Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Something I Don't Like About Trader Joe's

I am not the kind of mom who needs to have my kids on organic foods only. I am not saying there's ANYTHING bad about that, it's just not for me. So, we don't do the majority of our shopping at Trader Joe's. But we do like to get the Two-Buck Chuck wines from there, as well as our bagged salad, and some fruits and veggies, because they tend to be a little cheaper than the big grocery store chains. We also love the organic Tortilla Chips from Trader Joe's, not to mention the Belgian Chocolate (which I have mentioned before on this blog). There are quite a few things we get from Trader Joe's that I really like.

But something that I DON'T like about Trader Joe's, is that they don't offer coupons! Why is that? I really, really, REALLY wish they would offer coupons! Even if it's just an in-store coupon. I always like leaving a store feeling as if I've saved a little money, after I use coupons. I normally leave Trader Joe's, cringing at the amount on the receipt...or I cringe when my hubby brings the receipt home.

Trader Joe's, please offer coupons!!!!

Mama Bear

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ruffle Corsage T-Shirt Tutorial

I just made my 20 month old daughter a darling skirt, and I wanted to find something to embellish a white Old Navy bodysuit to match. I was looking for a tutorial on how to make those fabric rosettes.

I did find a tutorial for those AND for this darling Ruffle Corsage T-Shirt!!! Now, I only need to choose which one I want to do, because they are BOTH CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!!!!!

Check out MySparkle's blog for some really cute DIY ideas, as well as the rosette tutorial and the Ruffle Corsage T-Shirt tutorial.

Mama Bear

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Traveling with Kids

Traveling with kids is never really easy. I have never traveled a long distance with all three of our kids, until last week. The longest we had ever gone before was about an hour and a half from the Bay Area to Monterey. Last week, we FLEW, yes flew to Kansas City, Missouri. We had planned to fly in to Missouri, rent a car, and drive down to Branson to spend the week with my parents at their timeshare, and visit a favorite place from my childhood (and up through my adulthood)...Silver Dollar City.

The only thing was, we didn't want to lug our car seats through the airports, along with our six suitcases, our stroller, our eight carry-on bags, and our kiddos! We looked at renting car seats from the rental car place that we used (Avis), but it would've been about $140 for the week. Surely we could find something cheaper, right?

RIGHT! We found EX4U Baby Equipment Rental in Kansas City. Mallory Kleinhen is the owner of this business and was SO great to work with! I was able to contact her via email a little over a week before our trip, and she set it up to where she would bring two car seats (shown in the photos above) for our little ones TO the airport, TO the car rental counter, where we would be picking up our rental car. The only thing we didn't plan on was our plane being delayed, and us getting to the car rental counter about an hour or so later than we had originally talked about with Mallory.

Mallory was gracious enough to WAIT for us, and we are so glad she did! She made things SUPER easy for us! I let her know when we would be flying out of KC, and she arranged to meet us at Avis again, to pick up the seats. She had three boys with her each time (I'm assuming they were her boys), and so we are so blessed that they were so patient with us.

The cost to rent these two car seats, including delivery TO the airport? $95!!! YAHOO!!! If you are in the KC area, or need to fly into the KC area with your kids, or if your grandkids are coming for a visit and you don't have baby equipment, be sure to check out Mallory's website: EZ4U Baby Equipment Rental. She has everything you would need from car seats, to pack and plays, to high chairs, and even baby monitors! Oh, and you can call her too: 816-645-7351

Be sure to let Mallory know that I sent you (Angie Ochoa). You'll probably not get any special deal, but you will get GREAT service!

Hmmm, wonder if there is a service like this in the Bay Area???

One Happy Mama Bear

Monday, May 23, 2011

JOPLIN, MISSOURI Tornado Disaster Relief

My heart is breaking for those who have been severely affected by the tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri yesterday. This part of the country is one of my favorite parts of our nation. I grew up going to Branson and Silver Dollar City, and our family almost moved to Joplin in the 90's. In fact, we were just in Branson for the past week, and my parents drove through Joplin on their way home to New Mexico yesterday. They missed the tornado by several hours, and I praise God that they are safe, but I ache for those who have been affected, and have lost family members, and homes.

I will be giving 40% of each sale of the printable digital file that you see at the top of this post, to Convoy of Hope for the Disaster Relief for Joplin. You can purchase it HERE or click on the photo above to purchase. This is super easy to get printed. Just upload it to your favorite photo lab, online or local, and have it printed just like you would an 8x10 photo. Choose any color for the background.

I will also be giving 20% of all other sales from my Blackberry Cottage Home Decor shop on Etsy and also from my Bear River Photo Greetings shop on Etsy to Convoy of Hope to help with Disaster Relief for Joplin. I will be doing this at LEAST through the end of the month. If you don't want the print, but want to help out, please feel free to donate on your own.

To make a donation to Convoy of Hope, please visit their website at www.ConvoyOfHope.org and click on the "Donate Now" button at the top of the page. You can find out more about what Convoy of Hope is doing in Joplin right now, by clicking HERE.

To make a donation to the Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC, 20013.

God bless you and keep you.

Mama Bear

Monday, May 2, 2011

Baking Soda is AMAZING!

I absolutely LOVE all of the wonderful things that Baking Soda is good for. Of course, you use it in baking, but there's much more that it can do.

I use it on a regular basis when I have laundry that has gone into the hamper a bit damp, and I haven't been able to get to the laundry for a few days...to wash it. I simply put my laundry detergent in the washer with the clothes, and then about a half cup of baking soda. This helps to take out the bad smells and freshen laundry. I know you know those bad smells I'm talking about! Like when your towels REEK, and that nasty smell seems to not ever come out, and you're drying your body with a fresh, clean towel, that doesn't smell so fresh and clean. Yeah, that's that bad smell I'm talking about!

I also like to use baking soda for scrubbing my flat-top stove top. It's a very gentle, non-abrasive, non-scratching cleanser. Just add a bit of warm dish water, and scrub!

Another way to use it, which I personally have done and DON'T like, but it works, is for an antacid. When you have severe heartburn or acid reflux, just put about a half a teaspoon in 4 ounces of water, stir and drink it down FAST!

You can also use it for brushing your teeth. A paste made with baking soda and water does the job...and it helps whiten!

I have also read that it is good for the following:

Bee stings or mosquito bites (in paste form)

Shampoo and/or soap (helps soften without drying out skin, and it also removes the gunky build-up from hair products)

Used with vinegar, it's good for getting rid of mold.

Cleaning wedding rings

Softening beans that you're cooking.

Taking the "bitter" out of sweet tea (just a pinch'll do!)

Sweetening up spaghetti sauce without adding sugar.

So, tell me, what do YOU use baking soda for? Any great tips? I'd love to hear!

Mama Bear