Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Extreme Couponing? Or Extremely Annoying?

Alright, I am going to get up on my high horse a bit here and vent. With the seemingly never ending recession, it is understandable that more and more families are being cost conscious. I myself have taken to couponing, BOGO shopping and bulk shopping. While there are some fabulous sites that help you get the most for your money, TLC has created an Extremely Annoying monster with its new series "Extreme Couponing." Or rather it has created thousands of extremely annoying, coupon carrying, shelf clearing, grocery hoarding and price increasing monsters.

It didn't bother me initially. In fact, I have a number of friends who are self-proclaimed coupon maniacs. But with all of the new couponers hitting the aisles spurred on by the idea that they too can get something for nothing, even those couponing friends are getting annoyed. While the prospect of getting thousands of dollars worth of groceries for nearly nothing sounds tempting; the fact is, someone is paying for it. And it is usually me, and in more ways than one.

Just Monday I went to pick up milk at the grocery store. I was surprised to see that BOTH of my local grocers were not only each left with 1 and 2 gallons of skim milk, but the shelf that held the cereal that was on sale for $1.99 (General Mills Brand) was nearly gone as well. It was only when I noticed the coupon machine next to the milk that I understood what happened. We had been hit by couponers. Like I said, I am all for a good deal, but after seeing "Extreme Couponing" I am fully aware that there are a number of my neighbors who likely are sitting with 20-30 new boxes of cereal in their cupboards and just as many gallons of milk in their refrigerators. Seriously, these deals go on all of the time. Why is it necessary to clear the shelves??? Now if I am lucky, I MIGHT be able to get one or two of the boxes for the same deal. Thanks. Speaks so closely to the gluttonous and selfish society we have become…

Anyhow, to cost #2… Because of the clearing of the shelves and the consequent (and I am guessing here) loss of revenue to the stores, I have noticed not only a dramatic increase in prices, but too a dramatic decrease in the fantastic sales. Additionally, our local grocery store no longer is lenient on their coupon policy. They used to accept expired coupons, (up to a month) competitors coupons, and multiple coupons. Guess what? Yep, because of (and this came from a cashier) "individuals who were taking advantage of the coupon policy, such as trying to use warehouse coupons, pet store coupons etc, we have had to discontinue our program." Now they ONLY accept coupons from the store up the street (who incidentally uses a discount card program instead of coupons.) Excellent.

This brings me to cost #3. The cost of my time. Now before this lovely new show, I hardly ever saw crazy couponers. That is because the original couponers were considerate enough to go "off hours." Over the past few weeks I have found myself, at 5:00 in the afternoon, stuck behind these new couponers. Arguing obscure coupons (including those mentioned above) and arguing with the cashiers on each and every item. Cashiers and customers alike were SUPER annoyed.

Unless these people are extremely phillathropic and donate all of their spoils (though none that I have seen on the show are,) or are feeding a family of 50 on a weekly basis, I have to wonder how they are able to use everything before it expires. Even then, they must be using a significant amount of their storage space to keep everything. It makes me beg the question, is TLC trying to drive us crazy, or simply securing their future seasons of "Hoarders?"


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bio-Oil-Oh my Godsend!

Seriously how many scar/stretch mark/skin anti-aging products are there out there? You could spend thousands trying out the latest and greatest. And many (including myself) have done just that! Now, aging for me is not a super huge issue yet, but I am obsessive about being as preventative as possible! And not that any of us have stretchmarks or anything to worry about (ahem) but I am sure we each have a scar or two that we wouldn't mind eliminating! Especially Grace (moi) here who finds a new bruise or cut every other day! Unfortunately, my poor love muffins have inherited their mama's coordination (as you have likely witnessed if you have read any of my previous posts!), so we have a whole houseful of scars.

Anyhow....back to the task at eldest child, up until recently, had the mother of all scars. Two years ago my now 13 year old had a nasty accident. You know, one of those, "I told you so" moments only you don't tell them so because they actually got hurt? In an effort to reach something in her closet, she climbed up on her cheapy particle board shoe cube. Needless to say, they collapsed and on her way down, left a nasty cut up the length of her thigh. It was shallow and wide that stitches would not help so we were left with a huge ugly scar. We were told that we would likely need to just have some cosmetic surgery when she got a little older to fix it. Awesome.

Fast forward 24 months. My daughter went to visit her father in Colorado and began telling me about this amazing stuff he bought for her to use on her scar. Honestly, I didn't believe her (well, to the degree that it was working.) We had tried nearly every super expensive scar cream on the market to no avail so how in the world would some crap from Walmart do any better? I should've known as soon as I had gotten up on my high horse (which I do from time to time;) ). When I picked her up after her vaca, I was shocked. The scar was nearly gone. The bottle says that you need to use it for at least 3 mos two times a day. She did a fraction of that and received amazing results. I know I know, I sound like an infomercial, but unfortunately they aren't paying for this review! I have to share it though because it is the most obscure product and I definitely wouldn't have picked it up myself. Now, I didn't have the wherewithal to take a before picture of her scar, but I do have a halfway through picture so you can sorta see what I am talking about For $11 you bet your tail I am going to get a bought bottle for myself and have started to use it to to attack my "aging" or otherwise imperfect skinJ.

Two weeks in and I have noticed my feet, elbows and legs feel A-M-A-Zing…BUT I do want to give you a few disclaimers. I have suuuppper sensitive skin. Some reviews of Bio-Oil indicate it has caused people to break out. When I used too much, my face did break out, but no other area of my body did. I would HIGHLY recommend testing it on a small area of your skin before you use at all-and check the ingredients for any allergens you may have! Dab a very small amount on problem areas. It IS an oil-based product so you do NOT want to cover your face with it. And a little goes a long way. If you use too much, it will be greasy (duh.) Also-make sure you read the bottles instructions and recommendations (will get slippery in the shower etc., all liabilities and warnings etc.). And finally-I was able to find mine at Walgreens but it is available online and at Walmart as well. Good luck and here's to smooth skin!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Shopping? Yes Please!!!

I have a slight obsession with Kate Spade. One of the few design houses who I feel can do no wrong. Perhaps it is my seriously ridiculous infatuation with stripes, or similarly ridiculous love of color, but to me it doesn't matter if it is shoes, jewelry, or simply the design of the store, I love it all. They also partner with one of my favorite organizations, Women for Women International. Okay, enough of my love affair. How happy was I this morning to wake up to not only a tweet of their new handbags, but a blog update as well! I guess that means it is time to shop!

It is hard to believe that I need to really get my fall gear in order as the south is still engulfed in 90+ degree heat; however, it is the middle of September so cooler weather is just around the corner! And so my shopping must begin (oh darn;)) And what says fall better than a chic new bag! Check out the Kate Spade's new Kennedy Bag. Using the super hot trend of color blocking they have created a fantastic and versatile piece while maintaining the touch of fun I love so much!

Another great addition this fall is their Watercolor Rose Lauren Trench (above.) I love a great trench coat anyhow, but this beautiful trench combines sophistication and style with just the right touch of sass!
And of course, along with fall weather comes the opportunity for one of my favorite topics: shoes.J While I absolutely love all of their heels, there has recently been some debate as to whether or not one should wear tights with open-toed shoes, I am going to the rare thing, bite my tongue and instead focus on another fall/winter staple. Born in Colorado, I am definitely a boot girl, but with a little more style these days! Whether you like a bootie or a heel, traditional or embellished, Kate has a great selection! My favorite right now is the Keane, but I will likely pick up a pair of the heeled Randi Too rain boots as it is hurricane season for just a bit longer.

Happy Shopping Ladies!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WHHYYY do they NOT believe me?

They believe me when I told them Santa put those gifts under the tree-despite the fact that I am generally a ragged mess with tape and tinsel in my hair Christmas morning. They also believe me when I tell them that the Tooth Fairy sprained her wing and would make it up to them “tomorrow night.” They also know that I am an educated woman. They come to me for help with their “super hard” homework problems and vocabulary words. They come to me whenever something needs fixed or they need help deciding what to get their dad or other family members gifts. But do they listen when I specifically tell them NOT to do something and the potential consequences of not listening to me?

Yes folks, it was another “I told you so” moment in the Leximom’s home this afternoon. After specifically telling my oldest yard monkey not to bring her brand new iTouch 4 (that her FATHER bought her for her 13th birthday) to our friends POOL this afternoon, what does she do? Now, I didn’t only tell her it could get wet, and that she wouldn’t have time to listen to it anyway, AND I really didn’t want her using her $250.00 iTouch outside of the house until I picked up her case (which incidentally I was planning on picking up tomorrow.) Guess who sneaks it along anyway? And guess what happened.

While her new toy managed to not get wet (as it sat on the table unused) the day did not end without incident. As she was showing off her new toy to our friend’s younger girls, little yard monkey brother hit her hand, hand dropped the iTouch, iTouch hit the drive, and the brand new screen shattered. Yep, completely shattered. Hysterics from teenage yard monkey, tears from little yard monkey, and littlest yard monkey hid in the back seat. Awesome. At this point my sympathy was non-existent. And she knew it. She knew she had messed up, and even though little brother shared in the blame, she knew she could not take it out completely on him. So we will cross our fingers as I head to the Apple store tomorrow and hope that it costs less than either my arm or leg to fix the screen. I guess this is a too be continued…Sigh…