Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My giveaway is LIVE!  Please read all the ways you can enter and enter daily for a week!

I will be giving away custom made jewelry set.  Earrings and a bracelet.

I love making jewelry this time of year for gifts!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Blogger Giveaway

I have joined a fun group of bloggers that are giving away great items!  This is a great way for you to get some nice gifts for you or others. 
Each day a blog will start entries and you will have a week to enter each blog is different and has different ways to enter.

December 1st

4 pack Scripture Study Books

December 2nd

a personalized "Nice List" pillow with kids names added to it.

Laura Walker's book- Pierced by Love

December 3rd

My giveaway is a $25 Amazon gift card

December 4th

$15 Amazon Gift Card

 December 5th

Holiday Busy Bags for kids 

Minky 3 in 1 winter garment

December 6th

a Caribbean Holiday eCookbook

Silikids Silimap

 December 7th

$30 store credit from Educents

December 8th

$40.00 gift package of assorted MAM items including their holiday pacifiers 

 December 9th

Signed copy of my book "The Travel Mamas' Guide: How to Vacation with Babies and Children...and Stay Sane!" + TravelKiddy Essentials travel toy gift pack (Total prize value $41)

 December 10th

Custom Jewelry 

December 11th

Sweet Debbie's Organic Treats: Allergy-Free and Vegan Recipes from the Famous Los Angeles Bakery

December 12th

2 Qlipters- 2 winners chosen!

Visit often and enter as many as you want but make sure to come back here on the Tenth!  I will be starting mine then.  I will be giving away a custom jewelry set!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Organizing for extras and Special Needs

Sometimes as a foster parent you get kids in the middle of the night and they have nothing.  It's important that you have a few extra essentials so you don't have to go out in the middle of the night.  

I bought all of these supplies from te dollar store.

They are great for guests too!

I organize them in drawers.

We also keep travel size tooth pastes and shampoos on the counter.

It's important that they have a space of their own so I give them each a little bucket to keep their stuff in and they can keep it in the bathroom or their room.

We have a cart by te kitchen table with school supplies too.

It also hold the reward stuff for Mr. Silly for behavioral therapy.

As for rules and keeping schedules straight it is an ever evolving system.

I use the white board to put the weeks apptionments and any other stuff that's important.  The rules and chores are next to it so everyone that lives here knows what is expected.  
We have two chore wheels one for older kids and one for littles.  The older kids get a room or area to clean and there is a detailed list under them of what that involves.   Never assume a child knows what clean the kitchen means or clean your room.  
We recently added meal rules as requested by the occupational therapist for the boys an those have helped.  
Keep it simple but detailed enough to be clear.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Mom Dilemma

As Mom's most of us run our house holds.  We make appointments, plan meals and are the taxi.  If we get hurt or sick it can cause big problems.  I was in a car accident in August for a month I didn't seek treatment because I had other things going on with my kids.  We had a placement move to her Dad's (that will be another post), school started, big issues with our other placement (another post), then out placements were moved. Once things calmed down I realized how much pain I was in.  I started to get treatment and it has added even more appointments to my already busy schedule.  But I'm learning that Mom's have to take care of them selves first.  
So this morning I was supposed to attend one of those appointments.  But alas like got in the way.  Poor Mr. Snuggly  woke up last night screaming and vomiting.  He threw up 4 times then a few more this morning.  So no physical therapy and no occupational therapy for him.  
Instead we will relax eat crackers and sprite and watch tv.

And later "I will put on my O2 mask" and go to chiropractor and leave my sick baby with my mom because if I can't do anything I can't take care of him.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What to do while you wait.

So yesterday I needed to stay occupied, so I did. 
I went to Mr Silly's SEP (teacher parent conference), he is doing great and passed off one of his goals on his IEP!  He is officially potty trained.  No interventions or prompting for pottying!  So glad that he got this far. 
We ran some errands and then we went and picked up pies for my Autism Support Group.  We went home and I had some kids dropped off for a few hours.  We cleaned the boys room and removed 2 bags and a box of toys.  Now there is room for a toddler bed for Mr Silly when we add a few kids for respite on the holidays.  I then made lunch for 6 kids and I made some awesome homemade chicken soup for dinner.

1 can of chicken 1/2 red onion fried up with a teaspoon of butter
Add oragono, garlic and parsley
Add a box of chicken stock and 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
2 cans of water
Bring to a boil as you cut celery 1/2 a stock) and carrots (2 hand fulls of baby carrots) and I added a can of carrots
Then I let it simmer the rest of the day
I added a bag of noodles an hour before dinner.
Boiled for 10 mins then took off heat and left covered until dinner.
It was still piping hot!
Next time I will add 2 boxes of stock because it wasn't enough it was more like a stew.

I contacted my RM but he had no news :( told me he would call today around lunch time! 

I attended the Autism Support Group meeting it was a great training on parenting kids that don't respond to regular methods.
I am going to write up some new rules for our house they recommended no more than 5 and very simple very clear rules.
I'm thinking

Listen to Mom & Dad
Nice words, hands and feet
Do your chores
Use good manners
Take care of your house and belongings

So today I wait more and I plan to clean my room, go to a Dr appointment,  and make rice crispy treats.

When I have news I will share it!

Monday, November 17, 2014

And now we wait!

The adoption board in charge of decieding if a child will be matched with a family that put an inquiry on them is meeting tomorrow.  And so we wait, we wait to find out if the child we fell in love with because she has bloomed into an amazing person can become part of our family. 

 We were told by several people that know her and are close to her that she would do great with us, but will they feel the same based on papers we filled out a year ago and questions they asked in our home study.  I'm hoping since we have built up a relationship with the local RM and he is over her case that he can have more of a say but I'm not sure how it works.  And so we wait!  Tomorrow we will find out if our family will change but tonight we wait!
I wonder if she is waiting?

We don't have a unicorn but lots of brothers and sisters, a dog and kitty and lots of love!  

Our family is growing and changing we just aren't sure how or when.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christmas is coming!

This year we are having a simple Christmas  full of homemade gifts! 

We are doing

Something you want
Something you need
Something to wear
Something to read.

Plus Santa will bring them a present and little stocking stuffers.

I will also be making them Christmas Eve boxes.  This year jammies, hopefully homemade slippers or aloe sock for the older girls.  Maybe a movie or book or snack.

I plan to make some fun picture book marks and jewlery for other family members.  

So here is my Christmas list and planned buget.

Christmas Eve: Fleece, for PJs and slippers, from Jo Ann's black friday sale $25

Stockings: Buttons and ribbon and yarn for book marks. Already have it! Free
Stocking: PVC for Marshmallow shooters $10
Stockings: Candy and small trinkets $10 Walgreens
Family Gifts: Jewelry pieces $5 with coupons
Family Gifts: Pictures for jewelry and bookmarks $10 from Costco

Want: Flash mask and cape for Mr Silly already have fabric, Free!
Want: Homemade picture game pieces and recycled clue game, for Mr. Snuggles pics printed with others. Free!
Want: room decor for the princess Canvas for wall art, fabric for curtains,  paint for furniture. $30 with coupons.
Want: dance attire  for the quiet one $30 with Dixie Direct and Coupons
Want: home made  for each kid,12 one on one date coupons on a ring $2
Need: Hand made Disney themed Road Trip Pillow cases $10 with coupons
Wear: Disney shirt  not sure how much yet :(
Read: Hand made Learn it Yourself music books for girls $2 paper $2 ink
Read: Hand made learn to draw books for Littles $2 paper $2 ink

Total $140 plus disney shirts and santa present. 
Not bad for a family of 6!

Also I easily add to some of this for not much more if we add more kids.  $40 for a teenager and $20 for a little.

Here we go again.

So I was inspired by a fellow foster mom to start blogging again. 
I would like to show how are kids are not their diagnosis and that how they joined the family doesn't matter they are still a part of it!

Since this is national adoption month I want to let people know about the great opportunity we found to grow our family and what great kids we have had the blessing of being in our lives.

We became foster parents less than a year ago and we were interested in helping older kids.  We have had about 10 kids in our home most. moved on to other foster homes, went home with a parent that was able to get their lives in order and be a great parent or other family members.  We currently have a great placement of an amazing girl and are waiting on adoption inquiries that we put in on the adoption exchange. 

If you feel like you have room in your heart and home for great kids.  Please look into foster care and the Adoption Exchange there are many children waiting on their forever families. 


Thursday, November 21, 2013


So it's actually cold enough I can bake and not die from heating up the house! 

First up was monkey bread.

This is a kid favorite, and so easy!
Canned biscuits cut up mixed with a cube of butter, and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar (white or brown or mixed).  Bake at 375 I stirred it when it started to brown to bake more evenly.  

Then I tried a Pinterest idea.  

Jam filled crescent rolls with powered sugar icing.

Look goods.

This is what the pan looked like.

Lost a lot of jelly.  

But again simple.
Canned crescent rolls, lay out spread jam then roll up as usual.  Bake as can directs.  Scrap off pan then cool a few mins and add icing ( water and powered sugar).  Older kids loved them.  But messy!  I will try again with other stuff like cream cheese.

Today for lunch I wanted to make grilled cheese but didn't want to on stove so I tried a post from Pinterest again. 

 It said you can bake them by stacking a cookie sheet on top.  I sprayed inside of big pan laid out bread, cheese and bread and sprayed bottom or smaller pan.  Baked at 350 for like 10minutes.  Worked great insides melted out side crispy!   

I might try 400 next time as the hotter corner browned.

Tune in again to see what's up next.  Maybe pies for Thanks Giving or another fun desert.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Christmas is coming!!

I need to start my annual Christmas gift make-a-thon.

This year:

5 Fleece pants
5 Pillow cases
12 small rice bags
4 big rice bags

A super cute Christmas skirt for the cutest baby niece
Bed pockets for nephew
New wallet for my sister

Purse, glass case, change purse for daughter
Duffle bag for middle son for dance and sports
Side bed pockets for youngest
20 + loaves of bread for teacher gifts to go with homemade jam

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Smiths and Albertsons Deals


They have LA Looks products on sale for 10 for $10 I had a $1 off 1 = free gel!!!
Also when you by 1 Revlon beauty item you get a $2 coupon for another

I was told I would get a $2 Catalina this was not the case it is a manufacture coupon for another Revlon item when I realized what was happening I did put a few items back DO NOT be afraid to do this if things change.

I found the foundation in the clearance basket, yet another reason you should always have all your coupons with you at all times.

The nail stickers and a drink not pictured where/are for my very pampered daughter :)


Albertsons has an in ad coupon making the Ken's salad dressing .88 cents stack with the $1 coupon and you get free dressing! Limit 4 per transaction

FYI had I done this trans. at Walmart where they give you overage I would have had .72 cents to spend on something else or have them give me cash back.

Also their Chex Mix and Bugles are on sale for 10 for $10 Stack with .50 off 1 sweet and salty Chex, .50 cent off 1 Bugles, and .50 off 2 Traditional Chex and you get a lot of after school snackage for under $6 :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

4 packages of 12 rolls of toilet paper $5 + Walgreens coupon for $1 off + Man. coupon for .75 cent = $3.25 each
4 packages of slip on Huggies $9.49 + Walgreens coupon for $2 + Man. for $3 + RR for $2 = $2.49 each
6 packages of Stayfree $6.79 + BOGOF Walgreens + BOGOF Man. up to $4. something = less than $2 a package
3 Pert Plus $3.99 + Man. $1 off + RR $3 = free
2 Ibuprofen Clearence for $2.49
6 Revlon nail polish $3.99 + $2 Wal + $1 Man + $3 RR = MM $2 each
6 Glee fillers .50 each
1 folder filler .50
1 carmel filler .33
3 decal fillers .25 each

total out of pocket $33.83


10 pizza rolls 10 for $10 + .40 off 2 use 5 double 3 + $5 back after .18 each

6 v-8 juice (Zachary needed some as soon as I got home so only 5 in picture) 2/$4 +$1 off doubled = free!!

12 progresso soup 10 for $10 + $1 off 4+ double+ $5 after buying 10 = less than .10 each

Crest toothpaste $2 + .75 doubled = .50

Milk $3.49 (no coupon and in shock!!!)

Straws .99 cents for my FIL

(not pictured) 10 Hamburger helper 10/$10 +.75 off 3 doubled + $2 back +$5 back =$2 MM!!

Today is the last day of the sale at Albertsons so if you have doublers and coupons use them today!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Another Wal-Mart Price Matching Trip

This trip I actually got DH to help because we were price matching Kmarts double days and you can only get max 4 of the same items per person. So this was done in 2 transactions. The first trans. DH did and it was
3 Texas Toast price matched
4 pickles
4 carefree liners
we had $1 coupons for texas toast and pickles and .50 off care free they were doubled up to .99 and the balance was negative so we added 4 up2u gum with $1 off 2 coupons and paid less than a $1
My trans was
3 Toast
4 pickles
4 liners
4 Bandaids price matched and had .50 off coupons making them free
3 kleenex price matched and .50 off 3 doubled making it $2 for 3
4 hand soap price matched and .35 doubled making them .30 each
3 poptarts $2.12 with a $1 off 3 doubled to .99 making it 4.27 for 3 boxes
My total was 7.88

So we spent just over $8 for all of this!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Twice the Value at Albertson's!

The kids posing with the goods :)

Lucas was playing peek a boo behind the goods

Okay today starts Albertsons twice the value coupons. They are in the paper and you can use 3 at a time. I bought 10 papers and did 9 transactions I have 1 set for another day.
I will start on the left and go right...
Chocolate Milk reg $4.59 used a free milk coupon paid .09
4 Fiber One Brownies Reg $3.99 on sale for 4/$10 or $2.50 used .75 off 1 doubled 3 got four boxes and got 2 $2 off next trans and free milk coupon. So 3 were free 1 for .75 plus free milk :)
5 Garden Delight pasta reg $2.49 sale $1 had $1 off 1 so 5 free!!
4 Oat Heads reg $1.49 sale .97 plus $2 off next when but 4 so .50 each
2 Hunts reg $1.29 *sale .79
Syrup $2.99 no sale or coupons just needed it :)
2 Lucky Charms cereal bars reg $3.49 sale 2/$5 stacked with $1 off 2 dou bled so $1.50 each
4 Betty Crocker fruit snacks reg $3.19 sale 4/$10 stacked with .50 off 2 doubled $2 each get 2 $2 off next so $1 each plus free milk
8 Nature Valley Thins reg $4.29 sale 4/$10 stacked with .75 double 3 then got 2 $2 so $.75 for 4 plus free milk Did this twice cause we LOVE these!
6 Suave reg $2.79 sale $1.88 stack with $1 off 3 albertsons coupon and $1.50 off 3 that was in a display so $1.04 each! Did this 2 times as well getting kids and adult shampoo and conditioner.
4 Velveeta Dinners these are reg $1.99 *sale $1.49 stacked with .55 off 1 total .94
3 All detergent reg $5.99 *sale $2.99 stacked with $1 off doubled so $1 each
Welches Jelly reg $2.29 * sale $1.79 stacked with .55 off for 1.24
2 Mt. Olive Pickles reg 3.49 sale 3.19 stack with coupon found on pickles for .75 off so 1.69
4 taco bell beans reg $1.29 sale $1 Didn't have a coupon but we needed them :)
6 Who Nu Cookies reg 3.19 sale 2.50 sack with $1 off doubled .50 each
Bananas 1.51
*mega sale buy 10 items

REG $176.33 Paid $23.20 including 3 more milk coupons I have :)

Oh and it pays to go to the same store regularly and get to know the staff the manager gave us a bunch of free diet dr pepper she had left over from yesterday's promotion!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Walmart Price Matching = Big Saving Time & Money

Okay well first off the pick doesn't match this Wal-Mart trip but it was a previous one :)
My Mom left with half the stuff before we got a pick so oh well.
On the trip pictured above I price match the band-aids and A1 saving $12 and a trip to target :)
But today's trip was the most I have priced matched so far.
We priced matched:
Air Wick starter kits for $4.98 on sale at Walgreen's (we got 4) Reg. $7.99
matched with a $4 off coupon = .98 each
Hamburger, tuna, & Chicken Helper for $1 on sale at Smith's (15) Reg. $1-$1.98
matched with a .75 off 3 coupon=.75 each
Pringles for .99 at Lin's (9) Reg. $1.50
matched with $1 off 3 = .66 each
Kellog's cereal @ Smith's for $1.66 (10) Reg. $2.98-$3.62
matched with $5 off 5 = .66 each
Infusium shampoo and conditioner @ Walgreen's for $1.98 (3) Reg. $5.98
matched with a coupon $1 = .98
Hunt's sause @ Albertson's for .88 (2) already stocked for me just for Mom :) Reg. $1
no coupon but great deal
Filler paper @ Stapel's for .25 (8) Reg. .75

Milk @ Albertson's 2.29 (1) Reg. 2.32
matched with .75 off
Bacco veggie crumbles Reg. price 3.32 (2)
matched with $2 off 2

Saved $96.75 spent $33.67 on these items Saving like 75% :)

And would have gone to 5 other stores for these sales had they not price matched.

Also picked up a few things that are at the lowest in town like pretzels and dog food.

And did it all with 4 children in tow in 2 hours :)

Overall price matching can save you time and gas it does take longer to check out but it is worth it! Find a nice cashier and take your time tell them when you start you have price match items cause if they start scanning they can't go back or they get mad. Tell them each item and where and how much it is.
It is best to put all like items together since they have to type in each price.

Also I found out today they are doubling coupons (first 3) when Albertson's does you have to tell them you are.

Good luck and happy saving :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I have been couponing for awhile but got into in again hardcore a few months ago. Several people have been interested in it and so I am going to post when I have a good trip. Please know that I shop for my family of 5, my home daycare, my sister and Mom too. Most people do not need to buy the bulk that I buy. Also I have a stock pile so we don't purchase for a week or even a month I buy for 3 or more months since the same things aren't on sale every week/month.

Today I went shopping at Walgreens and Albertsons

It is the last day of Walgreens sale and Albertsons goes until Tues.

Another great thing to save on is all the free kid activities stores have!

We went to Home Depot and made coaster sets :) They have it the first Sat of the month!

Also we went to Micheal's they have a great summer program Tues, Thurs and Sat 11-1 they are doing a craft from a different country!

At Albertsons they have Coca-cola 12 packs on sale for 2.80 when you buy 5 I stacked with a $2 off 2 coupon and got 10 for under $2 each, Also Gatoraid is on sale for .50 cents each when you buy 10, bought 30 (we will be luck if it lasts the month), Also Tostitos on sale for 1.99 when you buy 3 mix and match. And the Dixie plates are on sale and I stacked with a coupon so they were less than $2 each. Adding it all together I saved over $80 :)

Walgreens: Pringles on sale for 4/$6 with a $2 RR I stacked with a $1 off 3 coupon getting them for .75 each, Twizzlers were on sale for 2/$3 with a $1 RR I stacked with a .50 off 1 getting them with .50 each, Gram Crackers and Chocolate are 2/$6 with free marshmallows when you buy both I stacked with $1 off 2 Crackers, $1 off 2 Chocolate and .20 cents off 2 Marshmallows
To use my RR I filled with 2/$1 Arizona tea/juice and found a clearance basket with some plastic plates which we need for our trailer, .29 activity books and crafts.

Now my rule of thumb is to try to save at least 50% and if it is a product we are trying it needs to be free or very, very cheap like under .50. Also I can toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, body wash, deodorant and such for free saving us hundreds.

But I will say that to save the max you can't be brand picky but even if you are you can still save with a little time and effort.