The Recent Tragedy...

Police arrive in front of the elementary school after the shooting.
WIKI
The Recent Tragedy

Words have escaped me for the past few days. After hearing about the tragedy on Friday, I've had a really hard time watching the news and being online in general. In fact, mostly all day Saturday I spent moping around the house unable to focus on anything. All I wanted to do was cry. I'm sure I am not the only one. I'm sure many of you have felt the same way. 
Sitting here this morning, I need to vent and let it out. 

I just don't understand people. My heart aches for those families. The fact that they will be thinking of this tragedy for many Christmas's to come. That parents have to explain to their little ones that they will never see their class mate again? Their teacher? Their principle? These lil ones have to deal with so much right now. And all the parents in America have to deal with a growing fear of sending their children out in public. Into places that are supposed to be a safe haven. How do you convince your children that it's safe to go back? How do you convince yourself?

Friday the 14th, was a day of hell for many. Not just in America. In China, I heard about 22 children being attacked by a guy with a knife at their school. This craziness is happening everywhere! Why are all the crazy's coming out of the wood work now? Could it be because the "end of the world" is this Friday? Which makes me wonder how much more we are going to see in the next few days. I am not trying to scare anyone, and am not hoping for anymore tragedies, but I am scared. All this "end of the world" talk has been giving me nightmares. 

If you haven't been keeping up with the news and would like to:
Sandy Hook Tragedy
China attack on elementary children



-Samantha

#FREE 8x10 Enlargement at Walgreens!




FREE 8x10 Enlargement at Walgreens! 

Enter coupon code: FREE2THANK at the checkout!!

You can also ship to store to avoid shipping costs!

Offer ends this Saturday, Nov. 24th!


This would make a great holiday gift! I'll throw mine in the holiday box! I like to dabble in photography on the side, and I'll often take these offers all year long and print up family photos of clients/friends/family and give it to them as a personalized holiday gift. It's inexpensive and thoughtful! 






Very Easy Pecan Pie!! #recipe

Photo by Kathleen Dorman



Every single year I am asked by my friends, family & loved ones to make a Pecan Pie. I cheated and found this on the Kraft Foods Website! I guess a lot of my friends & family have issues with making pecan pies. I find this one very easy (which is good because I end up doing anywhere from 6 to 9 pies when I make them!)

$50 Shopping Spree with GoJane!


OoOoOoO  Yes please!! I love GoJane! It's a great clothing/shoe site! 


10 winners!
It would be really neat to win this giveaway! Don't you think?




Enter Here!

Good luck!!






Scoring Freebies and Samples

As I said in my Stress Free Holiday Video, who wouldn't like to collect freebies and samples in and mail on a regular basis?


Here are a few tips:

Most of the time I hear the concern, I don't want a bunch of spam coming to my email.
  • So make a new email address. One that is only used for spam and junk mail. Trust me, you're not going to want to sift through a bunch of emails and increase the chances of missing the important ones!! A lot of times, I use my kreativekaring@yahoo for spam and blogger things and I use my kreativekaring@live for important emails, business, and family. 


NEVER give out your credit card?
  • I see this warning a lot because there are a lot of people who don't take the proper precautions before entering their information. But if you are careful, and read reviews, make sure the site is legit, and keep track of your bank statements on a regular basis, I have scored freebies and things for under $5 by having to submit card information. Just a couple weeks ago I scored a $25 perfume for $5. It smells so pretty!
  • I like to use a site called Freeflys to keep up with free samples, but I also get a lot of updates from liking the Facebook pages of different products and companies I enjoy! A lot of my status updates are about deals and freebies and savings! Eventually I had to make a group of my Facebook friends to even see their updates!



I don't like filling out information only to find out I have to pay shipping and other fees! 
  • Freeflys will usually have directions and let you know about hidden costs before you click to get the sample, so make sure to read. 
  • Be patient when trying to load the pages for freebies. A lot of traffic on a site can bog the server down and can be very frustrating. Just keep calm and keep refreshing the page.

  • If you don't have GoogleChrome by now, you probably are wasting a lot of your time filling out your shipping information. Google Chrome has an option called Autofill forms that I like to use. All I have to do is start filling out my name, and suddenly the whole form is filled out. This is great to use for freebies and offers that expire quickly!



  • Remember: You don't always have to sign up for newsletters to get your free sample. So uncheck that box before you hit submit if you can. 
  • Free samples may take a while to reach you, but keep in mind, it's free and it will get to you eventually. Usually in 4 - 6 weeks. It makes me sad to hear people make a big fuss over something that is being given away. It makes them look greedy. 


  • If a freebie is scheduled to be given out at noon, be ready at least 5 minutes before that! First come first serve, and usually it takes seconds for samples to run out!

What about you?
Would love to hear any more suggestions and tips!
What favorite freebies have you gotten in the mail?

Make Your Wishlist Online!



It's something I've always been in the habit of. I love writing lists, but I also hate being put on the spot when someone asks me what I want for my birthday or Christmas, for some reason, I can't ever think of any suggestions. So when I came across the Amazon Wishlist app. I was really excited!

Some cool things about an Amazon Wishlist

  • You need an amazon account, which is free
  • You can access your list from any internet. It's right on Amazon.com
  • You can add any item from any site, it doesn't have to be something on Amazon. 
  • You can add the wishlist to your browser so you can quickly add items from other websites
  • It works with Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, FireFox, and IPad. 
  • You can add notes to each item and rate them from most important to least
  • You can manage the list, share it, print it
  • You can create multiple wishlists
  • Amazon stores your address privately, but allows others to ship items to you


It's like window shopping from home. Which is fun to me. But it also makes it easier when that dreaded question is asked. "What do you want for your birthday/the holidays?" And now I'll be more prepared. I can't be the only person that likes making lists, and hates that question.

Smiley Rocks
Smiley Rocks (Photo credit: w3i_yu)




What I've Been Up To





Update on Christmas List: I have pretty much everyone on my Christmas list taken care of. There are only a few loose ends I need to tie up, and I'm finding it a tad bit stressful because the loose end people usually are the hardest to buy for. They either have everything, or the things I want to get them are a little pricey. Oh well, I just continue to keep an eye out for deals every where and hopes that something comes up.
I've been on Amazon every day and boy I must say Amazon is addicting! There are things constantly kept in my shopping cart! hehe



Update on donating: I have been spreading the word of Operation Christmas Child to everyone I can think of. Reminding them that the due date for the boxes is coming up in less than a week. My goal was to donate about 9 boxes this year, but I'm torn. I feel so awful for the Hurricane Sandy victims that I think instead of donating shoe boxes to Samaritan's Purse, I'm going to take the money I would have spent on that and donate it to the victims. Even though we aren't hearing about it much in the news anymore, people are still dealing with damaged homes, freezing conditions, and barely any food. I can't imagine having to go through that! Especially two weeks before Thanksgiving! 

Update on me: Tuesday I got a nice reminder to slow down after I fell down my stairs on the way to work. I sprained my foot and have been on crutches all week. I didn't think using crutches would be too hard but a huge reality check I got. My arms, hands, and both legs are so sore from carrying my weight around this way. I'm learning the hard way some new things I never knew before. Like how if you don't get hurt at work, they don't have to accommodate any light duty work. Instead, they sent me home and told me not to come back until I don't need crutches. It's so frustrating because I could have easily caught up on my paperwork. But then again, i understand the liability if I hurt myself further at work. 





Everything is a hassle and things as simple as bringing items from one room to the next can be a challenge. I am really hoping to be good as new come Monday so I can go back to work. The chances of that would be a lot better if I could stop re-injuring myself, though.
I figured out how to carry my coffee around! =D





It's Almost Time!! #OCC

I am so excited to remind everyone that there is about a week left to pack a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child!
NATIONAL COLLECTION WEEK: NOVEMBER 12-19, 2012


What is Operation Christmas Child?

It is an organization that is dedicated to demonstrating God's love in a tangible way. These shoe boxes get sent all over the world to give something to children who normally wouldn't get anything for Christmas. 

I am not a  very religious person, but I love to give back and to donate. I searched around for other places to donate and everyone else I found wanted cash. Some wanted a minimum of $25, and I know I'm not the only one with doubts wondering if the donated money really reaches the destination promised.

2012 Follow Your Box
When OhAmanda blogged about it a couple years ago, her post touched me. I really like that I can fill the shoe boxes up with items I think the kids will like and I can even follow my box to see where it goes!

My goal this year is to fill more boxes than I did last year, which was 7 and to also spread the word for those who might not know about it. 

I know donating around the holidays can be hard because everyone is so pressed for money, but it's a really great feeling to put a smile on a little one's face. You really can make a difference! Almost everyone has an empty shoe box lying around. So take $10 and head to the dollar tree to get a majority of the items there! This doesn't have to empty your wallets!

I really hope this post has reached someone who has never heard about it, or those who needed a reminder! 






Samaritan's Purse is responding to Hurricane Sandy, Click here to help!
Samaritan's Purse supports all types of projects. Click here to donate to any of them.

Might want to read:

Check out my #OCC from previous years



Please Help Those Suffering From Hurricane Sandy


From Reader Michelle Fisler Troy

Hi my name is Michelle, i live in Middletown NJ. My home town has been directly devastated by Hurricane Sandy. I have been trying to get a few people whose blogs I follow for couponing to donate some stuff. A lot of people have lost everything, it's just hard to imagine that within a moment in time, you have nothing. I know so many 
people that have ,thankfully, evacuated, took items for a few days, only to return to their homes in shambles....some returning to no home at all. I have only been through Belford (my hometown) and Port Monmouth (where i work) and it's absolutely devastating...words can't even begin to tell the tale of what these people are going through...it looks like a war zone. The streets are lined with their personal items and debris from their homes. Trucks and cars are parked everywhere with people trying to help as much as they can, people are just , simply put, lost.


I am more than thankful that my home, my family, my neighborhood is ok and restored with power, 2 miles from me is Hell on earth. They are in need of so much right now, that anything at all will help someone who has nothing. Some items needed are:
* toiletries of all kind adult and baby
*baby diapers, wipes, bottles
* medical supplies...aspirins,band-aids
*soap, hand sanitizer
*masks( they are breathing in mold at this point)
*dog food, cat food
* white socks
*disposable hand /boot warmers
* toothbrushes/ toothpaste

As a member of this community I have thought of ways that I can help, and thought it would be wonderful if couponers pulled together and pulled from their personal stockpiles to help those in need. Items would be sent to local distribution center, I wouldn't even be able to know what was sent, but if any of your fans could help it was be a blessing. I am not a non profit organization, just a woman trying to use all available resources to help my community rebuild their lives.


If you could help in any way possible, you can pack a few items in a medium flat-rate box and ship it to Croyden Hall, this is our local distribution center, I will be helping sort as much as I can there.
We are Jersey Strong! We will overcome, but looking for donations from anyone who is a position to help. Thank you! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!!!!
Prayers and love to you all....
Michelle

Donations can be sent to our local distribution center in Middletown Township
Croyden Hall
900 Leonardville rd.
Leonardo NJ 07737


PLEASE READ & HELP IF YOU CAN



Want to donate to an organization? Click here

I saw this on Debbiedoescoupon 's wall. Thanks for letting me repost!



Is the opposite of stress, excitement?


Getting things through out the year makes it hard to keep it a secret! Every time my girl friend's come over, I want to tease them so bad that I have their gifts in the next room. As we approach December rather quickly, I can't help but notice how different I feel this year about it. Is the opposite of stress, excitement? Because I am so excited for the holidays to get here! I'm so excited to see the faces of my friends and family as I hand out gifts that I know they are going to like. Gifts that I know they won't find at any stores around here.

Here are some cheap things I have come across on Amazon. I have a prime account because I hate shipping charges and I can guarantee a quick delivery. 

Reasons you should start your Christmas shopping in January.



I love to see people’s faces when I tell them I've been Christmas shopping since January. They are like, “wow! You’re insane!” but then again, they follow right after with how stressful the holidays always are which makes me mention that my holiday shopping is already almost finished!


I have been collecting things all year and putting them away in my holiday box for December. (or emergency birthday gifts!) I refuse to stress this year!

Something that’s really convenient for shopping all year is that I’m not relying on a month’s worth of checks and I’m not having to save up. I’m not going broke, I won’t have to spend January 2013 in the hole, catching up on all the money I just spent. By shopping early, I can leisurely buy here and there, making sure my bills and other things I need aren't being neglected.

More time for family and fun!
Sales.
If I were to wait til the end of the year to Christmas shop, I’m going to fall into a trap, ending up spending way more money than needed. Everyone knows that throughout the year, there are different sales depending on what you’re looking for. I want to be able to catch things when they are the cheapest! Check out a great article I've found; The Best Times to Buy Anything, All Year Round!

Emergency Gifts!
Did you forget it was someone’s birthday?! It happens. Everyone knows I’m not the best at remembering things, but I don’t like being caught off guard either. So I make sure to pick up a few extra things to throw in the holiday box for “just in casers”.
For example: Sometimes on Amazon, I catch some really nice jewelry on sale, or cheap and I buy $10 worth and tuck it in my box. If they aren't used as emergency birthday gifts, they make great stocking stuffers, or prizes for my annual parties.
Right now on Amazon, I found a few IPhone 4 cases (which most of my friends own IPhones) so I grabbed a few of those to add to the box.

eForCity 4x Color Clear Flower Butterfly Rubber Gel TPU Case Cover for iPhone® 4 4S 4G
amazon.com

For those die hard black Friday shoppers.. why not mark as many things off your list during the year, that way, when black Friday comes, you can focus on wrapping up loose ends. If there was something you've been looking for all year that hasn't come down on price, now you can focus on those FEW items to make black Friday more successful and safer.


It’s a relieving and exciting feeling to know you are all set for Christmas and it’s not even December yet. The hardest thing is keeping your gifts a secret. For once, I am looking forward to the holidays. I can’t wait for people to see what I got them, because everything I got has meaning behind it. I am no longer running to the stores to get a meaningless bath set I know my cousins are never going to use.

I’m trying to convince you, but not give away everything I got.. lol

I have two cousins, J & M. I could have gotten them each a $10 bath set, totaling in $20.
OR
I could shop early and catch the Clair’s sale that went super quick this past week, and get them each a customized letter hanger for less than $10 total.

It’s not about the money spent, it’s about the effort and the thought and I think I nailed both!
  • It’s not too late for you to start your shopping for a less stressful holiday!






Fall themed Photography Ideas!

It's that time of year, School is back, which means School pictures. I know both as a mother and former student that school pictures aren't always the best looking. & Its so easy to do it yourself, 
fall themed photography.

 PUMPKIN PATCH THEME (Younger children)
             First, Most of us are going to get pumpkins for carving anyway right? So if you go, go ahead and grab the camera. First make sure its alright with the pumpkin patch that you take some photographs, stress you are there to get some pumpkins too. I find most (at least in my area) don't mind one bit.

          Second, if you have really young, (toddler) aged children, LET THEM RUN. (If its a safe zone.) Don't make the younger children pose for the photographs, Children I find are best photographed doing the natural things that children do. Be themselves.

         Third- Don't be afraid to get "odd" angles and shots. Get down to the pumpkin level, get down on your knees, get dirty. You might be surprised how well the photographs can turn out if you think outside the box. Do the funny face shots, do the cute looks, the odd shots. if you don't like them, well its a lesson learned. :)

         Fourth, bring some props, like a cute Halloween book. It can't hurt. Use the pumpkins, and the hay to your needs. Don't be afraid. HAVE FUN.

© Kathleen Dorman Photography
© Kathleen Dorman Photography

© Kathleen Dorman Photography

(I haven't done this with Apple picking, but I am sure this would work there too.)

LEAF PILES 
                  If you have trees in your yard, my guess is that you are going to have to either rake, or use a leaf blower them into a pile. :) Again, another great photo op for younger children! They have so much fun, and will remember the day. Children naturally love playing in leaves, so why not use it to make some precious photographs of your child?
      Same Idea applies as The Pumpkin patch. Have fun with it. Think outside of the box. Enjoy it. Make them laugh and giggle, or just let them go. Give them the rake, let them have fun.

© Kathleen Dorman Photography

© Kathleen Dorman Photography

© Kathleen Dorman Photography

© Kathleen Dorman Photography

© Kathleen Dorman Photography

For teens and older children, ideal places are wooden areas. Natural backdrops, Trees, Lakes, ect ect. And let the personality of the children/teen shine through. Let them make their own poses, (yeah I know the duck-face pose is a big one with them.) Its easy to let them do the poses they want first and then ask them for the pose you would like. Teenage couples are an easy way to get them to agree to the shots too. Do some as couples and some singles. that way everyone's happy. 



  • What are your tips and tricks?



-post written by Kathleen Dorman





My Jewelry Tree #PROJECTDecor #wordlesswednesday


Inspired by a Google search!

FreshMommy: #PROJECTdecor began with a desire to purge and simplify, to take a room that was bulging with too much...

I don't know about the rest of you ladies but I could be having the best day ever until I go home. I can't stand clutter, it's an eye sore. The minute I walk in from my day and see things sprawled all over the coffee table, clothes tossed here and there, dishes piled up in the sink, I start twitching.

That's why I try to straighten up before I go to work, but something I've always struggled with is where to put my jewelry. I have an armoir, but everything gets tangled up in there and I often forget what I even own, (I still can never have enough jewelry!) It's become a habit to just unload anywhere. So there are earrings all over the house. In the bathroom, bedroom, living room, office. I'm sure I could even find some in the kitchen.. 

Sunday, I came across a jewelry tree online and asked my hunni if it would be hard to make one. Maybe he should have thought a little more before he answered, hehe, cause if you say it's pretty easy, then let's do it! So he went to the shed to get wire. 


He just did a lot of twisting and shaping.
I think all the different colors looked neat, but with all the earrings on it, now it just looks really busy, so I think he mentioned something about wanting to paint it sometime. But for now, I love it, right on the wall for me to show off! 



And putting my jewelry away it actually fun!

Like this idea? You should check out some of the other wire creations online! 




#PROJECTDecor
Hosted by Tabitha@FreshMommy 

#WordlessWednesday