Thursday, June 25, 2009

Help me win!

So, I've taken a break from giveaways for the past few months, though I did manage to still win a lip smoothing salon pack from the one I did splurge my time on. I stumbled across this one and have decided that I HAVE to win!

I want these:
So I'm blogging about the great giveaway of a $100 giftcard to eye buy direct, courtesy of "Livin' in a Little White House"

I'd tell you all to go enter, but I really NEED new glasses! Having a toddler has been a little rough on the eye wear around here--my frames are scratched to nearly opaque and Eric's have been redesigned for a more angled face...

...or a cyclops.

Here's hoping I win!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You're Invited!

Thanks to everyone who's expressed interest :o) Want in? Call me to schedule a specific time. I'll see you there! I might even bring treats...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

New Projects

So I'm busy with school and packing and yardwork, which means I'm suddenly in the mood to get seriously crafty. Here are some new projects on the horizon. Interested? Let me know, we can make them together!

A toddler neck pillow, since his poor head flops around in his forward-facing car seat!

A toddler bag, so Scotty can carry his own gear and diapers instead of commandeering my purse!

Looking for something different? Check out this great site for easy step by step tutorials.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Portrait Party: continued

Our portrait party is in the works! We need to pick which day works best, so vote in the poll in the right side bar! Pick every day that will work for you.

The tentative plan is to meet at the waterfall area by the bell tower on BYU campus. Times will be available from approximately 4-7pm on the date of our choice, and you can either pick a specific slot or we can make it a come and go format. I'll bring treats, so come hang out!

Have any friends you think would be interested? Let me know!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Portrait Party: update

Ok, I think I'm really going to do this :o) BUT, I need a few more people, so let me know if you're interested! Sorry that the previous link didn't work--please check out her work and see for yourself.

Shanda's new site! You can catch a glimpse of my cute boy (and even a shot of me) in her gallery.

Want great pictures for super cheap? post a comment. let me know.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Portrait Party

So, I found a great photographer through Craig'slist this past week! She's trying to expand her portfolio and get business going, so she offered me a free half hour session and 5 images on CD. I figured I had nothing to lose, but I had no idea I would get such great pictures FOR FREE! I do have an adorable son, but still, these are super professional--and Scotty just threw rocks into Utah Lake for the entire session.

I think her work is so great, and I know many of you are looking to get affordable pictures of your cute kids, so I'm thinking of hosting a portrait party. Here's how it works. I pick a location and invite my friends (and their kids). Every guest gets a free 20 minute shoot, including individuals or groups as needed, without paying any session fees! You can bring any people or props you wish, and photos will be edited and posted to a secure site within a week.

There is no pressure to buy any
of the portraits taken!


Guests can purchase a CD with their images
5 images - $15
10 images - $25
15 images - $35
20 images - $45
all images - $55


8 wallets - $10
4x6 - $10
5x7 - $10
8x10 - $15
11x14 - $20

I might even make it more of a party and provide food and treats to keep us entertained. Anyone interested? Let me know! I have to have at least four people to schedule...

check out her website as well!

P.S. if you want to see Scotty's pics, let me know and I'll email you a link.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Family Art Day (Provo)

Tuesday, June 10th, BYU's Museum of Art is hosting a Family Art Day!

The event is free from 10am-3pm.

The colorful visual puzzles and mind-bending optical tricks of Walter Wick, author and photographer of the popular “I Spy” and “Can You See What I See?” children’s books, are the inspiration for this year’s Family Art Day celebration.

Family Art Day will feature games and activities based on the images of Wick’s imaginative and playful world presented in the museum’s current exhibition of his work, “Walter Wick: Games, Gizmos, and Toys in the Attic.”

Families with children of all ages are invited to this free event. For more information about Family Art Day, contact the Museum of Art at (801) 422-8287 or visit the museum’s Web site at

Friday, May 29, 2009

Freesale Saturday

I've been meaning to post this all week but the time has gotten away from me. Don't forget about the freesale this Saturday!

Saturday, May 30th
on the lawn at 500 N 100 E

Women's clothes, men's clothes, baby clothes, sweaters, coats, movies, home decor, yard care supplies, etc. Bring anything you have to give away! Anything left will be taken to Deseret Industries. Please invite your friends and I'll see you there!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summer Reading Program

Summer Reading Program at the Provo City Library is just around the corner. For those of you who like to read, this is a great way to win prizes! The children's program is great for infants on up--get rewarded for feeling like a good mom and reading to your kid(s)!

The kickoff is this Saturday, May 30, from 9am-6pm in the Provo City Library Ballroom. If you want a free T-shirt for your kid come to the kickoff party! Registration continues through June 27. Bring your library card.

Other summer library activities:

every Tuesday and Thursday in June and July at 12:00-12:30 pm under the canopy on the south side of the library. Storytelling for families. Bring your lunch, pillows and blankets!

every Wednesday in June and July from 9:30-10:00 am and 10:30-11:00 am for toddlers and their caregivers in the Story Circle.

every Wednesday in June and July at 11:30 am-12:00 noon. Age-appropriate stories, songs, and finger plays for babies (0-12 months) and their parents/caregivers in the Story Circle.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Provo Fun: Plantarium Shows

Looking for a short break from real life but don't want to spend money? BYU Astronomy is celebrating AstroFest with free planetarium shows in the Eyring Science Center tomorrow, May 16! Every hour, on the hour, from 10-3. Did I mention it was free?

*they turn off the theater lights so it's dark--not recommended for small children.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Freecycle Swap

Provo Freecycle (like Craigslist but all free) is hosting a yard sale swap tomorrow!

Saturday, May 2
547 E. 600 N. Provo, UT
(if it rains it will be under the covered parking garage)

Everything is free--please bring someone of your own to exchange. Have stuff you were going to take to the DI? Bring it here first! They'll take whatever is left over to the DI for you, assuming it's easily transportable.

Right now there are a few bags of stuff we'll be putting on the front lawn...
stuffed animals
random plates, bowls, kitchen utensils
men's clothes (average size is M)
women's clothes (average size is S/M)
a few baskets, kids toys
large desk
double stroller (one of the brakes isn't working I was told)
computer (this will go by free raffle to someone who could really use it-- its a
mac all-in-one that has the capability of hooking up to the internet and works
great to type on for reports, etc.)

plus everything everyone else brings!

A few fun backgrounds

Well it's been awhile, with busy schedules and computer problems, but I've been sprucing up a few other hobbies in the meantime. Like, designing new blog backgrounds. Let me know what you think, and you're welcome to use one if you want. Don't know how to change your background? Scroll to the end of the post for step by step directions :o)

The pictures shown include a few headers I was just messing around with--the code it just for the background.

Don't Worry--you won't lose any gadgets, widgets, photos, or posts!

*First you must remove the layout you already have if you have a previous one applied
*To apply all backgrounds you must change your template to minima.
*Go to your dashboard.

To change your Blog Template:

1. Click the Layout link from your dashboard below the blog you would like to customize.
2. From the Pick new Template sub-tab choose the minima layout.
3. Click save to apply your new template.

To then apply your new Blog Background:

1. Click the Layout link from your dashboard below the blog you would like to customize.
2. From the Page Elements sub-tab, click Add a Gadget to add a new one.
3. To add a new gadget after you've clicked Add a Gadget, simply click the plus sign next to HTML/JavaScript gadget.
4. Paste the provided code from the background you wish to apply.
5. Click save and you should now have your new Blog Background.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Looking for free but informative?

Check out your local public library! Many libraries are currently handing out passes good for free admission to local zoos and museums free of charge.

Many also offer regular story time programs for kids, summer reading programs with rewards and activities, and adult seminars.

At the Provo library:

Gardening basics: getting started on a vegetable garden
April 21, 7 pm, Bullock Room #309
no registration required

Coming up:
Becoming credit wise (May 19)
Safely preserving foods (June 16)

Provo library also hosts free Monday night programs from 7:30-8pm, including stories and puppet shows, in the ballroom.

Home with a kid during the day? Check out their amazing story time programs! there are multiple age ranges.

Book Babies (0-12 months)
Friday at 10 am

Mother Goose (13-24 months)
Friday at 11 and 11:30am

Toddler Time (2-3 years)
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 10:10 and 11:10am

Story Time (3-5 years, check-in at the children's desk)
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 10 and 11 am sharp
*Children are signed in and attend story time without their parents, doors close promptly on the hour

Spanish story time (all ages, all in Spanish)
Monday 7pm, Friday 10:30am

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I was reading Reader's Digest this weekend when I saw it: the list of the 10 germ-iest places in your house. Some I expected but a few shocked me, and led to my morning cleaning adventures. I cleaned probably the dirtiest thing I have ever cleaned in my life: a vacuum cleaner.

Have you ever cleaned yours? Like, REALLY cleaned it? In a national study, 1/3 of vacuum cleaners tested positive for salmonella. If you ever vacuum your kitchen floor, or any food particles, the bacteria lives and grows inside your vacuum cleaner. Then, when you vacuum your house, you spread that bacteria everywhere! GROSS!

I thought it was time to take action. I took out all the filters, cleaned all the dirt out, and soaked them for a few minutes in a diluted bleach solution. The article recommended doing this once a month--and don't forget to clean the wheels! It took a little time, but it was oddly satisfying to get rid of all that gunk. Besides, I bet my vacuum cleaner will work much better next time I turn it on!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Provo's Hidden Gems: Part II

Part 2: Great little restaurants

I love the treat of eating out but we're on a tight budget. Here are some of my favorites around town.

El Salvador (332 W Center St)--great authentic Salvadorian food. Try the papusas, they're great and cheap!

Diego's Taco Shop (45 W 300 N) they moved a year ago to this new location but are still close enough to walk to. They make the best horchata I have ever tasted! It's pure heaven. I also love the chicken nachos.

Thai Ruby (744 E 820 N) I don't consider this a cheap eat, but we often stop in just for dessert--mango with sticky rice. If you like Thai food or mango, this is to die for! The perfect addition to make a basic home cooked meal seem like a classy night out.

7-11 (496 N University Ave) still the cheapest place for a quick summer fix: the Slurpee. If you're really cheap, buy a bigger, reusable cup and save it. The price is cheaper for refills. Best slurpee flavor: crystal light.

Provo Bakery
(190 E 100 N--closed Mondays) is a great little shop hidden in south Provo. Stop in a try a homemade doughnut or muffin.

J Dawgs (880 N 700 E) worth it at least once--eating a J Dawg is like hiking the Y. Tradition.

Doc's Pizza Buffet (2250 N University Pkwy # 22--by Cafe Rio in the Movies 8 complex). If you haven't been here in awhile, it's worth another look. Under new management it's a little more expensive and there's no longer hilarious karaoke, but the pizza is better. Price includes pasta, salad, pizza (request your favorite!), breadsticks, dessert pizza, drinks, and an ice cream cone.

Want to get a great deal on eating out? Check out City Deals for half price gift cards. Order in the morning, pick up in the afternoon!

Missing your favorite? Let me know! I'm always up for something new :o)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Provo's Hidden Gems: Part I

Ok, it's April, but still gray and cold outside. I personally spend hours wandering around outside every week to keep my son entertained, and in so doing, have stumbled upon some less well-known places. For those of you who live in or around Provo, enjoy!

Part 1: Food and Clothing for Less

Smith's Food and Drug (350 N Freedom) has a student fresh values card that takes 5% off every shopping order. Essentially, all of your food is tax free! Smith's also has 2 Redbox rental stations. Their weekly ad comes out every Wednesday and they participate in the Shortcuts electronic coupon program.

Walmart (1355 Sandhill Rd, Orem). Never fails. Not the best shopping experience but the deals don't get any better. Bring store ads for all the local grocery and retail stores and Walmart will price match (if it's the exact brand and size). If you have the time and energy to spare, it's worth the haggle.

Honk's Dollar Store (650 N Freedom) offers good deals on basic cleansers, office supplies, stationary, gift bags, etc. Every Tuesday every dollar deal is reduced to 88 cents! My favorite buys: scented diaper disposal bags (a life saver for that between breastfeeding and pottytraining stage!) and knock-off teddy grahams.

Habitat for Humanity Re-Store (626 N Freedom--right next to Honk's). This place is amazing for several reasons.
1) You can drop off almost any extra building materials you don't want to store or dispose of.
2) You can buy supplies for a quick fix at insanely low prices--a gallon of oil based paint is only $1. Great for paintbrushes, wood stain, nails and screws, or odds and ends.
3) They offer monthly home maintenance classes for free.
4) They offer a tool-rental system just like a public library that lends tools for personal use free of cost.
5) This place keeps any kid entertained for at least 20 minutes because it is full of gadgets, gizmos, and interesting people!

Kid to Kid (2250 N University Pky, #26--next to Cafe Rio in the Movies 8 complex). Kids grow way too fast to pay full price for clothes, shoes, socks, toys, strollers, etc. The provo store has a great selection of kids clothes in all sizes, as well as two racks of shoes, a variety of toys, and a surprisingly good selection of maternity clothes. All products are gently used, look brand new, and most are name brand. My favorites:
1) 3 pairs of socks for $0.99--and I get to try them on his wriggling feet to know how long they will last!

2) Every Tuesday at the Provo location is grandparent's day. Simply show off a picture of your adorable grandchild and get 10% off your entire purchase. (I love to shop Tuesdays when my mom is in town visiting!)
3) A walled in kids zone full of toys to keep my monkey occupied while I browse.
4) If you really need to stock up, pick up a frequent shopper card to earn a free purchase. These cards are now accepted at any location.

Deseret Industries
(1415 N State St) In addition to accepting donations and helping you recycle your used stuff, the DI has some great bargains. My favorites: cheap games (I've bought Racko for $1 and Scene It for $1.50) and kids shoes ($2-$3!)

Plato's Closet (592 E University Pkwy, Orem--just across from University Mall) Kid to Kid for moms :o) If you don't mind gently used clothing or want to spice up your wardrobe with something trendy, this is a great place to pick up fashion ideas or that perfect pair of jeans or shoes on the cheap. Also, if your wardrobe is "classy and trendy" enough, you can sell your gently used clothing and accessories for some easy cash.

Ross Dress for Less (222 W 1300 S, Orem). No shopping list of mine would be complete without Ross--I owe almost my entire wardrobe to this store, including my amazing red heels and all my favorite pairs of jeans. The Ross in Orem isn't the best ever, though their petite section is expanding and offers some great options for walking the fine line between forever teenaged and frumpy mom. If you ever need help finding something great, call me--I never fail.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Freebies: Pantene, Quaker, Jergens

Want more free products and samples?

Quaker snacks: try their new chocolate drizzle or cheddar cheese snacks

Pantene: Pro-V Nature Fusion sample

Jergens: "Glow" light tanning facial moisturizer sample

Want to find more freebies? Sign up for Sweet Free Stuff's daily email of freebies!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Free Haircuts in Provo

If you're in Provo, The Paul Mitchell Academy is sponsoring free haircuts on BYU's campus in Brigham Square (just outside the WSC) Tuesday and Wednesday from 1-4 pm. Think it's time for a change but want to save money? Give it a shot! There will probably be a line but it's worth it--plus, there are lots of grassy spots for kids to run around in while you wait.

Can't make it but are desperate for a cheap fix? Let me know, and if you trust me, I'd be happy to cut it for you. Or teach you some magic tricks with bobby pins!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Free Cottonelle Sample

Walmart is offering a free mini-roll of Cottonelle toilet paper. It's something we all have to buy anyway--why not get some for free?

Walmart is also offering free samples of Gain detergent, poise pads, Parent's Choice baby formula, and Crest whitestrips!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Freebies! Redbox and General Mills

Thanks, Linds, for passing this on!

First off, if you ever rent movies, you need to sign up for Redbox because as nice as it is to get a movie for $1, it's even better to get it free! You get a free rental code when you sign up that can be used anytime.

Also, check out Inside Red Box for a free rental code every Monday!

Looking for more free samples? Sign up for General Mill's new promotion: Pssst. Signing up involves a short survey about products you buy. The site will then pass along promotions, coupons, free samples, and product tests.

I also have an easy giveaway running on 5 Things Cooking right now, so submit your recipes!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

More Cleaning Tips

Want to brighten and freshen up your carpet? Generously shake cornstarch over your carpet and let it sit for an hour. Just vacuum it up and you'll remove the oils and dirt that have seeped into your carpet!

Make ironing faster by placing a long piece of aluminum foil along the length of the ironing board underneath the pad. The foil will reflect the heat back up, essentially letting you iron both sides at once!

P.S. Like the new look? I actually made this background myself...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An easy St. Patrick's Day project

Thanks to my friend Staci, who was always creating random cute things for me when we were roomies back in the day.

Make leprechaun hats out of styrofoam cups and green markers! Simply draw whatever pattern you want on the outside of a styrofoam cup. If you want to get super fancy, make a simply design on the inside lip of the cup.

Then, bake the cup in the oven for a few minutes and it shrinks to leprechaun size. The edge up the cup curls up to make a brim.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A preview...

I'm crafting again. Thanks to Linds for passing this great idea on to me....and congrats to my friends with adorable little girls and to my husband's genetic programming for letting me make dresses for your cute girls as I have none of my own :o)

Here is the pattern/instruction link and her cute little girl showing off her new look.

If you are interested in learning how to sew this is a great starter project! You use the back part of the shirt for a pre-made bodice, the front part for pre-sewn buttons, and elastic in a simple casing for ruffled sleeves. All it requires you to sew are a few hems. You can get as fancy or as basic as you want by adding trim!

Here are the BEFORE shots of my handiwork:




Ok, I wasn't going to post this yet (surprise!) but they're just too cute.
So, here are the two I've finished.

Am I amazing, or what? (trust me--they're just THAT easy.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Household Cleaning Tips

I have a great book called "Mary Ellen's Helpful Hints" that covers everything from stain removal to food preparation and everything in between. Check out 5 Things Cooking for her tips on keeping food fresher for longer!

Here are some great cleaning tips for removing tough stains or making your own cheaper and more environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Save time and money by using the cheapest brand of dishwashing detergent available, but add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the dishwater. The vinegar will cut the grease and leave your dishes sparkling clean.

To quickly remove food that is stuck to a casserole dish, fill with boiling water and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda or salt.

When a drain is clogged with grease, pour a cup of salt and a cup of baking soda into the drain followed by a kettle of boiling water. The grease will usually dissolve immediately and open the drain.

A small nick in the rim of a glass can be smoothed out by using a soft nail file. Scratches on glassware will disappear if polished with toothpaste!

An inexpensive oven cleaner: set oven on warm for about 20 minutes, then turn off. Place a small dish of full strength ammonia on the top shelf. Put a large pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf and let it set overnight. In the morning, open oven and let it air a while before washing off with soap and water. Even the hard baked-on grease willw ash off easily.

To get rid of odors in plastic containers, place crumpled-up newspaper (black and white only) into the container. Cover tightly and leave overnight.

Water spots on stainless steel can easily be removed with rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, or club soda.

Club soda is also a great stain remover for carpet!

Need a cheap laundry spot remover? Mix 2 parts water with 1 part rubbing alcohol.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Avoiding the "mom butt"

Anyone who knows me and clothes knows two things:
1) I love to bargain shop and can find anything at Ross
2) I am PICKY about jeans but unwilling to spend big money.

Most of all, I hate the dreaded "mom butt." So I was cracking up and totally enlightened when I stumbled upon this post explaining how it happens and how to avoid it! It's all about pocket placement. I can always pick jeans for myself but hadn't been able to put my finger on exactly why it worked or didn't. So, if you get a minute, check this out and get enlightened!

The same girl ran a test on her own mother, transforming an admitted "mom jean" wearer into totally hip and fabulous! Mom, next time you're here (i.e. TOMORROW!) we're headed to Ross. Trust me.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Update: Photo coupons and blog updates!

New Snapfish coupon for 20% off everything! Enter coupon code: SPRING09

Expires March 8, 2009.

Also, I found another great site for cute (and free!) backgrounds! Check out Aqua Poppy if you're looking for a new look.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Photo Deals

The main online photo companies are offering stimulus packages of their own. If you're looking to print your digital scrapbook, make a mini photo book, get a head start on next year's calendar or Christmas cards, now is the time!

Kodak EasyShare Gallery: Save 20% when you spend $20 or more. Good through 3/31/09.

Enter coupon code: SPRING2020

Mini flip photo books start at $5.59! Great for grandparents :o)

Snapfish: 20% off photobooks! Ends today, but i'm sure there will be a new coupon coming.

Enter coupon code: BOOKFUN

Shutterfly: 20% off photobooks! Ends 3/10/09. ALSO, get 2 free 8 x 10 prints with purchase of any photobook.

Enter coupon code: BOOKSANDPRINTS

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Shortcuts Website

So I have some great links on my sidebar that I thought I should blurb a bit because they're too great to miss! Check out the "Recommended Sites!" section on the left hand side bar for a permanent link. is a great site for those of you who want to save money on groceries but don't have time for coupons or remembering which to take when and to which store. This site lets you add a frequent shopper card, such as the Smith's Freshvalues card, by that barcode number on the back. You can add multiple cards from multiple stores if you don't have a regular store. When you search through manufacturer coupons on the site and you stumble across one you like or a product you buy regularly, you simply click to add it to your card. This loads the coupon onto your member card, and when you scan your card at the grocery store it automatically scans your coupon!

Even better, the site sends you a reminder when coupons are about to expire and also lets you know when your coupons have been used. An added bonus, I've discovered that some coupons can be used in conjunction with each other. For example, I bought two Yoplait yogurt cups at the store before leaving on vacation this last week. On my card I had loaded a few coupons for Yoplait yogurt, and when I checked my email the next day, I realized that both the $0.25 cents off 1 yogurt and $0.75 cents off 2 yogurts coupons had been used! That means I paid $0.98 cents for 2 yogurts and got $1.00 off. Best of all, I didn't even remember I had yogurt coupons and the discount was taken automatically.

Again, these are manufacturer coupons, so they can be taken in conjunction with any in store promotion or sale.

Happy (easy) couponing!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Free Samples

The free samples I've requested over the past few months have been rolling in. Not only do I get to try some great products for free, it's nice to get something in the mail that isn't a bill!

I've gotten a curling mousse sample from Pantene, a coupon for a free Suave product, Orville Redenbacher's garlic butter popcorn, Crest advantage whitening strips, and more!

Some new goodies:

Tide Total Care

A bath test kit for mold, bacteria, hard water, etc. If you live in an apartment or an old house, this might be good to check!

Also, Old Navy is currently giving away Valentine's including a coupon for $5 any purchase on 2/14/09. You must pick up the coupon sheet before Saturday! Ask a cashier if you don't see them out.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The final tally

3 tanks for $3 each -- regularly $14.50 each.
Saved $34.50

1 swim top for $3 -- regularly $36.50.
1 swim bottom for $3 -- regularly $22.50
Saved $53.00

1 wrap top in black for $7 --regularly $28.50.
Saved $21.50

1 puff sleeve top for $7 -- regularly $28.50
Saved $21.50

1 Henley tee for $7 -- regularly $28.50
Saved $21.50

1 Tiffany maternity top for $5 -- regularly $30.00
Saved $25.00

Spent: $41.00
Saved: $177.00

Sad you missed the warehouse sale? Shade clothing is hosting a fundraiser sale at Provo High School on President's Day. Everything will be $5.

Shade LOOT.

For those of you who didn't hit up the Shade clothing sale, you missed out! Here's the damage:

3 square neck camisoles (white, brown, black)
1 purple modest tankini! (top and bottom)
1 black wrap shirt
1 tiffani maternity top in pink (for a friend--i'm not pregnant, i promise!)
1 puff sleeve top in a gorgeous blue
1 henley shirt in spruce (i LOVE LOVE this!)

Anyone want to guess how much it cost me?