mini album {thanksgiving 08}

last project from our scrapping weekend... i made a mini chipboard album (6x6) using last year's thanksgiving pictures. my sister had bought me some beautiful patterned papers and coordinating cardstock and whatnots, which inspired the project...
the front cover... rub-ons are american crafts (part of gift from sister). i used a strip of patterned paper above and below the photo (which is of my other sister's table centerpiece). mom's stickles were used for a litte pizzazz...they will make a reoccuring appearance throughout...
i added all of the ribbons on the binder rings later on when i got home.
small chipboard star (from a school set...see, thinking outside of the box), covered with paper, sanded, inked. notice i added stickles to the polka dots on the patterned paper.
chipboard circle covered with a tree cut from the patterned paper. super cute.

again, stickles on the polka dots.

i'm not sure why, but i love how i cut up these food pictures. i'm easily impressed, i suppose :)

more stickels. the dots beside "techy" are a stamp. oh, and the journaling box is actually baby themed, but i hit that part under the photo.

cute journaling block with felt star brads (both part of my birthday gift).

stamped star with some smeared stickles

journaling circle cut in half, stamped 'b', various colors of stickles on the dots around the circle.

love this owl stamp...put it on the back page. super duper cute.

good night...gotta go to bed.

layout {pool}

this was created using the same summer themed strip paper and journaling block paper by basic grey. i think i mooched the cardstock from someone in my family. i love blue/oranges together. this photo doesn't do the page justice because i used some stamps and stickles on the top border as well.

layout {creek ratz}

i like how this one turned out, even though it's super simple. kraft cardstock background with brightly colored patterned paper - a combination i'm always fond of. i bought the paper at the convention - it's one of those that has strips of different papers from the same line. it's a summer theme - i bought the strip paper and a coordinating sheet, from which the journaling block was cut.

layout {father's day}

another bad photo...
this layout cost be about 30 cents. i got a 12x12 sheet of stickers, 12x12 of punchouts and the background paper...all for 10 cents each at the convention. love a good bargain. i was tickled that the colors in my photos worked so perfectly with these things i'd just bought :)
not sure if you can tell but the circles (in the frames on the left side) are on pop dots to add dimension, as is the square accent in the center.

layout {la plaza fiesta}

first, i apologize for the horrible photo - i was lazy and didn't scan this batch of layouts. anyway...when i cropped the weekend of the convention, i was in a painting mood so it was one of the few things i packed for the day.

for this layout, i started with plain white cardstock and painted the blue background. i added yellow to help "ground" a couple of the photos on the right side. all of the frames/mats, word stickers are by sei and i purchased super cheap at the convention (12x12 sheet for 10 cents). i think this will go in our "things to do" album (???)

{layouts by spencer}

I mentioned in a previous post that Spencer, surprisingly, wanted to scrapbook with my mom, sisters and I a few weekends ago. He completed three layouts, pictured below. He had a binder full of all 2008 photos and some 2009. These are the ones he chose - I think it says a lot about who he is right now and that is just as cool as any other part of the layouts. Baseball, Gamecocks, his Dogs...that's Spencer in a nutshell :)

I didn't have many supplies packed for this crop, but Spencer got lucky that I had just bought these baseball papers at the convention. He used gold stickles (from my mom) for the stars, "all star" stamp which was a gift from my sister to me. He hand-painted the "go team" with paint (something I did actually bring myself).
I didn't have any dog supplies with me so he had to rely on his own creativity here. The patterned paper I'd purchased at the convention. He hand drew all the words and the dog bone, obviously. I honestly don't remember what he used for all the colors...looks like chalk, maybe?

And these are photos from a Gamecock baseball game. He hand drew the borders, coloring them in himself. The funniest thing... when he was about to start this page - and had the border idea - he asked me if I was going to do another page. I was thinking "uh oh, he's ready to go already and I want to stay a while longer". So, I told him yes, I was planning on doing another page. And he said "good, I don't want to be rushed". LOL!!! Most of the words here are painted, the bottom words are letter stickers. I didn't realize the "C" had fallen off until after I took the photo. It should say "Cocks Win".


photos {gamecock fan appreciation}

last weekend, we took spencer to *gamecock fan appreciation day* down in columbia.
here he is outside of the coliseum waiting for the doors to open matt and spencer with spurrier - spencer's first time meeting him

spencer with stephon gilmore

the two spencers - both from rock hill

photos {scrappin' weekend}

two weekends ago was the creating keepsakes convention
mom and i ended up with matching tennis shoes (unbeknownst to one another)
saturday we spent the day at my sister's house cropping...
that night spencer voluntarily asked to stay with us and complete a page. i was shocked (to say the very least!!!). he ended up doing three...which i will post eventually.

and of course, coleman was stuck with us...i'll have him scrappin' soon enough!

photos {random from august}

our neighbors had us and another couple over for supper. their daughter was right around the same age as our boys. here is coleman and colton....
and then coleman and dylan...notice how she stole his pacifier??? too funny.

he actually fell asleep on my legs this way. silliness.

spencer in his usual chair, playing psp...as usual :)

yes, we still have dogs. here's a recent one of cooper.

photo {the four of us}

over the weekend, matt's niece showed us some pictures she'd printed off for matt's mom. this was one of them. i made her promise to send it to me (and she did, obviously). believe it or not, we have NO pictures of the four of us except for the day coleman was born. shame on us! i love that this has all of us and that it's real and natural - not posed.


thrifty tuesday {8.25}

yesterday, i went to walgreen's on my lunch hour...made out pretty good. i only paid $1.87 cash, out of pocket. I used $11 in RR, plus a $5 off $25 coupon. I still have $4 RR from last week leftover and I earned another $10 RR. hope next week's sales are good!

Sudafed = sale @ $4.99 + $2.00 coupon
Tylenol Allergy = sale @ 4.99 + $1.00 coupon
$5RR earned for purchasing two items above (comes to $1 each)

2 bottles of Listerine Cool Agent = sale @ $4.00 each + bogo coupon + $1.00 peelie (got lucky!)
$3RR earned (do the math...that's free)

So far I had a coupon for each item purchased. Walgreen's is finicky, so in order to use my RRs from last week, I needed "filler items". I got a Baby Einstein bath book that I found on clearance (which I will set aside for Christmas), some white envelopes that I needed and a set of Goody's Ouchless hair elastics. The latter was on sale for $2.99 and earned me an additional $2 RR.


{weekend savings}

I hit several stores over the weekend: Wal-Mart, Walgreen's, Food Lion, CVS and Bi-Lo (fun, right?).

Overall, I saved exactly 50% with sales + coupons + rebates. Lowest percentage was at Wal-Mart (which I think is misleading because their prices are so much lower). Highest percentage was at Walgreen's at 68%.

Deals worth noting:
$1.00 desserts @ Wal-Mart (these were a big hit, too)
Dr. Shoal's inserts for about $4 each
$0.79 wipes (Huggies 64 count)
Softsoap body wash that actually made me $2.00
Coke 2liters for $0.69 at Food Lion (grand opening special)...I bought 8!
Free hand soap and foil
16 cent jars of baby food
12 cent wipes (40ct)
$1.00 General Mills cereal @ Bi-Lo
19 cent bread @ Bi-Lo
50 cent 4pk yogurt
$3.99 frozen lasagna (regularly $8)
99 cents Wet Ones
$2 Purex 2-in-1 (regularly $9)


photos {this + that}

i have let myself get behind on photos again...tsk, tsk. here are some from late july/early august.

just a sweet one of coleman snuggling with his little lovey bear.

another sweet one...taking a nap in his pack-n-play

spencer and his friend, ryan, playing poker

watching michael jackson videos online

he fell asleep like this...seriously.


thankful thursday {8.20}

haven't posted much lately, it's been a busy week.

today I am thankful for the wealth of information available on the internet, so my list is related to that. i know there are downsides to our technology-addicted way of life these days, but i love how much information is at our fingertips, and it's often free! Here are some examples that make me happy...

- York County Mommies
as a working mom, it would be very difficult for me to get out and meet tons of moms in our area. sure making a few friends here and there is easy. but on this site, there are hundreds (maybe thousands???) of moms in our area. if i ever have a question - whether it's about where to do something fun this weekend, how to get coleman to sleep longer, or what kind of shampoo i should be using - someone there has some helpful information. as coleman gets older, i look forward to participating in more of the play date events and such. what an awesome resource!

- Printable Coupons
obviously, i've really gotten into "couponing". before doing so, i had no idea the enormous variety of printable coupons that were available online. it has truly changed the way i shop, and saved me a ton of money. some stores (like target and food lion) have store-specific printables, but there are also plenty of generic coupons out there. also, a lot of manufacturers will have printables on their sites. if there is something you use a lot...google it! for instance, we have been using a lot of wet ones since coleman started on solids. i googled it and found $1.00 off printables on their site. woohoo!
a few sites include:
- coupons.com - smartsource - red plum -

- Two Peas in a Bucket
at first, i was going to make this something more generic like "scrapbooking ideas", but this site is so incredibly wonderful, it deserves it's own props. this was one of the first scrapbooking sites i ever fell in love with, many many moons ago. it's been my "go to" resource ever since. it's the #1 scrapbooking site, and for good reason. i don't order many supplies online, so i don't use their store very often. but i do use just about every other portion of their site:

~ message boards - i don't activiely participate, but if i have a question sometimes i will go there and search the archives...can always find an answer

~ designer garden - this is where their design team shares their work: monthly themes, classes, tutorials, challenges, etc. i have found some of my favorite scrapbookers through here (elsie flannigan, jennifer mcguire, shannon tidwell, lisa brown). i recently searched for "teacher gift" and found this great template and instructions for a Gift Card holder. awesome.

~ member gallery - this is where anyone can post their work. i can't even tell you how often i go here if i'm looking for an idea on a specific project. since this is the #1 site, there are a gazillion active members posting their work. they also have it split into different areas if there are certain things that interest you...such as digital scrapbooking, photography, stamping.

~ bookmarks - one of the coolest features of the site is that when you see something in the designer garden or member gallery, you can bookmark it for easy access later. you can also bookmark a specific member. super handy!

~ pea soup - a resource full of quotes, sayings, lyrics, poems, etc.

~ member tutorials - though there are only a few (maybe a new feature???), there is a section for member tutorials. i loved this one for a cd album (something i've been wanting to do for a while).

~ classes - some are free, some are not. some are long-term, some are short-term. lots of great options.

~ free goodies - you can get free fonts and free digital scrapbooking kits. they don't add free fonts anymore, but they add kits regularly so i'm always checking back. i make sure it's sorted by release date and i can see which new ones i don't have yet.

i'm sure there is so much more on this site that i don't even realize, but i think i've wasted enough time at this point.

- Weather Maps
i love being able to pull up the radar and see the forecast or whatever. this morning it was very cloudy and i could hear some thunder in the distance. i was able to pull up the radar on the weather channel and see that there was no rain in the area and it was ok for me to walk coleman to daycare. i also love being able to check the forecast easily for out-of-town locations we are going to visits. i have a weather channel app on my iphone as well.

- Search Engines
maybe it's stating the obvious...but where would be without search engines. my favorites are ones with perks, such as good search (money is donated to a charity of your choice) and swagbucks (earn points to purchase items or gift cards).


winning wednesday {8.19}

I went by Rite Aid on my lunch hour...

Though I didn't buy anything today that has an immediate SCR on it, I did buy things for two larger month-long SCRs. I purchased Motrin and Tylenol Sinus (both on sale + coupon), which go towards the J&J SCR I'm working on. I should reach it after buying Tylenol that has an additional SCR next week. I purchased another pack of Duracell (sale + 2 coupons) that should bring me to the requirements for that SCR.
I got a decent deal on Rolaids (in-ad coupon), and got two items 50% from their summer clearance - one is an upcoming birthday gift and one will be a stocking stuff for Spencer.

Full Retail = $41.24
@ Sale Price = $29.44
Coupons = $11.75
Savings = $23.55 (57%)
savings doesn't include the SCRs, so it's really much better than that

photo {coleman + mcrea @ daycare}

daycare phone photo from today (it's been a while - i was having withdrawls)
not very good quality, but it makes me smile!


{savings recap}

I've been slack about posting my shopping trips - I know everyone is devastated. Instead of doing a detailed report from every store, here' s a recap instead. This includes the following trips:
- Quick Harris Teeter trip last week (before triples)
- Big Harris Teeter trip with triple coupons
- Quick run to Bi-Lo by my husband (no coupons)
- Big Food Lion trip this week
- Quick Food Lion trip this week

In addition to triples at Harris Teeter, I was very excited because of a couple rebates they were offering and the sales that went along with them. I worked very hard to come up with a list of 15 General Mills items for a $5 rebate. Though this wasn't a great deal on its own, almost everything on my list was on sale plus had a coupon, and they were items we use alot. And I incorporated another $3.50 rebate on Nature Valley granola bars. NEITHER one worked at the register and I literally had to argue with the lady at customer service to get my $8.50. Though I got it, it took the fun out of it! I was also disappointed that most of the Pillsbury items I wanted were already sold out (I went on the 2nd day of the sale).

Here are some of the deals worth noting (saved at least 75% if listed):
- Gerber cereal = 34 cents
- Gerber Stage 3 food = 11 cents
- Nature Valley granola bars (5 boxes) = 27 cents each (used 5 $0.40 coupons which were all tripled + sale price of $2.50 + $3.50 rebate if you buy 5 + part of the $5 General Mills rebate)
- Betty Crocker cookie mix = $0.14
- Free rice
- Lysol tub & tile cleaner = 9 cents
- Lysol cling toilet bowl cleaner = 49 cents
- Lysol dual action wipes (2) = 62 cents
- free jar of Earth's Best baby food
- ziploc bags 100ct = 94 cents
- ziploc containers = 14 cents
Just an FYI...I saved almost 80% at Harris Teeter during the triples trip.

I took two trips to Food Lion this week to take advantage of a decent deal on formula (24 oz for $18.99 after sale + FLIP coupon), and a VERY good deal on Huggies ($3.49 after sale + manu coupon + FLIP coupon). On my second trip (same store), the sale tags for the diapers had been removed and they rang up full price. The store adjusted the price with no fan fare but this is a brand new store and it put a sour taste in my mouth because I felt like they were being dishonest. The ad has them on sale the whole week, why did it change?
Other great baby deals using FLIP coupons:
- Beech Nut baby food jars for $0.06 each on one trip and $0.15 on the other (the latter should've been free but they missed a coupon apparently).
- Gerber 2packs for $0.62 each (about half off) and jars for $0.20 each.
- 40ct wipes for $0.12
- this new store doesn't carry the baby bibs that I normally get free, but I was able to utilize the FLIP with a BOGO on lightbulbs and got those free instead.

Total @ Full Retail = $284.45
Total after Sales = $216.48
Total coupon/rebate savings = $76.82
TOTAL SAVINGS = $144.79 (51%)
Total Paid = $139.66


Coleman's Portraits {part 4}

These are the last of Coleman's portraits...how flippin' cute are those overalls????

money monday part 2 {8.10}

i'm a little late posting, but i swung by bi-lo on the way home yesterday to get a few things we needed. i did OK considering this was more of a "things we need" instead of "get all the deals" kind of stop :)

The best deals I got were on some cleaning products, which were BOGO and I had a coupon.
Windex Multi-Purpose Cleaner @ $1.61 after BOGO + $1.00 coupon = $0.61
Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner @ $1.52 after BOGO + $0.75 coupon doubled = $0.02
ALL laundry detergent @ $2.83 after BOGO + $1.00 coupon = $1.83
Shout @ $1.49 after BOGO + $0.55 coupon doubled = $0.39

Total @ Full Retail = $56.31
Bonuscard Savings = $17.35
Coupon Savings = $7.10
Total Savings = $24.45 (43%)
Total Paid = $33.74


Coleman's Portraits {part 3}

one more group needs to be posted, but i need to go to bed, so this is it for tonight...

Coleman's Portraits {part 2}

Coleman's Portraits {part 1}

saturday, i took coleman to have his first professional portraits taken (yes, i'm slack). i wasn't going to post them right away so my family could see them "in real life" first, but i am just not that patient. we had them done at portrait innovations (ayrsley location in charlotte) and i got the cd, which is why there are so many shots. we got a ton of prints, but not nearly as many as i'm posting :) here's a storyboard of this part of the photo shoot...more to come.

mosaic monday {8.10}

are you ready for some football?????

ok, i am not a huge nfl fan. i like the panthers (but will not support them if they actually take michael vick...no can do). anyway...the start of the pre-season nfl is exciting because it means that college football is right around the corner. woohoo!!! also, this weekend, we are taking spencer to "fan appreciation day" down in columbia. i can't wait!

money monday {8.10}

Free Mocha Mondays are over...what a shame...

Anyway, went to Walgreen's + Rite Aid on my lunch hour. There's nothing at CVS (for me) this week. I hope there is next week since I have $15 in ECBs to use soon...

- 2 packs of BIC pens for free (on sale for 2/$1 and I had one more $1/2 coupon)
- 2 tubes of Neosporin for 99 cents each (on sale for $3.99 each + two $1 coupons + $4RR on two)

I don't know what my total savings was, but I only paid $1.25 OOP after coupons and $3 in RR from previous visit. Speaking of old RRs, I lost $5 worth because I was sick and didn't get to use them before they expired...bummer. I picked up a Back-to-School coupon booklet, but was unable to find the children's coloring books that have coupons in them.

Rite Aid
I only went in to buy one thing...

45ct Zyrtec: Regular price of $30.99, used $5 off $25 coupon + $3 Rite Aid coupon from this week's ad + $4 coupon from insert or printable. I paid $20.01 OOP after taxes (saved about 35% before rebates). The purchase qualifies for both the J&J rebate and for the ongoing Zyrtec rebate.

While paying I noticed some candy bars were 2 for $1. I checked my coupons in the car and sure enough, it was the same as the ones for which I had a $1/2 coupon. So, I got a Snickers and a Milky Way for 7 cents (tax).

When entering my receipts online, I realized that I over-calculated last week's purchases that qualify for the J&J Reward. I thought my two bottles of Aveeno shampoo qualified, but they don't :( So, after today's purchase I should be at about $35. That means I'll definitely get the $5 reward (for spending $25) and that I still need to spend $15 more in order to get the $25 reward. But, at this point...it's stupid not to. I will spend $15 more to get $20 more back...make sense??? I'm just waiting to see if they put some J&J items on super sale the next couple of weeks. For the Zyrtec reward, I need to spend $20 more, but I have until February...


frugal friday {8.7}

two stops today: food lion + cvs

What I bought:
2 pkgs of Pampers @ $10 sale price each + 2 $1 coupons + $5 ecb = $6.50 each
Blink Tears @ $7.99 sale price + $1.50 coupon + $7.99 ECB = Free + $1.50 overage
Irish Spring body wash @ 4.99 + $2 coupon + $2 ECB = $0.99

Total @ Full Retail = $38.96
Sale savings = $5.98
Coupons = $5.50
Paid out of pocket before taxes = $20.48 (used $5 off $25 and $2 ECBs)
Total Savings (after ECBs) = $26.47 (68%)
ECBs for next time: $14.99

Food Lion
One disappointing thing on this trip... the cashier was having some trouble getting a few coupons to scan so she had a couple of piles going. When she claimed to be done, I thought there were a couple she hadn't scanned, but I wasn't sure. Turns out I was right and should've spoken up (but I didn't). So, I should've gotten six jars of Beech Nut baby food for 4 cents each, but she didn't ring up two coupons so I didn't :( What's annoying is that since she took the coupons, they are wasted. Oh well.

Deals Worth Talking About:
Baby bib: $0.99 + $1 FL Home 360 coupon = free
40 wipes: $1.62 + $1.50 FL coupon = $0.12
Hand Sanitizer: on sale @ $1.29 + $1.00 FL coupon = $0.29
Lysol dual action wipes: on closeout @ $1.44 + $1 on 2 coupon = $0.94 each
Gerber baby food (3 jars): $2.37 + $1.00 FL coupon + $.75 catalina coupon = $0.21 each

Total @ Full Retail = $118.04
MVP savings = $28.88
Coupons = $16.90
Paid OOP = $72.26
Total Savings = $45.78 (39%)

free-for-all friday {8.7}

Both of my brothers-in-law have July birthdays.

So...Happy Belated Birthdays to these two fellas:

This is just a cute doodle from the blog, homegrown hospitality, which i find fun :)

142 days to Christmas - seriously, I can't even think about it.

above doodle, also from homegrown hospitality

Kevin & Amanda
Super cute **free** fonts here. They make handwriting fonts from other folk's writing, and she also designs fonts specifically for scrapbooking (though, of course, they could be used for anything). I'm definitely snatching up a bunch of these!

recently we've watched two kids movies - Kung Fu Panda and Horton Hears a Who. I expected to like Kung Fu Panda better, but the Dr Suess movie was actually my favorite of the two. However, they were both cute & funny and I'd recommend!