Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Laurel's Favorites in 2011

There are quite a few things that have really made my life easier and more fun during the year 2011, and I would like to take some time to share them with all of you before the year ends. These are listed in no particular order, as my thought process at midnight tends to have no particular order in itself.

1. SWAGBUCKS is the best thing in the world for a curious homeschooling family, because we earn these swagbucks for random online searches. Swagbucks are later redeemed for actual prizes and even cash. Of course, it takes awhile to earn enough Swagbucks to get a really great prize, but if you are a family that does a lot of searching, it may be worth it to you to save up those bucks for something that you really want. This year, I have traded my swagbucks for credit, which allowed us to get Just Dance 3 and my favorite kind of baby bottles for free. After that magnificent purchase, I started redeeming them for cash to deposit into my paypal account.

2. Thredup allows you to exchange your gently used children's clothing toys, books, games etc. I got stocked up on Playtex nurser baby bottles for $1.95 on that site by using credit that I earned from all of the items that I donated to other people.

3. A Charlotte Mason Companion is the greatest book about child rearing and home education that has ever been written. This year was my second time to read the book, but I needed a refresher course, since Princess Tarja officially started preschool in our little homeschool.

4. Android phones. WOW! I had not had a cell phone for myself in at least two years. When the king first bought my Samsung Intercept, I played with it for two days, enjoying all of the fun apps. When the king tried to call me, he was a little unhappy that I had not learned how to answer it when someone called. Anyway, I have had my phone for almost a year, and it continues to keep me amazed and entertained all the time.

5. Netflix streaming through the Wii is a godsend! No longer will we have to stress about lost, damaged, or overdue movies. All of the movies and TV episodes are right there, at the touch of a button, for less than $10 a month.

6. Just Dance 3 is the most fun video game that I have ever played in my entire life.

7. Burke's Outlet is my current favorite clothing store.

8. Doing my nails, myself, with supplies purchased from the dollar store make me feel very frugal and happy. Nobody knows the difference but me.

9. Glittery eye shadow, sparkly nail polish, and black liquid eyeliner have always put the H in my happy.

10. Scentsy products are fascinating. I wonder if a mother can become addicted to the amazing scents of flameless candles.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Check out the photo I created @

If you really want to surprise your little Christmas kiddos, this year, then you must try this amazing opportunity to catch SANTA in the act when he tries to visit your home on the sly.

Check out the photo I created @ lets you easily upload any photo from your computer, insert the Santa image of your choice, including a holiday border, and then you can have fun sharing with your family and friends. There is even a video option and options to post your pictures right away on your favorite photo sharing sites, or to order prints from places like Walgreens.

So here's the real deal. I have 5 free photos to give away to my blog readers. This is going to be a short giveaway, since Christmas is right around the corner, but I need at least 30 people to enter before I can draw the names. As soon as 30 of you comment on this post, and let me know that you have "liked" iCaughtSantaClauson Facebook, I will draw to see who gets to receive a free photo from

I'm really excited about this one, and hope you are too!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Homeschool Year 2011

It's hard to believe that Christmas is next week, and that we will also ring in a New Year so quickly. This has been a very busy year for the Three Princesses, and I would like to take this time to do a little review of 2011 for each princess.

Princess Tarja is 3 years old. She started preschool this year, and is doing a fantastic job learning her letters, numbers, colors, etc. She recently started working on her first Presidential Active Lifestyle Challenge. Tarja loves the library, and enjoys having me or her sisters read to her. Her favorite game is Just Dance 3 on the wii.

Princess Abbey has been literally thriving on the curriculum and schedule that is offered on Her dream is to become a dog groomer. She has been active in 4H shooting sports and baton twirling. Princess Melody gave her a wii for her birthday, and she has been dancing ever since. Abbey has earned her first Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, the Heritage gold award, and the Freedom Gold Award. She is also the winner of our 52 Books Challenge (the challenge to read 52 books in a year).

Princess Melody earned her Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, and the Heritage Gold Award. She has been active in 4H shooting sports and baton twirling. This was the year of her Sweet 16 birthday party, driver's ed, first job, braces are almost ready to come off, and............(Ta Daaaa!!!!)her graduation from homeschool high school. She is now working toward her bachelor's degree in business administration, and her driver's license at the same time.

As a family, we joined a local art association, opened a temporary tattoo business, started selling our arts and crafts both online and off, and are approximately 5 weeks away from welcoming our fourth princess, Ivana, into the world.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Couponing: The Extreme Video Course

I just got finished watching all 14 video lessons that are included in the Couponing: The Extreme Video Course, which can help all of us to stay a stay at home mom. Fourteen videos teach how anyone can save amazing amounts of money on groceries and supplies through the use of coupons. Not only do the courses address basic coupon usage, but highlight a few different stores that are popular with couponers, giving details about how to navigate their sales and coupon policies. An extreme couponing hopeful will learn how to find, organize and use coupons in such a way that the student can amass huge stockpiles of items that can be used not only for one's family, but can be useful for helping other friends, relatives and charitable organizations. Each course comes with 14 video lessons, a workbook, and a website to help the student locate coupons and other resources easily.

I truly can not say enough good things about this video course that will help anyone who is willing to put forth a little bit of time and effort to save money on things that his or her family needs. I have been doing some serious couponing for a little over a year, and I must say that viewing these video lessons has helped to renew my spirit so that I can get back in the saddle and start hunting for the deals, savings and refunds with even more energy than I had before. I started reorganizing my coupons while I was watching the videos, and am excited to get back in the saddle armed with even more information and ideas than I had in the past. I urge you to try Couponing: The Extreme Video Course right away.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Giveaway Winner!!!

Congratulations, Valerie Taylor Maybrey! You are the winner of the blue/pink beanie. Thank you so much to all of you that entered. I will post another giveway within the next few days. Rules for entry will be different each time, so keep checking back for ways to win.

*Winners are selected via Randomizer.