well, I might be inclined to return it because it was just so confusing to me. Maybe it was just me, but I've never owned an epilator before, so this was ALL new. A week or so later, I finally decided to brave the device and its awful directions, so here it is:

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

So, here is some basic tips:
1. What is Epilation? Well, here is a basic definition- Epilate: To remove a hair from a part of the body by forcible extraction, electrolysis, or loosening at the root by chemical means. So, basically, we are removing hair at the root. I find this helpful, because now you understand exactly what this contraption actually is doing.
2. Put it all together. A lot of the pieces were confusing when all laid out as the came. You are going to want to figure them all out. After you get it all situated like below, it becomes a lot less confusing and easier to look at. 
3. The Epilating Disc and all the caps are for your LEGS. The Shave, Trim & Style Attachment and Trimming Comb are for your underarms and bikini areas. So, don't expect to be epilating in those sensitive areas!

4. Epilating is somewhat painful- especially in the beginning. As you get used to it, it will become more comfortable. I recommend using those caps (as shown in the above picture) over the Epilating Discs attachment so that you can get used to it. Also, keep in mind your hair should be between 3-4 millimeters! If it is longer than that, then you need to either shave it down and epilate another day, or trim it down with the Shave, Trim & Style attachment and Trimming Comb cap. 
5. Your skin should be DRY!!!! It helps to do this right after showering or bathing because any type of hair removal is easier after being in warm water, but you can do it anytime of day.

6. Expect some irritation. Mine, surprisingly, only lasted about 20 minutes. I got some small red bumps and then they were gone, leaving smooth silky skin! :)

7. The directions, though hard to read, were helpful.

Okay, so back to my actual review- Overall, once I got past the "WTH is that?! Some kind of torture device!" and then the insane poster of directions in small black font, it really was a good little machine! I've used it a few times now on my legs and with the increasing warm weather here in SC (84 degrees today! We already didn't have a winter, are we loosing Spring too?!), I'm pretty excited about not having to shave everyday. It seems to last about 3-4 days so that is MUCH better than needing to shave everyday. The pain decreases with time and so does the sensitivity. I rarely even get the bumps anymore and even if I do, they are gone in about 10 minutes after using it. I love using the Shave attachment for my bikini area and underarms, very quick and gets very close! And we can't forget those awesome tweezers...My now sculpted eyebrows are thanking it! ;)

So where to buy?
Use code BBUZZEP20 (last digit is a letter O) and get $20 OFF!
Philips Online Shop 
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Monday, March 12, 2012

BzzAgent: Smarterer

Whooooseeee Smarterer than me?

Sorry, couldn't resist! Okay, so as a BzzAgent, I've been included in a special campaign to help launch a new site called Smarterer. At first, I was like "yeah...okay. It's just a new site that tests you and gives you a score." time as progressed, I've really found myself having fun with it! It does all kinds of sites, like BzzAgent, Facebook, Powerpoint, Excel...AND SO MUCH MORE! So far I've only had fun with the BzzAgent one, simply because my time is limited, but I'm currently taking a class this semester with Microsoft Office 2010, so I'm really interested in taking the ones on some of those programs and seeing if I actually have learned anything!~ LOL! So, what are you waiting for? Are YOU smarterer than ME?
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So, I have come across this really cool new thing called Cravebox...Has anyone tried it yet? I've been trying to get *in* on it for about a month so far to no avail...but they are doing a giveaway on a couple blogs to win last month's box, so I'm crossing my fingers to win one of those! Here they are:

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Get Dolled Up with Old Navy Dresses!

And it's that time again- Old Navy Sample & Share's on Crowdtap! If you haven't yet heard me *talk* about Crowdtap, keep reading and I will let you know all about it (or click the link there and get started!)  I was chosen to participate in the new Get Dolled Up in Old Navy Dresses! sample and share as part of Old Navy's Style Council. This is an awesome program that Old Navy does through a site called Crowdtap. Crowdtap is Secure VIP access to your favorite brands. Inform their decisions, share your ideas and help them spread the word.. So, what exactly does all that mean?! It means people like you and me get to try out new products, give insight, and participate in discussions for companies that are part of Crowdtap. But, back to the matter at hand, Old Navy's new Spring DRESSES!

Maybe it's just me, but there has ALWAYS been something about wearing a dress that makes me feel so feminine and sexy. I don't care if it's just a cotton maxi or a gorgeous gown, I just feel so good when I wear one. So, I was extremely excited to be included in this Sample & Share program and try out the new styles! Last year I ended up with a large selection of my summer wardrobe being skirts and dresses from Old Navy, so I was hoping to update my wardrobe with some more, and I was not disappointed! Of course, I took my bestie with me and since we both are going back to college right now (her for teaching degree, me for nursing degree) and we live an hour away from each other, this is always an AWESOME excuse to get some much needed friend time in. :)

All of the dresses are really gorgeous this year, and there was quite a few this year that are quite dressy. Maybe I hit the season wrong last year, but it seemed like most of them were very casual last year, so I was pleasantly surprised to find dresses that could be considered Easter dresses and career friendly! My girl was looking for a dress that could be worn to a wedding as she has quite a few to attend over the next few months and I was looking for something that would be comfortable and more casual, so we were excited to see both styles!

After trying on MANY styles and cuts, we both found a perfect one for each of us. I ended up with a long green maxi dress and she got a tan flowery print dress with a cute spring cardi!

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Walgreens Money Maker!

So, even though it was my spring break last week, I've been more busy than if I just had school! Trying to get everything finalized for clinicals in May is actually proving to be a lot more complicated then originally anticipated. *sigh* Anyway, I still have the free Zyrtec from last year, so CVS was not so inviting to me this week...We are running low on things like shampoo and conditioner, body wash, etc - the essentials. So, I passed on even making a list for CVS this week and just quickly ran into Walgreens for the Right Guard body wash deal:

Buy One Get One Free!
Right Guard Total Defense 5 Body Wash 13.5 oz $4.49
Get $1 RR wyb 2, $2 RR wyb 3, or $4 RR wyb 4 (March RR Deal,  thanks iheartwags)

A little while back, there was a printable ( for 3.00 off of 2 Right Guard Total Defense 5 Body Wash, Deodorant, or Anti-Antiperspirant. And like all the wonderful online coupons, it was only available for a short time. Somehow, I managed to print 4 of these- I must've used the computer downstairs as well! Anyway, being as I've been barely getting by for hubby's body wash (he's had to pull out the sample sizes a few times here over the last few months), I was pretty excited. Also, I had 2 $3 RR from last week's money maker (see Biore post), so this deal was absolutely FREE for me and a money maker! Regardless, if you have the correct coupons, and buy 4 bottles, using 2 of the $3/2 coupons, it comes to 2.98 for 4 bottles TOOP and then a 4RR will print at the end!

So, on the way out to my son's soccer game, we pass two Walgreens, so I did it twice (didn't want to clear the shelf at either since I was buying 4 each time)!Pin It

Biore Money Maker!

*Please Note* The above deal was done with last week's ad!
Since Biore looked to still actually be on sale (unadvertised?) at my store this week when I made a quick trip in, I decided to go ahead and talk about it even though the Colgate deal is no longer available. I got so busy last week with my "spring break" that I didn't get a third of what I wanted to get done, done!
Anyway, at Walgreens, Biore is Buy One Get One 50% off.  I have been saving my points up on the Biore Rewards program, so I had enough to print off the $5 coupon (and it printed twice like most bricks coupons!). So here's how it works:
Biore Pore Strips & Cleansers are BOGO50% off.
Buy 1 Biore Strips 6 ct for 7.99
Buy 1 Biore Cleanser for 7.99
4.00 automatically deducted for the sale at the end of transaction
Use the Buy one pore strip get any cleanser for free coupon in SS (3/4).
Use the $5 off coupon printed from the rewards program.
Overages WILL apply, so I bought the Colgate Total and used the 75/1 coupon from SS 2/26.
TOOP $1.24 & Received a $3RR for the Colgate!
I did this twice! ;)

Again, I'm not 100% sure it is still on sale this week, as it was marked in my store but I was in a hurry and did not check the dates on the tag. If you don't have the points to get the high dollar coupon, there is a printable out for $1.50 off Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser, so if you combined the sale with the SS 3/4 coupon, you would only pay 2.49 for BOTH the cleanser and the pore strips, still a HUGE deal!
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