Thursday, September 13, 2012

Free Domain Name and Web Hosting

This is a great deal. Get Your Business Online (a google company) is giving one year of website hosting plus a domain name for free. There is varying availability by state and includes an Intuit website, domain name, web hosting and more!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Photos of Last Week's Food

Sorry for the delay on this but I just have not had any time to upload! These days our routine revolves around coming home from work and entertaining an increasingly fussy baby (this will change when we move and we can enforce the nap schedule) and then prepping dinner/going through mail/completing all errands after we put Little One down and then stumbling exhaustedly into bed so that we can start the cycle again the next day.

I took photos, but never had the time to upload them! I know, it's tragic. Here are some of the best bits.

The spicy cabbage from the NY Times:
Alas I do not have a wok, and so my version is not as great looking as the one in the recipe.

Here it is pre and post stir-frying.

Chocolate Zuchinni Bread:

This really just tastes like chocolate cake. Some people said they tasted the zucchini, but most just felt it was a moist chocolate cake. This means it is a good way to disguise vegetables when giving to your kids, but it does have a decent amount of sugar, so I would not eat it regularly.

The real winner of the week was the Swiss Chard recipe from  Yotam Ottolenghi. Hands down the best way to prepare chard I have tried. Do not worry if you don't have tamarind - you can use a little lemon juice and an equivalent amount of prune butter.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

7/11 = free slurpies!

Don't forget that today, on 7,11 all 7-Eleven stores are giving out free slurpies!

My Fridge Runneth Over - With Vegetables

Now that my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program is up and running I find myself with the pleasant dilemma of having way too many vegetables in my fridge every Monday evening. It is made even more pleasant by the fact that my share in the CSA is free this year. I am part of a trio of individuals running the CSA and the farm has kindly comped me a share. Now I just have to figure out how to use it all!

I hate food waste so it is essential to cook/prepare the vegetables in a timely, organized fashion. These organic veggies cannot stay in the fridge indefinitely. You would think after three years of this, I would have gotten the hang of it but there are still challenges and I like to try new things. I keep adding recipes to my CSA notebook, and every year it does get a little easier since I start with a larger repertoire of cooking options.

New to the roster this year is baby food. This is really simple. I take the veggie (peas, squash, carrot) and either boil or steam it. Then I puree in the blender and portion into little containers for my baby. She seems to love sweet potato and banana. After some struggles she is starting to accept peas. However she staunchly refuses the summer squash. I have no idea why. I tasted it and it is really sweet (I do not add sugar, it is naturally sweet). The faces Little One gives me are hilarious. She makes this incredulous look and begins to pretend gag and wave her arm threateningly at me, as if to say "do not try this mommy, it will not go well for us". I still try one or two spoons, which she gleefully spits back at me. I am told babies need to try things several times before they accept them. Hopefully she realizes how yummy squash is soon.

Here is a list of this weeks vegetables:
Bright Lights Swiss Chard-1 bunch
Red Leaf Lettuce-1 head
Napa  Cabbage-1 head
Scallions-1 bunch
Baby Red Ace Beets with Greens-1 bunch
Summer Squash-2 pounds
Red Lake Currants-1 basket
Parsley-1 bunch
Okra take what you like

I actually ended up with slightly more of some items thanks to a member not showing up. Open my fridge and leaves pop out at you. 

Here's the plan of attack:
On Night 1 I was pretty tired, so not much took place. The Parsley was preserved in labelled freezer bags for use during the year as needed. Fresh parsley is often called for in recipes and it is so expensive. This way I have a (free) stock on hand. The lettuce is going to be used in salads throughout the week with leftovers used on the weekend.

On Night 2 (Tuesday) the beets were boiled, peeled and sliced for lunch the next day. I love beets! My husband does not share my feelings of beet adoration, so they are all mine. 

Next we tackled one of the leafier items, the Swiss chard. I used a recipe for Swiss Chard, chick pea and tamarind stew from chef Yotam Ottolenghi. This will be dinner tomorrow, so photos and full recipe will appear at that point. However for those scared off by the word tamarind, you can substitute a little prune butter and lemon juice.

The currants were boiled with a little water and passed through a sieve to harvest juices. Juices were then further reduced over a low simmer to make a thick currant sauce that can be placed over items like ice cream, waffles or cookies for an extra tangy touch. 

On Night 3 (tonight!) the scallions will be used to make sesame noodles, the cabbage is going into a Spicy Stir Fry and possibly some homemade coleslaw and the squash is going to be tackled. I have a ton of squash so three recipes will be attempted (if I have time): chocolate zucchini bread,  vegetarian enchilladas and creamy squash soup.

On Night 4 the remainder of the squash will be used to make cheesy squash patties and the okra stewed in tomato sauce.

It's work, but it provides healthy, wholesome meals for my family that are cost effective and made with locally grown produce. Plus cooking together is a much healthier activity than all sitting around watching TV or something of that sort. I've even started a little veggie patch at in my in-laws back yard. The tomato and squash crops are starting to come in (see photo!).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Free Reusable Tote Bag

Now that CSA season ahs started my reusable totes are getting a work out. These things are great, they roll up into a tiny ball that fits in my handbag, you can pack them full of stuff then give them a rinse off at home. Good for the planet and for picking up my weekly vegetable share.

Win a free bag tomorrow on Earthbound Organic's facebook page. The first 8,000 people to register will receive a bag. Registration information will be on their facebook page. Good luck!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Diapers 10 cents or less each

Walgreens Premium Baby DiapersWalgreens currently has a buy one get one promotion going on their Walgreens brand diapers. The best deal, by far, is to go to the website and select free web pickup. Buy 4 packs of Walgreens brand diapers (they are buy one get one free this week). Then add 2 packs of wipes (also buy one get free this week). Your total should be $20.27. Now that you are over $20 you can use coupon code "SUNNYFIVE" to get $5 off your purchase. For size 2 diapers this will work out to 9 cents a diaper, for size 3 it works out to 10 cents a diaper.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Free Personalized Father's Day Card

Cardstore is doing it again! You can get a free fathers day card mailed straight to the recipient for Free! Simply use the code "LUVDAD2" at checkout. Act fast - this is while supplies last!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I am often shocked by how well the tenets of the recyclinng movement match up so well with money saving tips. There is always a fine balance between convenience and expense. By spending a little more time one can re-use many items or reduce the need for them altogether. Is it worth that effort though? Only you can answer that question. One thing to keep in mind: If you say your time is worth more, then you actually have to use your time in a worthwhile manner! (How's that for motivational speaking?)

Some Examples:
A prime example of reduction is the fact that I rarely use paper goods. I prefer to wash dishes. No, I do not have a dishwasher and I do not have cleaning help. It is better for the planet and our wallets to use reduce the use of paper goods. We got a giant thing of Costco plasticware and plates when we were married three years ago. It is still in my closet. The only real depletion of my plasticware happens when 1) a neighbour comes over to borrow some  2) on Passover since I do not have space for Passover dishes (although we sometimes rewash the plastiware and make it last all Passover because it feels so wasteful). We even have a set of melamine plates for outdoor picnics.

Not everything in life is reusable, or worth the effort of reusing. I know I could not handle cloth diapering, but I respect those that do. I also crunched the numbers and realized I would not save much money, so the benefit would be entirely environmental. To run a load of laundry in my building costs $1 and to run the dryer is another $1. I found disposable diapers for 5 cents a pop. Plus I duobt I'd have enough time to wash them on my own. I'd end up shelling out $30+ a week for a service.  On the other hand these adorable breast shields are reusable and can go in with your regular wash.


To me, this is about finding creative new uses for items after they are used. I am a big fan of storing grains from the bulk food section in washed out jam jars. It's simple and allows me to buy my grain at the bulk section without worrying it will spoil and air tight kitchen containers or tupperware can be pricey! Finding new ways to recycle leftovers is also a good practice - saves on waste and groceries!

How do you reduce/reuse/recycle?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

JJ Cole Arctic Bundle Me Sassy for $36

Amazon has the JJ Cole Arctic Bundle Me Sassy for a great price. It is $36.04 with free super saver shipping. Usually it costs $99.95. Buy now or regret it next winter...

35% Off at H & M

Use this printable coupon to get 35% off One item at H&M! This is a great deal for a retailer that usually has good prices anyway. Good until May 27, one per customer.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Graco Lauren Crib + Mattress for $150

Walmart has the Graco Lauren crib with a Bonus mattress (the Lajobi Gentle Embrace) for $150 right now. Select in store to avoid shipping and get this price. The mattress is not the greatest, however you can return the mattress to get $38 back if you don't like it. This is a great deal for a popular crib.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Free 16 x 20 Wall Portrait at Sears

Sears is offering a free 16 x 20 inch wall portrait with this coupon. You will not even have to pay the session sitting fee. This coupon is good until May 15th.

Free 8 by 10 Photo at Walgreens!

Walgreens is offering a free 8x10 Print when you enter the code FREE4ME at checkout. Select free in store [ickup so that you don't have to pay shipping. This code is valid until May 12!

Free Donut on June 1st

June 1st is national donut day and dunkin donuts will be giving away a free donut with any beverage purchase. Mark your calendars!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Free Ice Cream

Today, May 8th, is free cone day at Haagen Dazs! This freebie is available today from 4-8 in participating stores.

Increasing Milk Production

When Little One was born my milk came in fast and furious. Engorgement is very common among breastfeeding women in the first few days post partum but I had an abnormally bad case. Little One had a tough time latching on. It was like eating from a bowling ball. Thankfully a La Leche League leader came to my rescue with a few techniques to help get the baby on. Since then the engorgement went down and I was blissfully producing such an oversupply of milk I signed up as a milk donor to give milk to preemie babies. I could not keep all the oversupply in my freezer. I knew this was a huge gift and was very grateful for it.

Now after two months back at work supply is slowing down a little. I still have enough to feed most babies, but my ravenous baby girl gulps 8 ounces in a shot - she eats almost 40 ounces a day. To ensure I can meet demand I began to look up ways to maintain and keep up my milk supply.

The first and simplest thing to do is to rest and drink a lot of fluid. All that milk is coming from your fluid supply, so keep it up! My new rule is that I do not pass a water source without drinking. Another helpful tip is to keep eating and relax as much as possible.

Since breast milk supply is related directly to demand and stimulation, it also helps to feed the baby often. Many women experience a dip in supply when the baby starts sleeping through the night and taking less daytime feedings. To combat this try to get in an extra feeding or pumping session. Pump after feedings to ensure the breast is fully emptied and save the milk for later use. The best stimulaion comes from the baby itself eating at the breast so try and do as many of the feedings yourself as possible. Arrange baby's eating schedule to coincide with times you are home.

If that still does not help, you can try certain items known as galactogogues that increase milk supply. The safest of these are tiems you normally eat anyway such as whole grains, oatmeal, quinoa and alfalfa. There are also herbs such as fenugreek, blessed thistle and red leaf tea that are known to increase milk supply. However, they have never been studied for passage into the breastmilk or side effects so it is best to keep these as a last resort and use with caution.

For me, I think the answer is going to be starting Little One on solids soon. Solids do not provide nearly as much nutrition as breastmilk and they do not replae it within the first year of life. However, when the baby is getting enough nutrients and drinking the max amount of breastmilk advisable a day and still wants to eat this is often the answer. They're not in it for the calories. They are trying to have fun. She looks at her father and I when we eat and starts making little open mouth faces. She swats at our food. She's not hungry. She's jsut eaten. However, she wants to be like the big people. That's my Little One, always a little ahead of herself!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Children's Place Sale with Free Shipping

The Children's Place always has a good clearance section. Today you can also use codes "W2H2012 or E4H2012" to get 15% off. What makes this a good deal is the fact that shipping is free. Get in your orders while that lasts, because it rarely does.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

When did it Become Weird to be Alone?

My husband is away for a few days on a work trip. No big deal, I thought. Just a few days. I can handle the baby. When last night rolled around I did indeed handle the situation. I fed the baby, did play time, dealt with fussy time, skyped her dad so they could see each other and did bed time. I even trimmed little ones nails, which can often be a two person job.

It was only after she was safe and sound, sleeping in her new fabulous miracle blanket that things got weird. It was just too darn quiet. I was used to the noise of two people. Then I got used to the noise of two people plus a baby. Now with the baby in her quiet sleep stage and just me around, there was suddenly this creepy quiet. I resisted the urge to turn on the TV but did feel the need to add the deadbolt to the usual lock. As I got into bed by myself with a book, instead of luxuriating in the rare luxury of time to read I wondered when quiet had started to seem weird. I could recall my single days, living alone, with hours of uninterupted quiet in the evenings. Especially before I even had a TV. What happened to that person?

I assume I will see her again one day, in thirty years from now. Until then, I'll revel in the noise.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Children's Place Stacking Deals

Today, Children's Place has free shipping on all orders. Since you do not need a coupon code you can go ahead and enter code RETAILMENOT42 to get an additional 15% off. head over to the clearance section for the best deals.

$25 for $50 worth of Groceries from Avi Glatt

Today Groupon has a deal for $25 that entitles you to $50 worth of groceries from Avi Glatt! Best of all you can select in store or online order.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Free Photo Prints

Walgreens NeighborsWalgreens has a free photo deal. Score 25 4 by 6 inch photos free by using hte code "FREEDEAL". Store pick up is also free.

Monday, April 2, 2012

25% Off at The Gap

Use code GAPSUN to get 25% off your entire order! Shipping is free after $50, but the system currently is calculating this amont BEFORE the code so in reality it's $37.50.

There is also a host of exclusions:

25% off purchase: Offer valid online between April 1, 2012 at 12:00 AM ET and April 3, 2012 at 11:59 PM ET in the US (including Puerto Rico) only. Not valid on the following Gap merchandise: Leather and Suede Apparel, Denim Bottoms, Women's Panties, Baby Sleepwear, Playtime Favorites, and First Favorites. Not valid on aden + anais™, Junk Food™, Star Wars™, DIANE VON FURSTENBERG FOR GAPKIDS, Threadless®, Leading Lady®, Medela® and Bravado®. Qualifying amount applies to merchandise only, not value of gift cards purchased, packaging, applicable taxes or shipping & handling charges. Offer cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts, including Gap Inc. employee discount. Offer is non-transferable and not valid for cash or cash equivalent. No adjustments on previous purchases. Offer subject to change without notice.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crib Buying Experience

Well, it happened. Little one rolled over! She only managed to do this once but since she is getting so tall and has pulled off rolling over once we have to move her from the bassinet to the crib. We were hoping to wait until we moved to buy and build her crib, but how can we be upset when this means she is growing so quickly, reaching her milestones and healthy?

We set out to find a good crib for a good value. Our main concern was safety. However we quickly discovered that most cribs sold in the U.S. are identical in terms of safety. There are laws regulating everything down to how far apart the cribs slats may be, what finishes can be used on the wood and how thick the wood has got to be. Dropsides are pretty much gone since the last round of recalls. Occassionally some clever sales person tried to upsell us to a more expenssive brand or somethign we did not like by telling us that other brands we were considering have had recalls in the past. Well, here's the thing. Any crib manufacturer that has been around for more than a few years has likely had a recall or two. When dropsides were outlawed they were pretty much being made by EVERY crib manufacturer so everyone had a recall. Don't trust what some slaes person tells you. Look at each company and their individual safety record. WHY did things get recalled and how responsible was the company about it? We used that as our major measure for company reliability.

Another thing to consider is that while most cribs convert to toddler beds, the conversion kits are sold separtely. So don't think you are getting a great bargain with a convertible crib. You will still have to pony up more cash later, plus if you want to have more kids it is likely you will just move the toddler to a regular bed and use the crib for the next kiddo.

What do you get for more money? More embelishments like swirly sides or engraved scrolls (I am not a fan of these). Sometimes a bit of thicker wood and more color options. As it happens, color was a big factor for me. I did not want any painted wood - white and blacks. I wanted a nice cherry finish or natural wood. There are also organic cribs out there that use more natural finishes to treat their wood.

Some stores feature full matching rooms - changing tables, dressers and armoires all matching the crib. I was not interested in this. Regular adult furniture is often the better value. You'll get it for cheaper and you can continue to use it later in life when the child has grown up or in a guest room.

We ended up going with a  great floor sample from a smaller store. These stores usually carry higher line/specialty cribs and not national brands since they cannot compete with chains on less expensive brands like Graco. Their floor samples are immaculate. They keep them dusted and polished and paretns are not really allowed to bang them up much when browsing. In large chain stores floor samples can be a disaster - they are so beat up and nicked since no is watching them as parents poke and prod them. Parents in Babies R Us were little picking up and dropping cribs. Now, I can see wanting to feel the wood and give it a good shake. But do you really think your baby or any of your other children are going to physically lift up the crib and drop it?? The store even threw int he conversion kit, although I doubt we'll use it.

We are seriously cramped, but the new crib looks great. We're going to put Little One in it tonight. I hope she likes her new home! Want to see some of the cribs we seriously considered? Simply click onthe images scattered through this post.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Free Cards! Birthday CardsCardstore is at it again. To celebrate Easter, is giving away 50,000 Free Easter Cards today and tomorrow!

Use code: CCE2326
This code is valid for 1 Free Easter Card, including Free Shipping, and is only valid today Monday, March 26th and tomorrow Tuesday, March 27th. This offer is limited to 50,000 Free Cards per day. Valid in the US and Canada only.
Note: Free Shipping only available in the US.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Free Redbox Rental 3/8 Only

Redbox has hit 2 billion rentals! To celebrate they are giving away a free one day rental - today 3/8 only. Simply go to your nearest redbox and proceed as usual, entering the code "THANKS2U". A standard DVD will be free. A blu-ray DVD will be $1.20 Off.

Win $1,000 to Spend on Amazon

Amazon Mom is giving away a $1,000 credit to a fan who likes their facebook page. For more info and to enter the sweepstakes click here.

Another Free Card Deal! is doing it again! They are giving away 25,000 Free Cards daily today through next Wednesday, March 14th!

Use Code: CCE2246  

This code is valid for 1 Free Card, including Free Shipping, and is only valid today Thursday, March 8th through Wednesday, March 14th. This offer is limited to 25,000 Free Cards per daily. Valid in the US and Canada only. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sophi the Giraffe in the Wall Street Journal

There are a lot of expenssive baby toys out there. Living on the upper east side, I've seen just about all of them. Including people who buy $900+ strollers in colors that only work for one gender. Talk about dispoable income...what if the next baby is a boy? Will he really want to ride in a hot pink stroller?

It's fascinating the way baby toys seem to differ in diferent areas. When I visit relatives in Brooklyn the preferred baby stroller of the neighbourhood seems to be the Bugaboo. Kids are decked out in Jacadi clothes and moms love all things labelled "Baby Einstein". Here on the upper east there's a mix of Bugaboos and UppaBaby strollers with the UppaBaby taking the lead and our kids are obsessed with Sophie the Giraffe. The minute I even expressed interest in having a baby I was barraged by people teling me I had to get the baby a Sophie.

So what's all the fuss about? This plastic giraffe comes from Farnce, is made of rubber, has adorable rouged cheeks, squeeks when squeezed and apparently is great to chew. Kids love it. Moms love it. Apparently almost every newborn in France receives one and now celebrities have started giving it to their babies. It's so popular the manufacturer, Vulli, has started to make other versions of Sophie and friends for Sophie. A typical teething toy runs about $5. Sophie will cost you $25. Today she appeard in the Wall Street Journal. To read the article click here.

Is she worth it? I'll let you be the judge. We received a Sophie as a gift and so far the Little One seems to enjoy her, but not more than any other toy. Perhaps this is because she is 7 weeks old and not teething yet. So the jury is still out at our house. But Sophie makes a great conversation starter and an even better baby shower gift.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Heading Back To Work

Today is the first day of my "phase in" at work. I honestly had nightmares last night about the nanny canceling on me or some other such thing but she showed up right on time this morning and the baby seemed to like her. We did the morning together and I went to work for the afternoon. It is not easy to leave. But other than my building being annoying about giving us a spare key there was no reason for sticking around. The little one was very happy, playing and having her food, plus my laundry was being folded! Let's hope things continue along this pleasant path and I get to move to my new apartment with a room for the baby sooner rather than later. In the meantime here is a list of questions you might like to ask your childcare provider before hiring them. Remember if you don't get that good feeling from someone, move on! It's not worth worrying over. Don't expect Mary Poppins to fly into your door but don't settle.

Past Experience:
How long have you been working with Kids?
Are you CPR certified? first aid?
Have you worked with newborns/toddlers/preteens?
Where did you last work? Why did this job end?

What types of activities will you do with my child?
What do you do with a crying baby?
What was your worst childcare experience and how did you solve it?
Are you OK with pumped breastmilk/cloth diapering/any other not standard thing you are considering?

Where do you live and how is the commute here?
Do you have children? Who is caring for them?
Are you a U.S. citizen?
Do you speak a language other than English?

Employment Terms:
Can I pay you on the books?
When can you start?
What do you expect to earn per hour or per week?
What is your availability? Are you available for weekends?
Is there any flexibilty in your schedule?
Are you willing to do house keeping?
What tasks do you do other than baby care (laundry of children, cooking for children etc.)?
What holidays do you need to take off? How many personal days do you need?


Q's for the references:
How do you know the applicant?
When did they work for you?
How long have you known them?
Where you happy with their work?
How old were your children when they were cared for by this nanny?
Why did the experience end?
Is there anything you think I should know? Where there any problems?
Was the applicant on time?
How many hours did the applicant work for you a week?
What was good? What was bad?
What are the applicants weaknesses?
How did hte applicant interact with your kids? What kind of activities did they do?
Did the applicant do anything other than childcare?
Was the applicant reliable? Could you reach htem by phone?
Did they often miss work?
Did any emergencies come up? How were they handled?
How was the applicant compared to other nannies you have had?

Do you recommend this applicant? Would you hire them again? Storewide Sale

The semi-annual baby sale at starts today!

Highlights include:
 20% Off J.J. Cole bedding with code WOWJJ20
20% Off Way Basics Storage with code WOWNRY20
$5 Off Case of Huggies Slip-on Diapers with Code WOWSLIP
$5 Off when you spend $30 on Munchkin diapering accessories with code WOWMUNCHKIN
15% Off Prince Lionheart products with code WOWPL15
$5 off when you spend $25 on Gerber NatureSelect and SmartNourish baby food with code WOWGERBER
15% Off Dr. Brown's, Playtex or Sugarbooger feeding products with code WOWFEED15
10% Off all gates with code WOWGATES
30% Off Dapple products with code WOWDAPPLE
20% Off Dr. Seuss Books with code DRSEUSS20
20% Off Halo SleepSacks with code WOWHALO
25% Off Carters Clothing with code WOWCARTERS
Free Bundle me when you buy a JJ Cole Broadway Stroller with code WOWWAY
20% Off nursing bras with code WOWBRAS
and a large clearance section.

10 off $40 at

On the facebook page there is a link to get $10 off $40 of baby and mom items! If you have a shoprunner membership shipping will be free.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Target Baby Clothes and SHoes: Free Shipping and 10% Off

10% Off + Free Shipping on Clearance Baby Shoes and Clothes! Today Only!

The discount will automatically appear when you go to check out. Some great items at killer prices. Plus with free shipping you don't have to worry about meeting a minimum order. I got my little one a nice wardrobe of items for less than $30.

Pampers Deals

For the first time in a long time has printable pampers coupons. Just click here and print them. They are going to go fast! To get more than one copy you will need to use separate computers or separate IPs.

In a week these coupon will combine wonderfully with a CVS extra care bucks deal.

Also Pampers Softcare Baby Fresh Wipes 7x box, 504 Count with the Amazon mom subscribe and save comes out to 2 cents a wipe.