Sunday, January 31, 2010

Last Call for the Coupon Train...Any Passengers?

I've heard from a few of you concerning the Coupon Train. If you think you might be interested, please let me know. We really need at least five to make it work. If you have questions, don't hesitate to email or leave a comment.

If you want to be included, please leave a comment here. I'll make a decision by the end of this week - go or no go. I would love to get it started!! I have SO many coupons that need good homes!

3T Boy's Clothes - Ebay Listing!

I just wanted to let you know about a listing I just posted on Ebay for a GREAT lot of 50+ boy's items, mostly size 3T...with a starting bid of $5! If you're like me, it's always nice to find a great deal on children's clothes. They grow so fast!! I just found a shirt on my son's life sized Biscuit Puppy that still has the 4T sticker on it - and he's now wearing 5T! So, he never wore it - because - I didn't realize it was on Biscuit - and obviously, since I didn't miss it, he had plenty of clothes to spare - ha! If you're looking for a great school/play lot for the little boy in your life and you need a size 3T, be sure to check out my auction here.

Just to let you know, I've agreed to help a family member list a HUGE amount of his "stash" on Ebay. If you're looking for cameras or camera supplies...lens, straps, etc...mostly Nikon OR Nascar, trucking, CAT cars and vehicles collectible items - all in the boxes - you'll definitely want to be watching for those to come soon. I have 6 boxes of items to list for him - if I can ever get around to it!! If you're interested in knowing when these things go up, let me know...I'll do my best to share!!

Have a listing on Ebay you would like to let the readers of Champagne Wisdom know about? Feel free to leave a comment below!

More Winners!

It's so exciting to announce winners!! A big congratulations goes out to tonight's giveaway winners:

The winner of the Plush Valentine Puppy from Gone Doggie is:

Holly @ InkPaperStamps said...

awwww, her name's Valerie--what a precious pup!

But I have to say, of all the goodies in the shop, the pink and black Scottie-print tote is my favorite.

Bet your son adores his dino-pup, CW!


The winner of the Chalkboard to Go from Red Earth Girl is:

Jen @ GBG said...

I added RedEarthGirl to my Etsy favorites. I am Scraps2treasures on Etsy.
ssovrnej (at)

Congrats to the winners! You have both been emailed. Please respond within 48 hours with your shipping info or another winner will be generated using Thanks to everyone who entered!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Today's Winners!

Winners...oh boy! It's time to announce the winners of our first two Valentine's Day Giveaways - yippee!!

Congratulations to the winner of the Raptor Baby Valentine Besties Toy Set...

debbiekl said...

I'd love to give this little set to my son.


And congratulations to the winner of the Om Sewn Creations Valentine Tutu and Onesie Set...

nicole said...

love the Black Fish Itty Bitty Legs too!

Yay!! We'll have more winners tomorrow...if you haven't entered the remaining giveaways, be sure to enter - it could be you!!

Winners have been notified by email. A new winner will be generated upon the event of no response within 48 hours. Thanks to all who entered!!

Free Chips and Queso from Chili's

MAN! We JUST went to Chili's last night and I SO could have used this!! We actually ordered this as an appetizer and trust wasn't free! Go here to sign up for Chili's Email Club and get a coupon for free chips and coupons and deals sent right to your email. We very rarely go out to eat unless we find coupons and deals...I could kick myself for not having this last night! Oh well...hope some of you can use it!

Free Earrings from DarcusTori

The code listed in this post is currently working for ALL stud earrings priced at $59.95 - I just bought 3 pair - and paid only shipping. Yay!! My pink studs arrived today and they're GORGEOUS!

DarcusTori offers a free jewelry item about once a month. I've ordered several of the free offers - mostly earrings - and have been VERY pleased!! They're great as gifts - or to keep for yourself! The ones they're offering this month would be PERFECT for Valentine's Day!! I don't know if they'll get here in time, but for free - it might be worth taking a chance!! There's a shipping charge of $5.95, but the earrings sell for $59.95 - so that's a great deal for sterling silver earrings!

Here's what they're offering this month:

Round Pink Diamond Stud Earrings
Size: 6mm
Stones: Simulated Pink Diamond
Precious Metal: Setting Genuine .925 Sterling Silver mountings, posts and backs
Packaging: Gift Boxed!

Just go here to get your free earrings and follow the instructions below...

1. Add the earrings to your shopping cart.
2. Use promotion code: 0801
3. Click the ADD button to activate the code.
4. Complete checkout. Be sure to UNcheck the "insurance" option, unless you want to add insurance for $1.10 more. I usually don't pay for insurance. They've always arrived just fine!

You can checkout through PayPal with this company, so that's always a plus in my book - no getting up to find my purse and credit cards!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cracking Down or Cracking Up?

Do you ever have one of those moments when you should be supporting your significant other, disciplining your child, but you find yourself holding back your laughter and hiding behind something because you're about to BURST out laughing?? I had one of those moments tonight.

We had a loooong night last night. The Short One was up alll night whining, saying he heard a robber, call the police, I need to snuggle and on and on and on. I ended up in his twin bed with him at one point. He ended up in between my husband and I in our bed at another point. We just all tossed and turned all night. He was faking. He was MAKING himself physically tremble. We had a 120lb dog asleep in the hall. We had our security system me...NO ONE was "robbing" our house. The Short One is going through this phase where he REFUSES to go to sleep - no matter how early I put him to bed, no matter how long I read to him, tuck him in, check for monsters, it a phase???? Whatever it is, it's getting old.

So...tonight my husband told him he was limiting his TV intake. He was NOT watching anything remotely scary. His exact words were, "I'm cracking down on your TV shows". They talked back and forth, naming a few cartoons specifically that would be off limits, The Short One whined, "daddy" stood his ground and once again, said more sternly, "I am cracking down" which The Short One replied, "You mean up"...

I almost lost it. I had to turn around and look at the wall. Cracking UP instead of cracking DOWN?? How did he even make that quick connection and turn it around so smoothly? I was impressed...Cracking up, cracking down...I just want to sleep tonight!!

Do You AR?

Do you have a child who participates in Accelerated Reader at school? Also known as AR, Accelerated Reader is a program often used in schools as a tool to improve reading comprehension. Each school uses it differently, some mandate a certain number of tests, others are more flexible. Like it or not, I don't want to get into "The Great AR Debate", but instead, offer a tool that may be of assistance if you have a child participating in AR at school. While some school systems have online AR programs where parents can log on and check the student's AR record, others do not.

AR Book Find is a great resource to find levels for AR books. Often times students want to take tests on books from home or the public library, but you may not be sure if the book qualifies for an AR test - and what level it's on for that matter. AR Book Find ( will allow you to put in ANY book title and pull up whether there is an AR test for the book as well as the level. I hope some of you will find this useful!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Valentine Giveaways Galore!

Don't forget to enter the AWESOME giveaways going on in celebration of all things Etsy and Valentine's Day!! These giveaways are ending within a week, so don't get left out - you may be the next winner! Just click on the links below to go straight to the giveaway page:

Raptor Baby: Wooden Toy Set

Om Sewn Creations: Valentine's Day Onesie/Tutu Set

Red Earth Girl: Chalkboard to Go

Gone Doggie: Plush Valentine Puppy

ElizaGraham: I Heart Mom or I Heart Dad Shirt

Bath & Beads Etc: Heart Fizzie Bath Set

Tweet Memories: Valentine's Day Banner

Good luck! I can't wait to see who the winners are!

Coupon Train, Anyone?

I LOVE coupons. I'm a coupon clipper. I save big bucks by using coupons, matching them to sales, pairing them with extra care bucks, etc. If any of you use coupons like I do, you might be interested in a coupon train! I would be MORE than willing to start a train for the readers of Champagne Wisdom...if we have enough interests. A coupon train basically works like this...I'll place 20-30 coupons in an envelope with a list of names/address for people on "the train". I will mail it to the first person on the list. When this person receives it, he/she goes through the coupons, takes out the ones they'll use and REPLACES with the same number or more that were taken out of the envelope. Then, the envelope moves along to the next name on the list. A few good rules of thumb:

1. Take out any coupons you see have expired.

2. Mail the envelope to the next person within 2-3 days of receiving it.

3. Keep an envelope for coupons you receive/clip that you WON'T use. For example, my son is four so I don't use any baby/diaper coupons, I don't have a cat, I don't use certain makeups, I would save those for the train...Then you'll have a stash ready to go on the day the coupon train arrives in the mail.

I started THREE coupon trains last year and none of them ever made it back to me. I only put names on the lists of those who were interested, yet someone along the way failed to mail them to the next person on the list...if you're interested in participating in a coupon train, leave a comment below, but ONLY if you're willing to keep the train going. If you're not sure about it, feel free to ask more questions or take a few days to think about it. When the train stops, it ruins the fun for everyone!

We'll see who's interested and if we have at least 5 or 6, I'll put one together for us! If we have more, I can start several trains. Remember, everyone on the list will be counting on you to keep the train moving. Each time the envelope makes it's way back to me, I'll replenish before it cycles through again. I'm always getting GREAT coupons from manufacturers and websites.

Happy Coupon-ing!

Homework Lessons with The Short One

So my son, a.k.a. The Short One, doesn't like homework. We've figured this out already at the early age of four. He only goes to school three half days a week, so it's not like he has LOTS of homework. His preschool teacher has asked that we practice writing his name...ALOT. The Short One is smart. I know he's smart. I've been told by friends and strangers...he's smart. However, it's how we channel our "smartness" that makes all the difference. For The Short One, he doesn't like to sit still. He can do ALL things IF he wants to. I reviewed spelling his name with him for MONTHS, trying to get him to remember. It wasn't until I said, "You know that toy store that's JUST for kids? I bet there's something really special for you in there if you can tell daddy how to spell your name" this point he asks, "Momma, HOW do you spell my name again?"...from that point on - HE HAD IT. He knows it. It's a year later and he still knows. Because...Toys R Us made all the difference.

A few weeks ago his teacher sent home practice sheets for him to write his name. I found myself caught up in the ramblings and reasonings of a four year old. It went something like this...

Mom, I know how to spell my name, why should I have to WRITE it?

Mom, I'm only four. Why do I even have homework? I'm not in big boy school yet.

Mom, Ms. J's class doesn't have homework, why does Ms. D's class have homework?

I think Ms. D said to practice once, not a lot.

I don't WANT to write my name.

I CAN'T write my name.

It will take me forEVER.

If you get me some pudding, I MIGHT write my name.

And then I remembered...I'M the mom. No arguing. No reasoning. Just. Because. I. Am. Your. Mother. This doesn't go over well with The Short One. He wants logic. He wants answers. He wants to know why. At some point in our conversation, as The Short One was still talking, I folded his beloved blanket, reached up to place it on top of the refrigerator and something magical happened. I turned around and his homework sheet was FINISHED. Done. It was as if the homework fairy swooped down and sprinkled her fairy dust. You see, The Short One has a love affair with his blanket. Better known in our home as "tag". Because he rubs tag, he loves her, it's his snuggly. And in times like this, it comes in great handy. Thank you, Tag, for helping out with homework time. I may love you more than D, The Short One.

Easy, Yummy Peppermint Fudge

I have a YUMMY recipe for you. I usually make it for Christmas, but I was thinking - this would be PERFECT for Valentine's Day, too!! It doesn't have an overwhelming peppermint flavor, nice, sweet and just right! Every time I make it someone asks for the recipe, so...I thought I would share. After all, it HAS to be the easiest fudge recipe EVER! And, if you like it, I have one similar for a Rocky Road Fudge I can share as well...YUM-MY!! :)

12 oz. package white chocolate chips
1 tub creamy vanilla frosting (I usually use Pillsbury)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
7-10 peppermint candies, crushed
No stick cooking spray
Red food coloring
Red candy sprinkles (optional)
Aluminum foil
8x8 baking pan

Line your 8x8 glass or metal pan with aluminum foil. Spray and coat well with non-stick cooking spray, set aside. Melt your chips in the microwave. Microwave for 1 minute and stir. Microwave at 30 second intervals until chips are completely melted. Stir in peppermint flavoring and frosting. Stir well. Pour into pan. Drop food coloring in each corner. Using a knife or toothpick, swirl food coloring into fudge. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint and/or red sprinkles. Place in the refrigerator until hard. Remove, lift the fudge out of the pan using the aluminum foil, cut into squares and enjoy!

This is GREAT to drop into your coffee!! If you're a fan of peppermint mocha, you will LOVE a square of this melted in your coffee! It also makes a fun gift to cut into squares and give in a coffee mug with some single serve coffee packets.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Free Photo Book

I SO love good photo deals. I try to watch for them throughout the year and stock up for Christmas gifts...but this year, they're coming faster than I can take pictures - ha! Which I guess, is a good thing!

You can get a free 7x9, 20 page photo book from Shutterfly by using the promo code READYMADEBOOK. . . you'll pay $5 shipping, but for a great gift/photo book - that's a great deal!! These are regularly priced around $15.99!

To get started, go to Shutterfly, select the photo book tab and click on the 7x9 book. That's it - you're on your way! I always suggest sitting down to do this when you have PLENTY of time to resize and crop pictures...and decide on page layouts. Sometimes the perfect book takes a little time! :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Getting to Know You

This is a fun idea from a fellow blogger. Answer the questions and click on the button below to link up YOUR blog to the original post. I would also love you to leave a comment here with a link to your answers. I would love to see them! :) Here's a bit more about me (questions via Mann Land 5). Thanks for the fun!

1. Waffles, pancakes or french toast?
That's a hard one. I typically don't like sweet stuff for breakfast, I'm a biscuits, eggs and grits kind of gal. But, if I had to pick...waffles - Kashi with blueberries!

2. Dream home..What would it look like?
I don't even know! I'm perfectly happy where I am! If I had a bigger house, would I have to clean it?? I would LOVE to have a home with a veranda and porch swing...ah...relaxation.

3. Favorite sport to watch during the Winter Olympics?
Ice Skating, most definitely

4. The first word that comes to mind when describing yourself?

5. Dresses, pants (jeans, leggings, etc.) or skirts?
Pants in the winter, skirts in the summer

6. What is your favorite time of day?
When I come home from work each afternoon and get to spend time with my family...5:00ish

7. Beach or Mountains..which do you prefer?

8.Will you watch the Super Bowl?
In years past, I would have said no...but this year, we're having a party!! Uh - YES!! I'm a Saints fan, so...Geaux Saints!! WHO DAT!

Go here to link up and answer the questions!

Winners of the Panasonic SD Card!

***Drum Roll...*** Congratulations goes to the following've won a Panasonic SD Memory Card - yay!!

I love taking picture of my family having fun! Thanks for the chance.

I love taking pictures of the places I visit, especially the nature and architecture.

Hearts N Flowers:

Congratulations everyone! I've emailed each winner and requested your response within 48 hours or a new winner will be generated via - and we DEFINITELY don't want that to happen! Happy Winning!!

Remember to enter the Valentine Giveaways going on under the Valentine's Day tab - 8 more chances to win! Good luck everyone!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cracker Barrel's New Rewards Program

Have you heard of Cracker Barrel's new Front Porch Friend's Program? It's a free rewards program that earns you lots of great freebies throughout the year. The best part? You get $5 off your Cracker Barrel purchase of $20 or more JUST for signing up. I'm in!

As a Front Porch Friend, you'll enjoy:

* $5 off your next $20 visit to Cracker Barrel when you sign up
* Special rewards when you visit each season
* Plus, sneak peaks at new menu items, store offerings and more

Go here to sign up today!

On another note, have you heard of Cracker Barrel's Rockin' Reader Program? They're doing GREAT things for schools by donating free double rockers and a barrel bookshelf stocked full of books! I know...I'm the proud recipient of one of their grants - it's AWESOME!! Be sure to let your local school know. They can go online to apply here. You can also find my article on our school's Rockin' Reader Program here. We love you Cracker Barrel!

A Valentine Feature and Giveaway from Tickled TuTu

My favorite Etsy Shops are those that give back. There are so many great causes out there and it's nice to know we're each doing our part. That's one of the many reasons I love Tickled Tutu. Tickled TuTu, a Boutique for Girls, has some of THE cutest hair bows, headbands, tutus and other various girlie accessories. I'm telling you, if I had a girl, I would have already spent my paycheck at Tickled Tutu!! And the best thing, in my opinion? Kristen, the owner of Tickled Tutu, has created a one-of-a-kind 2010 Buy a Heart Give a Heart Tutu. What does that mean to you? For each of these tutus Kristen sells, she will donate one in your name to the Children's Hospital of Denver. That makes my heart happy!

Kristen is truly a creative soul. Everything in her shop is a must have - whether you're shopping for your own sweet girl or a friend or family member. Anything from Tickled Tutu is sure to win the heart of it's sweet recipient - PERFECT for upcoming Valentine's Day!

Kristen was kind enough to share her background, inspiration and TIME with us by recently answering a few questions. I know her answers will make you smile, as they made me:

What first caught your interest about making Tutus for little ones?
Back in November of 2009, I was sitting with my son Owen on the couch one morning and we were brainstorming gifts that we could make or purchase for our friends and family. Typically my family enjoys gifts “from the heart” rather than other material items, so it’s sometimes difficult to think of something sentimental that hasn’t already been given in Christmas’s past. I have a niece named Morgan who is just darling and her mother is pregnant with her second child, another girl. Morgan is an awesome child, just full of love and happiness, and when I got down to her name on the gift list I was stumped. I knew she loved girly things; she wears a princess dress almost every day and her parents can rarely get her to wear anything else. I knew that she also really enjoys going to dance class every so often; she can even do ballerina moves on command. So I was browsing online and came across a few beautiful tutus and thought, “this couldn’t be that difficult, I will make Morgan a beautiful tutu!” So off to the fabric store Owen and I went. If you can imagine buying all things girly with my then 4 month old son; we got a few looks to say the least. I had been in a fabric store probably twice in my life, including this visit. So after looking through what seemed like hundreds of isles of STUFF, I finally found some pretty material that I thought would be nice to make a tutu out of. Turns out it was tulle, thank goodness, because I could have been buying felt for all I knew. Owen and I came home a few hours later; I did the hand off to Dad and locked myself up in my “craft dungeon”—yes, this used to be the guest room but guests are no longer welcome in my craft dungeon unless they take serious precautions! At 3am, I had finished my first tutu. It was hideous. I cried. Then I decided to sleep it off and perhaps try again the following day; so I did just that. And what came out was the most beautiful piece of work I had ever made! I hoped Morgan would love it too; and being the type of person who can’t keep secrets for more than 12 hours, I was at Morgan’s house giving Morgan her month-early Christmas gift; on the condition that she would be my first tutu model. She loved it. And I cried again. Happy tears! The photos hoot was more than amazing. The day was beautiful, Morgan’s mom and grandmother joined us and together we took over 1,000 photos. Morgan was definitely not camera shy! After that day, I knew that I had found something that I loved; something that I could do at home with my baby, and something that would truly make me feel good about giving beautiful gifts to little girls.

What is your favorite item you've created so far and why?
I have so many favorites; I think that’s actually one of my weaknesses. I get very attached to my work because I enjoy making tutus and accessories so much that I feel like I really put my heart and soul into all that I do. I wouldn’t sell it if I didn’t love it! However, the tutu that I first gave to my niece Morgan is probably my favorite. It actually just sold last week, and as I packaged it up I wondered if the receiver of the tutu would love it as much as I did. After taking a few last photos, we parted ways at the local post office J I also really love the little Valentine’s Day onesies. Maybe it’s just the fact that they are so small and it’s hard to believe that those little items fit babies, but they do, and they look SUPER cute on!

Is there anything you would like to tell readers about yourself on a more personal level - kids, hometown, a favorite Etsy shop, pets, etc?
Well; I am a 26 year old stay at home mom to my wonderful 6 month old baby boy Owen Michael. My husband Chris and I got married in June of 2008 at the Sanctuary Golf Course in Sedalia, CO—one of the most amazing days of our lives. I previously had a job that I loved, but gave that up when the big news of what in the future would come to be known as Owen, came in December of 2008. At 25, Chris and I certainly were not in the mindset for having children, but life is funny sometimes and strangely always seems to work itself out. I remember calling my mom the night that I found out I was for sure pregnant; she was hanging the star up on her Christmas tree. I told her the news and then heard the ladder fall. (Don’t worry, no one was hurt, not even the star!) From that moment on, my mom was super excited…for a girl of course! So at 20 weeks and 1 day when I had to break the news to her that we were having a turtle (as one of my good friends refers to boys as) I could see the disappointment in her eyes for about a millisecond; and then we celebrated. 10 fingers, 10 toes, and an extra part that doesn’t come with little girls! J So in a way, I still am able to allow her to enjoy all girly things, because I now own my own business revolving around them! Maybe in a few years we will try again; but if it turns out that we are blessed with another boy, I will be just as thrilled as the first time. But for now, it’s just me, Owen, Chris and our two crazy cats—they really are insane. When we brought Owen home from the hospital for the first time, I thought it was going to take some kitty Xanax to calm down our felines.

I am originally from Kansas (GO JAYHAKWS!) and you will always find me pacing in the living room when there is a KU basketball game on. I actually can rarely sit and watch an entire game. My dad and I just send text updates every few minutes to remind each other than it’s just a game…but it’s a KU GAME!

I came across Etsy just randomly one day when googl-ing something random. I thought the site was so amazing—all of these crafters who are so talented are actually putting themselves out there and getting recognized for their awesome talents. So I joined. And thus beings the tutu adventures on Etsy! There are SO many cute shops on Etsy. I find myself staying up late at night almost every night when Chris and Owen have gone to bed just mesmerized by the things for sale on Etsy. I love the girly shops, I love the shops tailored for boys as well; just wish I knew how to make some of those boyish goods! Every time I come across a shop that blows my mind, I send a little note to the shop owner just to say, “girlfriend, you rock!” Not to say there aren’t male Etsy-ers, but so far I haven’t come across any of those shops requiring me to say “boyfriend, you rock!”…which would be weird and I would have to probably come up with another compliment.

And finally, what are your thoughts on Valentine's Day? Do you celebrate? How?
I have always enjoyed Valentine’s Day; mostly because when I was growing up my dad would send me flowers to school every single Valentine’s Day—and since I was that girl who never had a boyfriend in high school caring enough to do something like that, it always make my heart feel warm. For the past few years, Chris and I have celebrated Valentine’s Day usually with a nice dinner and a movie at home. It just seems right that way. A big snuggly pajama party. With chocolate of course. And roses are nice too. However, a few years ago we splurged and went to a really nice restaurant in Cherry Creek (part of Denver); there was a young couple, probably 16 years old on a Valentine’s Day date. We had more fun watching the two of them awkwardly interact than anything! Until the poor teenage boy got the bill for the dinner and didn’t have enough money to pay for both himself and his date’s dinner. He excused himself from the table and had to go to the pay phone to call his mom and see if she could bring him some money!! Mom didn’t answer, poor guy. I was heartbroken and had Chris slip him some cash. I hope those two are still together and get married one day and come across this blog; I don’t think the girlfriend even knew that there was a money issue going on. So cute. This year Valentine’s Day will be super special because we have our little cupid, Owen. So probably more pj parties and movies, and of course chocolates and roses J. However, I would like to share the Valentine’s Day joy with children at the Denver Children’s Hospital by donating the Buy A Heart, Give A Heart Tutu to as many of them as possible. Everyone deserves to feel the warmth in your heart and what better than to do that than with a beautiful sparkly tutu on Valentine’s Day. After having a child of my own, it makes things so much more real to understand the children that are suffering from pain and in need of help and sometimes just a hug. What I can offer are tutus; well hugs too, I have plenty of those to go around but I would love to help make a difference for as many children as possible at the Denver Children’s Hospital this Valentine’s Day.

Kristen is offering something truly amazing for Champagne Wisdom Readers. Read on to find out how you can get your hands on one of Kristen's!

For each Buy A Heart, Give A Heart tutu that is purchased, one is donated to the hospital. My family is donating 10 but I would really like to be able to give so many more to these lovely children. The first 10 people to Convo me on Etsy via my shop, Tickled Tutu, and let me know that you were referred from Champagne Wisdom will not only get a free tutu, but will also have an extra tutu donated in your name to the hospital. You will only pay shipping - $6. After the first 10, I am offering free shipping on all Buy A Heart, Give a Heart tutus. I encourage you to help me help others this Valentine’s Day. We all greatly appreciate your kindness and consideration.

Kristen, you don't know how much we appreciate you! Thank you so much for offering such a great deal to the readers of Champagne Wisdom - as well as all the smiles you bring to the children of Denver. Girlfriend, YOU rock!

Please be kind and leave a comment if you are so lucky to be one of the first ten to get a tutu from Kristen. That way, we won't bombard her with messages once the limit has been reached. But most definitely, remember the free shipping deal will still stand even after the first ten tutus have been claimed.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Short One Remembers the Rules

So The Short One came home the other day with a note from his preschool saying they are now a "peanut free zone"...with a HUGE picture of a peanut and a big red "X" over it. Okay. Fine with me. If my son were allergic, I would want his school to do the same thing. However, I have mixed feelings on this. You know, there are A LOT of kids allergic to A LOT of things...and in a way, I think - Hey! I buy Uncrustables, throw them in my son's lunchbox, he likes them AND it makes my life easier - don't take that away from me!! But another part of me says, okay, if my child were allergic to peanuts, I would want the school to do the same thing. You can't reason with 2,3,4 year olds and tell them, "Remember, don't eat anything with peanuts", because it just doesn't work that way. Anyway, with that being said...I FORGOT ABOUT THE NOTE. I'm usually REALLY good about that stuff, but I had an event at school (where I work) this week which made for a really long night and my son only goes to school 3 days a week, so somewhere during the time he was NOT in send. "THE" sandwich.

When The Short One came home from preschool on Wednesday he said, "Are you trying to get me KICKED OUT OF SCHOOL?!?!" Ummm...what? "Mom! We are NOT supposed to bring peanut butter. Some kids are ALLERGIC. Did you PLANT that in my lunchbox?!"

And how does he know the word "plant"?? mouth falls open...I AM SO SORRY!! I forgot! What did your teacher say? Did you get in trouble? She didn't send another note in your backpack...I was thinking snacks, cup cakes, I didn't even THINK about your sandwich.

To which he says, "Well good thing Ms. D didn't notice. Don't worry mom, I kept it under cover. But next time, get me a lunchable, okay?"

Well, it looks like he's going to get his way THIS TIME. Good thing HE has a good memory. Maybe I should just put that peanut with the big red "X" on his school calendar...then I'll look at it every day...and hopefully...remember.

Looks like I know what I'll be taking to work for lunch for a while...sandwiches from that giant box of Uncrustables I just bought. Yummy.

Leonardo the Terrible Monster

Here's a little book review for one has asked me to do this. No one sent me this book for free. I just LOVE this book!!

Looking for a fun book to give as a gift or to read aloud to your little one? I HIGHLY suggest Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems. Willems is a phenomenal author, writing humorous stories and adventures for young children, mostly appropriate for ages 3-6. I am a HUGE fan!! As a Library Media Specialist, I'm always looking for fun books to read to my son. I love nothing more in this world than to hear him laugh. And trust me, this book does the job - :) Now, you have to do your part, change your voice, make the characters laugh, make funny faces - THAT makes the story. I never realized how much I actually "performed" while I was reading until several people told me that I "put on a show". My dad even told my mom once, when she was about to read this book to The Short One, "I bet you can't read it like SHE does"...referring to me...hehehe...a compliment in my eyes.

This book is just pure FUN. It's sure to be a big hit with the little ones, whether you're looking for a gift to give or a book to read at your child's school...or...maybe just a bedtime story.

Here's a little synopsis from the Mo Willems website:

Leonardo is truly a terrible monster -- terrible at being a monster, that is. Despite his best efforts, he can’t seem to frighten anyone.

But when he discovers the perfect nervous little boy, will he finally scare the tuna salad out of him?

Or will he think of something even better?

You know what I love about this book? The illustrations. They're big, they're simple, they're PERFECT attention grabbers for a read aloud!!

When I read this book, one monster has a deep voice. One monster has a Spanish accent. One monster is a girl. The little boy talks in a whiny voice. And Leonardo...he talks in an evil voice. I have it down to a I can read it in my sleep. I'm sure you'll discover the perfect way to read it to your lovie dovie - it's a must that will surely be treasured for years to come!

Check out Mo's blog.

Have to have it now? You can buy it from Amazon.

$10 Eukanuba Coupon

I love coupons. I do. I admit it. I'm a coupon geek. I came across a great one recently... sign up at Eukanuba and get a $10 coupon off their puppy food - from small to large breed and everything inbetween. I don't typically buy this for our dog, but I will with this coupon - yahoo! Petco has this from $6.99 (smaller bags) on this could make for some really cheap or even free dog food. Enjoy!

Celebrate Valentine's Day with Tweet Memories: ~A Giveaway~

You know all those cute photo albums, birthday and holiday banners you WANT to create, but can't seem to find the time? Boy do I have the place for you... Welcome to Tweet Memories: YOUR place for everything you need to preserve and display your precious memories. Nicole, a professional crafter, creates custom banners and albums for anything and everything under the sun. I LOVE her Valentine's Day banner!! Her banners would be great for birthdays and parties...or even just to decorate your personal space! These would be GREAT for a school or church party! And her albums?? Think gifts!! Showers, birthday, anniversaries - if you can think it, Nicole can create it.

I recently asked Nicole to share a bit more about her shop. Here's what she had to say:

Tell us about the name of your Etsy Shop. What was your inspiration?
The name of my shop is TweetMemories. I had a hard time coming up with a name because every name I wanted was taken, so I decided to take it from a different angle. I started looking for shop sets on Etsy and came across one I really liked that had a bird on it. I have never been that big into birds, but I really thought it was cute. That night it hit me...I am going to sell scrapbooking items to preserve all your "sweet memories" and then add the bird in there and there you have it..."TweetMemories". And now I just love it and have come to find as I shop around on Etsy that birds are quite popular.

What is your favorite item you've created so far and why?
I would have to say my favorite item would be my "Disney Vacation" paperbag album. I have only listed and sold 1 on Etsy, but have given many away as gifts to my friends. I love it because 1) I am a huge Disney fan and 2) it includes one my best ideas I have come up with...I cutout Mickey Ears and then hand-stitch the child's name (looks just like the Mickey Ears at Disney). They take a lot of precious time to make, but I love them and hope to get more listed soon!

How long have you been crafting and how did you get started?
I have been scrapbooking/crafting for about 14 years. My cousin started selling Creative Memories and go me hooked. Aside from the room full of scrapbooking supplies, you would never know I like to scrapbook...I don't have a single complete scrapbook because I am always doing something for someone else or to sell (and I am a perfectionist and it takes me forever to do one page!). I figure that one day I will have the extra time to catch up. It has only been the last 2 years, that I have been crafting more. I got tired of everyone telling me I needed to sell my albums and finally decided to try Etsy. It has been great...I have met so many wonderful customers! I also teamed up this past fall with 2 other ladies and we participated in some craft shows (our craft show name is "Three Crafty Mommas"). It was fun, but definitely a lot of work!

Is there anything you would like to tell readers about yourself on a more personal level - kids, hometown, a favorite Etsy shop, hobby etc?
I have been married for 8 1/2 years and have two wonderful little boys (age 5 1/2 and 1 1/2). We live in Crestwood, just outside of Louisville, Kentucky (home of the Kentucky Derby). I stay at home with the boys and try to craft any spare moment I have, and sometimes it is not much. Between church, school and sports we stay very busy!

One of my most favorite Etsy shops is AutumnLeah. She sells personalized stickers, tags and more. She has the most precious designs. I admire her talent!

Do you have any plans for up and coming items you can tell us about?
I originally joined Etsy to sell albums and premade scrapbook pages, but the banners are the thing! I would have never thought that such a simple thing would be such a hit. In fact I have had several customers ask me to make some coordinating items to go with the banner for birthday parties and baby showers. So I have decided that I need to come out with some party packs. I plan on including door signs, table centerpieces, highchair banners, party hats, goody bag tags, cupcake toppers and anything else I can come up with. I am very excited and can't wait to get them in my shop. I would love ideas as far as themes. I have come up with a few, but I am sure there are some that I have not thought about.

And finally, what are your thoughts on Valentine's Day? Do you celebrate? How?
Valentine's Day has always been such a fun day! I always had so much fun coming up with ideas to let my Husband know how much I love him and now that I have kids it is even more fun. Last year I sent my husband and my older son on a scavenger hunt. My husband had to answer some questions about our past, which then led him to a clue (it was really quite fun to see how much he remembered) and after he collected all his clues it led him to the big prize. My son is learing to read so I spelled works like "car", "bed" and "tub" and that showed him where his prizes were. It was so much fun...I not sure what I am going to do this year yet. I guess I better get on the ball.

Thanks, Nicole! We admire YOUR talent!!

Nicole has graciously agreed to give one lucky Champagne Wisdom reader her Be Mine Valentine's Day Banner. Yay!!

Just leave a comment telling us how you would use this banner - in your home, for a school party, or do you have another unique idea? We would love to know!

Want extra entries?? It's easy!!

*Leave a comment telling us your favorite item from TweetMemories
*Subscribe via email or feed to Champagne Wisdom
*Sign up to be a follower
*Tell Nicole another item you would love to see in her shop
*Follow Champagne Wisdom on Twitter and tweet (leave a link) - you can do this daily
*Leave a comment on any other non-giveaway post
*Grab the Champagne Wisdom button in the sidebar
*Make a purchase from TweetMemories and get 10 additional entries!
(Be sure to leave 10 separate comments)
*Enter another giveaway in the I Heart Etsy Giveaway Event
That's a ton of chances to win. Here's wishing you love and luck...

This giveaway will end 2/1 at 12:00p.m. central time. Winner will be selected via, emailed and given 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Alabama Residents: Plant a Tree for Free

Wish this was nationwide, but it's actually for Alabama residents only, made possible by Alagasco (thanks, Alagasco).

Plant a Tree in 3 Clicks!
With your help, Alagasco will plant 15,000 trees across Alabama in the coming months. You don't even have to get your hands dirty! Just visit Plant-a-Tree and answer three quick multiple-choice questions - that's it - and Alagasco will plant a tree!

Thank you, Alagasco, for a greener Alabama.

Bath & Beads Etc - A Valentine Giveaway

Who doesn't need a little R&R from time to time? That's why you need to visit Bath & Beads Etc - and pamper yourself! I mean, let's be honest, what gal doesn't LOVE bath products and jewelry?!? Bath & Beads Etc is the perfect combination to keep women happy...maybe you should slip a little note into your husband's pocket with a link to Bath & Beads...I'm just saying. :) Bath and Beads also has scarves and chap stick - two of my favorites...thus the "Etc." - so much to love!!

Kris, the owner of Bath & Beads Etc was kind enough to take the time to answer some questions to help Champagne Wisdom readers get to know her better:

Tell us how you got started on Etsy. How long have you been crafting?

I started my 1st shop (BathNBeads) on Etsy a little over a year ago and just opened my second shop (rainydayyarnshop) a few months ago. I have been crafting probably most of my life, but about 6 years as a business. I started making soap and got hooked on making bath and body products. I then decided to get in on the jewelry making craze and named my business Bath & Beads. I had to change the name to Bath & Beads, etc. when I started to knit and as you can see, I'm always looking to try new crafts! My latest venture has been to learn the art of spinning and someday I hope to actually own some sheep and learn the whole process from sheep to yarn.

What is your favorite item to create and why?
Favorite item? I have so many, but since we are in the Valentine season, I would say my cocoa butter massage bars. They are fun to make and great to use on dry, winter skin. I use my bars on my hands before I go to bed or after a shower on my heels. They have a wonderful, cocoa smell too!

Is there anything you would like to tell readers about yourself on a more personal level - kids, hometown, a favorite Etsy shop, etc?
I am a homeschool mom of two children, an eleven year old daughter who keeps me on my toes and an eighteen year old son who challenges me to think outside the box! I live in Minnesota where you can find me enjoying the great outdoors or sitting by my fireplace knitting. I am a member of HandmadeMN, a group of Minnesota artists who have Etsy shops. I even had a chance to meet the former CEO of Etsy, Maria Thomas, when she visited Minnesota and our team hosted a meet and greet! It was so much fun to meet her and hear about Etsy's vision for the handmade movement. I love giving handmade gifts and love to support the handmade movement, especially locally. It's so fun to hear someone say, "You knit this?" or "You make soap?" with a look of awe in their eyes!

And finally, what are your thoughts on Valentine's Day? Do you celebrate? How?
Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday (after Christmas) and I liked the holiday so much I got married to my husband on Valentine's Day many years ago! As a kid, I remember coming home from school on Valentine's Day and my mom would have heart cupcakes for me. I love this idea and try to make a heart cake or cupcakes for my family to celebrate. Of course, I love chocolate too so that makes Valentine's Day the perfect holiday for me!

Thanks, Kris!

Kris wants to give away a set of her Heart Bath Fizzies to one reader. Yay!! Just leave a comment below stating your favorite item from Bath & Beads Etc.

Want extra entries?? It's easy!!

*Leave a comment stating why YOU need a little R&R
*Subscribe via email or feed to Champagne Wisdom
*Sign up to be a follower
*Tell Kris another item or scent you would love to see in her shop
*Follow Champagne Wisdom on Twitter and tweet (leave a link) - you can do this daily
*Leave a comment on any other non-giveaway post
*Enter another giveaway in the I Heart Etsy Giveaway Event
*Grab the Champagne Wisdom button in the sidebar
*Tell me if you would keep this for yourself or give it as a gift
*Enter any of the giveaways over at 2 Little Muffins - and let me know which giveaway you entered
*Make a purchase from Bath & Beads Etc during the giveaway period and earn 10 additional entries!
(Be sure to leave 10 separate comments)

That's a ton of chances to win. Here's wishing you love and luck...

This giveaway will end 2/1 at 12:00p.m. central time. Winner will be selected via, emailed and given 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Free Subscription to Lego Magazine

Just wanted to make sure everyone knew about Lego Club's free magazine.

You can get a free subscription - and learn how to build some really cool stuff!

This is an oldie, but a goodie - definitely if you have boys in the house who love to build. I subscribe for the library where I work - the kids LOVE it! While my son isn't old enough to read magazines yet, we have fun using it as a guide to create and build new things with his Mega Blocks. Definitely worth signing up for - after all, it's free reading material. Magazines are always good - kids forget they're actually READING! :)

Sign up here to get your free Lego Club Subscription

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

NonFiction - Boys LOVE It!

Our school libraries will remain largely unused by boys if we don’t have what they genuinely want to read. There may well be many books in our libraries that will benefit boys, broadening their experience, helping them mature, widening their vocabulary, giving them confidence, and aiding the rest of their learning; books achieve such things not by their high literary quality – though some of them will have this – but by being read.

Our challenge is to value boys’ reading tastes, whatever they are; to feed demand for the popular; and to tempt boys by the very best. We can never be confident that we know enough about which books boys want to see in their school library – or even more crucially, about which books would draw in those who never visit it. Our own guesswork is not good enough – we need to learn from the users. Talk to boys; if you are genuine about your need to know their reading tastes, they’ll respond to this: boys long for what's real...the gross, the unexpected, the astonishing...the TRUTH. That's why boys tend to lean more toward non-fiction. Now, don't get me wrong. Each child is different. However, research shows that the vast majority of boys prefer non-fiction reading material. So why do boys, on average, tend to read less than girls? Think about the number of female educators we have. Females have reading habits far different from boys..and while never done purposely, female teachers do not always offer what appeals to male students in the area of reading. I have been guilty of this myself. What do you see women reading while waiting at the doctor's office or on a plane? Fiction. Romance novels, mystery novels, etc. Men? Non-fiction. Time magazine, Sports magazines, newspapers... Eye opening, isn't it?? Therefore, find non-fiction to put in your son's hands...or that student who is a reluctant reader...and you might just have something.

Here are some frequent conclusions from surveys and experience;
Boys are more likely to read for a purpose, if they can see the point in it. What am I learning? What facts can I find? THIS is why boys often prefer non-fiction, books with photographs and captions...and "fun facts" books. These non-fiction interests can then spark an interest in the fiction books - sports, cars, animals, geography...Boys often crave the subject of the moment, and switch to new ones fast.

Magazines are a big hit with boys: Lego Club Magazine, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Ranger Rick...because...they have articles about REAL stuff!

So, think non-fiction when you're trying to coax your son into reading...and if your son doesn't require coaxing...then you're already doing something right!

Check out one of my favorite resources for boys, when it comes to reading: Guys Read. Bookmark it on your never know, you might learn something!

ElizaGraham - A Valentine Feature and Giveaway

ElizaGraham is an absolutely PRECIOUS clothing line for your little one. I'm loving that ElizaGraham has clothing for both boys and girls - a little something for everyone! An experienced Etsy seller, Marni, the creator of ElizaGraham and former owner of Blossom Bebe, is known for her positive feedback, custom designs and unique look. You'll definitely want to check out her shop for one of a kind items, especially for the upcoming holidays - Valentine's Day, Easter, birthday, etc. She'll be adding "Big Sister"/"Big Brother" and "Little Sister"/"Little Brother" shirts to her collection soon, so you'll want to watch for those! When asked to tell us a little more about her shop, this is what Marni had to say:

Your Shop:
My shop name began as blossom bebe. When I had my little girl about 1 1/2 years ago, she was bald as all get out. I felt she needed some sort of bow in her hair but wasn't willing to do the "velcro" or the "toothpaste" trick so I started making bands and beanies with flowers and bows. That is where "blossom" bebe came from. Well, I got a little tired of the bow business and started doing my appliqued shirts. I felt blossom bebe didn't fit anymore and wanted something a little more personal. Graham is my son's middle name and Elizabeth is my daughters.....hence elizaGraham.

Your Talent:
I started sewing a little over a year ago. Self taught and all.

Your Favorite Item:
Honestly, I don't really have one favorite item. Pretty much all the shirts I make to sell are with my kids in mind, so, I really enjoy all of them.

Your New Ideas:
I do have some new items in the works. More birthday items. Letter shirts. Big/little sis/bro shirts. I always have something new in mind....just not enough time to create it.

Your Life:
I have been married for 8 years. We have two beautiful children, 4-year-old Parker and 1 1/2-year-old Patten. I never, ever used to classify myself as "crafty." I'm not sure what came over me but when my daughter was born, I just got into creating. Sewing is my outlet. I work from home as a medical transcriptionist early in the morning, then am a mom and a wife. Creating and sewing is my way to de-stress! I LOVE to create items for my children and ultimately my customers. It is so completely make something from start to finish and then get to see them wear it. Selling it is only a bonus. I LOVE my customers on etsy. I love going to check my email and seeing that message that you've had a sale! It is so exciting seeing that people love your stuff as much as you do.

Your thoughts on Valentine's Day:
We do celebrate Valentine's day. Nothing elaborate but our kids get a little gift and card at breakfast on V-day, just like I did when I was a little girl. Jason and I usually go to dinner or have a nice dinner at home......nice and romantic....with 2 crazy kids running around....:)

Thanks, Marni, for taking the time to tell us more about you and your wonderful shop!!

Marni has graciously agreed to give away a TOO CUTE shirt for some special little someone to celebrate Valentine's Day! The good news? You get to pick!! Do you have a special girl in mind? Or a special boy? The winner will choose between Marni's I Heart Mom shirt or the I Heart Dad shirt. Too cute!!

To enter, just leave a comment stating your favorite item from ElizaGraham other than the two mentioned.

Want extra entries?? It's easy!!

*Leave Marni a comment telling her another design idea you would LOVE to see in her shop
*Subscribe via email or feed to Champagne Wisdom
*Sign up to be a follower
*Follow Champagne Wisdom on Twitter and tweet (leave a link) - you can do this daily
*Leave a comment on any other non-giveaway post
*Enter another giveaway in the I Heart Etsy Giveaway Event
*Grab the Champagne Wisdom button in the sidebar
*Tell me which shirt you will choose if you're the winner
*Enter any of the giveaways over at 2 Little Muffins - and let me know which giveaway you entered
*Make a purchase from ElizaGraham during the giveaway period and earn 10 additional entries!
(Be sure to leave 10 separate comments)

That's a ton of chances to win. Here's wishing you love and luck...

This giveaway will end 2/1 at 12:00p.m. central time. Winner will be selected via, emailed and given 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Today I...and I Did It All for Free!

Here are a few things I did today...and I did them all for free!
Remember...while I'm a fan of several money saving sites, I find most of my free offers via Today's Freebies Forums.

Requested a free Uni Ball Pen - the form will only be available if you're one of the first 10,000. Be one of the first 10,000 each day between now and April 30, starts each day at noon central time. Do what I did...request yours!

Sent a text message to get $2 in coupons from Gain Laundry Detergent (remember your normal text rates will apply. I had to send 3 texts for this.)
Text GAIN13 to 599-99

Printed 2 $2 off coupons for 8th Continent Soy Milk: Just become a fan of their celebrity spokesperson, Sara Lopez. Then visit the "Discussions" tab for the link to the coupon. Do what I did...print yours!

Made construction paper heart garland with The Short One and decorated our mantle for Valentine's Day. You can do it too:
Make your own garland!
Be sure your heart overlaps on BOTH sides. This website doesn't make that clear - if you only leave one side connected - it will fall apart!! I cut a piece of construction paper in half, length wise, tape the two pieces together side by side and then make my garland. It usually takes me three sheets of construction paper to get mine the length I want!

Printed Valentine's Day coloring pages to color with The Short One...
I just thought everyone knew to use Google for images, but I've found that many people don't! If you're looking for pictures, whether it be coloring book pictures, clip art or actual photos...use Google for quick, easy and free images. Just watch the copyright! A few rules I go by:

1. Go to Google Images (, then the "Images" link in the top left corner of the page.
2. If you're looking for coloring pages to print, always type in "coloring page" after what you're looking for...for example, "heart coloring page" or "Spiderman coloring page". I always copy the image, past it into Word and enlarge it to fill the page and make it larger.
3. If you're looking for clip art to use on birthday cards, slide shows, etc...just type in "clip art" - this is also a good way to safe guard when children are using the Internet to work on projects - type in "clip art" whenever they're searching. For example, "puppies clip art" or "ocean clip art". That way your search will pull up mostly clip art and not REAL images, which can be dangerous when young eyes are searching the web.

Google Images is great - and free!