Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Am Alive

So many of the blogs that I follow have recently posted, "I am alive" messages. The blogs seem to flow less frequently this time of year. I too am alive, but frantically busy. With Mia's birthday, Thanksgiving holiday, and now Christmas we've been frantic. This of course does not take into consideration hubby and baby both having severe sinus infections or that I am at the end of my semester and thus have extra grading on top of the 60+ pages of papers that I have to write for my own Ph.D classwork. I was very good and bought most of my gifts early, although one was stolen by a UPS worker. (An entirely different story, which luckily had a happy ending!)
I have done little shopping in the past few weeks. I bought diapers yesterday at CVS b/c I had some ECBs that were soon to expire. I needed the diapers for a diaper cake I'm making for a friend from church's twins baby shower! Thus, I need 2 diaper cakes. We don't have any diapers smaller than size 3 in the house anymore, and thus I had to purchase more. I only spent 2.15 (including donating $1 to St. Jude's) I will post the newest diaper cake creation when it is finished...

To hold over feverish fans, i.e, grandmothers and pseudo-grandmothers, and aunts who read this blog for couponing tips and/or pictures of Mia...here is a picture of our Little Red Raider to hold you over for a few days. (Or at least until I am able to hold my head up for a few minutes..)

**Notice the pirate flag that hubby made her to wave when Tech scored!**

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Mia!

My 100th post is dedicated to our little Mia. This weekend Mia turned 1! She had a party at her MDO on Friday and then the party at our house on Saturday. Her party was barnyard themed. I happened to have a red and white checked table cloth. We decorated the table with one of our presents to her, which was a Little People barnyard set. In true frugal form, I conducted the entire party from home made invitations to the cake and refreshments for $15.

This was how I did it:
Cake Mix & Frostings- Free after coupons at our local Homeland grocery
Chips- Free after coupons at Homeland (bought 2 bags)
Queso- Already had ground beef and rotel stored, used coupons for cheese (came out to be a $1)
Salsa- Free after coupons at Homeland
Cupcake holders- ($1) --had no coupons
Cow Print balloons, red balloons, giant cow balloon, and 1st birthday cake hat (Used 40% off coupon on total purchase for Party Galaxy--mailer coupon)--total purchase $6
Card Stock, envelopes, felt- (40% off total purchase coupon for craft store- mailer coupon)- total purchase- $7

She was a bit overwhelmed by the mountains of gifts. Her favorites included the floppy dog that plays music, a spin & say, school bus, a musical caterpillar and a pink cell phone.
The cupcakes were a BIG hit!
After the party was over, she 'mooed' at us and the balloons for a while.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

DIY Kitchen Gifts!

Thanks to Like Merchant Ships for revealing this great list from Whole Foods on DIY Kitchen Gifts.

Wrap up your holiday shopping without leaving the house! Download festive gift tags for each recipe, complete with cooking and usage suggestions. These ideas are perfect for your "foodie" friends or those who love to cook or even merely enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the morning.

Some of the great ideas are:
Chili Oil
Herbes de Provence Salt
Vanilla Bean Sugar
Lavender Sugar
Maple Sugared Walnuts

**Note to my personal friends and family, please disregard this post once the holiday season arrives as you will find it as a stocking stuffer!**

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Schedule

A good friend asked me a few days ago what my schedule is like. As an expecting mother she worries she won't have time for the things she held so dear pre-pregnancy. I thought for a long time if there are things in my life that have been cut out since Mia and could only think of a few and they were temporary given that she is an infant. My friend intends on being a stay-at-home mom which I find fantastic. My mother was a basically a SAHM when I was little and it was fantastic. I have such amazing memories of helping her around the house. I had always intended to take more time off when my kids came around. Mia joined us much earlier than we had expected. We were not planning on kids for a few more years (at least until I got through with my Ph.D). The Lord had other ideas for us and we're glad we got her sooner rather than later! Thus, we had to make a few adjustments to the "perfect" baby raising scenario that I had in my head. This is all a long way of answering my friend's original question about what does my schedule look like as a wife, mother, teacher and Ph.D student.

It looks a little like this:
-Everyday must be up by 6:15 if I am to get everyone ready and out the door by 7:15.
-Everyday must have Mia dropped off by 7:30 at her MDO
-MWF- I teach at 8:30-9:30 and then hold office hours for the following 1.5 hours
-TR- I attend a class from 10:30-noon, use all time before to grade, read for my own classes, or write my own papers
-MWF- After office hours, I hit the books again, go to any meetings I have to hold as our history honors society's president, and again read somewhere in the library
-TR- After noon, I prepare for my 6-10 pm class on T or my 2:30-4 class on R.
-Wed Night- Go home, make supper, and hit church by 7
-R Night- I run our church's food pantry. Always a mad dash to get out of class at 4, pick up Mia and get to the church by 4;30
Saturday-Read, do all housework that can be done weekly
Sunday- My day of rest, get up early, spot clean the house, church by 10, small group (which we host this year) around 12, then lunch with friends, followed by my collapse so that I can ready myself for the next week.

**Here is the major caveat in this schedule. I made a pact with myself, hubby, and Mia that when I get home after being all day at school, I am truly home. I don't read, write or grade. That is our time. Most of the time I don't bring books home with me b/c I want to insure that I don't pick them up or neglect the family.

This is not always the easiest schedule or not working at home sometimes makes me anxious but its the best we can do for our family and knowing that although I hadn't intended to work, someday I can tell my daughter that she truly can do anything. If her mother could raise her, hours from family help, whilst teaching and being the only female in her Ph.D class, then she can do anything too.

I am very interested in hearing others' schedules. I find it fascinating how women work everything in....it just proves we really do rule the world, we just let the men take the credit. = )

Monday, November 3, 2008

Target Toy Coupons!

Make sure to head on over here and print out the Target toy catalog coupons for your holiday shopping. Coupons for various toys from Crayola, Leap Frog, and Play Wonder to Scooters, Hot Wheels, and Legos!

The coupons expire on 11-26-08.

Thanks to "Deal"icious Mom for the heads up on this great deal!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Weekend

Halloween weekend finally arrived. Although Miss Mia slept through most of Halloween night and didn't get to go trick or treating to the few houses she had planned, she wore her outfit around this morning and will wear it tomorrow around church for our Fall Fellowship day.
Hyacinth the Hippo was a BIG hit! She loved the tutu and seeing the head in the mirror!

We also spent quite a bit of time in the mirror checking out the costume!
The backside of a hippo...how cute is that?
We finally made it to the pumpkin patch. Due to the very important football game that took place today b/w hubby and my alma mater we had to support our Texas Tech Red Raiders, especially being in the heart of Sooner Country! However, since we played (and I might add WON) the University of Texas, a sworn enemy of the Sooners, most people cheered us today and wished us good luck against those Bovine from Austin...
We're quite proud of our littlest Red Raider...The farm was a big hit except for the petting zoo which my prissy little daughter had NO part in. She didn't like the smells or the thought of touching the llamas, pigs, sheep, rabbits or goats. She refused, turned her head up and squealed until we got her out of there. She really liked when we sat her down and took her picture...hmm I think she might like the spotlight! (Wonder where she got that from?)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall is Here

With Fall here, Mia can finally wear her cutest sweater sets. The above outfit was purchased for $3 for the entire set: jeans, sweater and hat..(rubber ducky not included).

With Fall comes lots of baking. Luckily, this week is a BIG sale on baking ingredients at Homeland.

Here are some of the good deals that I got this week:
Veg. Oil- 2.50
Philsbury Cake Mix- 87 cents
Evaporated Milk- 79 cents
Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips- 1.50
Brown Sugar-1.50
Whipped Cream/ Half n Half- 99 cents
Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix- 40 cents
Red Onions- 99 cents per lb
Heinz 57 Sauce- $2

With the use of handy coupons for the milk, cake mix, chocolate chips, whipped cream, muffin mix, fritos, and heinz sauce, I bought everything for $10. I'm hitting CVS and Walgreens later this afternoon before we take the baby out for a few choice Halloween trick-or-treat stops!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Have Taught the Toughest Student

I have now taught almost half a dozen "couponing" classes. Yet there is one student who has yet to retain any of the information that I willingly spout, my hubby. I send him to the store for 1 item, and he comes home $40 poorer. Yesterday was a triumphant day in his coupon education. I came home late last night from my Early American Republic seminar and my eyes were so incredibly red from all the coughing (hacking) that I had done for the past few hours. I had almost completely lost my voice (which after all is my best quality!) I get home and ask if we have any cough medicine but due to the fact that I've had a cold for almost 2 weeks and hubby had bronchitis last week, we were out. He, feeling very healed and sweet offered to take pity and drive out to CVS and pick me up some medicine.
He returned with $15 in Extra Bonus Bucks!! He bought over $40 worth of medicine, only spent 12, and got 15 back! I was so proud, I almost didn't need the medicine for the euphoric feeling of finally having my hard work pay off almost healed me. But alas, the coughing did resume, I needed the medicine, and then went into a nice cough syrup induced stupor for a few hours.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pumpkins & New Teeth

I had such an ideal image of Mia's first real fall. We were going to pick pumpkins then come home and shove her one and take an adorable picture. Things didn't quite go the way I hoped. We drove to the pumpkin patch, it was closed for a death in the family. So my sweet husband went about bought us one because he knew my heart was set on getting Mia a pumpkin. He brings it home and hollows it out. Mia loved sticking her hands in the pumpkin "guts." Then it came time for the picture....
She didn't love it...At All! It made her quite angry. She slapped the pumpkin and told it "no" several times!
After being re-clothed, she sat next to all the rest of the pumpkins and enjoyed putting them in different orders. Notice that they are arranged by sizes....Could she BE more my child?!?

After her bath she crawled around and was very happy. You'd never know that she had a horrid fit earlier in the day. I had to take a picture of the new tooth. She's very fond of biting people now. She gets quite a delight out of our squealing when she chomps down!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Scary Day

So yesterday, I had one of those days no mother ever wants to have. I had to call 911 for Mia. Before I go further, she is perfectly fine now but things were scary for a few hours. Mia and I were playing in our room when she leaped over some pillows and off the bed landing directing on her head. When I picked her up she lost consciousness and stopped breathing. I laid her down, found her pulse and called 911. Within about 10 seconds she started breathing again and came to, but those 10 seconds seemed like an eternity. She then took a fun ride in the ambulance laughing and making faces at all the EMTs and firefighters. Got 3 cat scans b/c she couldn't stop wiggling. Everything came out perfectly fine, just a minor concussion and a poor mother with shattered nervous.

She felt so good today she went shopping with me this afternoon and worked our church's clothing giveaway all morning. She really loved all the extra hugs and attention she's been receiving.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hiking we will go...

We love to hike. Before Mia was born, the hubby and I would go hiking at least twice a month. We were very lucky to have 2 beautiful canyons within 2 hours driving time as well in West Texas. We've hiked every trail (and some not so much trails that we made into ones) in Palo Duro Canyon and all of the Caprock Canyon State Park Trails. (Brief note- Caprock Canyon was our favorite due to no one really knowing or ever being there--since the biggest city to it is Turkey!) Even when I was pregnant, we hiked. We did not do any difficult trails, but still hiked and kayaked. Since the munchkin's birth most hiking and all kayaking came to a halt. But now that she's older we decided to give it a shot and see how she did.

We decided to try Roman Nose State Park. It's not too far from Norman, gas was well under $3 a gallon last weekend, and the park is totally FREE!

Mia and Dave going up the trail.

To say that Mia loved the hike is such an understatement. She swung her legs and squealed with delight the ENTIRE time. She also saw a few donkeys, one of which the owners let her sit on and she found his coarse hair quite fascinating .

We also decided that since we were going where there was a pretty lake, we would take a few big blankets and have a picnic. It was perfect. I brought one of the many books I had to read for this week with me and read while Mia played with leaves and our water bottles.

We got home and Mia was very tired--but then I saw a package waiting for our arrival---it was her TUTU!
Someday these pictures will be used against her---I see a Senior collage or Wedding slideshow already in the works!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Winner of the Halloween Costume

Thank you for all the phone calls and comments on Mia's costume. The hippo won overwhelmingly, and I found a lady on ebay who makes custom tutus. With my amazon gift card and my great ebay find, she'll be all dressed up for under $30!

This Costume:

Plus This Tutu--
Plus this Alligator --

Plus This little Girl--
Will = Very Cute!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hunt for a Halloween Costume

I am currently on the hunt for a Halloween costume for Miss Mia. Here are three of the contenders. On the actual night, she will obviously not go trick-or treating, although one of the high school girls from our church wanted to take her to get more candy! Mia will pretty much wear the costume for our memories and our amusement! Seeing that this costume is for Mia is has to be different and spunky.

Thus the contenders are:

Let me know which you like best. Few things to keep in mind...she is crawling, everywhere--also pulling up on everything. She is trying to walk but I'm fairly sure she won't have it mastered come the end of October, so the outfit needs to be able to crawl too. (if you have your own suggestions, I will also take those!) Thanks!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Saturday's Coupon Class

On Saturday, I'm throwing my coupon Class. If you live around Norman, come at 9 am to South Canadian Valley Church of Christ and we'll talk shopping and coupons!!

We are located at 2217 24th Ave SW in Norman, Oklahoma.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Free Pottery Barn Picture Frame & 2 Issues of Real Simple

My love for Pottery Barn does not know its limits. Today I received this e-mail to get a free Pottery Barn picture frame when you sign up for 2 FREE issues of Real Simple

Go Here to get your free stuff! Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Car Seat

Miss Mia if finally big enough that she needs a new car seat. I've been shopping around for a while, and trying to find the perfect seat. I also didn't want to have to buy one of these again. So, I started reading up on the safety features and ratings. I landed on this really cute and highly rated Britax. The best thing is that I got this car seat that is normally $280 for $200! I had a $20 off car seats of $100 or more, combined with gift cards that I had from buying diapers. I am so excited that I got such a good deal for this car seat. Miss Mia looks super cute in her new car seat!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Announcing a Coupon Class!

If you live in the Norman area, I am giving another "coupon class," in September. The time is still up in the air, but the date will be September 27th. If you are interested, let me know @ richeys@gmail.com

This will be the second class I've done in Norman. The first went so great that those who missed the first want another!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fun in Fort Worth!

So I promised to post about my trip to Fort Worth a few weeks ago. It really was great. We started with a trip to Central Market, where I bought the best dark chocolate covered almonds! Yum! We also took a trip to World Market, Williams & Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, and several Half Price Bookstores. Luckily I was flying and couldn't buy too much. I only spent $2 in WS!!! That is such a record! I bought some really fancy rapid rise yeast, and it was a huge container of it! I could live in Williams & Sonoma!

The main reason behind the visit, besides a great girls weekend before one of us flits off to London for 3 years, was to go to the Kimbell Art Museum. The new exhibit "Impressionists: Master Paints from the Art Institute of Chicago. It was amazing!

The exhibit was really big and the museum provided an audio tour as you toured at your own pace. The best part was the last painting before the exit was a series of three of Monet's waterlilies. It was so amazing.

Here are a few of the paintings we saw!
Paris Street; Rainy Day, Gustave Caillebotte (French, 1848–1894)

Yellow Dancers (In the Wings), Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917)

Woman at Her Toilette, Berthe Morisot (French, 1841–1895)

Along with the shopping and the art was the amazing food! We ate some amazing food. We had lunch at a Greek Cafe in Plano called Zorbas. Words cannot express my immense love for this new restaurant. For starters you must be a descendant of a Greek God to work here. Secondly, baklava cheesecake! Enough said!
We also ate a metric ton of Mexican food since it is not to be found in Oklahoma.

Friday, September 5, 2008

This has nothing to do with frugality or being a wife and mother; however, I was having a bad day, and I found this video.

This makes my bad day great.... For those of you who have not been privileged to know him, this is my chair from my master's program, Dr. Paul H. Carlson. His voice makes me laugh. Enjoy---and maybe learn a little something about Lubbock Lake Landmark!

Go Here to see the video that made my day!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

So much to catch up on

I have been so incredibly busy. Here are a few of the crazy highlights from the last few weeks:
- Baby Mia started crawling with new fervor
- Mia learned to say "No!" (usually yells it at the dog, and then bursts into fits of laughter)
- Took the family for a small day trip out to the Pawnee Bill Ranch
- So many car problems with the hubby's car---it has been awful since we got it!
- I got some ridiculous summer Flu
- I went on a 4 day weekend trip with just my girls to Fort Worth to museum hop and hit up the fabulous stores (including Williams & Sonoma, Central Market, World Market, Crate & Barrel & Ikea!) --I will blog later of my fabulous deals and just how amazing the trip was!

We are leaving again in a matter of hours to do one last trip to Texas for the next few weeks and celebrate my birthday with my family. We are also calling in a certain family member who has the hook-up on the car front. So the hubby is getting a new car tomorrow.

This is a picture of Miss Mia eating some yummy peaches at her first picnic at the Pawnee Bill Ranch in Pawnee, OK.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I love Free Stuff!

So I went off to do some shopping today and I got everything above for $6. (After Rebates and ECBs)

18 Suave Shampoos
2 Dove Shampoos & Conditioners
2 Pert Plus 2in1
2 Glade Air Fresheners
4 Cover Girl Foundations
1 Dove Skin Revitalizer

I'm not keeping the Pert Plus or the Suave shampoos--I bought them to donate to our church's food pantry. I'm very excited about using the Skin Revitalizer!

Monday, August 18, 2008

FREE Venus Embrace Razor

Get Your FREE Razor!

Be one of the first 500 to fill out a form and you'll get a FREE Venus Embrace Razor. This is the razor I use everyday, and it is Fabulous! This isn't a survey, it is a simple, type in your address and check whether you would or wouldn't like to get other offers! How simple is that?

Good Deals This Week

I'm grocery shopping early this week since I'm going on a girl's weekend on Thursday. Thus, I need to get a few dinners made and frozen so the hubby will have something to eat.

Pert Plus Shampoo- 3.79 (3.79 Easy Saver Catalogue & $2 Man. Q) = Free plus overage after Rebate
Dove Shampoo- 2.49 ($2 Man Q) = .49 cents
General Mills Cereal- 1.99 ($1 off 2 or .75 off 1)= price varies depending on coupon
Jiffy Muffin Mix- .39 (with Walgr. Q) ---will donate to food pantry
Pork & Beans- .39 (with Walg. Q)

Dove Skin Revitalizer- 9.99 (3 ECB & 3.50 Man Q) = 3.49 after ECB
HP Printer Paper- 2.77 ( I have a Q somewhere for it, but I'm trying to find it!)
Glade Air Freshner- .88 ($1 off 2 & BOGOF)= .06 each
Schick Quattro for Men- 7.99 (5 ECB & 4 Man Q)= 1.01 Overage!

Sauve Shampoo- .89 (using $2 off 3, $1 off 2, & .50 off 1--buying 18)=5.20 (.28 each) ---donating all to church food pantry...we're really low on shampoo

Homeland Freebies:
Farmland Sausage- 1.50 ($1 Man. Q--q doubles)= .50 overage
Peter Pan Peanut Butter- 1.39 ($1 Man Q- q doubles)= .61 overage
Sun Maid Raisins (6 packs or Bag of mini-snacks)- 2/3 ($1 off 2 Man. Q- q doubles) = .50 each

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Our little model

Although I am becoming more and more frugal, I seem to not be able to help myself when a cute deal for Baby Mia comes along. We decided to take her pictures in this ridiculously expensive dress for a small girl. However, we bought a much bigger size so that she could also wear it through Christmas. (Such a West Texas tradition to dress your small children like mini-adults for Christmas!)

My sister-in-law found the dress for Mia & they had another one for girls my niece's age (which is 9 going on 22). So the kids all came up to get their pictures made in the matching outfits. We walked around the OU campus all morning to find great spots for photos. I am so pleased with how the all turned out!!

She couldn't take any more pictures. What a mean mommy who takes pictures of her crying baby! = )

Free Olay Body Wash

Be one of the first 500 to get a Free Full-Size Olay Body Wash plus Spa Exfoliating Ribbons.

Hurry to make sure you get one too!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Do you love coupons?

If you do, here is a great site for you to get $74 worth of P&G coupons! You have to take a short survey (took me about 5 minutes). They want to know what products you use and how you feel about them. Then P&G will send you by mail the coupons! Easy way to get free coupons!

Monday, August 11, 2008

One of those days...

We had a fantastic weekend--one of the best since we have lived in Oklahoma. Saturday we took Mia to the zoo for the first time. She laughed and squawked at the animals, hit the aquariums with delight, and waved and said "bye-bye" to every person we met! (We also met a fellow baby named Mia!) Sunday we had a wonderful day with our church family and watching the Olympics. I should have known that all good things must come to an end.

Today started off with lighting hitting the field behind our house! A jolt that shook the house at 6 am is a very big "good morning" alarm. I finally fell back asleep only to be awoken at 6;30 with the hubby leaving for work and a very big migraine awaiting me. Luckily (if a migraine can be lucky) I had an awful migraine about two months ago that sent me to the doctor, thus I had a strong pain killer that knocked that out. But migraines, even when they are over drain me.

After feeding the baby breakfast, I abandoned all hope of being overly productive, so she and I hung out on her pallet on the floor. Then I see "the face." Moms will know the face, that is always followed too closely by "the sounds," then the "smells"---then "the results." When all was said and done, I had to wash one little red Polo dress of Mia's, my outfit, a changing pad cover, a blanket, and finally a baby.

After all the poo-issues I thought I'd be a good wife and prepare dinner for when the hubby arrived. So I went to the kitchen to start making pizza dough. I reach for the olive oil, it slips from my hand, and the entire bottle and contents fall and crash into one thousand pieces in ultimate slow-motion. For the next 40 minutes I swept, mopped and re-mopped the kitchen floors. (This is so the reason why no one puts carpet in a kitchen!) When I thought I had gotten it all, I, or rather my big toe, found a shard of glass---OUCH! Then I did the whole process again, even getting the vacuum in on the action to be safe. A process that takes me 15 minutes on the worst days took me over an hour! But we will have pizza---but at what cost? (Just my sanity!)

I love this picture--I would like to think that I can portray an effective martyr when need be, but I think my West Texas girl anger and loud mouth too often get in the way...But I totally have this ladies "I'm such a martyr" inner monologue today!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Want a $5 CVS giftcard?

Centsible Savings is having a giveaway.

I've encouraged so many people to start "CVSing", but there's always that initial out-of-pocket cost. So I'm going to get you started with a $5.00 giftcard! (Don't worry if you're already a "CVSer"; you're allowed to enter too!) To enter, leave me a comment letting me know you'd like to try your hand at the art of "CVSing". If you're an old hat, tell us about your CVS savings to help encourage those who still haven't jumped on the bandwagon! Post the giveaway on your blog for a second entry. (Just leave a 2nd comment letting me know you posted.) If you don't have a blog, tell (or email) 3 people about this giveaway, and I'll enter you a second time too! (Leave a 2nd comment telling me who you told [sister, aunt, friend]). Please make sure I have a way to contact you.
I'll be randomly picking a winner next Saturday, August 9!

Greet way to get started if you haven't started CVSing or if you need some extra "pay the taxes" cash!

Freebies at Homeland

With in-laws from all directions coming at us this weekend, I had to hit the grocery stores. I got everything above for FREE!
The above pic is:
3 Skintamates
4 Old Spice Deoderants
2 Colgate Total
1 Coffee Mate
24 pack of Dasani Water
10 Poweades
1 Luzianne Tea (24 bag)

How did I do it? Homeland had their crazy dollar days.
Skintamates (1.50 on sale- Used .75 coupon (doubled to 1.50) Making it Free
Old Spice Deoderants ($1 on sale- Used 1 off 2 coupon (doubled to 2 off 2) Making 2 free with 1 coupon
Colgate Total (On Sale for 2- Used 1 off coupons, (doubled) Making it Free
Coffee Mate- On Sale for 1.50- Used 1 off coupon (doubled) Making it Free, plus overage
Dasani- Free with purchase of 10 powerades (Homeland display coupon)
Poweades- On Sale for 73 cents- used 5 dollar off coupons- doubled- Making 10 free plus overage
Luzianne Tea- On Sale for $1- Used .75 off coupon (Doubled) Making it Free plus overage!

Thus the above picture they paid me to buy it all! I love it when that happens.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Entertaining Baby

Yesterday afternoon in the midst of my writing frenzy, I heard my baby girl waking from her nap in a VERY cranky fashion. I go into find...let's just say a really bad mess. After I stripped baby and bed of "the mess" I promptly sat her in a bath of bubbles. She loved it! Seriously played in the bubbles for almost a half hour. I had to take her out--but she loved it! She played with her ducks, played with spoons and cups.

Miss Mia also played with the puppy most of the day. They were fighting over a rubber ducky. Bentley really wanted the duck and tried to steal it every chance he could. Miss Mia took the duck and hit him over the head with it.

She really enjoyed her adventurous day!

Yay for Free Samples!

This week I have been extremely busy finishing up a few papers and readings. Thus, I haven't shopped all week! (I really need to hit the stores before a good deal of my coupons expire!) The good news, however, is that my mailbox has been full this week of free samples!

This week we got
- Pledge Multiwipes (Came with 2 coupons)
- Old Spice Body Wash (for the hubby)
- One Huggies Size 3 Diaper (Bonus: came with a FREE pack of Huggies Wipes!)
- Johnson & Johnson trial size pack (came with shampoo, body wash, lotion, & disposable wash cloths)
- Neutrogena Make-up wipes (LOVE THESE!)
- 2-week supply of Nature Made Vitamins for Women. (Biggest free sample I've ever seen!)

I get most of my free samples here. I also check out Freebies 4 Mom every single day for different freebies!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Yum Yum Cake

I'm finally back in the kitchen. Baby Mia and I have been sick with some weird stomach virus. We are all finally feeling better & I'm having to cook for tomorrow is our church's annual fellowship day. I have been instructed to bring the deserts. Thus, I'm making my banana pudding---which truly is the best ever & my mom's Yum-Yum cake. This recipe is really great & the cake is fool-proof.

Ever since I the hubby took the 30s quiz he's been asking where my "soothing tones" are. (Of course he's joking, i.e the reason he gets to continue living.) Of course, he's asking for cake too.

Yum Yum Cake

1 Box Super Moist Yellow Cake Mix- Betty Crocker
2/3 Cup Flour
2/3 Cup Sugar
4 Eggs
1 1/4 Cup Water
2/3 Cup Oil
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
1 Tablespoon Rum Flavor
1 tub Coconut Pecan Frosting

Beat eggs and mix with water and oil. Combine all dry ingredients
together and blend. Add pecans, rum flavor. Add frosting in the
mixture. Bake 350 degrees until done, approx. 1 hr. ....Yum Yum

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

With time Comes Progress....and Sanity

I was curious what the web held on being a good housewife. For one thing
I wondered if people still cared. I found this article from a 1954 text book and realized this is exactly what my grandmothers always told me. When I would relay to my friends what my mother and grandmothers did, they looked at me like I was speaking martian.

I made the hubby take the 30s quiz for husbands. He was right at average. Unlike a good 30s housewife, I lorded over him that I was far "superior." I am sure that dropped my points down at least 15 points.

So about the post below. I'm not sure if my grandmothers saw me in the 50s if they'd think I was a good housewife. There are things I do from the list below, but not the others. I'm far more opinionated than most, especially this Home Ec Teacher's ideal. I do, however, keep the house clean, usually in a type-A fashion (complete with lists and labels to make it easier.) I try to cook as much as possible, and when I do its completely from scratch. Meals are usually on time b/c we're on a fairly straight-forwarded schedule. I do make the hubby something special in the kitchen once a week. Sometime its an elaborate ham or roast, other times its cookies or a cake. The way to his heart and soul is truly through his stomach.

I can't say however, that I put a new ribbon or retouch my makeup before he gets home. I have seen my mother run into the bathroom to touch up before she arrives home or my dad came home. She's such a caring wife. Most of the time it never crosses my mind. I fail as a 50s housewife...= ) (But I think its OK!)

Home Economics High School Text Book, 1954

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal, on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so that you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the home just before your husband arrives, gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.

Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad he is home.

Some don'ts: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

Make the evening his. Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.

The Goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

3 days, 800 Miles, 1000 Laughs, 1 Million Pounds of Salsa

**Note: This picture was not taking whilst driving---we were waiting for her grandparents and great-grandmother to stop talking after church. She thought she was quite big getting to sit in Nana's chair by herself!**

What a weekend we had! We drove down to Texas late Thursday night and came home late Sunday night. Lots of driving in a very short timespan. We spent so much time with our family and closest friends. I got to have a great chat with my old chairman...We ate so much yummy Mexican food I my skin might be turning red from "excessive salsa intake!"

There is far too much to write about our jammed-packed days, but here are the highlights:
-Went to one of my oldest friend's wedding. (I've known her since I was two. We saw so many old friends---and Miss Mia wore a very pretty dress!)
-Miss Mia spent quality time with her godmother and got a really cute King County dress--the above dress as a matter of fact.
-Did I mention we ate lots of Mexican food?
-We celebrated my Grandmommie's 75th birthday!
-Spent relaxing hours on the farm with my parents.
-Shopped at World Market! =)
-Ate some yummy Feta-ball concoction that a fabulous friend made
-I watched one of the best documentaries ever!
-Hubby went off and played hours of Wii & Rockband
-Saw that my child truly has her mother's dramatic undertones

We are all quite tired. I have lots of laundry to do and a house that truly needs cleaning.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I should be packing...but I'm shopping instead!

We're leaving for a mini-vacation tomorrow evening and I really should be packing. I just couldn't leave town without hitting two more sales. I wanted to go back once more to Target to hit the good spiral deal and thought I'd peruse the other sales without hubby and baby in tow. Also, our local grocery store was having a two-day sale- so I just had to take advantage. The above picture cost me 35. At Target I didn't spend anything due to coupons and a gift card I had left over from buying razors a few months ago. (I actually just found it in an old purse! I love when that happens!) At Homeland I spent the 35, but saved 81.53! If you are near a Homeland, be sure to take advantage of the great sales!

Schick Razors- 4.99 (Use BOGOF & 2.00 off to get 2 for 2.99)
Pencils-35 (limit 4 packs)
Bic Pens- .50 (limit 4 packs)
Glue & Glue Sticks- .25 (Limit 4 each)
Paper-.50 (Limit 4)
Crayons- .25 (Limit 4)
Brawny- 3.50 (Use 1 off coupon, which doubles=1.50 for 4 pack)
Eskimo Ice Cream Bars- 2 ( Use 1 off coupon, doubles= FREE!)--The BEST kind of Ice Cream
Electrosal Tablets- 2.99 (Use 2.50 off coupons= .49!)
Colgates=1.66 (use .75 off which doubles= .16)
Luzianne Tea-1.25 (use the .75 coupon off 2, doubled= .50 each)
Water was $1, Margarine Tub was 1.67, Margarine Sticks were .36
Sweater was $4 at Target
Also stocked up on French Vanilla Puddings--they were only .20 cents a piece...had to get some since I'm about to be making 3 batches of my banana pudding!
Red Plum Jelly-1.05...what kind of West Texas girl would I be if we didn't stock up on Red Plum Jelly!!?!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Grocery Fun

All this could be yours for $25! We needed to take advantage of the school supply deals for our church's School Supply Giveaway.
So above:
48 2 pocket pronged folders- (used the .01 deals at Office Depot & 8/$1 at Walgreens)
Pack of Printer Paper
325 pack of Filler College Rule Paper
6-5 packs of 1 subject spirals (.50 cents for 5 at Target!)
2-Writing Tablets
3 Elmer's Glue Bottles
3- 2 packs of Elmer's Glue Sticks
3- 24 packs of Crayons
Papermate pens and pencils
All-purpose Flour
3 Rotels
2 packs of cleaning gloves
Tin filled with Tootsie Rolls
32 load of All
2 Colgates (Walgreens paid me to buy these--paid me .85 cents!)
4 Sally Hansen's hard as nails (CVS paid me $2 to buy these too!)
Infants Ibuprofen

**Not pictured- 6 8oz. shredded cheeses from Target

Pretty good deals out there! Tomorrow I'm hitting our local Homeland for more sales on school supplies!

My Little Diva

Baby Mia is my little Diva! She's showing off her newest Sunday dress, which we got for free! Yay for purchasing cute dresses from Target with free gift cards! With three teeth coming in at the same time, she's learning how to use her beautiful single tears to her advantage. She has also started learning to make this precious pouty face where her bottom lip drags the floor and quivers. Her problem is that sometimes the face makes her giggle---then the gig is up!

Some of our wonderful friends are having a baby. She contacted me to see if you can do a nursery for under $1000. I promised her it was possible. We got so lucky b/c a lot of ours came from our fabulous baby shower. Even without the shower, however, we would have come in under budget.

My view every morning as I come in to get the baby. All the art work in the room was painted by my hubby. The picture of Noah's Ark in the corner, was drawn in his Sunday School class when he was 6. Apparently he was in a belly button phase---all the animals, even the giraffe have belly buttons. We also made the mirror. Found a great mirror for pennies, found an all black frame for pennies as well--and then bought small bumble bees and hives to make it look less stark.

The biggest expense was of course the crib. This is a Deborah's Stages crib. It converts into a toddler bed, a daybed, then becomes the headboard and foot board for a full size bed. The bed is usually about $350 but we paid $200. One thing I refused to do, however, was to buy one used. I felt really awkward about it. So we went to our local Once Upon A Child b/c they sell brand new furniture as well at discount prices. Her bumble bee bedding was a 15 piece set. Her fraternal grandparents bought it for her. I loved the cute "girly" bees. David made all the shelves--so much cheaper than buying pre-made ones. The checkerboard on the shelf was my Grandad's. I learned to play checkers on that board. Although you can't see it. The three dolls on the bottom are sitting on a wicker trunk. We got the trunk at Big Lots on sale for $5. It houses all of Mia's dozens of blankets and extra crib sheets!
Mia's changing table is an antique Henry Link dresser that I have used since I was 12. I didn't want to buy a changing table that we couldn't use anymore--so I used the dresser as the table to kill 2 birds with one stone. The glider was a present from my brother and sister-in-law. We had to start the stuffed animal hammock b/c she has soo many. My mom bought her the ABC quilt. All of the bees "flutter" around her room--it was an easy way to continue the theme for less than 3 dollars!