Monday, July 26, 2010

Crazy Coupon Lady

Have you ever been at the store and happen to get in the check-out line right behind a lady with a ton of coupons? Did it take forever for the checker to ring everything up? Did the checker have to call the customer service manager up to the front because the crazy shopper lady had a few coupons that wouldn't scan? This was totally me today. I was the crazy shopper lady. There were tons of people behind me and I was at the only open check-out open at Dillons. I felt a little bit bad, but I wanted to get the most out of my coupons. It was definitely worth it! I had the best shopping trip to date. I got four toothbrushes, two things of deodorant and eight tubes of toothpaste all for free. Total bill before coupons was $114.37 and after coupons the total was $30.79. Amazing, isn't it? $30.79 for everything! Just because I'm proud of myself, here's a picture.

(Lysol, 2 Welches Grape Fruit Juice, two bags of Dixie napkins, two packages of Dixie plates, 6 bags of Kraft cheese, two things of deodrants, lots of tootpaste, two bags of diapers, etc...etc...etc..)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Beginnings

I put in my notice at work yesterday. How am I feeling? Excited, Scared, Excited, Scared, etc.! I'm excited to spend more time with Greyson and to pursue photography classes and techniques. On the other hand, I'm scared that Greyson will drive me nuts and that starting my own photography business won't pan out. I feel extremely blessed that Luke and I could make this decision and at least give it a go.

I spent some time today researching different photography classes, schools, seminars, etc. I found a class in Columbia that meets on Tuesday for 10 weeks from 7pm-9pm. It looks like it might be a good starting point, so I requested more information. There are lots of great classes offered in Kansas City, but I can't find any that are offered on Saturdays. I would be willing to go a few Saturdays in a row, but the only thing that I can find are night classes.

Now that I've made the decision to pursue photography, I want to jump right in. I want to go outside and take photos to practice. Then, I realize that its like 105 degrees outside and I would have a heat stroke if I was going to go outside.

I already have a client and its going to be a maternity shoot. Yeah! I'm excited. Stacey has graciously allowed me to use her as a guinea pig. I guess she wouldn't technically be a client, but I can pretend. I'm already thinking about all the different poses that I can have her do and the editing effects that will go with them. That wouldn't be funny except for the fact that I have to wait another 6 months to actually take the pictures.

I hope I stay excited about the changes and the new direction that I'm taking, but we shall see.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Luke and I made panzanella the other day. I had never even heard of it until I saw a recipe for it in one of my magazines. We had it with burgers and it was actually quite good. Really healthy and relatively easy to make. We keep expanding to our cooking knowledge. My goal is to try one new ingredient or one new recipe a week. I'm about a week behind. Panzanella was last week and this week we cooked Thai chicken skewers which used coconut milk. They were really good. Definitely a recipe that we will keep.

Here's a picture of the panzanella. I'm keeping this recipe for family bbq's.

Monday, July 12, 2010

6 months old

My baby is 6 months old. I can hardly believe it. I didn’t think we were going to make it past the first 4-8 weeks’, let alone a whole six months. I catch myself holding him while he sleeps and wishing he were little again. He is growing so fast and I just want to pause for a second and hold him when he was 2 months again. Luke can’t wait for him to walk around and play soccer with him. I thought I would feel the same, but I don’t. I know I’m going to miss this time once he is older, because I’m already missing the times when all he wanted to do was cuddle. My favorite time to cuddle him is at night. I feed him right before I go to bed and he is half asleep and half awake. I love that time we spend together.

We are working with him on sitting up. He can do it for about 15 seconds on a good day and then he face plants. He has his 6 month pictures on Monday and I really hope he can master sitting up before the pictures.

He is eating like a champ. He loves to eat. He has tried: rice cereal, barley, carrot, banana, avocado, apple, pear, cherry, zucchini and acorn squash. I’m dreading the day when he tries to feed himself. Eating is already messy and I can only imagine what it will look like when he tries to do it by himself.

During his 6 month doctor appointment, he cried for 5 seconds while he got his shots, but right after the band-aid went on he smiled at the nurse. He is such a charmer. He weighed in at 13.13 (3rd percentile) and 26 inches long (15 percentile). He’s our little runt; destined to be a quarterback or point guard.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Presents Galore

Lately, I have been getting “presents” every day in the mail. It has been an adventure to go to the mailbox to see what the surprise is for the day. I have found a way to turn the “presents” in to a money saving venture.

So, the “presents” that I am getting are actually free samples from anywhere and everywhere. In the past few days I have gotten shampoo and conditioner, mayo, 1 paper towel (which was a bit of a disappointment) and deodorant. I told Luke the other day that my goal was to not have to buy shampoo or conditioner until next year. I decided to go ahead and add women’s deodorant and feminine products to that list as well. If I were to estimate I would say that we spend $10.00 per month on shampoo, conditioner, my deodorant and feminine products. So, potential cost savings is $60.00 for the rest of the year.

I started signing up for samples about the same time that I started my couponing craziness. So far, I have probably eight bottles of shampoo and conditioner, three sticks of deodorant and all kinds of feminine products. I also have gotten other random stuff like: cat food (wet and dry), tide samples, clorox samples, splenda, coffee and much more. The funny thing is that with most of the samples that I have received; they are name brand products and, for the most part, “better” than what I would usually buy at the store. I usually buy Herbal Essence or Pantene for hair products and in the mail I have received Aveeno and Paul Mitchell. Works for me!

The other day I signed up for this company called Pinecone Research. I have been trying to get a membership (its free) for quite some time but whenever I hear that they are taking new members I am always too late. Well, I got in fast enough this time. Basically, you sign up and for every survey or new product that you try and evaluate they pay you $3.00. It took me about twenty minutes to do my first survey this morning. I can’t tell you about it because it’s “confidential” but it was extremely interesting. I follow two different blogs: Money Saving Mom and Deal Seeking Mom and they always recommend this company.

If your interested in the free samples or coupons the two blogs that I just mentioned are where I get most of my free stuff. I Heart Coupon Deals is a similar blog that is local to Springfield.

I think that’s the end of my new money saving or making ventures. Just to warn you though, if you come visit us bring your own shampoo or conditioner otherwise you will be using samples! =)