Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Auditions for Fresno Grizzlies this Saturday!

The Fresno Grizzlies are holding auditions for the 2011 season. Auditions include a singer for national anthem, dancers for the new Drag Dancing Kids, and announcing as the On Field Host. All candidates will need their dates of availability for the Grizzilies 2011 season which includes 72 home games.
The singers are expected to sing the national anthem "a capella" in traditional style within 1 minute 30 seconds.
The dancers ages 12 and under are expected to perform a free style dance in a group of four, for 30 seconds and will perform at the biggest home games like Independence Day.
The host must be at least 18 years of age and have a strong stage presence.
On Saturday, February 26th, 2011, auditions will be at Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis next to Victoria's Secret from 12pm-4pm.
On March 12th at the Hanford Civic Auditorium from 10am-12pm and the City of Coalinga Sports Complex Amphitheater from 2pm-4pm. 
Interested performers are invited to audition on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information click HERE.

3 Free Issues: Food and Wine Magazine

Pepcid is offering a promotion that allows you to get 3 free issues of Food and Wine Magazine. Sammy and I love cooking shows and use the internet as our cookbook, but there is nothing like having something in print. This promotion does not require you to enter your credit card, so I assume you can just right CANCEL when they send you a billing statement in the mail and send it back.
Thanks My Frugal Adventures and Dealing Finding Chik.

10 Reasons to Switch to Glass

Ten Reason to Switch to Glass, is an excellent post about storing items bought in bulk from Kingdom First Mom. She is a blogger focused on "faith, family, and frugality." So you can see we have a lot in common :).

Report Vehicle Crimes Online or by Phone

SO, I love living in Fresno, but here comes my rant.
It doesn't matter where you live in Fresno, at some point someone will smash your window and steal something out of your car. The wealthier your neighborhood, your proximity to less wealthy neighborhoods, and having a car alarm will improve your chances of this not happening to you, but odds are while you are at work, school, or running errands, it will probably happen to you, it's just part of being a 500,000 population city.
When it does happen, PLEASE report it. Our apartments experience chronic break ins (product of living near Fresno State and Bulldog Lane) and I'm usually the only one to report it. The police do not respond to calls anymore, if you call they will call you back in about two days. You won't need to wait for anyone to file a report. So, call in and leave a message at 559-621-7000 the non-emergency number (or 911 if you forget) or you can report online. Click HERE to access the City of Fresno Report a Crime page. Click on FILE A CRIME REPORT NOW at the bottom then Vehicle Burglary on the next page and fill out the rest. Doing so will help the police department keep track of criminal activity and improve their awareness about your neighborhood. Your odds of getting a vehicle patrol to come by at night and "check in" improves if they know what is going on. Their presence over time will discourage burglars and the like, your neighborhood becomes safer. If you rent this also increases the odds of you getting more security, because you have a record of criminal activity.
Clearly, my car was broken into last night. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..........
Normally we empty our car of all things valuable and leave in unlocked, but Sammy locked it last night, so we have a broken window now. Lame.
Update: The police department got back to me by email in about 20 minutes! I'm impressed!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

20 5x7 Kodak Birth Announcements and 50 Photo Mommy Cards FREE!

Kodak is offering 2 sets of 10 5x7 birth announcement cards. The are also offering 50 custom photo Mommy cards you can share with parents you meet that you want to contact for playdates etc. You can view the details by clicking the Special Offers tab. You will pay shipping for both.

Amazon Pampers Wipes Deal! Less than 2 cents a wipe! has a great deal for wipes right now.
You can order Pampers wipes, 720 count for $11.51 shipped! That's comparable to buying Target's Up&Up wipes (which is the best everyday deal out there). To get the deal join Amazon Mom if you haven't already, make sure to pick the Pampers 720 count for $19.19 through the Subscribe and Save feature, instead of "add to cart," pick a number of months and "subscribe and save." You can immediately cancel the subscription after you order so you don't forget later. When checking out, your order should drop to $13.43 then use the promo code MOMWIPES and receive an additional discount bringing your total $11.51 with free shipping.
Thanks My Frugal Adventures! She's the queen! MFA also has a post about Amazon Diapers for as low as 11 cents each! Click HERE to see her post.

Produce Swap May: The Biscotti House Garden

Starting in May, The Biscotti House Garden will be sponsoring a  produce swap on Saturday mornings this summer. So if you are starting your garden soon, you should keep this in mind. If you end up with too many tomatoes to handle (may you be so blessed, last season was a terrible tomato season) you can trade them for something you aren't growing with other locals for free. The Biscotti House allows people to trade vegetables, fruit, plants and recipes, it is also looking to include seeds this year in the swapping as well. Last year all the leftover food went to the Clovis Senior Center and I'm sure that will be the plan. More information to follow in May. The Biscotti House is located in Clovis near Clovis and Sierra. Happy planting and may your produce be plentiful!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Donkey Basketball Tonight at Sierra High!

I should have posted this earlier! Tonight Sierra High is having its annual Donkey Basketball game where students play basketball while riding donkeys! It's great fun. Tonight in the Big Gym from 6:30pm-8pm Check it out! Entrance is usually about $7. Sierra is located about 2 miles east of Prather on Lodge Rd. If you took 168 East and kept driving north, Sierra is about 20 minutes+ from where 168 ends.
33326 Lodge Road
Tollhouse, CA 93667

Here is the Google map for it.

Fresno Service Project: Go Green and Clean-Volunteer Park Beautification

Fresno PARCS gives volunteers an opportunity to help clean up local parks, which I think is excellent in light of the budget cuts. Participants will remove litter, paint over graffiti, paint, rake, and perform other light tasks. You will need to dress appropriately, preferably in pants, long sleeves, hats and gloves, along with sunblock. Bring snacks and water. The City of Fresno will provide basic tools. Call ahead 559-237-3101 or just show up! Fresno PARCS on facebook posts the events so you know where to go. On Saturday February 26, 2011, they will be at Holmes Neighborhood Center; 212 S. First, in Fresno.So if your kids ever complain about being bored, or seem to be feeling  a bit entitled, help them give back to the community! Service is the antidote for selfishness, and work helps everyone feel worthwhile.

Pregnancy, Labor & Delivery advice your mother didn't tell you

Disclaimer: All advice is personal and not meant to replace any doctor or any other professional advice.

1.There is no screen or sheet to cover you during delivery. There is little dignity when you give birth, not because anyone is trying to embarrass you, they are just doing their job. Consider carefully who comes to your delivery.

2.The father of you child, no matter how relaxed he tries to act, is terrified to one degree or another because the two most important people in the world to him are either laboring or near helpless, and he doesn't know what to do. Cut him some slack. It may seem like second nature to you, but he hasn't be reading up on "What to Expect." If your labor is long, consider letting him have a friend come hang out in the lobby or grab lunch in the cafeteria with him.

3. You can ask for the drugs in half doses. Narcotics don't make the pain go away, they make you not care. They can help you relax in between contractions (fall asleep), but sometimes make you hallucinate. Additionally if you choose to get an epidural, you can ask them to regulate your dose so you can actually feel the urge to push. It's not fun when you can't even lift your legs. Know that if you have the epidural overnight, the blood pressure cuff goes off every 15 minutes and will wake you up.

5. If a nurse is rude or unkind to you, request a new one, or see if your mom will. Life is hard enough without someone bullying you. To be fair though, make sure to keep yourself in check and everyone should be really nice to you.

6. Ask for a slow head delivery. Period. Midwives or nurse practitioner/midwives are especially careful, usually more patient, and make it a point to be at your delivery if they can, whereas you might just get the doctor on call, so at the moment of birth you could have a stranger, so if you can meet the other members of your doctor's group, or go to a small office with, say, two doctors do so.

7. Don't feel that you are a terrible mother if you believe your infant is not the most beautiful creature when the nurse hands he/she to you. Any negative feelings toward your baby during labor or after birth are the hormones talking. You are exhausted and overwhelmed, don't trust all your emotions. Just know that you will love that baby with a love you have never experienced (and you will probably be paranoid that someone is going to steal him/her the whole time you're in the hospital).

8.Make sure someone, if not you or your spouse, call all immediate family members and closest friends with the baby's stats. You might think a sibling will call Dad, but don't take the chance. You don't want them finding out on facebook.

9. Breastfeeding is hard and painful at first, but very worth it. Meet with the lactation consultant, all the "theory" you've learned goes out the window once you try and it's much easier when someone is there to help. Also nipple shields (although controversial) can help when the baby has trouble latching and if you have issues with milk later you can use a tube feeder/lactation aid to help supplement while breastfeeding. After the hospital, things change when your milk comes in, you can always contact your local La Leche League.

10. If you are comfortable with the idea, learn to nurse lying down as soon as possible. Some people worry they may roll on the baby, which is a valid concern, but I was always more worried about dropping the baby when breastfeeding in a chair with the Boppy if I fell asleep. I always tuck the pillow between my knees and after months of sleeping on my side, I was trained not to roll onto my stomach. Additionally I would place my hand on the bed just beyond the baby, so my arm was at a right angle and balancing me. Nursing lying down has spared me the sore shoulders and back I would get while nursing sitting up. It also requires a whole lot less effort in the middle of the night when all you have to do is move the baby from the bassinet to the bed. Just make sure to have a crib mattress pad to catch any milk (I always need the pad in addition to breastpads anyway-way too much milk and you don't want to change sheets on top of all your clothes...) I was searching online and they may not make these pads anymore, everything is fitted. I like them cause they are easily washed.

11. If you have Medi-Cal in California, you don't have to go to a scary office downtown. Speak up and network to find out who accepts Medi-Cal. Pregnancy is well covered. Other insurance help exists including partial Medi-Cal that covers the cost your insurance doesn't, and Access for Infants and Mothers (AIM) which provides that you pay a percentage of your earnings to cover the cost. Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) can help with food costs during pregnancy and provides support when the baby is born (There are multiple offices around Fresno now). A baby born on Medi-Cal remains on it for a year, and if you qualify, you can join Healthy Families and pay a discounted rate and co-pays to keep your children insured later. If you do not qualify, there are free clinics for immunization shots for babies,children, and adults.

12. PS. (After the baby is born and a little bigger.) Bumbos are great when your baby is done with the infant tub, the baby can take showers with you
and you don't have to worry about them sliding everywhere in your arms. Bumbos do not work in baths however, they float. Make sure to prevent any mold on the underside of the Bumbo by making sure it dries completely. They are also great for mealtimes. Another alternative to space consuming high chairs are portable high chairs like Chicco's Hook On Chairs and similar brands that attach directly to your table side or breakfast bar.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Swagbucks Daily Deals

Swagbucks, a site that gives you "bucks" for "swag" when you use its search bar is now offering you extra bucks when you participate in limited time deals including Groupon. It also has a Swagbucks Daily Deals page where you can view all the local offers, and more, at once from Groupon, Mertado Social Deals, and Living Social. That's a nice way to check the deals out, and then if you go for one you can earn Swagbucks on top of that! The best deal for Swagbucks continues to be the Gift Cards $5 for 450 Swagbucks. The best they about Amazon Gift Cards is they do not expire and whatever is left over sits in your account as credit until you use them.

Search & Win

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

100 Photo Prints for $5 Shipped from Snapfish

Use the promo code CUPIDPICS at checkout and get 100 4x6 photo prints shipped to your door (or Grandma and Grandpa's) for only $5. This beats most offers per print unless the prints and shipping are entirely free (which does happen a couple times a year, you usually get free prints when you are new to a photo site). Log on the Snapfish and start uploading those holiday pictures, the offer ends 2/20/2011.

Shop At Home WILD Deals $65 total HP 6500 Printer Today Only!

Have you heard of Shop At Home? This company gives you rebates in percentages for shopping online at most if not all your favorite stores. Sammy and I have needed a new printer for some time now, especially for him to print references for his paintings. So when I saw today's WILD (Web's Incredible Limited Deal )deal from Shop At Home in my email, I thought, okay, here's the deal I've been waiting for.
Staples is offering a HP 6500 All In One Printer for 62% off plus free shipping. Before my 3% rebate with ShopatHome with taxes I paid about $65. Not bad for a printer that is going for $150 on Amazon before taxes. I compared the cost of ink to my current HP 1610v All In One and it was the same or  less per page. I also double checked the return policy in case anything goes wrong (free pick up return within 5 days, or return to store, credit 3-5days after receipt) and the printer comes with a limited manufacturer 1 year warranty. Pretty happy with my savings.
So first create an account with ShopatHome (you will get daily deal emails, great coupon offers, and $5 credit for signing up) and then click on today's WILD deal to be transferred to the Staples website and get the deal!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Specials!

Centsable Momma did such a great job with finding these great specials I wanted to refer you to the restaurant freebies and music freebies she discovered. Click HERE to see her post!

Plato's Closet $1 Clearance 2/12

January 12, 2011 Plato's Closet located on Shaw and First is having a $1 clearance sale where everything on clearance is $1! Hurray! If you aren't familiar with Plato's Closet it is a teen clothing and accessory consignment store.
Thanks The Sassy Saver!

Free Kindle Books and MP3's on Amazon

Check out this list of free Kindle books on Amazon and get $2 credit for MP3's with the codeVDAYMP3S use the code with the link under the "Buy MP3 Album" on Amazon.
Thanks Kingdom First Mom!

Valentine Dessert Recipes

Since we have a few little ones, Valentine's day must be on a budget. To make it special, I think we are going to have a night in while our girls are at a family birthday party and have a chocolate fondue (linked is a Rachel Ray recipe). If you are considering a night in, or maybe having dessert at home after a night out, consider these Valentine's day recipes from a blogger I love called Hoosier Homemade. You can sign up for her cupcake newsletter and she'll send you the "Cupcakes Chronicles" where she comes up with the best cupcake ideas! She made Snitch cupcakes when the last Harry Potter movie came out, it's a great resource for birthday party cupcake ideas and more.

You can also check out her post about Frugal Valentine Gifts.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

FREE Chili's Brownie Sundae and FREE Chips and Queso Dip

Click HERE for a free Brownie Sundae coupon from Chili's! No purchase necessary. Ends February 10, 2011. Thanks Penny Pinchin Mom and Passion for Savings!~

You can also join the Chili's Email Club and get a coupon for a FREE Chips and Queso dip. Click HERE to join. Just remember you can not use both coupons in the same trip.

Valentine's Day $2 for $25 Coupon is a website that sells coupons for meal deals at local restaurants. These are a must for date night. Right now you can purchase a $25 coupon for $2 with the code LOVE at checkout. You must be able to print your coupon and you can use it immediately. Click HERE to check out participating restaurants in your area. Remember that a minimum purchase is required to use the coupon. Most restaurants required a $35 purchase for the $25 off and charge 18% gratuity. So your lowest possible price would be $16.30. Not bad for two diners! Keep in mind these deals are per table as well, so if you are going out with friends they will be on your ticket as well. Be careful because with a $60 tab the coupon will basically cover the tip.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Free Birthday Deals!

Many restaurants offer complimentary desserts, drinks, or meals for your birthday! Most require online subscriptions and then they will email you your coupon for a free item. Others you simply have to mention your birthday while dining in and you might get a candle and a song to go with your dessert (Macaroni Grill, etc.). Here is a list I've complied with the help of FREE birthday promotions.
Auntie Annie's Pretzels
Baskin Robbins
Black Angus
Boston Market
Burger King (kids only)
California Pizza Kitchen (kids 10 and under only)
Cold Stone Creamery (BOGO)
Del Taco
Famous Dave's
Krispy Kreme
Marble Slab
Orange Julius
Outback Steakhouse
Papa Murphys Take 'n' Bake Pizza 
Red Lobster
Red Robins
Tahoe Joes

Kmart Kids Birthday Club 
Toys R Us Birthday Club ($3 off a $3 purchase)
The Children's Place  

There is even a beta version of an entire website called dedicated to Birthday Specials. Click HERE to sign up and plan for your free day out. Most companies give you a window of time so that you are not expected to come in only on your birthday day.

Hmong New Year 2011 Video

I just wanted to share this video I found on You Tube that gives you an idea about what Hmong New Year is all about. The Hmong culture in Fresno is a wonderful part of our diversity and I don't think people realize what a large population we have in the area.
The ball tossing game you see some people in the crowd playing isn't directly related to the new year. Wikipedia describes it:
"During the Hmong New Year celebration, the Hmong ball tossing game pov pob is a common activity for adolescents. Boys and girls form two separate lines in pairs that are directly facing one another. Girls can ball toss with other girls or boys, but boys cannot ball toss with other boys. It is also taboo to toss the ball to someone of the same clan. The pairs toss a cloth ball back and forth, until one member drops the ball. If a player drops or misses the ball, an ornament or item is given to the opposite player in the pair. Ornaments are recovered by singing love songs (hais kwv txhiaj) to the opposite player.[1] but in recent times, in such areas as China, the young lovers have been seen to carry tape players to play their favorite love songs for one another."
 To learn more about the Hmong culture according to wikipedia click HERE.