Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Despite the spin the local spin doctors put on the state of the economy, those of us trying to live day to day realize most of it is just that...spin. The economy is in tough shape, prices keep going up, taxes keep going up, the next one hitting us is on Canada Day July 1st, the dreaded HST which has to be the most hurtful one yet. It isn't even clear what this tax will be charged on but it sounds like pretty much everything. Oh, and I would suggest you fill up your car's gas tank as apparently that is going up also but on my travels today, the gas companies seem to have put it up already ahead of the holiday.....(I believe this hike has something to do with a carbon tax)

Lately one of my most favorite word's in the English language has become "free". I have always been a couponer and more and more people are joining this trend as it become more difficult to get by. For many years it was possible to get coupons for free things in the USA and rebates from manufacturers making things free or almost free but in Canada free was a rare thing and the value on coupons was usually very low. In the last little while there has been a new trend towards Canadian manufacturers handing out coupons for free things. some of the great websites to find these deals are save.ca, Life Made Delicious and my favorite haunt Smart Canucks where you can find a ton of offers that are out there all in one visit to one site. Another great tool for finding "free" stuff is Facebook. Now in picture one you can see the great stuff I have redeemed on in the last week. My Mom also gets the coupons and passes on the ones she doesn't use so that is why there are two of some things. In this group there are free potato's from the "Little Potato Company", shaving razors from Proglide, Proctor and Gamble and this weeks exchange program at London Drugs. The Cheerios and React 5 gum (delicious by the way) are from Facebook, the first aid kit is a freebie coupon from Johnson and Johnson and included the tax...sweet...Kashi sent out little boxes of cereal to try, and Pillsbury has a coupon for a free product that has been available for awhile now.My mom gave me hers which will make my son very happy! Veet sent me a sample of their product in the mail to try. And the 5.00 Subway gift cards came from Lay's Chip trip program. Not shown because if hasn't yet arrived is a 20.00 gift card from Sport Chek which I bought with points collected on icoke. It takes a bit of work gathering all this stuff but the redemption and savings to our family grocery budget makes it very worthwhile. The Melitta coffee came from a promo that company is running where if you refer a friend, they will send you a coupon for a free bag of their World Harvest Fair Trade certified coffee, but hurry, that one expires June 30th! Oh, and another added bonus was that the free Cheerios have a code on them to order free magazines, so Canadian Living and Style at Home, 3 issues of each, will soon be heading my way!

Now below the Airwick Freshener were not quite free but very close at 97 cents a package. This was another awesome freebie I received in the form of coupons. Had I tired a little harder and payed a bit more attention, I could probably have found it on sale somewhere and gotten it totally free but for .97, I am not complaining! I saw it retail at a couple of locations for 12.99 and 19.99 so 97 cents was a great deal IMHO! Now everyone go out and find those offers!! You can spend the money you save on something fun to do!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Same time last year...

Last year at this time, we were heading off to the happiest place on earth to celebrate my friend Loretta's last year in the fourth decade of her life. This year she turns the BIG 50....and we are all celebrating but not at such an exotic location. Here are a few photos of last years celebrations.... can you guess where we were? Pay attention to her birthday apron...it is the big hint!

The first stop on the whirlwind day was American Girl Place in The Grove in LA where we browsed dolly heaven and then ate at the cafe...Loretta's desert was served with a birthday candle and you can see she and her little companion are enthralled with it!

Next stop was the park as it was Celebration year and the Park gave Loretta a gift card equivalent to a one day admission in the park to shop...she had a lot of fun buying presents for herself! We had dinner at the Plaza Restaurant in the park. We had tried to book the Blue Bayou for dinner but alas, reservations are hard to get there and we had to put that excursion off for a day until they could fit us in. (it was worth the wait, though!!) The pin on her top is one proclaiming she is celebrating her birthday at Disneyland! They just think of all the little things that make events and occasions special!

And here are the signs and decorations up around the park proclaiming it the celebration year! I don't think we can top this day this year but we will try and have fun anyhow...after all how many times do you turn the golden age of 50? Once in a lifetime if you are lucky and fortunate to have made it this far! Happy Birthday my friend, may the next 50 years treat you as well as the first half a century!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


28 years ago right now I was a basket case about to go under anaesthetic for a c-section to deliver my first child. The years have gone so quickly and Ben is now a man whom we are very proud of. Happy Birthday Ben! And here is a few photos of his arrival into the world at Kaiser Hospital in Honolulu.

this one was in the operating room once he had been checked by the pediatricians.

This one was as we were being released from the hospital...they don't waste any time getting the bed ready for the next patient, the bed had already been stripped here and they were standing by ready to make it up...lolThis one should be up a bit further as it was shortly after he was born, I had to lay flat for 12 hours to avoid a spinal headache from the anaesthetic and this is when they finally brought him to me.

Day 4, we were released, he is drinking glucose water as that is what they gave them in those days.