Sunday, August 29, 2010

Another Time Saver Tip: Online Shipping USPS.com


As I sit here and print out labels for my Jafra shipments, I just thought I'd let you in on this online shipping from the US post office. Now, many of you smart people out there already know about this service but you'd be surprised by how many people DON'T know that it's available.
You can save up to 14% off postage by doing it online. Do you have a certified letter to mail out? Well send it Priority Mail instead. Many times it's cheaper and they come pick it up right to your home!
Here's what you need to get started:
You need to go to USPS.com and sign up for an account. It's free and you don't have to have a business to do this. You can create an address book to use again and again. Order their free Priority Mail shipping package.
Go and get a digital postal scale. I bought mine years ago when I used Stamps.com but you can get one cheap at Amazon.com like this one
Start keeping boxes in different sizes and shapes to use for Christmas shipments in the future!!
For me it's a real time saver, because I can print out all my labels in one batch and then request carrier pickup the next day right from my front porch {now don't go coming over to my front porch to steal my merchandise!! I have cameras people, you'll be caught ;)}


Anyways, I can do all my shipping right from my desk at home while all the kiddos are asleep. No long lines at the post office, no hauling boxes of stuff in the rain, total convenience. Note: You don't need special labels. You can print them on regular printer paper and just tape them to your boxes. I do recommend you use clear packing tape and not Scotch Tape!
I have compared them to UPS and most of the time the post office is cheaper. I do use UPS sometimes but it's on the rare occasion that I have an auction item to ship put and I do it thru my PayPal account where I get a discount {see a trend here: DISCOUNT}
So get started today and save time and hassles tomorrow.
Get Started Here                          Order Your Free Boxes Here

Time Savers

If you are always short on time but long on a list of things to do: groceries, kids' activities, work, etc then you are like me and can appreciate a few shortcuts ;)

Recently I joined Sam's Club. I also have a Costco membership but Sam's is a lot closer to us and I recently found this:
Sam's Club Click N Pull

It's a nifty little app on their website where you can create a shopping list, name it, and save it to use over and over again :) Now here's the thing you have a few things to pick up such as eggs, milk, cases of toilet paper, you get the idea and with just a few clicks you send it to your local Sam's where you can pick it up tomorrow! {Queue the strings and harps} Isn't this awesome!!
Now I have yet to use it but I am slowly building my lists! Can you imagine, going there to pick up your order while the kids are at school or on your way home? No more digging thru your purse to find your grocery list, no more running around with kids' in tow! Ain't life grand?

ANNNNNDD here's another neat thing I found: Target has a special app where you can create your own weekly ad! Yes you go into their website and tell it what items you are interested in and when they go on sale they'll send you an email! Do you love their bakery goods? Are you shopping for a new TV set size 40" or larger? Are you just interested in baby items? Tell it to Target, save it and create your alerts. Heck they'll even send them to your cell phone! Cool, huh? I totally created mine. Now I don't care about baby items right now so I just selected clothing for boys 8-14, and a few other items such as video games, tv sets, garden furniture, and soft drinks. I want to compare between Target and Sam's you know ;)
And then you wait for them to tell you YOUR favorite items are on sale!
And here's where to get started

My Target Weekly Ad

I'll keep looking and posting for new things to save time and money stay tuned.

                                    I just love technology don't you?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Totally Fashionable

I don't know if it's just my turning 40 (did I just type that?)  or the impending Autumn weather (come ON HURRY UP!!) or my losing 20 lbs since last year and keeping it off {YESS!} But I am totally buying some cute clothes and shoes to wear for the coming cool season.
Here are some of my faves:

newportnews.com
I love this outfit, the tweed pencil skirt with corsage belt, the scalloped leather jacket with the beaded tank! Notice how you can take these pieces and combine them with other items to make your wardrobe go farther! I bought all these pieces except the jacket is in a blush color! Like this:


A closer look at the tank!


newportnews.com

Here it is paired with some jeans. Sorry about the resolution of this pic.
And I loved these shoes so much I bought a pair in each color! Can't wait to wear them!
 
     This top is feminine and can go from the office to after hour cocktails paired with a nice skirt!
This jacket is next on my to buy list :)

Here is the top I fell in love with. I have this outfit and I love it! I wear the top with a little red belt as well. It fits great and has a very flattering fit.I want this top in lots of colors!


And look at this gorgeous Chiffon dress! Perfect for a holiday party,wedding or night on the town! You can see more detail here.



So if you are a mom, young or {ahem} older, you can still look awesome and fashionable without breaking the bank. I usually save up my money and go to the catalog and look at the outfits. I like how Newport News puts together different looks from a few pieces. That makes it easier for me to shop for a new look and I'll know I will look "put together" :)
I can't wait to get these next!


Imagine these with some jeans or a long flowing skirt! Swoon!!
*All images courtesy of Newportnews.com
Visit their website for more fashion ideas and to see an online catalog.

Jafra Royal Jelly Milk Bath {Giveaway}

CLOSED **Winner contacted via email**
I am so excited about what Jafra has planned for the fall/winter catalog! Last nighe I attended a Jafra 54th Anniversary Celebration in Dallas (yes I said 54th!!! Can you believe it!) and I was given a full sized product to giveaway!!
This is one of my favorite products of all time! My hubby, Sergio, loves it too and it was hard for him to give it up last night {he went with me :) } after I told him I was going to post it as a giveaway!
Don't worry Sergio I'll get you another one ;)

What is Royal Jelly Milk Bath you ask? Wellllll I can't believe you haven't experienced the true luxury of bathing/showering with this milk bath.
This wonderful milk bath contains the following ingredients:
Cellspan Complex



An exclusive combination of ingredients to help enrich the benefits of royal jelly.


• Royal Jelly, Helianthus Annuus (Sunfl ower) Sprout Extract, Lecithin, Water/Aqua, Glycerin


A nutritious substance secreted by honey bees, believed to be responsible for the queen bee’s vigor and long life, A complex mixture rich in Proteins, Lipids, Vitamins A, B-Complex, C, D, E, Minerals, trace Elements and Amino Acids. Helps boost cell renewal and cell energy. Improves the lifespan of the cell. Helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles.


• SunJelly - Offers cell energizing properties with sunflower sprouts and complements the cell renewal action of royal jelly. Bottom line: energizes and helps stimulate cell growth.


• Longevicell - Myrtle Extract: Enhances the longevity of the cells, slows down the aging process by slowing down the senescence markers limiting dermal degeneration.


• Ayurvedic Blend - Wintercherry and Lotus flowers: A blend of Ayurvedic herbal extracts that have antioxidant properties to minimize free radical damage to the skin. Helps promote the appearance of younger looking skin. They also help to soothe the skin.


• Glycerin


Humectant. Helps skin retain moisture and keeps skin feeling silky soft.


• Tocopheryl


This form of vitamin E provides skin conditioning and also acts as an antioxidant.


• Allantoin


Anti-inflammatory, soothing ingredient.


• Panthenol


Vitamin B. It provides skin conditioning and helps improve moisturization.


• Milk Amino Acids


Milk derived moisturizer.  It is worth $45!! So what better way to get your own than to enter this giveaway!

6.7 fluid oz.

Soooo here's how to get your entries in:
1 entry: go to my website at www.myjafra.com/mckinneyjafra and pick a product you would love to have and come back here and post a comment about it. Make sure to include your email address in each comment you leave.
1 entry: Become a fan of my facebook page. Click on the link on the upper right hand corner of this blog. "like my page on FB" then come back here after you've done that and tell me you are a FB fan!
3 entries: Post a link to this giveaway on your facebook page. Come back here and put the link where you featured me on your FB three times (three comments)
1 entry: Become a follower of my blog. On the right you will see the followers box. Click on that and follow me. Come back here and comment "I follow you" with your email address.

This giveaway is open to US residents only. Shipping will be done to US addresses only.
Giveaway ends on September 5 at 10:30 p.m CST.
 ** To get your very own Jafra products for FREE! Host an online party with me! When your sales reach $200 you get your very own Jafra Royal Jelly product absolutely free! Go to my website and learn all about the benefits of Royal Jelly. We even have a video :)

Good Luck!
{winner is selected by using random.org. I have not been compensated for this giveaway. I am a Jafra Independent Consultant. Jafra Cosmetics is not sponsoring this giveaway.}

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Exploring our town

We are always trying out fun things to do with the boys. I think it's important to explore the towns we live in.
In our town we have lots of parks. Really neat places to take the kids to play. And it's free!!!!

We recently discovered a really cool park nearby. Thanks to fellow blogger Janet for the heads up on this park.
It's really a neat place with some rocks for the kids to climb and the playground equipment is fantastic!
We go there in the evenings when it's a "cool" 95 degrees (LOL) and the sun is setting.
Here are some I took with my phone (granted they are a bit fuzzy since it was dusk and I didn't have it at a correct setting :(   )







                                                             My beautiful son, Josh :)



We also discovered this really neat "town" park/place in Allen where kids can go play. They have a maze, cool "buildings" to play in and even a train caboose!! I think this would be a lovely place to take your tots on a cool sunny afternoon for lunch!





They also put on free concerts here on Saturday nights. We are DEFINITELY going once the weather cools down around OCTOBER!! ((fingers crossed))
I failed to take a pic of their amazing patio where they have those torch/warmers things and some comfy patio sofas and chairs, gosh I could just LIVE there! I'll take better pics next time with my REAL camera :)

                                                                Inside the caboose!
This caboose has crayons and paper and stuff for little ones to do! It is awesome and FREEEEEEEE :) My favorite word ;)
So where do you go to have fun around town?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sometimes You Have To Get Your Noodle On

Our family loves to eat! I mean, who doesn't right? It's a part of life. And as such we like to explore different places to get our noodle on :) Literally.
Sergio introduced me to Pho or Vietnamese Noodles. We used to go to a Pho place down in Richardson but we recently fell in love with one closer.
It is so much fun to go out to eat with friends and family. This time we took Ellison's boyfriend, Parke, with us.
The three of us ordered the yummy beef steak bowl with noodles. It comes with a side of lime, cilantro, jalapenos, bean sprouts and fresh basil leaves YUMMY




                                                             Parke trying out his iced tea (hee hee)
                              MMM MMM Good I love it with lots and lots of lime and peppers and CILANTRO. I often take my own spices because I feel bad having to ask the waiter for More please :(



                                                          Ellison enjoying her bowl :)

                                                         Sergio's Chicken    Noodle




                 Josh (getting annoyed upon my insistance of taking  his picture while eating)



Aaron is a very picky eater so he does not eat at Pho with us. He usually sits there, drinks a Coke and licks a lime with salt. (I know weird kid, but we love him :))

We love this place! They have several around the Dallas Area and even in good ole' Vietnam (according to their menu locations)
We are always wanting to expose our kids to a variety of foods so they are not always eating chicken nuggets ;)
My mouth is watering now while I am typing up this post. Dang it! I want pho now.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's Great to be Eight

Preparing for the festivities:



One Birthday boy, six friends + Slip n Slide + Water Guns + Water Balloons = Total Mayhem of the fun type!








After splishin' and splashin' time for pizza and ice cream cake:





And of course, present time:
Nothing equals a fun summer day spent with friends :)
And to seal the fun, a quiet nite spent playing games with Momma :D

Friday, August 20, 2010

Junk to Treasure

If you've been reading my blog you know I LOVE to find junk and turn it into treasure :)
I have added a page up there ^ where I will put all my links to things I've restored.
I love learning new things and new places to get my junk finds. Here is a list of local places where I shop:

Princeton Flea Market off 380
This is technically just a set of storage rooms where people sell their junk. You can bargain with them and find some nice treasures.

Antique Company Mall-on the Square-Downtown McKinney
Love, Love to go here on any given day they always have something that is a treasure. You really need to dig in and look thru each vendor's area to find some treasures. I recently went right after Christmas and found a Martha Stewart 6.5 foot WHITE Christmas tree for $5.00. Aaaahh!!! I can't wait to put it up and decorate it.

Goodwill Stores-I usually go to the McKinney one off 380 but I also love the one in Carrollton, TX. They have so much more!

Thrift Store on Hwy 5

Samaritan Inn Store on Hwy 5 and 380

Basically any where you think you may find some old furniture, glassware, etc. Garage Sales, etc.
Sometimes we drive around and look for things people may have put out on the curb!
Also, don't forget to subsribe to your area's Freecycle.org group. It is usually a yahoo group and there are many spread around the country.

And last but not least.....let everyone know that you'll take their discards, get on email lists at church, work, community, etc and turn their trash into your treasure.
My fave find :)

Also, here are some links to wonderful resources where you can learn more about junking


Today Show video on Junk

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Before and After

I love home redecorating! And I especially love looking at the before and after pics. When we moved into this house it really needed a LOT of work. There was lots of wallpaper (hideous) that needed to be removed. It took the whole family to do that task.
But the result is wonderful. I got to thinking about this because as we speak Sergio is finishing up our bedroom. It was the last room to have one wall with wallpaper. I took that down and he textured the whole room and is finishing up the painting. It looks beautiful! Amazing what some coats of paint and texture will do to transform a room. I am still thinking of what bedspread I'll get to go in my "new room".
Transforming a room doesn't have to be costly. You can do it yourself just by painting it and adding a few new accessories. Sometimes just moving things around from room to room will do the job.
To me, paint is the easiest and least expensive option to freshen up a room.
So here are my before and afters:
Boys' room-                                          Before



ugly wallpaper

That shelf is also coming down

Putting the kids to work :)

AFTER

We picked a nice soft green that is also youthful and fun! I then took that dresser and painted it brown. I'm not sure it's going to stay that way. I'm leaning towards painting it black now (Shhhh don't tell Sergio). But anyway, that dresser used to be a girl's dresser from Sears. We bought it at Goodwill back in '02. It had seashells in the drawer fronts but Sergio sanded them down. Then I painted it this blue, added some school bus drawer pulls. It doesn't go with THIS room but it was designed for Aaron's baby room here.
So here's more pics with the free bunkbeds we got for them last year! (Yeah baby, we're big spenders here at our house)


You can see the dresser here in choco brown ;) This room is currently under renovation again! Since Josh will be moving out eventually I want to make it special for the little guy.

Here's the dining room with a very bright yellow color:
BEFORE




AFTER


Of course we women are NEVER satisfied so this room is STILL being worked on. I so want a new chandelier and am looking for just the right one.

More proof of paint transforming a room!
When we moved in the whole family room was a dirty white.
                                                         BEFORE


                                                         AFTER





So there you have it. Our home in progress. I'd love to see your before and after pics. And stay tuned for the bedroom re-do. I love paint :)

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