September 04, 2010

Sharing Saturday - your questions

Today we have some great new questions from some of you.  Let's get to it!



1) Where can I get good coupons?












2) How can I make the Holiday season special this year with little or no money?








3) Not just for the Mama's, but for those of you who have undergone a body shape change similar to a pre-baby body vs post-baby body scenario, how do you reconcile the body you had with the body you have? I had my second child 5 months ago and I'm not bouncing back into shape as quickly as I did and I'm having a hard time with it. My body is so different, it doesn't even seem like "me". How am I supposed to feel like me, when I don't look like me?

If you've asked a question and it hasn't been posted, don't worry.  It will take a little while to get through all the questions, but I haven't forgotten you! 

Thanks for your help, insight, and input.

28 comments:

  1. Oh, I just love this feature and the questions! I am playing along again..especially because of #3...well #1 has me all excited too...but here you go!
    http://feedthebirdies.blogspot.com/2010/09/sharing-saturday.html

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  2. #3 - Well I had my fourth about 5 months ago, and there is no way my body is going back to what it was in my twenties. The funny thing is that I am actually in better shape (I started running and biking), and probably weigh less, too. I have (most days) come to accept my 'mommy tummy'. I know it's not the easiest, but we should revel in the fact we are mommies and not get too caught up in the way we look.
    rachel-thelifeofriley.blogspot.com

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  3. #1) I have to say I love coupons!! I've only recently really gotten into them, but they have saved my family so much money! There are several places to get coupons-
    1- websites like: www.coupons.com and www.ppgazette.com
    2- store websites: Target is a great one (type in 'printable coupons' in their search bar). They will accept both a manufacturers' coupon in addition to their own. I have been able to combine coupons for some really awesome deals, even for free stuff!!
    3- Your Sunday paper of course!! I subscribe and have mine delivered, but if there's a really great coupon in there I go out and buy a few extra. If you don't want to buy a paper every week, check out your local McD's or Starbucks on Sunday mornings. They'll usually leave a paper out for their customers to read and you can scoop up the inserts from there.
    4- Couponing websites/blogs- Now this one isn't exactly a source of coupons, but they're great for getting heads up on deals that you might not have known about. (Some do include links to printable coupons or note which Sunday paper insert their deal came from.) Check out www.momsbyheart.net and www.freebies4mom.com (one of my faves!!!).

    #2) Cook!! Instead of spending your holiday food budget on large items like a turkey and such, invest in a buffet of finger foods that will last a few days. My family and I pig out on veggie platters, homemade egg rolls and rangoons, chicken skewers and more!! We all look forward to the "never ending food" as much as the gifts.

    #3) This one was my question!!! Ohmigosh, my question was chosen for Sharing Saturday!!!!! Thank you to anyone and everyone for your advice/wisdom/help. And thanks Cheri for posting my question!! That totally made my day!!

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  4. #1) I am not very good, but both my sisters are amazing and do tons.

    #2) We've had a few "lean" Christmases in the past and they seem the most magical. My first married Christmas, my in-law family were all going lean. We had a second-hand/thrift Christmas. All the gifts had to be second-hand or homemade. The shopping was so fun--like a treasure hunt. Of course we were all adults, so it was easier. But some of the gifts were: denim quilt, a homemade cookbook, a little quote book bound at a copy store, an antique type writer, a foot massager (from the '70's for my quirky Bro-in-law).

    For those lean years with the kids, we try to do the same thing, plus we made a point to do extra special things together that dont cost anything: having a slumber party under the Christmas Tree, Walking the neighborhood singing Christmas Carols (not really going caroling, just enjoying being together and singing), cooking together, driving around town, sledding (my kids don't think its Christmas unless we go sledding), etc.

    Get the kids involved. Make it an adventure. "What can we make for gifts?" or "Is there anything that you could regift to your brother that he would love?"

    Good luck. When facing those years, it seems daunting, but they seem to magical as the Spirit of Christmas takes over.

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  5. OK, #2 was so long I thought I would do a seperate post for #3. :)

    My body never got back into shape after any of my babies (due to my own lack of effort-ha ha). But after my first I knew I was "heavy" (I wish I was that heavy now) and so I bought elastic waist pants and baggy clothes. I stopped wearing make-up and I just looked awful.

    Now, I try to love what does look great. I have great legs. So I searched on the web and found what fashions look best with my body type.

    It was hard to get back to seeing me and loving me (and still have days when its frustrating). But I do the best with what I've been given. I wear makeup and do my hair and wear my jewelry (even if its with a T-shirt).

    Its a hard road to self-love, but its worth it. I look at my 3 kids and I know it was worth it.

    Your identity has changed. You are no longer just a woman, you are a Mother. So great. Love that gift you gave your children.

    Hugs. I know its a hard road. Good luck.

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  6. #1: I love couponing! One of my friends taught me how about a year and a half ago and I have saved a ton of money! Some good websites that I like are: pinchingyourpennies.com (this one shows all the deals for the week. go to your state, then click on the store you want the deals for.) Coupon websites that I like are: grocerysmarts.com, smartsource.com, and redplum.com! You can print each coupon twice!

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  7. I've really gotten into coupons lately. Part of it depends which stores you regularly shop. Look for a coupon/deals blog that covers stores in your area (many are on facebook as well), my fav is thekrazycouponlady.com. These sites will pair weekly sales with coupons (and tell you were to find them). You also need to know your stores coupon policies. Go to the websites of products you regularly buy, often you can enter your email address for coupons. You can regularly find printable coupons at coupons.com, redplum.com, and smartcource.com. Good luck!

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  8. 1.) My husband has a great coupon website! http://www.shopyourcommunity.com It has become very popular around our area in AZ. It's got tons of cool features and it's free!

    And another cool thing is if it's not in your area he gives away free accounts to businesses to get it started in your area and/or you can become an affiliate and earn good money by selling it from your blog, or as a part time job! If you are interested contact him at preston@shopyourcommunity.com

    2.) The dollar stores have great things to make crafts with and great gifts!

    Also my husband's family during the holidays get together and write a story of the last year, something that happened that meant a lot. We all share it with each other. Brings us closer and looking back on each years stories is fun too!

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  9. The biggest help we do for Christmas is save our credit card points! We don't spend any of them all year and redeem them for $50 gift cards to Target, Best Buy, and Home Depot. We can usually get something for everyone at any of these stores and it saves us from spending out of pocket. They also have gift cards for restaurants, which are great for those you don't really know what to buy for.

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  10. #1- just to mention something different, I love coupongeek.net as well as some previously posted

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  11. #1 I am not good at coupons.

    #2 A few years ago we decided to do all homemade gifts at Christmas. Not, primarily to save money, but b/c we think that it makes it more special. Its wonderful to take the time to make something special for someone, because all the time you are making it you are thinking about that person. My kids are little, so they haven't been able to help a whole lot, but I try to find ways to get them involved. They love to help bake and my oldest (3) loves to string Mommy's homemade beads to make bracelets.

    Caroling is also free and my family loves to do it around the neighborhood.

    Another thing that we like to do is drive or walk around the neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights.

    My sister and I always make Christmas pajamas for our families. This can actually get expensive, but it doesn't have to be if you get creative with your fabric sources.

    #3 My advice is to buy some transition clothes. Buy or make a few things that make you feel comfortable and cute in this in between time. I found that the right clothes can go a long way to helping you feel like yourself again. You're only 5 months post-baby so there's a good chance that you're not done losing! Also, are you taking time to do some of the things that you like? Some times when we get too wrapped up in the Mommy role we might stop doing some of the things that we used to that might have made us feel like ourselves. Taking time now and then might remind you of yourself! I remember when my son was new I put a TV tray up to the couch and put my sewing machine on it and used to sew while he nursed, he nursed pretty much non-stop for the first 3 or 4 months so I had to be creative.

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  12. #2--My family has gone with a four present Christmas tradition...Each of us gets "Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read". It cuts down on the presents and helps us to focus and think about each present.

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  13. I love the four present Christmas idea. I've never heard that before.

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  14. #2 My siblings and I for Christmas buy or make Christmas ordiments for each other. Its so much fun trying to find the perfect ordiment, and it is something that we will keep and have 30 years from now. I love every year to put the ordiments because I always have such fond memories of each ordiment that I put on the tree.

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  15. Check out the website theshapeofamother.com. It's inspirational and honest. I just had my 5th baby a year ago and also turned 30. Both did a number on me. I'm almost a year postpartum and still weigh more than I did when I gave birth to my oldest. Buying clothes that really fit instead of waiting until I fit into my other clothes has really helped. I don't feel frumpy and when something fits and actually looks good I don't feel as big. I've started walking my kids to school and trying to stay moving as much as possible during the day and drinking tons and tons of water. The numbers on the scale are going down, slowly but surely. Next time I will definitely be more careful during my pregnancy.

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  16. A friend of mine told me about the 4 presents (she does it exactly the same way) and I am going to that this year. Our house is exploding with toys right now. I am going to dial it down a bit this year and go simple. The money I do spend will be on memories: Seeing the Nutcracker, etc.

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  17. For coupons: I'm so lucky to have a mother who literally clips hundreds of coupons and sends them to me. I also go to the store's website before I go and look for their coupons (target's is great, plus if you want to save a little on paper and ink you can print their coupons at the store!)
    For Christmas: Making gifts CAN cut down the prices if you make sure you're buying the right supplies, and not spending too much on them. And secondly a cute idea is 3 gifts, like the wise men gave 3 gifts to Baby Jesus. Though, for our kids we usually only get them one gift, with so many relatives they get enough.
    And for Post Baby: Well, as Sara smartly pointed out, getting a few cute items in your size for now works wonders. And don't sweat it. My husband calls my belly the badge of courage. You could actually get a flat belly, my sister has had 4 kids and she has a flat belly, of course she looks like the wind could blow her over, (personally I wouldn't want to look like that, but to each their own) she does run like 20 miles every day.

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  18. Our family does three gifts - one for the body, one for the mind, and one for the soul. Examples could be something like: socks or slippers (body), good book or puzzles (mind), candles or music (soul). Works great. Body gifts can also be food items like hand-dipped chocolate strawberries or home-baked cookies.

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  19. My answers:

    1. I usually can find some good coupons online.. I can't remember any specific sites but you can print them out. I also get a lot of freebies in the mail that come with $1 or $2 off coupons.

    2. Do a lot of crafts with your kids, make your own wreaths, make popcorn string (or whatever that is called), paint your own ornaments.

    3. You just have to learn to accept your body. It is hard and will take a while. I have heard a few times "It took 9 months to make a baby and it will take 9 months to get back to normal." Just eat healthy and try to get regular exercise.

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  20. @Beth, how do you print coupons at Target? I would LOVE to be able to do that.

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  21. We had our first "pretty broke" Christmas two years ago. I decided to do lots of Christmas activities with the kids to focus more on the season and spirit of the holiday, rather than gifts.

    So, we had a Christmas Activity advent calender. Each day behind the door of our advent calender, my son found a little scroll of paper tied with a ribbon, with different activities on them. Bake cookies, go out to see Christmas lights, make popsicle stick ornaments, salt and flour dough ornaments, etc...

    We also had an elf come to visit us, who made mischief every night. Look up "magic elf tradition" I made my own elf with a blank muslin doll from the craft store and felt and 99c christmas socks to make clothing.

    That Christmas was so much fun. It extended the holiday to last all month and no one said a thing about the vastly reduced number of presents under the tree.

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  22. #2 Our first Christmas together we got everyone Christmas mugs from the grocery store and some hot chocolate & candy canes, and filled the mugs.

    #3 My advice is to accept the way you are right now. If clothes don't fit, don't leave them in with the clothes you can fit in--either give them away, or put them in a box for later. They will just remind you about how you used to look. Also, don't worry too much about what size clothes you are wearing now. As long as you look good in them, no one is going to stop you and ask if that shirt isn't a size bigger than the ones you used to wear.

    And 5 months isn't really that long. Having a kid is a hard on your body, and when you have a new baby you don't get much sleep. If you do nurse, your body might hold onto extra weight because nursing takes so much out of you. And if you don't nurse, your uterus doesn't shrink as fast as if you do. So it takes awhile to get back to normal.

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  23. I think I can only post about the post- baby question.
    I remember when I had my 2 girls that I gained 45-55 with each girl, each time. I didn't do anything different with my 3rd child, which was a boy and only gained 30-35. I don't know what's normal but with me carrying girls I gained fat everywhere, but the last time I had a boy, I looked all baby with him. After I had him my belly went immediately flat and I was so thrilled by looking in the mirror. Now I am stil working off the baby belly but it's a hard journey. I've never been much of a gym person, but I'm trying to be. I try to go to the gym and run 2 miles and then get of something different like the moving stairs and do another mile. Running is something that will give you get accomplishment when you start from just being able to walk to finally being able to get the rates going up. Join a gym is what definately works for me. I haven't lost any weight really but I can tell the difference in my legs and feel more energized. We all need that with kids for sure.

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  24. I'm a bit late in posting a comment but our internet was just switched on today. :)

    1. I can't help with this...I live in the wrong country. Oops

    2. I agree with some of the other commenters...COOK!

    - Also, start simple traditions that will make every Christmas special.
    - Cookies are pretty inexpensive to make...and they make great gifts for friends and family members.
    - Make origami decorations
    - Volunteer at a local shelter or old folks home. Help someone else have a special holiday season.

    3. I have stretch marks, a slight mommy tummy and my breasts are now a bit different from each other....but I've earned it. I guess my advice is to think of yourself as a different person. Instead of a mom of one, you're now a mom of two! Also, give yourself more time. My midwife told me that although it only takes 9 months to make a baby, it can take up to 18 months to get your body back into shape. (Uh-oh...I only have 3 more months) Good luck! :)

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  25. #3: I have 5 kids. Trust me my body has been through a lot! I love fityummymummy.com. I have revamped my eating, and exercise 15-20 minutes (intensely) 6 days a week. I am seeing so many changes. I have always spent hours exercising to get "back" my body, but I am doing it in less time after baby number five.
    In addition to this I try to speak positively in my mind. I am succeeding and being a mother is a wonderful, beautiful thing. I try to see myself as others see me. It helps.

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  26. #3) I have six kids under 8 years old and it has been a roller coaster with each one. Something that works for me is counting calories. It really helps to be aware of every thing I eat, no matter how small. You can set a reasonable goal for how much you want to eat and then just stick with keeping track. It has helped me a ton. And it really helps to focus on the kids with my whole mind. I think one of the hardest things about being a mom and trying to be healthy is that so much of our work involves food: buying, cooking, storing, feeding, planning, budgeting. I have to get my mind focused on something else or it is too overwhelming. After my 6th, who is about 5 months old as well, I have really tried to be patient with myself. Exercising for the mental as well as the physical benefits has been great too. Good luck!

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  27. Maybe no one will read this, since I'm very late posting, but here goes anyway... Hopefully it's a little bit helpful...

    #2. After last year and all the toys and the "want want want" mindset, we decided to make Christmas centered on Christ, and how he wants us to treat others, this year. So we are purposefully scaling down on christmas presents and scaling up on service. I bought lots of warm things last year on clearance so my kids would have nice things to donate for the hat/coat drives and things, we are going to go make & serve breakfast at the Ronald McDonald house Christmas Eve morning, we'll clean out their toys so they can donate them for other kids to help them have a good christmas, take cookies/sing songs at the retirement homes & firemen, etc. There are a million things that we can do to serve others, and they don't have to cost money. I want them to focus not on themselves, but on others. When we serve others, we feel better about ourselves and it brings us together as a family. We're still doing presents, but not as many or as big and then, later in the year, we can make their birthdays bigger (because lets face it, we all love to give our kids things) and not feel the pinch so much. And (this is totally selfish) but we'll get the credit for the big toys and not Santa, and you can shop the after christmas sales for their birthdays.

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  28. NaylinerMobile sends out daily text messages with coupons. (They are just starting so they are not coming daily yet.) You can sign up by sending your zip code to 801-882-1900. It is only in UT for now and they also give away prizes every week.

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