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Savvy Shopper and Freelance Writer for The Lubbock Avalanche Journal

Tuesday, August 30, 2011



     Well, PDO officially starts ta-day! Wooot! I am ALONE in my house for the first time in months. MONTHS, I tell you! So, I'm going to go take a nap. A.L.O.N.E. Haha! I'm so giddy!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011


     Waiting is sometimes the hardest thing we have to do as moms. We want different circumstances for our families, but right now isn't always the best time. I'm in the waiting period, and I have been for a little while now. Two months ago I was stressed out, but this summer God has stretched my patience. Whenever I think of what it's been like, all I can think of is those taffy pulling machines at the fair. If you've ever seen one, it's kinda cool to watch. The candymakers start with a big hard blob of taffy. They chuck it up on the arms of the machine and walk away. The taffy puller starts twisting and stretches the taffy, over and over again. The more stretching it does, the softer, more compliant the taffy is. We wouldn't be able, or want, to eat unpulled taffy. It would be too hard to chew and probably take out a few fillings. But, pulled taffy, well, just give me the strawberry flavor, thank you very much. It's super tasty and soft, but chewy. It's very pleasant to eat.

     I don't think anyone would willingly climb up on a taffy machine and ask to be stretched. It hurts to be pulled on. It's uncomfortable. It makes us go in directions we've never been and wouldn't naturally go. But in the end, the results are impressive. Temperance. Patience. Wisdom. It's totally worth it.

     Because I've been on "the taffy puller" this summer, I'm able to see from His perspective that timing is everything. I'm able to savor the wait, be patient while the opportunity ripens, and be at peace during this process.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


     This is the first time he's come to visit our little family, so my postings, tweets, facebooking (is that a word?) is a little slow this week. Not to worry, PDO starts for the kiddos next week, so I'll be at it with a vengance!


Monday, August 22, 2011


     Neiman Marcus has to have the best shoe department I've ever been in. I could seriously go broke in that area alone. But, their make-up counters are to-die-for also. *sigh*  So many pretty sparkly things to see! Well, for most of us, I'm sure, Neiman Marcus isn't an everyday shopping experience. It's a bit pricey (I'm sure that's why we like it so), but did you know there's a Neiman Marcus outlet? It's called "Last Call." I just discovered it last year. So many of my favorite brands at amazing discounts! Today only, they are giving 30% off their already discounted prices! And, if you want to be a super savvy shopper, you can save even more by purchasing through Ebates.
La Fenice - $34.65

     If you're not already signed up with Ebates, GO NOW. Do not buy another thing online unless you do it through Ebates! I had so much fun at Christmas last year. I did all my shopping online with Ebates and got a nice little rebate check for moi in January. Hehee. :)
L.A.M.B. - $28.00

     Basically, Ebates is like a shopping entryway. You go there, sign up and then search for the website or brand you are looking for, click through their site to the store you want to shop at and Ebates gives you a pre-disclosed percentage of your purchase back to you via a check! You can really maximize this site if you're an avid online shopper.
MOR - $3.50

      So, go there and sign up, then get to shopping through Ebates and put some money back into your pocket! It's like e-couponing without the codes! Easy you can't beat!



     I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I LOVE getting the mail! Today was especially nice because I had an unexpected care package in there from my mom. She included Clinique, socks for the baby (can't get enough of those!), Christmas yarn, bibs (can't get enough of those either!), and purses filled with little treasures for the 3 biggest girls. Those are all the things I get to keep without any added effort...

     BUT, that's not to say, I don't enjoy putting for the effort to cashing in these awesome Target coupons that also came today! The two pack of Huggies diapers was a sample sent from and it came with a $1.50/1 coupon. Oh, and I almost forgot! My mom sent 5 Red Plum and Smart Source inserts from her local paper.

     Quite a nice haul considering the only thing I did to get all this good stuff was sign up for a freebie at, use the Totally Target web forum to trade q's with another user, and be born. That's it! :)

     If you'd like to get in on the coupon trading action, then you've got to check out my new coupon trading forum. Go ahead and try it. Post an ISO (in search of), or HAVE (want to trade) and let's see what we can do to help each other out. I've saved a lot of time and money by trading coupons with other ladies. It's so fun to get the envelopes with all the free goodies inside, plus, it feels good to help out other ladies who are providing for their families too!


Sunday, August 21, 2011



 I finally figured out how to make my own buttons! Woot!!!

They're pretty cute, if I do say so myself! Well, go ahead, click, click, click! :D

Friday, August 19, 2011


The Smell O' Rama Isle

     Everyone knows there's an entire isle (well, almost) dedicated to cans of ozone-depleting perfumes that may or may not cause an allergic reaction to your dog or children labelled as "air freshener" or "stink eliminator". Well, I admit, I have been suckered in by their claims of bringing Hawaii to my bathroom or making it a perpetual Christmas in my kitchen. I'm sure you've tried a few brands and had more than one epic stank failure as I have. Well, citizens of the stinky world, I have obtained revelatory news that is not sponsored by anyone other than my happy smiling family.

The De-Stinker

     I found a great little coupie in the newspaper a few weeks ago for a Febreeze with Gain. I'm not a Gain user. I'm a Tide girl. Not the Crimson Tide mind you, wash your mouth out with soap! This girl is an Auburn fan! But, I digress... I prefer Tide detergent, so I was a little leery about trying a new smell. But, like I said, had a great little coupie for $1 off 1 Febreeze, any variety. And, it just so happened that my WM had a little Febreeze To Go in their travel size isle for $.97, so I snagged it for FREE not knowing what I'd use it for.

     Well, it wasn't 24 hours later and I was in need of said de-stinker. Oh man, it was reeeeeally bad. I'm talking burnt into your memory bad. Well, read for yourself... This is a letter I wrote to P&G and boy, did they have it coming...

I just wanted to THANK YOU for making this product! We have 4 children, a 7yo, 3yo, 2yo, and 1yo. Last week our Suburban was intolerable. My husband cleaned it out. Detailed it actually, but he couldn't clean the carpet. So, it smelled yucky in there. Like REALLY yucky. After all his hard work, it was still gross to be in there. Until I remembered the Febreeze w/ Gain I had just purchased the day before. I sprayed it on all the carpet from front to back and then on some of the plastic/leather surfaces as well. I left the two front windows cracked b/c I sprayed A LOT. The next day we were leaving for a road trip and when I opened the door I was expecting to choke on perfumed stink. But I was AMAZED. Seriously, A.M.A.Z.E.D. Not only was the stink gone, but there was a very light pleasant Gain smell lingering (but not overpowering). I am now a forever customer. Thank you for saving our road trip and making me a hero in our family!  :)
Happy Car Girls!
Don't worry, they are all happy. No one is crying or holding their breath!

        What a great review, right? Well, they deserved it. Febreeze with Gain works. It really works. I encourage you to try it for yourself. Do your own little Try and Tell and report back here with a comment telling me what happened. I'll award the best Try and Tell some Febreeze coupons!


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Thursday, August 18, 2011


     There was a time when I loathed getting the mail. All I ever got was bills and credit card applications. But not anymore! I'm like a little kid running to the mailbox every day! Days like today are the reason why! Here's a shot of my mailbox goodies... 9 Gerber coupons (sign up on their website for yours), my (almost) Free Hot Pink & Chocolate business cards from Vista Print (I paid extra for expedited shipping), my All You magazine with $68.55 of coupons inside, and the GRAND FINALE..... a check for $73 from the State of Texas!!! Ok, technically, it's made out to my husband, but you know how it goes, what's mine is mine and what's his is mine.  :)  

     I know you're probably wondering how in the world I got a check from my state at this time of the year. Well, it's simple really. I saw a commercial on Fox News for unclaimed property and did some research and found the Texas Unclaimed Property website. My husband had some unclaimed property from his college days, so I printed out the form, filled it in and he dropped it in the mail. Simple. I think we waited maybe a week and a half and ta-da! A check. A nice little check that will look even better in my pocketbook! LOL! It's actually going towards groceries, but a girl can dream, right?

     Check and see if you have unclaimed property. If nothing comes up under your name, look up your spouse, parent, or do your neighbor a favor and look their names up too. I found unclaimed stocks for my deceased Step Father (to be rewarded to my mom, his beneficiary), and $100 for my deceased Grandmother (to be rewarded to my mother in law, her beneficiary).


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Save up to 70% every day with giggleDEALS!

 Must-have kids' books. Get these on the bookshelf immediately! 
We've got Shel Silverstein, Kevin Henkes, Pinkalicious, and Beverly Cleary's The Ramona Collection.



     BéBe MiMi, my Etsy personna, is being featured as a vendor in the Gage Blake Photography Giveaway! The contest ends August 29th, so hurry on over to Gage Blake's Blog and get signed up! There are quite a few prizes to be awarded, including Photoshop Effects, Studio Props, and Personalized Christmas Cards.

     The winner will receive (among other fabulous prizes), a $30 Gift Certificate to My Etsy Shop. Custom orders are available by request, and I create items size preemie to adult. Everybody can wear BéBe MiMi!

Shop BéBe MiMi for custom made crochet hats, scarves, purses, and more!


Follow me on Twitter @HotPinkNChoc and subscribe to my RSS Feed or via your email for deals, freebies, and more!


     I have an exciting announcement to make! I'm just bursting at the seams! I can't wait till 9am to post this, I just HAVE to do it now! If you'll look up to the menu bar you'll notice some changes have taken place overnight. In fact, there have been a lot. I've been a busy little bee. But, it's for your benefit, so it's worth it. :)

     There's a new page on my blog called the COUPON TRADING FORUM! It's an actual forum where we can all connect, trade coupons, share great finds, brag on our awesome hauls, and learn from each other. I've added a few posts to get the discussions going. I can't wait to see what all you have to trade and what I have that you may need.

     So, go ahead and click on over there and see what the buzz is about! Just bee quick about it! ;)


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Visit for FREE printable coupons!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Not shown: 2-24pk Bottled Water, 2-64oz. Ocean Spray Juice, 2pks Eclipse Gum, 2-16oz Sprites,
5 single serve Blue Bunny Ice Creams, 1 single Horizon Chocolate Milk, 2 small Wet Ones Packs

     I just got back from Amarillo and do I have some goodies to show you! I went to Albertsons this morning and spent a couple of hours there going up and down pretty much every isle. I was armed with my trusty coupon binder, my black box/clipboard thingy, and my backlog of Smart Source, Red Plum, and Proctor & Gamble inserts for the last two months. I was ready to do business.

     I'll be really honest and let you know that things don't always go according to the "coupon plan". I did some research on current Albertsons deals and went in armed with my list, corresponding coupons, and a plan. But, something was terribly wrong with the store... all the prices I had were wrong! Ugh, somebody (me, actually) looked up last weeks specials and planned according to deals that have already expired. Rookie mistake, I know. In my defense, I was riding in a car with 4 yelling children and my husband, mr.inquisition, while I was researching.

     Well, lo and behold, I finally realized what was going on, so I had to back track and replace the overpriced items that would have been a steal last week! So there I was, ground zero with an unhappy husband and 4 small, but very loud, auditioners for the next American Idol. Oh my goodness, I wasn't sure I could salvage the trip, but my reputation was at stake. I mean, how could I come back and not report great savings to you all? So, I did what any other couponing mom would do in the same situation, I bucked up and rolled with it. Also, somewhere in there was a prayer of "Oh Lord, H.E.L.P!"

     Two hours later, I parked at the register with one and a half carts full of stuff. Brand name stuff. Yummy stuff. Stuff I'm excited to prepare for my family. And then the dreaded scanning began. If you've ever watched a couponing show, you know the chill of that moment when the subtotal is read aloud. There's panic in the room. The couponer questions always themselves and wonders, "Did I calculate all this correctly? Is that the right number?"

     I am happy to say, that I was able to walk out of the store with $80 in coupon savings and more in weekly sales. My total out of pocket was $147.85. It's a lot higher than what I wished I had paid, but this particular Albertsons stopped doubling coupons, so they didn't go as far as I would have liked. But, on a positive note, my pantry is completely stocked and I'm a few canned goods away from needing a second storage shelf in the garage. Yay me! :)

     I'm including some closeups so you can see all the brands, sizes, and layers to my haul. I didn't even realize how much there was until I was setting up this picture.

Brownie Mix $1, Crispix & Fruit Loops $1, Ortega Shells $1.19
Pancake mix $.44, Pasta $1, Oatmeal $1.59

Ragu $1.59, Lima beans $1.09, Baby food $.75, GUM Floss $1.75, CapriSun $2
Pop Secret $1, Maple Syrup $1.29, Oreos $0 - FREE!

     If you see a second level, the item is stacked on another like item. There are no risers under these groceries! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, those Oreos right there, yeah, I won those. They were FREE. The store had a Yahtzee game going and I did a scratch and win that came with my receipt... WOOT! Also, just a note for couponers, I only used coupons from the Sunday paper and a few I found in the store.

     I hope this little haul of mine inspires you to keep pushing forward on saving money, even when you make a blunder here and there. Just keep going and your hard work will be rewarded. As for me, I enjoyed a "Mommy is awesome" chant most of the ride home. Can't beat that!


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CheapOStay - FHD300x250

Monday, August 15, 2011


     I {heart} Petunia Pickle Bottom! PPB makes the most exquisite baby bags and accessories! Love, Love, Love them! Did I say L.O.V.E???

     Good news for all you PPB addicts, they are offering FREE SHIPPNG this fall! Such good news for those of us who prefer a wider selection than most local shops offer. Here's the code: WHIM. Just enter it during checkout and enjoy your free shipping!

     You will also want to check out the Petunia Outlet! Several times a year selected styles are for sale in the outlet for 40-60% off! If you sign up on the Outlet site, you'll get an email notifying you of upcoming sales!


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Agana Baby

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Amarillo Pictures
This photo of Amarillo is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Wow, do I feel fancy ta-day! I'm goin' to Amarillo, the "Big City" in the Texas Panhandle. And no, I will not be eating at that steak place with the huge plastic cow in the parking lot. I don't care if Bobby Flay himself cooked it, I don't want to eat 72lbs of steak, or anything else for that matter.

What I will be doing is taking advantage of my location and going to a grocery store that DOUBLES coupons! That's right, there's an Albertson's in Amarillo and I'm plannin' to come back with some awesommer deals! Woohoo!

Some of you lucky ducks live in cities where the grocery stores double coupons, and you should all feel so priviledged to reside there. For me, I lived in a big metropolitan area for years and never bothered to take advantage of coupon doubling. Now I'm in coupon pergatory or something... Nobody out in these parts doubles any kind of coupon! Sorry, personal soap box. Anyway, for those of us who don't enjoy the benefits of coupon doubling, going to a town where stores do is like a mini va-cay tucked inside a va-cay!

My first task is to pull up the Albertson's weekly flyer and see what' on sale. Then, I pour over my coupon binder to see what I have coupons for. If I find a match, then it's time to put it on the "must buy" list. I pull the coupons that I plan to use and I place them in a little lockbox/clip board thingy I got at Office Depot and that's my source for coupons in the store. However, I do take my coupon binder in case of unadvertised specials. Every time I leave it at home or in the car, I live to regret it.

My challenge to you all is this, if you live in a coupon doubling area, find one or two things you want from the stores' sale flyers and match them with coupons. Get your "feet wet" in the coupon game by going after a small trophy. See what you can do. For the rest of us, I challenge you to look through your paper and see who has the lowest price on your favorite toilet paper this week. If it's not a Target or Walmart deal, take the flyer to one of those stores, visit customer service and get a price match! When you go through the check out, use your coupon for it and save even more! You'll feel smarter and empowered by doing so.


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I'm not going to tattle on myself and say just exactly how long I spent at Walmart this evening, but let's just say, I got my walking in for the week. Sheesh.

Anywho... I came across some great deals and I wanted to pass them along to you!

  • I found a great deal to use those $4/1 Gillette Pro Glide Razor coupons from the last P&G insert 7/31. In the travel size isle they had Gillette Pro Glides for $5.97, so I got two for $2 each!
  • The Tide coupons in the P&G 7/31 for $1/1 Tide, you can use those to get a $.97 sample FREE.
  • There's a Febreeze Fabric Effects coupon in the same P&G insert you can use to get a $.97 Febreeze travel size FREE.
  • I found a Dove $1/1 coupon in an All You Magazine (forgot the issue! sorry!) so I used it plus $.50 to get a large travel size of Dove Shampoo.
  • In the P&G coupon book from the Charmin TP packages there's a $1/1 Secret Clinical travel size deoderant (normally $2.42), with coupon - $1.42 each.
  • Flip flops are on clearance for $1.98 (time to stock up for next year or great for College students using dorm showers!).
  • Beechnut Infant Whole Grain Cereal boxes are on clearance for $1! Use this form to get 3 more boxes for free - HURRY!
  • Disney infant shampoo & bath soap is on clearance for $2.
  • Graco Car Booster seats on clearance for $19.99, some other brands are only $13.99.
Be sure you check isle end caps for clearance items in the baby section. All other clearance items are usually tucked away with other like products or you may find an occaisional clearance section on a shelf amongst other normally priced items.

A word to the wise... WM's 24 pack of Crayola crayons are $.40. You can get them for $.25 in about a week or two. I'd hold out to buy school supplies until then, or just stock up for Christmas stocking stuffers when they do go on sale.

Finally, you can find some great coupons on the manufacturers websites for school supply items like Scotch tape, Post It Notes, Papermate Pens, etc. Do a little web surfing for coupons before you hit the stores! It's worth it!


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Friday, August 12, 2011


     Terri from Mom's Point of View awarded me The Versatile Blogger award! This is my first blog award and I really appreciate it! It's affirming to know that people are reading what you write, and it's even better knowing they like what they are reading!!! You should go check out Terri's blog. She's a mom to 4 also and she's artsy like me.

     I'd like to pass the kudos on to some of my new favorite blogs...
  1. Jolly Mom
  2. Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House
  3. My Wee View
  4. Queen of the Snot Princesses
  5. Banana Hammocks &Tutus
  6. Couponing to Disney

     I hope you enjoy reading these ladies' blogs as much as I do! Thanks for the laughs ladies! :)

Tiny Tillia

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