Saturday, April 28, 2012

When you care enough to give the very best.

One of my favorite places to shop for gifts is Hallmark, and in the Triangle we are privileged to have 15 locally-owned and operated Hallmarks. Lynn's & Daphne's Hallmark have been serving the community since 1969. They have kept the business in the family and continually strive to serve their customers. They offer daily specials (posted daily on Mom's Packed Purse Facebook page), Win-it-Wednesdays and the Hallmark Gold Crown Card.

Here are a few of my favorite Mother's Day gift ideas:

Moms love pictures, so instead of the basic frame try the family tree frame holder. It's a good way display pictures of the kids, grandkids and even Uncle Bob.

Mother, Mom, Someone Special, Nana, and Grandma Pendants

$19.95 each with each purchase of three Hallmark cards (Reg. $24.95)
"Mother is another word for love"
"A mom is a friend for life"
"We never outgrow Grandma's love"
"Nana is at the heart of so many wonderful memories"
"Someone special beautiful inside and out..."

Blooming Expressions
This is great for people like me who don't have a green thumb. These flowers will last forever and even offer a sweet sentiment. Choose one that fits your mom the best.
Lavender Flower- You are one of Life's Best Gifts
Lavender Flower- What a Blessing You Are
Pink Flower- Love You Lots
Pink Flower- There's Only One You
Red Flower- Heart of Family
Red Flower- I Love You
Yellow Flower- Beautiful Day
                                          Yellow Flower- Thank You for Being a Great Friend

Don't forget to get all the moms in your life a card! Hallmark has the best selection on Mother's Day cards.

You can visit Lynn's and Daphne's Hallmark to find a list of locations and also be sure to "Like" their Facebook page.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

More gift ideas

Each day I'm going to post my best picks for Mother's Day. Every mom is different, so you can find something she'll treasure and know she's appreciated.

Get these gifts plus books, Bibles and more at Christian Book Distributors.

25% off

If you purchase a deal from Plum District, use code MOM25 and receive 25% off the purchase price. The deals I posted in the Mother's Day gift ideas post are all from Plum District, so use the code and save.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mother's Day gift ideas

Get a jump on your mother's day shopping and you'll save some money. Also remember to get gifts for grandmas, aunts, sisters and friends. Every mom deserves to be appreciated!

$39 for $90 Worth of Canvas Prints (plus Free Shipping!) from CanvasLifestyle- Visit Canvas Lifestyle to get your canvas print. Mom loves pictures make her pictures unique.

If your mom loves exercise or has been wanting to get back into shape, get her a $36 for a One-Year Membership to Yoga Download - a $90 Value. Visit Yoga Download to order this gift.

Or maybe the mom in your life needs some down time and a get-a-way is what she needs, then you need to get her a Bed and Breakfast Stay + $100 Spa Credit at the Poconos' Elegant French Manor Inn And Spa for only $225 ($345 Value). Visit Poconos/Spa trip for the ultimate mother's day gift.

Be sure to check back for more Mother's Day gift ideas. Remember Mother's Day is May 13 (less than a month away).

Monday, April 23, 2012

Help Save Enid's Mommy

Last week my family was blessed with a 9-year-old girl. In a family of boys this is a special treat (especially for me). Our sweet neighbor Enid came over for dinner, spent the night, and we took her to school the next morning. For the past eight months, Enid's mommy, Hortencia Aguirre Verduzco, has been sitting in jail awaiting trial. It's a sad story that began last August when US Immigration officials barged into Hortencia's loving home, confiscated personal items, froze assets and interrogated Hortencia in front of her daughter, Enid-- all because of a supposedly fraudulent visa and residency papers. Hortencia in her haste to get these strange men out of her house, signed their waivers and agreeing to their terms. After consulting with her neighbors/friends that have since become like family, retained a lawyer. The lawyer found that nearly 20 years ago when Hortencia came to the US seeking freedom and opportunity to succeed, an immigration lawyer deceived her into paying him large sums of money in return for legal resident documentation. However, the lawyer didn't hold up his end of the bargain and had Hortencia believe her documents were valid.

In the midst of the legal battle, a loving and sweet girl, Enid bounces between family and friends homes while she waits and prays for he mother to come home. From an outsider point of view, it may look like another immigration case, but this one is different. Hortenica has been working hard since she arrived in our country, never accepting handouts or freebies. She started in the orange fields working despite illness and fevers, and then slowly working her way up to owning a construction cleaning business. She earned a GED, completed ESL classes (even taught them too), took college courses, received a EEG certificate (Electro Encephala Graph), and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. Most importantly she is a single mother to a well-behaved, sweet, kind and loving girl. These qualities are not coincidental; they are a true testimony of a diligent and loving mother.

Hortencia faces possible deportation back to Mexico. However, there is a chance she could be granted a reprieve and be allowed to stay in the country with her daughter, a US citizen. Please help reunite this mother and daughter by visiting and clicking on the link to sign the petition. You can also read more about Hortenica's journey and nightmare on the site.

I feel this is a cause for all moms to unite and help a fellow mom fight for justice. Join me also by "liking" Save Enid's Mommy on Facebook and telling all your friends to do the same. Nothing can get in the way of Moms with a cause-Stop the Deportation of Hortencia Aguirre Verduzco!

-Rachel A. Withers

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Savings and fun for all!

There are so many ways to save and play this weekend. Check-out the fun happenings below and make your weekend plans today:

Brilliant Sky Toys & Books-  Saturday, April 21- customers will find tables and tables of items all 50% off. Items will include, but will not be limited to, damaged box items, items that have been discontinued and items that we only have a few quantities left. *There will be NO free gift wrapping on any sidewalk sale items*
*All sales are Final!

The Purple Polka-Dot- This store reminds me of the cute boutiques featured in Southern Living magazine. It's charming cottage atmosphere is filled with unique home decor, clothes, jewelry, vintage furniture and baby gifts.  On Saturday, April 21 from 10 am- 4pm, they'll be hosting a trunk show of vintage inspired jewelry from designer Jill. Customers will also enjoy cupcakes and lemonade from Jenny's Cupcakery.

The Great Cloth Diaper Change an event taking place nationwide on Saturday, April 21 is being held locally at the Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique in Raleigh. Pick up some baby supplies and learn more about Stroller Strides and Branching Out Doula Services.
Correction- Kidspace is next weekend on April 29.

Kidspace at Crosspointe Church- Sunday, April 29 from 3-6 pm is a high-energy late afternoon event where parents and their elementary aged children can worship and learn together, as well as discover ways to be on the same page so they can take important conversations further. Carnival games, big slides and fair food too! Video, lights, music and zany drama sketches help make growing in faith and building character relevant and fun!!!

If your plans include shopping at the mall, enjoy friends and family discount at Ann Taylor and The Loft- 40% off your purchase and 25% off at Banana Republic. All sales valid April 19-22, 2012.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weekend Fun, Deals & Sales

The weekend is right around the corner, and there are plenty of sales, family activities and mom-fun happenings. A trunk show at the Purple Polka-Dot, Kidspace at Crosspointe Church, The Great Cloth Diaper Event, 50% off sidewalk sale at Brilliant Sky Toys and Books and more. Check back for all the details.

Pens & Pencils

"Be still and know that I am God."- Psalm 46:10
Finally, the journey begins...writing. It has been a bumpy start with writers block as soon as I posted that I was beginning my writing journey coupled with a teething 7-month old. Ahh, the joys of motherhood. Through it all I felt God was trying to tell me something or at least get my attention. My days seem to be consumed with constantly cleaning and playing. It's an on-going cycle with sporadic trips to the grocery store, doctor, etc. It usually takes a sick child that needs me to sit down and hold them to get actually get me to sit down. It's kinda sad when you think about it. Am I constantly going that I forget to stop and be still? Apparently, God was trying to tell me something..."Be still and know that I am God."  Everything else can wait. Laundry, dirty dishes, exercise. Yes, it can wait while I enjoy these quiet moments with my creator. Time will pass you by, but everything else can wait.
-Rachel :o)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Faithful Hearts & Western Wake Farmers Market

Enjoy a beautiful spring morning this Saturday shopping for healthy, organic produce, meats, bread, eggs, cheese, honey, coffee and more at the Western Wake Farmers Market at Carpenter Village. While you're at the farmers market be sure to visit the craft fair at the Faithful Hearts offices on Saturday, 8am-1pm. They'll have fabulous women-made crafts/jewelry, and lots of gently used, high quality clothes and items ... OH, and the BAKED GOODS are unbelievably yummy!!! A portion of the proceeds from the fair will directly support this wonderful ministry for women. Faithful Hearts is located next to the Polka-Dot Palette. This is a great time to start looking for teacher appreciation gifts.

Also be sure to visit Sarah Heermann- Silverkiln Studio's booth at the craft fair. She'll have her beautiful silver jewelry available.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Phoenix Stone Solutions & Southern Ideal Home Show

The kitchen is command central at my house. Whether we are cooking, playing, talking or entertaining, it all seems to revolve around eating and cleaning in the kitchen. Caroline Phoenix, a busy mother of 4, co-owns Phoenix Stone Solutions in Raleigh. She and her husband, Chris sell an incredible product that seals stone. The unique permanent sealer is great for moms who have stone countertops and kids with messy fingers!  The sealer permanently bonds to the stone, allowing moms to sanitize the surface without harming the stone.  It also makes granite and marble easy to clean, keeping it 100% stain and maintanence free, with only one application.

You can meet Caroline and the team at  Phoenix Stone Solutions at the Southern Ideal Home Show at the NC State Fair Grounds, this weekend April 13-15.  You can find them in the "Ask Our Experts" pavillion, with the red carpet in the Jim Graham building and learn more about their incredible sealer.

There will be activities at the show for children, such as a bounce house and yummy food for the entire family. Strollers are welcome and a good idea for young children! Children 15 and under are free with a paying adult, and admission is 9.00 at the door and 8.00 in advance online.  There is a  $3 off admission coupon on the right hand side of the home page.
To get a $3 off admission coupon visit  Southern Home Show and be sure to get your 10% off sealer application coupon from Phoenix Stone Solutions,.

In addition to running a show special on their sealing services, they will also have free Kid's Meal coupons from Chick-Fil-A for Mom's Packed Purse lovers!

The Limited 10-day sale

The Limited is making a come-back. This used to be my go-to store in college, but then they slowly started disappearing from malls. They've reinvented themselves and have opened a new store at The Streets at Southpoint in Durham. This week they are offering a 10-day sale. Visit The Limited Sale and get your coupon to savings today, and rediscover this great go-to store.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April Mompreneur- Branching Out Doula Services

Get a group of moms together and most likely the "birthing" experience is shared. Some are similar, some different and others you thank God didn't happen to you. There's so many options these days when it comes to delivering a baby- Cesarean, induction, natural, epidural, VBAC and the list goes on and on. OBGYN's are great, but sometimes it pays to have someone with insight for your needs.

April Opoka  started Branching Out Doula Services with that thought in mind. Life spun out of control for April as she battled Perinatal Mood Disorders during her pregnancy. Then when her son was born in a record of time of 1.5 hours from onset of labor pains to delivery, life seemed to spinning beyond control when her son was taken away to be "monitored" right after delivery.  April knew it didn't need to take so long for her to hold her son or begin breast feeding him.

April started Branching Out Doula Services in January. She has a background in science and medicine and is a trained DONA birth doula. She'll be by your side and supporting you with your chosen birth plan. She helps all moms, but she is partial to helping women with mood disorders, anxiety and depression. April provides standard doula services plus cloth diapering support, prenatal preparation, and baby's hand/foot prints or impressions. You can learn more about April's services at Branching Out Doula Services. You can also meet April at The Great Cloth Diaper Change on April 21 at Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique in Raleigh. Visit The Great Cloth Diaper Change for details about this event.

April is offering an exclusive special deal for Mom's Packed Purse readers: Receive a $50 gift certificate for doula services provided by Branching Out Doula Services (minimum purchase required), plus a free gift with purchase with a doula services package. Free gifts may vary and could include gift certificates, massage/accupressure tools, "Mama goodies", "Baby" goodies", etc. Mention Mom's Packed Purse in correspondence to receive the special.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

So many savings

Easter is on Sunday, and businesses are rolling out the red carpet for their customers. Savings and specials are as numerous as Easter eggs, but finding what you're looking for can be a little tricky. Here's a map to find the golden egg.

Walgreens is offering a photo deal of the day this week. Today they are offering 25 free 4X6 prints. I just ordered prints of my boys and my sister and her new baby, and sent them all to my Grandma in NY. She'll be so excited to get these print, and all I paid for was shipping. Use code- FREEDEAL to get your free prints. Visit Walgreens Photo deals to see all their deals for the week.

Brilliant Sky Toys & Books (Cary & Raleigh location) is offering "hop-in" specials all week-long. Today's hop-in special is 20% off all puzzles and games!

Lynn's and Daphne's Hallmark (Triangle area locations) offers a deal every day. They post their daily specials on my facebook page- Mom's Packed Purse. Today's special is Buy 2 packages of Embellish Your Story and get your 3rd package FREE! Specials are exclusive to Crown Rewards members. It's free to join plus you can earn free gift certificates and exclusive coupons.

Ivy Cottage Collections in Morrisville (across the street from Target) has all their Easter merchandise 50% off. Now is a good time to finish up those Easter baskets, not just for the kids but your girlfriends, parents and don't forget your hubby.

Take a break from your shopping and visit Thai Spices located in Preston Corners off Cary Pkwy. Traditional Thai cuisine, pan-Asian and a well-stocked sushi bar. Cozy and relaxing room makes you think you’re in a posh suburb of Bangkok. They also offer a kid's menu. You can get $10 off a purchase of $50 or more. Use the coupon above.