Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bargains for those who have the proper coupons

I love a bargain.
I believe in coupons but clearly I am not cut out to use them.
I spent a good part of Thanksgiving Day studying the many black Friday flyers and clipping coupons.  I was proud of the little envelope I created.
When I went to go use my little money saving pieces of newsprint it didn’t work so well….

For example…
My save $15 when I spend $70 at JCpenney was good only after 3pm.  I was there at noon.

My save $10 when I purchase $30 or more at Bath and Body Works cannot be used at the outlet store unless it has the word “signature” is printed on it.  Same goes for my “Free” item when I spend $10.  Needless to say, it was missing “signature”

My Friendly’s Restaurant coupon was only good at one participating store, that was 22 miles from the restaurant I was sitting in.

And although this isn’t exactly a coupon… the icing on the cake?
You know I love online grocery shopping?  Well I spent a bit of Friday and Saturday morning  completing a rather large order only to find out that the only pick up time slots were now slated for Sunday.  Not the end of the world, I scheduled it…. I just woke up out of a sound sleep realizing my order was based on last week’s sale circular.  Today starts a new sale and my order will be cashed out on today’s sales not yesterdays of which I planned my list around. 
Yes, the shopping season is in full swing! Bring it on!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for today...

 am thankful for hot lunches,  gas stations that pump for you, my babysitter, the magic eraser, the butt warmer in my car, DVR, Oprah’s amazing 25th season, my i-phone, long weekends,  online grocery shopping,  and  blogging. 

But really, my husband and five kids give me an amazing amount of strength and love. I am a grateful Paper Mom.

Hope you are enjoying your day!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A "Fall" To Remember

Forget thanksgiving, write about a time you fell.
Just reading Mama Kat's writing prompt made me start to laugh and remember the day...

It was a year and a half ago… a trip to visit my parents. I flew to the sunshine state to retrieve my daughter from an extended Grammy and Grandpa visit.  I spent a week with my folks before flying back.  On our last full day of Florida sunshine my mom and I decided to treat the kids to lunch and mini golf…

As I recall the day, it is as if it is replaying in slow motion in my head, it was the hottest day in the history of Florida, well at least it felt like it.  We were sweating off the pounds as we played the course, hole ten,  a slight incline a bumpy sidewalk and a 30 something acrobat tumbling down the hill.  I am not sure what happened, or how it happened, or why it happened.  But it happened, I fell (like a rock star!).  And looking back on it, it was one of those cartoonish sort of moments where I am convinced stars and little birdies were dancing above my head for all to see.  Not only did my mom come to my rescue so did all the nearby players.  Trying to be calm and collected, I had an urge to jump to my feet.  But honestly, I wasn’t sure if they were still attached to my body.   I managed to get up and make sure I was all there.  I had a pretty bad scrape and a toe nail ½ hanging off my big toe,  I was shaken and embarrassed!  My kids couldn’t hold back, they burst into laughter, busting a gut.  My mom  had a hard time holding back the laughter… it was almost too hot to laugh, we were dripping in sweat, giggly in a nervous sort of “I can’t believe I just made a fool out of myself" way, and then my mom got sweat in her eyes and was semi blinded which made us both lose it.  We seriously almost peed our pants from the series of events.  I was limping through the course and she was blind feeling her way through the course trying to find the ladies room to dab the sweat out of her eyes.  The kids were sick of the game, hot and sweaty and just wanted to get home to the pool.  Our little fun surprise outing nearly landed me in the emergency room and my mom at the eye doctor.  It didn’t impress the children and I swear to you… it took several months for my toe to heal.  Maybe you had to be there to appreciate it all, but I know I will never forget the day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Love is in the Air...

I loved our wedding…
It was intimate with only 35 people, our closest friends and family.
It was romantic, a ceremony followed by an elegant candle lit dinner.
It was emotional, my husband’s vows had everyone in tears…
Lots of grown (well, like my dad) men crying over his words.
Many  men shaking hands with my husband afterward saying “man that was good” and it was good, because I know he means every single word.
Our kids held hands in a circle around us as we said our vows.
A piano player in the corner set the tone.
My dress was perfect!  Elegant, appropriate, romantic and classic.
Our three girls wore the same dress, our boys in the same tie.
I could gush for days over this special evening.  I could go on and on about our three day honeymoon.
Simply put, Dr. and Mrs. Paper Mom is about the best thing ever!
On Tuesday we will celebrate our anniversary but lucky for me, we celebrate our love every single day!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why am I burned out?? haahahahah

Today I am linking up with Mama Kat's writers workshop, answering the question... 
Why am I burned out?

Five kids
Blended rules, lives, time and stuff
Five kids to referee
Laundry, 2.5 bathrooms to clean, dinner for seven
Five kids to shuttle around
Two jobs for the World’s Greatest Husband, Two jobs for the Mom/Step-Mo
Five kids to clothe, feed, strengthen and support
Finding time to talk with, love and date the World’s Greatest Husband
Five kids, period.

Why is my life the best?
Five kids
A second chance at love and a modern day family
Five kids sharing life’s ups and downs, navigating their way
A big house to build our happy life in
Five kids engaged in many activities to help them grow
We have the means to provide for our big family
Five kids that work together with spirit and open hearts (usually)
A husband who is supportive, loving, kind and only wants the best for all 7 of us
Five kids, period.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rick Springfield and Friends Cruise... just not with this friend...

I am blogging to work through some unsettling emotion.  This is my therapy session, right? I am not so sure this is a judgment free zone but here I go.  At the very least you may get a good giggle on me.

Ok, so favorite Paper Mom readers, you all know about my love for all things Rick Springfield since I was in the 5th grade.  Well about a year ago, I started to gently plug that the Rick Springfield and Friends Cruise (yes, one does exist through Carnival Cruise Line every November) would be the ultimate 40th birthday dream come true.  I worked it hard for only a short time, announcing it in front of friends and family.  Of which they mostly giggled and rolled their eyes.  As the year went on I took a step back realizing our finances would suffer with such an indulgence and knowing the World’s Greatest Husband’s demanding work schedule would make it nearly impossible to take time off the second week of November.  Plain and simple, I shut up about it.  I stopped thinking about how great it would be to be on a beach with Rick, sipping cocktails and listening to Jessie’s Girl reggae style while soaking up some vitamin D.  Life happens, I moved on.  I hardly remembered it was cruise time until the recent carnival ship making the news…. Ding, Ding, Ding…. Oh, I’ll just visit the Rick cruise website and see the latest news….

Then as a weird stroke of luck or possibly the worst thing ever… I then took a little looksie at our Google calendar and saw "Monday, November 15,2010 2:30 PM – SAIL” as an entry and I started to think and dream myself sick….all I could think was….

OH MY GOD! The World's Greatest Husband BOOKED the Rick Springfield and Friends CRUISE Nov 15-20th!  He notified my boss, his appointments for the week are all a hoax, the kids must be in on it, maybe his sister is coming to stay with the kids, what the heck am I going to pack? Do I need a passport? Does he know I don’t have a passport? I need things, I need travel things…  Looking back on my little 20 minute brain overload, it was quite a conversation! (With myself)

So as the weekend started I absolutely convinced myself that there was no truth to this and wanted to ask him what SAIL meant in the calendar but in some weird sort of way, wanted to live the dream too.  Oh no, no, no this can’t be true.  We are not going.  Until we received a phone message on Saturday night from my sister-in-law, the one that was our imaginary 5 day cruise babysitter.  I felt relief when I listened to her voicemail and saw her number, ok, good, she is home in Virginia, and she isn’t on her way to stay with our 5 babies while I go have the ultimate 40th par-tay.  Silly Paper Mom, you ARE NOT cruising, relax, it’s ok…. Now you know the truth.  Except then I started to psych myself out…. What if that was simply a way to cast doubt on any thought I may have of cruising the ocean blue….

Oh people, you get the picture… the intense measurement of voice, details and scheduling this past weekend have worn me out.  I am not going to cruise with my boy Rick, instead two girls are getting braces in the morning, our oldest son is getting little kids off the bus while I attend a meeting and the World’s Greatest Husband is scheduled to work until 9pm. Life people, life. It would take a small army of qualified adults, contracts, paper, written rules, lists, lots and lots of lists to make our life happen without us being present, what was I thinking?  It was fun to dream, I found the “what if’s” to be truly exhausting.  I am headed to the office in the morning.  I have a lot to do.  But I may just pop in my Rick CD and try to find some peace in this stupid weekend of wonder.  What the heck is wrong with me? I don’t usually get this wacked out.  I am not disappointed, I knew the truth, honestly in my heart, I knew we weren’t going but it’s funny how our brain (especially my brain) can play the whole thing out as if it were a dream come true.  I feel sick and I had a horrible weekend, thanks for asking.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Five for Friday with Life Without Pink

Five for Friday
Usually on Fridays I post five great things about today... but here I am switching it up... I am posting some photos about my happy place, the place I blog!  I am linking up with “Life Without Pink” to show off my blogging space.  

I usually blog while sitting in my living room.  While sometimes it provides a little nook to type and referee what is going on around me.  I prefer to blog from my big comfy chair in front of the TV in my bedroom.  Really, I am only able to blog from this special spot on Saturday nights when the World’s Greatest Husband is stuck at the Hospital and my kids are all asleep and let’s be honest, this space is rarely as clean as the photo. 

Winter Sucks!

I feel like I am waiting for a bus, waiting for the other shoe to drop.  WHY? Why do I have this feeling that something is about to happen and I am not sure if it is good or bad.  Hmmm, could it be my 40th birthday? The budget situation and will I have a job next year? The holidays and all the stress that comes with that?  my parents arrival? I am not sure.

It may simply be the arrival of winter….
I hate winter.  I hate winter.  Let me say that in a more creative way, I hate winter.
The thought of shorter days, cold nights and snow makes me want to vomit.  Sorry to be so crude but really… I hate winter.  We had an early dose this past week, nothing ugly just minor annoyances that delayed school for 90 minutes and made me wonder where the heck my sloppy weather shoes are.  I’ve been a New Englander all my life, my closest relatives live in the sunshine state.  Really, how did that happen?  I am the one who was supposed to move to warmer temperatures.  I’ve often said I only have a certain amount of winters left in me… I am at 12 now…. 12 more winters and then I will move.  My youngest will be 18 and headed to medical school, law school or honestly, what I have been plugging lately… dental school, those guys are making a killing off our family! 

You should see me in the winter… besides my grumbling, I dress like an Eskimo.  I rarely come into the house and take my coat off; I keep it on, start dinner and keep going.  I have a chill always and bedtime is joke.  I think the World’s Greatest Husband is really looking forward to the bedtime layers….

So here we go again, winter is fast approaching and I hate it.  I guess what I am really “waiting for” is for winter to be over.  I’ve become a real believer in Groundhog Day.  I’ll take some hope anywhere I can get it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


What would your last meal be?
I listened to a clip on NPR with Nora Ephron.  She has a new book out and I can’t wait to read it!  In her interview she mentions playing the game “What would your last meal be?”  So hey favorite Paper Mom readers, let’s play…

Hmm, I would like a week’s worth of food for that last meal and I absolutely don’t want to do the dishes.  In addition, I would like to eat this meal on the prettiest plates with a tablescape that would make Martha drool.   Let’s start the feast with a glass of pinot grigio.  I would follow that up with a salad, a bed of greens, fresh strawberries, cucumbers, and chopped walnuts top that yum-mo salad off with a balsamic vinaigrette please. What’s next? Well stuffed mushrooms would make me happy, or maybe a slice of thin, dirty, sausage pizza, of course a crab meat manicotti or New England clam chowder works too!  Of course lobster (lazy man only) and garlic bread, lots of garlic bread would make me smile like a first grader on Halloween night.  A baked potato with sour cream and a sprinkle of crumbled bacon or maybe even an egg over easy with some buttery toast wouldn’t be the worst thing to digest… but ultimately my all time favorite would be my mom’s shrimp with squash and tomatoes over linguine that would be the meal to make me feel love and know that life is good.  Let’s add to that the biggest slice of carrot cake with some cream cheese frosting and stick a fork in me…

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sweet, Sweet, Sweet!

One of Sweet Maria's Creations! Amazing!!!

Unfortunately our downtown struggles.  It is often viewed as a "dangerous after dark" kind of place.  It just so happens, it is where I work.  Our Library, our community center is the heart of downtown.  I personally don’t buy into the danger thing and last night proved it!  As Library lovers we often hear "women won’t go downtown after dark for library events, the parking, the people…" well last night we proved them wrong…. and I admit, it felt good! 50 women (and a few men) packed our community room to hear baker and cookbook author,  Maria Bruscino Sanchez tell her story.

Have you heard of Maria?  Well let’ just say this…. She is AMAZING! Sweet, kind, driven, funny and one heck of a baker!  She shared her journey from marketing account executive to  business owner, baker & author.  Twenty years into the business and she still enjoys it, and prefers to be in the kitchen at her bakery, Sweet Maria's in Waterbury, CT!  She made us laugh and made us Oooo and AAHhh over some spectacular cakes and cookie decorating techniques.  I love, love, love hearing the journey of women entrepreneurs, and her story is another story of inspiration another lesson on following your passion, doing what you love and hard work always pays off.  Be sure to visit her website  and fan her on facebook too!

Kudos to Julie for planning this fabulous night!

An Open House, Paperly Style...

Last week was a fun Paperly sort of week.  I wanted to post a few pictures of my little paper collection.
The catalogs...
Some holiday items!
So many memo sheets!
flat notes, folded notes, oh the choices!
And an additional benefit of hosting a Paperly open house last week? A clean the living room!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Blog-o-versary to me!  My first post was on November 5th, 2009.   I am writing my 200th post a year later.  It is hard to believe that a year has gone by, a year of blogs, vlogs, friends and posts.  I've loved writing, reading and thinking... this blog has become a part of me, I have a sense of responsibility to it, and to you, my favorite Paper Mom readers.  Since blending our families three years ago I feel like very few things in our hectic life are mine... all mine... but this little blog is all mine (well its sort of yours too) but I get to set the direction and tone... Paper Mom has become my creative outlet, personal therapy and my safe place to rant, complain, shine and share.  Thank you for reading. I hope you get a good giggle every once in awhile.  I hope these little snippets of my life help you (and heck, me too) realize we are not alone on this journey, we are a sisterhood of strong women, for crying out loud,  God knows we do it all, we know it all and really - we like it that way... except when it causes small minor breakdowns that require a strong cocktail, a girls night out or a good cry on the World's Greatest Husband's shoulders.  Ladies, let's toast the blog that keeps us connected.  I hope you continue to read my little labor of love.  I truly appreciate your checking in.  Cheers!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Five great things about today:

  1. It's Paperly Open House Day! Yippee!  Looking forward to showing off the Paperly line and visiting with friends.  As I was pulling it all out this morning, I realized.... I own a lot of paper!  Come see!
  2. My playroom is a bit more organized (I won't go as far as saying clean and sparkly) 
  3. Its the last day of 1/2 days... those darn school conferences.
  4. An additional under the lights softball game & pizza party tonight.  It gets my kids out of the house with something to do while I host a Paperly Open House!
  5. Did I mention I am hosting a Paperly Open House tonight? 5-8pm. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Paperly Open House

Friday is the Paperly Holiday Open House.  I hope you will come!  5-8p.  
I am looking forward to visiting with friends and displaying the entire Paperly line of personalized stationery.  Stop by for wine and friendship and prizes!  Need more info? Email me:  papermom.andrea(at)Yahoo(dot)com

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My heart almost burst at the city council meeting & that could be messy.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with blog posts floating in my head.  I feel an urgency to write, to post, to read.  I always have the best of intentions for you, my favorite Paper Mom readers.  There are other days where the posts run dry.  Zippo. Done. Toast.  And then there was yesterday, 1 million post ideas and life gets in the way.  Our five kids are all present and accounted for on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.    Add to that: games, practices and activities, yes, life sometimes gets in the way and oh by the way, I live for Fridays. 

I simply can’t let yesterday slip by without professing my love for the World’s Greatest Husband.  Ever have those moments where you are so darn proud of your husband that you want to put an ad in the newspaper? I never had that feeling until meeting the World’s Greatest years ago and although I can’t afford a newspaper ad, I have a blog….Last night we marched our kids into the city council meeting, dressed in softball garb to request $10,000 for field improvements to our softball complex.  My husband was the second to speak.  He said it all so nicely.  But the part that always makes my heart sing? He said, “my three daughters”  he said “my two sons”  I know it may sound silly to take a moment to reflect on those statements but in a blended life, there is so much messaging that takes away from the family we are building.  Hearing my husband state what we live daily, in a public format, hearing him advocate for “his girls” nearly made my heart burst.   Yep, he is a keeper.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday, Monday

Running to work but wanted to wish you a Happy Monday.  I will post a Gayle and Oprah reflection this afternoon.  

Also, I am going to live a long, healthy life because of my Five for Friday posts.  Apparently, if you log some gratitude into your weekly or daily life you are a happier person according to Woman's Day magazine. 

Glad to have the frantic Halloween behind us, now on to the sugar high...

PS - If you are visiting because of the Rick Review, scroll down, I am happy to have you visit.  
AND PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE, my "Facebook Like" icon hasn't moved in days.... and I am close to 60! go ahead, make my day and like me!  I have no shame...

And another week begins..... 


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