Tuesday, May 31, 2011

DIY: Shoe repair

I didn't think about blogging this until I was half done so picture are limited.
Last year I got an adorable pair of ballerina flats with buttons at Payless shoes.

I wore them maybe a dozen times and them broke the button off one of the shoes.. I thought about cutting the straps off but they didn't stay on as well so I put them away thinking I would try and fix them someday.. Well, today was that someday. I dug around and found some white elastic thread, 2 matching seashell buttons, and a plastic canvas needle and went to work.

The design of the shoes is cute and functional which in my world says a lot for shoes.. I don't have small feet , they always seem to be puffy so I try to find cute and comfortable... These fit the bill perfectly.. The big white button was simple and feminine and also more fragile then I thought. I found 2 white seashell buttons in my box of buttons and proceed to sew the button back on the shoe. I still think they are feminine and since they are now fixed they are once again functional. Might even wear them this weekend to the Bloggy Boot Camp in Seattle... Definitely more comfortable them heels... We will see.


House Party: Velveeta Cheesy Skillets

Just got word today that we have been selected to house a House Party Velveeta Cheesy Skillets party. We are super excited as my boys think cheese is the best thing and love it on everything.
What is a House Party? Let me tell you they are a wonderful activity.. The host receives what I like to call "party in a box" full of things for the party. This particular party will include 4 Velveeta Cheesy Dinner boxes , coupons, memo boards, and tote bags.  We have done other parties with House Party as well as other companies and have always enjoyed the box of goodies and gifts for guests.
As the host you are responsible for setting up the party but are provided with decoration ideas (printable graphics, recipes, game ideas, etc..). We also have something for the kids, this time around I think we will do coloring pictures or something. The other thing I like to do is create a mix CD for the evening and play it while we are having the party. (it really helps that unvldad is a DJ wanna be and loves to remix and mash up tracks.).

We scheduled our party for June 21st and can't wait for the evening to get here. (we would have planned a weekend thing but we do sound work for a small dance studio that has their recital that weekend and it is Father's Day weekend.)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What is the craziest thing you have ever gotten in the mail???

Today we got a fun surprise in the mail from Question Moms. A bright red ball from Send-a-Ball. Nathan immediately decided we had to play with the ball and blog about it.

Here is a little about the company from their website.

"Sendaball, Inc.is a family business headquartered in Chicago. It is owned by a couple of BALLSY sisters who live across the street from each other in the same northwestside Chicago neighborhood they grew up in. They have been sending balls since the 90s, but one day in 2003, it seemed this CRAZY idea was meant to be a BUSINESS."

This fun , colorful, unique gift is something special you can send to anyone.  SendaBall costs $16.00 plus shipping (about $4.00) and you can choose for a variety of colors and saying, even customizing the phrase "Have a Ball......"
 I can totally see sending this out to a graduate or a new sibling. What a great gift idea.   Unvlmom's readers get a special discount code for $3.00 off  your order. Just use Question220 at checkout.

Oh and here is Nathan hanging out with the ball and even 'blogging' about the ball..

**Thanks to Question Moms  and SendABall for sending us this fun product for review. Unless otherwise noted all content and opinions on this blog are original to Unvlmom. Links to product and company photos have been used in this article. We received no other monetary compensation for our review of this product.**

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm going to Boot Camp

Bloggy Boot Camp that is...

Thanks to MadHatterMom I won a ticket to the Bloggy Boot Camp in Seattle... I can't wait for June 4th to get here.... I was going over the list of speakers and am super excited to hear these speakers, most of whom I follow on twitter... There is something about meeting/ hearing speakers in real life rather than just online comments via Twitter and Facebook. Don't get me wrong I am very addicted to both social networks, but I still thrive on some real interactions.

The whole thing became very real today when Tina forwarded me the ticket via email... Now to figure out where I am going to stay... at $110 (plus taxes) a hotel room is not realistic....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Review : Green Latern

We were selected to host a Green Latern Party in exchange for a review of the products. We held our party on Mother's Day (probably wasn't the best day to do it but we had fun)

Matel Co. and DC comics have combined to bring this fun line of toys as a new Green Latern Movie is being released in June and should be a summer blockbuster.
The main character Hal Jordan is a human that is selected by a dieing alien to take over as a Green Latern.  Since I have boys I am lucky enough to get to learn all this crazy stuff about aliens and space travel along with the comics and all other things boy related..

We had 5 friends over and enjoyed ourselves making Green veggie snack wrap faces, colored pictures of Hal Jordan as a Green Latern, watched the Green Latern DVD that was provided in our party pack and play a couple rounds of Collosal Canon shots...
Our party pack from Mommy Parties included hardbound comic books, Green Latern Action Figures, 2 Collosal Cannons, Green Latern Rings, a cartoon DVD Green Latern Movie, and a list of party ideas including recipes and games.
Since it was Mother's Day I decided to keep the decorations simple. The action figures and Comic Books went in large baskets, the rings sat in a clear glass bowl on the table, and a simple green vase sat in the center of the Dinning Room Table to add a touch of pretty to the party.

The boys "decorate" flour tortillas with green veggies as a snack. We used a base of sour cream mixed with dip seasoning. Each of the boys made a face with the veggies. 

Once the boys finished up their wraps we put the DVD on and they all sat around the coffee table to watch the movie. Overall the movie is pretty good... I would however not recommend it for younger kids and only allowed my boys to watch parts of the movie (they went outside during a middle section of the movie which was a little more violent than I thought they should watch.)

After the movie we set up a pyramid of plastic drink cups and let the boys take turns shooting the cups down using 1 of the 2 Colossal Cannons that came in our party pack. The cannons make a firing sounds and like up when the trigger is pulled and shot out round flat disks. Each of the cannons comes with 10 discs. I would recommend either playing outside or in a closed room as the discs can easily get lost in the cracks of a kitchen (lesson learned, we lost 4 of the 20 total discs playing in the kitchen.)

Overall the party was a blast and the boys loved the games, snacks, and toys. It was fun to have a party for no other reason than to try out a new product. And I know the boys were very grateful for the opportunity to play with the action figures and have enjoyed reading the comic books. Thank you Mommy Parties for making our Mother's Day a super fun party Day.

****We received a party pack from Mommy Parties in exchange for our honest opinion. All opinions and photos are property of Unvlmom's Spot and no other monetary compensation was received"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Design Chic Blog Hop


I'm always game for a blog hop... actually a lot of my blogging her at the Spot has been surrounding blog hops... kind of lazy I'm sure but whatever it takes to get us blogging I'm play along..
 For the blog hop there is a question...
For your groceries, are you paying with cash or with credit card?

For the most part I pay with cash although when we go shopping together husband pays with a credit card. The card gets paid off every month, so it doesn't cost us any interest and we get a rebate at the end of the year... I don't recommend using a credit card especially when you are on a tight budget which I'm sure most of us are...  Today is actually  a perfect example. I had $40 cash, some cans and bottles to return for refunds and a pile of coupons. We were able to buy the groceries for this weekend with that $40 and ended up with $3.00 left over...  So, sometimes cash in hand is better for the budget and making us more aware of our spending.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Feed the Family on Less than $20 a Day

 I  hope to make this a series. I try to feed the family on $100 or less a week. That equates to $20 a day assuming we don’t go out.  I do use coupons however I am not a die-hard extreme couponer.  I have been known to find some really good deals and I am happy when I do. Lately I have been shopping at our local Grocery Outlet and Walmart where I have been able to keep our grocery and basic toiletry budget at about $100 a week.. Thankfully Grocery Outlet actually makes it possible to keep it well under $100.  Here is an example of our $20 a Day Menu from today:
French Toast ( MultiGrain Sourdough bread ½ loaf  $1.80, ½ cup vanilla soy Milk, 3 eggs. $0.75)
Syrup (sometimes we use homemade jam if I can convince the guys to use it rather than syrup)

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (1/2 loaf whole wheat bread $1.90 Cheese $1.75 , 2 cans Progresso Tomato Soup $1.98)

Chili Mac  ($5.80)

Dessert :
Pudding (used 3 cups Soy Vanilla Milk $2.20)

Butter is expensive so when I made the sandwiches I used about a tablespoon on the grill instead of spreading it on each piece of bread. I also found if I buy the sharp cheddar cheese at Grocery Outlet for the same price as mild cheddar I use less on the boys’ sandwiches for the same or more flavor.
Total for today’s meals  $16.18
The boys did have lemonade packets that ended up being $.20 and I bought a Coke Zero at the little store up the street $1.29 and 2 popsicles $1.20
So the day’s total for the day still under $20.00
This week’s grocery shopping did not include coupons and I am sure if I had coupons I could have saved a dollar or two…
Remember to watch for sales especially on pantry basics (spices, flour, sugars, ect…)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Promotions Guidelines from Facebook

Today I received a link to the Promotions Guidelines from Facebook. Trying to decide what it means for giveaways on our blogs. We have a Facebook page for the blogs which are linked here on our blogs. Does this mean we can not use that linked gadget as a entry?

What is your understanding on these guidelines?