Search & Win

Friday, December 31, 2010


One way I earn some extra spending money is by doing product reviews for www.viewpoints.com. Every so often they send me a message saying if I do "X" number of product reviews (I write a paragraph or 900 characters on a certain product in a certain category) I will received $X to Amazon. Through today, if you write 10 product reviews, you get $10 to Amazon. I just finished mine. I try to write 1 more than it asks for, just in case one of my reviews gets lost, or doesn't count because it's in a different category than they asked for, etc. I did a few of these over the last few months and was able to save up $25 or $35, I don't remember exactly, for Christmas presents! And with the sales I found on Amazon, that amounted to about $50-75 worth of gifts! Not bad for a few minutes it took to write up each review.

If you're interested, check them out! I've always received my Amazon gift card codes, so no complaints here!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Total Money Makeover Update

Emergency Fund - Stocked!

$575 to visit Gran & Grandpa - was $128
Revised to $400 as Gran is in the hospital and we want to send Ryan and Eve out there as soon as possible!

Deposited $107.15 today!

* $8.35 in spare change
* $12 from paid surveys
* $11.80 from selling some kids' clothes
* $75 in gift money

New Total - $235.90! Only $164.10 to go! Hopefully less if we can get a good deal on flights!

We're following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. Get his book. It'll change your life!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Victor!

Born 12/29/08
8:35 am
8 # 2 oz
21 inches
1st Birthday
And now 2!
He absolutely loves to play with balls. And make Eve scream (he knows just how to push her buttons!). He would eat yogurt for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between if I let him. When he opened his present today, he skipped the toy cars in the bag and went straight for all the Hershey's Kisses on the bottom of the bag. He had to eat all of them before even thinking about toys. He loves his chocolate! He's talking so much now, it's so nice! When I sang "Happy Birthday" to him early this morning, he kept trying to blow out his pretend candles in front of him after each "Happy Birthday" in the song! He's such a sweet, fun, crazy little redhead!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

To Do List

Haven't done one of these in a while! Here goes...

"Due Date" - Thursday Morning
Yeah. We're going to extend this due date until Friday. Because I'm the boss and I say I can ;o)

Living Room
1. Put all presents away
DONE! But I'm sure I'll do it again. 2. Vacuum
3. Fix curtain rod
4. Scrub entry floor
5. Organize bookshelf
Dirk Did It! 6. Organize shoes
7. Clean fishtank
DONE! 8. Take Christmas scene down
Ornamets are down! 9. Take tree down
DONE! 10. Take stockings down
Storing them another way now 11. Organize dresser drawers into toy drawers for each kid
12. Put plastic on windows

Kitchen/Dining Room
DONE! 1. Do all dishes
2. Put all dishes away
DONE! 3. Clean counter (under coffee maker and microwave also)
4. Clean table
I swept instead :o) 5. Scrub floor
6. Clean top of stove
7. Organize refrigerator
8. Organize freezer
9. Put window coverings back up (I finally washed them!)
10. Clean off top of refrigerator

1. Clean sink
DONE! 2. Clean toilet
3. Clean bathtub
4. Clean floor

Our Bedroom
1. Put all clothes away (unpack suitcase)
2. Figure out what to do with all the kids' clothes they've outgrown
3. Clean off dresser
4. Where to put my new mirror?
5. Vacuum
6. Put bedding back on bed
7. Put plastic on windows.
8. Put up new drapes!!!

Kids' Bedroom
1. Put all clothes away (unpack suitcase)
2. Organize buckets of clothes that are too big yet
3. Vacuum
DONE! 4. Fix broken window, throw glass away
DONE! 5. Put up plastic
6. Fix armoire drawer? If possible.

DONE! 1. Vacuum
2. Finish laundry
3. Fold laundry
4. Put laundry away
DONE! 5. Take out garbages
6. Organize toys!!!!
7. Fix wall by stairs, and on stairs

DONE! 1. Deposit $
DONE! 2. Cut up Christmas cards into gift tags and postcards
3. Look up grocery ads/match up coupons!
DONE! 4. Clean out purse, ugh.
DONE! 5. Do surveys from receipts - I will win!
1/2 Done! 6. Set up appts for V & S for pics
DONE! 7. Set up appt for S's 4 mo checkup
DONE! 8. Get calendar written on
9. Put calendar up!
10. Buy containers for crayons and coloring books
11. Write Thank Yous


Our Christmas

Auntie Marcie getting her sewing machine to make her
domesticated, barefoot and pregnant.
Cousin Kyrsten in her
Bow Queen loveliness
Auntie Marcie got Sylvia's name.
Why does this gift from her not surprise me?!

Uncle Scottie attacking Eve :o)

I LOVE this sweater from G & G!
Victor liked opening presents piece by piece...

Eve wanted to show us as many presents
as possible at the same time

My pretty princess :o)

HAHA! These two tried to blow out the
Yule Log on the tv! It was cute!

I have no idea how to put a beret on!
But isn't she cute nonetheless?

I miss this the most living so far away -
Just the family happiness
Except for Sylvia, she doesn't think the joke was that funny!
Dirk got Iron Man 2 from G & G

This picture doesn't do her excitement justice.
She was one thrilled little girl!

Oh Pepper Dog.
He's roughly 184 people years old
or something like that ;o)
He loved this sound effects book!
Eve and her PINK Legos!

Winter Fun

Victor loved being pulled around in the sled by his Mommy

Eve cried that she couldn't get up the hill.
So G went up and came back down with her!
Dirk raced them like a penguin!

Kohl's Deals!

WOW! I love that Eve's birthday is in January, I score some great deals for her birthday! I wish I could do the same for Victor online, but with his birthday already tomorrow, I have to hit the stores in person (oh darn!) to get him some great gifts.

Kohl's has 99c shipping per item going on. I didn't order the other things I wanted for Eve for her birthday in time - people were buying things before I could!

But I did get her this pair of pants for a whopping $1.86 including shipping!! (The pink butterfly one)

Use the code "TWENTY4U" to get an additional 20% off. Plus I went thru Ebates to earn 4% cash back!

They have lots of fun pjs with Disney princesses on them - go check out Kohl's! And before you buy - check out the link to Ebates to earn some extra cash back! You get $5 bonus cash if you're new to Ebates!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


The kids visited Santa and had lists ready for him! Dirk only put 5 things on his list so that Santa could get him his entire list! Eve, of course, wants more!
Victor waved to Santa from a "safe" distance :o)

Emergency Fund


If you follow Dave Ramsey, then you know what I am talking about! During maternity leave, we had too many things pop up (loss of insurance bcuz of Applebee's getting bought out and not offering health insurance any more, paying a plumber twice for our rental unit, etc). Due to many generous holiday gifts and bonuses, it's been restocked! SO excited to have this "cushion" back!

Next on the list...

Saving $575 to take time off and visit Gran and Grandpa Zeldenrust!
Total in savings for this... $128.75

My Free and/or Cheap Finds

If you like A1 Sauce, this is better.
It's got that A1 flavor
with a kick to it!
I received 15 free product coupons from them,
I get to keep 4, and give 11 away!
Who wants one?!
The best is on hamburgers (or meatloaf)!
PS, for those of you in Mankato,
you can only find these at the Hilltop Hy-Vee!

My Target trip.
Ore-Ida fries on sale for $2.59 ea.
Used Target coupon for $2/2 plus a 50c one I had received from the company

Cocoa Krispies on sale for $2.33/ea
(If I was on top of it, I forgot my Walgreen's ad to get it price matched to $1.99)
Used $2/2 Rice or Cocoa Krispies
Used $1/2 Rice or Cocoa Krispies
Used buy 2 Krispies get marshmallows FREE ($1.02)

Cottonelle $2.24
Used Free product coupon from company

Kandoo Kid Wipes $2.49
Used Free product coupon from company

2 Tide single washes 97c/ea
Used 2 - $1 off coupons from 12/12

I splurged and bought Reeses minis for a gift project we're doing with the kids

Juicy Juice $2.09
Used $2 off juice when you buy 2 Kellogg's cereals

Total OOP $6.87 + tax
Savings $17.06


Eve believes that "Christmas Eve" means that only she gets presents.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Eve - Do not buy any more presents for Victor - there is no more room!

My Free and/or Cheap Finds

HAHA! Sorry, it's sideways.

This week was icky at the stores. Nothing for free that I can remember getting! Dumb! :o) Maybe this week. Well, I will be getting lots of stuff for free, but someone else paid for them! It's Christmastime! haha!

However, I did receive this in the mail! AND I didn't have to spend much out of pocket anyways! If I remember correctly, I didn't spend ANYTHING! But it was so many weeks ago, I don't think I have the receipt. I used free product coupons, and still turned in this rebate hoping it would still go through! Obviously, it did! Eve really likes the "pinkness" of the utensils.

Sylvia's Milestone

Her first tooth broke thru. I'm sad :o( My little one is growing up too fast. How come everyone else's kids get teeth at like 9 months? Mine get them between month 3 and 4. But she really only fussed today! She's been chewing on her fist, but that's about it. She's such a good girl.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Powers Christmas Party


G took Dirk and Eve to
Here they are learning something.
I can't remember what Mom said it was lol!
Looking at the animals.

Eve LOVED this lady in the pretty dress
showing off some fancy drinkware.

Checking out the Blacksmith's handiwork.

And Eve bought a fish.
G thought it was a rubber fish.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Eve - (Sneezes) I think I'm allergic to Victor.
Mom - Nice try, Eve. But we are not getting rid of your little brother.

10 Years Ago

10 years ago today
I said "Yes"
when Ryan asked me a question,
during a blizzard,
at Happy Chef.
If I would have known I was about to get engaged
I would have at least taken my name tag off!

The note on the ring box

Do you like see-food?

Dirk's Christmas Program

So, I'm not going to lie. School programs are not that interesting to me. In fact, they bore me. Even with my kid in them. But, like a good mom, I drag myself there to support my boy. And I know in 20 years, I'm going to love watching the videos and looking at the pictures, because my little boy will no longer be that, a little boy. I can tell he doesn't care for it either, since he had more fun poking and jabbing his buddy, Jackson.

His class looked so cute all dressed up! I stopped by his classroom to snatch a pic of those cuties! I told them if they smiled really nice for the first one, then they could make a goofy face for the next one! They were SO excited about being allowed to be goofy!

My Free and/or Cheap Finds

At Walgreen's this week -
Many toys are B1G1
So the flashlights were 2/$6.98
I used a $5 Jingle Cash from last week =
$2 and change
The Princess Card games was $5.99
I used a $5 Jingle Cash from last week =
At Walmart
Pictureka $5.24
I used a $5 off Pictureka (12/5 SS, internet coupon NLA)
24c + tax

My Finds at Target
I bought 2 Hungry Hippos @ $4.99/ea
I used 2 $5 off Hungry Hippos which is NLA
but it was in the 12/5 SS if you were lucky enough to get that.
Total - FREE
I bought 2 BIC Mark-it Markers on clearance for $4.99/ea
I used 2 $5 off Coupons that are NLA from BIC on Facebook
Total - FREE
All I had to do was pay tax ($1.47)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What I Got For Free This Week

My Walgreen's finds
Except for the pop, that was at Cub.
Total came to $26,
after coupons it was $4
plus a $5 off my next purchase.
So I sort of made $ :o)
Walgreen's had a special on these, and with my coupons
I was able to get an extra 2 for free.
Coupons in the mail for free Truvia
Plus 3 gift bags and tags from buying
one bag of Dove chocolates from Walgreen's.
I think Walgreen's is my favorite store lately.
With their sales, I've stored up $15 off my next purchases
this coming week there!
Not pictured is 4 Redbox codes I received inside 2 boxes
of Orville Redenbacher Popcorn. Perfect to have on snowy days like today!


Dirk made some cookies at school yesterday. He just handed me one. I let Victor have a bite. Then Eve a bite. And said Victor could have another bite. I look up and it's all in his mouth.

M - Where's Mommy's cookie?
V - Huh?
M - Where did Mommy's cookie go?
V - (Showing me a mouthful of cookie) All gone.


Did you know you can shop online and get paid to do so? Check out Ebates and start getting some cash back on those last minute Christmas gifts! It's very easy. Thousands of stores from Kohl's to Target to JCPenney, etc. You get $5 or a gift card of your choice by signing up! Refer a few friends and you can earn more cash or prizes! So, take a minute to check it out. You'll be glad you did!


Dirk is playing the Wii "with" Victor. Ryan is eating pancakes and asking me if I missed an egg shell - oops! I told Ryan it sucks when you take your last bite of food and something's wrong with it, and that at least he had one more bite. Well, Victor snuck in while I said that to ryan and grabbed Ryan's last bite of pancakes, popped it in his mouth, and in between chomps says, "All gone!" lol Little turd.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Card

I cannot say "Thank You" enough to
the sender of this card.
You know who you are.
And we thank you!
May the Lord bless you beyond your dreams :o)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Two Sons

This picture makes me smile :o)
It's rare to get Victor to take a nice pic!
I love my little boys.
I hope they grow up to be great friends.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Total Money Makeover

So, many of you know we have been following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover for a few years now. A few months ago I was going to tell you how we did the previous month. Well, our emergency fund was depleted and then some. So we are starting anew for December :o)

So, emergency fund as of end of November - $47 and change. Ick.

One thing I learned is you pay cash for anything. It's hard to hand over the green and so easy to play with plastic, even if it's a debit card. So, one way we save up is by not using coins. When we hand over $25 to pay for our purchase of $24.56, I put the 44c in my pocket and into "The Piggy" at home. And then at the end of the month, we take it to the bank. The kids are learning how to count change and they understand that these quarters and pennies are going to give them bigger rooms and grass to play on (new house!), so every now and again, they'll ask us to put a few pennies they found on the floor into "The Piggy" for their new house :o)

I'll have to do a new tally, but from last October (2009) until this past October, we paid off nearly $20,000 in stupidity debt (personal loans and student loans) with two PART-time jobs! I wish that we were done, but the journey continues...


Mom - Hey Eve.
Eve - Do NOT call me that again.
Mom - What am I supposed to call you?
Eve - I'm a Queen. Call me that.
Mom - *Laughs*

Oh it got better. She tied a princess blanket to her so she had a robe/cape like queens wear. And we were to address her as "Your Royal Highness". Wow. I was speechless! (Except for the giggles)

Monday, December 6, 2010


Mom - Eve, how do you make Christmas cookies?

Eve - Well. You need 3 ingredients. Dough. (Spreading imaginary dough with her hands in the air) Then you put the Christmas stuff in it. And then put frosting on it. And sprinkles.

I guess we need to remind her how to count, that's four. But a cute recipe nonetheless!

My two princesses, Eve & Sylvia


I wish I had more space to decorate.
Some people can decorate so beautifully.
They obviously don't have kids, toddlers and/or babies!
A few years ago, I sold our Christmas tree as we had 2 kids under the age of 2 1/2,
a doberman, and a siamese cat. None of those listed are compatible with a tree!
Instead, I used our card table, draped a table cloth over it, and displayed my Christmas town.
This has been nicknamed "The Christmas Table" by my oldest son.
The gifts are hidden underneath it, where they are hard to see.
Which also means they are not tempting the kids to rip them open!
So, in all my cheapness, I started a tradition for our own little family.
This year my son was the first to remind me to get The Christmas Table all set up!

And Little Victor. He was terrified of the tree!
But once the ornaments went up, he was interested.
Of course, out of all the ornaments, he had to pick out the
Marilyn Monroe one. He's so his father's son!

And this last one is one from my past.
I can't even remember how it started, but my
good friend, Jenny Horner Somethingoranothernow,
and I used to call each other "Losers".
So, the Christmas during our Senior year of high school,
she made this ornament. And I still hang it, obviously,
to this day to remember some good times. It brings a smile
to my face every time I see it.