Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend

We had such a great weekend. I did forget my camera all weekend long so I am going to rely on my mom and mother-in-law for pics of my girls.

Friday was a bit of a crazy day... I had so much to do and was trying so very hard to get it all done.  I ended up driving to Chattanooga as soon as Chris got home.  We got there at like 8:30 p.m. Me and Taylor and Madison and Cayce and Atilla all went to Qdoba to eat- delicious. Then we went to a yogurt shop where you pay for your frozen yogurt by the weight... So you put in your frozen yogurt, and add all the toppings you want. They had cereals, gums, candies, nuts, fresh fruits... It was crazy. But SO good.

After our fun night out we went back to Cayce and Atilla's house. The girls then taught their aunt and uncle how to play hide-n-seek and duck,duck, goose. Mashalla (cayce and atilla's 70+lbs golden retriever) decided to join in on our duck, duck, goose game.  When we sat in a circle, she came and sat down too... the girls would tap her on the head also.  When someone was called goose, Mashalla would jump up and chase those running, then sit back down when they sat down.  We turned on Enchanted and decided to sleep out on the couches.  Taylor adores Mashalla and had her hand hanging off the couch on night petting Mashalla, who would NOT leave taylor's side. They have a bond. I wish so badly we could have a dog again, but we've decided we're not going to have one in an apartment again. Too hard!

So anyways, Saturday Morning at 4 I woke up and drove back home to Antioch! Thank you to my new Ipod (my anniversary gift I got a month early!) for keeping me awake with your rocking tunes. When I got home I couldn't help myself and crashed a bit more.  I also found out that Chris had gotten very sick Friday night.  He wasn't going to be able to make it out at all Saturday, so i got the girls ready and drove up to my mom's and dad's for their ward's Easter Egg Hunt.  We had such a sweet little activity beforehand where the girls learned about Jesus's last day before the crucifiction. I didn't think they were listening, but on Sunday during Sacrament Taylor was explaining to me about the last supper and such! I was surprised. Anywho - They had the egg hunting area sectioned off into 2 sections, one for the younger kids, one for the older.  When we tried to get madison over the younger kid side, she proceeded to throw the biggest hissy fit. She threw her basket down and refused to touch an egg.  She just knew she did not belong with these "younger" kids.  She's too big for that! After a short talk in the car she was happy again and joined in on the egg hunt.

After that, me and Chelsea took the girls to the mall to see Mr. Easter Bunny himself (or herself rather.) I was surprised to see there was NO line.  Guess everyone was at other Easter activities. I didn't think the girls would do that well, and was prepped for struggling to get a decent picture, but Taylor jumped right up in her lap and maddie was willing to shake her hand and talk with her, though not sit with her.  So I held madison and we got a Great photo.

This is getting long... I'll try to wrap it up.  After that me and my mom went grocery shopping so I could show her some of my couponing ways. At publix her total was over $220... she paid $69.  She was so excited and it was fun to help her figure out how to do this!

We didn't get back home Saturday until 9 I think... the girls were passed out in the car so I put them to bed and then went to Wally World to get the fixins for Easter Morning. I finally got the baskets done and went to bed pretty late.  The girls somehow made their way to our room overnight without seeing any of their surprises. So bright and early, we got the girls to come check out what the Easter Bunny had left them.  They were so excited and played with all their goodies.  I think that was the first Time Chris had been up since Friday where he wasn't going to the bathroom, poor guy.  After some napping, I got the girls ready and we went to church. It was a great sacrament meeting with good songs and testimonies of Christ.

Then Nursery and Primary.  Taylor was supposed to give the spiritual thought.  They said to just have her say her favorite Scripture, so we read a few easter ones and picked one we thought she could do.  We practiced for a few hours Sunday morning with me explaining that the kids would be looking at her, but she could just keep looking at me so she didn't see them... She did so well sitting up in her spot by herself, she sat so reverently and looked so cute, I about teared up.  Then she did a good job walking to the podium, where she looked down, and wouldn't say or do anything! So I did end up sharing Taylor's scripture, but I was still proud... There were no tears and she was so brave on her first opening exercises assignment.

After 2nd hour we went home, got changed and headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  The girls were SO excited to see jamie and Katie... (I think they think they're sisters like they are.) We went over to GrandMother's where both my girls gave Grandmother a few hugs each.  I was blown away... This has NEVER happened. They're usually terrified of her.  But my girls are growing up. ;)

After some delicious dinner (seriously... I had seconds, and thirds.) we went out for the Easter Egg hunt. Taylor found the golden egg!  The girls also scored a bunch of delicious candy bars that I will be eating this week. The girls loved playing with their cousins, and Aunt Jamie's puppy dog, charlie. I'm really wishing we had a house and could get one.

Anyways, I was EXHAUSTED when we finally got home.  We had a FULL weekend to say the least, but it was so good.  The only thing that would have made it better was if Chris was there for all of it. But he is feeling better finally and went to work today.  Besides a couple trips to the bathroom, I think he's over this bug. I pray he is... It was not fun doing it all alone this weekend.  And I think we have a tradition going where one of the two of us is sick on holidays... We gotta cut that out.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

One of my Hero's

is coming to Nashville next month...

Southern Savers: Southern Deals and Frugal Steals.
Jenny from SouthernSavers.com is coming to Nashville May 11th-14th.  She'll be doing workshops all around Nashville.

Here is her schedule...http://www.southernsavers.com/workshops/ Tickets are $10 at the door. The meetings are 2-2.5 hours long and you get a workbook.  I WILL be at one of those.  Let me know if you'd like to go with me!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Grocery Shopping Trip 4/15

Went to Publix, Target, and Walmart today...

Total Spent: $43.14

Total Saved: $138.43

Target
Operation Game
2 Dasani 1 liter waters
10 Johnson and Johnson First Aid To Go kits
6 Visine Relief Drops
Total Spent $12.95
Total Saved $29.28

Publix
12 Lays Chips bags, 10 oz.
2 Quaker Oats Granola Bars boxes
Ritz Pretzel Crisp
Wheat Thin Stix
2 Yoplait YoPlus (6 pk)
2 Thermacare boxes (3 count)
4 Duncan Hines Brownie Mixes
6 Idahoan Potatoes (3 scalloped, 3 au gratin)
3 Snuggle fabric Softener
10 Dole Pineapple cans (20 oz)
Total Spent $30.19
Total Saved $101.15

*Those Lays chips alone cost $3.99 regularly... So if I bought 7 of them at regular price, that alone would have been the total I spent. Meaning everything else I bought was pretty much free! And yes that is alot of potato chips, but my mom has her seminary auction coming up in a few weeks, and I'm sure those boys will enjoy some of those chips!

Walmart
2 AirWick oil warmers
2 K-Y products (they were free, plus overage... don't judge me!)
Total Spent $-.88
Total Saved $8.00
 *I did buy a few other things at walmart... But they weren't deals or anything... well, there was a table cloth for $2 that had started out at $11.  It'll be turned into a picnic blanket for us as soon as I'm done with school.

In all, It was a great shopping day and I saved 70% of my grocery bill. And it was mostly food! I surprised myself there at Publix. And those pineapple cans will be a great start to my canned food storage!

Also, I have tons of coupons inserts (smart source and red plum) from the past few weeks left that I don't need.  If you want some, let me know. I don't even mind shipping some out to Utah if needed. ;) Just let me know!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Free Cheese and Cooking Creme

When you sign up here:
http://www.kraftfirsttaste.com
You'll receive 2 offers, one for a free bag of Kraft Cheese, and the other for a free Philadelphia cooking creme.

Just thought I'd share!

An Anniversary/Birthday Vacay

We'll be going to Florida soon and I'm so excited.

Here is the Hotel we'll be staying in
The Ramada Plaza Beach Resort.
http://www.ramadafwb.com/


This hotel has 2 pools, one heated, plus a kid pool and splash water park for kids

It is on the Beach (gulf side of okaloosa island) and a block up from Beasley park (our favorite beach down there...) and a block from the boardwalk and pier.  Oh yeah... and the Gulfarium... It's a block or two away also. It's the central location for where we want to be and we're so happy! I also bought it on priceline.com for only a bit more than 1/3 of the regular price.  SCORE!

This trip to Florida is turning into a tradition.  This will be our 3rd year in a row going. Last year we had to go to the atlantic side because of the oil spill and I missed the gulf. Last year we also didn't take the girls with us, but we will be taking them this year. Our anniversary is the day before Taylor's birthday so this is our way to celebrate both. My parents may also join us for a night or two so we can go out alone for a bit to celebrate our anniversary. We will probably also have a small party for taylor there in Florida. We'll have another one when we get back home.

Anyways, we're super excited for this hotel and all the fun we'll be having.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quick, before I start a new chapter

I want one of these
The website above has ideas on Making your own... Like using an inflatable mattress... or just a normal mattress.

Maybe this could be a fun summer project.

Before I focus on my Homework

I thought I'd share one my favorite websites. It was brought up at a little party I had here the other night.

http://www.oneprettything.com/

It's an awesome blog that posts pictures and ideas from other blogs. They have the most amazing holiday crafts, great ideas for me, kids crafts, kids printables... They're just super.

Check it out and I'm sure you'll fall in love with it like I have!

Boo Homework

I've got TONS of it now that my semester is almost over. And I'm so sick of it. I feel like it's all I do all day long. I should probably stay awake and finish some more of it right now, but I refuse. I'm off to bed, to wake up early tomorrow and start over again. Fun fun fun.

But I am so grateful to be in school and have this opportunity.  It really is a blessing. Atleast that's what I keep telling myself so I can focus and get it done.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Work

Last week I stumbled upon a website (www.thework.com)  and after a while of playing around on the website, I realized that this is what I need.  So, I went and bought the book "Loving what is" by Byron Katie. It came in the mail Friday. I was swamped this past weekend and so I just finished the introduction. And I am WAY excited.



The Work is all about changing the way you think. Realizing what is truth, and what isn't.  There are 4 questions you use to analyze your thoughts to figure out if they're truth or not and how to change them. I'm probably going to write alot more about it as I go through and read the book. But I just wanted to share the website first... it has a great little download where you can get the pdf of the "little book." It is an excerpt from "Loving What Is." You can also download the neighbor worksheet and other stuff to help you get started on your "work."  Everything on the website is free, and I actually purchased the book on ebay for only $11 including shipping, so not a huge investment.

Here's a video example of The Work:

Okay, so anyways, I'm back off to do homework now... Lots of it to do this week before school is over... so hopefully I won't waste too much time on here til that's done! So yeah, I'm gonna go now, and work on that til I pass out for the night.  Check out that website.  Do it!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some fun things to check out

Here are some things I've found that I like. I thought I'd share.

http://eighteen25.blogspot.com/2010/02/peeps-topper.html

http://eighteen25.blogspot.com/2010/03/youve-been-egged-free-download.html

http://2littlehooligans.blogspot.com/2011/03/organizing-tote-basket-tutorial.html

http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/04/make-your-own-diaper-covers-and-little.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MakeItAndLoveIt+%28Make+It+and+Love+It%29

http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/04/altering-baby-clothes-long-sleeve-to.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MakeItAndLoveIt+%28Make+It+and+Love+It%29

http://www.ohdeedoh.com/ohdeedoh/how-to/play-moneycurly-birds-143342?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+apartmenttherapy%2Fohdeedoh+%28Ohdeedoh%29

http://www.ohdeedoh.com/ohdeedoh/books-guides-resources/build-your-own-cupcakesvolume-25-143341?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+apartmenttherapy%2Fohdeedoh+%28Ohdeedoh%29

http://oopsey-daisy.blogspot.com/2011/04/guest-post-surprise-cupcakes-from-she.html

http://playinghouseinmaryland.blogspot.com/2011/03/momma-madecupcake-matchingmemory-game.html

http://samstermommy.blogspot.com/2011/03/diy-color-sihouettes.html

Kids say the Funniest things

I don't like the word darnedest.... weird word.

But lately my kids have said some pretty crazy stuff.

This morning Madison told me "I have lots of songs in here (pointing to her stomach.)" She's always making up songs for everything, so I'm guessing that's what she means.

Last week the girls spent the night at my mom (Mamie)'s house.  My parents had been to Florida a week or so before and my mom was way sunburned. Her legs had started to peel.
Taylor: What's that?
Mamie: I'm sunburned. I'm peeling.
Taylor: It feels like paper.
Mamie: Yup. It does. (starts peeling her legs)
Taylor: Can I do that?
Mamie: I guess.
Taylor: I'm gonna peel you like a banana!

She also asked my mom if she knew what you had when you have alot of x's.
Taylor: You've got a Pirate Problem.

Anytime Taylor sees a tree without leaves she starts laughing and says "That tree is naked! NAKED TREE!"

Taylor has one of the oddest accents I've heard in a kid... one second she's as southern as can be, the next she sounds like she's from Chicago or New York. One of the weirdest words to hear her say is Daddy.  It comes out sounding like "Deity."

Last night at dinner me and Chris were talking to the girls. I asked Madison who she would marry when she grew up. "A Prince." Will he be tall or short? "Tall." Taller than daddy? "Yeah." Will he have brown hair or blonde hair? "Black hair" Blue eyes or brown eyes? "Green eyes"  She knows what she wants. She's also said she's going to have one kid, and she'll stay at home with it.

My girls are too weird, but I love it. Who couldn't absolutely adore those two?

$15 for 5 BounceU passes (50% off)

http://www.groupon.com/deals/bounceu-nashville

I got this groupon deal today.  I actually bought 2... so for $30 I got 10 passes to the BounceU out in Murfreesboro. Not a bad deal.  And you can use 2 passes at a time... So both the girls can go! Way excited. We'll have to make the trip one Monday night for FHE!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Can't get these outta my head!

These songs have been in my head non-stop today... Love them!



And also

Easters Crafts

We made an Easter Craft today and it was way easy. I took a bunch of paint sample cards from walmart, cut out an egg shape, let the kids decorate them, then strung them together and hung them on our bar.  Way easy!

I also bought a bag of easter eggs, threaded string through the holes in the top and hung them up as well... Here's some fotos!









Monday, April 4, 2011

Facebook withdrawals

Only 1 day away from my beloved FB and I feel so cut off from the world.  The only adult I spoke with today was my husband (besides the parents who dropped off or picked up their kiddos from my place.) I don't know how long I will be able to last. This a good thing though... right?

Coupons

I am proud to say that my couponing skills are improving... And my pantry, cabinets, freezer, fridge, and bathrooms are bursting with stuff. We have enough pasta to last atleast the next year. Seriously... I generally save from 1/2 my bill to 3/4 my bill!!!

Anyways, I've had tons of people ask me about how I do it and what I do... It took a while to learn the ins and outs.  I think some of it is just stuff you pick up on the way... Like if you have a huge cart full and a ton of coupons in hand, try to pick a young man to ring you up... they're less likely to complain and scrutinize each coupon you hand them.  They just want to get you out of there fast!!!

So, instead of typing up a ton of junk about what I learned and how I do... Here's all the websites I use and a few I just found (and will be using in the future.)

***(Some of these websites require that you register with your email address... I created an email just for couponing (keavenscoupons@gmail.com) Now most of these coupons are automatically sent to my email, along with the weekly ads from my stores and other great deals from groupon and living social!)

COUPON WEBSITES

A few things to help:
  • Figure out where you will get your coupons. We receive the coupon inserts from the previous Sunday in our junk mail every Tuesday or Wednesday.  I talked my mailman into leaving me a ton (around 20!) Why would I need that many? Because If I can use those coupons to get 1 free tube of toothpaste or one $.15 jar of spaghetti sauce, why not buy 20 instead! Before I got those, I would check the trash... not in a gross digging through rotten food and stuff trash.  But our mailboxes at the apartments have trash cans by them for junk mail. Most everyone throws out that junk mail that comes on Tuesday. I just peek in the trash and if that's in there are those circulars, I grab them. Don't judge me. I know some people who find the newspaper recycling bins and go dumpster diving in there to find coupon inserts.  Ask around. Maybe your neighbors get the paper, but don't coupon. There's ways to find them if not free, then pretty cheap.  
  • Figure out how you will organize the coupons. I have a huge 3" 3 ring binder that zips around it.  I have baseball card protector sheets, along with 4x6 photo album sheets in there to stick the coupons in and I have it divided by the isles of the the stores. I got the notebook at Staples for $20.  Well worth it. I had a small 1" one prior to that and it was no where near large enough to hold my stash. Also, the baseball card protector sheets are generally at the front of the store where the baseball cards are.  Took me 2 trips to walmart and target to figure that one out.
  • Figure out how to pair the coupons with the sales.  You can use some the previous websites mentioned, or do it on your own. I go back and forth between doing it on my own and checking the websites.  I'll usually go to SouthernSavers, make my list for publix, target, kroger, maybe Harris teeter, and then check the store websites to make sure my store's sales match up.
  • I always take my notebook into the stores with me.  There are ALWAYS closeout deals and clearance items that aren't listed on any sales.  
  • A friend told me about a lady who organizes her coupons as she cuts by having paper set out for each section of her binder. She places the coupons in the right section as she cuts saving LOTS of time! Trust me... It's taken me hours before to sit and cut and organize and put away all my coupons... that's not even counting all the time it takes to match sales to coupons and then to actually walk through the stores isle by isle to make sure I got everything. Yes it's alot of time... but I'm a stay at home mom and I have the time to do it.  SO why not!  I do get aggravated when I'm organizing and cutting... but it's such a payoff to see that total go from $80+ to $21! 
  • It can be handy to print out each store you shop at's coupon policy.  That way if they try to say you can't do something when you know you can, you have the proof right there to back it up!
So this was really more than I meant to type up.  But maybe it'll help someone. If you have any questions just comment or email me.  If I don't know the answer, I'll try to find it!


*** I know the TLC show extreme couponing is coming on this week or maybe it was last... but I have to say from the previews I've seen and the reviews I've read I'm not impressed. They are making people who coupon seem like hoarders, or people who neglect their family and kids to save a few bucks... It's not a "teaching/learning" show, but an "EXTREME" show... it's suppose to be entertaining. Here's some quotes I read on it all...

The Prudent Patron: I thought it sounded like something I would love to see, until I saw the clip on GMA of a woman dumpster diving for coupons and another woman saying she cancels plans and neglects her husband to go couponing...What bothers me the most is the bad rap it gives couponers...The couponing community works hard to show couponers the right way to coupon. Not to clear shelves, not to buy more than you can use, not to abuse store policies so that stores stop excepting coupons. I am sure this special will have great ratings because people love to look at crazy behavior, but TLC did we really need to wrap all of us couponers up in this crazy wrapper? All the couponers I’ve met have been hard working, generous and are trying to help their family. There is no reason to demean people who are trying to save money and live responsibly.
Sue Stock, News Observer: I can definitely see why this topic would appeal to TV producers, but I'm worried the show is going to make us all look crazy. From what I've seen already, I think this is going to give couponers a bad name.
Faye Prosser, WRAL I can only imagine what it will make couponers look like! I hope they keep the crazy factor down to a minimum. I realize that in order to get viewers to watch the show, they have to find the most extreme, overboard couponers. I just hope they also profile some balanced couponers who also save thousands a year without spending hours a day couponing. Highly unlikely, but a girl can hope, can't she?
Rachel Singer Gordon, Mashup Mom You know you’re going to be on national TV. You’re in a dumpster WEARING GLOVES while your young child is right next to you NOT wearing gloves. Think before you act: How does this play out on TV and how does it make couponers look?"
Mary Kenyon: As an author working on a a book about extreme couponers, I was excited to be interviewed for possible inclusion in this special program. Now I’m glad I wasn’t chosen. I should have realized that they would take the most extreme cases.

So Long Facebook

So last night I deleted my facebook account.  I don't think this is a permanent thing. Not by a long shot. But it's a good for now thing. So I guess that this blog may get some more attention now for a while. 

Because I have not been on facebook all day, I did not realize that we are having Tornado weather.  Facebook is my news. It keeps me up to date on what's going on, since everyone posts on these things. yeah... so at the moment, the internet is out and the wind is blowing so hard it's shaking the walls... So yeah.  I'm gonna go now and hide me and the kids in the bathroom... I hope everyone is safe from this storm! Kinda missing facebook at the moment.  But I can be strong... maybe.