{last week}

i was hoping to post this yesterday and call it "this week", but there's an explanation for that below.

last week...

...i didn't have internet at home (and lived to tell the story...)

...we went to the pumpkin patch and took some seriously cute photos

...i was elected to the board of directors for our neighborhood HOA

...i finally went to the dentist about my jaw

...and then i went to an oral surgeon

...i wasted $95 to find out i should just take 600mg of ibuprofen every six hours

...i got into an argument with a coworker...then he quit (unrelated, i swear)

...i fixed coleman's ipod shuffle (well, it's working again - not sure i actually fixed it)

...matt was off and spencer was with us almost all week

...spencer had two baseball games

...coleman finally cut his first two teeth

...we had two teacher conferences

...spencer brought home an F on a math test (unrelated to the above-mentioned conferences)

...i wondered what we're doing wrong

...i learned that i need to stop complaining about not getting any sleep. when i think it can't get any worse, it does.

...i may have found our christmas photo photographer

...i watched the gamecocks beat vandy

...i'm praying that coleman's halloween costume will not be too small

...we purchased a large radio flyer wagon


{50 reasons to love fall}

50 reasons to love fall....

*1* crisp evenings *2* gorgeous foliage *3* the word "autumn" *4* halloween *5* hallmark keepsake ornaments are out in stores *6* chili *7* jeans *8* pumpkin spice lattes *9* new tv shows *10* spice scented candles *11* trips to the pumpkin patch *12* apple cider *13* thanksgiving *14* favorite fashion colors *15* fall decorations in the house *16* sweaters *17* fire pit *18* boots *19* cute hats *20* rosy cheeks and noses *21* hayrides *22* festivals *23* apples *24* pumpkin carving *25* the first flames in the fireplace *26*kids in costumes *27* longest month of the year *28* football season *29* hay bales *30* handing out candy *31* pumpkin seeds *32* giving thanks *33* feeling domestic *34* driveway gathering with neighbors *35* putting out halloween decorations in the yard *36* fall baseball *37* picking out the perfect pumpking *38* corn mazes *39* jack-o-lanterns *40* fall crafts *41* mountain drives *42* tailgating *43* no more cutting the grass *44* the smell of the heat coming on *45* scarecrows *46* the urge to organize *47* the word crisp *48* anticipation of the holiday season *49* less humidity *50* photo ops!


frugal friday {10.23}

i went by food lion on friday. they are back on my "must go" list because they re-released some printable store coupons on baby items, which makes for super cheap baby food (and often a good deal on diapers and formula).

I did OK, but not great. I saved 35% (paid $84.02; would've been $128.57 without sales + coupons). The main thing keeping that percentage low was that I bought two cans of baby formula. I paid more than I should've (about $20.50 ea) because they wouldn't take my catalina BOGO coupon from another store (even though they've done it in the past).

Got a good deal on all three brands of baby food. For Gerber and Beech Nut, I stacked manu and store coupons. Earth's Best was BOGO (which I've never seen happen)!



wow wednesday {10.21}

you may have noticed (if you have nothing better to do) that i haven't really been "loving" the drugstores lately. however, i just kicked a$$ at rite aid.

what i bought: two packs of Purex 3-in-1, two 4-packs of GE Reveal light bulbs, 4-pack of nightlight sized bulbs, 24ct Zantac.

Out of pocket cost was $5.36 after tax and I will get $8.99 back in SCR :) yippee!!!

If you're bored...here's how I did it:
-- Purex was BOGO ($8.99 regular price). I purchased two and used two $4.00 off manufacturer coupons, plus one $2.00 off Rite Aid coupon (printable from their website after watching a promotional video). I made $1.01!
-- Zantac was $8.99 with an $8.99 SCR...so free on it's own, but I had a $5.00 coupon so I made $5!
-- GE bulbs were BOGO ($5.29 regular price). I purchased two and used two $1.00 off manufacturer coupons, plus one $0.40 off Rite Aid coupon (also video printable). (Paid $1.45 per pack)
-- Nighlight bulbs were full price @ $2.49 (need for burnt out halloween lights, if you're wondering why I wouldn't try to get them on sale...but they ended up being free b/c of the other money makers).
- On top of all that, I used a $5 off $25 coupon.



{an *ah-ha* moment}

have you ever noticed that some things seem to jump out at you at just the right time. recently i've been very overwhelmed and saddened by the state of my scrapbook studio. i'm so lucky to have an entire room to serve as my studio/office. but it doesn't even come close to meeting my needs, and often feels like it inhibits me more than helps me (creatively speaking). anyone that's seen my room and knows how much i love it, will probably find that statement surprising.

there are two issues of which i'm well aware:

1) the room is a "crap catcher" in our house...everyone has one - it may be a drawer, a table, a corner, or in our case...an entire room. when the house needs a quick clean-up...it goes to my room. when i go shopping, the bags get dumped there. papers to file. things to organize. projects to start. projects to finish. future gifts. you name it. it's there. right now i can hardly walk in there. but even when it's clean...something isn't right. and guess what...when the floor is covered in crap, not only is hard for me to work, there is no way i can bring a curious baby in there with me...see the problem?

2) i have too much stuff. this may be sacriligious to say for most scrapbookers. but seriously, i have too much scrapbooking stuff. it's time to let go.

it's turns out that i actually have three issues....

today, i was catching up on some old posts via google reader (which deserves a separate blog post of it's own), and i came across two posts, on separate blogs that really "spoke to me".

first i ran across this post on stacy julian's blog (written earlier this week):
midweek muse on multitasking

this post made me realize that despite that my room is incredibly organized, it doesn't allow projects to flow through it! this is the quote that really hit me:
"maybe it's not organization of actual product, but organization of process and progress that could help you get more done - especially when it's stuff you really want to do!"

later, i came across this post on write.click.scrapbook:
Fit Your Space to Your Process

this just confirmed the whole concept (though the post was actually written a couple weeks earlier). timing is everything because i doubt that this post would've had much affect on me, had i not read stacy's post earlier the same day.

so, anyway... i still have a serious lack of time and a trashed room - not sure when that'll get fixed, but the thing that is making me feel warm*fuzzy inside is that at least i now have an understanding of what's wrong.



{blog makeover}

the blog is getting spruced up a bit. not only does *the cutest blog on the block* have awesome (free) backgrounds, they also have great headers (see above). AND lots of cool tips on how to do things...like adding a signature, which I've been wanting to do. check out the one I made - nifty, huh???

p.s. i have a to do list a mile long but yet, i sit here, wasting time on blog makeovers...

{right now}

right now....

- there are two pork chops marinating in the fridge for tonight's supper.

- i'm loving that coleman slept through the whole night and wonder what the chances are of it happening two nights in a row (i'm putting my money on slim to none).

photo taken this morning while eating breakfast

- i'm not looking forward to the two work trips that i have booked this month and next (too much time away from my baby!)

- i'm enjoying the new dry erase/magnetic board that i'm using at work to prioritize my workload. also liking the cute thermos i got at ikea.

- my favorite song is lady antebellum's need you now (with a close second being the glee cast version of don't stop believin' - no disrespect to journey, but this is awesome!)



It's time that I post about the best thing that's happened to me since Coleman's birth (don't you love a little flair for the dramatic???). In all seriousness, I have not fallen in love with a TV show like this in over 8 years...what happened 8 years ago...think...got it??? Here's a hint: AMERICAN IDOL.

So anyway, apparently what happened was this: a bunch of writers, producers, whatever, sat down in a big conference room at Fox. They said to themselves..."Let's create a TV show just for Holly". And GLEE was born. It's perfect in every way. Fantastic music mixed with quirky humor. i love it in every way.

If you haven't seen it and want to give it a try - you can watch the full episodes on Fox. And then, once you've fallen in love, you can go to iTunes to download all the music (as I have). Ahhh...life is good...

{donate life duel}

If you are a South Carolina resident and interested in donating your organs upon your death (morbid, I know), please consider participating in the "Donate Life" Duel. Between now and November 23rd, fans of Carolina and Clemson are dueling against each other to see how many organ donors will sign up. Even if you've already signed up through the site, you can still have your willingness to donate count. Just click on the graphic below. GO COCKS!

And of course, there is a facebook page too.

sunday savings {10.11}

on sunday, i went to harris teeter and bi-lo. i was particularly impressed with my bi-lo shopping (which partially makes up for the bad experience i had last week).

harris teeter
Spent = $44.73
Saved = $51.00 (53%)
- I did this week's "meal deal" which was a good bargain because I had a $2.00 coupon off the main item, so the whole meal was only $5.99.
- Also, got a steal on some McCormick's spices. Select ones were 50% off, I had $1.00 coupons for each that I purchased and got a $2.00 coupon back. My math says I paid about 46 cents each (for four items).

Spent = $42.98
Saved = $79.98 (65%)
- I did the baby food deal once again (buy $20 in gerber, get $5 back), but I used all coupons NOT associated with another store so they wouldn't screw it up for me again :) I basically got everything for half price. My total without the $5 instant savings and coupons would've been $22 and my coupons + instant savings totalled $11.80.
- I got two boxes of Apple Jacks for 50 cents each :)
- Bags of cheeze doodles, also for about 50 cents each
- 2 boxes of free Kleenex
- Cheap dog food, wipes, yogurt, butter...good week!


{photo catchup}

ok, so i've been so super slack with updating my blog with photos. i recently got about a month's worth loaded up to flickr so here's just one big "catch up" post. Click on any of the links below to see the full set of photos on Flickr. The sad thing is that this month's worth of photos ends in early September. So, I'm still a month behind :(

Random Photos added to August 2009 and September 2009

One Year Anniversary Cookout at AJ's

Baseball Season (so far - not many good photos yet)

Spencer's First Day of 5th Grade

McCrea's First Birthday

Spencer's 11th Birthday

Glencairn Gardens

{late savings}

I was going through some receipts and realized I didn't post about my last grocery shopping (I know you were all sitting around waiting for this!)...

Last week I went to Food Lion and Bi-Lo. Here's a quick recap:

Food Lion:
Spent = $28.44
Saved = $29.41 (MVP + Coupons)
Savings of 51%

Spent = $35.65
Saved = $33.22 (Bonuscard + Coupons)
Savings of 48%

I was a little disappointed in my Bi-Lo experience for two reasons.

(1) They had a great deal going with Gerber baby food. Spend $20, get $5 off instantly. That part worked fine. However, I had a bunch of catalina coupons from HT and FL for the food. The cashier wouldn't take them because they were from other stores. She called over the manager who said the same thing. I have been successful using these at other locations, so I found this to be quite annoying. I pointed out that they say "manufacturer's coupons" but they claim they wouldn't get reimbursed for them. I just need to find out if that is true or not. I'm not out to rip off the stores, but it was my understanding that they would be treated like any other manufacturer's coupon... I still got a decent deal on the baby food - 20 two-packs for $15, but it should've been an even better deal :(

(2) They were running a deal where if you bought a certain amount of Old El Paso product, you got a coupon back for a certain amount on your next visit (based on how much you bought). I qualified for this but my coupon didn't print. Then I was told the cashier's printer wasn't working. So, I had to go with the same manager (who I'm sure is loving me at this point) and get a raincheck for the $3.00. That was kind of annoying, but ultimately not a huge deal. The thing that ticked me off more is that if her printer wasn't working, they shouldn't have been using that register. I get a TON of catalina coupons every time I shop. And I missed out on those. Twice at Harris Teeter, I've gotten BOGO coupons for formula worth $13. What if I just missed out on something that valuable??? My theory is that if you are going to offer a service (such as catalina coupons), then make sure the crap works.

On a more positive note, I did get an entire free meal :) They had one of those "meal deals" where you buy something and then get 3-4 free items. I did that, but happened to have a coupon that made the item you paid for free also. Oh and the cashier tried to stop me from using that coupon but I won that argument thankfully.


{this morning...}

this morning i am...

- wondering why obama won the nobel peace prize

- pleasantly surprised with the quality of starbucks' new instant coffee

- hoping spencer is feeling better today (he has the flu)

- thinking matt is sweet for offering to still take coleman and i to the christmas carol train, even though spencer is sick and we can't take him as planned

- trying to decide if i still want to take a half vacation day this afternoon

- happy to have a new coupon binder

- thinking coleman looks adorable in a toboggan and glad i stocked up for winter

- is feeling a little overwhelmed by my to-do lists (both at work and at home)

- thinking i lost another pound

- needing to eat some breakfast

- hoping for a gamecock victory tomorrow. gotta keep that top 25 rank

- wondering if our country's deficit might be a little more manageable if we didn't waste millions on "useful" things like bombing the moon...just a thought.


{coleman @ 7 months}

ok, i'm a slack mommy and have not posted any good coleman updates lately. so...on september 24, coleman turned 7 months old. craziness. below are two quick shots (from my phone) that i took over the weekend. the first was in our backyard on sunday and the second was in ikea on saturday.

coleman at six months was pretty impressive...but coleman at seven months is amazing. it was like overnight he decided he would see how many things he could accomplish. all of a sudden he started being able to pull himself from lying down to sitting up. just poof! it happened. and he is GOOD at it now. and he went from weeks of scootin' around to POOF - he's a master crawling machine. he is everywhere. it is seriously amazing. he *wows* me everyday!!!


free-for-all friday {10.2}

I haven't been very good about posting much lately. So, I thought I would do a quick "catch up" post today with some random stuff from the last week or so...

This morning I went to Starbucks and did the "taste test" with their new instant coffee (which is supposed to taste as good as their brewed coffee). For participating, you get two coupons - one for a free large brewed coffee on your next visit and one for $1.00 of the instant coffee. I went ahead and picked up a pack of the instant coffee. The smaller ones are only $2.95 for 3 single packs, but I used my coupon, of course!

Tuesday night I taught a scrapbooking class for the first time in YEARS. I only had four students, but it was still fun. I'm teaching at Oh Scrap! in Charlotte. I am going to try and do about one class a month, and I'm also doing sample projects to display in the store (as time allows). Above are what we created in the Halloween class this week.

I know I'm about a week late, but I HAVE to acknowledge that we beat a Top 5 team last week. GO COCKS!!!! Tomorrow night, we face SC State. It should be an easy win for us, but sometimes these "easy" games end up being more of a struggle for us than they should be. Oh, and it's ridiculous that we didn't get into the Top 25 after beating Ole Miss!

I don't have a photo for this last tidbit, but I have to address it. For those of you that know me personally, you know that my company has been in the process of splitting for the last couple of years. Things were finally finalized and bit-by-bit our one company is becoming two. I work in a small office (only 5 of us). One of those is now part of this new company - Jim. I've been with my company for almost 5 years now and we have experienced some personnel changes, but Jim and one other guy (my current boss) have been the constants. Now, Jim is gone. Granted he only moved to the building next door, but it's not the same. It simply sucks. He will be very missed. It's weird to stare at an empty desk (he sits, I mean *sat*, where I basically stare at him all day).