Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Embracing The Ginger

I am so proud of my Gingy! Yes, that is what he calls himself now. On July 29th, at midnight, I picked him up from the airport. He flew in from his three weeks at Cadet camp. My Dad drove me to the airport as I didn't want to go alone that late at night. I hadn't seen C for a month as he was at his father's the week prior to leaving. I was so excited to see him, my nerves had me in a tizzy, requiring two tablespoons of Kaopectate. I flashed him with my camera as he decended the stairs to the baggage area where all us anxious parents were waiting. With the exception of an unfortunate incident, C said this was an even better year than last year. He said he got along a lot better with the goup, stating he was welcomed in all the cliques. I think it's awesome. He's low profile in the sense that everyone wants to hang out with him, but he's not in high demand. We stayed up until 2:30am laughing and talking about the silliness of camp. He also got bit by a spider and sunburnt on top of it really bad.



His arm the first night home





His arm the next day after I put some aloe vera cream on his arm the night before. He had to put this stuff on for a good week before it stopped itching and didn't look so bad.



I think he'd be embarrassed knowing I put this out there, but he was called "Senoir Smoothie Cheeks". (He told me if I posted this he'd dump water on me in my sleep. teehee) He had so many stories to tell me between that night and the next day. Including his war cry "Gingy"!

If you have been keeping up, my son to this point has been teased since he was in Grade 6 at least about being a redhead. It got really bad at the end of this past school year. He's got the most gorgeous auburn hair. I love it and am so terribly jealous. My red hair only comes in a box. Other kids are just plain out mean and think it's cool to tease these kids. Little do children like my son realize out of school, women will be all over him just for his red hair. (They'll get their vengence on the bullies without having to do a thing *insert evil grin here*)

My C has come back a summer adventure older, a few inches taller, a heck of a lot more freckle-faced, and more relaxed with who he is. He's just calmer and down right funnier. He seems to have lost a lot of that annoying kid that left my house on the second of July. (I can handle that) And gained a comfortableness with who he is. The best part is that he told me he's embraced being a "Gingy". My boy is growing up!

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Cannot Tell A Lie...

I'm addicted to couponing! Well more so to saving money. However, couponing has become another way to help me save the most. I talked last time about the TLC show Extreme Couponing. People just go nuts buying and storing. Going through trash cans and other people's papers to find coupons. They have limits at their stores to how many coupons they can use during a transaction, but nothing compared to the limitations we Canadians face. We cannot double up our coupons. What I have found out in just a mere two weeks is that this means you cannot just institute coupons alone. As a person who used to buy the "no name" or store brands, I have learned that this isn't enough alone either. I have learned a lot watching Extreme Couponing these past two weeks, and a lot from friends. I want to pass on this knowledge to you.

First of all, my first time doing this, and I have saved around $50-$100. I also didn't have to go back to the store for my typical "extras" and I was in my $300. budget that I plan for myself, which I typically go way over. My "extras" this time were babyfood jars that went on sale. Toilet paper that went on sale and I used my coupon. As well as more diapers, with of course coupon use. With four kids milk will always be an extra. Still better than the other extras.

So how did I save $50-$100. No, I did not do it all on coupons. I waited until Wednesday evening when our flyers and Community paper come to the house. (Why we haven't received one in three years, I don't know. But we do now.) I look through each and every one of the flyers. Of course I really don't need the ones from Future Shop or The Brick, so those are a quick toss. The rest, I look to see what is on sale. Things that I actually use. I then check the flyer to see what store is close to my home. There is no point in driving half way across the city for a good price. In this day and age with the cost of gas so volatile, you'll be spending your savings in gas. See if you can find what you like in flyers for stores closest to you.

Once you got your stores down, see what is the same in each flyer. You may not need to drive to all the stores with sale flyers. Make sure you know what the conditions of your coupons are. Know what the retail cost of your item is. It may change from store to store. But this will help you determine what I call your "true savings". Don't necessarily buy 2 of something just because it is half off. Save buying 2 of something if it's half off if you have a coupon or it is something you use very frequently. Toilet paper, diapers, laundry soap. These types of consumables go very quickly, especially if you have a large family. If those types of things don't go fast in your home. Do it for the things that do. Otherwise you are going to have a stock pile that goes on for years and it may not be useful at that point in time. Which is another waste of money. I think the most sensible is just stocking up as you would do if you were putting money in savings. Typically you want enough in there to live off of for six months if God forbid something happens like the loss of a job. Most important of all is making sure to match up your coupons to the sale items.

Here are some more tips:

1) Join sites that help you obtain coupons like websaver.ca and save.ca and gocoupons.ca.

2) Swap coupons with friends. They may have something that you need and they don't and vice versa.

3) Utilize your stores cards.

Safeway has their club card. Bringing costs down a buck or two. Or allowing you to have their sales, then tack on your coupons to bring it lower.

Shopper's Drug Mart has a card that racks up points and in turn can help you take off money your purchases. We wait and use these once a year around Christmas time. Shopper's Drug Mart typically has a great deal with your points then. Oh, make sure you bring your own bag as they take on money for each bag you use.

Superstore also makes you pay for your bags. To help save money invest in their bins. A little goes a long way in the end. They also have a coupon wall when you first walk in. Utilize it! You never know what might be there that you could use. But remember only do coupons for the things you actually use.

Sobey's has a card that works like Shopper's Drug Mart where you earn points that help you get money off your purchases after a certain amount accumulated. Also if you bring your own bag, they take off 3 cents for every bag you use. It's not a lot, but every little bit helps.

4)Not everything is going to have a coupon. Wait until it goes on sale. If you see something on sale that you use make sure you know what the retail price is. I like to go with the stuff that is clearly half off. Then only buy one that shopping period. I'm still saving money.

I hope this has helped just a little. I will definitely share more as I discover more. Happy Couponing!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Writing Assignment: Back To School

Today I was going through the many blogs I follow. Here I find posts that tug at my heart strings and drive me to pass them on like this one at Flight Platform Living. (If you have never heard of or read this blog before, you must. This post alone is special, the whole blog will change your heart and mind.)

I also come across blogs that give me ideas and assignments that help fill in those days that I need something short and sweet, (I'm a bit long-winded) so I can get my personal quota of blog posts out to you wonderful readers. Blogging Dangerously is just one of those sites. Today's assignment is a quick exercise to get your writer's brain moving. You are required to write a sentence where each word in the sentence starts with the letter that follows the letter that started the previous word. An example is found through the link at Blogging Dangerously provided above. Good luck and have fun :D

H I J K L

(H)arry (I)nglebert (j)uggles (k)aleidoscopes (l)akeside.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Dinner and a Vagina :S

Every now and then the Hubs and I get to go out and hang out with another couple for supper. Of course all our kids are there, but it's still time out. The kids play with their kids, and we laugh it up. What I really enjoy is the cooking. No, not me cooking. The couple can cook up some awesome Thai food. It's spicy! I smell the food coming out of my pores for a good day or two. I feel the burn and go through half a jug of milk, a four litre jug, eating it. The first time, I had no milk and it burned so bad I was in tears. But I just couldn't stop eating the delicious cuisine. This time I came prepared.

What we didn't have last time was oysters because they were bad. This time it was all good and cooked up. The wife doesn't do oysters, not sure why now. But the guys enjoyed it. I wanted to try one. It was all good, up until I decided to look my oyster over. Then the words came out of my mouth, as my eyes popped out of my head, "it looks like a...." Jawed dropped. Now looking around the table. The woman's husband says, "yes, it looks like a vagina." The whole table started laughing at me. I still had no words. I looked it over some more. I was still curious as to what it tasted like. Needless to say I had to close my eyes and pretend it was something else than some "vagina" looking back at me.

The end result? Dinner was great! The conversation was awesome! I am never eating something that looks like a vagina again! Yikes!

source

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ten Things You Wish You Knew About Me. Or Didn't Wish. Whatever I'm Telling You Anyways.

The other day @VivInterrupted sent me a tweet with an essential "Tag, you're it!" message. I'm a little late getting back to her on this one. So from her post I gather I'm supposed to write down 10 things you don't know about me that you were just wishing I would enlighten you with. (I know this ain't so, but just humor me a little k? My fragile ego needs it)

Phew: so I know I did seven things for my blog awards before, but I don't remember all that I put up there and I'm hoping your memory is as crappy as mine. As I'm too darn beat to try and search to see what I wrote and what I didn't.

1. I have always loved singing and always wanted to record at least one CD and hear it played on the radio.

2. I used to dance in my front yard until I was 14 years old and we moved to another area. I loved it and didn't care who saw me. (I only wish I was still that carefree)

3. I wish I had the time to get all the ideas rolling around in my head on paper before I forgot what I was thinking about.

4. When I was in my teens I used to write my own songs. I couldn't compose the music.

5. I tried out for Canadian Idol, it's first year, and froze during auditions. I haven't really sung since. I threw out all my songs. I regret that to this day.

6. I want to be published one day. I was writing a novel and tossed it when I was angry at myself. My characters play in my mind, but I'm always comparing what I write to the story I let get away. My characters remain just thoughts that haunt me.

7. I have insomnia because my head has so much going on in it.

8. I never planned on having four children, (even though twins times 4 equals 8 children) In order to understand that one, you need to know I originally wanted 4 sets of twins :S

9. I am terrified of the dark and basements.

10. I like to walk around in the house with very minimal light. Very close to dark. (Unless I watched a scary movie. Then the lights need to be on for a good week)


I am supposed to tag people now. I'm not sure how many. So here are some people I have yet to mention at any time in my blogs:


@snglmomiOTR

@BewilderedBug

@barbara_dilisio

@laci512

@Katieannab

@MamaAsh77

So there ya go! "Tag, You're It!"

Friday, August 19, 2011

Swaggalicious: I Got SWAGG !!!

About a month ago I joined in on @blogdangerously's #wineparty on twitter. I had missed the week prior and hubby fell asleep on me. So I figured why not drink alone and enjoy some good conversation. It was nice, all the kids were in bed including L and I got to enjoy a full evening of chatter. It was during this time that #aintthatlife was mentioned as sponsering #wineparty. So I figured, since this "brand" was going to sponser my favourite way to spend a Friday night besides knocking boots with my hubby, I could at least check it out.

The link provided led me to my first viewing ever of a webisode (Yeah I blog, but have never seen a webisode. Sue me.) Let me just say that I am in LOVE with the stickman. This comment on Twitter is what got me my swagg. At first I thought it was just talk. I didn't get it. I was then messaged along with a few others to drop my mailing address off to @blogdangerously to pass along and I'd receive my swagg soon. I was hopeful but skeptical. For all I knew some creeper wanted my mailing address. (Hey, the world holds stranger, truer things)

Today I went to get the mail and saw a huge envelope shoved in my community cubby hole mailbox. I checked out the sender and it was from the shows creater Joseph Amiel. I just about sped down the street just so that I could tear open the package and try on my brand new t-shirt!!!

After all this you are probably wondering what Ain't That Life is about. The webisodes are about a guy named Harold Bregman. He's in therapy. His life is well average at best. However, that is up until recently. If you want to know more, you NEED to check out the webisodes at Aint That Life dot com. There is much more at the site than just the webisodes as well. Including a place to purchase Ain't That Life swagg like my t-shirt.

And because I wanted to show off my new shirt in a creative way, I worked on this just for you. My Bloggy and Twitter friends. Without you guys I would never have been at #wineparty to win squat.



Thank you so much! I don't win things, well, rarely. It's more like a once in a blue moon type of thing. What's great was that I wasn't even trying. What's even better is that I actually like the webisode. I wanted to write this post earlier, but really thought it would be better if I had the swagg to go with it.


(Disclaimer: I wasn't asked to write this post by the creator or anyone else affiliated or unaffiliated with www.aintthatlife.com I was not offered or given anything monetary or otherwise to advertise for www.aintthatlife.com I wrote this post to show off that I won something and to give exposure to a web series that I feel is worth watching.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Bitch: Kid Play Places in Malls, Oh How I Hate Thee and Other Mall Complaints.

Before I go on, I must post a huge Thank you to The Suniverse Without you I would have posted my crazy dream on couponing. Oh wait, that will come. For now though I need a good bitch. If my bitch isn't enough check out this post here.


I hate Malls. I know, hate is a very strong word. I will gladly throw it around when it comes to Malls. When I go shopping, I'm an in and out person when it comes to Malls unless I go there to get away from my children. Which in that case means, I DON'T TAKE MY CHILDREN. I believe Malls are a place for systematically herding people in like cattle and herding them out. I have been to an IKEA once in Edmonton, besides getting lost trying to get out, I think all Malls should be set up like this. One way in, and one way out. A production line. If you are walking too slow you get cattle prodded by the person behind you. If you want to check something out in that section there is a little door for you to go into the glass cases large enough to hold the product in the center and allow you to walk around the product and back out. You get to be a little slower here to touch if need be. Everything is set on a timer. So make your choice fast so you can grab your ticket and bring it to the cashier on your way out. (Hey I just eliminated the need for people to be hired to restock items that have been "misplaced" by customers) Again, one way in and one way out. Doing this also eliminates things I see in Wal-Mart and other Malls. Inconsiderate arseholes that think their time is more precious than yours and trample you and your children on the way in or out of the store. Scary thing is it happens inside the store too. Production lines eliminate this hazard. They also eliminate a trend that I see so many asking for and that I detest on all levels.

Play places at Malls!

I'm sorry but the last time I checked a Mall wasn't McDonald's or Burger King. There is no need to have play places in Malls. What the hell is wrong with you people?! Okay, I get places like The West Edmonton Mall, with the indoor rides, etc. But you pay for that. You are there watching your own children and possibly being responsible for them. In Malls, parents don't pay attention to their children. I would go as far to say as they will leave their children in there and go to a store nearby. You may deny it. I can't say as I've seen it. But I wouldn't put it past any parent in today's society. As a mom and employee I have seen a lot! These places are loud and cess pools of germs. Hey people, there are parks and kid play places designed for this. One is free, the other is not. Why the hell are you invading my space with your snot nosed, ill-behaved little beasts? I have heard of and seen parents get in shouting matches and physical fights at these play places in Malls. Because one parent isn't watching and their beast child picks on another kid, and the other kid belts him/her back. Gaah. Do you ladies/men really believe that Mall security needs to deal with this crap? They should be spending time keeping real criminals away. Some parents even want there to be babysitting on site at these play places so they can go shopping without their children. I am completely confused by this. Here is a thought, get your own babysitter, leave your child at home where they are comfortable and not bugging me and go shopping by yourself. Now if that isn't quite the dandy concept I'm not sure what is. Here is an even better thought. You wanted to be a parent, so parent. That means you take your kids to the Malls with you and pay attention and watch them yourself. Teach them to behave like civilized people. I didn't have play areas when I was a kid and I survived. Yes, I was bored and hated going with my parents. But so what? My parents also taught me I cannot have whatever I want when I want and life is NOT fair.

Besides the Mall is zoo-like enough, do we really need to bring in the three ring circus?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Couponing....Just Not So Extreme.

Right now my 5 year old just brought me in the newspapers and saying, "ooo oooo ooo."  He has already passed me a wealth of coupon glory.  He is not sure what he's doing, just that I'm excited over this.

If you have seen the TLC show Extreme Couponing you know that couponing has become the latest craze to take television.  Rightly so.  Who doesn't love a good deal, and we all like to get things for free.  As a mother of four, one of them being a teen, things like food don't come cheap.  Our grocery bill runs us closer to $350 every two weeks.  That does not include the "extras" we pick up in between.  It is becoming costly to feed this brood.  What I don't intend to do though is build a whole room dedicated to a storage place for my couponing booty.  Nor do I intend to jump into garbage bins for paper with deals.  Not even buy things with coupons that I simply do not need nor consume.  That part of Extreme Couponing is the part that I could never understand and I felt was simply ridiculous.

I only started my hunt a few weeks ago, and the most I saved off of my bill was $15.00.  It isn't much, but that $15.00 definitely went towards the "extras".  I am disappointed though that a lot of the coupons are for products that I don't use.  I don't use Tide anymore as I find it makes my front loader smell like mildew.  I use Gain.  Still no coupons for that that I have seen.  I cannot stand the smell of Febreeze.  It's too perfumey and gives me a headache.  Are there any Glade coupons about?  Some seem silly, like the Gillette coupons.  You have to buy 3 of the product to get your $5 off.  I'm sorry, but you are aware that your razers are between $21-$25 for a set of four blades right?   So I'm supposed to spend close to $75 for $5 off?  Somehow I don't see how that adds up as a savings for me?  Sad to see that none of these coupons include just the blades.  It's only the razors themselves.  I have the razors.  I need blade replacements.  I would also love to see coupons for Degree deodorant or anti-perprant.  I use those.  I find nothing else works.  Also I'm not going to buy things I don't need just for the savings.  Especially since we cannot double up on coupons in Canada like they are able to do in the United States.  It makes couponing next to impossible which is probably why I never bothered before.

Well, if you have some hints that I need to make my Canadian couponing venture a more fruitful one, please share. I could use all the help I can get.  I do have some sites set up that are sending to me.  I find I catch them late though and miss the deals even with checking every day.

Happy Couponing!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Warning!....Exclaimed The Voice On The Other End Of The Telephone Line


‎1-253-802-0308


I hope you got that number. I got that number on my call display. I figured it was another telemarketer. Sometimes I am interested in what they have to say. Although I should just do what my friend does and let one of my two children talk to them. They are 5 and 2 years old. They like to sit and shoot the shit about absolutely nothing at all. Heck, my five year old would love to sit and talk about his friend Nicolae. That's all we ever hear about all day long. I'm willing to share this wealth of friend information. Trust me. I. Need. The. Break.

This is a SCAM! You can find different sites on through searching the number. Idiots didn't even try blocking it. Not very smart criminals now are you? I really want to hear of someone who doesn't have a computer who receives this phone call. Now that would be friggen hilarious.

Phone call:

"Ring"

Me: "Hello."

TM: Dead Air.

Me: "Hello."

TM: "Hello ma'am are you the owner of this number?"

Me: "Yes, I am."

TM: Broken English. "Computer" Broken English. What sounded like a strong East Indian accent. "Virus" Loud call center noises drowning out his already broken up English. "Downloading."

Me: "I'm sorry I cannot understand you."

I really can't and hoping he just ends the call. I haven't yet because I am trying to make sense of it to decide the legitimacy.

TM: "You have gone to an unsecured site. You are now downloading stuff and it is phishing your information from your computer. Can you understand me now?!"

Holy crap his English improved in seconds, and he no longer sounds East Indian. And he raised his voice at me. He almost yelled at me. How rude! How does he have this information to know this? Where did he get my number? I am on the Canadian No Call Registry. (Well now, isn't that useless)

Me: "Well I'll talk to my husband about it, he works in computers. He'll no what to do."

TM: "Oh no! It is downloading the virus and you're computer will shut down in half an hour!"

OOOhhh brownie points for the panic in his voice. He must really care about me. This random voice on the phone who clearly is having an Ethnicity crisis. So TM are you English, East Indian or French? (K, he didn't do the French accent. But it would have been more entertaining to me if he did)

Me: "You are seeing this happen. Right now?"

TM: "Yes. On your computer. It will shut down in half an hour."

The urgency he displays raises his voice another octive. This dude should do voice overs. He deserves an Emmy!

Me: "If you can see what system I am using can you please identify it for me."

TM: "Yes. You are using a Microsoft PC."

His performance is quite impressive. Except he has lost all of his accent by now.

Me: "There Sir is where you are wrong."

"Click"

That was me hanging up the phone. I don't use a PC. You dropped the ball TM. You. Dropped. The. Ball. All brownie points taken back. I retract the Emmy statement as well.

Side Note: It has taken me half an hour to type this up with one hand, while putting my baby to sleep.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bio Hazard

We are so sick here. We haven't been sick like this since April so I am thankful for that. I am ready for us all to feel much better soon though. The baby (L) must be feeling a bit better as he is finally sleeping on his own again. As much as I love to cuddle my last baby, he is heavy and I can do without Clingon mode.

So what have I been up to since my blog has seemed to slow. A lot. Well, I have been trying to do some reading with other blogs. I have been spending a lot more time on Facebook as I cannot do much else besides sleep, sit and play applications like Mystery Manor and The Smurfs. I took E to see his very first movie in the theatre, and went to a second movie that day with my eldest and my parents. I have made several attempts to get out to my garden and cedar bed to weed, however, sick children were not having it.

I have also been working on some ideas. While I like my job. I love my job actually, I am not ready to leave my L just yet. For the first time ever, I am the one having separation anxiety. So while I'm working on a project that I am hoping to have a video up for. I am working on something I can possibly sell. I think that would be so exciting. If only things would speed up along just a bit. Sick wise that is. There is also another project that was dropped in my lap just yesterday that I will need help on from my bloggy friends. (As soon as I am able to take down that Bio Hazard sign)

So there is a lot going on, I'm just being slowed down by life in general. I cannot wait to get these projects going and posts up. For now though I'm going with the flow and popping in when life allows. Definitely reading as well. I'm not always able to post as my hands are full. But rest assured I am taking the time out to read my long blog list.

Lurve Ya and keep blogging! Happy Summer!
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