Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What did I write yesterday?

So yesterday I was in pure bliss over being ready for a showing at any time and conquering the supermarket world with my store coupons, manufacturer coupons and buy one-get one free's.  Well, here's how it all played out...

After I wrote the blog I was scheduled to babysit four kids from church plus my two kids.  Even though some of their kids are a little older (ages 5-12) it was extremely exhausting.  I also had Conner and Camren making Easter cards to send to out of town relatives (I hate arts and crafts are not my thing as hard as I try) so by the time last night rolled around I hit the sack (after watching DWTS results show first, of course).  As soon as I hit the pillow around 9:30 I hear "mommy, mommy, mommyyyyyy!'.  After initial settling by Andy and then myself this routine continued on.  For some reason Cam was really needed and would not be put down.  This is very unusual at this age so I figured he's getting sick or at least think that's a good excuse to put him in our bed.  He did sleep there albeit he woke up many times throughout the night crying and needed comfort.  Very weird since he's fine today but sleep problems usually precede sickness for him so we'll have to wait and see.

Anyway, I was not a bundle of sunshine as usual this morning and we were 20 minutes late barely made it to school on time.  Plus since I got tired I had not done all my coupon prep so my plan of starting my day at Publix was altered.  I did have serious work that had to be done today (payroll) so I rearranged my day and did work while Conner was at school and Cam screamed played on the deck and napped.  He actually napped very early due to the terrible night of sleep and boy am I glad he did because about 1:45 I got a call that someone wanted to show the house from 2:30-3:30.  How exciting, but wait I hadn't even made the bed today!  Thankfully the babysitter arrived and we frantically got the house prepped and Cam woke up from his nap with about 2 minutes to spare.  So I took the kids and babysitter to the park while I went to Publix.  $89 worth of groceries for $39...not too bad but I've got a ways to go.  Once I get some things stockpiled then I should really be able to save.  All in all everything worked at well this today albeit not anyhow like I had planned.  In the past this would've really bothered me but I just rolled with it.

Well time for makeup and change of clothes, then dinner, then bible study at church then I'll be ready to crash again.  I better make my bed in the morning just in case but I'm praying the first showing will be our last.  I know an offer is coming our way any minute.  A girl can dream, right?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New House, Maybe? Save Money, Definitely!

Well, as some of you know we've found another house that we really like so we made an offer and after about three counters finally settled on a deal.  Of course we made it contingent upon the sale of our house which has been on the market exactly one week today.  After the initial anxiety of how I might possibly be able to manage showing while maintaining two kids, two cats, one husband and one business I am at peace with it now.  Even though we haven't had any showings yet so far I'm keeping the house within about 10-15 minutes of being "show ready".  Of course when I do get our first showing call I will probably turn into a frantic crazy person but for now I feel good about it.  I figured I've done harder things in my life plus when you really want something then you'll do what it takes to get it!  The house we want has 15 acres (still in our area) with a barn, creek and lots of trees.  I can really see my family of boys enjoying every minute of God's creation on this property.

My latest ambition is to become like one of these people who spend $25 for $100 worth of groceries.  I've always been an avid couponer even before couponing was cool.  Although my coupon skills/use have wanted some after having kids.  I know this is the stage where most moms ramp up their money saving but I needed sanity saving.  Convenience has ruled over frugality.  Not to say that I totally waste money but I'm not as good as I once was.  So in 2010 I've been working toward getting back to my more frugal self now that the kiddos are getting a little older and a little more self sufficient and I can actually clip the coupons, make a grocery list, plan meals, etc. on a regular basis without feeling like I'm losing my mind.  I'm not sure I'm going to be able to match my friend Tracy who spends $40 a week for a family of four but I'm working in that direction.

So you'll notice some new blogs I'm following and I recommend that you check them out too just to get a few extra money saving tips for your family.  Even if you don't go coupon crazy you can look at these and they've done some of the leg work for letting you know what stores have what on sale each week and what coupons you might be able to pair with it to get the most savings.

Of course one of the things that you have to consider is what type of food all these people are buying.  One of the reasons I'm probably not going to the best at this game is due to the fact that I'm really trying to get us away from processed foods and make more organic choices.  There are coupons for organic products out there (not as common though) and since I've been buying almond milk I've gotten some of those coupons from the register at Kroger.  So basically while I try to balance more fresh foods, less eating out, clipping coupons, planning meals and saving money I'm just going to be happy with doing the best I can.

I also wanted to share with you all where I get my beef for my family.  A friend of mine (and her husband) have a cattle farm in Springfield and they raise grass fed cows - no hormones, etc.  They know everything about the cows they breed.  I've been buying their beef for about 2 years or more now and in the past when I've ran out (I don't EVER run out anymore) Conner has called me out on it and said "Mommy is this Ms. Kathy's beef?"  They have amazing ground beef, steaks, roasts and they even make dog treats.  The link to their site is  I have a regular order that I get every month and she used to give a 10% discount for standing orders and sometimes she has coupons at  I figured after our latest book club read of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle then some of you might be interested in more information of this locally available, organic beef.

I'm on my way to Kroger to get FREE Steamfresh veggies (frozen still works for me :-) that are on sale $10/10 this week (you don't have to buy 10 to get the price BTW) and pair it with my $0.50 off coupon that will be doubled.  Now that's my kind of frozen broccoli!

Monday, March 15, 2010


This weekend I took a spontaneous, planned trip.  OK, I know that might sound contradictory but the trip was planned for a couple of weekends from now but with shifting schedules the trip had to happen this weekend.  So on Friday night I said...mommy's going on a trip tomorrow!  Short notice for the boys but it  was maybe even better that way.  As far as the home front, everything went great while I was gone for 36+/- hours.  It was so sweet to come home to Conner last night saying "I missed you so much, more than anything, ever, I love you" over and over.  Wow!  Here's some pics that daddy sent of the boys being sweet while I was gone.

OK, the trip itself was in celebration of my dear friend Angela's #? birthday :-)  It was also really just a time for us to be gone overnight without the wee ones and to get a decent night's sleep (mainly for her since her wee one is still a baby) and to enjoy some good food, shopping and down time.

There were some elements of the trip that maybe showed our age and responsibilities (like having to stop shopping to pump milk and icing my bum knee in between excursions).  Otherwise it was totally freeing and nice just to go and plan what we were going to do on the way down.  I'm a major planner and usually have an itinerary in place anytime I travel but at the least I have a room booked but the late planning didn't allow for that.  I was too tired Friday night to even look on the internet so thankfully my macbook and Sprint mobile broadband card proved useful for something other than working while driving.  The drive went super fast with us talking the whole way and looking up hotels, spa treatments and shopping.  Really - what did we ever do before all this mobile technology?  And in case I didn't want to use the computer, I had my iphone and GPS and sometimes we had all three going at the same time (sad to say, I know).

Angela got to reflect about the last time she was in Atlanta she could barely afford to eat and stay in a hotel.  What a difference a few years make?  I'll let her expand on that in her blog is she chooses.  But really, time does change things and I in particular don't feel so guilty about going shopping or spending money on a spa treatment like I did when I was younger.  I guess it helps when you can afford it a little easier but you also have to give yourself permission to just enjoy it even when you can afford it.

Back to the trip, we enjoyed a nice stay at a boutique hotel - The Ellis thanks to a great deal on  This hotel is certified green which also meant that they had a great restaurant with fresh, organic, locally grown food.  Yummy!  We ending up eating dinner and breakfast there since it was so good (and convenient).  We took a trip (well actually) three trips to H&M at Atlantic Station.  Ladies, if you've never been to H&M then you must go when you're in the area.  I've been to their store in San Francisco and Las Vegas but this was Angela's first foray to H&M.  She's now an addict avid shopper of H&M.  I believe I heard the phrase "these jeans rock" once or twice :-)

We also had some great spa time at the Marriott - Marquis Atlanta.  I literally gave my therapist a hug at the end of my session and told her if I lived in Atlanta I'd want her to live with me too.  She actually specializes in sports medicine and trigger therapy which was just what I needed with my knee/leg problems.  It feels much better today and I hope that it has me on the way to recovery without a doctor's visit.

The funniest part of the trip was probably on the way back when Angela was traveling 80-90 mph to get home vs. the 70-80 mph on the way to Atlanta.  The night away was great but mommy was ready to get home to her baby and I was too (although preferably between 70-80 mph :-)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I have a five year old!

It's been a whirlwind last few days trying to make Conner's 5th birthday a memorable one. Donna flew in on Friday to help with Saturday's party.  We hosted 30-40 people at the house Saturday afternoon with the downstairs and garage set up with several games for the kids (and adults) to play.  I even included face painting and crafts so I felt like we had our own mini-carnival.  Melanie made an awesome train cake for Conner (complete with American flag per his request).  On Sunday we went to The Spaghetti Factory and to see Playhouse Disney Live! which was a totally last minute indulgence (by Mommy) for Conner.  Thanks to Angie and Hank for joining us even though Hank was scared to death.  Yesterday, on his actual birthday the whole family including Donna surprised Conner at preschool during lunchtime and we went to Cracker Barrel for dinner (side salad w/ranch dressing and fried okra, being his favorite).  Tonight we'll round out the birthday experience with a night downtown at SATCO and hockey.  Go Preds!

There have been numerous a few blog worthy stories to write about in the last week or so but having the brain capacity to remember them all time has been limited to sit at the computer for anything more than reading work lately.  And yes, Kim, I love the strike through feature as well!

On the trolley car at The Spaghetti Factory
Cool train cake by Aunt Mel

 not really digging taking picture pre-party

enjoying the yummy cake - yes, that's a conductor's hat I'm wearing for my boy's party!