Monday, February 28, 2011

$1 for Three One-Night DVD Rentals from Redbox ($3 Value) - Groupon Deal Today

Yeah Groupon! I got this deal last time they offered it, and it worked great!  Note, you do NOT have to rent all 3 movies at once to do this - you get a promo code to use each time you rent. 

$1 for Three One-Night DVD Rentals from Redbox ($3 Value)

Click HERE for Groupon Deal

The Fine Print

  • Expires Jun 1, 2011
  • Limit 1 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. May redeem across up to 3 visits. Tax included.
  • See the rules that apply to all deals.


  • Three one-night DVD rentals
  • Includes Oscar-nominated movies
  • More than 26,000 kiosks
  • Rent & return at any location

 This works!  I got this deal last time they offered it and it worked great!  The Groupon prints out 3 codes on the receipt, and each time you rent you enter a code - you DO NOT have to rent 3 movies at once to use.  Click HERE for the deal! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Free Valspar Paint Sample & $5 off Coupon

Thinking of painting a room in the near future?  Valspar is giving away 1000 free samples a day for 100 days (first come first serve) - click HERE to get yours (they start giving them away at 10am CST to the first 1000 customers each day, so click early in the day!!!!)

Limited quantities available.
Free Sample and $5 coupon for Lowe's. 
Choose any one of thousands of rich beautiful colors to receive a free sample. Available daily while supplies last.
Each kit includes an 8-ounce paint sample, mini roller, paint tray and coordinating paint chips. 
I'm always looking to paint another room, or piece of furniture.... so I'm trying first thing in the day!  

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Food for Thought - McDonald's Oatmeal

If you got last Sunday's newspaper, you may have scored the McDonald's coupon for Free Oatmeal (no purchase necessary) like I did.  I told my husband about it, as I'm always excited about something FREE, and he, like me, thought "McDonald's doing oatmeal... maybe they're turning a corner with their menu".  Then, a few days later, he sent me the article below.  We should have known.  Ouch, but worth reading - see below for the article from the New York Times.  And, if you haven't already, I highly recommend watching Food Inc., which is at many Red Boxes, and definitely worth the $1. 

February 22, 2011, 8:30 pm

How to Make Oatmeal . . . Wrong

There’s a feeling of inevitability in writing about McDonald’s latest offering, their “bowl full of wholesome” — also known as oatmeal. The leading fast-food multinational, with sales over $16.5 billion a year (just under the G.D.P. of Afghanistan), represents a great deal of what is wrong with American food today. From a marketing perspective, they can do almost nothing wrong; from a nutritional perspective, they can do almost nothing right, as the oatmeal fiasco demonstrates.

One “positive” often raised about McDonald’s is that it sells calories cheap. But since many of these calories are in forms detrimental rather than beneficial to our health and to the environment, they’re actually quite expensive — the costs aren’t seen at the cash register but in the form of high health care bills and environmental degradation.

Oatmeal is on the other end of the food spectrum. Real oatmeal contains no ingredients; rather, it is an ingredient. As such, it’s a promising lifesaver: oats are easy to grow in almost any non-extreme climate and, minimally processed, they’re profoundly nourishing, inexpensive and ridiculously easy to cook. They can even be eaten raw, but more on that in a moment.

Like so many other venerable foods, oatmeal has been roundly abused by food marketers for more than 40 years. Take, for example, Quaker Strawberries and Cream Instant Oatmeal, which contains no strawberries, no cream, 12 times the sugars of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats and only half of the fiber. At least it’s inexpensive, less than 50 cents a packet on average. (A serving of cooked rolled oats will set you back half that at most, plus the cost of condiments; of course, it’ll be much better in every respect.)

The oatmeal and McDonald’s story broke late last year, when Mickey D’s, in its ongoing effort to tell us that it’s offering “a selection of balanced choices” (and to keep in step with arch-rival Starbucks) began to sell the cereal. Yet in typical McDonald’s fashion, the company is doing everything it can to turn oatmeal into yet another bad choice. (Not only that, they’ve made it more expensive than a double-cheeseburger: $2.38 per serving in New York.) “Cream” (which contains seven ingredients, two of them actual dairy) is automatically added; brown sugar is ostensibly optional, but it’s also added routinely unless a customer specifically requests otherwise. There are also diced apples, dried cranberries and raisins, the least processed of the ingredients (even the oatmeal contains seven ingredients, including “natural flavor”).

A more accurate description than “100 percent natural whole-grain oats,” “plump raisins,” “sweet cranberries” and “crisp fresh apples” would be “oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.”

Since we know there are barely any rules governing promotion of foods, one might wonder how this compares to real oatmeal, besides being 10 times as expensive. Some will say that it tastes better, but that’s because they’re addicted to sickly sweet foods, which is what this bowlful of wholesome is.
Others will argue that the McDonald’s version is more “convenient.” This is nonsense; in the time it takes to go into a McDonald’s, stand in line, order, wait, pay and leave, you could make oatmeal for four while taking your vitamins, brushing your teeth and half-unloading the dishwasher. (If you’re too busy to eat it before you leave the house, you could throw it in a container and microwave it at work. If you prefer so-called instant, flavored oatmeal, see this link, which will describe how to make your own).

If you don’t want to bother with the stove at all, you could put some rolled oats (instant not necessary) in a glass or bowl, along with a teeny pinch of salt, sugar or maple syrup or honey, maybe some dried fruit. Add milk and let stand for a minute (or 10). Eat. Eat while you’re walking around getting dressed. And then talk to me about convenience.

The aspect one cannot argue is nutrition: Incredibly, the McDonald’s product contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger or Egg McMuffin. (Even without the brown sugar it has more calories than a McDonald’s hamburger.)

The bottom-line question is, “Why?” Why would McDonald’s, which appears every now and then to try to persuade us that it is adding “healthier” foods to its menu, take a venerable ingredient like oatmeal and turn it into expensive junk food? Why create a hideous concoction of 21 ingredients, many of them chemical and/or unnecessary? Why not try, for once, to keep it honest?

I asked them this, via e-mail: “Why could you not make oatmeal with nothing more than real oats and plain water, and offer customers a sweetener or two (honey, the only food on earth that doesn’t spoil, would seem a natural fit for this purpose), a packet of mixed dried fruit, and half-and-half or — even better — skim milk?”
Their answer, via e-mail and through a spokesperson (FMO is “fruit and maple oatmeal”): “Customers can order FMO with or without the light cream, brown sugar and the fruit. Our menu is entirely customizable by request with our ‘Made for You’ platform that has been in place since the late 90s.”

Oh, please. Here’s the thing: McDonald’s wants to get people in the store. Once a day, once a week, once a month, the more the better, of course, but routinely. And if you buy oatmeal, they’re O.K. with that. But they know that, once inside, you’ll probably opt for a sausage biscuit anyway.

And you won’t be much worse off.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Globe Theatre Schedule (Feb - April)

Here is the schedule for the Globe Theatre (on Indiana Wesleyan's campus, but open to the public) for the next couple of months.  If you haven't been, this is an affordable & fun outing for the whole family!  Kids 4 & under are FREE, and popcorn is only $1!

For more info, click HERE.  See schedule below. 


Dates: February 25, 26
  • Friday 7, 9, 12AM
  • Saturday 2:30, 7, 9
Rating: PG
Runtime: 1hr 36min.
Ticket Price: $2.00

Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Dates: March 18, 19
  • Friday 7, 9:30, 12AM
  • Saturday 2:30, 7, 9:30
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 2hrs 8min.
Ticket Price: $2.00

Tron Legacy

Dates: March 25, 26
  • Friday 7, 9:30, 12AM
  • Saturday 2:30, 7, 9:30
Rating: PG
Runtime: 2hrs 7min.
Ticket Price: $2.00

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

Dates: April 1, 2
  • Friday 7, 10
  • Saturday 2:30, 7, 10
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 2hrs 58min.
Ticket Price: $2.00


Dates: April 8, 9
  • Friday 7, 9:30, 12AM
  • Saturday 2:30, 7, 9:30
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 2hrs 1min.
Ticket Price: $2.00

Remember the Titans

Dates: April 15, 16
  • Friday 7, 9:30, 12AM
  • Saturday 2:30, 7, 9:30
Rating: PG
Runtime: 1hr 53min.
Ticket Price: $2.00 + 1/2 price concessions

Monday, February 21, 2011

Indy Children's Museum - FREE TODAY (President's Day) & Walmart pajama deal!

Looking for something to do with your kids today while they're off school for President's Day?  The Indianapolis Children's Museum is FREE today from 10am- 5pm.  And, for those of you with DORA/Diego lovers, they are having a special exhibit now thru Aug with Dora & Diego (my boys both love Dora/Diego, so we're going to have to check it out!).

For more info about the museum, click HERE.

Location of The Children's Museum
3000 N. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46208-4716
How to get here! From the North, South, East, West
The Children's Museum is situated at the corner of 30th and North Meridian Streets, just minutes north of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The entrance to the museum is on Illinois Street (the first street west of Meridian).

AND - if you're not up for going to Indy, but are out shopping today, Ann S. (a friend from MOPS & follower of this blog) wrote me wanting to share that WALMART is having a great deal on kids PJ's (Faded Glory - the ones in the box).  She said they're only $3 a set, and they have size 6 months - 5T size.  She said her little man loves this kind because they fit over his head without a fight, so she wanted to share!  Thanks for sharing Ann!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cloth Diapering & the 2011 Change 3 Things Campaign

Have you tried cloth diapering?  It really isn't as scary as it sounds - even my husband has come around to it!  We started when our first son was a about 3 months old.  After reading some stats on the amount of waste that diapers create (disposable diapers are the 2nd biggest contributor to landfill waste - newspapers are #1), as well as talking with someone who did cloth diapers, exploring them online a bit, and reading Matthew Sleeth's "Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action", I was convinced.  I looked at a few different sites online that sell cloth diapers (they're hard to find locally), and I settled on Cotton Babies.  Cloth diapers are an investment up front, but I figured they paid for themselves after several months of my first son using them, and now my second son has used them as well.  We use them less with my second son, usually just at home & not while we're traveling, but I figure every time I use one I save a disposable from a landfill & I save about a quarter in cost!  

Cotton Babies & a few major cloth diaper companies are having a campaign - Change 3 Things - see info below.  If you want to try it out and get started, check out the Cotton Babies website - they're currently running a sale on EconoBums - buy one get one free - and it may be a good way to get started.  I just ordered some to try (up until now we've only used Bum Geniuses, which I like, but after 2 babies & almost 4 years they're showing some wear, so I thought the EconoBums would be worth trying since they're such a good deal with this sale).  You can also get cloth diapers on, which count toward the Amazon MOM deal I blogged about earlier in the week.  

Introducing Change 3 Things, the 2011 cloth diaper awareness campaign

In an effort to promote general consumer awareness of cloth diapering, Cotton Babies has set some big goals for 2011.  

* 100,000 parents committed to change 3 cloth diapers per day.*
* 30-50 million pounds of prevented landfill waste*
* 100 million disposable diapers not purchased.*
* $24,000,000 of combined savings for participating families**

To reach these goals, Cotton Babies needs you to commit to change three cloth diapers per day.
How do I participate?
Click "like" on the Change 3 Things Facebook page. 
Share the page with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere.
Change 3 cloth diapers per day.

Do my 3 cloth diapers per day really matter?
Yes, it matters! Is it perfect?  No, but it's a start.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Walk-A-Mile in my Shoes for Homelessness (Tomorrow 2/19)

What are you doing tomorrow morning?  I suggest joining the Walk-A-Mile in my Shoes for Homelessness.  My family & I did this last year, and are joining the effort again tomorrow morning.  It is a short 1 mile non-competitive walk that starts at the YMCA in Marion and goes thru downtown.  It is a fundraiser for the Grant County Rescue Mission, but even if you can't raise funds, you can join in the walk to raise awareness of homelessness in Grant County!  Registration is at the YMCA at 9:30 and the walk starts at 10:00am.  There is a meal served at the end for participants.   I hope to see you there!

6th Annual Walk-A-Mile in my Shoes for HOMELESSNESS

February 19th, 2011
At the YMCA
123 Sutter Way, Marion, IN

The 6th Annual Walk-A-Mile in my Shoes for Homelessness will once again be held at the Grant County YMCA. Check-in will begin at 9:15 A.M. and the Walk will begin at 10:00.  Click HERE for more info, to register, or to donate! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bridges to Health - Free Health Clinic for Grant County Residents

I want to start this blog post fully disclosing that I am currently on staff at Bridges to Health now, so I am very invested in this organization both personally and professionally.  But, it is my blog, so I'm going to give myself license to still do a post on Bridges. :)

Do you know about Bridges to Health?  I've been amazed since I started volunteering here a year ago how many people DON'T know about this wonderful resource in and for our community. 

Bridges to Health is a FREE CLINIC for Grant County residents, currently located inside St. Martin's Community Center.  We've been open since 2005, and we provide primary medical care, dental care, physical therapy, and health education services to those who lack adequate resources.  We serve people who do not have health insurance any where else (do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare and do not have insurance through their employer) - folks who are stuck in the gap without any coverage. 

We operate on about 95% volunteer hours - it is an amazing place to be because people see the need in the community, see the need with their neighbors, and they come here to serve their fellow Grant County Residents.  This is a place where you can come and be the hands and feet of Christ, or you can come and be served - it is a place I believe that God looks down on from heaven and is pleased with.  I'm honored & privileged to be a part of it. 

Do you know someone who could benefit from Bridges to Health?  Do you know someone who could volunteer at Bridges?  It takes ALL kinds of volunteer hours to make this place run - all the way from someone to make copies & file charts, to someone to call folks to remind them of their appointment, to doctors, nurses, pharmacy folks, dentists, hygienists, etc. to run the actual medical, dental & physical therapy appointments. 

Want to be involved but don't have time to volunteer?  We always take financial donations and we always need supplies.  The following supplies are always needed & are greatly appreciated:

• copy paper
• pastel green, orange, canary yellow & pastel blue copy paper
• calculators
• ink pens
• post-it notes
• black sharpees
• large paper clips
• highlighters
• scotch tape
• #10 envelopes
• Kleenex
• hand soap
• paper towels
• toilet paper
• garbage bags (large & medium)
• water bottles
• coffee
• individually packed snacks & drinks for volunteers
• Baby Aspirin
• Ibuprofen
• Brown paper lunch sacks (used for dispensing medications)

Bridges to Health
- Promoting Health and Wellness to Uninsured Grant County Residents
1251 W. Kem Road, Marion, IN 46952 #765-662-7289
Interested in volunteering?  Contact me!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Amazon Mom Program - Free program & a great deal!

Have you tried out Amazon Mom yet?  It is a FREE program - so sign up & see what you've been missing!  I'd seen it advertised in a magazine, but didn't get around to signing up until recently, and I'm glad I did!  You get free 2-day shipping for the first 3 months, you earn an additional free month shipping every time you spend $25 on diapers or wipes, and you get 30% off in addition to the other benefits!   I also like that each brand of diaper/wipe gives you a breakdown of cost per unit so you can compare prices.  And, Amazon Mom isn't just for diapers & wipes - it is all baby/toddler products offers. 

I'm all about FREE shipping!  I ordered diapers for my son, and also for a friend who sent me an invitation for a baby shower that I can't attend because it is out-of-state - what a great way to send a baby gift for FREE shipping!  See info below - I think you'll be glad you did!

Amazon Mom
Amazon Mom is a free membership program aimed at helping parents and caregivers,
from the prenatal days through the toddler years, use Amazon to find all the products their family needs. To join, simply sign into your Amazon account and tell us whether you are a Mom, Dad, or other caregivers of a child. By providing information about your family, you can help us personalize offers, e-mails, and product recommendations to help you find exactly what you need at just the right time. Amazon Mom members receive benefits such as 30% off diapers and wipes, FREE Two-Day Shipping with Amazon Prime, as well as exclusive offers via e-mail.

Amazon Mom members receive exclusive discounts on a variety of products and categories. Discounts and promotions will be e-mailed to your e-mail account or made available on the Amazon Mom membership page at Benefits include:
• 30% off select diapers and wipes: As an Amazon Mom, you receive an additional 15% discount on top of the standard 15% discount on Subscribe & Save when you sign up for Subscribe & Save delivery. Subscribe & Save shipping is always free, and you can change your delivery schedule or cancel at any time. No fees, no risks, no obligations.
• FREE 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime: When you join Amazon Mom, you will receive FREE Two-Day Shipping with Amazon Prime for the first 3 months of your membership. For each $25 you spend within a single order in the Baby store, we’ll grant you an additional month of Amazon Prime shipping benefits. You can earn up to one year from the date you joined Amazon Mom.

Eligibility & Sign-Up:
It doesn't cost anything to participate in Amazon Mom, and all parents and caregivers are eligible to join. To receive personalized offers, e-mails, and product recommendations based on the age and stage of your child, simply provide information about your family (name, gender, and birthday of your child, or your due date if you are expecting a child). We respect strict privacy standards with this information and never share your information with other companies.
To sign-up, visit the Amazon Mom sign-up page at Once you submit the sign-up form, you'll receive an e-mail confirmation.

Thursday, February 10, 2011 80% off Gift Certs good thru 2/14!

Thanks to my wonderful in-laws who offered to watch our boys, my main man and I are getting away for a night in Chicago for a much needed break from LIFE.  We Pricelined a hotel for a STEAL and are going to have a nice Valentine's Day dinner in downtown Chicago thanks to!  Check out their current sale - 80% off  - just enter Promo Code LOVE at Checkout.  If you've never used, make sure to read all the rules (there is usually a minimum purchase you must make to use the gift cert, and the gift cert can't go toward taxes or tip) - this is a neat way to have a great meal.  When we eat on our own, we usually go cheap & share an entree, but these gift certs usually allow us to be able to get an appetizer & dessert in addition to each getting an entree, all for the total price we'd regularly pay for a skimpy meal!  It definitely makes a meal an event for us and is a lot of fun.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Too much candy? Homemade Play-dough for Valentine's Day instead!

I saw this on MoneySavingMom - a blog I follow.  I thought it was a great idea - give play-do instead of more sugar on Valentine's Day! 

Simple Cooked Play Dough

3 cups of flour

1 1/2 cups of salt

3 cups of water

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 Tablespoons cream of tarter

Red food coloring

Cook the ingredients over medium heat until dough pulls from the sides of pan and no longer looks shiny.

Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container or wrapping in individual bags (you can find cute bags at your local craft store or Dollar Store). If you use bags, be sure to tie bags very securely with ribbon or string so that the play dough does not dry out. Makes about 10 bags.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

CollegeChoice 529 Savings Plan - HUGE tax incentive

While I was snowed in the past couple of days I attempted to be productive, and actually did finish my taxes (yeah!).  While filing my Indiana state taxes, I learned something about investing in a Indiana CollegeChoice529 Savings Plan that I wish I'd known as soon as we moved here! 

Did you know that you get 20% back (up to $1000/year) on you Indiana State taxes for your contributions to an Indiana College Choice 529 Savings Plan???? 20% !!!!  That is amazing! 

Let's back up - if you don't already have one, a 529 plan is a way you put money away for your kids for college - it grows TAX free, and they can use it at any school or accredited institution in the U.S. (not just Indiana).  My husband and I opened up a 529 plan for each of our kids when they were born, and while we aren't able to put much in it, we're proud that we do put a little bit in each month and know that we're trying to start saving for our kids' college education.  It is a piddly little amount, but it is something!!!  Unfortunately, our 529 plan isn't an Indiana Plan, so we weren't able to take advantage of the 20% back, but I did find out that we can roll ours over into an Indiana plan, and I'm doing that TODAY so we can get this tax saving next year! 

It truly is a win-win!  You are setting money aside (as little as $25/month) for your kid(s), it is growing tax free, and you get 20% back at the end of the year (up to $1000 max) on your taxes, which means you're earning a minimum of 20% on that money for your kids education!  WOW!  Show me another investment where you get that kind of return and get to feel all warm & fuzzy inside for saving for your kids!  :)

For more info and/or to open an account see: