Tag Archives: Rockin’ Baby

Internet Shopping is a Class 4 Narcotic

26 Mar

I love internet shopping. Any time I can be productive in front of a computer wearing nothing but a sports bra and yoga pants, I’m a happy camper. Internet shopping is my Achilles Heel. I even have my credit card numbers memorized from typing them in so often. I dread the day that the bank knocks on my front door, ready to foreclose on my house, while I’m drowning in brown boxes, packing peanuts, and shipping labels.

But until that day arrives, my online shopping will continue.

My one saving grace is that I can find spectacular deals online. You know me by now, Readers. You know that I am meticulous about savings, and the Jewish blood which runs through my veins predisposes me to craving deals in a pseudo-sexual kind of way. My gift to you today is a list of my favorite websites, most of which have scored me dramatic savings over the years.

Heyitsfree.net

This website is actually a blog that morphed into freebie heaven. Goob, the blogger’s pseudonym, scours the internets to find companies giving away free items. Sometimes, he’ll share coupons for freebies, or coupon sign-ups so patrons will receive excellent coups in the mail or their inbox. Other times, he scores actual, tangible products for free. And he doesn’t discriminate. I’ve received free posters for my classroom, more Post-It products than I know what to do with, cat food, diapers, and enough shampoo/soap/hair gel samples to fill my travel toiletry bags forever. He also participates in these freebies, and posts pictures of his weekly scores to the blog. I find it hilarious that this single man has an assortment of free tampons, women’s perfume, and back-issues of Parenting Magazine lying around his house. [Helpful hint: create a spare email address to use when requesting the freebies, otherwise, your normal inbox will fill to the brim with offers from P&G and other vendors.]

Retailmenot.com

Nearly every online vendor you love has coupon codes available to use at check-out. I’m fortunate enough that a bunch of them mail/email me those coupon codes, but not every website is as transparent. Retailmenot.com is a search engine for shopping. You type in the website you want to shop on, and it’ll produce all the relevant coupon codes for that site. It even tells you which ones worked for other shoppers and which ones are duds. Be advised that a few online vendors have blocked access to this site, like containerstore.com. But the odds are in your favor. Never, ever, ever shop online again without consulting Retailmenot.com.

Upromise.com

Look, we all know that we need to start saving for our children’s college, right? If you don’t already have a 529 account for each of your kids, get to gettin’. Upromise.com is an excellent resource for college savings. Many vendors, like Mobil, Publix, and CVS have rewards plans, where a portion of your purchase in the store will be credited to your Upromise account, which can either siphon off into a college savings plan or a cashier’s check mailed to your front door. But the best rewards are the online shopping opportunities. If you click on a link from that website, it’ll automatically 1) Offer you shopping and shipping discounts on your purchases from big vendors like Old Navy and Amazon.com and 2) Credit your Upromise account with a portion of the money you spent on that purchase. New Old Navy jeans AND money for Pterodactyl’s college? Fuck yeah!

Zulily.com and Totsy.com

I’m throwing these together because they are one and the same. They both offer high-end kids and adult items at massive discounts for a predetermined period of time. I got my kid (and another little one in my life) a bunch of Ralph Lauren outfits for pennies on the dollar. (I won’t amaze you with the actual price, as the gift recipient’s mommy reads the blog and I wish not to be tacky.) As an added bonus, Retailmenot.com usually has excellent coupons for these sites, so the savings are exponential. A little example: remember in the “favorite kid stuff” post how I drooled over our Rockin’ Baby pouch? Right now, Zulily.com has a sale on those suckers, which normally retail for $80. Right now, the website is selling them for $40. Can’t beat that.

And now, for the iPhone-ers out there:

A few apps have perpetuated my shopping addiction. Amazon.com has an Amazon Deals app that shows users what the daily deals are, and what the Lighting Deals of the hour are. This came in handy while I was doing my Christmas shopping. I love my eBay.com app. I head straight for the Daily Deals section, where items from eBay stores are heavily discounted for the day. Again, touching the tacky line, I got my brother’s Christmas gift – a brand new HP computer – from the eBay Daily Deals. Lots of memory, RAM, Gigabytes, and other computer words, BRAND-SPANKING NEW (NOT refurbished) for under $300. Most of these deals come with free shipping, too. Obvious bonus.

Do you have any shopping secrets you wish to share with the world? We’d sure appreciate it. =] Comment below! Thanks for reading!

© Daisy and Violet 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Some of our favorite kid stuff

29 Feb

Between the two of us, we have four kids. Fortunately for Violet, Daisy’s earlier ride on the Baby Train allowed for product recommendations with some savior-fare when it came time for Violet to breed. We thought we’d give you all the benefit of our experiences. Keep this list handy, as they’re excellent products which might make for valuable baby-shower gifts.

*Disclaimer: All of these products were purchased by Daisy and Violet for the sole intent of making baby and Mommy happy, with no ulterior motives nor incentives on the part of the producer. Any recommendations are made in good faith. Neither Daisy and Violet, nor the manufacturers, are responsible if this shit doesn’t work out for you like it did for us.

Baby Wearing:
Violet: Holy crap. Thank you, Daisy, for gifting your pouches to me at my baby shower. These things are a life-saver! In those first few weeks of Motherhood, I was able to nurse Pterodactyl in them. I was able to wear her and get housework done. The design of the pouch, as opposed to that Baby Bjorn shit, is conducive to sleeping, sitting up, and when the kid is old enough, back-wearing. It supports baby’s noggin in those first weeks of slinky-neck. Even to this day, I can go out in public wearing her to prevent grimy old people from touching my child. On occasion, I even “wear” her to sleep when she’s being extra fussy. The Rockin’ Baby Pouch (www.rockinbabysling.com) is as functional as it is pretty. Our shared pouch is black and white flowers on one side, and all black on the other (reversible!) side, but they come in all sorts of pretty hues. They’re adjustable, so they grow with baby, from cradled position to sitting up to wearing on the back. Even my massive, 6’3 husband wore the baby on the largest setting when she was a newborn. Rock on, Rockin’ Baby!

NIPPLES!:
Daisy: Lansinoh saved my life and boobs. The little purple tube full of happy goop was a balm of love, comfort, and all things good. Chafed, cracked, hurting boobies will love you for liberally applying this stuff. Great point about the gunk is the fact that you don’t have to wash it off to nurse – it’s safe for baby. I would apply a good amount after nursing, even when I wasn’t chapped or cracked – kept “them” healthy and moisturized. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. I also used the Lansinoh disposable nursing pads. They are thin; completely invisible under thin bras and t-shirts, and WOW are they absorbent. Lansinoh has no clue who I am, and they certainly didn’t provide me with anything, I just love them and have fond memories of the comfort their products brought to my udders. (Like, uh, not looking like I was perpetually in a wet t-shirt contest) (www.lansinoh.com)

Baby Feeding:
Violet: Trust me when I say that I’ve run the gamut of baby bottles. When Daisy recommended the Playtex Drop-Ins, I registered for every variation and portion of this bottle set. Unfortunately, Pterodactyl didn’t take to them, and collapsed the nipple. My big brother had used Dr. Brown’s bottles with his two kids, so I tried those next. Let’s just say that there are still some bottle innards somewhere in the bottom of my garbage disposal. Since I don’t have a Ph.D in baby bottle mechanics, I scrapped Dr. Brown’s pretty quickly. I tried the little bottles that came with my Medela, but they turned my kid into The Exorcist, yakking boob milk/formula across the house with projectile aptitudes. That’s when I found Born Free (www.newbornfree.com). Holy smokes, those are fantastic. We started with the glass bottles, and haven’t changed since! The babe couldn’t collapse the nipple. The (uncomplicated, easy-to-use) innards kept her gas-free, and glass is not only environmentally sound, but microwave safe, too.

Diaper Buying
Daisy: Diaper delivery: http://www.amazon.com. Can I get an “AMEN”??? I had three in diapers at once. My kids were good eaters. Due to the fundamental hypothesis of “What goes in must come out”, we went through diapers faster than you can imagine. By the time Handsome was about 4 months old, he, Diva, & Intuitive were all in the same size diaper. That was a happy day for Daisy. I ordered the mega sized box off of Amazon, and when I was a good girl, my mom would send me some as a present. Diapers as presents. Who would have thought that would be the best gift she could send?

Online Shopping:
Violet: I’m addicted to savings. I have a coupon binder, and religiously plan my grocery list to maximize my savings. Now that you know what a crack-head I am, take heed: my favorite sites are the discount ones! I love http://www.zulily.com and http://www.totsy.com. Both sites feature hoity-toity (that’s for you, Daisy’s Ma!) outfits and toys that a humble middle-class person like me would never otherwise be able to afford. The shipping isn’t as fast as, let’s say, Amazon.com, but at these prices, it’s worth the 2-4 week wait.

Corralling Your Kid:
Daisy: The One Step Ahead Superyard was such a great buy. So great in fact that I bought two of them and some extenders, to make a Super-Superyard. I was lucky enough that the layout of two houses I lived in while I needed to wrangle the kids was conducive to having the Superyard around furniture and between walls and furniture. I made a whole secure area and was able to contain kids and toys in a safe environment. Until the kids learned how to chuck their toys over the walls of the jail, anyways.
(Violet edit: I bought this shit, and it was fantastic. Even though my stubborn little Pterodactyl refuses to be caged anymore, the Superyard still serves a purpose: Buddy disconnected the “hexagon” and placed the fencing up against our home entertainment center. Now, the kid can’t turn the volume all the way up on the receiver or whack the PS3.)

Car Safety:
Violet: I know this comes as no surprise, but I absolutely love Pterodactyl’s Britax Marathon 70. It is secure as shit, comfortable for her, and it’ll grow with her until she’s a forward-facing 70 pounder. We never did the infant carrier system; we took her home from the hospital in that car seat. (At 5 lbs, 11 oz, thank you very much!) For those of you like Daisy who enjoy accessorizing, you can buy different seat covers to change up the pattern. Read the safety statistics (http://babyproducts.about.com/od/carseats/tp/topconvcarseats.htm) before you make a choice, but I’m sure you’ll agree that this car seat is the shit.

Cups That Won’t Ruin Your Life:
Daisy: Once my crew was done with sippy cups, I bought a never-ending supply of The First Years Take & Toss cups with lid & straws. Those things are amazing, and pretty indestructible for being labeled as “Disposable” OR “Reusable”. My kids STILL use them, without the lids & straws. They hold 10oz, and can be washed on the top rack in the dishwasher. Fun colors, easy to hold, easy to clean, and hard to spill. Those lids clamp on tight.

So what about you? What baby stuff has made your life easier? Please comment and share the joy with other Mommies. =]

 

© Daisy and Violet 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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