Thursday, October 1, 2009

Conversation Starters!

Conversation Starters with Zobmondo!
The rules: You MUST answer the question
You MUST NOT add to or take away from it to suit your answer.
Would You Rather....
Have a see-through nose
Entirely white eyeballs?
I love this question! I think the thought of a see-through nose is hilarious. And so that's my everyone...look at my boogers! The white eyeballs kinda freaks me out.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Godfather

Growing up, my husband looked up to him. Phil taught Cory so much. Phil is a computer guy and Cory was his young apprentice. I met Phil when Cory and I started dating and I can remember being totally taken aback by his forwardness and giant personality. I was this shy, self-conscious, sheltered person and he was most definitely not. We sat on the porch steps of his weekend escape from the city and that's where it began for me. The yellow house on the little hill with the pig flag hanging off the porch.
I've truly never met anyone quite like Phil. I've never met someone who's done so much in his life. He grew up in South Philly and migrated to Greenwich Village in "the City." A fitting place for Phil. He lives there with his wife Curly, the inventor of the "special wave" and lover of all things swine. On the weekends they come up to the "mountains."
We've got so many fond memories of Phil. Sterling silver Tiffany barbell rattles engraved with the boys' initials and birthdates, sharing Thanksgiving dinner, corn and ribs, cowboy hats, Indian rainsticks and incense, New Paltz craft fairs, Buddy the cat, pig overalls, Red Rider BB guns, Cory's bestman....the list continues on and on.
He's a photographer, writer, lover of art, an actor, a deep thinker, he's stubborn and has strong political views. He's forward and he'll catch you off guard. He loves deeply from the bottom of his soul. He's a submariner, a son, a brother, a husband, a friend. He's Phillip, The Godfather, Our Godfather.
We're thankful to have Phil in our lives and blessed to be able to call him The Godfather of our 3 children.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Conversation Starters!

It's Thursday and time for Conversation Starters with Zobmondo!
The rules: You must choose one or the other, and do not change any part of the question. These are the ONLY 2 choices.
Would you rather....
For the rest of your life, eat your least favorite foods hygienically prepared
Eat your favorite foods prepared in risky circumstances?
My answer...
There's no question here...I'm a bit of a germ-o-phobe when it comes to food and restaurants. I'm totally choking down my least favorite foods. I'll learn to love them!
What's your choice?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Click above to enter my cookie giveaway! Ends 9/20. FREE! FREE! FREE!

Conversation Starters!

It's Thursday and that means it's time for my conversation starters with Zobmondo!
Just a reminder of the rules:
You MUST choose one or the other, you can't add to or take away from the question to suit your answer.
The question:
Would you rather...
As a woman,
have quadruplets
have four babies, all 10 months apart?
My answer?
This is a hard one. I guess I'd have to go with quads. I think I'd rather do it all at once than to do diapers for like 6 years straight.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009


I don't know what made me notice this or why it bothers me, but seriously? Look at the outside package of the butter. The salted butter has a red outer package and the labels on the sticks are blue! The unsalted package is blue and the sticks red! What? Why? Some sort of stupid joke? Trying to confuse us? I think it's kinda funny actually. What person came up with that idea? "Yes, that's what we'll do, a switcharoo on the colors, perfect idea!" Yep, it's the little things...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Conversation Starters!

It's time for my weekly conversation starter with Zobmondo!
This week's question:
Would you rather....
Have one long, thick, furry eyebrow across your entire forehead
an inordinate amount of ear and nose hair that cannot be removed?
My answer?
Well, I'm thinking since it doesn't say I can't get the unibrow waxed, that's what I'd choose. If I'm not allowed to wax it, at least I can grow bangs long enough to cover it.
What's your answer?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cookie Giveaway?

So I've been wanting to start giveaways lately and wasn't really sure how to get started. I'm wondering, since I'm a baker selling on Ebay, if anyone would be interested in a homemade cookie giveaway? Good idea? Bad idea? It's okay, be honest!

Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009

Should you buy it??? NO! Let me tell you why....

Let me first start by saying that it's not all bad...just mostly.

Jillian Michales' workout game is for Nintendo Wii and is compatible with the Wii Balance Board but also works without it. When first turning it on it prompts you to set up a profile with your name, age, height and weight. If you have a balance board, you can weigh yourself on that. The next screen allows you to personalize your character by making it male or female and choosing clothing colors. Once that's done you can go to the main screen which is set up like a camp. The cafeteria is where you can go for fitness and diet tips, most of which, I've found aren't helpful. There's a multiplayer option which I haven't tried, office, stats and training. Choosing the option to train brings you to your workout.

There are 4 different types of workout to choose from. Weight loss, intervals, strength training and hill climb. The descriptions are as follows:

Weight Loss: Helps you lose weight

Intervals: Maintain a steady workout

Strength Training: Increase and maintain muscle tone

Hill Climb: Build your endurance and push yourself

With each you are able to choose your time limit of 5, 10, 15, 30, 46 and 60 minutes and intensities of light, medium and hard. I've only done medium. With each one you start off running in place and swinging your arms. You run through a park on a dirt path past trees, trees, benches, and more trees. No flowers, no people, no nothing. How long you run depends on the length of your workout. At an hour it's approximately 4 1/2 minutes. After each running session, you do things such as paint grenade toss, cannon attack, handcar pump, log jump, boxing, punching bag dodge and more. I have been finding that only with this particular game, the Wii controls aren't sensitive enough. About a quarter of my workout has been spent shaking the controls now knowing why they don't register on the game.

As I said before, the graphics are awful! The workout is set to the worst music! I actually find it much easier to get through the workout if I turn the volume down and turn on my own music. And I have to say that Jillian isn't very motivating. Unless you call random insults motivating. Such as "I could have done it better than that." Not my idea of motivation.

So, I'm very happy that I'm only borrowing it from a friend and that I didn't actually pay for it. At first I did like it, but I got tired of it very quickly. It does it's job of getting you sweating, but I hate exercising in the first place, the last thing I want is something that's boring on top of it.

I also have to say that after 372 customer reviews at, this game has only a 2 star rating (out of 5.) Hmm...shouldn't that be a clue?

Now just remember, this is my opinion and there's always gonna be people who like and dislike things. If you have this game, let me know if you like it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Okay, I've searched and searched and posted on twitter and on and can't get any info. I really, really want to do giveaways on my blog but have no idea how to get started! Can anyone give me some info? Pretty Please?

Momma's littlest helper

Momma's little helper

Helping Momma with dishes.

And cleaning the fridge.

And he's an organizational expert!

(He made the mess, not me..)

He's learning early on how to coupon!

And trying to be like his big brothers.

Ah, the reasons there are no two rooms clean at one time in our house.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Soulful Sunday

I love this picture of my boys at the Bronx Zoo. This year was our 9th annual trip to the zoo, our Mother's Day Tradition. We go with our children and their grandparents.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Choose Your Battles

I love this phrase and remind myself of it daily as I raise 3 little boys and 1 very big boy. Fighting battles like putting the toilet seat down, even if there are more of them than me and getting the pee INTO the toilet and not spraying it onto every surface of the bathroom. The battle I've given up on is keeping their bathroom fresh smelling and I've decided that with 3 boys all 5 years apart, it's bound to reek for the next 17 years weather I like it or not. That or make them sit like girls to pee (which I threaten to do on a regular basis.) Like taking drinking glasses out of their bedrooms BEFORE the milk curdles and then finally dries out and you can't figure out why your room smells like vomit and foot funk. I know, ewww! Comes with the territory I suppose.

And I'm wondering why, when the garbage can is in the cupboard under the sink, do they put it IN THE SINK? Or when all of the spoons are dirty (all 3...they've lost the other 5) do they have to use my plastic ones I keep for cookouts and such instead of washing one. Or they get a drink and not only leave the container out, but don't clean up the sticky juice they spilled on the counter that's now dripped onto the floor and between the counter and the stove? Perfect to attract those colonies of ants I'm battling to get rid of.

I wonder why my hubby always leaves the car without gas, leaves his dirty socks under the end table and candy wrappers on the couch. Why he thinks he's done a thorough job cleaning his whiskers OUT of the sink and completely ignores the ones stuck to the faucet and all surrounding areas. Why HE has to use the toilet right after I've cleaned it. Again, I know...ewww. But come on, I can't be the only one!

Some things I guess are never-ending battles.

Twit What?

Okay my friends...I've signed up for what? I'm feeling very overwhelmed and kind of behind the times here. What's your best advice for me in using twitter?

My goal in signing up for twitter is to promote my blogs...but I don't know what to do now that I've signed up! Help a "living under a rock" friend out and guide me a little! THANKS!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Al's Big Buys 9/3

Beware all you health food nuts...this post might make you cringe.......

I know it's been forever since I posted on a grocery trip. I honestly haven't gotten enough fabulous deals to make it worth it. This week was a pretty good week.

Let me start by saying I couldn't go shopping until hubby got home with the two eldest after soccer practice. I left my house at 8pm...ugh. I'm already tired, been dealing with a whiny baby all day, boys arguing and on top of late shopping, afterwards I had to bake a cake.

As I'm shopping I go by the ladies room and decide I'd better go then before I got to the other end of the store. So I'm in the stall and there's this little girl with her face up against the crack in the door trying to look in at me!!! O-M-G! So I slapped my hand up in front of her face so she couldn't see me and she stayed right there 'til her mom was done in the other stall. Seriously? NOSEY-RUDE! Ok, I get over it and continue on. Here's the deals I got the past 2 days.

23 Nesquik Chocolate Milk on sale for $1.00 each minus .80¢ coupon = .20¢ each

20 Reese's Peanut Butter cups free with coupons!

20 NY Pretzel Pretzel-fills on sale for $1.84 minus $1.00 off coupons = .84¢ each.

12 Luigi's Italian Ice on sale for $1.66 minus $1.50 off coupon = .16¢ each

20 Tony's Crispy Crust Pizza on sale for $1.00 each minus .50¢ off coupon = .50¢ each

8 Turkey Hill Ice Cream on sale for $1.77 each minus $1.00 off coupon = .77¢ each

9 Jif Peanut Butter on sale for $1.99 minus $1.10 off coupon = .89¢ each

3 Quaker Granola Bars and 2 Quaker Instant Oatmeal total for all 5 with coupons/sales $4.48

No coupons but worth mentioning was ShopRite butter for $1.49 per pound. I got 20 pounds...I'm a baker...I LOVE butter sales!

So in the end I got $294.35 worth of groceries for $186.70 for a total savings of $107.65! WooHoo! Love it!

Conversation Starters!

I have this book called Zobmondo. This is the craziest book! It is "The outrageous book of bizarre (pff...I've been spelling that choices" and some of it's content is pretty crude. So inside the book it gives the description of Zobmondo...

Zobmondo: a slang expression derived from the negative exclamation "zob," to express horror, pain or frustration: "Mary tripped over the log and stubbed her toe. 'Zob!' she cried." Zobmondo!! expresses the utter dismay that zob cannot begin to describe.

The purpose of the book is to inspire ridiculous, fun conversations and debate. You MUST answer the question. No changing the question or saying "well I would do it IF."

Zobmondo!! offers a warning before reading the first question: Proceed with caution. This book is only for those with a twisted imagination. Be prepared to leave conventional thought behind and join the ranks of the demented and insane.

That being said, I'd like to start a weekly Zobmondo conversation starter! Here's the first question....

Would you rather get a bad case of poison ivy way up inside your nose or inside your inner ear?

My answer? My ear of course! I'd much rather be seen with my finger in my ear than up my nose!

What's your answer?

P.S. you can find Zobmondo!! at Amazon for really cheap.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I cannot even tell you how much I -heart- dialup....*blink*blink*. No, really! Nothing makes me happier than to wait a full 20 minutes, yep...TWENTY minutes to upload a picture *sideways smile* to blogger and facebook! If I'm having a really lucky day, my laptop will overheat and shutdown with no prior notice *double thumbs up*. Or one of the kids OR dogs will trip over the phone cord leading to said laptop and pull it out! Joy! Joy I tell you!

Youtube? Pff....what's that? Seriously! It's fabulous to be able to watch half second clips of any given video so a 2 minute video takes about 4 minutes.

On the phone with tech support.....them"Okay Mrs. ***, if you'll just log onto the internet, we'll talk you through it" "hmmm.....well? I'd LOVE to but you see, I live on this street, it's only a half mile from houses with high speed...I'm not the only one on the road otherwise I'd understand. There are 11 houses within that half mile. ELEVEN. So sorry Mr. Techy Guy, you won't be talking me through anything." NICE.

So I think my property taxes should be lowered for being in a less desirable area, afterall, high speed internet is almost a necessity these days, right? Pff...

Have You Seen......?

Have you seen my cake blog? Looking for more followers........just click on the words "cake blog."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Note to Self:

Note to Self:

Do NOT fall asleep with a cough drop in mouth or it will end up a sticky mess underneath your pillow!

(yep, this is what happened to me last night, nice)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Loving the love flowing!

I get email updates and prayer requests from my church regularly. This is something that's important to me because on a couple of occasions I have requested prayer for one reason or another myself. God wants us to pray. And He listens.

Earlier in the week I had received an email about a local family whose house burnt down. It came from a friend from Church, PJ, who headed this donation drive. God bless her and what a blessing she has been. They lost everything including their car in the driveway and their beloved family pets. It especially hits home for me because they too have three children. They have 2 girls ages 8 and 4 and a boy age 5. I cannot fathom this happening to my family. I cannot imagine the years of memories packed away in photos, in family heirlooms passed from generation to generation, in every room, with every turn.....gone. Gone. No bed to sleep in. No toys to play with. No way to cook a meal. All of those things you've worked a lifetime to get...gone. Gone.

He struggled to get his dogs out, the dad, but wasn't successful. If you're a pet owner, you know that your pets are a part of your family. When you lose them it's like losing a loved one. Added to a family's normal love for their pets, these people work at the SPCA and are passionate about animals.

Living in a one room tiny hotel, a family struggles to be humble and accept donations from strangers, feeling like beggars. I can see the shock in mom's eyes as she jokes about not having to take care of her family's recyclables. And I watch the joy in the children's eyes as I hand them my children's old toys, backpacks, clothes. It matters not that they've been used and abused by children before them. We move out of the way as they scoot back and forth in front of their makeshift home. A small distraction from the horrible tragedy that they grapple with.

I feel God calling me to help this family in every way I possibly can. An overwhelming calling. I've gathered old books, a couple of backpacks, loads of food, toiletries and laundry items, scooters, and my boys even gave away their old Nintendo game cube and a few games. I was very proud of them. I cleared out my closed of the clothes I no longer fit in or needed. I also cleaned out my middle son's closet for their boy. And I baked them a batch of cupcakes. It's the least I can do for a family who has nothing. I will continue my efforts as I think people tend to step up in the beginning and slowly forget what an awful thing they've been through.

I'm not writing about what I've done for them to look for a so-called pat on the back, I'm writing about it because I want to show you how God is working and about paying it forward. As I stood in the parking lot in front of their room, I got teary eyed as I assured the family that even though it's hard for them to accept these gifts, we wouldn't be doing it or offering if we didn't want to help. I gave them my phone number and told them to please call me if there was anything at all that they needed...a meal, a ride, anything. And I meant it. Their misfortune ends up being a blessing to those of us who feel the calling to help.

I have been blessed in my life by different people at different times. Weather it was a meal when I didn't have money to buy groceries, a vacation when we couldn't afford it, school clothes and supplies for my kids. PJ is also my dog/house sitter and this summer offered to come for payment of a couple of batches of cookies so we could go away. There wouldn't have been a vacation if not for her generosity. The past two years I have been the recipient of a scholarship for a women's retreat in Pennsylvania because I didn't have the money to pay for it. What a blessing the Women's Worship Weekend has been for me! There have been so many times over the past year that people have blessed my life at the perfect time and now it's my turn to pay it forward. The love of Jesus working through my life to theirs. Praise God!

Last night PJ popped up on Facebook to chat with me and the phrase that sticks in my head from her is "loving the love flowing!". Agreed, PJ.

If you've been it forward!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I weigh WHAT???????

I realize I've had 3 kids, but come on! How the hell did I get to be 1?9 pounds?! It's certainly not the KFC in my fridge or the cheez-its in the pantry, right? And it has nothing to do with me sitting on the computer half the day, right? Or the middle of the night get-up-to-pee-eat-a-brownie-and-have-a-big-glass-0f-milk attacks? DEAR LORD! Someone get me moving!

I've always struggled with my weight. Even in high school I was the biggest girl in our little clique. Still am! I come from a family of big girls, mostly. Then there's my sister who's a size 6. I'm not jealous of her though, she works very hard to stay that little. She deserves to be thin.

I also married into a family of eaters. I'm blown away watching my father in law pack away 6 hot dogs, and several sides only to eat again a couple of short hours later. And what's sad is that my husband who eats less is more overweight. I guess it's his lack of movement that does it for him.

I'm happy to say though that I've motivated myself enough to start exercising. Our family has a Wii that my boys enjoy all too often. I have several exercising "games" and my new favorite one is Jillian Michaels. I set it for 1 hour at medium intensity and in front of the air conditioner I get my body moving. Last night I took the boys to ride their bikes at the fairground and I walked, so 2 times yesterday I exercised. Then I sat down last night in front of the television to watch a marathon of Ice Road Truckers on the DVR and sabotaged my efforts with stupid Cheez-its!! Ugh, will it never end? The cravings? The laziness?

Maybe I'll get there...40 pounds to go.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My vaccuum cleaner

It's been so long since my last baby reached the milestones all parents watch for. I had forgotten how fast the first year goes and how very cute each little step really is. I think sometimes as Moms we tend to get frustrated in the beginning and wish those hard times away. Like the feedings every 2 or 3 hours that last a half hour each making it feel like you're constantly attached to this little tiny thing. And those days when they want to be held all day when all you want to do is get a load of laundry done. I tried very hard with my littlest one not to wish those days away and to enjoy every new stage, easy or hard. I was sad to have the night-time feedings end and I was sad when he moved into his own bedroom into his "big bed". And I miss the days when I was the only one who could feed him. I was extremely sad when he decided he didn't need mommy's milk anymore. My tiny little boy on strike from the only thing he knew for 9 months. That may have been the single hardest time of his young life for me. One stage I certainly didn't wish away. While I couldn't leave him for more than a few hours at a time, I enjoyed nursing immensely. We so enjoyed watching him roll around the house. He got where he wanted just by rolling, but it didn't last long. Next was a sort of commando crawl. Watching him get up on all fours was very exciting for all of us. He looked like a little gecko swaying and looking very uncoordinated as he tried to figure it out. He's got these 2 little teeth that he uses to bite everything! He loves to chew on paper and now that he's very mobile, he's discovered the dog food. I can see in his face how proud he is of himself when he masters a new skill. I love listening to him say the same thing over and over again..."dada dada dada" even though it's not "mama mama". Sometimes it even sounds like he's saying dada did it. Each new step is so precious. He's so laid back and happy. He's so inquizative, wanting to touch and explore everything he can get his hands on. He has this purple kazoo that he just loves to sing into and we love to listen. He bounces to music and is obsessed with food. Don't try to eat in front of him without sharing, that's when his little temper shows. His newest skill is pulling himself up to a standing position which is why he has a little black and blue on his cheek. It's one stage that's so hard. They learn how to pull up and can't figure out how to get back down so they just kind of fall. We have all mastered the swipe with the finger to the back of his throat to fish out random things he finds on the floor...paper, dog food, legos, lint..anything his little pinchers can pick up. I love the fat hands and rolls on his thighs. I love seeing his little head pop up above the railing of his crib after a nice long nap. I love the smile he gets on his little face when he sees his brothers or his daddy walk throught the door. I love watching him make a bee-line to a person with food. I'm so blessed and I vow to enjoy each and every stage my little vaccuum cleaner goes through, hard or easy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I'm glad I came around.

I guess I always had issues with forming close relationships.
I remember laying on the floor huddled up in front of my grandparents big console TV listening to my grandmother on the phone with my dad. I remember thinking that I had never seen her cry...until now. I remember my father talking about my mom in later years and swallowing the lump in my throat because I had to be strong for my father. I was seven.
I remember at the time how mean I thought my Poppop was. He was loud and impatient. Sometimes he said things that weren't so nice. I think he was obsessed with It's a wonder he lived as long as he did. He was also a big softy if you caught him on a good day. He'd give you the shirt off his back if you needed it and always had a boat of a car that he handed over to me whenever I wanted. I loved him. I watched in sadness as he went downhill fast after his stroke. I also watched the day the coroner came and took him away. I was twenty three.
I never came around when my family was visiting. I was always invited, obviously, I just rarely showed up and when I did, I didn't stay long. I remember being jealous listening to my sister talk about their get togethers and my sisters trips to visit them, my cousin and my aunt. I never thought about it at the time, but I think I was afraid of loving and losing and being hurt again.
I've been through a lot in my life, even more than I'm willing to write about. I've grown as a person so much over the years and it was after having my own children that I realized how very important my family was to me and how ridiculous I had been.
I let down my guard and started going to family functions. That was possibly what was missing from my life. I love them all so much more than they'll ever know...ALL of them!
My sister and I are best friends. We don't always agree on things, but it's part of what we love about each other. She's my big sister, the older, skinnier, blond version of myself. She hates when I say that. She hates that she's aging, but I think she's still young and hip. She still looks good in a bikini. LOL. Do you know what it's like to just have to look at someone and know what they're thinking? That's my big sister and me. We've been through a lot, me and my sister. But we're strong, must be the Hillman blood.
I think about how excited I used to get as a child waiting for "Jersey and Delaware" to show up.
My Uncle Sean who used to steal my nose and put it in his pocket and makes the best collard greens. He told me I took his breath away when he saw me walk down the isle at my wedding because I looked just like my mom. The reason I had to explain to people why my cousins were black. LOL. My cousin Apryl, the beautiful model and actress I was so proud of. Lover of butterflies. I used to take my blue Ziggy folder full of her magazine adds and the playbill from The Piano that she acted in as a little girl to school and show her off as if they were pictures of myself. Seanie...I miss Seanie. So handsome. He took over my place as the one who doesn't come around much. We did get to see him last summer though. I love him! And my Aunt Tracy...we've formed a special relationship in the past year or so. My fellow chocolate lover. Germophobe. LOL. When I think about what my mom must have been like, I often think maybe she was just like my Aunt Tracy. We're stubborn. Sarcastic. Funny. They're Delaware.
My three cousins from Jersey. I always loved listening to them talk with their Jersey accents. I remember traveling with my grandparents to see them and telling them I thought the trip seemed longer the older I got. I was little. I remember Mary coming to Mommom and Poppop's one time and taking me in her little pickup truck to the Apollo Plaza shopping. We had conversation about what kind of car I wanted... a Mazda Miata...what was I thinking. Lisa, the pretty blond in the Navy. She has my grandparents only other great grandchild besides mine and Nicole's. Dalton. What a nice boy. And then there's Sandy. Sandy and I were born on the same day, December 26th, 5 years apart. I didn't realize until this past Easter how much I've been missing out on not keeping touch with my cousins. Sandy and I have a lot more in common than I ever knew. My hope is that we'll all be better about keeping in touch. My Uncle Grant. If there ever was a Poppop, Jr. it is him! I feel so much differently about him as an adult than I ever did as a child. Maybe it's him, maybe it's me, but I really like being around him. He's funny. He owns 50 of the same camo shirt because they were cheap. My kinda guy! He so reminded me of my grandfather at our last gathering, I was so amazed. The food obsession we all possess must be a Merwin thing. He was waiting for the women of our family, and Uncle Sean, to get dinner ready and he jokingly made a comment about it taking so long and then the phrase "by the Jesus" came out of his mouth and I was taken back 15 years. Aunt Judy. I don't really remember much of her, but I do remember that she took my sister and I for our first Shirley Temple.
My Aunt Charlotte. Baker of pies and maker of jelly. I remember going to the NYS Fair with her and sleeping on a lawn chair in the big barns next to the goats. What a blast we had. We got to see Whitney Houston in concert that year. Even working in the barns she always had the cutest heels on. And the legs on that woman...woo! LOL. And who could forget about my Uncle John. Uncle Hiney. Always jokingly calls me the good kid. And wet head. So funny.
And my Mommom. The glue. The most amazing woman I've ever known. I have fond memories of peanut butter fudge and fried hamburgers out of her cast iron skillets. I remember pretzels bitten into the shape of her name. I remember cross word puzzles and ham and cheese sandwiches. Candy hidden in random drawers. The most amazing Christmas village you'll ever see. Loving. Strong. Fiesty. She's a Jesus loving woman of God and we are so blessed as a family to have her. She's never had a drivers license and never been drunk! A rare breed, my mom's mom. Our Mommom.
We're all scattered across the North East. Always wished we lived closer. We're all obsessed with food, even my skinny sister. We're all sarcastic and stubborn. We're a talented group of women and men, if I do say so. We've loved and lossed. We remain strong and positive. Must be the Hillman/ Merwin blood.
I'm glad I came around.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Just the numbers people.

So, I can't tell you how often I'm bragging about how much money I save at the grocery store and then have to explain to amazed people just how it's done. Don't get me wrong, I love sharing and helping others save as well, I guess I just get sick of hearing myself tell the same story..."I buy my coupons on Ebay..." so on and so forth. I think I'll draw up a flyer complete with examples of how much I actually do save. Each time someone asks me, I can just hand them a flyer. I should be the mother who actually set up a website and is making money telling people how to do it...too little, too late.

I often get blank stares and the occasional giggle as I'm walking through ShopRite with my shopping buggy overflowing with 60 PowerAde's, 20 boxes of cereal and so on. And forget about how long it usually takes me to check out. If I'm super lucky, I'll be getting lots of items for free and that takes a manager to override the computer! That's always fun.

This has become a serious addiction. I so look forward to Friday's so I can shop for my coupons for the following week and if I'm not home at noon when the flyer posts, I start itching. LOL, not really.

So, for those of you who may be interested in getting groceries for very little money, here goes.

Ebay is your friend! Yes, it's illegal to sell coupons, but coupons aren't being sold on Ebay, envelopes are. As an added bonus, you are sent the coupons just for buying an envelope...clever huh? Always a way around things.

So you need to have Ebay opened up in one tab and ShopRite in another. You'll be clicking on the "view next weeks circular" button after you've selected your ShopRite. You really want to get all of the coupons you plan on using the following week by Sunday, that way you'll receive them before the sale ends. You'll be checking sales at SR and then going to Ebay and searching for individual items you may be interested in stocking up on. For example, one week Birds Eye boxed veggies were on sale 5 for $5.00. I went to Ebay, searched for Birds Eye coupons and purchased $1.00 off each, making them free (aside from the small cost of the coupons, of course). Now heres the thing...SR doubles coupons up to .99 cents and only up to 4 of the same one per order. This is where the whole timing issue comes into play. You'll need to split your checkout into several orders to make the most of it. This past week Colgate toothbrushes were on sale for .99 cents. I purchased .75 cent off coupons, doubled made them free AND I checked these out 3 at a time because for every 3 the computer spit out a copon for $3 off your next order! My 60+ toothbrushes were free and I got $60+ off my next shopping order. It's just a game folks...easy to play with a big payout!

So I thought it funny, the amount of some items in my house at the moment. Here are the numbers people.

Keep in mind that there are 5 of us and one doesn't use toothbrushes yet. If we (the 4 of us) changed toothbrushes twice a year..because who really changes every 3 months?, we have enough toothbrushes to last us 5 years, yes I said 5 years! And I gave some away, so I could have gotten another few years out of my free toothbrushes.

I have 60+ PowerAde's, 44 rolls of Marcal toilet paper and coupons for about 40 more for free, 25 pounds of butter, 7 1/2 gallons of Turkey Hill ice cream, 10 pounds of mozzarella cheese, 51 boxes of Birds Eye veggies, 6 pounds of bacon, 12 bottles of bodywash, 28 tubes of toothpaste, 60 toothbrushes, 2 dozen bottles of VitaminWater, 3 dozen bottles of SoBe lifewater and 46 boxes of assorted Kelloggs cereals...few take a breath. Crazy? Probably, but it didn't cost much.