My Blog has moved to my website Mommyhood to Hollywood. You will find my newest blog there. I hope you will click HERE and subscribe!
My Blog has moved to my website Mommyhood to Hollywood. You will find my newest blog there. I hope you will click HERE and subscribe!
So where have I been? Apparently Kate Gosselin has joined the Twitter world. Yes she has a full fledged Verified Twitter account now! She’s already sent out 2,000 tweets to the Twitterverse and already has over 13,000 followers too! So once again, as ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood,’ where was I when this happened?
Reportedly, Kate also has a Twitter stalker already, yeah welcome to Twitter Kate. Just click “block,” that’s what I do to those disgusting creeps.
So if you’re interested in following the mom of eight on Twitter go to @Kateplusmy8.
On May 12th a casting call on Craigslist went out saying that Producers of a ‘Malibu Housewives’ show are looking for Malibu women to join their cast. They described the show as an ultra stylish docu-soap. Hmm, could this be the next set of “Real Housewives” to join the popular Bravo franchise? Or is another network trying to compete with Bravo’s gold mine idea? My bet is that there will be a ‘Real Housewives of Malibu’ introduced to the world by next year. Perhaps this is the replacement for ‘The Real Housewives of DC’ which was cancelled after just one season.
If you’re a Malibu housewife you can apply here! I’m sure the ad will be removed after the deadline, so get on it Malibu Barbie! http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/tfr/2377243369.html
With the popularity of the hit TLC TV show ‘Extreme Couponing,’ my Mother’s Day gift to all of you is to bring on guest blogger April Krantz, a.k.a “The Crazy Coupon Queen!” April is sharing all of her tips and tricks to getting the most out of your shopping experience.
Also remember to visit the new online boutique at http://mommyhoodtohollywood.com to get fantastic deals on every baby/children’s and mom products you can think of. It’s all about giving your little ones the A-List Life Without Paying the A-List price. So with that in mind, here’s “The Crazy Coupon Queen” April Krantz:
Never thought you could get paid to go shopping? Well that’s what happens when you shop with coupons in hand! As long as you can master the tricks of the trade, it is very possible for one to save as much as 90% off their food bill! Yes, I did say 90%! I can’t lie, it can be a difficult feat, but once you get acquainted with all the “rules” that follow with couponing, you’re on your way to banking! In this blog, I will touch base on how to get started, what to look out for, and ways to beat the system and be a smart consumer!
First and foremost, you must get familiar with your local stores and their rules and regulations as far as accepting coupons. Many states will allow the doubling and tripling of coupons. This means that the store itself will double or triple the value stated on the coupon, but beware; many will cap it to no more than .50 cents to $1.00.
Being organized is always key when holding onto those coupons! Treat coupons as if they were money, after all isn’t that what’s going to be left in your wallet after you use them!? I recommend getting a binder or a coupon organizer wallet. Many will attach to your cart for easier access. I have found that with a binder, it can be opened and laid out for easier viewing. It may take more room, but with all coupons facing you, it will be that much easier to spot all the necessary ones for that particular product!
With a coupon wallet, people are faced with going through each and every coupon trying to find the one that they need for a desired product! This can be difficult, but with a binder, all it takes is a page protector often used for trading cards, and then a solid page protector at the back to place all needed coupons that will be used at the end of the transaction. Choosing to not use anything to hold and organize your coupons may result in dropping and/or losing them in those aisles! Therefore, use that binder, each slot is a perfect size to place those cherished coupons in with a clear view!
Next up is getting those coupons! Newspapers have been on the forefront for getting all the coupons so stock up on getting more than one paper. Also with today’s day and age, the Internet has become a couponer’s best friend for snagging those golden tickets! There are endless sites that help you find and print coupons, or you can just type in the exact product that you are looking for in you search engine, and often times you will find dozens of sites with coupons for that specific merchandise.
Another tip to grabbing those desired coupons is signing up with the manufacturer on their official website, following them on twitter, or even “liking” them on facebook! They will often times mail and/or email you coupons along with alerting you with advance notices on important sales or giveaways!
Here’s also an imperative tip about the printing process in regards to snagging those much needed coupons. It is the fact that many sites will only allow you to print up to 3 of the coupons that you need from that specific product. So with that being said, many savvy shoppers will print from different computers within their own homes, in order to walk away with more coupons. However, always make sure to check the barcode on those printed coupons. This is because if you purchase many of the same products and use the same printed coupon for each, numerous stores will not allow you to use that printed coupon due to the fact that it has the same barcode on each one.
Now it is time to put those coupons into good use! Many stores will take competitor coupons and others won’t. Some may also state that all competitor coupons must have a UPC barcode to scan. Other merchants may price match other competitors ads, but may not allow the use of a coupon for that product they have just price matched. Therefore, weigh your options and choose which way will get you the better deal.
Often times, food chains will allow you to use more than one coupon to a product. This is known as “stacking” your coupons. Many retailers will circulate their own coupon. With this in hand, you are allowed to use a manufacturer coupon so you can benefit from the savings. A good example of this is when I purchase my baby formula. Similac sends me coupons allowing me to save $5.00 off any of their products. A local drug store I often visit will display a coupon that allows you to save $1.00 off the purchase of two Similac products. When a bottle of liquid Similac formula retails for $5.99 and I purchase two at $11.98, I use two Similac manufacturer coupons adding up to a $10.00 savings and then I stack my $1.00 off drug store coupon. I now just got 2 bottles of formula for free! I am very proud to say that my daughter is 4 ½ months old and I have yet to pay for any formula!
Also keep in mind that many stores will not allow you to use more coupons than products purchased. This especially comes into play when using your store and manufacturer coupons together!
Another good tip is never leave out a coupon for an item that you don’t think you will use. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve clipped a coupon that I thought was unnecessary only to be able to use it on a product that I am willing to try, but not willing to spend money on, let alone pay full price on.
Also be on the look out for “store dollars.” Many times drugstores will reward you with “store dollars” to be used on future purchases. On a recent buy, a local drugstore was advertising a brand new stain fighting detergent. It retailed for $5.69, but with a sale price being listed at $3.99. They were also advertising $3.00 in reward dollars with the purchase of three. I had 3 coupons for $3.00 of the listed item. So when I used them I paid .99 cents each for the 3 detergents with the return of $3.00 in reward money. I essentially got the 3 detergents for free because I was able to turn around and use those “$3.00” in rewards for something else!
Get familiar with your store’s sales trends. Many retailers will put the same item on sale every few weeks. A box of cereal may normally retail for $3.69, but during a sale will have a price of 2 for $5.00. So always be on the lookout. Many of these staples will include cleaning products, dry goods, and canned foods.
Another key selling point is the advertised “Buy One, Get One Free” sale! With the purchase of those two products, you are able to use 2 coupons, even though you’re essentially only paying for one! Also pay close attention to the fine print! Many coupons will state exact sizes that it can and cannot be used for. The picture will also show an exact item, but the print may say “for any of the name brand product”.
Also, you may think trial size products are useless, but if you have a coupon that is .75 cents off of a tube of toothpaste for example, and it does not state “excluding trial sizes” you can apply that savings off that trial size toothpaste instead and pay less than .25 cents for that item or even get it for free!
Don’t limit yourself to just grocery staples either. Often times, department stores as well as toy stores will market their own coupons. Using this method, I was able to apply a $5.00 off manufacturer coupon at a major toy store chain when they were advertising a buy one get one free toy event! A learning toy that retailed for $25.00 was listed in the BOGO free event and allowed me to get two toys for $20.00 after applying my $5.00 off coupon, this gave me a savings of $30.00!
Many retailers will also send out general savings coupons. These coupons compose of $5.00 off of a purchase of $30.00 or more or even upwards of $10.00 off of a purchase of $20.00. As long as you can stick with the mindset of keeping your spending to that limit, you will get the most out of your savings. Never forget, it is the retailers purpose to get you into their stores and use your coupons, but spend more than what you intended, so be disciplined and don’t get sucked into this.
As a 26 year old new mom, it is essential for me to find ways to save so that I can apply my savings to better things, like my family! Most essential items people shop for will not last forever, so why pay full price for them? The money you will save will not only bring you a great deal of satisfaction, but will also provide you with excess funds that can be put towards more rewarding things in life like a nice vacation or better yet, a college education! So don’t get caught up in the full price hype or be overwhelmed by how to get or use coupons. With patience, knowledge, and a good pair of scissors, it IS possible to get a better bang for your buck!
-The Crazy Coupon Queen!-
Did anyone else cringe tonight when they saw Alexis Bellino cut the sleeve off from that dress that her poor designing partner Tal had so intricately made? Yes I understand it is technically Alexis’ dress line, but we all know she relies heavily on her designing partner’s skills and so you would think she would show more respect towards her. Let’s face it, Alexis herself is not actually a designer and she won’t even go near a sewing machine as she herself said on tonight’s episode. Alexis couldn’t even define the word couture when that’s what her dress line is supposed to be! So are we really supposed to take Alexis seriously as a designer? Maybe Alexis should respect the craft behind designing, which sewing plays a significant part of, instead of just playing Tyrant Barbie who just likes to dress up in the designs and then put her name and picture on the heart label. To be honest though, I don’t even really mind the fact that she is not the actual dress maker, but I do mind how she behaved towards the dress maker/designer Tal.
I was actually mortified at Alexis’ egotistical, power tripping, non-Christian behavior (as she always claims to be so Christian) when she cut the sleeve off of that dress simply to show that she was the boss and that what she says goes. Alexis couldn’t you have just asked Tal to make a version of the dress without the sleeves or to come up with a sketch of that version instead? Tal put her heart into making that dress and then you just stabbed it with scissors as easily as you have your face stabbed with Botox.
Alexis said on tonight’s episode that she’s always right, well Alexis this behavior was not right and if you were always right wouldn’t that make you God? I wonder what our Savior would think of that?
From one mom who is building her brand to another mom who has already conquered hers, Bethenny Frankel is a savvy business woman and momtrepreneur that I truly admire.
The press, as well as many bloggers like to focus on the controversy surrounding the she said/she said war of words between Bethenny and her mom Bernadette Parisella. Or they like to put the focus on the very public falling out between Bethenny and her former bestie Jill Zarin. However, I believe that Bethenny needs a little more attention paid to the brilliant ‘Skinnygirl’ Brand in which she is currently turning into an Empire.
From Bethenny’s popular ‘Skinnygirl’ Margarita to her ‘Skinnygirl’ Daily , to the natural food chef’s workout DVD, five successful reality shows, and New York Times Best Selling books, all I can say is, “Go Bethenny! On top of all the tremendous success Bethenny is having, she has also managed to become a new wife and mother as well.
Bethenny is a savvy business woman. She understands how branding works. She knows how to work hard, create, promote, and market herself and her brand as a uniformed package that is tied up in a pretty ‘skinny’ bow. She is extremely media savvy too. For instance, pay attention to how she pushes her new book, “A Place of Yes,” during her current show ‘Bethenny Ever After.’ She’s constantly saying during her interviews how she comes from a place of yes. Do you honestly think this is a coincidence? I think not, it’s just another brilliant way that she plants the seed for her audience to buy her book. Some people may call this being calculating, but I call it being genius and believe me when I say, I’m taking notes Bethenny.
Bethenny also understands the power of using social media as a marketing tool and trust me, she tweets with a purpose. Bethenny also has something else going for her, no not her big boobs! It’s her likeability factor. She’s very brash and in-your-face, but she also has a very sweet vulnerability about her that I believe makes her very relatable to people. Let’s face it, she was the favorite ‘Real Housewife of New York’ (and she wasn’t even technically a housewife yet) and her popularity is the reason why Bravo gave Bethenny her own spinoff show.
It’s difficult to believe that only 6 years ago Bethenny was struggling to make ends meet and now she is on top of the world. She is an inspiration to entrepreneurial women everywhere.
Update: Bethenny recently closed a $120 million dollar distribution deal for Skinnygirl. Go Bethenny!
Follow Me On Twitter @MichelleRivera5
If you personally know me, then you will know that I am an absolute control freak and possibly a bit OCD too. I’m not controlling over other people, I just like to have full control over what I do in my life, but sometimes life has other plans.
If you follow me on Twitter (@MichelleRivera5…shameless plug) or Facebook, or just on this blog, then you will know that I just had a serious health scare. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then please read my last blog entry to catch up.
After finding a lump on my neck in February, which was a swollen lymph node, I spent a month, which felt like a year of my life going through blood tests, Ultrasound, CT Scan, and then finally surgery. The CT Scan showed that I actually had several swollen lymph nodes on the right side of my neck, not just the one I could see and feel, therefore the Oncologist (a surgeon who specializes in Cancer), said that it was “suspicious” and that he wanted me to schedule a surgery as soon as possible to remove the entire lymph node and then send it to biopsy.
You can only imagine what I must have been thinking. My Oncologist said he did not think the swollen lymph node was a result of an infection. The first 2 weeks I had this lump, I figured it was most likely an infection, so when he said he didn’t think it was an infection, fear completely set in. Suddenly Lymphoma Cancer seemed to be a very real possibility in my life.
I felt completely and utterly out of control and all I could think of was not being around to raise my baby girl…soon a hopeless feeling set in, but it was one I had to keep hidden inside because I did not want my baby girl to see any of the sadness that I felt.
However, at night I found myself crying a lot, I think because it was the only time I could let it out. My husband kept telling me, “You haven’t been diagnosed with Cancer. Let’s just keep thinking positively.” I tried to keep positive, but it was extremely difficult. Hearing words like “suspicious” and “surgery as soon as possible” from an Oncologist does not make you feel like things are in the positive light. All I kept thinking was, “Why God is this happening to me?”
Of course I scoured the Internet, the absolute worst thing to do when you are going through something like this to find out as much information about Lymphoma as possible. I was so stressed out about it that I actually started breaking out into hives on my hands and arms, which by the way, has now become almost a daily occurrence and still has not gone away (the hives come and go…Benadryl is my new best friend).
The Oncologist said, “If it’s Lymphoma it’s treatable.” However, all I heard was “If it’s Lymphoma you’ll have to go through chemotherapy, radiation treatments, you’ll feel very sick, you won’t have the energy to take care of and play with your daughter, your husband will have to take care of you, you’ll have to put your TV Hosting career on hold, and you’ll lose all of your hair, so basically you won’t be the same person you once were.” Yes this is what my brain was actually processing. The life in which I always wanted to be in control of suddenly had other plans of its own.
I prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and asked for so many prayers too and then finally surgery day was upon me. It was on a Thursday. That weekend that followed was one of the worst weekends of my life. I was in a lot physical discomfort, and I was also feeling very overwhelmed by the whole situation.
Between the meds and running a fever of 100.5, which the Oncologist said was just a result of my body trying to heal from the surgery, I was not doing well during that weekend at all. Finally after 5 miserable days of waiting, my results came in on a Tuesday afternoon.
It was not Lymphoma.
Of course this was great news, but I surprisingly did not feel as relieved as I thought I would. I had just spent an entire month thinking that I could possibly have Cancer, so even with the news that I didn’t, I still felt like I was just this vulnerable human being who really didn’t have control over her life. Let’s face it, life often has other plans for us, it’s terrifying when you really think about it.
My husband says, “You can’t live in fear.” He’s right, but it’s an amazing thing when you realize that you’re not as invincible as you thought you were. I guess that’s just a part of growing up. Yes even in your adulthood, you can still grow up.
So now I’m left with the thought of people who actually do have Cancer. I think about those who didn’t get the lucky or blessed good news that I received that Tuesday afternoon. I look up to those people more now because they are true fighters and I wonder if I could have been up for that same fight? Especially since I had already felt so knocked down just waiting for my diagnosis.
At this point now, I thank God and all of those people who said prayers for me and to those people who sent out positive vibes into the universe for me as well. However, I am left with an urgency to want to learn from this experience and try to make a positive contribution somehow.
For those of you wondering, they still don’t know what caused my swollen lymph nodes, they just know what didn’t cause it. I’ll take my blessings where they come.
OMG! It’s the last day of February and I have not done a new blog entry at all this month and by the time I post this one it will already be March 1st! I am so sorry to all of my readers. I don’t want to make any excuses, life just threw me a strange curve ball this month and I fell a little off of my blogging A-Game, okay I fell completely off of my blogging A-Game and really it’s probably more of a B-Game to begin with anyway.
To make a long blog longer, this is what happened. The beginning of February I was in Colorado with my family visiting my in-laws. Then when we got back from Colorado to L.A, I discovered a lump on the right side of my neck, it was a swollen lymph node to be exact.
So of course this scared the living crap out of me so I spent days waiting for the swelling to go down, but I had absolutely no luck. Therefore, I went to go see the doctor, but the doctor wasn’t there, so I saw a nurse practitioner instead, and she ran blood work on me. My blood work came back great and I have no family history of Cancer, so I’m told to wait a week to see if the swelling goes down.
I spend the week drinking shots of apple cider vinegar, which is absolutely disgusting just so you all know, but it’s supposed to detox your body and bring down the swelling in your lymph nodes, but guess what I still had a swollen lymph node. So my doctor orders me to go see a Radiologist to get an ultrasound. At this point I’m thinking, “Oh my God, I have Lymphoma Cancer and I have a 2 year old daughter, why is this happening to me?”
I go and get my ultrasound and they send the results right away to my doctor. I speak to my doctor who says that the ultrasound is showing that there appears to be an infection and inflammation in the lymph nodes on the right side of my neck and that other lymph nodes on the right side of my neck are beginning to elevate as well, although we can’t see them or feel them yet. I of course ask my doctor the most obvious question at this point which is, “So you’re telling me that this is not Cancer?” The doctor responds to me by saying that only a biopsy can rule out Cancer 100%, but that the chances are very, very, very, slim that it is.
After getting this news I’m much more relieved, however, my doctor wants me to go see a surgeon about doing a possible biopsy, so I did.
The surgeon reviews my ultrasound and blood work, and goes over a series of health questions with me and then feels my neck for the swollen lymph node.
The surgeon then goes on to tell me that it’s not Lymphoma Cancer and explains all the reasons why it is not. However, he orders a CT scan on me because he says it will tell him more than an ultrasound will and he is not fully convinced that I have an infection present. He says it might just be inflammation and drainage.
He explains to me that a biopsy on a lymph node is evasive and that would mean I would need surgery and he doesn’t want to do surgery unless I actually do have an infection present and actually need it, and so my CT Scan is scheduled for later on today at 1:00pm.
So that is where I leave my story as of now, but thank God all signs point to it not being Cancer. However, as of today I still have a swollen lymph node.