Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ten Time Savings Tips including the #StarbucksApp

As a mother of three small children, four years old and under, I know that every second counts in a day. There are many days that seem to fly without half of what needs to get done being done. I am sure that I am not the only one who wishes there were a few more hours in the day, but since that is completely out of our control, I would like to offer ten time saving tips to make your busy life as a mom a bit easier!

  1. Get organized and then stay organized. There is nothing worse than being in hurry and not knowing where everything is that you need. The one thing that I am absolutely horrible with is my key ring. I have been trying, and doing pretty well, to always put my keys on the key rack. Seriously, organization makes a huge difference when it comes to saving time.
  2. Keep healthy snacks easily accessible. One thing that I have started doing is buying a large bag of carrots and peeling them and cutting them into carrot sticks and keeping them in a container of water in the fridge to keep them fresh. This saves a lot of time when you or your kids want a little snack – and it promotes healthy eating habits as well.
  3. Pick out your outfit for tomorrow tonight! Picking out an outfit to wear and getting it all together for yourself and children is time consuming. Doing it the night before saves that time in the morning.
  4. Set your coffee pot the night before and put it on a timer. Not only will this help save a little time in the morning, you will have hot fresh coffee when you wake up! Nice!!
  5. When you are going out to go shopping or whatever, have a tentative itinerary. Of course, allow for more or less times at places, but knowing what you want to do and accomplish in a given time sets a pace and saves time.
  6. Multitask!! While you are getting the kids breakfast ready and sitting them down at the table do the dishes from making breakfast, while you are talking on the phone pick up the toys, etc. Women are amazing multitaskers!!
  7. Cook a little extra when you are making dinner and have enough for leftovers or enough meat to make another, different meal. Cooking once for a few days is a definite way to save time, and money – you are less likely to go out to eat if you have it at home!
  8. When you are going grocery shopping, make your list ahead of time and get whatever coupons you will be using together with your lists. This saves tons of time and makes check out a breeze! I still bring the rest of my coupons with me too, just in case I deviate from my list!
  9. Schedule playtime, especially during busy days. Kids need time to unwind and be kids! When you give them the play time they are less likely to have melt downs while they are doing your stuff with you.
  10. Most of the grocery stores that I shop at have loyalty cards, I find that it saves time to use my phone number as opposed to having to dig around and find the card that goes with the store. On the other side, make sure you use the same phone number or it takes more time!
Starbucks has made it easy and fast for you when you go get your favorite drink. Here is some information on how to save time using your smart phone at Starbucks:
Starbucks for Android™ and the Starbucks Card Mobile App for BlackBerry®, iPhone® or iPod® Touch have five core features:

  • Pay with your phone: Enjoy the fastest, more convenient way to pay at nearly 9,000 Starbucks locations. Just download the app, enter your Starbucks Card number, scan and go.
  • Manage your card account: Access your Starbucks Card balance directly from your phone.
  • Reload your card balance: Use your smartphone to reload your Starbucks Card using any major credit card.
  • Check your My Starbucks Rewards status: Find out how close you are to earning your next free drink.
  • Find nearby Starbucks stores: Save time by finding a Starbucks store near you.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Do you have a GPS?? Great deals on a few, looking for advice!

We are getting ready to go to Montana in about two weeks. I am pretty sure that it is a route that I could drive in my sleep -- for the most part. {that was a slight exaggeration, I don't drive while I sleep} Zack and I have been talking about getting a GPS. I have been looking at them and researching them for a while now. I have my eye on two and am looking for any advice and experiences that might help us select a user-friendly, efficient GPS. Here are the ones that I have been thinking about - they have smokin' hot deals on them on Amazon too!!

Honestly, I am not sure what the big difference is between these two. We have also heard good things about the Garmin nĂ¼vi 1300LM 4.3-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Map Updates. I think that any of these three will be a great choice. I think that since they are all so similar, we will probably end up going with the cheapest of the three. If you have suggestions or advice I would love to hear it! Thanks!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Peach, Blueberry, and Blackberry Cobbler -- LINKY

Summer time means fresh berries and fruit!! I saw this recipe on Guy's Big Bite and knew that I had to make this cobbler. It smells so good. It literally just came out of the oven - I'll let you know how it was later!!

If you have a Wordless Wednesday and want to link up, do so below!
Have a blessed day!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Katrina Versus Weeds {{linky}}

The other day, the girls and I decided to take a walk to the mailbox. When we were almost home I asked if anyone wanted to pull weeds for a few minutes. Emily got excited and wanted to have a weed-pulling party -- everything is more fun when it's a party, right?!? Anyways I got into it, and quite a while later was wore out. Here is what happened:

I pulled a lot of weeds! The stupid weeds gave me two blisters and a fairly nasty little hole in a part of my finger (cut?) But, I am going to claim the victory for this round!

Weeds:0  Katrina:1

Check back later for an updated score!!

If you have a Wordless Wednesday that you would like to share, please link up below!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Some *cute* Father's Day printable coloring sheets!!

What daddy doesn't want something that their kid(s) made or colored for them?? I don't know any! Here are some cute Father's Day printables from To print them, just click on the image and it will enlarge and is ready to be printed, colored, and given to daddy!!


Father's Day is June 19 - Personalized Father's Day cards for only $0.99!!!

If you have ever bought anything from you know how amazing both their products and customer service is!! They've got you covered for Father's Day too! You can create personalized (wording, photos, or both) Father's Day cards for only 99 cents when you use the code GC99 !! In fact, I am pretty sure it works on all of the greeting cards.

The cards will ship free to your home with an optional (free) printed addressed envelope that all you have to do is stamp and send, or you can pay the 44 cents for a stamp and TinyPrints will mail it to the recipient for you -- you select the date they will receive it! Go check it out, click here and go see all that TinyPrints has to offer!!

Disclaimer: The link I provided is my tell-a-pal link and I will get store credit if you order from my link - thanks! :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Traveling this Summer? Here are some Travel Safety Tips! #SafeliteSafe

In a few weeks the girls and I are going to head out on quite a long drive to Montana. I think that the total miles that will be driven (not including doing stuff while we are there) is somewhere around 2534 miles -- according to MapQuest! We will be spending a lot of time in the van. Thinking of the distance and time that we will be traveling, safety comes to mind.
I am going to share with you ten travel safety tips from me and a few from Safelite AutoGlass.
Here are some safety tips from me:
1. Make sure that your vehicle is all tuned up before you leave. If you need an oil change, go get one - or have your husband do it! :) This is also a great time to check all of your cars fluid levels and top off as needed. <-- I believe that if you get your oil changed at Jiffy Lube they will do this for you.
2. Plan your route ahead of time. Whether you are using MapQuest or some other online mapping site or a paper map, it is good to know the route you will take prior to leaving home. One of the reasons that I like using MapQuest is that some of the driving directions will tell you something like, "If you see Main Street you have gone about 0.1 miles too far." I also like to make sure that there are people who know what routes I am taking and where I plan on stopping - you can never be too safe!
3. When the car is on, wear a seat belt! This seems like such an obvious thing that I should not even bother to mention it, but there are so many people who don't wear their seat belts - it's scary. My philosophy on seat belts -- aside from if you don't wear them you can get a BIG ticket -- is that it is a simple way to ensure safety. I always make my girls buckle up and will continue to as they grow out of car seats, so I need to be a good example by always buckling up myself.
4. When you are traveling with children, PLEASE make sure their car seats fit them correctly. If your child is buckled into a car seat, you should expect that they are safe. However, if the child is not harnessed correctly, they could be very dangerous to the child. Every car seat and booster seat comes with installation and use directions - read them! The level of the straps in relation to the child's shoulders changes with the positioning of the seat - rear facing it should be at or below the shoulder level and at or above in forward facing car seats. The straps should be snug - two fingers should be all that fits between the child and the restraints. The chest clip needs to be at chest level. And a huge safety issue with car seats is that children should not wear jackets in their car seats, put the jacket or a blanket over them after they are buckled if necessary.
5. Be sure that the car seats are properly installed. Again, if the seat is not installed correctly it looses much of the safety value. The owner's manual should give instructions for proper installation. Most towns and cities have a service available to you where a person who is certified in car seat installation will either check the installation or will install the seat for you. Call you local fire department for more information, you can also check with your auto insurance carrier for locations.
6. Know how to change your tire. I hate this, but it is necessary. Even with roadside assistance, there is no guarantee that you will have reception for your cell phone - or what if the battery is dead, etc. Knowing how to change your tire will at least give you the peace of mind that if you need to you will be able to.
7. Keep your cell phone charged. In the event of an emergency (like the one above, or a real medical emergency) you will be able to call for help. Even if you have to keep driving to get reception, you will have the ability to call for help as soon as you get service.
8. Keep water, snacks and activities on hand for the kids and water and a snack for yourself. If you have to stop every time that you hear a little voice tell you that they are thirsty or are hungry or bored, your trip could take considerably longer -- trust me, I know! Keeping some water and maybe some juice and some healthy snacks within reach is always a good idea. For activities, I have a bag for each of the girls with a little bit of coloring activities and a book. Whatever makes life a little easier!
9. Plan on stopping to walk around at least every 4 hours. Getting the blood flowing through your legs and getting some fresh air are always good before getting back in the car. It definitely helps on longer trips.
10. Bring music! Relying on the radio can be ...well, unreliable. We like to listen to Christian music and there is not always a Christian station available. The kids have some CD's that they like and I have some, so bringing a variety keeps us all happy!

A little about Safelite AutoGlass Safelite AutoGlass:
Safelite AutoGlass® was founded in 1947. Throughout our more than 60 years of service, our company has grown from a single store in Wichita, Kansas, to a national auto glass provider, serving nearly 4 million customers per year.

Through industry-leading 24-hour instant scheduling, convenient in-shop or mobile service, top-of-the-line materials and SafeTech™ certified technicians, you'll find that Safelite AutoGlass offers superior customer service, value and quality.
More info:
Follow Safelite on Twitter: @safelite
Safelite on Facebook
Some tips from Safelite AutoGlass:
* Think you can ignore a chip in your windshield? Think again! The windshield provides up to 30% of your vehicles structural integrity, and a chip smaller than 6 inches (or the size of a dollar bill) can easily be repaired by filling it with a special resin.

* With many insurance companies, there is no deductible for the repair.

* Safelite AutoGlass brings you peace of mind by emailing you a Technician Profile before your appointment, showing you a photograph and credentials of the technician coming to your home or place of business.

* Scheduling a windshield chip repair is easy! Companies like Safelite AutoGlass provide mobile service – wherever your car is – often within 24 hours of your initial call.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Safelite blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Wordless Wednesday -- Tis The Season, Yum!!

I love this time of year, when all kinds of fresh fruits and veggies are in season. We started this Spring off with a blackberry pie!!

It was delicious! The lattice work on the crust leaves a bit to be desired, but it was my first attempt at it, so not bad! :)

If you have a Wordless Wednesday that you'd like to share, please link to it below: