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Not So Secret Shopper Archives - The Dusty Parachute by Susanne Kerns Skip to main content
HEB Buddy Buck

13 Steps of Playing the HEB Buddy Buck Machine

For those of you who don’t live in Texas, let me take a moment to explain HEB & the HEB Buddy Buck machine.

HEB is the big grocery chain here. It’s pronounced by saying the actual letters, H–E–B. It is not pronounced Heb, like Jeb, and more importantly, it’s not pronounced Hebe, like the ethnic slur. HEB stands for Howard Edward Butt, (cue giggling children.)
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Cheers To You - From TheDustyParachute.com

Cheers to You!

When my daughter was four years old, we went to a friend’s cabin for the weekend with a couple of families. My friend and I went for a morning run and when we returned the other mom rushed out to cut us off before we got to the door with a panicked look on her face.

“Everything’s okay now,” she said, which of course makes us instantly start to panic. “We called 911 and the paramedics said everyone should be okay.”

What the?!!!

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Dusting Off My Parachute - Shopping Spree

I Went Shopping – Help Me Pick the Winners

Almost two weeks ago I challenged myself to do something that I never do: Go shopping.

I detailed the ‘whys’ in a previous, “Dusting Off My Parachute” post the night before my adventure. The boiled down version is that I hate shopping. I find it completely overwhelming both in terms of the sheer number of choices available and also because I am incredibly thrifty (okay, cheap).

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Dust Off My Parachute

Dusting off My Parachute – Step 1 – Shopping

Today at noon, I will face my greatest fear head on.

I’ll be doing something that I’ve been putting off for a long time and as the day has grown near I have even hesitated putting together this post because I think my brain is still in denial that it’s happening.

What could this dreaded event be?

Am I presenting to a group of a thousand people? No, that would be fine.

Am I flying cross-country solo with two kids? No, that’s a piece of cake.

Am I taking some kind of dangerous, death defying adventure? Kind of….

I’m going shopping.

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The 10 People You’ll Find at Book Fair

It’s Book Fair time again!

Even kids who haven’t willingly opened a book the entire school year completely lose their minds over Book Fair.

And who wouldn’t when the decorating committee transforms their simple library into some magical land, like a medieval castle or an undersea experience, complete with a bubble machine at the entrance.

Even if you’ve missed the Book Fair reminder notes in your kid’s folder or all the giant red banners around campus, it’s hard to miss the kids wandering around after school dressed as human billboards ringing bells and spreading the news about the Book Fair.

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Nose Frida The Snot Sucker

I Suck Snot and So Should You

As the mothers of newborns we do some pretty strange things to keep our babies healthy & comfortable:

Would you use your teeth to trim your baby’s fingernails? Anything for my baby!

Would you squirt your breast milk into your baby’s eye at the first sign of conjunctivitis? You’d be crazy not to!

Would you suck snot out of your baby’s nose with a plastic hose? Of cour…..Wait a minute…..you want me to do what?

My name is Susanne, and I sucked my baby’s snot…..and you should too!
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My Carbon Monoxide Detector is Trying to Kill Me - TheDustyParachute.com

My Carbon Monoxide Detector is Trying to Kill Me

I like to think that I’m a ‘glass half full’ kind of girl and typically focus on the good in life. But at least once a day I encounter a product that is so poorly designed that I want to take it out to a field and destroy it “Office Space” style.

I’m sure you’ve been there too. You know, the blow dryer that has a button that turns it off when you were just trying to turn up the heat?  Or the shower knob at the hotel that takes two intelligent adults at least three tries each to figure out how to turn it on?

Is it you?  Are you crazy?
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Have You Hugged a Curly Haired Girl Today?

Oh Dove, you’ve gone and done it again. Your creative team has whipped up another heart-warming, tear-jerking commercial to help make all of us ladies feel beautiful (or at least feel guilty about not feeling beautiful.)

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the recap: The ad starts with a collection of adorable little girls with curly hair discussing how much they dislike having curly hair. We then move into a musical montage of gorgeous, curly haired moms accompanied by their curly-haired daughters, spinning in the streets to a catchy tune. The grand finale is the little girls walking into a room for a surprising ‘eyes covered’ reveal where their mom are dancing to a curly haired band playing a song repeating the lyrics, “We all love our curls, we all love our hair…Oh I love it, love it!”
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The Most Accidentally Searched For American Girl Doll - TheDustyParachute.com

The Most (Accidentally) Searched for American Girl Doll of the Year

Update: January 11, 2016 – I wrote this original post one year ago. Since then, it has continued to receive search traffic on a regular basis, from who I’m sure are very confused parents trying to shop for the new American Doll of the Year. It appears that The American Girl Doll Corporation has not taken any of my suggestions for the American Girl Doll of the Year 2016…..there’s always 2017……


It’s January, and you know what that means. Sure, it means the holidays are over, you’re busy breaking your resolutions and cursing all the stray Christmas decorations that you missed in your haul up to the attic.

But there’s something even more exciting that comes with the turn of the new year: The introduction of the new American Girl Doll of the Year 2015.

Are you on the edge of your seat wondering:

“Who will it be this year? A little white girl with long blonde hair or a little darker-white girl with long brown hair?”

“Will her hobby will be walking homeless puppies or perhaps this year she’ll branch out from ballet dancing to tap?”

Well, the wait is over. May I present to you, Grace, the French Baker.
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Top 10 Reasons to Visit The Dusty Parachute in 2015

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New Year’s Day is the perfect time to reflect back on the past year (while lying hungover on the couch eating stale Christmas cookies.) Many of the bloggers I follow are doing fun ‘Top 20 Posts of 2014’ lists. I thought of doing something similar but seeing as how I have only done around 30 posts since starting The Dusty Parachute a few months ago, that would be like saying “Come to the site & read everything!”

So, instead I’ve categorized some of my 2014 posts to help give you an idea of which ones you will enjoy most based on your interests.  Assuming that many of my 2015 posts will fall into these same categories, it also doubles as a “Top 10 Reasons to Visit The Dusty Parachute in 2015”.
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