Oh, Target coupon machine, don’t play games with me!

The other day I went to Target with my Mom and Baby D.  The hubby had taken Captain Fussybuckets to a football game, so I was going to go snag some stuff for his upcoming bday.  After I found some super cute jeans with adjustable waistbands and a cute t-shirt for him to wear to his birthday party, I ventured over to the food section.  Our favorite pasta was on sale for about 50 cents off.  Barilla PLUS:
 
We love this stuff because it doesn't taste whole-wheat-y and it has fiber, protein, & Omega-3s.  I admittedly don't splurge on a lot of name brand stuff, especially without a coupon, but for Barilla PLUS, I do.
 
So all Target had was penne, elbows, and the three types of spaghetti.  I think I grabbed a box of elbows, because Captain Fussybuckets loves mac & cheese, and a box of thin spaghetti.  I found my mom and we went to check out.
 
Well, the smart Target coupon spitter outer thingy knew JUST the right coupon (based on my two boxes of Barilla purchase, no doubt) to make me think I needed more.  Out came a coupon for $1.50 off of THREE boxes of Barilla pasta.  Well, since they were already on sale for 50 cents off, that would make each box a DOLLAR off!  SCORE!  I went back to the food section and grabbed three more boxes.  I stood in line for ten minutes (seriously!  Why does that always happen??) and bought my three boxes of Barilla…on sale…with my Target coupon.  Yes!  
 
But then, it happened.  As I grabbed my receipt, the cashier handed me this….
 
$2 off FOUR boxes of Barilla PLUS!
 
NOOOOOOOOOOO!  Ugh.  I wasn't going to be sucked into this little game another time, so I grabbed my purchases and Baby D and we got out of there!
 
So now I have five boxes of Barilla PLUS pasta in my pantry.  My husband was proud of my deal, but annoyed with the clutter.
 
But the coupon doesn't expire until 12-8, so maybe Barilla PLUS will go on sale again???  :oP
 
Oh, and Barilla nor Target paid me a thing for writing this.
 

WriteLife Books

WriteLife, LLC is a collaborative publishing company.  Their mission is to find the best writers and offer them the opportunity to write, publish, and sell their work.  WriteLife sent me two books from their authors for review.  
 
The first book is "Lessons from a Rubber Duck" by Melissa Saunders and illustrated by Kristy Stark Knapp. This book is all about sibling bullying.  Miranda's older brother, Ian, loves to pick on his little sister and say mean things to her.  Then one day, their dad teaches Miranda about the rubber duck, and how water just rolls off it's back, and she should be the same about Ian's mean comments.
Duck_Cover_FB.jpg
This is a really great book and it would work for teaching about any kind of bullying, not just sibling bullying.  There is also a helpful section in the back with advice and suggested discussion questions that would be good for the classroom or counseling.
 
The other book that I reviewed is called "I Don't Like Pink" by John Petersen. 
BookCover_IDLP.jpg
This is a very cute, easy to read book about a girl who, obviously, doesn't like the color pink.  It goes through and talks about everything that's pink that she doesn't like.  It turns out that she DOES like something pink, at the end of the book.  You'll have to read it to find out what that something is!  
 
I really enjoyed reading these books!  Both authors and illustrators did a terrific job with their books and they really are great.  If I would change one thing,  however, I'd take the word "butt" out of "I Don't Like Pink."  I know, I know, it's very silly, but as I was reading this book to 2 year old Fussybuckets, I had to substitute the word "bottom" where it says "pink butts on hairy baboons" because well, we don't say "butt."  BUT (no pun intended!) besides that, it really is a cute book!
 
disclosurereviewandgiveaway

The Week In Pictures: October 16-22

My boys are sick again this week with a cold or virus or SOMETHING.  It’s annoying, but at least I can be thankful that it only lasts a few days.  It could always be worse, I have to remind myself.
Between sicknesses, we went to the playground on a chilly day:

On Thursday night, we went out for a little JV football action.  The game ended at halftime, though, because they couldn’t get the lights to come on!  ha!

RoomMates Peel and Stick Decor

There's something about bare walls that get to me.  I like to have something on the walls or else they just look….bare.  There was a wall in our playroom/office that needed serious help.  When I went searching for what I wanted, I found RoomMates Peel and Stick Room Decals.  They have SUCH a large selection of amazing stuff!  Sports, Disney, chalkboard, dry erase…even MIRRORS!  But, since it was for a playroom for the boys, I selected the Alphabet Wall Decals to review.  They shipped them very quickly and after some help with the laser level from dear ol' Hubby, I got to work.  These things really are easy to put up….just "peel" and…."stick," just like they say!  
 
(get ready for a shocker….remember how I just love pumpkins?  Well, that was the goal of the color for the playroom.  :o)
 
Here is the finished wall:
 
 
 
The pictures honestly don't do RoomMates justice because the lighting is just horrible, but trust me, it is THE perfect addition for our playroom.  Captain Fussybuckets LOVES pointing and identifying each letter and telling me what sound the letter makes.  (all in fun, I'm not driving him to do this for me!  ha!)
 
Each letter has a corresponding, familiar picture to help with letter sounds, and the pictures are just adorable.  My favorite is the V.  It is decorated with musical notes and has a violin leaning up against the capital "V."  I'm pretty sure Captain Fussybuckets loves that one, too.
 
disclosurereviewandgiveaway

my son’s new obsession…

…..Peppa Pig.  This is his favorite episode:  


It’s cute, but he wants to watch this and other episodes on the iPad alllll dayyyyy lonnnnng.  Oh well, it could be a lot worse. 

Last night before going to bed he said “to-mah-toe” ketchup like Daddy Pig.  And when my hubby called, Fussybuckets said “that’s the fire phone, Daddy.”  LOL! 

We love Baby Signing Time! {giveaway}

When Captain Fussybuckets was about six months old, I borrowed the “Baby Signing Time” DVD from our library.  He loved to sit and watch the videos and listen to the songs, and I loved learning signs that I could use with him.  He actually didn’t start signing until he was almost a year old, but when he “got it,” he took off and learned many signs!  He said his first word at 10 months, so I don’t know if that had any impact, but learning how to talk and sign simultaneously definitely helped, in my opinion.  We got him the four DVD “Baby Signing Time” series for Christmas and he has worn out those DVDs!

“Baby Signing Time” is recommended for babies as young as four months old to 3 year olds.  I’ll tell you, Captain Fussybuckets STILL loves “Baby Signing Time” and he’s less than 2 weeks from turning 3.  Baby D loves watching it, as well.  When it comes on, they both go silent and just listen to host Rachel Coleman sing and watch her sign!

Baby D hasn’t signed anything yet, but he is definitely watching me as I sign words like “more,” “drink,” and “eat” to him.  I think he’ll catch on soon and begin signing back to us.  Captain Fussybuckets likes to sign to his littler brother, as well, which makes it so sweet and fun for all of us.
Learning to sign with your child can help out with the struggles that come with not being able to communicate. Most kids are able to sign before their spoken vocabulary is large enough to fully express themselves.  Imagine being able to KNOW what your baby wants before he or she can talk.
I like that “Baby Signing Time” also incorporates the written word, along with the signed word and song.  What a brilliant idea…THREE ways to learn!

Here is one of our favorite “Baby Signing Time” songs:
Here is a home video clip of Captain Fussybuckets signing at 13 months old:

At 15 months:
This is Captain Fussybuckets now, showing us a few of the signs he knows:
You can buy “Baby Signing Time” at BabySigningTime.com!  They have many different options, so check it out!
Win it!  “Baby Signing Time”  is giving our readers the opportunity to win big!  One of YOU will win the entire “Baby Signing Time” deluxe full collection (RV $139)!  This collection includes:  

  • Parent guide to early learning
  • 4 Baby Signing Time DVDs
  • 4 sing a long CDs
  • 4 early reader board books
  • 4 sets of sign & read learning cards
  • Digital copy Windows/Mac
  • 2 free Signing Time DVDs

If you want to enter to win, complete the Rafflecopter widget below!  If you can’t wait, head over to babysigningtime.com to scoop up this amazing deal!  Good luck!




Disclosure:  I did not receive anything for conducting this giveaway.  We just love “Baby Signing Time”!!!

We love Baby Signing Time! {giveaway}

When Captain Fussybuckets was about six months old, I borrowed the “Baby Signing Time” DVD from our library.  He loved to sit and watch the videos and listen to the songs, and I loved learning signs that I could use with him.  He actually didn’t start signing until he was almost a year old, but when he “got it,” he took off and learned many signs!  He said his first word at 10 months, so I don’t know if that had any impact, but learning how to talk and sign simultaneously definitely helped, in my opinion.  We got him the four DVD “Baby Signing Time” series for Christmas and he has worn out those DVDs!

“Baby Signing Time” is recommended for babies as young as four months old to 3 year olds.  I’ll tell you, Captain Fussybuckets STILL loves “Baby Signing Time” and he’s less than 2 weeks from turning 3.  Baby D loves watching it, as well.  When it comes on, they both go silent and just listen to host Rachel Coleman sing and watch her sign!

Baby D hasn’t signed anything yet, but he is definitely watching me as I sign words like “more,” “drink,” and “eat” to him.  I think he’ll catch on soon and begin signing back to us.  Captain Fussybuckets likes to sign to his littler brother, as well, which makes it so sweet and fun for all of us.
Learning to sign with your child can help out with the struggles that come with not being able to communicate. Most kids are able to sign before their spoken vocabulary is large enough to fully express themselves.  Imagine being able to KNOW what your baby wants before he or she can talk.
I like that “Baby Signing Time” also incorporates the written word, along with the signed word and song.  What a brilliant idea…THREE ways to learn!

Here is one of our favorite “Baby Signing Time” songs:
Here is a home video clip of Captain Fussybuckets signing at 13 months old:

At 15 months:
This is Captain Fussybuckets now, showing us a few of the signs he knows:
You can buy “Baby Signing Time” at BabySigningTime.com!  They have many different options, so check it out!
Win it!  “Baby Signing Time”  is giving our readers the opportunity to win big!  One of YOU will win the entire “Baby Signing Time” deluxe full collection (RV $139)!  This collection includes:  

  • Parent guide to early learning
  • 4 Baby Signing Time DVDs
  • 4 sing a long CDs
  • 4 early reader board books
  • 4 sets of sign & read learning cards
  • Digital copy Windows/Mac
  • 2 free Signing Time DVDs

If you want to enter to win, complete the Rafflecopter widget below!  If you can’t wait, head over to babysigningtime.com to scoop up this amazing deal!  Good luck!




Disclosure:  I did not receive anything for conducting this giveaway.  We just love “Baby Signing Time”!!!

Kelapo Coconut Oil – great for cooking! {review & giveaway}

Have you ever thought about cooking with coconut oil?  I had heard of using coconut oil as a moisturizer (see yesterday’s review of Basa Body lotion!), a cloth diaper safe moisturizer and diaper rash prevention, and also a facial cleanser.  It seems obvious though – coconut oil to cook with.  Why hadn’t I thought of that?

8oz Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – Glass

Coconut is very similar to olive oil, but they obviously have different tastes.  I was sent a jar of Kelapo coconut oil to try out.  The first thing that I used the Kelapo coconut oil in was one of Fussybuckets’ favorites, chocolate chip muffins.  I just substituted coconut oil for the vegetable oil.  The result was really good!  The oil made the kitchen smell all the more wonderful while the muffins were cooking.  The muffins had a hint of coconut, but it wasn’t overwhelming.  I can’t wait to try out the coconut oil for different things!  Check out these suggestions from the Kelapo website:

  1. Toss it into a blender with your other favorite fruits—strawberries, mangoes, oranges, bananas, etc.—to make a refreshing and healthy smoothie.
  2. Add it to your stir fry recipe to infuse veggies with a tropical flavor.
  3. Spread creamy coconut oil on bread, toast, or crackers, and prepare to say bye-bye to butter.
  4. Spoon a little into a bowl of oatmeal.
  5. When making popcorn for movie night, add coconut oil instead of greasy butter.
  6. Enhance the flavor of chicken or fish by adding coconut oil before baking or frying.
  7. Boil rice and pasta in a combination of water and coconut oil. Finish off with a bit of coconut oil before serving.
  8. Mix coconut oil with your favorite herbal tea, cider, or coffee for a wonderfully soothing beverage.
  9. Roast red potatoes with coconut oil or use coconut oil to mash potatoes.
  10. Impress friends with delicious coconut cakes, coconut brownies, or coconut muffins.
I am amazed with all of the possibilities of cooking with coconut oil!  If you  need some more inspiration, check out the recipes at CoconutOilCooking.com!  

Kelapo products are Fair Trade, 100% organic, vegetarian, and free of trans fats.  Kelapo also incorporates eco-friendly practices to protect and preserve the Earth’s natural resources!

Buy it:  You can buy Kelapo coconut oil and other Kelapo products on their website

Win it:  Kelapo has generously offered one 8 oz jar of coconut oil (RV $7.69) to one of our readers!  Complete the Rafflecopter widget below to be entered to win!  Giveaway ends at 12:01 on 11/03/11!  Good luck!



Basa Body Coconut Oil Body Lotion {giveaway closed}

I love the smell of coconuts.  Growing up, I remember how awesome suntan lotion smelled, but being a fair skinned redhead, I never got to use suntan lotion (I'd burn!)  But I recently had the opportunity to try the NEW Basa Body Coconut Oil Body Lotion and it.smells.YUMMY!  I love it!  It is so smooth and it immediately soothes my dry skin and leaves that fresh, coconut scent on my skin.
 
  All Basa Body products are made with Virgin Organic Coconut Oil that is easily absorbed into the skin and has natural antioxidants that are antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal. Basa Body products help promote healing and give skin a healthier, youthful appearance.
 
 
Basa Body was named after the women of Mombasa, Kenya, where the coconut oil used in Basa Body products is produced.  This really is an awesome story!  Many years ago, a few women in Mombasa, Kenya started a small-scale enterprise called Coast Coconut Farms.  These are hard-working women who produced virgin , organic coconut oil by hand!
 
 
Basa Body has a great mission.  They are doing this not only to help the women of Kenya, but they also give back 10% to humanitarian work.  How awesome is it to know that when you're buying something that's great in itself, you're also helping to support others who really need and deserve it.  
 
You can buy Basa Body at their website: Basa Body!
 
Win it:  Basa Body is giving away one bottle of their Coconut Oil Body Lotion (RV $13.95) to one of our readers!  Just enter in the Rafflecopter widget below!  Good luck!
 

Giveaway has ended and Jenni and Jessica are the lucky winners.  Congratulations!

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Sponsored by Tomoson.com

Parents make the best teachers!

Back story:  My husband is a youth minister at a small-ish church in Texas.  Baby D is usually the only one in his Bible class, which is 0-2.  Captain Fussybuckets is the next youngest in his class by a couple of years.  We need more little kids, but that’s beside the point!
So, I go to drop off the boys at their Bible classes and find that Baby D’s teacher is not there and there’s no one to sub for her.  Having taught Bible class to 1’s and 2’s many years during college and even after, it was no big deal.  I sat him in the chair that’s attached to the table and sat across from him.  Then I just sat there.  uhhhh…..  Yeah.  When I taught before, there was a cute little curriculum with toys to go along with it and songs to sing.  I couldn’t find the curriculum (I found it afterwards, of course..) and I just stared at my son for a few seconds.  Why couldn’t I find the words?  He’s 10 months old, I’m his mommy, he listens to me, but I still couldn’t find anything to say.  I’m with the kid all day long.  But then I thought to myself….how often do I just SIT and TALK to him?  Sure, he doesn’t talk, but I know he understands some things.  And if I never talk to him, how is he supposed to learn?  I think the 2 1/2 year old in the house is definitely a distraction, and Baby D’s laid-back-ness works against him at times.  
I went on to get out some animal toys and sing “Jesus Loves Me” and random songs about God and animals that I remembered from teaching Bible class before.  He just laughed at me and chewed on the toys.  It all came back to me pretty quickly and we had a fun time.  I’m glad I got to be his teacher tonight.

But back to the other random thought….how often do I sit with my boys and teach them?  Sure, we play blocks, play-doh, go to the park, sing songs together, but how often am I teaching them stuff I know, whether it be about God, the Bible, how stuff works, or just about life in general.  These boys are sponges and they want to learn.  

My husband shared with me a statistic he learned at a conference lately:  90% of homeschooled students take on the faith of their parents.  Wow.  Obviously there are many opportunities for learning about your parents’ faith when you are homeschooled.  Am I saying that we all should homeschool our kids?  No, it’s not for everyone.  But my whole point is that we are our children’s greatest and first teachers.  They want to learn from us and hear what we know and believe.  I am guilty of sending my kids to Bible class and expecting them to learn everything they need to know there.  (yes, in two 45 minute classes a week!  yeah right!)  They do learn a lot, but there’s a TON to learn!  When I send my kids to preschool, does my teaching at home end?  No way!  If you’ve ever been a teacher, you know how crazy this sounds.  When I taught kindergarten, there was honestly not enough time in a day to teach all that those kids needed to know!
Now, I’m not going to sit down and lecture my 10 month old about how God made the world and how 2+2=4.  No, I’ll just expand on what I currently do….talk to them as they play, take time to answer questions thoughtfully and meaningfully, and grab a hold of every single teachable moment and don’t let it fall by the wayside because it’s bedtime, Brother needs a bath, yadda yadda yadda.  Because I’m finding out that these little boogers grow WAY too fast and life can’t be spent waiting for church or school to roll around so they can learn something.  
p.s.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much a work in progress!  This was just a pep talk for MYSELF!