December 31, 2009

Target Dollar Bin Mailboxes

I thought some of you may be interested in these.  Target has these cute little tin mailboxes in the dollar bins.  I bought one for S to give him on Valentine's day with something inside.  But I thought they would also be great for pretend play.

Note:  They are small.  The above photo makes them look rather large. 

Toddler Scrabble

My mom came across this Alphabet Game from 1972 and it is so great!  It has a precious game board and spinner, but what I love about it is the game cards.

The goal is to spell words on the game cards using big plastic letters, but I love it now for S because he can just match the letters on the cards and there is a picture of the word on the card as well.  It reminds me of this homemade activity, but cuter.  My only complaint is that I am not a fan of using all capital letters. 

Thanks, Mom!

December 30, 2009

Happy (Almost) New Year!

S received a Do-a-Dot set for Christmas and we put it to use this week.  I opened a paper party hat so that it was flat and had S cover the reverse (non-shiny) side in dots.  I then refastened it inside out.  S likes to put it on and shout "Happy New Near!"

December 29, 2009

Let it Snow!

Well, I had planned to post this a long time ago, but the holidays kept getting in the way.  If you live in a climate where it snows, it's still applicable.  Since we do not get (much) snow where we live, we made "pretend snow" from packing peanuts (free with holiday shipments!).  I let S play with it in the sensory tub.  He loved throwing  it up in the air and shouting, "It's snowing!"

We also made a snow scene on black paper.  I put a dabs of glue on the paper and S placed pieces of "snow" on top.

Another snow related activity we did was to use white Floam to make a snowman.

I had planned to also do a felt snowman that S could dress, but never got around to it.  I have a new idea for a felt board as ours has been enjoyed too many times.  I'll keep you posted...

CVS $1.05

Olay Regenerist facial cleanser (x2)
$6.99 each
- 3.00 (11/29 PG)
= $3.99 each, but will submit $15 Olay rebate

Colgate Total toothpaste
- 1.00 (Jan All You magazine)
= 1.99 and earned 2 ECBs

Ivory 3-pk bar soap
- 1.00 (12/27 PG)
= free

Used 7 ECBs correction 9 ECBs

Total OOP = $1.05 and earned 2 ECBs and $15 rebate

December 27, 2009

Another Pampers Gifts to Grow Code

Here is another Gifts to Grow code:  HappyHolidays10 (expires 1/2/10)

Thanks, Freebies4Mom!

December 23, 2009

Free Pull-Ups Sample

No longer available...

Costco is offering a free Pull-Ups sample. 

Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

December 22, 2009

New Pampers Gifts to Grow Code

Enter code welcome2village at Pampers Gifts to Grow to earn 10 points.

Pampers has changed their point system slightly.  It appears for every 1 old point, they are now using 10 points.  However, the reward prize points are also multiplied by 10, so it's really just the same.

You can read my original Gifts to Grow post here and you can read about the changes and some other point codes at Deal Seeking Mom here.

Thanks, Deal Seeking Mom!

December 21, 2009

Amazon Toy Outlet

There are some great Amazon Toy Outlet deals right now.  You can narrow your choices down by age, type, brand and/or discount in the left column.  You may find some great deals to use for future gifts.  The prices and selection seem to change frequently.  Here are a few that stood out to me this evening:

Update:  These are no longer available at these prices, but check Amazon outlet for other deals!

CVS $0

Well, it's been a while since I've couponed, but I couldn't pass these up:

Neosporin Lip Health
$ 5.49
- 3.00 (printable)
- 2.50 Clip-free coupon (rings up with card)
= free

Oral B Satin Floss
- 1.00 (11/29 PG)
= $1.88 and earned 2 ECBs

Oral B Toothbrush
= $2.99 and earned 2 ECBs

Nivea Bodywash
- 2.00 (printable)
= $3.99 and earned 5 ECBs

Complete Contact Solution
= $9.99 and earned 9.99 ECBs

Used 15 ECBs earned from filling out a CVS Advisor Panel survey
Used an additional 4 ECBs

Total OOP = $0 and earned 19 ECBs

December 19, 2009

Save Your Christmas Cards

Be sure to save your Christmas cards because you can make simple puzzles from them (see above).  S is a bit too young for them now, but I will save them for next year.  Also, I only cut the above card in three pieces, but once he's mastered it, I can cut it into more.  This can be done for any holiday greeting card as well. 

Thanks, Chasing Cheerios!

December 15, 2009

Free BabyTalk Subscription

BabyTalk magazine is currently offering a free subscription

December 13, 2009

Learning Tower Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Last week we made some yummy peanut butter oatmeal cookies.  I wanted to share the recipe and our new love...the Learning Tower.  While they are pricey, I think we will get years of great quality time usage from it.  S loves to make his lunch with me and "cook" in the (unplugged) toaster oven. 

(The Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno)

1 2/3 cups all-natural peanut butter
1 cup olive oil-based margarine
2 cups Sucanat or raw sugar
2 large eggs
1 egg white
3 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp best-quality vanilla
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup dark raisins (optional)
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Cream the peanut butter, margarine, sugar and eggs together in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the honey, vanilla and sea salt.
3. Use a large wooden spatula or your clean hands to work in the flour and oats until well combined. Add raisins, walnuts and dates, if desired. Mix well.
4. Shape the dough into large balls and press into flat cookies. Place them on the baking sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes.
5. Cool on wire racks.

December 8, 2009

Christmas Bugs

Our December theme is "Bugs" though it is predictably getting lost in the holiday shuffle, so I combined the two today with an activity.  We decorated a Christmas Tree with "bug ornaments" (tiny dot stickers with various insects).  My goal is for S to learn spider, butterfly, bee, ladybug, worm, grasshopper, and ant; most of which he already knows. 

While we were working on the tree, it reminded me of The 12 Bugs of Christmas, which I plan to get a copy of because S is really into "counting" and it ties together bugs and Christmas. 

If you have any bug activity/art ideas or book suggestions, please let me know in the comments. 

December 7, 2009

Holiday Robeez

Perhaps I am the last mom to figure this out, but I have always wondered why they make Robeez in sizes beyond "walking age" and then it dawned on me that they would make great slippers/indoor shoes in the winter.  S has been running around barefoot at home until now. has their holiday slip-ons marked down to $12.99 with free shipping.  While they aren't my favorite appliques, they will do for house shoes. 

Also, when you order a pair of slip-ons, Robeez donates a pair to a child in need which makes the $12.99 well worth it. 

Finally, make sure you order via Ebates, Shop at Home, or another to get 7% cash back.  If you are unfamiliar with these, you can read Money Saving Mom's post about "Stretching Your Dollars Online".

December 5, 2009

Christmas Little People $9.99

The Fisher Price Store has the Drummer Boy set and the Christmas Parade set on sale for $9.99 each.  It's free shipping with code FREESHIPHP.  We have the Nativity ($25 at Target NOT on sale) and S has learned "angel, Baby Jesus, camel, and donkey" so far.  I like to have seasonal toys that are taken out each year because I think it adds to the excitement and specialness of the holiday.  Also, if you're like me, I am eager to give S one of his Christmas gifts early because we haven't had anything new around here in a long time and this would be a good one to play with now.

December 4, 2009

Color A Smile

I wanted to share this organization with you:

"Color A Smile is a non-profit organization that spreads smiles with cheerful drawings. Since 1986 we have been collecting crayon drawings from school children. Every month we mail thousands of these original crayon 'masterpieces' throughout the United States. Schools, scouting troops, youth groups and individuals supply us with drawings. The majority of our drawings are mailed to senior citizens but we are happy to send 'smiles' to anyone who would like them."

You can choose from lots of coloring pages or free art pagesHere's the one we colored.

December 1, 2009

Vinyl Clings

While they may not be the most attractive of holiday decor, S loves playing with vinyl clings.  They are fun to take off and reapply and they have really helped build S's "Christmas vocabulary".  S also likes to experiment to see what they will/will not stick to (windows, dishwasher, his shirt...).  I somehow acquired ours long ago, but I frequently see them in store dollar bins or on sale after holidays.

November 30, 2009


Sorry for the slowness around here...S has been sick, the holidays are a busy time and I've started a new part-time job!  I am uncertain as to the future of the blog, but keep checking back in case I find a few extra minutes in the day ;)

November 27, 2009

Highchair Stickers

I usually shower in the morning before my husband leaves for work, but he was out of town a few weeks ago and I needed a way to contain and occupy S while I showered.  I brought his highchair into the bathroom and gave him some stickers and paper.  He still has a lot of trouble removing stickers from the backing, so I peeled each one off and placed a corner of each one along the perimeter of the highchair tray.  He was able to easily remove each one to stick to the paper and I was able to shower!  Feel free to leave your shower-occupying tips in the comments. 

November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Megapost

I thought I would just list a bunch of Thanksgiving activity ideas since I'm behind on posts: 
  • Feather color matching:  See above photo.
  • Place setting vocabulary and matching:  I printed this place setting from Nick Jr. and placed it inside a clear sheet protector.  We have been naming and matching the parts of the place setting and we will use it as a placemat during Thanksgiving dinner. 
  • Food photographs:  I have been cutting out photographs of traditional Thanksgiving foods from catalogs, ads, and foodie magazines and gluing them down on a paper plate to help S learn turkey, corn, sweet potatoes, squash, pie...
  • Thanksgiving coloring book:  I printed several Thanksgiving coloring pages from here, added a cover page and stapled them all together to make a Thanksgiving coloring book.  The original purpose was just to keep S busy, but it has been a good visual to learn Pilgrim, boat, turkey...
  • Painting with feathers:  Simply use feathers as your paintbrush.
  • Turkey hand prints:  An oldie, but goodie.
  • Corn sensory tub:  Be sure to use dried corn!  Add various containers, funnels, and scoops to the tub as well.
Thanks, Activity Mom and April Flowers!

Note:  I did end up getting my free contact solution.  Thanks, Christy!

November 23, 2009

Free Sample of Seventh Generation Dish Soap

No longer available...

Go here to request a sample of Seventh Generation dish soap.  You will have to login or register if you are new.  I thought I would post this freebie because I like to use dish soap samples for traveling.  They are good to have on hand for washing breast pump parts in hotel rooms.

November 22, 2009

CVS $10.84

Well $10.84 may not seem great, but I earned 14 ECBs and diapers cost money.  Though we are a Pampers family, I was sucked in by the Huggies deal.  Here's today's trip:

Huggies Jumbo pack diapers (x2)
$18.99 for 2 packs
- 4.00 (2 x $2.00 mailers)
= $14.99

Huggies Mega pack wipes
- 0.50 (mailer)
= $6.49 and earned 5 ECBs for spending $20 on Huggies

Clean and Clear Facewash (x3)
$5.49 each
- 2.00 (printable)
= $3.49 each and earned 5 ECBs for spending $15 on Clean and Clear

Used a $5 off $30 printable for taking a Medicare quiz

Used a "Earn 4 ECBs on $20" card found in the CVS Season to Save booklet at store

Used 14 ECBs 

Paid $5 on CVS $5 giftcard earned for free by purchasing a CVS eGift card at

Total OOP = $10.84 and earned 14 ECBs and an extra $1.25 for submitting a Caregiver's Marketplace form for the Huggies diapers

Note 1:  You can get FREE contact solution at CVS too this week, but my store was all out by the time I went this afternoon :(

Note 2:  Saving with Shellie has CVS Black Friday deals posted.

Reader Question: Coupon Organization

A reader asked:  "Would you do a post on how you organize your coupons?"  There are 3 basic components to how I keep my coupons organized:
  1. Large accordian file for Sunday inserts:  I keep the inserts whole and write the date at the top.  I then file them by month.  This way if I read about a deal and the coupon is from "11/8 RP" I can just pull it out and snip.  I like this because there is no unnecessary cutting.  If I need to buy something and I want to know if I have a coupon for it, I use A Full Cup's coupon database to search for it.  It's free to sign up. 
  2. Small accordian file for loose coupons:  This is used for coupons I receive in the mail; cut from magazines; print "in case"; pull from blinkies in stores; find in or on packaging; cut out of an insert and planned to use, but never did; etc.  It is organized by type of coupon (bathroom, cooking, dairy...)  I go through and clear the expired ones out at the end of each month. 
  3. Envelopes:  When I plan a CVS or Target trip, I make my list on a junk mail envelope.  Note:  these are great for saving for many reasons.  I then store the needed coupons, gift cards, CVS card, printed coupon policy, a stock-up price list, etc inside the envelope to take with me.  I have a Target, CVS, Mall, and BRU/TRU envelope at all times. 
Just because this works for me, it may not suit your needs.  Some people like to cut out all coupons and make a coupon binder with trading card inserts.  Others like to carry around a box with little index dividers.  You just have to find what works for you.  Please feel free to share your own organization system in the comments.  Hope this helps!

November 21, 2009

{late} CVS $0.40

Things have been very busy around here and as a result I didn't go to CVS until today (which doesn't do you much good).  Chances are good I will go tomorrow as well for the start of a new week so stay tuned.  Here's this past week's deals:

Kleenex 110 ct. (x2)
- 0.75 (printable)
= $0.24

Ragu (x3)
$1.67 each (3/$5 and earn 3 ECBS when you spend $10 in Ragu/Skippy/Hellmans)
- 0.30 (11/15 RP)
= $1.37 each and earned 3 ECBs

Skippy (x3)
$1.67 each (3/$5 and earn 3 ECBS when you spend $10 in Ragu/Skippy/Hellmans)
- 0.40 (11/15 RP)
= $1.27 each and earned 3 ECBs (same as above, not 3 more)

Earned 1 ECB for 4 visits with a bag tag

Used 8 ECBs

Total OOP = $0.40 and earned 4 ECBs

S's Christmas Wish List

This may be odd, but I thought if I shared S's Christmas list you may get some ideas for your little ones:
Note:  This is a very long list.  I do not plan for S to receive all of the above!

If you have any great ideas you would like to share, please leave a comment (not that this list needs to get any longer).

November 19, 2009

Baby Magnets

Sorry it's been slow on I was cleaning off our fridge and realized S didn't play with these anymore, but I wanted to share the idea for those of you with older infants/younger toddlers.  When S was younger I was eager for him to play with magnets on the fridge, but they were always too small for his hands or mouth so I took some old wooden blocks and put self-adhesive magnetic stripping on the back to turn them into chunky magnets that he could manipulate.  You can get the magnetic stripping at craft stores or you can also cut pieces off free promotional magnets and glue them to the blocks.

November 17, 2009

Pampers Gifts to Grow

Are you redeeming your Pampers Gifts to Grow points yet?  If not, you may want to start and I have some codes to get you going.  You can find codes to redeem on packages of Pampers diapers and wipes and enter them at the Pampers site to earn rewards (gift cards, small toys, books, etc).  Shipping is included in your reward as well.  Pampers also releases promotional codes and I will start posting them when new ones are out.  Here are two current new ones:

XKCMYXFVD96VXVK (3 points)

You can find past promotional coes at Freebies4Mom.  Some of them may be expired though. 

Thanks, Freebies4Mom!

November 16, 2009

Kids Eat For

S is now to the age where we need to order him something of his own when eating out (which is on a rare occasion these days).  My husband showed me this site the other day and I thought my readers may be interested in it as well.  It shows you a calendar for your area of where/when kids can eat for free or cheap. 

November 15, 2009

Window Sill Book Display

I really love front-facing book displays for children, but we just don't have the space for one right now.  So instead I display books I want to draw S's attention to on the window sill of our playroom.  That is until I find time to make one of these:

Free Photo Ornament

Update:  I just learned from the company that this code was specifically intended for people that had purchased mall Santa photos which I was not aware of before posting.  I apologize for the misinformation.

You can get a free (no shipping!) photo ornament from See Here with code mallornament (Note: It's being reported some people are having trouble with the code, but are having better luck with a space after the code.  Try both ways I guess.  I'm not sure what I did, but it worked!)  You must choose one of the two $12.99 ornaments.  I ordered the white one with S on it, but used our dog above for illustrative purposes.  I am not sure when this offer expires. 

November 14, 2009

Counting Mittens

Since we have been talking about weather this month, we have also read/talked about clothing words (coat, hat, umbrella, mittens...).  I had these mitten stickers and thought I would make a "counting strip" because S is now saying "choo, choo, tree" (translation: one, two, three) as he points. 

Then yesterday during our toy library visit we ran across this activity pack:

The book is about a farmer searching for lost mittens for himself and the animals.  The "mittens" the kit came with are not the most attractive, but you could easily cut out paper or felt mittens to retell the story.  This book is also great for older children because it teachers odd (not a pair) and even (a pair) numbers. 

Free Sample of Pampers Extra Protection

I realized after I posted the Huggies sample and received my Pampers sample in the mail yesterday that I never posted about it.  Go here to get a free sample of Pampers Extra Protection and coupon. 

November 13, 2009

And the winner is....

#31, Noreen!  Noreen, I will email you to get your address.  Congrats!

Last Chance...

Our giveaway for a set of Gaddy Nipper Silly Swirls Holiday crayon set ends tonight.  So make sure you enter before I go to bed!  I'll post the winner and email them to get a mailing address.  Good Luck!

Note:  Make sure to comment on the original post to enter.

November 12, 2009

Coats at Old Navy (Today Only)

If your child (or yourself) is in need of a coat for this winter, you may want to head to Old Navy this afternoon.  They are having a 50% off outerwear sale through the end of the day AND their Give and Get 30% Program (printable coupon) starts today, so the two deals overlap.  This means a $40 coat should cost about $14! 

Book Exchange and 30% off Borders

A friend of mine sent me a children's "book exchange" letter (AKA chain letter) about a month ago and since I am such a rule follower, I couldn't break it.  While I may not have received the 36 books that I was suppose to, it was worth partaking for these five wonderful books! 

One even sent an additional Border's gift card!  The timing couldn't have been better because Border's has a 30% off one item coupon (exp. 11/16).  You need to become a Rewards Member (it's free to sign up) before you use the coupon though. 

S and I went today to get him a book for under the tree with our 30% off and gift card combo and I was surprised by Border's vast toy selection.  They have lots of Melissa and Doug, Lauri, and Alex toys.  So you could also use your 30% off coupon on a Christmas gift for your little one(s). 

November 11, 2009

Target $0

I am a little disappointed in my Target trip this week.  Target had some really great deals this week, but one of two things kept happening to me.  Either the coupon was regional and my coupon inserts didn't have the coupon or I had the coupon, but my Target was out of stock.  Anyway, I guess I can't complain about getting Hefty storage bags and Always pads for free!

Hefty One Zip storage bags
$0.97 (17 ct. gallon bags on price cut)
- 1.00 (11/1 RP;  Note:  I had 50 cent ones in 2 of my inserts and a $1 in the 3rd insert.  Go figure.)
= free

Always Infinity pads (18 ct or less)
- 3.99 (FREE box mailer coupon from Being Girl sample)
= free

Total OOP = $0

Felt Turkey

I made this felt turkey the other day and S has really enjoyed playing with it even though I still need to add google eyes!  S is still a bit young for color patterns, but we have named the colors and counted the feathers. 

Let me know if you know a cute rhyme to go with our turkey. 

November 10, 2009

50 Free Photo Cards!

No longer available....

Update:  Read this update from Freebies4Mom

I can't believe I am just now posting this since I've know about it since last's okay there is still time.  Freebies4Mom has a special code for See Here (by Fuji Film) to get 50 free photo cards (no shipping!) AND it doesn't expire until November 30th so you have lots of time to design a Christmas card or birth announcement!  Just enter "freebies4mom-1109" at checkout. 

Free Sample of Huggies Little Movers Diapers

You can get a free sample of Huggies Little Movers diapers at  Free diaper samples often come with coupons and are great to stick in the car for emergencies.

Thanks, Deal Seeking Mom!

Bubble Wrap Fun

As you begin to receive more packages in the mail during the holidays, make sure you save your bubble wrap for some rainy day stomping fun!

November 9, 2009


I am so excited to tell you that we have our first sponsor- Gaddy Nipper Crayons!  Nichole makes the most precious crayons from hand poured molds.  They make great stocking stuffers, gift tie-ons, and party favors.

She sent us a sampling of some and we love them!  We received some cars, numbers and a holiday mix.  They are the perfect size for S's little grasp and don't break as easily as regular crayons.
S had fun "driving" his cars along some roads I drew.  Then he had fun scribbling all over them!  Older kids would enjoy drawing in houses, signs, trees, etc. 

Now for the great news-  as our first sponsor, Nichole wants to send one of my readers a free set of 9 Silly Swirls Holiday Crayons (photo at top)! 

To enter to win, leave a comment letting me know your favorite blog post to date.  For an extra chance to win, you can leave a second comment if you become a "follower" of this blog on the right sidebar.  Make sure to include your email in each comment or have it enabled in Blogger.  I will choose a winner by generating a random number on  After I email the winner, they will have three days to reply with their address before I choose a different winner.  The giveaway ends November 13th and is only open to US residents, so comment soon!

If you don't win, you can still get some for yourself or gifts at Nichole's Etsy store!

November 8, 2009

7 Preschool Games for Less Than $4 at TRU!

S is too young for these, but I couldn't resist such a deal.  I will either save them as gifts or they would also be great for a Christmas toy drive this year.  Of course Memory I will keep for matching!   Here's the deal at Toys R Us:

Preschool Milton Bradley/Hasbro Games $3.99 Each
  • Candy Land
  • Cootie
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Don’t Break The Ice
  • Hi-Ho Cherry-O
  • Ants in Pants (I did not get this one)
  • Memory
Buy $25 in Hasbro games, get a $10 gift card
Submit Hasbro Rebate of $2.00 per game
7 games ($3.99 each)= $27.93
- $10 gift card
- $14 rebate ($2 per game)
= $3.93 (or 57 cents each!)
*Note 1:  My store let me buy 6 games and included the tax towards the $25, but others haven't been as lucky.  So I actually bought 6 games for $1.94 (that's 33 cents each!).
*Note 2:  You can't buy multiples of the same game for the rebate to work.
Also, if you only wanted Memory, you could buy it for $3.99 now and fill out the $2.00 rebate so that the final cost is $1.99 (still a good deal since these are noramlly priced at $10 each).

If you are new to my blog, we are currently giving away a set of Gaddy Nipper Crayons here!

Weather Windows

Our November "theme" (though I am likely to get distracted by Thanksgiving-related activities much like Halloween) is weather.  My goal is to reinforce basic weather vocabulary: rain, sun, cloud, snow, snowflake...I thought it would be a good idea to hang images of these weather words on our playroom windows.  However, I think I have confused S because he already knew real rain and sun and now when we name them on the windows he looks outside with a confused look as if to say, "Mom, it's not raining."  Oh well.  At least he now knows "snowflake" and a paper cut-out of one is as close as he's going to get to the real thing where we live. 

I also plan to do some acitivites that reinforce "hot" and "cold".  I printed these pictures, backed them with construction paper and laminated them several months ago when S was fascinated with the idea that the oven was "hot" and I think it was a good visual to help him understand a semi-abstract concept.  I plan to do a similar one for "dangerous". 

Please leave me a comment if you have any good weather activity ideas for an 18 month old.