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randomosity: April 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Grand Opening!

***Do not forget to get your Sunday paper today! LOTS of coupons. I think they are trying to make up for us not getting any last week. :) There are lots of razor coupons and a few stores have them on sale as well so stock up, stack those coupons, and save that money!***

Today is my Mary Kay Grand Opening, so I won't be online much! Just wanted to let you all know about it so you could stop by and register on my website. NO purchase necessary, just register and you'll get an email or two a month about sales/deals I'm offering. Just for registering, you're entered into a drawing to win a prize. :) You can also "LIKE" my page on Facebook.

Since becoming a Mary Kay rep, I have changed quite a bit. I went from an acne-covered-non-makeup-wearing-blah-haircut-sporting-momma... to something... well, completely different. :) My face is cleared up, I know how to take care of my skin and apply makeup, and I actually got a cute haircut. I wore a dress today for the first time in years, along with some wedges (even though I'm 6'2"). I feel great. If nothing else, I've gained confidence... and that is priceless.

Now I'm just rambling, but really I'm so happy about the positive changes in my life lately sometimes I can't stop talking about them. :) They're well deserved... I've been waiting for something "good" for a while. Thank you for supporting me along the way, I truly appreciate it. Now, for the "reveal"...

My face (one of my first NON edited pictures in.. forever):

My hair (excuse the tired face, it was early!):

My outfit (I've lost 25lbs):

I was using the Velocity cleanser & moisturizer at first but now that my face has cleared up I've started using the Timewise oily-combination cleanser and the normal-dry moisturizer. My skin looks and feels absolutely amazing. What I'm really looking forward to trying is the microdermabrasion set.

What is your favorite Mary Kay product?


Friday, April 29, 2011

Our Family Portrait

My project was featured over at Karina's Challenge. :) Check it out!

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Couponing for Extreme Beginners


I got a few messages asking for more tips/tricks for actual couponing virgins, so I threw together a few ideas and I hope these help. Feel free to email me any time or leave a comment if you have questions. If this info is too basic, check out my couponing series (week 1, 2, 3).

This will all be kind of scattered, as I am thinking of these as I type.

*If something is on sale for 10 for $10, you don't have to buy 10 to get the sale price unless it specifically says so (which is rare). When I first discovered a Schnucks (they do 10/$10 a lot), I thought you had to buy all 10. I ended up buying 10 jell-o's, 10 two-liter sodas, etc etc. My roommates laughed at me when I got back home and was complaining about having to buy 10 to "get such a good deal". Just buy 1 and it's $1. 2 and it's $2. You get the concept. :)

*Find out if your store doubles coupons. If they do, find out the maximum value they will double for. Most stores will only double up to a dollar.

*I don't use abbreviations or acronyms when talking about coupons, but some folks do. This site breaks it down for you.

*Visit your store online and find their coupon policy. Print it out and carry it with you in your coupon binder every time you visit. If you have any problems, or questions, you can easily refer to it because it will be in the back of your binder (use a sheet protector). (Wal-Mart's NEW coupon policy - 4/2011 - is here.)

*Make sure your store takes internet coupons before you go crazy and print 872389473 of them. Many stores do not.

*Ask for rain checks. Many stores will offer rain checks if they are out of the items you are after. If there is a great sale going on, and you have coupons, you want a rain check. Just hope the coupons don't expire before they fulfill the check. :) On the flip side, a rain check allows you some extra time to come up with more coupons to use!

*It is usually a better deal to buy the smaller size. The larger size will be cheaper with a coupon but sometimes the smaller size is free!

*Get coupons! Besides the newspaper, you can check my past posts... or visit these sites to sign up for mailings: Baby coupons, General coupons

*Pictures of other coupon binders and organizers can be found here.

*Sometimes being a suck up pays off. Contact the company and give them positive feedback, and they will send you coupons and/or free stuff. Extensive list of companies and numbers.

*This part isn't quite about couponing but it will save money. Organize your grocery list by the part in the store the items are in. For example, if aisle one has bread and snack cakes, you would write them next to each other on the list.

*And, just for kicks, in case you want to go all 'extreme' couponing on me... your very own dumpster diving tool kit. No, I'm serious. Click it.

I know this is simple stuff for some of us, but I was asked to go back to the verrrrrrry basics. So I hope this helped. Add your tips to the comments!

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Casting Call

I'm looking for blogs that would like to advertise here! You just need to send me your button and post my button on your blog. :) If I get more than 20 buttons I will rotate them or start another page for them just so the front page isn't too messy. Email them to: randomosityblog AT gmail DOT com

I will be posting again later today, or tomorrow morning. Things have been hectic around here. :) I have an awesome project that I guest posted on someone else's blog. As soon as they post it I will give you all the link!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Jenelle is trying out for her talent show at school tomorrow. She is SO nervous, I think she might pass out. She made a few mistakes in this video, but we are working on it. She's had less than a week to learn this song, so I think she did well. :) I'm so nervous FOR her! I will post an update with how she did, and if she gets chosen for the talent show, when I find out.


Best Selling No-Sew Tutu E-Book

Who doesn't absolutely love tutus? They have been my life for about 2 years now, since opening Nellie Bug's back in 2009. I realize there are lots of no-sew tutu tutorials on the web. Many are free, and many are for sale. I've been selling this exact e-book for a while now, and have had 100% positive feedback! So I am confident that you will fall in love with it! :)


As most of you know, I sold Nellie Bug's recently. While it was sad, it was happy at the same time because a fellow tutu maker took over my business. She learned how to make tutus from my e-book, and started her own business. And now she owns Nellie Bug's! It's amazing what a little hard work can do for you. If you want to start your own boutique business, go for it! You can do it.


This tutu e-book has been one of my best sellers for a long time! These instructions will show you how to make THE best no-sew tutus. I held nothing back. I am not keeping any secrets. It's all laid out in black and white in this e-book. You can view it, you can print it, and please.. please share it!! (Share the link to this post, please.) This e-book also includes my oh-so-easy cutting method which will save you tons of time and guarantee always even tulle!

Aloha Hawaiian Tutu

You can easily make your own no-sew tutu for under $10. Sometimes even as little as $5. You will use about 100 yards of tulle for each tutu unless you are doing newborn sizes, then it will be less. If you have any questions whatsoever, please ask. :)

Click HERE to access the e-book. It's in google doc format. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of it!

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Monday, April 25, 2011


I'm here to announce the winners of my two giveaways! Are you excited?

ARE ... YOU ... EXCIIIIIITED? Well, I am. :)

Heather said...



Anonymous was #20 but I don't know who she is! :( No email address, no name even. So the next comment down wins.

cyndimowry said...

Would LOVE to win Set #1

Congratulations!! I will email you both and you have 72 hours to respond!! Thank you to everyone who participated in my giveaways. There are more to come!


Meatless Monday: Round-Up

Meatless Monday

To be honest, our meatless dishes are pretty boring. We've done baked mac & cheese and loaded baked potato soup, but really most of the things we eat aren't worth blogging about. Last week we had meatless spaghetti casserole. This week we are having egg 'cupcakes'. Nothing too special! So, this week I'm doing another round-up. I'm a pretty picky eater, especially when it comes to veggies, but I'm trying to be a little more daring when it comes to trying new foods. :)

Mushroom Rigatoni Bake

Asian: Veggie Fried Rice

Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce

Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches

Grilled Vegetable and Mozzarella Sandwiches

You can click here for 160 vegetarian dishes, here for 20 meatless dishes that will save you $$, or here for some great meatless recipes from a fellow blogger. Feel free to leave your own Meatless Monday links in the comments!

Help me out, which meatless recipes would you like me to blog about?

**Featured today: My Mary Kay Shop. Visit on Facebook, too!**

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Our weekend

**Giveaways (1 & 2) ending tomorrow.**

Happy Easter, everyone out there in blogland! :) Just wanted to share a few pictures from this weekend. I've decided I will be adding more personal info and pics to my blog on the weekends so you can get to know me better. Post a link to your blog in the comments because I'd like to get to know you, too!

We found a cute little turtle while walking on Friday (we let him go after a few hours), and the girls had a great Easter morning. :)

Dying (and eating) eggs.

And, of course, Sapphire stealing an egg from her sister's basket!

Unfortunately, St. Louis was hit by tornadoes this weekend. :( On Good Friday, a steeple was torn off a local church while services were going on. St. Louis/Lambert airport was closed down all weekend. It's only partially up and running now. Hundreds of homes were destroyed, almost 50,000 were without power. There is going to be a lot of flooding in the area, as it has been raining for a week straight and there are no signs of it letting up until Wednesday or Thursday.

This is INSIDE the airport.. you can see out into the parking lot..

Outside the airport...

On the highway (Hwy 270 was closed in BOTH directions for HOURS):

We got 4" hail.

Please keep St. Louis in your thoughts (and prayers, if you pray), as we have not seen anything like this in over 40 years. The news said it was an F4 tornado that did most of the damage. Another tornado missed our home by only a few miles. :(

Friday, April 22, 2011

Week 3: Couponing

Since this is week 3, I thought maybe you guys were ready for a huge couponing resource list. These websites will all help you save money, but if you think you are going to get overwhelmed just do a few at a time. :)

Would you like to know more about DOUBLE coupons? Click here to see which stores (by state) double.

There are no inserts in our Sunday paper this week. :( So, click HERE to be entered to win over $200 in coupons. Giveaway ends soon!

{RIGHT CLICK ON EACH LINK. HIT "OPEN IN NEW TAB". I did not format these to open in new tabs. If you don't do this, you surely will get lost in blogland.}

Frugal Follies
Single Mom Saving Money
Bluegrass Savers
Sunday Coupon Preview
Obsessive Coupon Disorder
Suzy Coupons

And don't forget to check out Couponing Week 1 and 2 for other great resources.

{**Featured today: The Spaceyard. Please check them out on Facebook. If you'd like to be featured, email me (randomosityblog AT gmail DOT com)!**}

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Marshmallow Brownies

Okay, so this one is super easy.

You just need: boxed brownie mix, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips (not pictured).

Grease/spray your 9x9 (or whatever size) pan. Preheat oven according to directions. Mix brownie mix, then bake until 15 minutes before your brownies are supposed to be done.

15 minutes before the time is up, add marshmallows,

and chocolate chips.

Finish baking. You can bake a little longer if you want the marshmallows to brown.

Grease/spray knife before attempting to cut. :)

This is best served warm with ice cream!! But it's great after it's completely cooled off, too.

Let me know what you think when you try it! And don't forget to check out my other recipes here.

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Baked S'mores!

You will need:

1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 stick butter at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 graham cracker sheets
1 tsp baking powder
4 regular or 2 large Hershey's bars
1 egg
1 1/3 c. flour
1 cup marshmallow creme or 2 cups marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla extract

{Make graham crackers into crumbs, or use 1 cup already prepared crumbs. Grease 9x9 glass baking dish.}

Preheat oven to 350*F. Mix together wet ingredients (butter, egg, vanilla). Add sugar and brown sugar and set aside. In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and graham cracker crumbs. Slowly add the second mixture to the first and mix with electric mixer.

Roll graham cracker mixture into a ball. Divide in half. Take the first half and press into the bottom of your greased 9x9 baking dish.

This is what it should look like when you're done.

Add Hershey's.

Sneak a bite of the leftovers. Shhhh.

Add marshmallows or marshmallow creme. We used cream but I recommend using mini marshmallows. I think it would taste much better!

Take the other half of the prepared graham cracker crust and roll it out flat. You can do this in pieces, in your hand, or you can flour your counter-top and attempt it there. :) I think I used a little more than half on the bottom so my top crust wasn't as pretty. :(

Bake at 350*F for 35 minutes, and let cool before cutting.

These would be great to take to a pot luck, BBQ, etc. They cut up into squares quite nicely. Try them and let me know what ya think.

I am going to add a marshmallow brownie recipe later today, and next week will be the last edition of Mouth Watering Wednesdays... I'm transitioning into healthier recipes after that. So enjoy these goodies while they last!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We're not in Kansas anymore, folks!

Okay so I typed a bunch of stuff and it disappeared. Hmm....

Anyway, long story short, there are tornadoes on the ground in our area so I have not been online much this evening. We also got a note sent home that tomorrow some high schoolers are planning on "doing harm" to some of the students at our children's school, so we are keeping the kids home. Then Spring Break starts on Thursday. Soooo.. we've been busy but I will be blogging again tomorrow!

Here is a sneak peek at what I will be blogging about... :)

And I'm thinking about changing "Mouth Watering Wednesdays" to "Melt Your Waist Wednesdays", because I've gained back 2 of the 25lbs I've recently lost! I know it's because of these awesome desserts! lol UGH!

Stay safe everyone!
Sorry for the delay in posting, tomorrow we will hopefully be able to resume our regularly scheduled program. :) There are tornadoes touching down here in Missouri and it's a bit scary but so far so good! The sirens are going off (which has never happened in our town before! At least not since I moved here 3 years ago)... and the kids are scared. There's also a scary threat for our kid's school tomorrow (they even sent a note home). So lots going on, but like I said I hope to start up again tomorrow. Here is a sneak peek of what is to come. :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Menu Plan for the Week 4/17

I have added about $100 worth of coupons to the giveaway that is happening next Monday. So be sure to comment on that post to be entered. :)

B: cereal & yogurt
L: mac & cheese with soy sauce
D: meatless spaghetti

B: bananas on toast
L: cheese quesadillas & fruit
D: pancakes and turkey bacon

B: cereal & yogurt
L: egg "cupcakes"
D: stir-fry

B: eggs and toast
L: grilled cheese with tomatoes, fruit on the side
D: chicken pot pie (home-made)

B: cereal & yogurt
L: rice with veggies
D: chili with turkey instead of beef

B: waffles, egg cupcakes, and turkey bacon
L: grilled sandwiches
D: broccoli & rice casserole

You might notice we don't have a lot of variety, especially for breakfast. The girls eat breakfast at school so we usually just eat whatever, but our back-up is cereal and yogurt. :) We eat a lot of eggs because they're cheap, and lately we have been eating a lot of waffles/pancakes because I got a great deal on some boxed mix last week.

Snacks are always fresh fruit (pineapples, bananas, apples, and strawberries this week), and each meal usually has fruit or veggies too. I just don't outline which ones on the menu.

Don't remember to grab your Sunday paper and clip coupons today. Our grocery bill used to be $100 a week, for our family of 5, but we started eating a little healthier and the bill went up to $125-$150. :( Now that I've started price matching and using coupons, we have saved a lot. Last week our groceries were $80. This week... EVEN LESS! It's not SUPER healthy by any means but we have lots of fresh fruits for snacks. I will post more about it on Friday. :)

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Random Post :)

I will post our menu plan later today. How was your weekend?? Mine was great. The kids and I played tennis for the first time yesterday. Went over to Goodwill and bought their racquets for $1.99 each!

Don't forget to grab a Sunday paper or two today! Keep an eye out for ad inserts if you are price matching, and clip coupons if you want to save some money!

Check out Goodwill for a binder for couponing - they're .69 instead of $4 like at office supply stores.

If you love winning free stuff, comment on my $200+ coupon & Gift Card giveaway.

If you're in the mood for shopping, check out Groupon, Urban Dealight, Living Social, DealPulp, SaleADay, and 13Deals.

If you want to earn cash back on shopping, sign up for free over at EBates.

I'm going to be posting about Mystery Shopping soon, so if you are interested in working for yourself you might want to check back in! :)

And if you've ever considered direct sales but didn't know where to start, visit my Mary Kay page. During the month of April, it's only $50 to sign up and you get $400+ in products. You aren't required to sell anything, but it is a great money maker (you earn 50%). I signed up just for the discount and am already selling because MK products sell themselves.

Thanks for stopping by, and if you know of any good blog hops please let me know because I am looking for some new ones to join!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Quick: Sweet Deal!

*UPDATE* Try coupon code WELCOME5 -- it should give you $5 off!! I did not see this coupon until after using my $4 off. Let me know if it works! :)

I usually don't post these things but I just scored a pretty sweet deal, so I'm going to share! :)

$6 $5 for a 1 year subscription to Nat Geo for Kids. See below for details on how to save.

It's free to sign up for E-Bates, so do that real quick and then come back to this post. :) Then visit Mamapedia and look for the Nat Geo offer (should be on the right side of the page). Click "BUY" and then in the promo code box, type INTRO4. You will save $4! That makes the subscription to Nat Geo for Kids only $6 for an entire year. On top of that, you will get 4% of that put into your E-Bates account! How cool is that? Considering Nat Geo for Kids is usually $24 for a year, I'd say that is a pretty SWEET DEAL.

Share your sweet deals in the comments!

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Friday, April 15, 2011

HUGE Coupon & Gift Card Giveaway!!!

As a THANK YOU for reading my blog, I'm giving away a HUUUUUGE stack of coupons and a $5 Target Gift Card. 95% of these coupons are manufacturer's coupons but about 5% are Target coupons. Not the ones that come in the papers, ones that I won in a contest on Cafemom. I am not about to count and see how much they are all worth, but my guess is about $200. Probably quite a bit more. This is a GREAT way to get started couponing or add to your current stash!

Yes, $200 in coupons! Yours for the taking!

Some coupons you can expect to see in this stack:

~cleaning products
~dish soap
~hair care products
~and more!

All you have to do is follow my blog (just click on "FOLLOW" over there to the left) and leave a comment WITH YOUR EMAIL. To avoid spam bots, leave it in this format: randomosityblog AT gmail DOT com. Get it? Got it? Good! :)

You can get THREE extra entries by doing the following. Leave a separate comment (with your email) for each. This is OPTIONAL.

~"LIKE" Randomosity and POST about this giveaway on Facebook.
~Follow me on Twitter and TWEET about this giveaway.
~Tell me how much you have saved by using coupons in the past 2 weeks. :)

*This is not mandatory but if you could vote for me on the top mommy blogs I'd really appreciate it. Just click here or over there where it says Top Mommy Bloggers>> and then when it takes you to the site click on the ENTER button to confirm that you are voting for me. I'd REALLY appreciate it.*

Giveaway ends 4/25/2011 at 9PM - just like my COASTERS giveaway. :) I will announce the winner the next day.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Frugal Friday: COUPONING Week 2

Price matching!! Yay! This is my favorite way to save money, because I don't always buy the things that coupons are available for. If you have a super Wal-Mart near you, they price match (brand for brand) so head over there after reading this post, and let me know how much you saved! If you don't have a Wal-Mart, call your local stores to see which ones (if any) offer price matching.

Keep in mind that most stores allow you to use a manufacturer's coupon as well as a store coupon on a single item. If you combine that great deal with price matching, you're going to save a ton! Be patient. Hear me out. :)

Let's start with simple price matching. Wal-Mart sells pineapples for $3.50 (prices change a LOT, but let's go with it). Aldi has them on sale for $.99 this week. You save $2.51!

Now, price matching with a coupon. Not sure how much cereal is at Wal-Mart this week but it's usually over $3 a box. Schnucks has Kellogg's on sale for $1.77, and I got a coupon out of the newspaper for $1.50 off 3 boxes.

Here are a few other examples:

Now you really want to save some cash? Let's do a price match, manufacturer's coupon, and a store coupon!

If you have a store that doubles coupons, don't forget to try them out as well - even if they don't offer price matching. Some stores will only double up to a certain amount, or only on certain days, so be sure to check their policies before going.

Like I said last week, I'm not an extreme couponer. I have no plan, desire, or need to be one. I buy only what we need. However, I have just started planning our menus around sales and coupons, which saves even more money. We slashed our grocery bill from $150 down to $125 when I first started using coupons. Since I started using my binder and price matching, I've slashed our bill from $125 to $80. This isn't $500 worth of groceries for $25 like on TLC, but it's what works for us. :)

The best deals I've found are with coupons on shampoo, deodorant, razors, toothpaste, makeup, hair care products, and frozen/canned/boxed foods.

The best deals I've found with price matching are with produce, meat, and drinks/snacks.

Keep in mind that they only match the same price on the SAME BRAND. And don't forget to bring your ads with you (I circle all of the products I'm price matching) to the check-out or they won't do you any good. :)

If you have any questions please let me know. Sometimes I get to typing and it doesn't make as much sense as it did in my head! So if you are confused at all, just ask. If you don't have a store that price matches, don't get discouraged. Check out last week's post for great coupon sites. You can save LOTS by printing coupons. I only use the Sunday paper and have cut my grocery bill quite a bit. I know you can do the same!

See Week 3!

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School Time: Paint Chip Learning Tools

A FREE project! I'm all about inexpensive homeschooling tools. This one is really versatile.

You'll need: Paint chips/cards, hole punch, and thin ribbon.

Choose a side. Punch a hole (or two).

You can write numbers, colors, letters, etc. Tie the ribbon through
the hole, or you can use a jump ring.

We made a book of colors (above), and an addition book (below).

And a vocabulary book (will be adding definitions, too!).

Store them in a cute little shoe box! :)

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