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Energizer Bunny's Mommy Reports: May 2009

May 31, 2009

Princess on wheels.

Bunny girl has outgrown her baby cycle and for a while now we've been wanting to get her a 'Big Girl Bike'. Finally last night she got one that she loves. You don't even need to guess what helmet and knee pads we picked up. Yes, that's right... Disney Princesses.

We decided to give the bicycle a whirl this evening, all equipped with the helmet, knee pads and all. I must say Bunny girl looked like one hep little princess on those wheels. She also looked very grown up (sigh...) and was anything but a bundle of nerves.

Doesn't it look like she has been on her " Big Girl Bike" since forever?!

The bike made Bunny girl's day and she definitely made mine just a few minutes ago, when she looked up from her drawing board and said, " Mama, you and Dada are my best friends." pumpkin pie just scored some big time brownie points with that!!

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Spent 12$ at Target and saved 45.79$

Had coupons for all my buys at Target today except the two 99 cent cottonbud boxes. Here's a breakdown of my transaction:

10 Weight Watchers Smart Ones at 1.80$ for 9 and 0.98$ for 1
Minus the 4$ of 10 coupon (link : Fill in the form and mark yes on this question, "I'd like to hear about product news and future offers from H.J. Heinz Company, the makers of Weight Watchers Smart Ones. ")
Get back a 5$ RR

6 Crystal Light packets - hanging near the counters
Minus 1$/1 and 2$/2 coupons (link)

6 boxes of Kashi Waffles at 1.79$ a box
Minus 1.5 $ coupons from Vocalpoint for 5 boxes plus 1 coupon for 1 free box

2 cottonbud packs at 99 cents each

2 Kraft Mayonnaise at 1.99$ each
Minus 1$ Target coupon (link)
Minus 1$ Kraft coupon (link)or (link)

Jello Pudding 6 pack

Minus 1$ coupon (link)

Paid out of pocket 17$, got a 5$ giftcard back and saved 45.79$.


Spent 6 cents at Walgreens today, Saved over 160$, Was paid back 22$!!

Nope not a delirious post but my actual Walgreens (Wags) scenario today!

This week's sale has the Bayer Glucose Meters on sale for 10$ plus you get 10$ in register rewards back, thereby making your meters free. We don't have any need for these meters but will be donating both meters and I would encourage my readers to buy and donate as well. If you have the "Upto $30 off Bayer meter" coupon from the 3/22 Smart Source or the 2/1 or 10/26Red Plum, this deal will be super sweet and a big moneymaker! (Remember though, if you need to get a register reward back for each meter you buy, you will need to buy your meters in separate transactions. If you buy 2 meters in one transaction, you will only get one register reward back)

My Wags Deals today:

Transaction 1

Bayer Contour Meter 10$
Ecotrin 40 ct tabs 2$

Minus Bayer Coupon 10$
Minus Ecotrin Coupon 2$ (coupon link 1, link 2- you will need to sign up to access the coupon. Remember this can be printed twice)

Total Out of pocket spending : 0$
Total Register Rewards (Wags coupons that can be used as cash on my next Wags purchase.) : 12$

Transaction 2

Bayer Contour Meter 10$
Ecotrin 40 ct tabs 2$

Minus Bayer Coupon 10$
Minus Ecotrin Coupon 2$

Total Out of pocket spending : 0$
Total Register Rewards : 12$

Transaction 3

3 Kleenex Tissue boxes clearanced down to 57 cents (Original price : 2.69$ each)
Minus 3 Kleenex mailer coupons : 55 cents each

Total Out of pocket spending : 6 cents for 3 Tissue boxes

So YES I did spend 6 cents, save over 160$ and get back 22$ in Register Rewards!


May 29, 2009

Beautiful Memories

We took this beautiful picture early September 2008 when we visited the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, Texas. We were in the dolphin gallery watching the dolphins swim around with the other crowds and decided to wait on till we were the only ones left to enjoy the serene setting . After a while, the crowds began to thin and soon it was just the 4 of us- Hubby, my Mom, Bunny girl and self. The 3 of us sat on the seats and watched the dolphins while Bunny girl played near the glass, running from one end of the gallery to the other. The little dolphin in this picture slowly began to swim alongside Bunny girl as she ran and followed her movements beautifully. At times she'd even do little flips as if to show her new friend all the special things she could do. Bunny girl ofcourse being the energetic toddler she was, was more engrossed in running around to appreciate the beauty of it all. We, on the other hand, were spellbound!

Another little buddy Bunny girl made was this little otter who thought her pant tie-ups were something to play with. Bunny girl was oblivious to what was happening as she stood in front of the otter's tank posing for my camera. The little fellow somehow thought the ends could be reached and tried grabbing the tail ends not realizing they were on the other side of his tank. He was super cute and together both Bunny girl and the persistent little otter provided some great entertainment for the visitors around!

Truly today's beautiful moments are tomorrow's beautiful memories especially when we are in this fabulous day and age of cameras and can capture these and many other special moments on film!!

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My Top 10 Hot Coupons this week!

There are some really great high value coupons out there this week but these are my top 10 favorites:

1. 10$ off 25$ at JC Penney (expires June 2 2009)- That's right! I couldn't believe this coupon was out there either. If you really fine comb the store you can get steals especially with the mark downs and clearances. For instance, 2 months ago I found this superb black outfit clearance down to 6 something $ (Original price 64$)and at that point I had a 5$ off 5$ purchase so paid 1$ odd for this steal! So take your coupon and search out your local JCP!

2. 5$ off 5$ at Kohls - You will need to sign up for their e-mail list. In 4-6 days they mail out a coupon for 5$ off your purchase of 5$ and more. Kohls has some great stuff especially for kids and you can get great bargains if you check out their Gold star clearance racks as well. The best way to buy clothes for kids is to stock up off season (Buy summer wear in winter when prices are marked down/clearanced and vice versa. ) When a friend from church told me to do this when I just got down to the US I thought this was crazy but today I TOTALLY see the wisdom in it! Why pay full price for great clothes when at times you can pay just 25%-50% the price?!

3. Free 8x10 portrait collage from Sears Portrait Studio (29.99$ value) - This will make a great Father's day gift! No session fee charges either (additional 14.99$ savings). Hurry and schedule your session. This offer expires on June 2 2009.

4. 3$ off any 3 Johnson Products (excluding trial sizes)- You can print this coupon twice by hitting the back button and if you have a little one who loves those Johnson Buddies Soap bars, well you can go home with 6 bars free with a little overage! (Target and Walmart sell these for 97 cents a piece) Firefox print or Internet Explorer print

5. Coupon for FREE Mars chocolate every Friday for the first 250,000 people to sign up - You need to sign up between 9am ET and 11.59pm ET. The first 250,000 people to sign up will get their coupon mailed out to them. This promotion runs through till Sept 25 2009, every Friday- so don't despair if all the coupons are taken up this week. What's better than one coupon for free chocolate?....How about 4 free coupons of free chocolate?- Yup! You can clinch 4 free coupons per household throughout this promotion period.

6. 1$ off 1 Kraft 2% natural cheese packet of shreds,slices or blocks- Firefox print or Internet explorer print . These can be printed twice by hitting the back button

Also check out my post here for more details on more Kraft money saving coupons. These are great coupons if you keep an eye out for store deals to make your deals sweeter!

7. Home Made simple coupon book (30$ value) - This is not for a single coupon but several and I love the coupons in this. You need to fill up the form and they mail out the booklet in about 6 - 8 weeks time or at times it gets to you sooner. I really utilized the coupons during Kmart's coupon doubling event and snagged 6 free Febreeze Hawaiian Aloha, cheap Scrubbing Bubbles products and some Dawn products. (Yes, so I now have a great smelling home and spotless dishes!)

8. Suncare coupons- Being in desert climate (I can't compare Mcallen weather to be any better in summer..Its scorching hot!!), these coupons are a must to get some free or cheap BUT great quality suncare products for my family....and yours too!

Ok, so this is again not a single coupon but I couldn't resist putting down all 5 links!

9. 1.50$ off any Kashi waffles- Healthy and yummy!. My Target has these priced at 1.79$ right now so check if yours is priced the same. 29 cents a box for healthy waffles- wow! (But make sure you check on the expiry dates on the boxes. A few were close to their expiry date so I made sure I picked the longer 'freezer life' ones!) This coupon can be printed twice by hitting the back button.

10. Free lip item with ANY purchase at Bath & Body Works- this is valid till May 31 2009 and you can get a free lip item upto 12$ value. (Thanks Hip2Save)


May 28, 2009

(CLOSED) Ecostore USA Review & 25$ Gift certificate Giveaway! has chosen our winner.....Congratulations Zippy!! (Clem can get those ear washes now ;>)

Remember my 'Clean Up post' where I stated I only use organic cleaning solutions in and around the house? Well, a while ago I was thrilled to receive an invitation from Ecostore USA to review 2 of their products. Why? Well all their products are plant and mineral based, free of toxic chemicals and most importantly.....economical!

Ecostore USA is an extension of the New Zealand company Ecostore that has been around for 20 years! That's right!! So they really know the ins and outs of really being green!

I was fortunate to receive their Citrus cleaner and Laundry Liquid to test and here's what I thought

1. Citrus Cleaner- I used this yesterday on my stove top that had some grease patches on it and honestly thought I'd need to scrape the residues off but was pleasantly surprised. The cleaner had a mild citrus fragrance to it, so I didn't think it would be very effective. (Yes crazily enough I associate strong fragrances with effective cleaning!) After spraying the stovetop I left the solution on for a few seconds before wiping the top and when I wiped the surface off with a paper towel, everything came off! I didn't need to scrape one bit off. Yay!

2. Laundry Liquid - This liquid has a unique minty kind of fragrance that has this nice freshness about it. (It is eucalyptus based- isn't that cool? )What I love about this is you don't need to use much in the washer, just about 3-5 tablespoons and it lathers well. For the price it's a good buy and best of all great to use when washing your little one's clothes as it has been certified to be 100% organic.

I'm so glad I got to learn of this great company and I would love for you to try their products. They have this great offer of free shipping for all orders of 25$ and above. Plus you can choose from a variety of products for your baby, your hair, your household and even your pet.

Ecostore has an exclusive dealership with Meijer and their products are selling like hotcakes around the US.

has been kind to host a giveaway to offer one of my readers a 25$ Gift certificate to their online store. (Wow! That means you will get 25$ worth of Ecostore products free with free shipping- Score!!)

How to enter this giveaway:

- To enter this giveaway, please visit the Ecostore website and come back here and leave a comment on what product you feel would benefit you/your family the most.

In addition to your primary entry, you can enter 5 more times...YES! You CAN enter a total of 6 times! :

- 1. Post a comment on which store you would like to see Ecostore products in

- 2. Subscribe to my blog (remember you need to activate the subscription if you subscribe via email) or Follow my blog & leave a comment stating that you subscribe or follow.

- 3. Blog about this giveaway (leave a comment with a link to your blog post)

- 4. Add the link to this giveaway on a Mr Linky on a blog giveaway site, forum, carnival. (leave a comment with the link)

- 5. Email 5 people about this giveaway and cc or bcc me on the mail with this email address: mjblog09 (at) gmail (dot) com

This giveaway is open to US residents, 18 years and above.

The winner will be chosen with the generator on JUNE 6 2009 at 10 pm central time, so enter before that. The winner's name will be posted thereafter. Please note if the winner does not get back to me 48 hours after his/her name has been posted, I will pick another win.

So hurry and enter! Go Ecostore!!


May 27, 2009

A newborn's conversation with God

My sister forwarded this one to me and I had to post this up for all Mommies around.

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

God said,"Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired,"But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you.

And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the child asked,"And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"

God said,"Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said,"Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"

God said,"Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked,

"God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."

God said,"You will simply call her, "Mom."

Wasn't that beautiful?


May 26, 2009

He makes ALL things beautiful.

I love everything this picture I found represents. The beautiful greens covered with snow awaiting the call of spring. Awaiting the call for a new season, new life, new hope. Awaiting... anticipating....expecting.

Oh I'm so excited today because I received some awesome news this morning from a good friend back in India. News that just lifted my spirits and encouraged me so much in my faith. News that just confirmed what God says in His Word... "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose in Heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1) and a loud shout out to say that " YES, HE IS A PRAYER ANSWERING GOD!"

We have been praying for a dear friend's marriage for over 8 years and honestly as the years slipped by, maybe our faith quivered a bit and maybe we all started to wonder if maybe God's Will for her was otherwise but I know her parents always stood strong in faith and persevered in prayer. And today we were given such an awesome encouragement- "She is getting married next month" Woo-hoo!! I am so happy for our friend and more so blessed with this news. It's such an encouragement to our family that God hears our every prayer. He may not answer as quickly as we want but He answers in His Time and when He does....He makes sure He makes it all so beautiful.

I really hope this encourages you. Remember no prayer request you have lifted to God is a lost situation , a basket case or a forgotten cause. Be persistent, persevere and keep praying, irrespective of the number of years you have been praying for that need. Someone once said when we persevere in prayer we are essentially putting our complete trust in God, thereby allowing Him to work something beautiful in our lives. So lets keep '' (Praying Until Something Happens)'cos the morning is coming! That's right! There will be a new season soon!

Morning's Coming by Jeff and Sherri Easter


May 24, 2009

Where did all that time go?

Recently I've become very snappy and I've just been blaming it on that time of the month but deep inside my heart I know what it is and God knows too.....I'm just all mopey my baby's growing up way too soon.

I still remember my little doll in my arms, her beautiful big eyes looking up into mine. So innocent. So full of trust. So tiny.

I still remember the first time she said Mama. The first steps she took. Her gurgly giggles. Her baby babble. Her first sentences. Her favorite words. I remember it all as if it were yesterday.

Now I see the little baby that is impressed in my mind has now become a little girl. A little girl with an independent little streak in her. A little girl all the more willing to start school. A little girl. Not a little baby anymore. Where did all that time go?

I know this is all because Bunny girl will soon start summer school in June and that means I won't have my little helper, my little tail, my little conversation partner at home 24 x 7 with me and I'm going to miss her so much.

I have my fears, as any mother would but I know this is where I need to just trust God to take care of my little one as I let her out of my mother hen territory and out into the world. This is where I really need to Let Go and Let God take over.

I already miss her too much and I can't type this post out anymore. I need to rush to the bathroom and bawl my eyes out again.....And if Hubby asks I'm just going to blame it on that time of the month again!

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May 22, 2009

Lovin' Belle

Bunny girl apparently loves Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast for 2 reasons :

1. "She always wears yellow"- Bunny girl's favorite color at the moment

2. "She obeys all the time" - According to Bunny girl "She obeys her Mama and Dada and gets ready for her show in time. She never misses her show."
(During our trip to Disney world this March to celebrate Bunny girl's 3rd birthday, we visited the section in the park called Belle's Storytime Garden. Here Belle comes out and tells the children her version of the story of Beauty and the Beast. We'd told Bunny girl we had to wait for Belle to appear as she would only come out at a specific time. Guess that stuck in Bunny girl's mind!)

Bunny girl has recently started drawing pictures of Belle and I love these so much. They are super cute and I just had to share this with you!

Bunny girl was 3 years 2 mos when she drew this. Here's a link to my little artist's first actual drawing- 'Elmo'!

Picture details, for reference (:>)- The round circles on either side of Belle's face are her hands and the 2 lines at the bottom of her face are Belle's legs. The fuzzy bit on top of her head is her hair and the long horn like projection on top of her head is Belle's crown.

So precious!

July 4 2009 update:

Just entered Bunny girl's art into the Toddler Craft Art Contest. Get your kids to enter too (or enter for them ;>). Lots of fun stuff to be won!

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May 21, 2009

Target trip 05/21-spent 3.27$ only for all this!!

Had the pest control guys in the apartment this morning, which meant we needed to be out of the house for 2 hours atleast. Decided I'd hit Target to use the rest of my Target coupons (TQs) and the Kraft Manufacturer coupons (MQs) before the Quaker and Nabisco deals end on the 23rd. Sadly my Target was wiped clean of cookies....I'm sure another Coupon Mommy beat me to it ;> but nevertheless I did manage to get a few good deals thanks to the overages and clearance prices!

2 Two Pack Target Kitchen Scrubs (Used 2 TQs )
1 Downy Ultra Trial Size clearanced down (1 Downy MQ for any size)
2 Tide Trial Size clearanced down ( 2 Tide MQs for any size)
3 mini Pringles cans- by the counter (3 TQs)
10 Quaker Bite Snacks- by the counter (10 TQs)- these are super yum!
1 Pace Salsa ( 1 MQ from the Pace Instant win game)
1 R. Bran Kelloggs (1 MQ)
2 Coppertone Trial Size Water babies sun screen ( 2 MQs for any size)
1 NYC lipstick- thought this was clearanced down.Upon getting back and checking the bill I realized I picked up the wrong one...oh well, never mind! ( 1 MQ)
1 Rimmel Nail polish clearanced down (1 MQ)
Charmin To Go clearanced down ( 1 MQ for any size)
Cottonelle (12 double rolls)-on sale (1 5$ coupon off a Kimberley Clark product- won this coupon along with 4 others on the Kimberley Clark instant win game)

My total out of pocket spending was 3.27$ ( paid this off with a Target gift card from an earlier Target deal) and my overall savings was 42.35 $.


May 20, 2009

Mommy Tip # 10 - Fun way to teach your preschooler the Noah's Ark story.

Since mid April, I have been teaching the preschoolers on Wednesdays at our church and I've learnt that the best way to grab a child's attention is to make a story fun and if you have props, all the better. I generally make my own props and I thought it would be fun to share my little projects with you. They're really easy to make and the visuals really help the little ones remember.

This week we will be doing the Noah's Ark story. Bunny girl has been kind enough to lend me her little Noah and wife figures (we got this cute set of plastic figures - Noah, wife and some animals- for a dollar at the Dollar store 3 months or so ago) and 3 animal pairs, so we have characters for the little story.

Now to make the main prop, you will need these materials:
  • A small empty cardboard box ( I used one of the boxes I got books in)
  • Orange, white, light blue and dark blue construction paper
  • Blue and green tissue paper(the sort you use in gift bags)
  • Pictures- I printed out my pictures from the net. Google Image searched cliparts for the Ark, Rainbow, Thunderstorm clouds, Flowers, Trees, 2 landscape pictures for the side panels.
1. First cut off one side of the box and one flap off the top. (Leave one flap on. You will use that to stick the rainbow on. )

2. Stick the orange construction paper on the floor of the prop to act as the path leading to the ark. On the sides you can stick the green tissue paper (i.e.The grass. )

3. On the main upright flap you will need to stick the light blue construction paper first. Then stick your cutout of the ark and then cut out clouds (white paper) and stick them onto the sky. Cut out wave shapes for either side of the ark and stick this on as well.

4. On the side panels you can stick your individual landscapes. Both pictures were a little small, so I had to cut bits of the side to ensure no cardboard stuck out. I stuck trees on the right panel as it looked plain and stuck flower bushes on little cardboard strips and stuck them on either side of the grass, with cellotape.

5. Cut out a little door on the ark, to make the process of going into the ark more visual. (You will need to cut out the door to suit the size of the figures/animals you use. Mine got a little small so with our prop, the giraffes and elephants sadly have no entry into the ark!)

6. Now the rain! I love this the best. Take a thick cardboard strip and stick a sheet of blue tissue paper on one end and allow the other end to hang down. Now stick the thunderstorm clouds on the top (on the cardboard strip end) and then cut the tissue into jagged strips. Make sure you don't cut the cardboard strip. To make the tissue strips look a little more 'rain-like' you can stick cut out dark blue rain drops randomly. (The rain effect is really cool when you talk about God sending the rains for 40 days and 40 nights and you shake that strip in front of the ark. The strips make this cute swish swish little drops of water falling on a window pane.)

7. Now throughout the story you need to remember to keep the panel flap above the ark, bent backwards. This will only be lifted up after you tell the kids "The rain stopped and Noah and the animals got out of the ark. They looked up and saw the rainbow in the sky, that God had brought out as a sign."
To make the rainbow, you will need to stick the light blue construction paper on the panel, to depict the sky. Again stick some cloud cutouts and finally stick your colorful rainbow.

And there you have it. A really simple but beautiful prop to narrate the story of Noah's Ark.

I'm really excited to get to class this evening. I love watching the kids expressions each time a story unravels. They'll be even happier to see the Animal Cracker snacks after the lesson!


May 18, 2009

Bunny girl's teeth.

Till yesterday, toothpaste and Bunny girl were as compatible as oil and water. Bunny girl hated brushing her teeth especially with fluoride toothpaste. It had been a struggle every morning and night to get the strong red toothpaste to clean her teeth well. I thought the Dora picture on the tube would help but Bunny girl felt otherwise.

Last night at Walgreens I walked by an Oral B tube of toothpaste with the Disney Princesses picture on it. The picture did the trick! (Thank God for the promo guys at Oral B!) Bunny girl wanted to brush her teeth as soon as we got home. It was hard to get her to wait. She is onto the Disney Princess phase ever since her trip to Disney and knowing that she had princess toothpaste was the tops!!

When it was finally time to get her teeth cleaned, it was a breeze! She even loved the fact that she spat out pink....just like Princess Aurora! Before getting off her little stool she looked in the mirror and gave a big Princess grin and climbed off accomplished. Hubby and I watched jubilant.

Before getting into bed, while saying her prayers, she even requested " Dear Jesus please help me get pink Princess teeth!"

We finally scored. No more toothpaste woes for our little Princess!

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Huggies Enjoy the Ride Rewards

Huggies has a new rewards program whereby you can feed in codes from Diaper packages or codes you may have received off the mail or a friend. The codes fed convert into points that can be spent for monthly sweeps or instant win games.

Elisa's out of diapers but I've got several codes from Freebies4Mom (Thanks Heather!) and I've got my eye set on the Gap 25$ card(950 winners ) or better still the 25$ Visa card (2000 winners). The instant win games end on May 31 2009.

Sign up here and get your first 10 points after registration. You can get 1 point for sharing a tip and 1 point for taking a poll. You can get a lot more points by feeding in these codes:
































You can also rake up points by watching the videos (under the Earn Points tab). CafeMom also has some codes listed here

The best way to win instant win games would be the method Sweeties Sweeps uses. Read her article the Secret to winning instant win games. I'm yet to fall into routine on this one but each time I check her site I tell myself tomorrow I have to try this out...sigh....tomorrow WILL come soon!


May 17, 2009

Mommy Tip # 9 - Running dry on Mommy Tips?

Running dry on Mommy Tips? Help is on the way!!!

Just stumbled across this superb site called 'Parent hacks'. Its filled with great ideas, creative activities and parenting SOS for practically every sticky situation you may face under the sun. That's right! This site has everything that your Parent Resource Tank needs to propel forward with gumption!
P.S. Did you know that gumption actually means initiative, aggressiveness, resourcefulness, courage, spunk, guts. Sound familiar ? other words doesn't it seem like yet another word to describe a Mommy? Ha, ha, ha! Couldn't resist that one!

I love that this site is actually categorized to help the reader find precisely what she (or he) is looking for and is written from first hand experiences of parents. Parent hacks was even awarded the best Parenting and Family Blog for the year 2007. (Can't believe I've actually never seen this site before. What a God send for all parents!)

Check the site out for yourself and see why I think its awesome!


May 16, 2009

Mommy Tip # 8 - Puzzles puzzles everywhere!

If your little one is a jigsaw puzzle enthusiast as mine you will fathom the frustration there is when one piece of a puzzle goes missing. Bunny girl has a number of puzzles and a missing piece was common place in the recent past till I discovered a new use for Ziploc bags! (Had the brainwave when we were making our trip down to India and carrying all the puzzle boxes was out of the question due to lack of space. Bunny girl wanted to carry along several puzzles and there were Ziploc bags lying around....Eureka!)

Storing jigsaw puzzles in their original boxes is good but takes up so much space, so what I do now is:
1. Store each puzzle in individual Ziploc bags.
2. Cut out the puzzle's reference picture from the box and insert the same into the bag.
3. Label the bag with the Puzzle's name and the number of pieces the puzzle holds.

And voila! Storage saving, less messes, jigsaw puzzle pieces that stay together....Happy Bunny girl and Happy Mama!


May 15, 2009

My Target steals for the week 05/10/2009

Did my Target shopping trip late in the week this time (my in-laws leave on Saturday and they love cereal...needed to figure out my shopping list before I headed out) but think I scored pretty good. (Check out the Kraft post to locate most of the coupons used) Here are my deals:

Transaction 1:
(To replicate this deal and get the Swiffer rebate, you will need to buy the refills latest by the 15th of hurry!)

Swiffer Starter Kit 8.99 $
Swiffer Refills(5) 20.20 $

Total before coupons: 29.19 $
Manufacturer coupons: 6 $ (I had a 5$ off a starter kit. )

Total after coupons (Qs) and tax: 23.87$

Got back 15 $ in Target giftcards, making the total out of pocket (OOP) spending : 8.87 $

I will now be sending in my UPCs and the receipt for a rebate on the Refills and with that, will get a 10$ debit card in return

Thus I totally spent zilch for this transaction but was actually paid 1.13$ (my bill overage) to buy all this ! Thanks Swiffer and Target!!!

Total savings on the bill: 29.25$

(Visit Attention Target Shoppers to get another deal scenario)

PS. Used a 20$ Target giftcard I had received in the mail for doing surveys, to settle this bill.

Transaction 2:

1 Rubbermaid tile brush (Clearanced down-no Qs)
10 Pringles cans by the counter (Target Qs)
10 Quaker mini bite snacks (Target Qs)
3 Huggies 16 ct travel wipes (Manuf Qs)
3 Nabisco 100 cal pack Oreo Candy Bites (Target + Manuf Qs)
1 Teddy Graham Pack (Target Q)
3 Carry and go Crystal Lite packs (Manuf Qs)
1 Prego pasta sauce (clearanced down)
7 Kelloggs Cereal boxes-marked down to 1.99 ea (1$ Manuf Qs for ea)
2 Kashi Waffle boxes (1.5$ Manuf Qs from Vocal Point. Had 7 but someone beat me to the Kashi Waffle section and there were 2 lone boxes in the fridge!)
1 Tropicana Juice (Manuf Q)
2 Travel size Purrel (Manuf Q)
2 Aquafresh Clean Travel size( Manuf Qs)

Total before coupons: 55.34 $

Total after coupons (Qs) and tax: 13.84$

Total savings on the bill: 62.97$

PS. Used the 15$ Target giftcard I had received from Transaction 1, to pay for this bill.


Stopped at Kmart on the way home to pick up 4 boxes of Cheerios. They have select Cheerio boxes on promotion. Buy 4 boxes and get 4$ off automatically at the register. (Check hip2save's post) I had 2 1$ off Qs for the Honey Nut promo and spent a total of 4$ out of pocket. Rushed home to check the boxes to see if we had won a cash card (More details on the cash card promo on Freebies4Mom's post) and hurrah we won a 5$ cash card..not much but atleast the cereal was paid for!....Ha ha!

To summarize, in effect I will be paying less than a dollar (I know, can you believe that??? I can't!!!) for both Target transactions and the Kmart transaction after all the giftcards, rebates and the cash card!!

It truly pays to coupon!


May 14, 2009

Mommy Tip # 7- Toddler/Preschool learning all over the house!

I've personally found you can get creative with learning especially with toddlers/preschoolers. I've done some crazy things for Bunny girl's room but crazy as some of them may be, they've taught Bunny girl and she has enjoyed( and continues to enjoy) the learning experience..that's all that matters to me!

We have an ABC mat in her room and when she was just learning her ABCs, we'd call out letters and have her hop out to the alphabet called. Read more about this in my Mommy Tip Post #2.

I also have magnetic alphabets all over our fridge and now that she will soon start coining small words together, its a fun way to get her to experiment on her own. She has started to identify her name when the letters are put together on the fridge .

When Bunny girl was close to turning 2 , she was crazy about Elmo and his furry companions. Fortunately I found a stack of number flash cards (Picked this up from Target in their dollar aisle) with the Sesame Street characters on them. I pasted the cards onto individual chart squares and stuck them up on her chest of drawers. She learnt her numbers and the room looks cute!

When we were learning colors we cut up butterflies in different colors and plastered them on the empty wall in her room. Not only were the butterflies a very economical way to decorate her room but they also helped Bunny girl learn all her colors.

I've done red chart cutouts of shapes and had them put up on the wall. We'd play a game to learn the shapes. I'd call out a shape and she'd have to toddle up to the shape, touch the shape and toddle back to me. ( She was a year and a half then). Can't seem to find a photograph of the same as it was quite a while back and since then the shapes have found their retirement home in one of the drawers!

The sky's the limit when it comes to merging your toddler's/ preschooler's learning and interior decorating his or her room. Get creative and become a kid again! Make fun, colorful posters, pictures and cutouts and think of little games that can be associated with the 'decor' in his or her room. You will find your little one will have a great time playing and in the process will learn all that he or she needs to in the process!


Mama why don't you love me?

Few weeks ago Bunny girl asked me this question and it paralyzed my sane thinking for a moment as I tried to think of when I let her down as a Mother. "She is only 3 and she thinks I don't love her.....what did I do wrong?"

I paused and with my best reassuring voice replied "But baby, Mama loves you so much "

Pat came the reply- "No Mama why don't you love me?"

It must have been the disciplining ....sigh.....or maybe all the veggies she had to eat.....or maybe....

"Bunny girl, Mama loves you sooo much. Really I do. "

Finally exasperated Bunny girl asked " Mama why don't you love (allow!) me to go out alone? "

I'm sure they heard my super sized sigh of relief all the way down to Houston!

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May 13, 2009

Bunny girl and Shadow

Shadow is the canine member of our family back in India. She's a beautiful black Labrador with a heart as big as Texas!

Shadow and Bunny girl have a bond that goes way back to when she was born. Shadow actually lives with my brother in law and their home was bang opposite our rental home when Bunny girl was tiny. Each time Bunny girl would cry as a little baby, Shadow would run out of the house and stand at the gate to check what was wrong. As she grew older, Shadow became her playmate. Bunny girl would pick stones of varying sizes and shapes and feed Shadow the same. Shadow would open her mouth, take hold of each stone, close her mouth as if to eat the stone and when Bunny girl bent over to get the next stone, would turn her head to the side and spit the stone out !

When we left India for the US when Bunny girl was a year and a half old, she missed Shadow a lot. I still remember the day we first took her to the Toys R Us here and told her she could choose any toy she wanted as a special treat. Hubby carried her around the store and while passing the plush toys, she shouted Shadow and they stopped. There on the shelves was a beautiful plush black lab that looked just like Shadow in every way and that was the prezzie Bunny girl wanted, nothing else. So Shadow 2 came home with us that day.

We took a trip to India late last year and I wasn't sure if Shadow and Bunny girl would bond as they did when she was younger but I was SO WRONG! As soon as they met, they just picked up from where they left off. Shadow would wait for Bunny girl to wake up in the morning and they'd play in the sun, play in the evening and play at night. When the holiday finished, Shadow even came to the bus stop to say bye to Bunny girl and kept licking her face to say her goodbyes, much to my horror. ( Needless to say, on the bus ride out, Bunny girl was thoroughly wiped down and disinfected! I love dogs but can't handle the sticky wet licks....eeeyeeew!!)

Shadow is a part of our family and is featured on Bunny girl's prayer list each night and she won't have it any other way. I love the relationship they both share .... and honestly, I too wouldn't have it any other way!

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May 12, 2009

Couponing a waste of time?... NO WAY!!!

Prior to being a stay at home mom (SAHM), I worked as a Business Development Manager back in India. I loved the independence of earning and contributing to our family. Once we moved to the US, I became a full time SAHM to my darling Bunny girl and I don't regret it one bit today!

Adapting to the new role of an SAHM was hard initially as I felt I wasn't helping my family in any way till I met another SAHM in a friend's home. I still remember what she said. She told me the time I was spending at home with Bunny girl was not a waste but was an investment I was making in Bunny girl's life....that changed my outlook 100% but there was still a part of me that felt I needed to help Hubby in some other way. I slowly discovered and slowly more sites and after a while other Mom bloggers who loved a good deal....just like me! Slowly began my novice days of couponing and I can't say I'm a pro yet but I'm getting there.

I have been able to cut quite a big chunk off our bills especially at Walgreens and Target and I love the thrill of seeing the single digits at the end of the bill after all the coupon deductions and sales- WOOHOO! My Hubby loves every bit of the savings!!

I will slowly start posting some of the deals I clinch and will share how I did them to help you save some buckaroos too!

More soon but before I go, here's a picture of my last set of Walgreens deals and Target deals- both done last week. (unfortunately I don't have the bill breakups as I needed to send both in seperately for product rebates.)

Saved over 38$ and spent only 2.2$ out of pocket!

This was my best Target deal of all time! Saved over 50$ and spent a total of 4.18 $ only!

I hope to have lots more deal scenarios and pictures in the days to come. Couponing isn't hard but does take a bit of time. I try and research deals and clip or print coupons when Bunny girl naps or is asleep. Once you start, it grows on you and you will find it hard to pay anything full price anymore!


50$ worth of Kraft coupons- great savings!

The Kraftfoods website has released 50$ worth of savings in coupons that can be printed from their website just by signing up. The best part of this deal is the coupons can be printed twice, just by refreshing the page or going back to where you first started.

Want to know something better? You can print the same set of coupons two more times from the site.

These coupons are great when used on some of the deals going on. For instance, using the Kraft bbq coupon you can get 4 bottles of bbq sauce free from Walmart or Target this week! Couple the Nabisco coupons with the Target store coupons found here and go home with Nabisco snacks worth just a few cents each! To check out some great Kraft Target deal scenarios visit one of my favorite sites 'Attention Target Shoppers'

I plan to hit Target on Thursday with my list and will let you know how I get on once I get back!

More on why I coupon in my next post!


May 11, 2009

Disney's Earth- a must see!

What better way to celebrate Mother's Day than watch Disney's latest production - Earth with some of my favorite people. Hubby dearest took our family and my good friend and her son to watch this beautiful movie. This is a definite must see for all ages. The awesomeness of God's Creation, His Hand in providing for the animals, the exquisite beauty in landscape and the universal language of motherhood.

There are beautiful Mommy moments in the movie. I loved the way the Mama whale flapped her fin on the surface of th
e waves to let the baby know she was close by and that they had to keep surging ahead to their final destination. Also loved the tired little elephant calf and his Mama. The elephants had been marching for days to reach the watering hole and the poor baby was so tired and thus unfocused that he walked straight into a straggly tree. The Mama stopped marching immediately, turned and looked at her little one, as if to egg him on, waited for him to re-orient and then together they marched on again to join the rest of the troop.

Bunny girl loved the movie (Was her first movie in a theatre and what better one to be the first!)but was most 'uspet' (upset) that the great white killer shark had to eat the seal. She only realised the seal was being devoured when she spotted its flipper peeping out of the shark's savage jaws. There were other scenes in the film that showed 'the hunter and the hunted' but this is what it looked like to her-
1. When the Polar bear tried to grab hold of a walrus for a much needed meal and while the other walruses fl
ed into the waters for safety, Bunny girl thought the Polar bear was helping the walrus into the water by giving it a push of help.
2. When the cheetah pounced onto a deer and dug its teeth into the deer's neck,
Bunny girl whispered "'s kissing the deer's boo-boo(hurt)"! (I thought it best to leave it at that!!)

I give this movie a unanimous thumbs up and would encourage everyone to g
o see it. Take a look at the trailer and decide for yourself!
Disney Earth's Preview


May 10, 2009

To the best Mommies around!

A Mother's love is something that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendoured miracle man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence of God's tender guiding hand.
( Helen Steiner Rice)

Here's wishing all you amazing mothers out there a wonderful day ahead. I hope it will be a day of relaxation, laughter, love and above all a day filled with special memories that will carry you through the year. Even though it may not be said very often, remember you are the chord that holds your family together. You are cherished, loved and honored. Somebody once said "A Mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take".

Happy Mother's day to the best Mommies around! You are the world to your child...never forget that.

P.S. little Bunny just said she wanted to help her Dada make tea for me...I love this day!!


May 8, 2009

Met my Mama yet?

This post is dedicated to my role model.

You know what its like when you hear a word and you automatically associate it to something? Well for me, each time I hear the phrase 'Woman of Substance' my mind (and heart!) immediately say 'Mama' and if you knew my Mother you would know it is true.

My Mama is more than just a mother, she's my friend. Someone I respect, look up to, admire and love with all my heart. She has put her daughters needs (just 2 of us- my little sister and self) before her needs and now with Bunny girl around, she's on top of the list!

My recollections of my mother growing up are those of a very hardworking lady who would make sure she waited at the bus-stop till our school bus arrived, run down the road to be an amazing Recruitment professional at the Manpower Resources Agency, run back in the afternoon to make sure she was there to pick us up after school, feed us a hot lunch and then run back to work. I remember there were nights, after giving us our dinners, she would be so tired, she wouldn't have the energy to eat dinner. She'd just have a mug of hot milk and dip cookies into it.

As a child I would always wonder why Mama would always fall asleep right after a movie as a Mother I understand how tired she was.

As a child I would always wonder why she needed to escort us everywhere we went. We never got to go anywhere as a Mother I understand she wanted to keep us safe and protected.

As a child I would always wonder why family prayer was a must and why she would keep saying "A family that prays together stays together" as a Mother I see how important it is to train up a child in the way she should go because when she grows older she will know the right paths to take. (Proverbs 22:6)

As a child I would always wonder why we needed to eat all those veggies and fruit shakes(yes all the yucky stuff to a child) as a Mother I see myself doing the same thing for Elisa and know it was to make sure we grew up to be healthy children with strong immunity.

As a child I would always wonder why Mama would always be on our case to study, study,study and why she'd say "An education is something nobody can take from you" as a Mother I understand how important it is to ensure a good education is provided for your child. Today with a Masters degree in hand I know, by His Grace, I can stand a step confidently in the corporate rat race.

As a child I never understood Mama a Mother I understand today and thank God we were blessed with the best Mother ever.

Happy Mother's Day Mama. We love you so much.

Proverbs 31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed


May 6, 2009

Being a mother

I remember the first time I actually got to see my little baby for a good long time. It was March 9th,2006 post 12pm (Bunny girl was born at 8.05am) and Bunny girl was in the NICU ( just for observation to make sure she hadn't swallowed any meconium during birth). I remember walking in and hearing my doll cry. Somehow I knew it was her, my heartstrings where already attuned and I knew my own.

I still remember walking to her, her face was turned the other way and she was still bawling her darling little lungs out and I just said something to the effect of "Shhhh..Mama's here. Baby, Mama's here" and my precious one just turned her little head to face me and stopped crying. That's when Hubby managed to preserve the moment with this picture. Thank God for cameras! My treasured picture. The first time my little girl and I bonded face to face. That moment was priceless. Being a mother is priceless.

Psalms 127:3 says children are a reward from the Lord. In different translations it says they are a heritage, a gift from the Lord, God's best gift, His Generous Legacy.

Truly becoming a mother has been one of God's greatest blessings upon my life. One that I will always cherish, treasure, prize, value. Sometimes there just isn't one word in the English language that can truly describe what you feel in its entirety, but you know what I mean. I love being a Mother........rather, I love being Bunny girl's mother. Thank you Lord!


May 5, 2009

Madeleine Mccann is still missing.

Ever since Bunny girl was little my only prayer has been she be kept safe and when the Madeleine Mccann story broke first, I remember a chill went over me and I thought of Elisa.

Madeleine or Maddie as she is lovingly known, was abducted from the family's holiday resort in Portugal as her younger twin siblings lay asleep next to her and while her parents dined with some friends at a restaurant close by. She was carried away into the darkness by a stranger and till date is still missing. Reports of Maddie sightings have been popping up all over the media over the past 2 years but nothing conclusive has ever come out of the reports. My heart goes out to Kate and Gerry. They need to try and carry on living a life of normalcy for their twins but at the same time who would not want to just pause life completely and wait till their much longed for Maddie walks back into their lives.

The family have set up a website here and they are accepting donations to help continue with the funding for their search.

The Press has also recently released this age progressed constructed picture of Maddie to help bring this little one back home.

Please remember this family in your prayers and especially remember little Maddie. She was close to turning 4 when she was abducted. An age when your parents are your world and everything is complete if its just you and your Mommy and Daddy.

God watches out for the little sparrows and I believe with all my heart wherever Maddie is He is watching out for this precious one. She has not been forgotten. We can only entrust Maddie into the Hands of our Heavenly Father and rely on Him to bring her back home soon....and safe.


May 4, 2009

Giving it all to Him

This morning while preparing for a Bible study later in the evening, I came across this beautifully written article and honestly it made me stop all I was doing and just reflect on how true it all is. Many times we give God our problems in prayer but still go around being little worry warts. I know personally I need to grow to trust God more and this article only reinstated that. I pray this may bless you too.

When you worry about money, you're telling Him that He is unable to provide for His children ... that although He has riches beyond belief in Heaven, He is too stingy to share them with you.

When you worry that no one understands you, you're telling Him that although He has been with you since before you were formed in the womb, and has carved you into the palm of His hand, He doesn't know you.

When you worry that you will not have enough food, you're telling Him that although He rained down bread from Heaven in the desert to feed His children, you are the one He's forgotten.

When you worry that your enemies will have victory over you, you're telling God that although He has given you spiritual battle gear to defend yourself, that despite His track record of being a giant slayer, Red Sea divider, lion mouth closer and a furnace cooler, He can't handle your co-worker, your neighbor or a former friend.

When you worry that your children have decided to follow the world instead of your example, you're telling God that He doesn't keep His promises....That despite the fact that you have raised them up in the way they should go, they'll stray because basically, He lied.

When you worry because the doctors told you that children are impossible, that a cure is impossible, that healing is impossible, you're telling Him that this world controls your fate.

You're saying that prayer time with Him is nearly something to pass the time. You're saying that although He can raise the dead, make a virgin conceive, open the womb of a woman well past eighty, heal a 12 year issue of blood, make the blind see and the lame walk, He can't help

When you worry that you won't be able to do enough to earn forgiveness, you're telling Him "that's ok Lord, no need for Your Son to die, I can earn my own forgiveness." Let's just act like Jesus never died, and tell Him never mind, that He doesn't need to go to the cross.

When you worry that no one will love you, that you'll be lonely for the rest of your life, you're telling Him that His love is insufficient ...that He couldn't possibly love you enough to ward away loneliness. You're saying that although He has promised life more abundantly, He was lying .... that despite the fact that He started off saying that it is not good that we be alone, He's changed His mind.

When you worry and refuse to give the problem over to Him, you're telling Him that although He could create the world, He can't handle what's going on in your world, so you will. You are saying that He won't work things out, that obstacles cannot be overcome, that mountains can't be climbed, that healing cannot occur, that what is lost will not be found, that joy does not come in the morning, that He is not the God of a second chance, that the promised land has been swallowed up by the desert, that you have discovered the height, depth and width of His love and found it to fall short of your needs.

Think about all that you're saying to the one who loves you the most and who has all power, really think about it. Then open you hands and release what you've been holding onto. Bow down on your knees and ask Him to forgive you for doubting Him. Walk away with a peaceful heart and note the footsteps that go before you to make the crooked places straight, a way in the wilderness, and later springing forth in the desert.

Remember that beautiful song "Give it all to Jesus"? May we grow to give Him our all, leaving nothing back, trusting Him, in peace, with it all. God bless!