savings saturday {bargains}

i got a few good deals this week, so i thought i'd share them with you. this time of year (end of season, combined with back-to-school) is a great time of year to rack up on cheap goodies.

the office supply stores offer some awesome deals around back to school. many items are free after rebate. i got two reams of copy paper at staples (one penny each after rebate). i have learned that most schools have this on their list of "requested donations" so it's a great way to help them out without spending anything. it also helps lessen the cost of couponing if you don't have to pay for the paper you're using to print! i also got a few other cheap items. even if you don't have kids in school, you can get some great deals on things you probably use around the house. i got so many free pens last year! also, don't forget to turn in your old printer cartridges for $3 each!! free money!

old navy
i went to take advantage of their Secret $2 Cami sale. I got 5 (the limit) and also picked up 2 pairs of flips-flops at $2.50. And if that's not good enough, their clearance was 50% off the already reduced prices. I got a tee for Spencer ($2), shorts for Coleman ($3.50) and two shirts for Coleman ($2.50 and $3.50). Do the math...that's a lot of stuff for less than $30. i also received a ton of coupons at check out for any future purchases i may want to make this month.

harris teeter
i have gotten some steals from harris teeter clearanced items lately. several weeks ago, i used some coupons during "super doubles" week to get lots of hair care products for free. the first time i did this, i found the discounted items right on the normal shelf. the second time, at a different store, the items were on a clearance rack at the front of the store. fast forward to last week, same store, same area...i got several super cheap school supply items that were on spencer's required list. gotta love it. same trip, but in the regular aisles, i found some clearanced tyson meat items and stocked up big time! so, the key takeaway here...watch for clearance stickers at your grocery store!

if you have trouble staying on top of the latest and greatest steals...find a money-saving site you like and follow it. my favorites are southern savers and common sense with money. it's worth it!



{out of the mouths of moms}


I thought this segment on mckmama's blog was cute, so i decided to join in.

"Stop pointing that thing at me. Trying to kidnap me isn't going to let you stay up any later"...a few minutes later, upstairs..."Stop holding your sleeping brother at gunpoint and go to bed." (Disclaimer...the gun was made from MegaBlocks. Not a real gun.)

"Stop hitting your brother. No Coleman. Nice Touches. Be Sweet. Spencer, stop laughing. You can't be mad at him and laugh. Pick one."

"Don't play with your tongue when your hands are covered in sand. Yuck."

"That's mommy's sippy cup, yours is over there" (in reference to a bottle of beer)

"No! This is mommy's toy, go play with your own" (in reference to my iPhone)

"Lay down. Mommy needs to change your diaper. No, not like that. On your back. How am I supposed to change your diaper if you're on your belly with your legs tucked under you? I'm good, but I'm not that good. Please?"

"No sir. That is Coleman's food, not the dogs. They have their own food. YOU eat. It's yummy. STOP feeding the dogs."
"Don't pee in the floor!! Oh gosh, NO, you did not just poop in the floor. Ugh."

"No, you can not have hot dogs for breakfast again. Put them back in the fridge."



{ten things i used to be}

a long time ago, my friend cassidy at proverb thirty-one & beyond listed ten things she used to be  and i thought it was a cute idea. so here goes...

10 things i used to be

(10) soccer trainer - for three years in high school, i was the manager/trainer for the boys' varsity soccer team. it's weird that i used to wrap ankles of nasty athletic feet. i hate feet.

(9) a late sleeper - if given the opportunity, i can still sleep in until about 9:00 or so. but i've gotten to the point that i usually enjoy getting up early.

(8) sorority girl - three and a half years as a chi omega at winthrop university (chi lambda chapter). i served as pledge mom, panhellenic rep and rho chi.

(7) skinny - in high school, i was a size zero and could barely find clothes that fit. my senior year, my weight broke three-digits and i thought i'd gotten fat. i used to lie about my weight so that i could donate blood. needless to say, this is no longer a problem. in college, i'd eat an entire box of swiss cake rolls. every week. alone.

(6) single - and then i got married to my handsome matthew :)

(5) yearbook staff member - for two years in high school (loved it) and a semester in college (didn't love it).

(4) basketball fan - in middle and high school, i followed basketball pretty seriously. my dad was a big fan and i was into it with him. i loved the unc tarheels and the chicago bulls (bj armstrong was my favorite, next to mj, of course!). it was late high school and college when i slowly started my conversion to football fan.

(3) not a country music fan - oddly enough, i remember the moment i was introduced to country music. but, alas, it took a while for it to truly *stick*.

(2) movie theater employee - for two years in high school and the first summer after i began college. i saw a lot of free movies and made some cool friends. fun job.

(1) pregnant - the best thing ever was a result of it, but i am glad the actual pregnancy is over!

what did you use to be?


{tv shows}

i watch a lot of tv. i know it's not the most productive use of my time, but whatever. at the end of the day, when everything is finally done, that's how matt and i chill. and i typically multi-task, doing something else while i'm watching, unless i'm really tuckered out. i thought it'd be fun to share the shows we watch. even though it seems like a lot, keep in mind that they don't all air at the same time of year! some are "must watch" shows every week. others are ones i could live without.

though i agree that tv time doesn't normally make for the best "quality" family time, there are exceptions. we really have a good time watching shows like the singing bee - all of us participating (it's almost like playing a game, via the tv). we also talk about a lot of stuff when we watch american pickers and i think it's been a good learning experience for spencer.

shows matt, spencer, and i all like:
  • american pickers
  • burn notice
  • american idol
  • the singing bee
  • don't forget the lyrics 

shows matt & i watch together
  • the mentalist
  • fringe
  • bones
  • modern family
  • white collar
  • glee
  • the glades

shows that matt likes and i tolerate
  • supernatural
  • kitchen nightmares
  • hell's kitchen

shows i watch alone:
  • ncis
  • ncis: la
  • brothers & sisters
  • desperate housewives
  • private practice
  • the closer
  • csi: miami
  • criminal minds



tiny tip tuesday {travel toiletries}

since i just back from vacation, i thought i'd share a related tip today. it's a space-saver in your luggage, as well as a huge money-saver. if you are like me, you like travel-sized toiletry items for one of two reasons. either you travel by plane and the small size is required, or you just don't want to lug around huge bottles of shampoo, lotion, etc. unfortunately, purchasing these travel-sized items in stores is not a wise economical decision. the next time you are shopping and bored, do some basic math and calculate the "per ounce" cost of a full-sized bottle of something, compared to the trial size. Ouch!

what i used to do was purchase empty plastic bottles (usually sold in the same area as travel-sized toiletries) and filled them up from my everyday bottles. this is definitely a good option, but not the best.

what i do now is get most of my travel toiletries for free. yup, that's right. in conjunction with my couponing efforts, i have learned that tons of companies offer free samples of their products. personal care items are right at the the top of the list for these! now, i make a habit of submitting online for these samples and i save them for my work and family travels. it usually only take a minute to fill in your information.

if you aren't sure where to find out about these samples, i recommend choosing a money-saving website to follow. my favorites are southern savers and common sense with money.



music monday {steel magnolia}

in case you aren't familiar, steel magnolia is a country duet that won can you duet on cmt. i watched a couple of the episodes, and enjoyed them. i loved their first single keep on lovin' you. they recently released their second single and i'm totally in love.



this week {7.19 to 7.25}

~ i worked at home monday, with coleman's assistance, because his daycare was closed this week ~

~ matt loaded up the roof top bag ~

~ i was off on tuesday to prepare for our trip to the beach ~

~ i did a lot of packing ~

~ coleman got a haircut ~

~ i picked spencer up from his mother's house ~

~ we took the dogs to the "doggie hotel" ~

~ hugh was dropped off at our house (spencer's friend that was going to the beach with us) ~

~ we loaded up the car and met matt at work ~

~ we stopped for supper at mcdonald's and then headed down the beach ~

~ we made the trip with only one 'pit stop' and coleman was in good spirits despite not sleeping much ~

~ we arrived safely at the beach house, unloaded the car, visited with family and headed to bed ~

~ we spent lots of time on the beach ~

~ we spent lots of time at the pool ~

~ i walked four miles with matt's niece and her friend ~

~ coleman doesn't like the ocean but liked playing in the sand ~

~ i got seriously sunburnt. i mean...seriously. ~
i realized while doing this post that there is not one single photo of me from our entire vacation.

~ we went to supper at creek ratz and a thunderbooomer forced us to move from our patio spot to an indoor table ~

~ i went for an evening stroll with my niece and her friends. spencer & hugh came along and used the metal detector to find stuff (mainly tent stakes and trash) ~

~ we had pasta for supper at the beach house ~

~ i took coleman to aunt michelle's house early friday morning, where he spent the day and night ~

~ matt and i had a carefree day on the beach ~

~ we ate out at the japanese steakhouse ~

~ the boys rode back with britt & martha and went to waves, while matt and i went to wal-mart ~

~ i unzipped and organized lots of digital scrapping supplies ~

~ i scrapped two digital layouts ~

~ the boys played a lot of pool and a lot of video games ~

~ we took a day off from the beach (mainly due to my intense sunburn) ~

~ michelle and maggie brought coleman back to the beach house and hung out at the pool for a while ~

~ matt returned the new tent to wal-mart (long story) ~

~ matt and i cooked dinner for everyone at the beach house (burgers and fixins) ~

~ matt took the boys to play putt-putt ~

~ we packed up the car (again), and matt hurt his shoulder ~

~ we hit the road sunday morning, stopping for breakfast at "eggs up" ~

~ i got us all unpacked and did a ton of laundry ~

{savings tracker}
spent = $122; saved = $10 (8%)
no, that's not a typo. the only shopping i did was at the beach. i had to buy exactly what we needed regardless of sales or coupons. i had to choke back some tears in the check out line :-(
ytd savings = $2,737 (41%)
weekly average for family of 3.5 = $138

photos {clay bustin'}

i just wanted to give a "shout out" to my nephews. they shoot competitively and are quite good. their team (rocky creek clay dusters) goes to nationals every year and they are usually pretty impressive. my sister and family were all in illinois for the sparta nationals this past week so i thought i'd share some pictures i just received.

this is my older nephew, bo (17), shooting

my sister (sherry), brother-in-law (chip), and other nephew (teddy, 13)

the whole big group, proudly flying the south carolina flag

my sister sporting the huge umbrella. dang that thing is big.

south carolina rednecks can shoot.

bo's team (he's on the far right)

teddy's team (he's second from the left). they won first place in their division!

and this was just an awesome photo of our flag so i had to share.
in case you aren't blessed enough to be from the state of south carolina, i will point out that we are the only state (other than texas) that is incredibly proud of their state and flaunts their state flag like the status symbol that it is :)


digi layout {5th grade graduation}

yesterday, i created two digital layouts using quick pages from a blog hop that Jessica Sprague had recently. she provided download of kit components, as well as a ton of quick pages. the look and feel of the kit and pages are perfect for doing pages of spencer!!!

on the page below, i pretty much used it "as is" with no additions. i used three photos from spencer's fifth grade graduation last month. then i added journaling about the things that made him so "awesome" in elementary school.

the second page is waiting for some journaling that i want spencer to do, so i will post it when its complete.



{coleman @ 17 months}

today coleman is 17 months old

he loves to eat. a lot. and drink. a lot.

he takes liquid medications very well.

he loves books. he spends time flipping through them on his own.
but he likes to be read to a lot.
his favorites are small flap books with shapes and numbers.

he is still addicted to his pacifier.

he likes to help with household chores and is good at helping clean up his toys.
he hands me clean laundry from the dryer for me to fold.
he hands me clean dishes from the bottom rack of the dishwasher to put away.

he still has a great throwing arm and gets lots of comments/compliments on it.

he is learning to eat with a fork and is totally obsessed with it.
he loves meat. all meat.

he still loves music and is quite the dancer now.

he is totally obsessed with my iphone.
and yes, he knows how to use it.

he is going to bed a little later and sleeping a little later. both good things.

he is using sign language more - particulary "eat" and "more".

he has learned to drink out of a straw.

he adores his big brother.

he is gradually learning more words.



i love the energy that children exude. granted that same energy can be exhausting for us adults, but seriously, how can you look at this photo and not smile?

photo editing notes: mask (from katie pertiet); sweet retro overlay; retro breeze overlay


{a scene from the beach}

coleman is not a fan of the ocean. at all. here his daddy is introducing him to a warm pool of water on the beach - where coleman would eventually settle and play for a while. i adore this photo.