July 2014 Archive

My kittens just got spayed at Peggy Adams

This is Joli. She is a calico kitten 4 months old now, and Nick's baby. Nick is 10 years old.

This is Joli. She is a calico kitten 4 months old now, and Nick’s baby. Nick is 10 years old.

Joli and Molli have grown up so fast. Even though it has only been 4 months since they were born, I feel like they are teenagers already. They no longer rely on me the way they did a few months ago. They get around so well that many times I feel I live with Speedy Gonzales. One minute I am looking at them and the next I am searching for where they went.

This week marked a new milestone for Joli and Molli. They were spayed. It is always as scary event to drop off one of your kids for surgery. Yes, I had that nervous feeling when I brought them to Peggy Adams at 8am and could not see them until 4:30 that evening. When Nick, Mira, and I arrived with two cages, each containing one of the four legged babies, I started getting a nervous stomach. There were so many other people here for the same thing that I worried if my kittens would be safe and marked with their names appropriately. I had a fear of returning for them only to find out they could not be found. We adopted them when they were just 2 weeks old. Learn more about becoming a kitten mom and raising baby kittens here.

 

Nick and Mira helped me stay busy by stopping for breakfast at Dunkin Donuts. Then we headed to Publix for groceries. I never arrive early in the morning to grocery shop. I was amazed when I walked in and found it almost empty. For a moment it felt like we were royalty and that Publix opened just for us. That thought was quickly vanished when I saw a few others walking around shopping too.

Meet Molli. She is our other kitten. We adopted her and her sister when they were just 2 weeks old.

Meet Molli. She is our other kitten. We adopted her and her sister when they were just 2 weeks old.

We returned promptly at 4:30pm to collect the kittens. After checking in we sat, mostly patiently, waiting for the vet technician to bring them out. It seemed like everyone was being returned their four legged children but us. While waiting, Nick lucked out and was escorted in the private employee area for a tour. This happened as a result of his inquisitive nature. When we signed in to collect Joli and Molli, Nick started asking questions. He was thinking of volunteering next summer if they would allow him to do so. This request was shot down because they have no one to watch children that volunteer and therefore the age requirement is 17 to volunteer. From this line of questioning came new questions about the procedure and how the stitches work, to what medicine our kittens were given. Without a word, this employee excused himself from the desk and found us in the waiting room, where he invited Nick on a tour.

This tour was amazing. Nick learned how the procedure is done and all the steps involved. He even witnessed a cat with the breathing tube that was about to be spayed, lying on the table in wait. A few minutes after Nick’s return both kittens were brought to us. Molli seemed alert however; Joli was still groggy. We purchased cone helmets for both kittens to keep them from licking their wounds. Watching the kittens wear the one size helmets was funny. Molli would take off running only to roll head over heels because her paw got caught on the helmet. Nick devised a plan for them to eat. Originally two glass plates were put down with food on them, but they would step on the edge of the plate and the food would fly into the air landing everywhere but in their mouths. Their helmet was bend forward at the bottom serving like a scoop. Food was put in the scooped area and the kittens would lay down using the helmet for a food bowl. Leave it to kids to come up with a quick and easy solution without compromising the surgery with the removal of the helmet.

It has been two days now since surgery and they are becoming bitter at being cooped up. The minute the bathroom door opens they bolt out scraping their helmet along the wall and falling while trying to escape. Once they regain their composure they take off again running up the hamper and diving off the top of it only to land back on the ground in a full run. So much for keeping them calm and relaxed. The plan has failed. Every moment they are apart from us they cry and cry trying to get us to come back and stay with them. Finally their master plan worked and I allowed them out of the bathroom for the night. I even removed their helmet for fear they would not see their feet and walk directly off a piece of furniture and get hurt. They were happy to have freedom again and showed this by playing like their normal self did before surgery. They even slept in the bed next to me. Of course, as a parent, I did not get much sleep since I was worrying about them every moment. At one time during the night one of them started crying and I jumped up thinking something happened to their stitches. I might have imagined the cries because when I turned on the light they appeared to be sleeping.

I thought I was losing my mind but in fact it was that mother instinct that came out. I went through this when my children were little. I could hear a pin drop when I was sleeping or maybe I was really just resting.  I can’t wait for their stitches to heal properly giving me peace of mind.

Reasons to spay your animal are these: Find out more reasons here. 

Avoid unwanted babies

Help Prevent (breast) cancer.  Females spayed prior to their first estrus cycle have a significantly reduced risk of developing a common cancer in unspayed females.

Females may be less aggressive toward both dogs and people after they’re spayed. 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Vicki Brown in Love

CVS Savings “How I went for vitamins and came back with $63.94 in savings”

Went for Vitamins and came back with $63.94 in savings,  CVS Savings

 

My kids have switched to alive chewable, All Natural vitamins, and they needed more. I decided to swing by CVS to pick them up. I was armed with my coupons and store discounts when I walked through the sliding glass doors. In front of me (almost with a halo on top) was the coupon spitter that would award me more money saving papers. I just couldn’t wait. I disconnected my store discount key chain from my purse and found the CVS card. I scanned it and listened intently for the sound I love to hear, yes, it was the machine printing coupons for me.
Two of the coupons caught my eye. The first was a coupon for $4 off $12 in cosmetics. I hadn’t planned on buying any make-up however; I wasn’t ready to discard it just yet. The other coupon was my extra care earnings for last quarter. I hadn’t planned on this money but I don’t complain when I am given something for free either. I’ll take it.

Directly across from the ticket machine was a shopping cart with a sign reading 75% off. I walked over to peer inside and see what they were offering. To my amazement I found makeup. I picked out 6 items to scan at checkout. (Remember I have a coupon for $4 off too). I also found a pair of croc looking shoes that would fit my daughter in the cart, also marked 75% off.
I then made sure this trip was worth the visit by making sure they had my vitamins in stock. In the back of the store I located them. The price is $16.99 but with the coupons and discounts I had they would be much cheaper. I was willing to pay full price for them but getting them for cheaper is always on my list of goals. Now that I actually had the item I came to purchase I was free to browse. There is nothing like a wasted shopping trip where you walk in wanting something particular but walk out with everything but. No, that is not how I shop.
I found great deals and walked out of there spending $38 and saving $63. Saving more than you spend is always a good feeling.

This Video Reveals How I Did It.

Posted by Vicki Brown in Ways I Save

French Manicure Ideas – Black Tip

The french manicure is one of the most popular nail art designs ever created. If you want something a little different check out these french manicure ideas and the black tip.

Just as a moth is attracted to fire, I am attracted to nail polish. As a young girl I had a brown fold out card table in my room that I used as a nail studio. When my mother finally discarded that table is had several colors of polish stained on it, along with nail glue that spilled over the years.

 Most girls were probably still coloring or playing outside with neighborhood kids while I was working on attaching stick on and glue on nails to my own nails. I would practice painting them over and over until I perfected it.

 Thinking back, maybe I missed my calling as a nail artist. I never really painted my friends nails and for this reason I never thought about this as a career. Currently, I have a nail rack, similar to what you see in a salon, mounted on the wall inside my closet. It is completely filled with polish, all different colors and brands. I also have a drawer in my bathroom cabinet that holds the rest of the polish that doesn’t fit on the rack. My other nail art designs are features here Facebook.

I gravitate towards unique and bright colors. Some of my favorite polish comes from ORLY, China Glaze, and OPI. I find their polish last better than other brands and they have beautiful and eye popping colors to choose from. From time to time I do purchase ESSIE however; many of their colors are low key and not wild enough for me.

Recently I painted my nails in a Black Tip French manicure. I know the name sounds  scary or like something for Halloween, but when you take a look at it you will see how truly beautiful it is. I started with a base coat. This gets my nails ready for polish and helps to keep the polish on for 2 weeks and ensures I almost never have any chipping.

This is an elegant version of a french manicure and perfect for dress up.

This is an elegant version of a french manicure and perfect for dress up.

I recommend China Glaze Strong Adhesion base coat. Just apply one coat to nails. china-glaze-strong-adhesion-base-coat-5-oz
Wait for it to dry, about 10 minutes before applying color.

For this look I selected OPI DS Glamour. The main color is a purple with hints of rainbow when the light hits it. Two coats will over nicely. Allow this to dry as well. To speed up the drying time I recommend “Out the Door” top coat.

 

 

 

 

 

Super Fast Drying Non-yellowing Top Coat

Super Fast Drying Non-yellowing Top Coat

  Even though this top coat is extremely fast drying I allow extra time. When you can touch your nails without feeling any sticky then you can continue with the top color. I chose a high gloss black. It works better if you have a thin brush making the Wet n Wild Fantasy Makers polish a perfect fit. 

I free hand the tip but if you are new and want something to assist you, use a piece of scotch tape. Simply put the tape over your nail and press firmly, as we don’t want any polish seeping underneath.  Leave the nail exposed that you want to add black to. You can make a thin or thick line, your choice.  10383665_252514691609437_6909210275717282834_n

Once the tape is secure, simply open the polish and paint. If you paint in a downward stroke towards your nail tip this will help the black from seeping under the tape line. Use two coats of black. Allow this to air dry before applying another layer of top coat. If you use the topcoat too soon you might smear the black over the purple ruining your design. Since you like this French Manicure – Black Tip you  are going to love this.

French Manicure Ideas and summer pink nails. nails1

Watch the French Manicure Black Tip Video Here.

Posted by Vicki Brown in Nail Art

Coupons you can’t live without

Coupons, we can’t live without them. Over 90% of people use coupons and 60% of those coupons redeemed are printable ones. The Coca-Cola Company was believed to be the first company to issue the first coupon. This coupon (called a ticket back then) was valid for a free glass of Coca-Cola and distributed in 1888 to help promote the drink.

The first know coupon (called a ticket) from  1888.

The first known coupon (called a ticket) from 1888.

 

 

 

 

 

Travel forward to today and coupons are everywhere. More and more people are seeing the benefits of using them and have even started receiving coupons via cell phone. Digital coupons are taking over. 2013 started the rage with technology becoming easily available. This is not to say that paper coupons are a thing of the past though. There will still be those who want to clip and carry coupons, me being one of them.

To maximize your savings it is necessary to surround yourself with multiple companies offering coupons. Each company has different coupons and by having several to look at you have a better chance of saving more money.

I receive coupons delivered to my driveway. No, I don’t buy the newspaper but I do receive all the sale flyers and the coupons that come within the paper. In the past I would only clip out the coupons that I needed and throw out the others. One day while shopping for something, the store did not have the brand I normally purchase so I picked up the same product, different brand. If I have only clipped all the coupons out, I would have saved money on this product, since there was a coupon for it. Now, I clip all the coupons. I share them with friends and from time to time actually redeem them myself.

There are several companies that offer the consumer valuable coupons. Some companies will not only offer you coupons to print but will actually reward you for redeeming them as well. An example of this is: you print a coupon for dog food. The coupons is worth $1 off a 8oz bag. You buy the dog food and hand the cashier the coupons. He/she scans it and $1 is taken off the bill. This coupon also contains a bonus. You just earned 10 points for it. These points accumulate and when you are ready, they are redeemed for gift cards or donations to charity. If you are super savvy this same coupon might be on a coupon site you are a member of (digitally) allowing you even more savings. Let’s say this third coupon site have this same dog food coupon and if you buy the dog food they give you $1.00 in your account. You have just saved three different ways with that one purchase of dog food. You just became a super saver.

I mentioned there are several companies that offer valuable coupons. Lets get to them so you can start working on becoming a coupon master today.

 

 

These are gift cards that I have earned. Earn your own for using coupons

These are gift cards that I have earned. Earn your own for using coupons

I have been using the services of this first company for over 10 years. As the years progress they add more and more benefits making them a great place to start. Here, you print coupons straight to your printer. They are valid either in color or black/white, this is your choice. You scroll through the list of available coupons for the area you live. Only select the ones you want to print. Joining their program gives you a unique log in that makes these coupons easy to track. They are valid at any store that accepts coupons, making them easy to use. When the coupons are scanned by the cashier you will save the amount of the coupon instantly plus earn 10 points for each one you redeem here. If you redeem more than 10 in one month you earn an extra bonus of 25 more points. These points can be redeemed for gift cards to your favorite restaurants, gas stations, retail stores, or donate money to charity. All this for simply using coupons at the grocery store. Find out more here. Or to sign up, click the picture.

 

This is my account and how much I have made so far. Learn more about it here.

This is my account and how much I have made so far. Learn more about it here.

This next coupon program is slightly different than the one above but that is perfect because sometimes they can work in conjunction with one another allowing for extra earnings. Here you sign in before you plan on grocery shopping because several times a month they add new coupons, and you don’t want to miss any savings. The coupons here are digital. Simply click the button under each coupon to activate it. When you check out at the store and you buy the product you earn money. The money earned will not come off your grocery bill, but rather will be added to your coupon account. This is actual money and checks can be requested for money earned. You can transfer your balance here to a 529 or a student loan account as well, helping you to save or pay down any loans you have. Since there are no paper coupons to redeem and you are not technically seeing savings at the register you can combine the program with other programs, since they can’t cancel each other out, making this an awesome program. Find our more about this program here.

Are you pumped and excited? I hope so, all this saving is what I live for. Well, not entirely but I do love it. We won’t save anything if we stop for tea and a snack, so let’s continue on.  I promise we can talk later. You can always email me or friend request me on Facebook for more information or to just be friends.

This newest site offers coupons and weekly deals direct to your email. You don’t even need to travel around the internet hunting anymore. Simply join their program and that is it, they do all the work for you. I checked them on the BBB, which not every company joins, and found they are rated a B+. Their sign up page allows you to select the types of coupons you want to receive weekly. Select from grocery, restaurant, or both. They also allow you to choose from printable coupon, online coupons, mobile coupons and even coupons delivered directly to a grocery store savings card.  If you like to receive other offers of savings and sweepstakes entries, then this is the site for you. They will offer you surveys to complete and sweepstakes to enter. If you don’t want those simply bypass them and continue on to the coupons. Join here

If you are worried about mail coming to your inbox, sign up for a new email and use this email for all your couponing needs. Two reasons for this suggestion; you can easily find any coupon without overlooking them mixed in with regular email and this way your mailbox isn’t flooded (not that it will be) with offers when you are looking for something from your mom or friend.

Vicki

Posted by Vicki Brown in Coupons and Rebates

Is SwagBucks different than other reward programs? Review by Vicki.

A site was recommended to me. It is another reward program similar to the ones I already use. I completely believe in having multiple reward programs. You just never know if one offers something the other may not. This is the case with the new program.

While browsing around I found a section called Watch. Here, I can watch videos on recipes, music, interviews with celebrities, and movie trailers. This is all stuff I do anyway, why not earn bucks for it. Who doesn’t like to know what a movie is about before seeing it?, no one that I know of. Watch trailers here and earn bucks for it. Also, I know there are a lot of people, including myself, who like to try out new recipes. Just like watching the cooking shows, you can watch food prepared and earn bucks for it.

Some of the similarities to my current programs are the shopping, games, and printable coupons features. Remember though that each reward program offers different stores and different coupons, so both are great to have.

The most important thing to do when you sign up is to complete your profile. This tells reward companies what you might be interested in and they can base what they offer you on this. Plus, when you fill out the profile section you earn points. These are easy points. All you are provided is information you already know, your likes and dislikes, maybe a profile picture, etc.

As always, joining is free, sign up here.

 

The bucks you earn are redeemable for donations to charity, entry into exclusive sweepstakes, tangible items from their store, or gift cards to your favorite restaurants, clothing stores and gas stations.

I rate this website and program a 4 out of 5. I think the site could be a little less busy but with that said, they offer a valuable experience for super savers. The site offers savings and entertainment that will keep you coming back to discover what else they offer. Joining is easy and free, simply click here to join.

Posted by Vicki Brown in Ways I Save

Orly “Melt Your Popsicle” Summer Nails

I recently came across Orly’s new polish “Melt Your Popsicle”. It is a high intensity orange color making it perfect for summer nails. The color is so bright it is almost florescent.

I wanted something different that what everyone else gets and decided to buy and use this color. What I did was also purchase nail tape. It is similar to scotch tape only ultra skinny, making it good to apply to nails. Some people use it as nail art and leave it on their nails. I chose to use it to make a hand painted nail design.

Here is what I did. First I applied a white polish to my nails. Make sure the white polish is completely dry before proceeding. Then I used the tape and marked a pattern. Use a piece of tape longer than your nail so you can easily grip and pull it later. I chose an “X” pattern however; you can pick any pattern you want. Make sure the tape is secure so that polish will not penetrate under it.

Next, apply the orange color over your white painted nails and the tape. Remember, we only want the tape for a painted design, we will not be leaving it on our nails. This color is somewhat thin and you will need probably 3 coats to cover the white. Cover it completely. Make sure no white is showing. Blow on the nails a few times and then start to pull the tape off your nail. Keep the tape low and close to the nail as you pull it. Also pull it at an angle so you follow the tape pattern. This helps to keep the orange polish in place.

What you see now is a white line where the tape is removed. That is the first polish you applied. Cool, isn’t it. When you remove both pieces of tape you will reveal an “X” pattern. This will be your final look, If you want to apply a thin coat of glitter or just put a top coat over the entire nail.

This is the finished design we just made. It is fun for summer and unique to you.

This is the finished design we just made. It is fun for summer and unique to you.

You just did your own nail art, that was fun. More easy nail designs can be found on my Facebook Page.

Posted by Vicki Brown in Nail Art