Registration starts today (July 15) for volunteers and consignors. While volunteering may not sound like as much fun as actually shopping at the sale, let me tell you why it’s completely worth it.
70% on items AND an opportunity to shop BEFORE the public!
For those reasons alone, I signed up. For just a 3-hour shift, you get both those perks. For 6- or 9-hour shifts, you get in to the presale even earlier.
And if you consign, you can get 65% on all items sold and still get a presale pass. I know I’ll be bringing in a ton of baby/toddler items.
The fall/winter sale is open to the public Aug. 23-28 at State Fair Park. Presales are Aug. 21-22.
A couple of weekends ago, I had the great opportunity to attend a conference focused solely on single moms. One of our speakers really gave great advice on how to save money, especially in the expensive world of grocery shopping.
She is based in Oklahoma and her name is Sarah Roe, aka the “Money Saving Queen.” And she deserves every bit of that royal title.
She is an expert on all things coupons, deals, freebies and how to get groceries at a fraction of their listed price. Have you heard those stories about moms going to the grocery store and buying $400 worth of food for $30? Those stories are true, and Sarah tells you how to do it.
There’s a definite method to the madness of couponing, price matching, store deals and much more. Here are just a few of the many tips she shared with the conference attendees:
1. Clip coupons - manufacturer’s coupons, store coupons, and get coupons off the Internet. Find coupons in Sunday’s Oklahoman, manufacturer’s websites, store websites and even eBay. You can use manufacturer’s coupons in conjunction with store coupons for extra savings.
2. Keep track of prices. Take the 20 most expensive items you use regularly in your household. Go to the one store you shop at most often and track their prices for 6-8 weeks. You’ll notice a “sale cycle” when prices are at their highest and lowest and you’ll know when to stock up. Use your coupons on the rock bottom price. Stock up while you can, or wait until you can get it at that lowest price.
3. Shop around. Start planning your menus at home based on sale cycles and when stores are having the best weekly deals.
4. Know store policies. Many big drug store chains offer rewards for simply shopping there. Same is true for grocery store chains. Find out what they can offer you. It may not be something they advertise, but chances are there’s something.
I get a “Daily Deals” e-mail from the Money Saving Queen. And they really are filled with terrific discounts, free items and store sales. She even has links to coupons you can print off and store circulars for your area. I highly recommend signing up for these free e-mails and also joining the website forums. It’s all free and well worth it.
Go to www.moneysavingqueen.com and learn all you can on how to save the most you can at your next grocery store trip. I know I will!
Here’s another chance for families to get out of town for a day or two and enjoy some of Oklahoma’s natural beauty …
I think this might be something I’d consider taking my son to this summer. Any chance to expose kids to nature is a chance every parent should take. If you go, tell me all about it here or by e-mail.
Bass Pro Shops in Bricktown is offering all kinds of free workshops, crafts, photo opportunities and even s’mores made over a campfire this summer.
From noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, through July 11, children and adults alike can attend seminars on archery, bird watching, plants & insects, camping basics, animal identification, hiking basics, pet safety, fishing basics and shooting basics. And for every workshop you attend, you earn a pin.
There are also craft sessions for children on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 2 p.m. They include:
Paint a Wiggle Fish: June 22 and 24
Make a Camping Photo Frame: June 26-27, 29 and July 1
Paint an Animal Track: July 3-4, 6 and 8
Design Your Own Birdhouse: July 10-11
On Saturdays and Sundays, get a free photo of yourself or your kids on the cover of Field & Stream magazine.
And make some free s’mores over a campfire from 5 to 6 p.m. Yum.
Other free activities include the shooting gallery, shooting range and casting pond.
On June 26-27, the NASCAR Sprint Cup race car also will be pulling into the Bricktown Bass Pro so bring the kids out for an up-close look at a real race car.
And while you’re there, pick up a free copy of the Summer Fun 2010 guide to get tons of ideas, tips and product checklists to make the most fun out of your summer.
For all workshops, pre-register by calling 425-4412.
Unless otherwise noted, all sessions are for parents and caregivers of young children.
Here’s what’s in store for this summer:
Terrific Two’s: Learn about your 2-year-old. Focus is on their developmental milestones. All are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
June 1, Choctaw Library
June 16, Midwest City Library
June 22, Southern Oaks Library
June 19, The Village Library
Sibling Struggles: Learn methods to prepare children for the arrival of a new sibling and how to deal with sibling squabbles. Find out about sibling rivalry and what normal behavior is. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
June 2, Midwest City
June 30, The Village
Just for Fun: Games People Play(for children ages 8-12): Includes active games, quiet games and brain teasers. Kids will play games from the past and games from other cultures. Both are 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
June 14, Southern Oaks
June 21, The Village
Toileting Triumph: Toileting doesn’t have to be a major challenge. Focus is on signs of readiness, why it can be frustrating and much more. All are from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
June 16, Edmond Library
June 29, Warr Acres Library
July 20, Ralph Ellison Library
Making Your Morning Manageable: Time to eliminate chaos and come up with a routine. Focus is what parents can do to make this part of the day more calm and enjoyable.
June 25, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Warr Acres
Lullaby & Goodnight: Find a routine that includes reading to your child, to ease bedtime and naptime challenges. Sleep challenges will also be discussed. Both are 3:30 to 5 p.m.
June 30, Edmond
August 17, Ralph Ellison
Look Out, I’m Three!: Learn more about your 3-year-old. Focus is on developmental milestones. All are from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
July 7, Southern Oaks
July 8, Midwest City
July 13, The Village
July 20, Choctaw
Toddlers at the Table: Turn common concerns about toddler’s eating habits into opportunities to teach healthy habits. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
July 12, Midwest City
July 21, The Village
Those Playful Preschoolers:Focus is behavioral characteristics and developmental milestones of 3- and 4-year-olds. Activity ideas will be shared to keep little ones busy. Learn it’s OK for your preschooler to be “out of bounds.” Both are 3:30 to 5 p.m.
July 27, Warr Acres
Aug. 25, Edmond
Baby Basics: Main focus is typical concerns of parents. Colic/crying, separation anxiety, sleeping through the night and other issues will be discussed.
July 28, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Edmond
Reading Readiness: Workshop will explore the necessary reading readiness building blocks and parents’ roles in helping children become readers. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 4, Midwest City
Aug. 9, The Village
Fun to be Four: Learn about your fascinating 4-year-old. Workshop focuses on developmental milestones. All are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 3, Southern Oaks
Aug. 4, Midwest City
Aug. 10, The Village
Aug. 12, Choctaw
School Readiness: Facilitators will talk about support, encouragement and opportunity all children need for school success.
Aug. 10, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Warr Acres
Tripping Through Toddlerhood: Topics include, tantrums, biting, sharing and other common toddler challenges. Parents will learn how to minimize frustrations.
Aug. 11, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Edmond
Teaching Children to be More Cooperative: Focus is on when to discipline or ignore unwanted behaviors. Learn guidance techniques used by experts.
Aug. 27, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Warr Acres
To see the Oklahoma City-County Health Departments newsletters, including schedules for upcoming play groups, workshops, and health and child guidance screenings, click here .
This Saturday, May 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be tons of safety fun in the parking lot at 3800 N. MacArthur. Kids can meet members of the Warr Acres Police and Fire departments, the Bethany Fire Department, EMSA, Medi-Flight, OG&E, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department and much more.
Activities will include a moon bounce, face-painting, a dunk tank, safety demonstrations (including a really cool smoke trailer demo), car seat checks, health checks, emergency vehicle walk-through and more.
So bring the kids to Warr Acres Saturday for some great safety fun!
For more information, go to cityofwarracres.com.
Within the past few months, my 4-year-old son has come into a new obsession: Tornadoes.
While you and I are scrambling for cover in a tornado siren, this kid’s eyes get as wide as saucers and the excitement level gets beyond control. Everything he sees is tornado-related.
But not all kids are ready to brave Mother Nature’s fury. Especially if those kids have had to go through an actual tornado and witness firsthand the destruction and injuries it can cause.
To help parents and caregivers explain how a tornado works, what to do when one is coming and how to deal with the destruction and aftermath of these storms, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Office has put out a coloring book called “After the Tornado.”
It’s a good read for parents and kids of any age and children will surely appreciate the fun-to-color pages.
To download the coloring book, click here.
For more information about the book, click here.
And for all your severe weather information, coverage and safety tips, go to the Know-It: Severe Weather page by clicking here.
If your family has any tales of storm survival or tips to help kids get through storms, comment here or e-mail me.
Not for the gifts, or the special deals moms can find around town. Not for the flowers or for that nice dinner out. But because it’s a day set aside to cherish our own moms and our children. It’s the one day a year many of us can celebrate having a mother and being one at the same time.
Like many of you, I am completely in love with being a mom. It has brought the greatest joys imaginable and every day I wake up and know how truly blessed I am to have my little boy there. It’s the kind of love that is truly unconditional and unwavering. The kind of love that lets you know you’d do anything for your children. And it’s the kind that I celebrate in my own way every day, not just on Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day makes me stop and think about how much my own mom has always loved and sacrificed for me. Although if you ask her, she wouldn’t call them sacrifices, but just “the things that moms do.”
So give your kids the biggest hug, not just this Sunday, but every day. Cherish those little gifts they’ll give you that they made with their own two hands. Call or visit your own mom. Tell her how much you love and appreciate her. Let her know how much you’ve learned from her. And enjoy your special day.
There are some interesting and informative kid-related posts on NewsOK.com. Here’s a sample:
Keep your kids of out danger on busy streets:
An outdoorsy opportunity for young people this summer:
An interesting column about the interaction between smokers and babies:
A story about summer meals for children on school lunch programs:
A look at the Edmond Fire Department’s Safety Village, built just for children:
A story about charter schools as a “smart alternative”:
And a review of the family movie “Furry Vengeance” :
Ready to get some new ideas for summer fun? Then head down to the Sheraton Hotel downtown from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, for the annual Oklahoma Summer Adventure Expo.
There will be engaging hands-on activities for kids, visits from Rumble the Thunder mascot and the Thunder Girls, door prizes, discounts from vendors, a performance by the Sugar Free All Stars, and plenty more to see and do. The entertainment stage schedule will be posted on the site soon.
For more information, click here.