Ignatius Press is offering a limited time deal on Tim Drake’s new book Behind Bella. Between now and midnight on May 20, you can get special discounted price when you purchase the Bella DVD and Drake’s book together. Don’t miss out on a great combo deal — check it out today!
So cool! Just in time for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and wedding/graduation season, some of my affiliates are offering an exclusive discount offer for DanielleBean.com readers.
Just click on the links above or the buttons below. Happy shopping!
Have you started? Are you done? Are you in a panic?
My amazingly perfect older sister’s Christmas card arrived in the mail today and so I suppose it is now official — it is time to look toward Christmas. Unbelievably, this year I have actually gotten a lot of my shopping done already. I even have great hopes of completing all of it by the end of this week so that I might begin Advent with a clear head. I’ll be broke, but not frantic. There’s always a catch.
I asked you for links and many of you responded. I’ll list some online shopping hints and sites below for your bargain-hunting pleasure. Some of these were sent to me by readers and some have been compiled through my own shopping this year so far. Any codes or discounts are subject to change, of course, so I make no guarantees. Feel free to leave your own thoughts, ideas, tips, or links in the comments and I’ll update this list with live links as needed. Happy shopping!
Many of you wrote and confessed to your ongoing love affair with Amazon.com. It really is a user-friendly site and a convenient way to shop for just about anything you could dream of buying. Free shipping on orders over $25 makes it an especially attractive option. Use my link and you’ll support this site.
Ebates.com is an online shopper’s best friend. Earn cash back from online purchases at major stores. Find out about special discounts and online deals all in one place. Signing up is free and your first purchase through Ebates earns you an automatic $5 cash back. Use my links when you sign up and you’ll support this site as well.
If you want to avoid toys made in China or are concerned about buying toys that might have been made under unfair labor conditions, check out some of these sites:
Still Made in USA
Toys Made in America
Not Made in China
Planet Happy Toys
Reader and chef Joahne makes cookie bouquets for lovely edible gifts. Email her for details.
Books are always a great gift and educational fun books are a better option still. At Usborne Books you can enter to win $50 in books (scroll down to bottom right side of screen for link to enter) and you can receive $15 in free books with your order of $85 or more.
LeapFrog.com is offering 25% off your entire online order through the end of the day November 27. Use coupon code FL7BC5
DealNews.com is a great site that keeps an updated list of bargains and special offers around the net. Find deals, find coupons, find gift ideas and more!
Snapfish.com is a wonderful spot to make personalized photo gifts. Get free shipping on all orders over $15 with coupon code SHIPALL or get 50% off holiday ornaments with code TREE07
The Catholic Company sells religious books and gifts for all ages. Free shipping on all orders of $50 or more through midnight tonight.
Who doesn’t love the gift options at Hearthsong? Pay just $4.99 shipping on orders of $50 or more with coupon code HS49
JC Penney offers free shipping on online orders of $25 or more.
Totally Catholic is a great site for cool Catholic T-shirts for the cool Catholic kids in your life. Get 25% off your entire order between now and December 8 with the coupon code CHRST2007
Order Tupperware products online from reader Jennifer’s site. She offers free shipping to DanielleBean.com readers! Order by December 12 for Christmas delivery.
Vision Forum, a great source for traditional American toys, offers free shipping on orders of $25 or more through Tuesday night at midnight.
MoBoleez.com is a company run by a Catholic mom. A unique product of theirs is the breastfeeding hat, a fun privacy product for nursing moms. Get 15% off your order with the code holiday2007
Support worthy causes while you shop! Try some of these links to support religious communities with your Christmas shopping this year:
Trappistine.com sells a delicious variety of candy at a reasonable price.
Buy Christmas music on CD from the Visitation Sisters of Tyringham at NunSong.com.
Keep ’em coming!
Living here in the good old state of New Hampshire, tax-free is something I tend to take for granted. And my kids too. When we stopped at a gas station in Virginia a few weeks back, Kateri decided to purchase a small item for $1.00. She handed the clerk her $1.00 bill and was aghast when she was told that it wasn’t enough. A nice policeman in line behind her came to her rescue with a dime, but it was a lesson learned: Not every state is as cool as we are.
But for those of you who reside in the lesser states, fear not! Some of you do have special days set aside where your government leaders have decided to pretend you are as awesome as New Hampshire. Clothing, computers, and school supplies are tax-free in some states on specified dates during the month of August. Go here for a complete list. Hope your state’s on it!
A Reader Writes:
My husband and I have been back and forth about what kind of furniture to purchase. We will be replacing our current living room set this fall and want something that is not going to get totally icky with 4 kids and 2 dogs. We are debating getting leather or just getting some used couches with good lines at a thrift store, covering them with some moisture-proof material and then using a bunch of nice couch covers. What do you think?
Since we just bought our first leather couches a couple of months ago, I am definitely biased toward leather. It’s beautiful, comfortable, durable, and (here’s what really sold me) it cleans up better than any apholstered furniture we have ever had. Think about it. An ordinary couch cushion completely absorbs whatever … fluids your child deposits there. In my experience, even if you manage to get the outside clean, you are still left with a disgustingly fluid-filled inner cushion. Ew. Leather, however, simply wipes clean.
Of course buying thrift store furniture that you don’t care much about and covering it with throws would solve your problem in a less expensive way. But probably not in the long run. And besides, would you love it? If you can afford buying quality new pet proofing furniture that you really love, I recommend that option. We mothers are queens of our homes and we should make ourselves and our families feel as happy and comfortable there as possible. There is enough about parenting small children that’s messy and unpleasant. We spend long days (and in the winter, long weeks and months) here inside these walls. I’m all for making our homes as beautiful and personally pleasing as possible. We recently got a new recliner for sleeping, its amazing.
What do others think? Learn more and share your family-friendly furniture recommendations!
I took the kids Christmas shopping yesterday afternoon. They had been begging for days to do it and I kept putting it off because frankly, I dreaded it. Herding my gang of kids through stores and guiding them as they made dozens of little purchases? No. This would not be fun.
In an effort to minimalize my angst, I timed the outing to take place during Raphael’s naptime so that I could leave him with Dan. I knew I would need to be hands-free for what promised to be a very hands-on kind of outing. I had even dared dream that Gabrielle might stay home with her Papa and bit of Barney but no such luck.
You see, Dan was watching a game. And not just any game, mind you, a Steelers game. Heaven knows that the Pittsburg Steelers take precedence over Barney any day.
So it seemed that Gabrielle would come along shopping after all. At least my beloved was thoughtful enough to give me one of his “you’re my hero” looks as I ushered the gang out the door. Very helpful, that.
First stop was the local Country Store. The kids love this place because it is loaded with cool stuff. I loathe this place because it is loaded with cool stuff. Marbles, wind chimes, polished rocks, porcelain dishes, giant rubber frogs, bobble head moose dolls, wooden plaques featuring an assortment of almost-clever, sometimes-vulgar sayings all these and more are tantalizingly and conveniently displayed at 2 year old eye level. And hand level.
I took a deep breath and said a quick prayer as we entered the store. I was quite certain that the next 30 minutes of my life would firmly crush any inklings of holiday spirit I might have harbored deep inside. I had my game face on.
“Gabby, don’t touch!” I fairly shouted before she even stepped inside. “Just look.”
“Yes, Mama,” came her immediate reply.
What was that? Compliance? Well, that caught me off guard.
I eyed her cautiously as she surveyed the merchandise. In perfect obedience, her hands remained clasped in front of her as she leaned in close to examine a tiny dancing doll. Her bright eyes gleamed with delight. She reached out to touch, but then before I could stop her, she stopped herself. Her pudgy hand froze in mid air, she flashed me a look of contrition, and she returned it to her side.
Amazingly, she continued in this submissive manner through the dolls, the balls, the shiny rocks, and the figurines. Things were still a bit chaotic here and there as I helped the older kids manage their purchases, but Gabrielle remained peaceful and content just looking, looking, looking at every little thing.
By the time we reached the checkout counter, I had already declared the trip a victory. Not even the crabby, eye-rolling, old lady behind the register could douse my enthusiasm.
“You see this?” I wanted to shout to her as I scooped up my 2 year old super star. “This is one amazing kid!”
I cannot explain it. Perhaps her guardian angel subdued her with some kind of heavenly enchantment. Whatever the reason, I know this much: Instead of being squashed as I expected, my inklings of Christmas spirit were only bolstered yesterday afternoon. My darling Gabby was my very own Christmas miracle.
And today? Well, today she can get away with pretty darned near anything she pleases.
I am a firm believer in word of mouth advertising. If someone I know actually uses a product and likes it enough to tell me about it, that means more to me than any multi-million dollar extravaganza Madison Avenue can dream up. So in the interest of promoting good ole’ American capitalism, today I thought I would share the names of a few products that I use and that I truly believe do make family life easier or more enjoyable:
Kitchen Garbage Bags: I love the Gripper Garbage Bags from Hefty. The only question is: Why on earth did it take so many sloppy years for someone to realize that a kitchen garbage bag that sags down into the can is a major pain in the neck that leads to the still-messier work of scrubbing out the can?
Laundry Detergent: Here the Danielle’s Choice award goes to Tide Cold Water. Take it from a mom with loads of experience (heh, heh- I could not resist!) this stuff actually works. Even a woman who refuses to pre-scrub can wash in cold and still get clean clothes with this detergent.
Summer Treats for Mom: Wanna satisfy a summertime craving for something sweet and refreshing in just 90 calories? Hood Java Smoothies fit the bill. Save the ice cream for the kids and have one of these instead. You won’t miss the calories or the fat!
Boys’Socks: I recently switched from buying Billy the Kid socks to buying Hanes Boys’ Socks for one reason alone. In the Hanes socks, I get the same all-cotton, comfortable, durable socks with one difference–the stitching color varies according to size. Now sock-sorting detail is much simpler. Instead of holding up various individual socks one by one and trying to determine their sizes in order to match them properly, I look at the seams and find a mate right away. Blue for Eamon. Red for Ambrose. Green for Stephen. Phew!
Breakfast Cereal: Calling all moms who want to eat a sensible breakfast, increase their fiber intake, and make it until lunch without feeling starved out of their minds Kashi Golean Crunch is for you! My sister recommended this one to me a few months a go, and I have been hooked ever since. It’s high in protein, low in fat, high in fiber, and a bowl with skim milk and a cup of coffee is just plain yummy. Enjoy!
Toothpaste: My kids used to complain that grown up toothpaste was so minty it “hurt” their mouths. I didn’t want to bother with separate grown up and kiddie tubes of toothpaste so Crest Whitening Expressions Citrus Breeze became a reasonable compromise. Fluoride, whitening, yummy not-too-strong flavor what else could you want?
What products do you think are “family-friendly”? Let me know and maybe I can do a follow-up post on this topic. Oh and by the way, I am not a paid spokesperson for any of these products. If any of the above-mentioned companies wants to send me a check, however, I would be glad to cash it. Happy shopping!