Thursday, October 28, 2010

Children Inspire Design

Today's feature on jasmere:

I am super excited about today's jasmere feature. I know that I will be purchasing at least one voucher to Children Inspire Design. I especially like the alphabet wall cards! I am planning on (hopefully!) organizing and decorating the boys' rooms this winter, so this offering is perfect.

So far the price is $18 for a $40 voucher, and the price will continue to drop with the more vouchers people buy. Plus, you're not billed until the sale is over (tomorrow at noon), and you'll always be billed the lowest price. Check out jasmere for more information.


P.s. I can say from experience that jasmere is a very reputable site featuring great products. I've already purchased seven vouchers in the past three months! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

WIP Wednesdays (two days late)

On my previous blog, Thoughts During Walks, I sometimes posted my crafting works-in-progress on Wednesdays, under the topic of "WIP Wednesdays." I always have something--usually many things--I'm working on, so I would like to continue this on Contentedly Home. Please feel free to join me if you'd like--I'm always interested in what others have on their needles, hooks, canvases, and sewing machines! :)

I've been plugging away on my Granny Stripes afghan, albeit very slowly. It's always nice to have at least one mindless project stashed away to work on after the boys are in bed and Coach is watching M*A*S*H* reruns. I do hope to finish the afghan soon--I really need to replace the current blanket that is covering our worn-out recliner.

I have a goal of being able to pull out two sets of mittens and hats on the first cold morning of the year. At first I thought that I would like to present the boys with these handmade knits in their Christmas stockings, but I am afraid that the love and warmth with which I want them to be presented would be lost with all of the hustle and bustle of Christmas (there will be plenty more opinions and goals regarding Christmas and consumerism as we get closer to the season). What better time than to present them than when they're truly needed and as a sweet surprise? I sure hope the boys will agree!

The first hat I've been working on is a Gnome Hat from the book, The Children's Year. It is very simple, yet whimsical. I am using Knit Picks Swish DK and size 3 needles. Although this is a child's hat, it sure is taking a while to knit! I plan on making matching striped mittens as long as I have enough orange yarn. By the way, orange is one of my favorite colors on little boys--different than the usual blues and greens, but not too "girly." This set will be for Ben, with plenty of room to grow. I have not yet decided on a set for Matthew, but I'm thinking something fairly simple. Any knitting/crochet suggestions are welcome!

Finally, a couple of projects for me. Last spring I started on the Favorite Cardigan, but spring fever got to me and I put it away for the summer. With our nights already feeling pretty chilly, I'm ready to finally finish it up. I just have a little bit more of the body to do as well as the arms (3/4 length). I'm excited about this sweater and the top-down construction! I've also been working on a pair of socks for myself--this time toe-up. So, I've got one top-down sweater and one toe-up sock on my needles right now! :)

As I'm typing this I'm remembering several other projects I started: a baby sweater, baby hats, and a doily. I'm not sure if these should be categorized as WIPs or UFOs (unfinished objects)...hopefully I will complete some of these projects soon!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

La Montanita Co-op

Today I went to Santa Fe for a whirlwind shopping trip. Thankfully, my mother was able to watch one of the boys! In regards to the other one, all I have to say is that bribery does work (when only used once in a while, of course)!

One of my new-to-me favorite stores is La Montanita Co-op. The prices are quite reasonable, especially the specials, and the atmosphere is laid back and pleasant--a welcomed stress-free grocery store! While shopping for produce I usually consult the Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen lists. For me, this helps with prioritizing what organic produce I buy while staying within my budget. If you happen to be in Santa Fe, I highly recommend stopping by La Montanita. Organic apples are on sale for $1.29/pound (beat Smith's $1.89/pound!), and I also picked up two-five pound bags of organic potatoes at $2.49 each. Both potatoes and apples are on the Dirty Dozen list, so this trip was well worth it!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Farmers' Market

I love Fall. It is by far my favorite season. The weather is gorgeous, I start drinking hot tea again, I bring out the families' knits, the smell of roasting green chile is in the air, and there is just an overall feeling of coziness and anticipation of the winter ahead.

Once a week little brother and I head to the Farmers' Market to purchase fresh produce, hot cider, perhaps a scone or other baked goody, and enjoy our mother/son time together. He plays at the playground, then we go to the library. We see friends, I talk with former students and their parents, and we meet new people (who usually stop to comment on my boy's cuteness, and of course, I have to agree!) as we make our way around the stalls. Then, to top it all off, we get to drive home with fresh fruits and veggies! I believe our Farmers' Market will only be open for a week or two longer, so I'm going to savor these visits until next spring.

Hamming it up on the playground:

On Sunday we spent much of the day outside. We went exploring at Bandelier National Monument. The boys loved playing in the river, running along the path, and Big Brother went up the ladders into the caves with his Papa (Little Brother and I were having some nursing time in the car). Again, it is such a beautiful time of year! :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Heart CVS

Lately I've been getting some fabulous deals at CVS. It is by far my favorite drugstore, and right now it even tops Target for me (gasp!). If you're not familiar with CVS, there are currently two Santa Fe locations:

195 Paseo de Peralta (next to Sunflower Market in de Vargas Center)

511 West Cordova Road

I honestly have only gone to the CVS at the de Vargas Center since it's in a very easy and central location. All of the employees there have been helpful and friendly, and none have batted an eye when I pulled out my couponizer loaded with coupons. :)

If you're new to CVS, here are some tips to get you started:

1. Before making any purchases, be sure to sign up for an ExtraCare Rewards Card. It's free, and you'll get rewards equal to 2% of your total purchases quarterly. It also enables you to take advantage of sales that reward you with Extra Bucks.

2. Always scan your card at the CVS machine, usually located in the front of the store. Paper coupons will print out, usually for use that day. Today I received a coupon for $10 off my entire purchase, as well as free candy corn! :)

3. Purchase a green tag for $0.99 to attach to a reusable bag. Each time you shop, be sure to have the cashier scan your tag. Each scan gives you a $0.25 credit, which very quickly compensates for the purchase of the tag.

4. Be sure to check out weekly ads. Sometimes they come in the Sunday paper, but sometimes they don't (here in northern New Mexico). I haven't figured out any pattern to this, but sometimes I can't find the ad anywhere. When that happens, though, I just look online at There are usually FREE deals (after Extra Bucks) each week! I will try my best to keep my favorite deals for the week updated here.

To give an example of why CVS is my current favorite, I'd like to share today's trip:

Jergens Overnight Repair lotion: $6 (reg $6.99)
Purchased two, then used two $2/1 coupons from 10/10 Smartsource insert. Received $3 Extra Bucks.
Final price: $2.50/each

Colgate Total Advance White: $2.99 (reg $3.69)
Purchased two, used two $1/1 coupons, received $5.98 Extra Bucks
Final price: $2 money-maker!

Softsoap Body wash: $4.49, B1G1 free
Puchased two, used one $1/1 and one 0.75/1 coupons
Final price: $1.37/each

Brach's candy corn: $0.99
Purchased two, used two $0.99 coupons printed from CVS
Final price: FREE!

Batteries: $6.49, B1G1 Free
Puchased two
Final price: $3.25/each (pack of 10 AA)

After using my free and effortless $10 coupon, my grand total (including tax) was $12.71, with $8.95 Extra Cash. This essentially makes my total $3.93! I HEART CVS!