Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pam Reid hates coupons too

More from my favorite postcard writer Pam Reid:

Apparently Pam Reid hates coupons and couponers too.


P.S. I just noticed she didn't use a complete mailing address but yet the card still arrived in my mailbox. That Pam Reid. Even the Post Office knows who she's writing to.

April Birchbox

I am really liking my Birchbox subscription. Here are pics from the April delivery. Love the lip crayon and fragrance the best.
Last month they used pink tissue paper. This month it was a "green" theme.  
Wonder if May will be a summer themed box?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Prom dress preview

Oldest daughter did NOT want to pose for pictures during her prom dress fitting but being the "world's most embarrassing mom,"I insisted...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The sounds of music

Leave it to the littlest Huffman to bring some music into our lives by signing up for recorder lessons.
I tried not to wince when she announced this news. You may recall that the recorder has a very particular sound — usually described as shrill, sharp or downright irritating.
The lessons are at the school, she said. You don’t have to take me anywhere. And it’s free.
She had me there. How could I say no to free music?
Have pity on the humble recorder. The recorder is like the Rodney Dangerfield of musical instruments — it don’t get no respect. The recorder is the “Jersey Shore” of TV shows. It’s the Cheez Whiz of fromage. It’s the cubic zirconia of diamond rings. Even the cowbell is cooler than the recorder.
Why do they call it a recorder anyway? The flute gets a pretty name. Even “piccolo” sounds cute and peppy. But “recorder” sounds like some Soviet-era device with spy-like undertones: “I vill play zee recorder now, and you vill hand over zee hidden documents.”
The recorder is usually music to nobody’s ears. In the hands of enthusiastic toddlers, the recorder can become almost a weapon of torture. Or a very effective parental wake-up call on Saturday mornings.
I think the recorder needs better street cred. It needs to be rebranded with a social media public-relations campaign a la 2012. Instead of calling it a “recorder,” how about a new name like the “Tweeter,” the “Toot Toot” or the “Woot Woot”?
The “new” recorder needs a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Another must is a celebrity BFF like Kim Kardashian who will be photographed carrying it to and from Hollywood hotspots, or a mini-BFF like Suri Cruise. Just imagine what today’s pop superstars could do if one of them played the recorder at a concert (#justinbieberrecorder).
Famous designers or other brands could be called upon to create their own designs for the recorder. I could see Starbucks recorders sold next to coffee mugs, Ugg recorders with a lambswool-lined carrying case, or Apple recorders that come with the free iRecorder app. What about Burberry plaid recorders or a “Project Runway” recorder challenge?
Here’s another new use for the recorder — DIY teenage alarm clock. Parents, just get your handy recorder and when it’s time to wake up your teen, simply perch on the side of their bed and start playing a few classics like “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” or even better, “You Are My Sunshine.” For maximum effect, tell your teen that your spouse is recording the serenade and will post it on YouTube.
Several weeks after our daughter joined the recorder band at school, I went to pick her up after a lesson.
I expected to hear them playing something along the lines of “Three Blind Mice,” or maybe some “Hot Cross Buns.”
Instead, they launched into “Ode To Joy.”
It’s amazing what a little Beethoven can do for the recorder.
Tweet tweet.

Saturday, April 07, 2012


Brave girl gets one of her last vaccinations as a teenager.

After the nurse left she told me she was mad at me for taking her pictures.

Scenes from a teen's room

 One wallet
 One card from a talking mustache key ring
 Assortment of Disney items, coins, Land Before Time dino...
Earring collection! Her longtime favorites are the puzzle pieces...

Coupon Mom

Coupon Mom

I used to look down on the Sunday inserts of our paper. Yeah, it’s true. I was a coupon snob.
I do not have time to clip coupons, I thought. This isn’t 1956. I’m a modern mom with a smartphone and a Facebook page. I don’t need to save 40 cents on a box of cereal.
But I’ve seen the light. I’m a changed mom. I’m singing a different tune and it’s called “I Love Coupons!”
I blame Raleys. They started sending me emails. Sign up for e-coupons and get your Friday freebie, they said.
For weeks, I ignored them. I didn’t want to sign up for some email list. I’d get spammed. How good could this “free” item be anyway?
Pretty good, as it turned out. A bag of apples. A container of juice. Potatoes. Salad. Chips. In other words — stuff I actually buy. And with a family of five that goes through bags and bags of groceries each week, any free food I can get my hands on is good thing.
Sign me up.
Next, I met Super Couponer Katie. Super Couponer Katie had a hot pink four-inch binder packed with thousands of coupons. Katie had an amazing couponing strategy. She’d combine a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon and voila – Super Couponer Katie was saving big bucks on her shopping trips.
Using two coupons at the same time, Katie managed to get sponges, lip gloss and yogurt — for free. I was impressed. I wanted free sponges, lip gloss and yogurt too.
The next Sunday I grabbed our papers. Save me the coupons, I announced. Digging out an old binder, I started clipping and filing coupons into page protectors made for baseball card collectors. I went through our recycling bin to find the inserts I’d so easily dismissed a week ago.
To learn how to organize my coupons, I watched a video by someone called the Krazy Coupon Lady. I Googled “free coupons.” I printed out coupons from I asked Grandma Sue to keep the coupons from her Sunday paper. I started stopping at a local cafĂ© on Sunday afternoons just to pick up the coupon inserts out of their recycling bin. I signed up for the Target red card to save 5 percent on every purchase. I hopped from computer to computer at work so I could print multiple coupons of the same coupon. (This plan was working pretty good until I ended up printing my coupons onto the film we use for the presses. Oops.)
My family was a little skeptical of my new hobby.
Are you turning into a crazy coupon lady?
I guess so, I said. Hey, last week I saved $16 using coupons, I said.
They didn’t seem impressed.
And then I brought home the chocolate bundt cake — a Friday freebie from Raleys.
That got their attention.
“You got this cake free with your coupons?” they asked, as they started wolfing it down.
Yep, I said.
Whaddya think of my coupons now?