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!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Office Depot school sales: 1 cent deals this week!


Office Depot Value™ Red Eraser Caps 12-PK - $0.01 each (normally $0.99!), limit 5 per customer
Office Depot® Brand Semicircular 6" Protractor - $0.01 each (normally $1.99!), limit 5 per customer
Office Depot® Brand 2 Pocket Paper Folder - $0.01 each (normally $0.29 each), limit 20 per customer
Office Depot® Brand Acrylic Ruler - $0.01 each (normally $0.59 each), limit 5 per customer

Also, there is a rebate for a 6-pack TOPS colored junior writing pads - on sale for $7.49, free after mail-in rebate.

All deals are good through Saturday, July 19, 2008; however, the ad says that quantities may be limited so I'd recommend shopping sooner rather than later if you want to stock up on these school supplies.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fun at CVS & Walgreens

Just got back from a CVS & Walgreens. I went over my budget of $15--but I also had the hubby and baby with me. Now, the baby was sweet, but the hubby threw a few extra things in the basket. So we got everything above for $20. (Plus, we have 4 dollars in ECB and RR to use next time!)

Here's how it broke down...
At Walgreens:
Pledge Aerosol were 2/6 (additional 2 RR)
-Bought two, got the 2 RR, and had a coupon for buy one Pledge aerosol, get any Pledge Product free. (Thus the two above Pledge Multi-wipes were FREE!!
-Sure Deodorant for .50
-Gillette Shaving Gel- .75
-Walgreens Activity Book- .99 (Great book if you have small kids--even better for no kids--over 22 in Walgreens Coupons!

-2, 2in1 Gillette Body Washes (used coupons to get each for $1)
-Huggies 160 Wipes (Combined 1.50 coupon with CVS coupon= 2.50)
-Pampers Jumbo Pack of Diapers (on sale for 8.99- combined manufacturer's and CVS coupons to get for $5)
-28 count of Always Pads & 16 count Always Pads (THIS was the steal--the 16 count were on sale for 2.99-I had a coupon for buy a 28 count or larger and get a 16 count free. The clerk read it wrong and gave me the 28 count for free--so I paid 2.99 for both!!!) I tried to correct her, but she said it was already done, and thanks for the honesty.
-2 Dawn Soaps (Buy 2 and get $1 RR, use 1.00 off 1 coupons, and get all for free--thus CVS pays you to buy the soap!)
-2 packs of 2-D batteries. (On sale for 2.99, used 2 .75 off coupons)
-2 flashlights came with 4 D batteries- on sale for all of it for 3.25
-Small Spiral (On sale for .35) Needed a new one for my price book!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

With all the great deals I've gotten in the last few weeks, our Menu Planning options are fairly open.

Monday: Chicken Nachos, Black Beans, Assorted Fruit Salad, & Banana Pudding
Tuesday: Spaghetti, Caesar Salad, Garlic Bread & Ice Cream
Wednesday: Pizza with (Whole Wheat Crust), Salad, Fruit, & Snow Cones (Wed. night after Church we always stop by and buy a snow cone--for 1 dollar--its hard to pass up!)
Thursday: Baked Chicken Strips, Homemade onion rings, Grapes &
Friday: Hamburgers, "Fast Fries", Beans & Ice Cream
Saturday Lunch: Finco Chicken, Caesar Salad, French Bread, &
Saturday Supper: Supper Out with Friends
Sunday Lunch: Sliced Brisket Sandwiches, Chips, & Fruit Salad
Sunday Supper: Pecan Pancakes, Bacon, & Blueberries

Staples 1 cent School Supplies

Deal Alert: One Cent School Supplies at Staples

Staples has 1 cent deals valid Sunday July 6- Wednesday, July 9.

The following items are priced at 1 cent:

2-pocket paper folders (Limit 10 per customer)
8 pack #2 yellow pencils (Limit 2)
Purell 0.5 oz bottle (Limit 2)

Other deals of note:

assorted binders $0.25 (Limit 4)
Pentel Handy Lines highlighters FREE after easy rebate (Limit 1)

These offers are valid in store only, while supplies last. Hurry in before they are gone!

Target Coupon!

If you're heading to Target in the next two days, use this (Save $5 off $50 grocery purchase) coupon to save some cash. The coupon expires July 8th--so use it soon!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!!

We have had such a fabulous day! Baby Mia slept in this morning, which led to us getting to sleep in until 9! It was heavenly. The morning went so well. Since we had no schedule, I let her "play" with her food a bit.

She had such a great time! It took me a while to get everything off of baby and high chair! It's good for her motor skills to just play and get messy every once and a while!

After breakfast and cleanup was over, we decided to play outside before it got too warm. We sat up Mia's baby pool--and she LOVED it! She splashed around in her little bikini, hat, and sunglasses! What a little ham she is!

She's such a water baby!!!

We played outside for almost an hour. Then we came in, took a bath, and then she went down for a much needed nap. Dave and I cooked out for lunch! Tonight we're going for a picnic in the park and then watching all the fireworks. I have a feeling Miss Priss will sleep through all the commotion!

Happy Fourth of July All!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

4th of July Deals!!!

We had such a great shopping day today. Hubby came home 3 hours early today b/c no one else was around the office and his boss told him to start his holiday early! So we picked up the baby from MDO and went shopping!! I like to take him with once a month to prove that I can truly save. He is the worst to shop with b/c he always throws snacks and whatever else looks good into the cart. (And like my overgrown child, we have to hit every single sample stand, b/c he's hungry..etc.) Thus, shopping with him does take me usually a full hour longer, but its an hour together we don't always get.

So today was a new challenge. With the 4th of July upon us, and BBQ needing to happen we need lots of meat and propane (our tank was totally empty). The other part of my challenge was I was given the task of buying for others as well. The hubby said I had 100, for there was no way I could buy everything we needed, plus what was on others' lists too. I came in so far under budget that I was able to debit out $20 bucks and still didn't hit 100!!

So here's what all we did:
7.2 brisket
3-2lb ground beefs
2-Oscar Mayer all beef hot dogs
2-Sarah Lee hot dog buns
2-Sarah Lee whole wheat bread
2- 10 lbs. frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
10- 32 oz. poweardes
24- Dasani 16oz.
4-Kraft Cheeses
2- Kraft Singles
1-Box of Mum Mum "crackers" (Baby's pick)
5lb- Vidalia Onions
10lb- Bag of Red Potatoes
2lb- Farmland Thick Sliced Bacon
2- 1 lb Ten. Pride Hot Sausage
2- 1lb bags of frozen corn
2- 24 packs of Coke
3- Pillsbury's Refrigerator Products
10- Yoplait yogurs
3- General Mills Cereals

I bought all of this for $60 and got 5 coupons back for Homeland. Not too bad--especially since I had no coupons for the meat!

Gallon of Milk- Only 2.99!!! (You can totally freeze milk! Just pour a bit out the top.)
Schick Intuition Razor- (On Sale 7.99, Manufacturer's Coupon- 4, Easy Saver Coupon - 2= $2)
Sure Deodorant ( On sale for 2.50, Easy Saver Coupon- $1, Manufacturer's Coupon- $1= $.50!)
I had a few Rewards bucks to use, so I paid $2 for the whole thing. But, it would have been under 6 anyway.

Hubby needed new propane for the grill. We exchanged tanks for $17--I had 10 in RR, thus it was $7.

3 places $70 bucks!! Happy 4th! We're off to Libertyfest tomorrow for parade, park picnic, and fireworks!

Freebies for You!

Thanks to Money Saving Mom for this heads-up on the July Clean Home Journal gift pack...

Sign up here for the July Clean Home Journal Gift Pack--available to the first 10,000 registrants:

Enjoy the best that summer has to offer with our July gift pack, which includes a free 50-count box of Ziploc® Brand Sandwich Bags and $5 in coupons for great SC Johnson products you use every day.

The first 10,000 people* to respond will receive a Clean Home Journal™ Joys of Summer Gift Pack containing coupons for OFF!®, Ziploc®, Scrubbing Bubbles® and Glade® —with a total value of $5.

Also, check out Walmart's Free Samples Page to get out great samples. This week you can get:
Nivea for Men
Huggies Diapers
Multigrain Cheerios

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I Heart Free Samples!

Beyond my crazy "couponing", I have developed a new love for free samples. In the past week I have gotten:
4- different samples of laundry soap. (Each were 3 Loads of leading brand detergent.)
3 - 4 cup Folgers gourmet coffee (OK, confession, I do not drink coffee. Shocking given that I am in academia, but I really am not a fan. However, our small group and my husband are huge fans!)
2-All You magazines! (All the coupons for free!!)
2- Dawn dish washing soaps
5- Huggies diapers (sizes 3 and up)
2-travel size Huggies wipes
3- Powearde pink-lemonades (helps out the hubby and his Coke Rewards points...he's over 5000 now!)
2- Dial pump soaps
2- John Frieda shampoos and conditioners

I have soo many more samples yet to come! It's all very exciting!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A new Addiction

I forgot to mention earlier my latest addiction. When I do have time to get on the computer, check e-mail, track a rogue Italian word, etc, I get on my Itunes and find new podcasts! I love the free podcasts! I am now a subscriber to Anderson Cooper, BBC History, Kimbell Art Museum, Frugal Living, Let's Speak Italian, NPR Car Talk, NPR Books, Digging for the Truth (and the yummy Joshua Bernstein!), MoMa, and Great speeches of the American President.

So, if you love your Ipod with the love and adoration that I do, you'll love these great free podcasts--plus, the Andy Cooper ones, are Videos! If only Kathy Griffin had a podcast.....=)

Coming up for air!

Hello all!

I have been so incredibly busy that I am just now coming up for fresh air. I have also been so busy that I only get on the computer once a day. Here's is a brief rundown of what's going on in my insane world:

1) Taking care of baby & hubby (enough said)
2) Still unpacking and getting ready for company that's coming to stay for almost a week
3) Working on all the church happenings (Food pantry, School Supply Giveaway, etc.)
4) Buying a new couch! (Yay!)
5) Studying like a mad woman for my Italian exam!! (Siete impressionato con la mia grande grammatica italiana?)
6) Finishing up my last bit of work from the semester I had to take off to have the baby.
7) Finishing up my summer reading list for my Modern British prof
8) Recruiting, planning, and organizing fund raisers, lectures, and recruitment days for the History Honors Society.
9) Trying to work out all the other "kinks" in my book deal with Texas Tech University Press
10) Trying to survive....

I'm exhausted just writing it!! But that is, in an exhaustive nutshell, all that I am doing.

Along the way, however, I'm beginning to lose my mind a bit. For example two nights ago we had a cookout at some friends house and I left my Tech graduation ring there! Sunday I left my wallet at Carinos! Oh yeah, I'm losing it!
The good news is that I'm getting I semi-break in the future. A girl from my hometown is getting married in mid-July and we're taking a LONG weekend to go to the wedding and see all of our Lubbock friends!! I can hardly contain my excitement! I get to see my girlfriends (Mia's "Aunts"), my old chair, some family, and the assorted motley crew of others that I miss so dearly!

I do promise to post some new pics of the new house soon. Every room is done but the garage and office. I am in desperate need of new curtains, which is my new goal. I am currently perusing all the ads looking for something I like. I'm also looking for area rugs--we need some new ones.

In some pretty crappy news, I got my assignment for teaching in the fall and its World War II--yuck! Not only that but it is a Monday at 8:30 am--double yuck (not sure if I can do that.) Thus, Baby Mia will have to be in MDO 5 days a week b/c I'm auditing a class for my Comprehensive Exams on Tuesdays and Thursday. Thus---MDO is going to be crazy expensive!