Monday, August 15, 2011

Mikayla's Grace Auction and Remembrance Day

In honor of families who have lost babies through pregnancy, stillbirth, or in early infancy please consider supporting this amazing cause!

Online Auction
From August 21-25 Mikayla's Grace is hosting an online auction to benefit the Forever in Our Hearts Remembrance Day and Mikayla’s Grace. Bidding begins
August 21 but check out the auction items now.
How to Bid
To bid you must "like" the Mikayla’s Grace Facebook page. You can place a bid by leaving a comment under the item you want to bid on with the amount of your bid. There will be minimum starting bids that will be listed on each page. All bids must be increased by at least $1.00.
More info 
Forever in Our Hearts Remembrance Day
In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness in October, Mikayla's Grace is hosting a remembrance day is to honor families who have lost babies through pregnancy, stillbirth, or in early infancy.

If you go:

Mikayla's Grace Forever in Our Hearts Remembrance Day
October 15 from 9:00am-12:00pm
McKee Farms Park in Fitchburg

More info
What is Mikayla’s Grace?
Mikayla’s Grace Inc. is a 501(c) 3 non-profit founded in 2011 by Melissa and Mike Terrill after they experienced the death of their second child, Mikayla Grace. She was born prematurely at 24 weeks 6 days on June 13, 2010 and lived in the NICU for two days before passing away from complications of prematurity. The organization supports families with a baby in the NICU and those who experience the death of an infant at Madison Area hospitals by providing NICU care packages and angel memory boxes. Mikayla's Grace made their first donation to St. Mary's Hospital on June 24, 2011. The hospital received 14 angel memory boxes and 20 NICU care packages with this first donation. Read more about the organization.

Half-Pint is Coming Soon!

The Half-Pint Sale is right around the corner and I can hardly wait! September 9-10 you can get some awesome deals on kids toys, gently used size 0-7 fall and winter clothes, strollers, baby carriers, kid cars and much more!

I sold items for the first time last year and loved it! I bought $100 worth of items and got a check for $100. I love breaking even.

This is not a garage sale! All clothing is inspected and offers only top quality gently used children’s clothes, toys, gear and more!

If You Go:
Friday, September 9 at 2:00-9:00pm (no strollers from 2-5pm)
Saturday, September 10  9am-5:00pm (Half-Price Sale: 1:00-5:00pm)
Goodman Community Center
149 Waubesa Street
Madison, WI

Entry is FREE.
Veteran's Tips: 
  • If you plan on buying a lot of items bring a friend to help you shelp things around. There is a "Hold" table but you are taking a risk that someone could 'accidently' grab your item. I have seen women with wagons or totes with a belt strapped to it to lug things around. Definitely bring reusable bags like those big $1 bags you get at TJ Maxx.
  • Go early! If you can volunteer, do it! I am volunteering for the first time this year because you can shop before the consignors AND the public. The good stuff goes fast and I intend to be there when it opens.
  • Parking is NOT EASY. I drove around the lot a couple times to find a spot. Be prepared to walk.
  • Do not bring children or a stroller if you don't have to. The aisles are skinny and they are a pain. Trust me. Strollers are not allowed on Friday, September 9 from 2-5pm.
See you at the sale!

Lu-WOW Days at Goodman Pool


Family Lu-WOWs  
Enjoy the last days of summer at Goodman Pool! Have a ball dancing to fun luau music and pretending you have been transported to a tropical paradise!
Wednesday, August 17, 5-7p.m.
Thursday, August 25, 1-3p.m.
Monday, August 29, 1-3p.m. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Eureka! A New Way to Brush Kids' Teeth!

If your child's idea of brushing his/her teeth is sucking the delicious toothpaste off the brush then maybe you will like this idea. c's pediatrician suggested using an electronic toothbrush to get him to actually brush his teeth. I didn't even know they existed! I guess they are also have singing toothbrushes. Who knew? I hate being behind on this stuff. Anyway, for around $5 you can get a Thomas one like we did. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Research Participants Needed

Have you heard of The Waisman Center Infant Lab? 

The center conducts research studies in order to understand the extraordinary learning abilities infants possess. Even though it's called The Infant Lab they conduct studies on children up to age 2-3. They offer appointments during the week and on Saturdays and the entire appointment usually lasts only 20 - 30 minutes!

I have taken my son a few times to participate in research studies. I think it's so important to contribute to research that we will undoubtedly benefit from. When he became older and more fidgety I was concerned he wouldn't sit still for the 2 minute study. But the staff is super organized and the entire appointment moves quickly. And breathe easy-you will not be separated from your child!

As a bonus your child will receive a special gift. Last time we were there we could take home a t-shirt, book or CASH!

Interested? Fill out the Online Enrollment Form and you will be contacted when your child is eligible for a study. Email for more information.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cool Off at Eastgate Cinema

Take shelter from the heat this summer with Eastgate Cinema!

KIDS RULE Summer Film Series

Now through August 11th
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 
$2 a person

Summer Movie line-up:
Rio: July 19-21
Judy Moody: July 26-28
Mr. Popper's Penguins: August 2-4
Kung Fu Panda 2 2D
August 9-11

If you go:
Eastgate Cinema
5202 High Crossing Boulevard
(608) 242-2117

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sign Up for the Funky Monkey Birthday Club!

I just can't say enough good things about Justyna and Funky Monkey Photography. c was the Valentine Party free photo session winner back in February and we had a blast! Justyna treats each session for toddlers as a play date and kids love it! The three of us had a great time. The studio is located in a unique building that makes an amazing backdrop. There are also abandoned train tracks out back that made the day even more perfect. If I am lucky enough to have another baby I definitely want to have newborn photos taken...they are priceless!

Now YOU can get a free photo session, too! Just sign up for Funky Monkey Photography's Birthday Club for children under 16! New clients will be asked to place a $100 deposit toward the print order but trust me, you'll want to order the prints.
She does amazing work.

Don't believe me? Check out a few of our shots:

The fine print: No print order deposit required for our recent clients (with a paid order in the recent 12 months). New clients are asked to place a $100 deposit toward their print order at the time of scheduling.  Birthday sessions are 30-minutes in our studio in Madison, WI and available Wednesday-Friday for one child up to 16 years. They’re offered complimentary during the month of child’s birthday, We recommend advance scheduling to ensure an available spot. Offer cannot be combined, extended, traded, or re-assigned. Not redeemable for cash. Subject to our schedule availability. No prints or files are included. Tax not included. Please contact Funky Monkey Photography for details.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My New Gig with Daily Deals for Madison Moms

I started this blog 6 months ago because the only thing I love more than GETTING awesome deals is SHARING amazing deals with my friends. Luckily my friend, Christy, was looking out for me when she saw that Daily Deals for Moms was looking for a Madison mom to join the team.

Growing up Local
I was interested in the position immediately because I love their unique angle: unlike other social couponing websites they work with LOCAL businesses, not chains. Supporting local businesses has been in my blood since I was born. My father and grandfather started Pizza Villa in DeKalb, Illinois in 1969. Growing up in a restaurant family was a blast but it was my grandma who helped me understand how lucky we were that the business was doing well. My dad didn't have the kind of advertising support that Pizza Hut did but we had something even better--satisfied customers who talked to their friends. 

Anyway, I am thrilled to announce I am now the Head Madison Mom for Daily Deals for Moms! Get ready, Madison. This is going to be big!

About Daily Deals for Moms
Daily Deals for Moms was born out of the desire to share great deals with moms and families.  The idea is to feature great biz, drive consumers through the doors, keep our dollars local and have a great time doing it! It's a win-win for businesses and the company! I am so excited about this new adventure and hope you will join me by liking our Facebook page, signing up for Daily Deals for Madison mom emails and following us on Twitter! 

Join in on the Fun
  • Do you know a business who may be interested in offering an unbelievable deal to Madison moms? Ask them to email 
  • If you have have a services/product YOU would be interested in getting a great deal on shoot an email to
Want to learn more? Read more about Daily Deals for Moms in the press!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Take a Trip to Norway for only $12

Little Norway that is. In Blue Mounds, WI to be exact. My friend, Christy, and I were just talking about taking a trip here and voila! Here's a LivingSocial deal.

Not sure what this place is all about? Read more from the website:

Nestled among the rolling foothills of southwestern Wisconsin, there lies a place the Norwegians call ¡°Niessedahle¡±-the Valley of the Elves. Here, in 1865, Osten and Birgit Haugen arrived from Telemark, Norway, clearing the land in what was then thick prairie to painstakingly create a homestead for their immigrant family. Nearly 150 years later, that homestead stands as Little Norway, included now on the National Register of Historic Places. In this serene setting, the past comes alive. From the dugout cave in the hillside where the Haugen family lived until the hard labors of building the stue (dwelling house) were completed to the stately Norway Building that towers over the pastoral scene below, the echoes of history whisper through the tall trees that surround this beautiful place. Family owned for four generations, Little Norway is a lovingly preserved, authentic time capsule. From the stories of the pioneers who worked this land to the simple but striking Norse architecture of its buildings, it offers a unique look at the people and places that helped shape our history.Welcome to Little Norway-the Valley of the Elves!

Fine print
  • Promotional value expires on October 29, 2011 
  • Limit two per person, up to two additional as gifts.
  • Not valid on holidays
  • All services must be used by same customer; cannot be shared
  • Entire value must be used in one visit

If you go:
3576 County Road JG North

Blue Mounds, WI 53517

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

$19 for a Pedicure in Sun Prairie

I hope you all had a nice 4th of July. If you're like me you may have noticed your toes look a little tired. Looks like it's time for a pedicure.

Today's Groupon is a $19 pedicure from Jennifer Stone Nail Studio in Sun Prairie (725 W Main St.) That's an amazing deal!

Once you get your Groupon call 608-513-6283 for an appointment!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Win a Family Fun Pack to Six Flags!

Like Rayovac (aka my husband's company) to enter a sweepstakes to win a family fun pack to Six Flags! Package includes 4 general admission tickets, Flash Pass, family meal pack, and parking. What a deal!

Enter now!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Sausages Are Coming! The Sausages Are Coming!

Words cannot describe how much I love the Milwaukee Brewers Racing Sausages. They are the only thing I look forward to when headed to Miller Park if the Cubs aren't playing. (Wait, you didn't know I was a Cubs fan? And from Illinois? I understand if this ends our friendship.) 

Truth be told I am sucker for all mascots, or plushies, as a friend calls them. They are so cute running around the field with their oversized heads. I was so upset when an opposing team player knocked one over a few years ago. Just shameful.

Ironically be at a Cubs game so c and I can't make it. Please go for me and tell me about it on our Facebook page.

If you go:
  • Henry Vilas Zoo (702 South Randall Avenue, Madison)
  • Thursday, June 30 from 1:00-2:00pm
  • Come out to see #1 Bratwurst, #2 Polish, #3 Italian, #4 Hot Dog and #5 Chorizo and take a souvenir photo!
This event is part of the zoo's 100th Anniversary Celebration. Download the Official Centennial Event Guide.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Have You Signed Up for Daily Deals for Moms?


If there is one thing I love more than a good deal it's a good deal at a local Madison business.

You have most likely heard about the importance of buying local. According to Dane Buy Local, it keeps money in the community, provides more jobs and helps keep Dane County original.

This is where the social couponing website
, Daily Deals for Moms, was born. The founders are committed to keeping capital local by offering busy moms 50-80% off services such as spa treatments, personal training and house cleaning. But unlike Groupon and LivingSocial, the company features local mom and pop shops.

Interested in featuring your business?
Email Ashley for more information.

Daily Deals for Moms is currently offering daily deals in Des Moines, Denver, Boston, Toledo, Chicago, Colorado Springs, and Boulder and will be launching in Madison soon!

Sign up for the Daily Deals for Moms email in your city!
Find them on Twitter @DailyDeals4Moms and on Facebook!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Iron Cupcake Challenge # 5 on Sunday!

My friend Jessica told me about this event last winter and it sounded awesome!

For $7 (cash only) hungry cupcake fans can taste 13 mini cupcakes and vote for their favorites. Proceeds will go to Literacy Network.

The theme is childrens' books: Dr. Seuss, Charlotte's Web, Curious George, Harriet the Spy, Olivia.

If you go:

Sunday, June 26
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Basie's Restaurant & Lounge (517 Grand Canyon Drive, Madison)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Haircut and Color: $23

I wanted to share yesterday's receipt for my haircut and color at MATC:

Permanent Color Retouch....................$23
OPI Suzi Loves Chocolate....................$5.50 (normally $8)
Total:                                                       $28.80

What's new: Pretend you're a celebrity and get an OPI shatter manicure (shown above)!

Have you been to MATC's salon? Visit my Facebook page and tell me about your experience!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How to Raise a Happy Child

Who doesn't want a happy kid? Here are 8 strategies any parent can use, compliments of BabyCenter.

Read on

Save-the-Date! PBS is in Madison on August 5


Wisconsin PBS Kids Open House
Friday, August 5


University of Wisconsin-Madison's East Campus Mall, right next to Vilas Hall

Martha Speaks, the Cat in the Hat, and Mr. Steve will be in Madison for a morning
of live music, activities, and hands-on fun!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

3 Day Potty Training

Ugh. The thought of potty training sounds exhausting. And what's worse, I keep hearing how much HARDER it is to train boys. Wonderful.

My friend Katie told me about 3 Day Potty Training by Lora Jensen. I need to look into it. Soon.
In case you haven't heard of it, here's the gist:

  • You spend 3 consecutive days teaching your child to recognize their body's signals.
  • All of the step-by-step instructions and directions can be found in the eBook.
  • It's not easy for the parent. No shopping, no visiting with friends and no "me" time. In one mom's opinion, "... It was hell, I won't lie..."
Check it out. And if you do, let us know what you think on our Facebook page.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fun Things to Do this Weekend

There is tons of free/cheap family-friendly events going on this weekend! I just hope the rain holds off.

Saturday, June 11

33rd Annual Breakfast on the Farm
Saturday from 7-11:00am
6868 Highway A, Belleville

Directions: From Verona, go south on Highway 69 to Highway A; turn right on A and watch for the parking entrance.
Admission: $6, ages 12 and over; $4 ages 2-11; free for under age 2

Join the rest of Dane County for a fun morning on a Wisconsin farm! Besides breakfast they are offering the Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know Show, music by The Soggy Prairie Boys, farm tours, face painting and more!

Safety Saturday

Saturday from
8 1 pm
On the Capitol Square at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Safety Saturday is an event that educates parents, children, and the public on ways to make safe decisions, prevent injuries, and to encourage the use of safety devices such as seat belts, bike helmets, and smoke alarms. Using the remarkable State Capitol Square and Dane County Farmers' Market as a setting, thousands of community members attended the Safety Saturday event each year.

Sunday, June 12

2nd Sunday Music on the Lake
Sunday from 2:00-8:00pm

Tiki Bar & Grill at the East Side Club (3735 Monona Dr, Madison)
Food will be served from 2:00-5:00pm; drinks until 8:00pm

I can't say how much I love this place. It's close to my house and my good friend Andrea runs the place. But most importantly it's a fun, relaxing place to waste a few hours. What could be better than sipping on a beer while looking at Lake Monona? Whenever I am there I feel like I am on vacation--away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Just be prepared for the fowl smell coming from the lake.
Music line-up
2:00pm - Lucky Detour-Rootsy rock with a funky vibe and a dash of country
3:30pm - Owen Mays-This Wisconsin native bleeds American Music

4:30pm- Nellie Wilson and the Hellbound Honeys-A new twist on nasty underground country

Goodman Days
Sunday from 2:00-6:00pm
The Goodman Community Center (149 Waubesa Street)

Be healthy :: Be kind :: Be generous :: Be happy
Join in to celebrate the spirit of the Goodman brothers with free music, fun and festivities.

101 Ideas for Summer Fun in Madison

Dreading the inevitable "Mom, I'm bored!" this summer? Print off this list and keep it handy for ideas on summertime fun!

  1. Watch an evening performance of the Mad City Ski Team (water ski, that is).
  2. Let Rudabaga Outfitters teach your family to kayak.
  3. Spend the day getting splattered at Apocolypse Paintball.
  4. Complete the Sun Prairie Geocaching Challenge.
  5. Letterbox at Glenwood Children’s Park.
  6. Help the volunteers complete the new BMX Track in DeForest.
  7. Have a picnic at the Concord Zoo (Exit 275 on I-94).
  8. See The Young Shakespeare Players in their first performance of the season.
  9. Find a frog at Picnic Point.
  10. Splash and play at Conservancy Way (DeForest).
  11. Yell “Kastup!” at the National Mustard Museum.
  12. Shop for deals at the Mattel Store on the American Girl campus in Middleton.
  13. Earn a free ticket to the Mallard’s Game through your local library reading program.
  14. Climb Gibraltar Rock (but hang on tight to your toddlers please).
  15. Ride the Merrimac Ferry (both ways).
  16. Tour Sassy Cow Creamery and have an ice cream cone.
  17. Take in the Highway 18 drive in.
  18. Feed the cute goats at Kappell Park in Waunakee.
  19. Visit Jimmy the Groundhog at Jerry’s Apples in Sun Prairie.
  20. Brush up on your physics at the LR Ingersoll Physics Museum.
  21. Cool off and get your sluice on at Cave of the Mounds.
  22. Paint some pottery (Madison has at least two different studios).
  23. Look for the fabric fairy at the Create Studio Lounge.
  24. Ian’s Pizza by the slice.
  25. “Billet on” at Boulder’s Climbing Gym.
  26. Compare the indoor play areas at East Towne and West Towne Malls.
  27. Canoe down the Wisconsin River (Wisconsin River Outfitters can help).
  28. Coffee shops with kids areas (caffeine and crayons for everyone).
  29. Kids eat free on Tuesdays as many local restaurants (we like Market Street Diner in Sun Prairie).
  30. Visit a dream park in Deerfield, Monona, Fitchburg, Janesville, or Sun Prairie.
  31. Story time at the UW Geology Museum.
  32. Ride the train at Little Amerricka in Marshall.
  33. Ride the train at Mid-Continent in North Freedom.
  34. Make a sand castle at Maple Bluff beach.
  35. Talk to a naturalist at Aldo Leopold Nature Center.
  36. Paddle a swan on Lake Wingra.
  37. Ride the carousel at Ella’s Deli or the Henry Vilas Zoo.
  38. Open skate at Fast Forward.
  39. Bowling (many places have Kids Bowl Free all summer long).
  40. Hike on the stroller-friendly trails at MacKenzie Nature Center in Poynette.
  41. Find a horse. Ride a trail.
  42. Collect your pennies and find some fountains.
  43. Olbrich Botanical Gardens (outside or in).
  44. Frosting overload at Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery.
  45. Discounted movies at Marcus Theaters (search for “Kids Rule”).
  46. Splash, swim, and sunbathe at an aquatic center (in Madison and surrounding towns).
  47. Ice cream (and bait) at at the Monona Bait and Ice Cream Shop.
  48. Find the museum at Folklore Village in Dodgeville.
  49. Pick berries (strawberries are ready now).
  50. Migrate to the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo.
  51. Fly a kite or play frisbee golf (McCarthy Park has a new course).
  52. People watch at the Memorial Union.
  53. Check out a free kids activity pack at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
  54. Make a salad (but get the vegetables from a local farmer’s market or your own garden).
  55. Learn about badgers and mining at Pendarvis.
  56. Pizza and games at Rocky Rococco or Chuck E. Cheese.
  57. Take a tour of the capitol building (get your rotunda on).
  58. Dinner and a movie at the Stoughton Cinema Cafe.
  59. Let your kids get crafty at The Glitter Workshop.
  60. Community events at The Goodman Center.
  61. Fondue for two at The Melting Pot.
  62. Shop for shoes (and see the parrots) at The Shoebox.
  63. Play mini-golf or the do the real thing at Vitense Golfland.
  64. Look for superheroes at Westfield Comics.
  65. Go on rides and see the animals at the Dane County Fair.
  66. Cool down in the Lodi Pool and look for Suzie the Duck.
  67. Take a field trip to Old World Wisconsin.
  68. Take a field trip to Circus World.
  69. Take a field trip to the Cranberry Discovery Center.
  70. Take a field trip to Palermo’s Pizza.
  71. Take a field trip to Forevertron.
  72. Finally enjoy the rooftop exhibits at the Madison Children’s Museum.
  73. Learn how cheese is made at Babcock Dairy Hall.
  74. Fourth of July parades and fireworks.
  75. Camp in your backyard, at a state park, or a private campground.
  76. Press a penny at the Wisconsin Historical Museum.
  77. Eat popcorn on State Street.
  78. Talk about the Civil War at Camp Randall.
  79. Find a 5K race and run or walk with your kids (many have 1 or 2 mile fun runs).
  80. Bike the entire “Planet Trek Dane County” (from Monona Terrace to Mount Horeb).
  81. Play inside at Legacy Academy.
  82. Be inspired at the Monroe Street Fine Arts Center.
  83. Play ball at Hitter’s Sports Complex.
  84. Bounce around at Pump it Up or Bouncy Town USA.
  85. Open tumble at Madtown Twisters or Gymfinity.
  86. Say “uff da!” at Little Norway.
  87. Open skating at the Ice Pond in Waunakee.
  88. More farms and orchards (Trienen, Hinchley, Busy Barn, Elegant Farmer, Schusters, Waldvogel or Epelgaarden, to name a few)
  89. Complete the Junior Ranger Program (pick up a booklet at Governor Dodge State Park).
  90. Shop for survival gear at the Glacier’s Edge Council store (boy scouts rule).
  91. See Sam Sanfillippo’s stuffed animal dioramas.
  92. Music programs and church camps.
  93. Swimming lessons at the YMCA or your local Parks & Rec.
  94. Visit the animals at Animart or the Humaine Society.
  95. Tour the new Discovery Center in the heart of the UW-Madison campus.
  96. Have lunch and watch planes land at The Jet Room.
  97. Hike at Devil’s Lake.
  98. Say “ommm” at Bliss Flow Yoga (kids can play while parents stretch).
  99. Register for a summer sports camp at MATC.
  100. See the Midget Racing at the Angell Park Speeday (bring old clothes and ear plugs).
  101. Unplug and relax.
Thanks, Madison Loves Kids, for sharing this awesome list!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Free Sunshine Warrior Tot Yoga Demo

Have you wondered if your little one would like yoga?
Here's your chance to check it out for free!

Happy Bambino is offering a free demo of their Sunshine Warrior Tot Yoga class on Friday from 10am – 11am.
Description from website:
Join in this movement adventure as we practice yoga poses, learn breathing exercises and participate in fun games all while building gross and fine motor skills! Using stories, music, guided imagery and interactive games, your little yogi will have the opportunity to express him or herself creatively, socialize with other children and increase their movement repertoire. Parents are encouraged to watch class from the store viewing window while their little yogi "practices." Come along as we stretch our bodies to the sky, balance like trees in the wind and play together like a whole team of downward dogs! For ages 2-3 years (2.5 year olds seem to do much better with this class than 24-month olds; but it is definitely child-dependent)
If you go:
Friday, June 10
Happy Bambino,4116 Monona Drive, Madison

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Make a Home-Made Father's Day Gift at Happy Bambino!

Get Ready for Father's Day
with Happy Bambino & Fired Up Pottery!
Saturday, June 11
Happy Bambino (4116 Monona Dr, Madison)

Choose one session: 10:15am, 11:00am or 11:45am

Create a special hand print or footprint tile for the special man
in your life for only

Fired tiles will be available for pick-up Saturday, June 18. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Half Price Books is Worth the Trip

Have you been to Half Price Books? I discovered it a few years ago when I sold some old books. I didn't get much but it was more than I would get at a garage sale or by donating them. 

The concept is simple: Almost every book, CD, DVD,magazine, etc. is half the publisher's price or less. Note the "almost" in my last sentence. I didn't go around the store to see if everything was half off so I am not sure how many items fall into this category. But it doesn't matter--you'll save more money by shopping here than at a bookstore or even

My first stop is the clearance rack. I found several books for only $1! The other books were between $2 and $3 and they all look brand new! Some could be new, who knows.

They offer teachers and librarians a 10% Discount Card good at all Half Price Books locations. And through the Half Pint Library program, thousands of books are collected and donated to nonprofit organizations each year.

My only complaint is their logo; don't you think it's time to change 'records' to something more modern? Like CDs? I'm just sayin'.

Upcoming Events at Madison locations

Memorial Day Weekend 20% OFF Everything Sale
From Thursday, May 26 through Monday, May 30 everything in the store will be an additional 20% off!

Biggest Storytime of the Summer!
On Sunday, June 5 at 2:00pm head over to Half Price Books for the biggest storytime of the summer! The event kicks off their "FEED YOUR BRAIN Summer Reading Program" for
kids 14 years of age and under.

Research shows that children who do not continue reading through the summer can lose a month or more of progress made during the school year. Kids can earn Back-to-School Bucks by reading at least 600 minutes from Wednesday, June 1 through Sunday, July 31, 2011. Pick up a reading log at your local Half Price Books and grab a bite to read today! 

If you go:
Essex Square
4250 East Towne Blvd.
Madison, WI 53704
More info
Whitney Way
626 S. Whitney Way
Madison, WI 53711
More info

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Today's Garage Sale Finds

I asked c if he wanted to go on an adventure this morning. He said "Yea" and off we went. Man, do I love garage sales. The anticipation while finding the house. The first glance to see what they have. And then you see it---the old school Fisher Price garage you loved as a kid. Do we have similar toys at home? Yes. Do I really need another big toy to hide before a showing? No. But c LOVES it and so do I. I even negotiated the price from $5 to $4!

  • Fisher Price garage
  • Guitar
  • Motorcycle
  • Tow truck (I think)
  • Hard hat
  • 8 dinosaurs 
All for the incredible price of $11!

$39 for a One-Month Membership to The Little Gym ($118 value)

This is an incredible! c loves The Little Gym in Fitchburg. We just enrolled for Fall and it was pretty pricey. If you have ever even considered signing up this is the time to act!

The fine print:
  • Expires Aug 1, 2011
  • Must visit one location (Fitchburg or Middleton)
  • New clients only (boo)
 Get the deal!

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    50% off at Oompa on Saturday!

    Did you hear the Oompa retail store is closing? 

    I haven't been there but they offer green toys, high-quality gear and sturdy furniture.

    On Saturday they are offering  50% off on everything in the store!

    If you go:
    1970 Cayuga Court, Middleton

    Go the F--- to Sleep. The title says it all.

    I really thought this book was a joke. It's not. But it's hilarious. Crude? Sure, but so true. It perfectly describes the feeling that goes through a parent's head when their child just won't go to sleep. I have experienced this several times and my child is an awesome sleeper. 

    Last summer author Adam Mansbach vented on Facebook that it took forever to get his 2-year-old daughter to go the f*uck to sleep. His friends encouraged him to write a book and he complied.

    Even though the entire book is viewable online and it isn't even available for purchase it has become the No. 1 book on 

    And as you can imagine it's already provoking a scandal. Studies have shown that a child's sleeping pattern may be a result of their parents' lifestyle. Others say this is not appropriate for children. Come on! This is obviously for parents to read, not for parents to read to their children. It seems obvious but Mansbach covered all bases by putting a disclaimer on the back cover. 

    I think this scrutiny is the perfect example of how scared parents are to complain about their kids. They feel that if they vent people will think they aren't good parents. But I believe the opposite is true. I think people are doing their kids a disservice by pretending parenthood is 100% awesome. Parents should talk about their frustrations with other parents because if we don't we will possibly blow up one day...probably at our kids!

    While I won't spend the money on it myself I think it's hilarious. I wonder if the Madison Public Library will buy a copy?

    Go the F*ck to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don't always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland. Profane, affectionate, and radically honest, California Book Award-winning author Adam Mansbach's verses perfectly capture the familiar--and unspoken--tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night. In the process, they open up a conversation about parenting, granting us permission to admit our frustrations, and laugh at their absurdity.
    With illustrations by Ricardo Cortes, Go the F*ck to Sleep is beautiful, subversive, and pants-wettingly funny--a book for parents new, old, and expectant. You probably should not read it to your children.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Day 3 of My Eating Experiment

    On Monday I decided to begin an experiment: to eliminate unhealthy food from my diet for one week. I love food, a lot, but realized I was eating too much of the bad stuff. This is not a new problem. I have been on diets before. But I feel I always concentrate on what I can get away with eating instead of just giving up fake food 90% of the time.

    The objective? Give my body a break from bad food.

    The goal? More energy, weight loss and more comfortable clothes.

    The plan?
    • No junk food.
    • No fried food.
    • No dessert.
    • No beef (nothing wrong with beef-it's just high in fat!)
    • No regular pop/soda.
    • Exercise when I can.
    It's only day three and I don't feel like I am missing out on eating yummy food. I had a grilled chicken sandwich (no mayo) from McDonald's (no, I didn't have fries but thanks for believing the worst in me. Hee. hee). I  had a Potbelly sub. I have enjoyed a couple lattes from Starbucks. Why? Because I don't believe in eliminating food groups from my diet. It has never works for me in the past; I would rather eat good fats and get rid of the fake foods six days a week.

    Are you interested in partaking in this experiment? Let me know your progress on our Facebook page:

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Everything But the Tutu Flea Market on Saturday!

    Saturday, May 21st
    7:00am - 4:00pm
    160 Westgate Mall

    Madison Ballet is hosting a flea market!

    We have cleaned out the closets.  Our families and friends have cleaned out the closets. You should see all the great stuff!  Join us and find that special something!

    Need to do some spring cleaning? We can use your gently used, tax deductible donations of clothing, footwear, household items, jewelry, ornaments, knickknacks and computer equipment.
    You can drop off your items or we will pick them up.  Call Robin Baldah, Office Manager, at 608-278-7990, ext. 100 or via e-mail at to set up a time and date for drop-off or pick-up.

    All proceeds will support Madison Ballet's Education and Outreach programming.

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Great Deals on Circo Kids' Clothes at Target!

    I stopped by Target this morning and found some real steals on kids' clothes. After our July-like weather I realized that c needed some comfy play clothes. I found shorts and ts for only $4! If you need to bulk up your wardrobe stop by this weekend!

    Check them out!

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Hug Your Kid Already!

    Today's theme at The Little Gym was about hugging our kids. I learned

    We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth." --Virginia Satir

    I never thought about how many hugs we give c a day but I am betting it is more than 12. It's an interesting theory, isn't it? We all know kids need a lot of love and attention but I didn't think about the number of hugs being that important. I never really knew what it meant to love a child until my sister, Kim, had little K. I would stand back and look at my family dote on her and think how lucky this child was to have so many people love her. Sadly, some kids don't even have one person
    that truly loves them. So go on, hug your kid 12 times today. It will do both of you some good.

    Virginia Satir
    (26 June 1916 - 10 September 1988) was an American author and psychotherapist, known especially
    for her approach to family therapy.

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    Happy Mother's Day!

    Okay ladies, it's our day. Put your feet up, make your husband clean up after lunch and have an extra cup of coffee. With Bailey's. I am kidding. Kinda.

    Here's my boo boo at his Funky Monkey Photography photo shoot. More on this amazing experience later. I wonder what surprises c has in store for me today?

    Let's not forget those who have lost their mother, grandmother and/or children. My hearts go out to them today and everyday.

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Restaurants + Toddlers = An Interesting Time

    If you have/had a toddler you know how challenging it can be to take the little darling to a restaurant. c used to be great but then it started: The whining. The not wanting to sit in the high chair. The wanting to get out.  The refusing to eat. But I refuse to give up. I like to eat out too much and don't like the hassle of cooking. So I am trying to get creative.

    I think the best thing to do is go to a place where "Kid's Eat Free". This way, you won't feel bad when you have to throw most of their food in the garbage. We just got back from Potbelly for lunch. They don't have a kid's menu and I usually throw away what c doesn't eat. But today I got smart. I ordered one of their "Bigs" sandwiches for c and me to share. It comes with 30% more of all the goodies. But I took it a step further. Since my child acts as if he is on Adkins when he sees a sub, I ordered extra meat and cheese. I usually cringe when I read that on a menu (I mean, really. How much does someone need?) but I decided to use it to my advantage. Another way to save money is to skip the "Kid's Meal". My child normally doesn't eat everything they give us so I just get him chicken nuggets/tenders and bring my own milk or water for him to drink.

    One advantages of eating out with kids is the Kid's Menu. You can order a bunch of selections off the kids menu and eat some of them yourself. Just hope the server doesn't notice.

    If you have other ideas on how to save money when taking the kiddos out to eat please post it on my Facebook page. I need all the help I can get!