Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chance to win a vegan cookbook

Vegetarian Times is offering a chance to win their new vegan cookbook.
Here's the details:

We're giving away 10 copies of our brand-new Vegetarian Times Everything Vegan cookbook. This must-have cookbook includes 250+ easy, healthful recipes, 50+ beautiful full-color photos, and helpful hints on food shopping, prepping ingredients, and speeding up cooking times. To get a taste of Everything Vegan, check out a sneak preview ("Instant Classics") in the January/February issue of Vegetarian Times. The book goes on sale January 3, 2011!

 Go here to enter.

The sweepstakes end February 15, 2010.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Potty Training for Your Vehicle

I'm categorizing this post under "potty training," though obviously the trainee here is a small metal car who seems to have made a fatal potty error.

It's bound to happen from time-to-time: the trainer--my three year old or any toddler anywhere--will bring a beloved toy (trainee) who needs to go potty Right Now! to this white bowl of death.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winners of the Giveaways!

Giveaway #1

Comment#12: Blue Frog wins:

Giveaway #2

Comment #1: RLL wins:

Giveaway# 3-5

Comment #2: M.M. wins:

Comment #3: RLL wins (To Be Determined)

Comment #4: Rachel wins:

Comment #6: Heather J. wins:

Comment #7: Carol W. wins:

Congratulations to the winners! Email me to make shipping arrangements.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Book on Every Bed Challenge

I saw on a friend's Facebook page a link to this story. The author, Amy Dickinson, challenges us to keep reading and books high on our priority list at Christmas.

Join the movement, and place a wrapped book on every child's bed this Christmas Eve. From the article, which I urge you to read:

Reading will make you smart. It will also make you less lonely, because a person with a book is never alone.

I'm adding this to our family's traditions this year: my daughter's book is wrapped and ready!

Thanks, Sarah.

Christmas Colors Cheese Bread

One email subscription I never tire of is one from King Arthur Flour. Recently, they sent this recipe for festive, savory cheese bread. The green onions and sun-dried tomatoes give this loaf its Christmas colors, and to make it better, the top is golden with cheese.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's been one of those weeks...

Whew, I'm beat! I slept in until 11 a.m. this morning even though I've still got a full plate of activities to attack for today. It's been one of those weeks where I haven't had time to sit down, much less check my bank balance, put away laundry or even get gas (my husband did that for me this week).

The biggest deal is that my little sister is turning 16. We're having a party for her tomorrow, and I spent most of yesterday decorating and getting things ready. Sweet Sixteen!

Her birthday is about a week before Christmas and mine is a week after. At that point this year, I'll be twice her age; or rather, she'll be half my age. (Yeah, that second way sounds better...er... maybe they both make me sound old.)

Another huge problem is that I don't really have a kitchen at the moment. A few months back I mentioned "Operation Vacate," that is, we are getting our house ready to sell. So far, we've pulled up the awful linoleum floor tiles to reveal hardwood floors beneath, removed homemade wall cabinets, lots of wall paper and have started painting. We've also installed new(er) wall and base cabinets. This coming week, the remaining kitchen will be demolished--the sink & dishwasher side. It's all for a great cause, but it's very stressful for a cook!

Scraping off wallpaper

I've been thinking about how nice it is that I don't have to do any Christmas shopping. In fact, I'll bet many other couponers & others out there stockpile throughout the year also. A little bit of shopping during the holiday season is fun while the spirit is festive, but toward the end, the lines are just long, customer service non-existent and parking spaces unavailable.

Next week I plan to relax by the fire, drink hot chocolate, read a book and wrap presents. I'll be working on the kitchen and doing a little packing also. The blog posts will probably be pretty slow over the next week, though I can't wait to announce winners of the giveaways!

There may be some great deals or activities, but it's time to slow down, sit back and enjoy slow food, time off with family, loved ones and friends.

I encourage you to do the same!  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Giveaway #3-5

Instead of posting a giveaway for a few pair of earrings a day, I've decided to just put them all in one and have many winners! The rules of this one are simple. One entry per person with one exception (see below).

To enter:

  1. You must be an email subscriber, follower or like Knoxville Mamabelle on Facebook.
  2. You must live in the Knoxville area (surrounding counties are fine) UNLESS you are a family member, close friend or you have been following this blog or the Facebook page prior to this giveaway. 
  3. Leave a comment telling me your first and second choice of earrings!
Bonus entry--enter again if you share this giveaway via your Facebook or your blog.

I'll give away five pairs of earrings from the below, or if there are more than ten entries (comments), I'll give away TEN!

Click on the images for a closer view.

Option A










Remember, if you are an anonymous commenter leave your name or initials with your comment and choose "anonymous" where it says "comment as: select profile."

When done correctly, the page will reload and state, "your comment will be visible after approval."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Giveaway #2

Today's giveaway is a darling Carnation-style flower hair barrette from rachelmrosser's Etsy shop. It's like a little snowball, and frankly, I'd rather keep it for myself!

I can't help but mention that this stay-at-home mama also makes cloth diapers, so stay tuned for later posts on that. In the meantime, check out these diapers she makes for dolls! A set of two is only $7.50! They are reusable and washable--a toy you can feel good about.

From Etsy:
These diapers are a perfect gift for the little mommy / little daddy in your house. With a velcro panel that covers the whole tummy, they are easy for little hands to put on and take off. These little diapers work great for most any size baby doll as well as animals.

 Another item she has available on Etsy is this adorable ladybug hat:

To enter this giveaway, you must be a resident of the U.S. There are FIVE ways to enter and FIVE chances to win.

You must leave a comment for each entry:

  1. Visit her etsy store.
  2. Share this giveaway on your blog or Facebook page.
  3. Like her Facebook page, Moosie's Caboose.
  4. Be a follower or an email subscriber of this blog.
  5. Like Knoxville Mamabelle on Facebook.

For each of your five possible entries, leave a comment on this blog. For example, if you are already a subscriber, simply write, "I'm a subscriber" on the comment line, and you are entered to win! Or, if you "like" Moosie's Caboose on Facebook, leave a comment saying you do, etc...

If you do not have a Google or other account and use an anonymous entry, be sure to write your first name with your last initial or just your inititals with your comment so that I can announce you as the winner!

After you click "post comment," the page will reload and should say "your comment will be visible after approval." If you have any questions, be sure to ask: knoxvillemamabelle (at) gmail (dot) com.

This giveaway ends at midnight on Sunday, December 19, and the winners will be announced on this blog.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's item!

Cutie Tooties has Melissa & Doug toys for 40% off

Cutie Tooties Cloth Diaper & Natural Baby Products store in Bearden has several Melissa & Doug toys & other remaining items for 40% off while they last. The store is for sale but hasn't yet been purchased. Closing date is set for December 22.

Knoxville is losing a gem--if you are interested in buying the store, contact her as soon as possible.

For the latest, up-to-date info, please visit her Facebook page.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Donate $25, Get $25

When you donate $25 to East Tennessee Children's Hospital between now and December 18, you'll receive a $25 gift card to Brixx Pizza. The hospital will then use the funds to make Christmas possible for 30-40 families with seriously ill children. Learn More and Donate.

B97.5 is a major sponsor of this event.

Thank you, Coupon Katie for passing along this important information!

Holiday Giveaway #1

Today is the first giveaway of this week! Brooke of Sissy's Soap has agreed to provide a luxurious "Cleo's Combo" for one lucky winner. Sissy's Soap makes handmade soaps & gift baskets. She's always making new scents and combinations, and she specializes in naturally based soap products.

"Cleo's Combo" comes in natural-style wrapping - ready to gift! Includes Cleopatra's milk bath made with dry milk, orange peel, lavender, and rosemary and a bar of goat's milk and lavender soap. A treat that's sure to make you feel like you've been wrapped in silk!

To enter this giveaway, you must be a resident of the U.S. There are FIVE ways to enter and FIVE chances to win.

You must leave a comment for each entry:
  1. Visit her etsy store.
  2. Like Sissy's Soap on Facebook.
  3. Suggest Sissy's Soap to your friends on Facebook.
  4. Be a follower or an email subscriber of this blog.
  5. Like Knoxville Mamabelle on Facebook.
For each of your five possible entries, leave a comment on this blog. For example, if you are already a subscriber, simply write, "I'm a subscriber" on the comment line, and you are entered to win! Or, if you "like" Sissy's Soap on Facebook, leave a comment saying you do, etc...

If you do not have a Google or other account and use an anonymous entry, be sure to write your first name with your last initial or just your inititals with your comment so that I can announce you as the winner!

After you click "post comment," the page will reload and should say "your comment will be visible after approval." If you have any questions, be sure to ask: knoxvillemamabelle (at) gmail (dot) com.

This giveaway ends at midnight on Sunday, December 19, and the winners will be announced on this blog.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's item!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

EarthFare's 12 Days of Christmas Deals!

EarthFare is giving stuff away! I can't wait to see what's next--Thank you, Frugally Farming Family!
Be sure to be signed up for their emails, or visit http://www.earthfare.com/ each day to find out the deal for that day.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Money Makers at Walgreens on Christmas Wrapping Paper, etc

There's some fabulous, easy Register Reward (Jingle Cash) deals at Walgreens. The first alert from Coupon Mommie was for a $3 money maker deal on gift tissue paper in the Christmas section.

But, I happened to check Couponing in Critical Times before posting, and found out Coupon Mommie has even more deals--check them out.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Frugal Fun for Your Christmas Day Celebration

When I told my husband I was writing about our family Christmas program for the Holiday Savings Series by Knoxville Area coupon mom bloggers, his face lit up. He said,

"Oh yeah! Remember that year we made... ?!"

For as long as I remember, my mother had a Christmas program as part of our celebration. When it was just the two of us, it wasn't as involved, but now it's a larger affair with the addition of four more--my step dad, sister, husband and daughter.

How it begins

Early Christmas morning while Santa is still having his cookies & milk, my mom starts typing out our programs. Each of us will receive a copy. There might be a cute clip art Christmas scene on the front, and a search-a-word on the back, but it's the itinerary inside we're most interested in. Our Christmas day is usually in this order: breakfast, program, presents.

What has she been scheming this time?

More than likely, the program includes a few prayers, some activities and some songs. It might start out like this:

Opening Prayer...............................................Mom
Bible verses........................Jesus is born.........All
Hark the Herald Angels Sing...........................step dad & husband duet, me on piano

But, wait, a duet? They can't sing, and I can't play the piano!

So, here's where our program gets a little silly--soon we'll all be laughing and will barely be able to finish the song. Our program will continue this way with odd ones of us having songs or others tasks that we might not be so good at, and since it's just us we don't have to be embarrassed. Moreover, we can laugh at each other--A LOT!

We do have serious moments, but the point is to laugh and enjoy a mix of activities. We usually read the biblical account of Mary & Joseph's journey and Jesus' birth. I definitely want to point out that though our program is religious, it could be adapted for any family or set of beliefs.

The activity my husband was referring to went something like this:

We each received scissors, crayons, and construction paper with the task of coloring & cutting out a couple things. We had no idea what is was about until we were done and mom pulled out a manger in the stable scene. Uh-oh. I'll just go ahead and pick on my husband here--he must've gotten F's in art class because the things he drew were definitely not camels! While we laughed at the donkeys, horses, cows, I mean, er... camels, we then began realizing how disproportionate everything was--"Why is Mary twice as big as Joseph?" we laughed. "Are THOSE Wise men?" and "Why are the three camels all different sizes?" 

We glued on all our pieces nonetheless. A good activity had turned into a magical one. It was a masterpiece!

Another activity mentioned by my family as a favorite is one we do a version of nearly every year. It's a bit complicated to explain, so I'll provide a visual. The first year we did it, we used the song, "Joy to the World."

Each family member is assigned a color or text style (underlined or bolded) and has a copy of the words with the parts they are to sing marked with their color. Additionally, text left unhighlighted or not underlined, etc, is text that everyone is to sing. So for example, here's a potential singing assignment and the first verse of the song:

Singing assignments:

Joy to the World
, the Lord is come / Let earth receive her King / Let every heart prepare Him room / And Heaven and nature sing/ And Heaven and nature sing/ And Heaven and Heaven and nature sing

Since the men in my family are the bold text that's highlighted red, their sound is being contrasted with two or more female voices singing the green, underlined parts. We sing it without any music accompaniment.

If you know the song, you can imagine how amazing it can sound with different parts and voices. We are no choir! And have I mentioned we can't sing? In fact, only one of us is a good singer; yet, this activity is hands-down, our favorite to do every year.

Another option and easier way to do it is to only divide it between females and males, or by age categories; kids, parents. Use what works for your family. 

What activities should you choose?

None of these mentioned so far cost any money! What things does your family enjoy doing? Maybe you could pull out the karaoke machine on Christmas day, play a board game, make homemade ornaments for your tree or make cookies. You might write out a mad lib script that's themed for your family and Christmas. What matters and what has become important to us is the tradition.

How important is this tradition?

I asked my family members (excluding the 3-year-old) to rate the following list in the order of their enjoyment with -1- being the most enjoyable.

Total    Scores Given    Activity                    
10       3,2,1,2,2          Opening gifts
11       2,1,4,3,1          Our Christmas program
14       1,6,2,1,4          Wrapping/Buying gifts
21       6,3,3,4,5          Our Christmas food
23       4,5,6,5,3          Decorating/Seeing our tree
26       5,4,5,6,6          Our stockings

The Christmas program ranked second to opening presents, and only by one point! Though all the activities are enjoyable for most of us, it was interesting to see how the numbers looked because some people hate buying presents while others aren't as excited about delicious Christmas Day food. I have to say, food is never last on my list.


A craft for you!

Finally, because some people like square snowflakes, but I'm not one of them, below are directions for making knock-out, six-sided snowflakes--another family favorite!

No need to reinvent the wheel--instructions from instructables.com. Here are a few I just made, including my first attempt at a peace sign snowflake.

If you missed any of the posts in this series, catch up: Holiday Savings Series.
Up next are posts from Adventures in Momville and Coupon Mommie.


A Week of Giveaways--Merry Christmas!

As a way of saying "thank you" to this blog's readers & supporters, I'm giving away five items next week on Monday through Friday. The first giveaway will be open to everyone in the U.S., but the others will be limited to Knoxville-area readers to cut down on my shipping costs and increase the chances of local readers winning.* Two giveaways will be from etsy shops that would love your business!

All giveaways will close on Sunday, December 19 at midnight. Winners will announced the next week.

Here's a sneak peak at the first item:

*Those who come into the Knoxville area for the Holidays can certainly still enter the giveaways.

Free Pack of Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Baby Wipes WYB Diapers

Get a free pack of Seventh Generation chlorine-free baby wipes

From their newsletter:

Buy Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Diapers, and get a voucher by mail to get a free pack of our Baby Wipes. Rebate form available here. Valid only for products purchased between 12/9/2010 and 12/16/2010. Not valid for internet purchases. Be sure to check back for special internet offers coming soon.
If you already use this brand, and need some during that week, this may be a decent deal, but otherwise, I'd wait for sales.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Save on Entertaining for the Holidays

Couponing in Crititical Times has written a post on how to save on entertaining for the Holidays as part of our Holiday Savings Series by Knoxville area coupon mom bloggers.

She's got lots of ideas for how to save but still host events. An oldie but a goodie, is to host a cookie swap, but what about a series of open houses? She's got lots of ideas for saving on decorating too. She says, "pick some of the most beautiful cards you receive, and save them to frame... remove the back side of the card where people have written, and pop it in the frame. Voila, super cheap art!" Read her full post.

If you've missed any posts in the series, catch up: Holiday Savings Series.

More to come from:
Adventures in Momville
Coupon Mommie
& me

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

EarthFare December Deals

Hannah at Frugally Farming Family has this month's EarthFare coupon matchups ready for you to plan your shopping trip.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Meetup for Knoxville Vegans

Tonight I happened upon a Meetup.com group for vegans. They have potluck dinners and meetup for meals out on the town too. Hit them up at K-Town Vegans.

I learned about the vegan group via a Facebook page called Vegetarians / Vegans in Knoxville, which I, of course, "like"!

Silk Almond Milk at Kroger for $0.99

Kroger has Silk Almond milk for $1.99 again this week as a participating item for the buy 10, get $5 event. If you still have your $2.00 off two half gallon coupons, this would be a great time to stock up. I love how soy, almond and organic milks have a longer shelf life!

Planning an Affordable Organic & Local Christmas Meal

Frugally Farming Family has the next post in our Holiday Savings Series by Knoxville area coupon mom bloggers. Her post covers how to plan an affordable Christmas feast with both organic and local food sources. The first step is to, of course, plan your menu! She also recommends bartering with friends or neighbors--for example, perhaps someone has a few fall garden items you could trade for some of yours. She also includes her holiday menu and how she fared on buying some of the ingredients. Read her article here.

If you've missed any posts in the series, catch up: Holiday Savings Series.

More to come from:
Adventures in Momville
Coupon Mommie
Couponing in Critical Times

Saturday, December 4, 2010

And the winner is...

Congrats to Heather J. for winning the last giveaway--stay tuned for more giveaways!

Ways to Give This Season

Coupons Are Money
Christy at Coupons Are Money has the next post in the Knoxville area coupon mom's Holiday Savings Series. The Holidays are a great time to volunteer your time and energy to a worthy cause. In addition to dicussing her current projects, she's got a thorough list of ways to give back, see the excerpt below, and read her post.

--from http://www.couponsaremoney.org/
 If you've missed any posts in this series, catch up: Holiday Savings Series.

Future posts coming soon from: Adventures in Momville, Coupon Mommie, Couponing in Critical Times, Frugally Farming Family, and me.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Three Rivers Market deals

Blogger Money Saving Maine-iac posts Co-op Advantage coupon matchups, and our local Three Rivers Market is part of the participating Co-ops. I will begin posting Co-op deals here by linking to her in anticipation of their new store opening on Central Avenue near Veg-O-Rama (I think I forsee a hole in my budget).

Click on the logo to see the deals for this first half of December: 1-14

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Coupon Katie has the details on setting a Christmas budget as part of the Holiday Savings Series from Knoxville area coupon mom bloggers. One of the important things you can do is buy presents here and there year round--I definitely do that! Luckily, my family gives many gifts that we all need, like shampoo (think freebies from CVS & Walgreens).

But, my favorite advice from Coupon Katie's post is to give homemade gift certificates--read her post.

Stay tuned for future posts from:

Coupon Mommie
Couponing in Critical Times
Coupons Are Money
Frugally Farming Family
Knoxville Mamabelle

Have you been missing out? Read all the posts so far in the Holiday Saving Series.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Make Plans to Attend the 7th Annual Emporium Holiday Extravaganza

The Emporium is hosting its 7th annual Holiday Extravaganza and boasts handmade items from thirty artists and holiday performances. Hours are Friday, December 3, 2010, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with evening hours as part of First Friday. Saturday hours are from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free and so is lunch with a $10 purchase! Furthermore, if you plan to attend, print a coupon for 10% off your purchase.

For all the details, view the press release from the Arts and Culture Alliance.

Thank you Couponing in Critical Times for this info and for the coupon link!

DaVinci's Pizza and Veg-O-Rama at Half-Off Depot

This deal is possibly only good through Dec 2 at 10 a.m., so don't wait too long to pick up a half-off certificate for delicious DaVinci's Pizza. Sometimes deals are extended. If you miss it though, while you're there pick up restocked certificates for Veg-O-Rama, a place I enjoyed just this afternoon.

Can't argue with their Tuesday & Wednesday half-off appetizer deal! Chili-Cheese Nachos, Yum, Yum!

Giveaway ends in two more days!

Only a little more time to enter to win! a pair of earrings for the Black Friday giveaway.

Stay tuned for a week of giveaways closer to Christmas.