Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Score!

To get the jist of this story, I have to start from what happened last night.  Last night, I sat at my kitchen table organizing new, expiring soon and expired coupons.  In pile of 'expiring soon' coupons were two  $3 off Kashi GoLean Crunch cereal, expiring 12/31. I got the coupons in the mail from Vocalpoint! (Sign up for coupons and samples in exchange for feedback).  As you may know, this cereal sells for about $4-$5 per box.  Target has been the least expensive so far at $3.69. So with the coupon, I'd be paying just 69 cents per box right?  Cool.  I stashed the coupons in my purse and figured that if I was up to it, I would go to Target, even though it's out of the way from my work-home route.

Fast forward to today- I happened by Fry's (which is right on my work-home route) and went to the health food section.  Well low and behold, GoLean Crunch was on sale for......

wait for it......

$2.99 per box!!!! So- 2 boxes at $2.99 per box, plus two $3.00 off coupon equals FREE plus change back.  Yes honey, I scored two free boxes of GoLean Crunch plus 2 cents back into my pocket. Gotta love it. ;)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

wordless wednesday...

is this like the quiet game? dang- i lost already.  haha.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Coffee winners...

have been contacted! Congratulations! Remember you can also win more amazing gourmet coffee at Longbottoms's home page by subscribing and referring friends!  Seriously, you won't go back to anything else after you've tasted this! 

Thank you so much to Longbottom Coffee and Tea (Gene Anderson, you are a rock star at our house!) for sponsoring this fantabulous giveaway!! 

12/29-everyone who was notified has responded, thank you!  your coffee will be in the mail this week!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Cookies have been baked, dinner prepped, coffee consumed, presents wrapped, kids bathed, hair done, candles lit. Now we're waiting for everyone to go to sleep so we can put the presents under the tree.

My mom is still in the hospital recovering from back surgery (spinal stenosis and arthritis).  Please keep her in prayer as she is in a lot of pain. :( She took some steps today, which is fantastic.  We gave her an amber waist belt from Inspired by Finn, to help alleviate some pain, so hopefully she'll be able to put it on soon. 

I thank God for another Christmas and all the joy that it brings with family and friends.  I wish you all joy, peace and great food!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Caroling, caroling......

Can we talk about Christmas carols for a second? Specifically, how artists re-arrange the traditional ones? Can we not mix up the lyrics then put a bridge/riff (sorry, not a musician) where there are (usually) lyrics so that I can stop feeling like a dork when I am singing what I *know* comes next in the song but becase of the need to be 'different' I end up on a musical tangent? This has happened numerous times both when I am alone in the car and when the rest of my family is riding.  Even when I am solo, I find myself trying to 'play off' my musical mistake by humming my way through the part that really shouldn't have been there in the first place. ;)  The thing is that, why should I feel like a knob when the artist who is singing the carol on the radio is the one who messed it up?  

I can appreciate the 'new and improved' carols, but I really do love the traditional ones that I grew up on.  Ya dig? 

What do you prefer- the new stuff, the old stuff, or the old stuff done with a new twist?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Princess and The Frog

Today, my Mom, the girls and I went to see 'The Princess and the Frog.'  Loved every second of it.  I had originally planned to take the girls myself, but then I remembered how special I felt when my Mom took me to see Cinderella when I was a little girl.  This was the first movie theater experience for the girls (2 and 4) and they soaked in every second.  It was so much fun to watch their eyes get wide as the movie started. It was magical.  They ate buttered popcorn and were mesmerized through the entire hour and 34 minutes.  Mom even stayed awake! haha.

After the movie, we walked around a craft fair in the outdoor mall where the movie theater is.  So fun! The weather was perfect.  Mom treated me to a peppermint plant.  A wonderful time was had by all. My only bummer was that I was too lazy to grab the O&A from the car! S3 wanted to be carried while we walked around!

Pics from the craft fair:


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just to let you know.......

I have extended the Coffee Giveaway ends date. Rather than closing the giveaway on the 20th, it will now close on the 24th. More time for you to enter! woot!


I forgot to announce the winner of the Inspired By Finn Amber teething necklace!
Drumrolllllll the winner is Teresha!!!
She has been contacted and will be recieving her Amber Teething Necklace directly from Inspired By Finn in the near future. Congratulations Teresha! Enjoy your necklace!

HUGE thank you to Inspired By Finn for sponsoring this awesome giveaway!!! 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Can we talk about coffee?

Oh Twitter, how do I love thee? It was through Twitter that I got a message enticing me to taste the difference.  A DM and some emails later, Longbottom Coffee has a customer for life.  As I type this review, I am sipping on a jumbo cup of Harvest Blend Longbottom Coffee.  
Let’s talk about coffee.  Coffee from……. Oregon? Yes my dear.  Coffee from Oregon (not grown in Oregon, but you know what I’m saying).  I have had the pleasure of getting to know the some of the flavors that Longbottom Coffee and Tea has to offer and oh my goodness, I think a trip to Portland is in order! ;)
A bit about Longbottom Coffee and Tea, Inc:  Never heard of it? Me either.  However  Longbottom Coffee and Tea, Inc. has been around for over 25 years.  I’m happy to be in on this secret that Portland has been guarding for so long because evidently they are doing something right!    
Why bother with Longbottom Coffee when there are so many other coffees on the market? All I can say is taste, taste, taste.  Longbottom is a company after my own heart.

From the website: (anything in quotes has come directly from the website).
Some primary reasons are;
  1. We start with only the finest high grown Arabica available. We do not 'mix' these with lower quality beans and call them blends! Longbottom?s definition of a blend is when 2 or more high quality Arabica Origins are combined for a specific and incredible taste profile.
  2. We roast these to their unique taste profile temperatures. With Our superior roasting method, we do not alter, but complement the regions uniqueness.
  3. We preserve freshness by shipping to you within hours after roasting.’
Concerned about the green factor?  Longbottom has it covered by using recycled ‘In many cases when deliver locally these recycled boxes are used 10 or 20 times over’ along with biodegradable packaging and small trucks! Small trucks!
Concerned about the social factor? Longbottom has that covered as well by not only promoting and selling fair trade products , they are also a proud sponsor of Coffee Kids, ‘an international non-profit organization established to improve the quality of life for children and families who live in coffee-growing communities around the world.  It makes no difference if this coffee is Fair Trade, organic, co-op, association, or estate - Coffee Kids receives a percentage from every purchase.’   Longbottom also gives to over 12 Portland area charities and organizations.   Wow!
What about their employees? ‘It is our responsibility not only to provide a fun work environment but provide our employees with living wages, generous retirement benefits, and comprehensive health benefits, all of which promote their well-being and self esteem. Many of our employees have been with us for 10, 15, and even 20 years.’ These numbers reflect lifetimes!  Almost makes me want to move to Portland! ;)
Some Roasts and Review:  Longbottom Coffee has an extensive variety of coffees and teas.   Below is a list of the coffees (and espresso) that I had the pleasure of sampling thanks to Gene Anderson.  All I can say is YUM.   Hubby and I sampled each blend made in our French press and sweetened with 2 teaspoons of condensed milk (the way we would drink any other cup o’ joe).  We used the 5 cup rating system.  5/5 is best.  These are our opinions only!  
1. Ethiopian Mocha Harrar-  4.5/5. Smooth.  Like a getting a big hug during the morning commute!

2. Whitelightning Espresso- 4/5- zinnnnnnng! Smooth and so good for first thing in the morning!
3. Harvest Blend- 4/5. Perfect for any time of the day.  
4. Black Satin Blend- 4/5. Wonderful for after dinner
5. Organic Nicaraguan- Hubby really loved this one.  I think it was a little strong for me though!  3.5/5
6. Black Gold Coffee Blend- 4/5 smooth- great for any time of the day.
7. Costa Rican Tarrazu- 6/5. Yes, 6/5.  Roasted in honey!  Everyone needs to try this one.  

All I can say is that when I got to the end of each cup of coffee, I was a little sad because that cup was over.   Every drop of the coffee we sampled was amazing.
I normally don’t write reviews this long, but Longbottom Coffee truly deserves the kudos.  ‘Owner and CEO, Michael Baccellieri, believes in long-term relationships based on truth and mutual respect.Because of this philosophy we make your satisfaction our number one priority.’  Well Mr. Baccellieri, we look forward to a long and meaningful relationship from Oregon to Arizona, with your amazing products.  I have tasted the difference!!!

The Giveaway
Do I have your attention?  You want some Longbottom Coffee do ya? Do ya?
Alright then, here are the rules:  I will be giving away a bag of coffee from the above mentioned list to 10 winners (10 bags, 10 winners).  Winner and coffee roast will be selected randomly by and will be notified via email.  Please leave your email address with your comment if it’s not available via your profile!  Giveaway starts December 14 and will end on December 24.  All winners will have 48 hours to respond.
Mandatory entry (this must be done before I count all other entries):  Go to Longbottom Coffee and tell me one thing you’ve  learned about this fabulous company (something not already mentioned!)  Come back and post what you’ve learned in the ‘comments’ section.
Extra entries: leave a comment in the ‘comments’ section to let me know that you qualify for the extra entries!
1.       Follow Longbottom Coffee @finestcoffee on Twitter.
2.       Follow me @cdnexpat08 on Twitter (click on the link to the left).
3.       Subscribe to my blog reader! 
4.       Tweet about the giveaway! One tweet per day, then leave a comment that you tweeted. Feel free to copy and paste:
Hey! @cdnexpat08 is hosting a @finestcoffee giveaway!  taste the difference! ends 12/24 #coffee #giveaway RT
5. Grab my button and post it on your blog! Come back with a link. (2 entries!)
6. Subscribe to my blog via email.

7 ways to enter and win! Have fun!

Contest is now closed.  Thanks so much for participating. Winners will be contacted on 12/26 and have 48 hours to respond.  

I'll post the winners next week! 
Enjoy your Christmas/Holidays! :)  

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Best video, hands free. Er, hands down. ;)

I am a babywearing mama.  I wore my son (S1, now almost 13) in a Snugli and then really got into babywearing right after S2 was born in 2005.  As I was searching for a good carrier, I stumbled upon The Babywearer.  At first I thought that the mamas who frequented the boards were a little obsessed, then I started to understand the seriousness of keeping your baby close.  Now with over 2000 posts by moi, I have learned some wonderful things (from breastfeeding to parenting to shopping and natual living), made some amazing friends and have been able to share the babywearing love.  The website seriously changed my life.  No joke.

My gateway sling was a Lucky Baby Pouch and it was all love after that! I have (and have passed on) several ring slings, mei tais, onbuhimos, podegis, soft structured carriers, pieces of cloth and wraps.  All the carriers have their own personalities and learning curves.  I was able to master everything but the long wrap- now that S3 is almost three, she no longer has the patience to wait for me to get all my cloth situated. Now we mainly use our soft structured carriers. I do have a pink and green wrap (my sorority colors) that I will split to make carriers for the girls when they have babies (after they pledge and graduate from college and buy a house!) ;)

Anyway, I didn't actually mean to write all of this- babywearing is something that is dear to me.  This is a video that has been on several of my FB friends' pages and I finally got around to watching it s now I am sharing it with you!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Photo Friday

I got a Nikon D40 with some of my tax return money last year.  These are some of the first pictures I took with it! I love this camera. very easy to use. Now I just have to come up with the funds for better lenses.  Maybe I'll go pro! ;) I still use my point and shoot for quick outings, but I really do enjoy shooting with my D40.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Too Through Thursday

We're changing up today's Thursday theme.  I am too through with this week! I am so ready for the weekend.  I was going to take S2 and S3 to see "The Princess and the Frog" but I decided to wait until next weekend so that my mom will be able to join us.  So we'll make it a 'generations' day with lunch and some pictures. :)  I remember when my mom took me to see Cinderella when I was little.  I want this to be just as magical for the girls. 

So what will I be doing this weekend? I may just sneak out of the house under the guise of shopping to go see 'Precious.' Then I'll go shopping. (The last movie I saw in the theater was 'Ray.' Tragic!)  A friend of mine is having a Mary Kay party, so I may check that out as well. 

What are you up to this weekend?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sharing Sunday

Thought I'd share some pics of S1, S2 & S3 with you! I love taking pictures!
S3 took this one:

S3 after Thanksgiving!
  S2 after Thanksgiving!

Yes, I still wear my 2 year old!

Yup, she is just like me from the baby on her back to the Sanita clogs!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sad weekend for my son

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that my son's grandfather (his dad's dad) passed away this week after battling pancreatic cancer.  His memorial service and homegoing celebration are tomorrow. 

S1 called him 'shaving cream grandpa' because he loved watching him shave.  'Shaving Cream Grandpa' was known by many names by many, many people.  I did not know him too well, but I knew him as 'Bear.' 

He was always nice to me and adored S1.  It is for S1 that I am sad however, he knows that he will see his grandpa again in heaven.  Rest in peace Bear.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Coupon Thursday!!!

Alright good people, I love coupons.  I use them and have actually learned a lot about store coupon policies, 'stacking,' how to organize and when to use them in order to get the best possible deal.  I don't have a big binder, but I do have a coupon wallet.  I have seen some really great ways to organize coupons according to store, item, discount, etc. I will post ideas (and who came up with them) as I blog.

There are a TON of wonderful blogs devoted to nothing but amazing deals and super coupon scenarios.
Two of my favorite blogs on coupons, deals and scenarios are It's Hip to Save and The Krazy Coupon Lady.

For awesome printables, start with (link on the right sidebar!).  I'm not sure about your local grocery stores, but my local Fry's is making all coupon values $1, which is fab if your manufacturer's coupon is 35cents or something like that.  I can usually get out of the store saving about 50% on my groceries between coupon and my Fry's card.  Not too shabby!

If you are new to couponing, start slow.  It can get overwhelming.  I can't understand why people would shop without coupons, especially with how expensive even the essentials are!

Do you coupon?  Tell me about your experiences!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Whatcha Doin' Wednesday?

I have a lot of things going on and I am having fun doing (most) of it.  I just have to get better organized.  So, this everning, I was multitasking and looking at pictures on my computer.  This is one of my favorites:

I love taking pictures- still have a lot to learn about photography and I have a tonnnnn of pictures that I need to get printed out.  So, you'll probably be getting an eyeful of my world not only with words, but with pictures. Hope you enjoy! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

'Time-out' Tuesday

Alright, let's give the daily themes a try.  Time out Tuesday:

There are so many things these days that can cause stress in families and individuals.  I try to stay as stress free as possible by staying somewhat busy, but sometimes it doesn't always work and I need an out. I will tell you that  I love yoga.  It is offered at my place of employment on a weekly basis and trust me, we look forward to that time.  I enjoy the uninterrupted hour of breathing and stretching without the phone ringing or a toddler tapping my butt while I am in 'child's pose,' to get her some juice, while her dad is right in the kitchen!  Unfortunately I haven't been able to attend in the past couple of months due to scheduling conflicts at work. I am looking forward to getting back into the yoga groove when things slow down a bit. 

So, what do YOU do to de-stress? Comment away!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Very First Review and Giveaway!!!!!

I am thrilled that my first giveaway is something that I have had the opportunity to use with my daughters;   Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces from Inspired By Finn.  I discovered amber teething necklaces from the phenomenal community over at The Babywearer (I get a lot of wonderful info there), as I was looking for a natural painkiller for teething.  Inspired by Finn came very highly recommended, so I ordered.  It was difficult to order just one because they come in different styles and colors- all beautiful!  I put the teething necklaces on my daughters at the first sign of their first tooth popping through and the amber worked better than any analgesic that I have ever used.  An amazing product, to say the least.

<---- S3 wearing her dark cherry chip-style necklace (unfortunately not carried anymore but trust me, it did the job!)

From the website:
 How can baltic amber help us? 
Pain Relief -
Baltic amber contains analgesic properties and helps take the edge off of many types of discomfort associated with dental issues, headaches, joint pain, etc. 
Strengthens the body's immune system - 
In many different and subtle ways, succinic acid helps boost the body's own natural healing ability and immune system. 
 Restoring Energy – 
The human body naturally produces succinic acid. The salt of succinic acid (succinate) is one of the most active substances in the processes of cellular respiration and intercellular energy creation. Succinic acid restores oxygen and energy supply to depleted cells and helps the body return to a normal, functioning state. 

Inspired by Finn is a company local to me, with stellar customer service and a serious selection of amber and other pain alleviating products. Inspired by Finn also carries Hazelwood, adult amber jewelry, Babylegs and other foot and leg warming products!

So without further delay, I am announcing an Inspired by Finn Giveaway!  The winner may select any 17'' in-stock necklace or a bracelet.  There are some beautiful pieces on the site! 

What you need to do:
1.  Mandatory entry- visit the Inspired By Finn site and come back and tell me one thing you learned about Amber or Hazelwood in the comments section below!  You must do this before any other entry! 

For additional entries: (Leave a comment in the comments section below for each entry!)
2. Follow my crunchtastic blog!
3. Subscribe to me via email.
4. Subscribe to me via RSS reader.

Just can't wait? Inspired By Finn has graciously granted my readers a 20% off code to use (enter 'blog' at checkout)!!! You can click on the Inspired by Finn button to the left or visit from here .

Contest will run from 10/30/09-12/11/09.  Winner will be chosen randomly by a random number generator and announced on 12/13, after confirmation.   Enjoy!!!

Contest is now closed.  Winner will be announced on Monday!!

*please remember to complete the mandatory entry in order for your subsequent entries to count!  Leave a comment below for each entry you complete!!!*

I couldn't wait.....

So I am posting the giveaway....................... NOW!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A giveaway is coming!!!

I am looking at doing giveaways base on 'my favorite things.'  I have many, favorite things that I would love to share with you! I am excited about my first giveaway because #1, it's lovely. #2, it works!!!! #3, the customer service is second to none and #4, if you can't wait, I have a discount code for you! How's that for woo hoo!!

Be patient..... I'll get you details on Monday!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yo hablo poquito espanol......

Forgive my serious deficiency on the Spanish language! 
I shared this on my FB page, but I will share it here too..... twice today at the grocery store did people come up to me speaking spanish. One lady tried to get me to taste Clamato with tabasco sauce in it..... no gracias.  Somehow I managed to be able to tell an elderly gentleman that the turkey was 37 cents a pound, con su Fry's card. LOL.  He thanked me.  De nada.  ;)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving week countdown!

Are you ready? Man! Thanksgiving just snuck up didn't it? I almost forgot about because of all of the Christmas stuff that came out the day after Halloween! I went shopping today and got some smokin' deals at Fry's, thanks to coupons and sales.  Can we say bacon that is normally $5.99 for 77 cents? Yes honey!  I love it! 

I am working on a stenciled shirt order and a pouch for some friends, so I know that I did not post like I wanted to.  I am still excited about getting to know all of you, and giving you a glimpse into my world!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

So I am thinking......

which could be dangerous (haha), but I'll share. I am thinking that I will have a theme for each day, just so that there is a bit of order and consistency.  (For those who have gone through 'True Colors' at work, I am a gold. I am one point away from blue though, so I dub myself a gold who lives in organized chaos. I am ok with that).  I have themes assigned for every day of the week but Sunday.  Should I even blog on Sundays if I blog the other days of the week?   What do you think?  Comment away...........

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How did I miss this?

How on earth did I miss the site Happy Bambino after two babies since 2007?  This is a site after my own heart, encompassing breastfeeding, babywearing and earth friendly products for mama and baby.  Plus if you are local to the area- Madison, Wisconsin, you can go in for workshops on labor and delivery (including prenatal yoga!), breasfeeding, infant massage, signing, cloth diapering and an array of other pertinent topics! Wow!!!! The prices on items from nursing bras to slings are very competitive.  The site is going on my 'Cool With Me' list for sure. 

Right now the store/site is having a slew of giveaways, celebrating 5 years in business.  Way to go! I am looking forward to getting to know this site better!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I love to save money!!

You will quickly learn this about me! I love to save money whenever I shop and then tell people about how much money I saved! My husband will even tell friends that he is fully aware that I never pay full price for pretty much anything that comes into our house! Haha.
Anyway, a great way to save on items (especially baby and kid stuff) is to find a site like Baby Half Off.  This momma features brand new items, one at a time for rock bottom prices.  She lives in the same state as me, which puts her on my 'cool with me' list! So here is the first of my many money saving links! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Let me introduce myself!

I am so excited to start this new blog.  I am looking forward to getting to meet like minded families who enjoy living green, saving money and having fun all at the same time.

My name is Abby and I married to a wonderful man since 2003.  We have three children, 2 dogs, 1 SUV and a mortage.  I thank God each and every day for all of them! I love taking pictures, upcycling, and all (ok most) things handmade.  I can hold my own with a sewing machine and for some reason, my creativity comes in spurts.

I have a store on at but it is currently unstocked.  Why? My creativity comes in spurts.  I do plan on stocking onesies and tees again at one point, but I would really like to give this blog a go.

Again, please bear with me as I get this blog rolling and as I figure out how to link the cool buttons on the above bar to some kind of significant information! ;)  Until then, here are some pics for you to enjoy!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Alright! Welcome to my blog! My intention is to do a little bit of everything to reach this big world from my little world- a bit of education, some opinions, crafts, giveaways, and lots of fun! Sit back and enjoy while I get things up and running.  Stay tuned!
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