Monday, January 28, 2013

Just in Case.....I AM Sorry!

My grandsons came to visit this weekend and I discovered that the four year old has learned a very important lesson. He's quick to apologize.  It doesn't matter whether he spills his milk, hits his brother, or breaks a toy, any action that might be disapproved of is quickly followed by, "I'm sorry."  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he does what he wants, and then quickly utters those words if he sees any sign of disapproval on the faces around him. He's that smart, and cute enough to get away with it.

I remember when I was a little kid, a few years older than him, but definitely not more than seven, I did something that angered my mother.  I have no recollection of what it was I did, but I remember very well that she insisted that I tell her I was sorry.  I don't know if I was sorry, but I do know I was very stubborn.  I was not going to utter those words. I lived with her disapproval, and likely the inability to do something I really wanted to do, for a couple of days before I finally gave in and whispered those two little words.

Though I don't remember what it was I did to get into such trouble, I do remember that the longer it took me to say that I was sorry, the harder it was to do so, and I learned a lesson from that.  I'm much quicker to tell someone I'm sorry now.  Obviously my little grandson has learned this lesson much earlier than I did.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Freebie Friday - Jan 25

While it was never my intention to let this Freebie Friday thing take over my blog, I am at least glad I committed to it as otherwise you would likely not have heard from me in the past month.  The only other thing I have wanted to tell you about can't be put on here yet. It's a surprise. 

I got involved in a Pay It Forward project.  Someone on Facebook offered to send something they had made to the first five people who responded, on condition that they post the same offer on their page. I jumped in with both feet, not really knowing just what it was I would create.  I just knew I wanted to do it.

I got four takers on my offer, and somehow, luckily, I got in on their offers too, so, in reality, I'm exchanging things with these four talented people.  I have now finished two of those four projects (I think) and I'm itching to show them to you. If I did that now it that would ruin the surprise, not only for those who they are intended for, but perhaps also for those whose projects I have not started yet.....even though I expect those will be somewhat different.  In the meantime, I found out I could do something I didn't know I could do...but like I said, I can't tell you yet.
So I'm here, once again, to tell you what landed in my mail box this week.  I got five free things, all of which came from the same company, in the same box.  I had put in a little order to Yves Rocher, just for a lipstick and a new bottle of liquid hand soap. They always send samples and free stuff, and I do try to wait until I like what they are offering before putting in my order, just so I feel like I'm getting something for my postage charges.  This time I think I did very well. 

I got three small samples. One was a perfume, and the others were new face products, designed to keep me young looking.  I'm looking forward to testing those out.  The company wanted to start my year out right by giving me what they referred to as my "favorite product".  I'm not sure about that, but they did pick the most expensive thing I've ordered in the past year, so I'm very happy to have a new full sized bottle of the foundation makeup I use.  And finally there was a lovely light weight fold up nylon shopping bag for my purse that they referred to as my bonus gift.  All these freebies more than covered the shipping cost. 

Now if the new creams actually make me look younger, I'll be thrilled.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Freebie Friday - Jan 18

 There are several ways free things find their way to my house. Sometimes I win them. Sometimes I ask for them, and sometimes I use coupons to acquire them. This week I got something each of these ways.

Not everything that I get for free comes in the mail. Some of it comes from the grocery store.  Two different kinds of cereal had coupons for freebies recently. One coupon was printed on the inside of the cereal box, while the other coupon was the kind that required me to buy the cereal in order to get the other item for free.  In fact, it was a freebie sample a couple of years ago that first introduced me to the Kashi line. I find their products in the natural food section of the grocery store, and I had a choice of crackers or chewy granola bars with the purchase of a box of their cereal.  I've had many of their products since that first free sample, and really like them, so for them it was a good investment.  I chose the Cherry Chocolate bars this time because I remember them to be a great treat.

As for the Yoplait yogurt tubes, well, I chose them from the other options because I thought my grandchildren might enjoy them if they come for a visit before I eat them all.  They are always looking for a snack when they are here. I had never tried these before, and now that I have, I doubt I'd let the little guy get his hands on one. He'd likely get it all over himself and the room rather than in his tummy.  They are creamy, but runnier than the usual yogurt I buy, so I didn't find them as filling either.

I saved $6.58  by not having to pay for these two items and though I did buy a box of cereal at full price, at least it was one I already know I will enjoy.

In the mail this week, I received a pendant that I won on a blog contest.  I've come to find that blogs are a great place to enter contests because there is not nearly as much competition.  I think I've won 3 or 4 such contests so far.  The pendant apparently has a lot of meaning behind it.  Check out Bonnie's blog to learn more.


And lastly, I got a pastel pencil from a company called Conte a Paris that offered a sample of  their brand.  I have never done much with pastels, but I may be inspired to try something now that I have a sample to test out along with the ones I have here.

Sometimes, as I said, all you have to do is ask for a sample, and you get it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Freebie Friday - Jan 11

It happens every year.  Publishers all decide to compete for your attention by sending all kinds of deals to get you to subscribe to their magazines.  I try hard to resist, but I don't always succeed.

While e-mails with welcome back offers arrived for some, I got actual sample issues from both Prevention Magazine and Good Times.  Good times also included a bookmark, and promised a new watch if I subscribed, and a matching bracelet if I did it quickly.  I think I'll pass as I have plenty of reading material here as it is.

I also received my third and final free issue of Canadian Living.  The Sample Source people gave out free 3 month subscriptions a while back, and now that my last issue has arrive, so has a message offering me the final 9 months of a year's subscription for just $9.  They have a big round ball on the ad saying that's just $9 a copy.  Ha.  They aren't thinking straight.  That's $9 for the entire year, since I didn't have to pay for the first 3 issues at all.  Looking at it that way, it's only 75 cents an issue.  That's a deal that's hard to pass up.  I've been trying all week, but I do love to flip through magazines, and I know I'm never going to get another offer as cheap as that.

Have you looked at the price of magazines on the newsstand lately?  Actually, it's hard to find a price listed on most of them any more.  I think they are ashamed to print it.  You are darn lucky if you can find one as low as $4.99 these days.  A new one I really wanted to try last week cost $15.99, and that's before adding on another couple of bucks for taxes.   That does it.  While I really am trying to cut back on my magazines, I suddenly don't think I can afford to pass up the deal of 9 more months of Canadian Living for just $9....especially now that I've clicked though to the renewal and see that actually includes the taxes!.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Going Postal

Just before Christmas I won a pendant that has not arrived here yet. There's a reason for that.  It seems that the parcel got sent back to the sender because it was short seven cents in postage. The strange thing is that three such parcels were sent out, with the same amount of postage on them, all to Ontario addresses, and only the one that was meant for me got sent back.

The sender didn't get it back right away, and when she did, she notified me that she has now added more than the extra asked for, and it is once again on the way.  I think the parcel likely got all the way to my village before it ran into trouble. And I'm sure it cost the post office more than that seven cents to send it back.  Some people just have to exercise their authority, even if it doesn't make any sense. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Freebie Friday

I mentioned I was going to try reporting on the free things I get in the mail.  I don't know how often I'll have something to report, so we'll just have to see how this goes.  For instance, this past week, I only received one free thing, and I'll tell you about that at the end, but for now, let me tell you about a couple of other things that have arrived recently.

The first is pre-release copy of a book by Michael Moss called Salt, Sugar, Fat. Probably like most of you, I thought it would be about how these ingredients are not good for us, how to eliminate them from our diets, and perhaps a few recipes to get us started.  I was wrong. This book is far more fascinating than that. It's a well written, in depth look at the food industry, and how the products we all know came into being and developed over the years. It names companies like Kellogg's, Kraft, Campbell's and the soft drink giants that produce Coke, Pepsi, and even Dr Pepper, as well as other.

Did you know that the amount of sugar and cheese that we each eat today has tripled since 1970?  No wonder there is an obesity epidemic today. I was very interested in the story of how the US Government was responsible for the increase in cheese production, how the excess was stored, and how it finally made it's way into a lot of everyday foods as time went by. 

 There are stories about the science behind product development, and how advertising and product placement get our attention, and get us to buy more. One thing became very clear, and that is that processed foods could not exist without salt, sugar or fat.  Even some of the people who used to work for these companies now know that in order to avoid these substances, they also have to avoid the very foods those companies produce. While I do a lot of my own baking, and seldom buy convenience foods, I'm starting to think the cans and boxes that are currently in my house may be greatly reduced in the future. I will likely make more of my own soups and salad dressings and maybe even bread in the future.

I think this is an important piece of literature that will withstand the test of time, and will likely be a great reference book about the food industry for many years to come.  It's a thick book (over 400 pages) but not difficult reading.  It will be available for purchase March 12, 2013.  Look for it when the time comes.  I think everyone should read it.

The second thing I'll tell you about this week is Dawn Dish Detergent.  I got a couple of sample packs.  I seem to remember that this is the brand they used to advertise as being gentle enough to soak your fingers in, before a manicure.  I think they're right.  It does seem gentle. I have not felt the need to reach for the hand lotion immediately after washing dishes, as I often do with my regular brand.  Dawn also has a gentle, but pleasant scent.  That seems to be about where the gentleness ends though as even a little cleans my dishes to the point where they practically squeak.  Even the casserole dish I baked some scalloped potatoes in the other night came clean without using much of the usual elbow grease. Hubby commented that he liked the smell and that the bubbles seemed to last well too. Sometimes these little samples that companies send me cause me to switch brands. This may be one of those times.

And finally, the free thing I received this week was from Canadian Free  I had previously received a free fridge magnet from them for posting 50 times.  This time I received a ring for posting 150 times.  While I've seen pictures of other rings they have sent out in the past that had more sparkles, this one was rather plain by comparison.  But free is free, and since it's a bit big for me anyway, it will make a great treasure to leave behind in some geocache come spring.

I won something from Canadian Free this week too, but I'll tell you more about that when it arrives.