Friday, December 23, 2011

Hubnugget Award Makes Sweet Christmas Present

Wow - let's just say I was so honored to be nominated and win my first HubNugget Award. I didn't even realize you could be nominated again for your work. So you can imagine my excitement when I received an email to let me know my hub "Want to Be a Stay at Home Mom? Apply Here" was nominated for The Family and Parenting Nominees this week. It really is so awesome to know that you are doing something right to get recognized by a community of over 150,000 members. I just hope and pray that this is a sign of good things to come for our family and I can be promoted from stay at home mom to work at home mom! I have been looking for opportunities to make some extra income from home and this just may be my golden ticket!

So to all my family, friends, and followers - please help support my dream and vote for my hub! If you click on the below link, you will find my hub is the first one under The Family and Parenting Nominees. All you have to do is click and vote. It only takes a second! Voting will be open until Wednesday morning and you only have to vote once! Thanks in advance for your help and support!!!


To vote for "Want to Be a Stay at Home Mom? Apply Here" click the link below:

The Night Before Christmas Eve HubNugget

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Baby Boy is 6

So everyone says it over and over but you never quite get it until you have your own children. They grow up too fast! My baby boy is going to be 6 years old on Wednesday. I just can't believe it. I remember the first time they put him in my arms - I was scared to death and completely in love with my 7lb 12 oz bundle of joy!

I have so many memories of that day. By far my most treasured memory was Jaxson crying while getting checked out by the doctor. My husband went over and started talking to him and he instantly stopped. Jaxson is still like that - a complete and total daddy's boy. It's okay I occasionally win his attention and love and when I do it is the best feeling in the world!

Another great memory was seeing both sets of new grandparents hold our little baby. The smiles on their faces were priceless as they each took a turn holding him. My dad was out of town but managed to fly in at the last minute to see his first grandson. I was so happy that he made it and loved watching him hold his grandson so proudly.

My sister was also a proud aunt. She bravely accompanied me in the delivery room along with my husband and mom. She helped me while I pushed, held my hand, cried with me, and made me laugh all at the same time. Jaxson quickly stole her heart. He is truly blessed to have such a wonderful aunt.

So December is a crazy month for all of us - with Christmas shopping, family get togethers, and holiday parties. In the middle of all the madness, we have Jaxson's birthday party for the family a couple of weeks before his actual birthday. I hate that his birthday is so close to Christmas so I try extra hard to make him feel so special and loved. Today I took cupcakes to school to celebrate with his class and on Wednesday, his actual birthday, we will be visiting the Discovery Center upon his request. Holiday birthdays are the worst - especially for kids - but I hope that all the effort I put into making his birthday into a big deal makes him realize how much he means to us! Happy 6th Birthday my baby boy!!!


Be sure to check out my latest hub:  Holiday Birthdays - Ways to Make Your Kids Feel Special



The Birthday Boy :)


Gotta love a sharp dressed man :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

One Day Sale at CVS

I got an email earlier from CVS talking about a great one day sale going on tomorrow Saturday, December 17th. If you have the CVS card, go to your local CVS store and swipe the card in the coupon center to receive $25 worth of coupons. One of these coupons is for a great deal on 12 packs of cokes. You can get 3 for $8! They have not released details on the other deals available, but I will definitely be making the trip to pick up some 12 packs for our family.

Then after CVS I will be finishing up my Christmas shopping - just 3 more people and my list will be done! Only 7 more shopping days left...happy shopping everyone!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Sweet Little Ninja


My Sweet Little Ninja

As usual, my sweet Jaxson chooses the one birthday party theme that I can't find in stores. They had Kung Fu Panda (Jaxson said no) and they had a karate party (again he said no). He wanted a red and black ninja party so that is exactly what my baby got for his 6th birthday. Searched the Internet and found some great and inexpensive party ideas to use. After a lot of hard work, the ninja party was a success and my baby was happy. Because as always, that is the only thing that matters to me - my boys' happiness!

If you are planning a ninja themed birthday party, check out my latest hub for do it yourself ideas for decorations, invitations, cake ideas, and goodie bags:





Jaxson's Ninja Cake and Cupcakes

Present Time!!!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Hubnugget Nomination - Need Your Vote

So excited to be nominated for a Hubnugget Award on Hubpages! My article "Funny and Creative Ideas to Hiding Your Elf on the Shelf" was one in only six nominated in the Holidays and Celebrations category. This award is only given to new writers who have joined Hubpages in the last 60 days and would mean my article would be published in a weekly newsletter sent out to 80,000 recipients! Please help me to win this award and visit the link below to cast your vote. My article is the 2nd listed article about half way down under the Holidays and Celebrations category. It only takes a second to cast your vote! Thanks in advance for your help!!!

To cast your vote click here:

How To Make an Advent Wreath: Christmas Traditions, HubNuggets Style

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fun Adventures With Our Elf

Finally, Santa Claus delivered the Elf on the Shelf to our house the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Since I forgot to set up his grand arrival, he just happened to magically appear on top of the Christmas tree while the boys were taking a nap that day. Jaxson finally found him about an hour after they woke up and let me tell he was just a little excited.

Of course, myself with those infamous "mom moments" totally forgot to hide the darn thing on Monday night. My sweet Jaxson saved me with I bet he didn't want to fly in the snow. How I love that child! That is exactly why he didn't leave! He did finally move to a new spot during nap time that day when it quit snowing :-)


So yesterday I was on a quest to find more funny and creative ways to hide our new Elf on the Shelf. I had the best time setting up different situations with our crazy elf and took some really funny pictures. It was hilarious because of course Aidan was home so I had to be sneaky as I was setting up the pics. Playdoh, popcorn, and cartoons were all used to distract him while I finished my mission!

As usual, I went a little overboard and ending up with about 18 crazy ideas. I decided to include some of my ideas in a hub I wrote on Hubpages. The first hub titled Funny and Creative Ways to Hide Your Elf on the Shelf  has already been published so be sure to check that one out to see all the fun adventures with our Elf on the Shelf. I am currently working on "Funny and Mischievous Ways to Hide Your Elf on the Shelf" so be on the lookout for that one next! Hope you will find them useful if you need some new ideas on how and where to hide your Elf on the Shelf!

Jaxson found our Elf on the Shelf!





Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Craziness of Black Friday

So yes I survived the craziness of Black Friday. Got to Walmart I thought a little early at 8:45 - nope not early enough - so did the rest of my small town. After parking at the very back of the parking lot, I walked the half mile in to realize there are no buggies left. Exactly how was I suppose to rack up in savings if I didn't have a buggy? Turned back around and walked around the parking lot until I found some guys who let me steal their buggy. Complete craziness!




Got back inside and pushed my way through the crowds. At times I just wanted to scream and give up but I kept pushing on thinking I was seriously insane for putting up with this. But after about 3 times around the store, I finally picked up a few of the items on my list and started to feel better. Of course walking around the store 3 times only took me 3 hours so by this time it was starting to clear out. I believe it was about 1:00 am when I finally checked out with everything that I had wrote down on my list. Mission completed!



Some of the highlights of my night/morning were the parents yelling at their kids to shut up, the teenagers who came just to "people watch" and block the aisles so you couldn't get through, the older gray hair man in Kmart the next morning at 5:30 am who got escorted out for fighting, and saw the same parents who told their kids to shut up at Kmart bright and early the next morning - seriously their poor kids didn't get any sleep! Oh yes you have got to LOVE the craziness of Black Friday!!!




Saturday, November 19, 2011

Closing the Store Down

It's been awhile since I have been shopping. By shopping - I mean real, shop to you drop, much needed retail therapy kind of shopping! I didn't have to buy anything for anybody else. It was all for me and it felt good. Since I am really only able to do this once a year after my birthday, you can see why this is such a special time for me.

But for some reason when my husband came home, it took me awhile to get motivated to go out. Once I finally hit the stores, it felt just like the old days and I was grabbing clothes left and right. I knew I had to spend at least $80 to get use out of my $40 off coupon. Was you expecting anything less? Of course I had a coupon! This $80 total proved to be a bit more difficult to spend then I thought. Once I got to the register with my 5 items, the bill only totaled to $59 because a few of the items were either cheaper than the tag said or was on clearance which didn't count towards my coupon. I knew they were closing down shortly so I hurried to grab the $30 boots I was looking at but even those darn things were on sale too still making my total less than the required $80. By this time the other girl working there was pulling down the mall entrance gate and locking the front door so I started to panic. Thankfully the cashier offered me some $9.99 perfume up front and that ladies and gentleman is how I finally got my $40 off my final bill! So in conclusion I got 2 sweaters, 3 shirts, pair of black boots, and some really good smelling perfume all for a grand total of $65.80.

It's so funny because on any other day I would have been ecstatic see the prices lower than I expected. On this trip, I was throwing things at this poor woman just to get the $40 off! But now that I am home, I can appreciate my total savings of over $60 with Rue 21 and look forward to spending the $20 Rue Bucks I received for my next purchase. Hopefully next time, I won't be closing the store down with my insane need to save money!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Feeling the Love

I have to admit I am feeling the love today. I don't like getting any older but all the love and attention you get from family and friends just makes you feel good. My family took me out to celebrate with dinner last night which included an embarrassing serenade, a ridiculous hat, and whip cream shoved so sweetly up my nose. This morning I was awakened by my sweet Aidan who whispered in my ear "Happy birthday Momma! Wake up so you don't miss your birthday party." I also couldn't help but laugh when he wanted to put Toy Story gummies in goodie bags for all our guests. For those of you that are wondering...no, I am not having a birthday party, my boys just think it is required to have one to celebrate your special day!



Jaxson enjoying my special birthday hat :)

I have also felt the love from the stores I shop at lately. Just this past Saturday, my husband checked the mailbox and brought in mail from both Kroger and CVS. I received a free trial size Axe styling gel (which of course I gave to my husband) from CVS with a coupon for $1.00 off my next purchase. I also received an email today from CVS wishing me a happy birthday and included a coupon for $3.00 in extra care bucks to use on my next shopping trip. Kroger sent me a boat load of coupons thanking me for being a loyal customer this past year. These weren't just random coupons. They had done a report on what all I had purchased during the past year and sent me coupons on items that I buy on a regular basis. I was pretty excited to find four of the coupons were for FREE items!

Whether the love is from my family and friends or from the stores I regularly shop, I am certainly feeling the love today! Thank you so much for making me feel special on my birthday!


My Birthday Coupons! Thank you CVS and Kroger!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Trying Something New

If anyone has scrolled down lately and noticed a new widget on the right side of my blog, I just wanted to take a minute and let you know about the website Hubpages. It is a website where you can write about anything your heart desires and get it published on their site. People who travel to this site can either rate these articles or follow a particular author whose articles interest them. I figured it was worth a try since I have already been blogging away these past few months. A few of my articles, also known as "hubs" on their website, include subjects I have previously wrote about on here just updated a little. I have also published 3 new hubs in the last few days on different subjects so be sure to check those out. The whole Hubpages site has really interesting topics, great advice, and tips on just about anything you can think of. So if you would like to check it out, please click on the My Hubpage widget and enjoy the reading! Thanks in advance for supporting me in this new writing adventure!

P.S. If you love to write, are an expert in a particular field, or just give great tips and advice, I also encourage you to join in on the experience of Hubpages.  If this sounds like something that may interest you or just want to learn more about Hubpages, click on the following link: Create Your Own Hubpage


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Successful Shopping Week

 After celebrating my husband's birthday on Sunday, it was back to the usual grind hunting the ads in Sunday's paper for this week's best deals matched with my available coupons. I was excited to see several things that I needed to stock up on on sale this week including Purex laundry detergent (the only detergent I can use on my sensitive skin), Pledge furniture polish, and Smuckers jelly for my boys. There was also several free items to be picked up thanks to my little cheat sheets (see my list of favorite blogs). One of these items was Softsoap handsoap which was on sale at CVS for $0.99. Matched with my $2.00 when you buy 2 coupon these came out to be absolutely free. I guess CVS figured out this pretty quick because hand written on the sale tags were "Limit 2". No problem...I drove to Walmart to price match and got 2 more to use with the other coupon I had clipped! My final cost with both shopping trips was $15.74 for a total of 25 products purchased. I also received $7 worth of extra care bucks to use at CVS next week. So really I only spent $8.74 for all the below products! I would say I had a pretty successful shopping week!




Shopping Results Week of 11/06/11


CVS:

4 Pledge Furniture Polish 4/$12 - (2) $1.00 coupons = $8.00 (Receive $4 ECB)
2 Smucker Jellies 2/$5 - $1.00 coupon = $4.00 (Receive $3 ECB)
2 Softsoaps $1.98 - $2.00 coupon = FREE
Used $12 ECB from last week
Final Cost = $0.91 and received $7 ECB for next week
(Total Savings $34.62)


Walmart:
2 Smucker Jellies $1.88 each - $1.00 coupon = $2.96
2 Travel Size First Aid Kits $0.97 each - (2) $1.00 coupons = FREE
2 Travel Size Aquafresh Toothpaste $0.97 each - (2) $1.00 coupons = FREE
2 Snuggle Dyer Sheets $1.87 each - (2) $0.75 coupons = $2.24
2 Softsoaps (price match to CVS ad) $0.99 each - $2.00 coupon = FREE
1 Folgers Coffee (price match to Walgreens) $3.49 each - $1.00 coupon = $2.49
2 Purex Detergent (price match to Walgreens) $1.99 each = $3.98
4 Sets of Vampire Teeth 16 count (Clearance 75% off ) $0.36 each = $1.54
Final Cost = $14.83 for 17 products
(Total Savings $15.00)








Friday, November 4, 2011

Need Retail Therapy?

So if you are counting down the days until Christmas like me, there are only 51 more shopping days left. Have you started your list yet or are you waiting until the all so glorious Black Friday? Well if you are one of those who refuse to stand the craziness of Black Friday or just need some retail therapy this weekend, here is a list of great coupons in our shopping area:
 


If you are not getting out this weekend and need a great gift idea, try the Snapfish website for a great deal. Until November 8th if you enter the code MYFALLBKS, you can buy 1 photo book and get 2 for free. These make a great gift for grandparents and then you get to keep one for yourself! I did this last year for mine and Jake's parents and they loved it!

Hope these deals will help you save some money this holiday season! A special thanks to the Krazy Coupon Lady and my other favorite blog sites for their help on these deals! I have put up links to their sites on the right side of my blog. Have a great shopping weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Free is Good

Even though I wasn't feeling too well, I got all my coupons cut and decided to hit up CVS before a family dinner this past Sunday. My plan was all laid out but when I got to the register not one, not two, but three of my deals would not work like I thought it would. I tried to be nice to the cashier but when the 3rd deal, an email that CVS sent me for $5 off a $30 purchase, did not work I started to get really annoyed. I had proof of the email in my hand and had spent a total of $40 before applying all my coupons.

So long story short, I told him that I did not want the lotions which was the 2nd deal that did not work. He had to credit back my card, gave me a gift card for the tax I was owed, and actually gave me an additional $5 in extra care bucks back since the email did not work properly. As I walked out with my two bags, it totally hit me that I just got all these things for FREE and still have over $12 in extra care bucks to spend next week! So even though it was a total headache, I still have love for my CVS because as everyone already knows...free is good!



***My Totally Free Shopping Trip!!!***
4 Bottles of Dawn Dish Soap
3-Pack of Orbit Gum
Bag of Kit Kat Candy Bars
Crest Toothpaste
Schick Quattro Razor
***Total $24 value for FREE!!!***

*Deal of the Week*
Check out Food Lion this week for a great deal on General Mills cereal. They have it on sale for 2 for $5. If you buy 4 boxes, they will instantly credit your bill $4.00 making it 4/$6. You can also use coupons to lower this deal. Today I printed (2) $1.00 off (when you buy 2 boxes) coupons from http://www.coupons.com/ to make this deal 4 boxes for a $1.00 each!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Total Mom Fail

There is nothing worse than waking up to the horror that your alarm clock didn't go off. You jump out of the bed all in a panic and figure out it's 9:00 a.m. and your little one was suppose to be at preschool at 8:30. Aidan was already up watching cartoons in the living room but for some crazy reason never bothered to wake me up. He was quite upset with me because he loves preschool! I felt horrible and vowed to make it up to him!

To make up for it, I spent the whole next day in the kitchen baking goodies for Aidan's Halloween party at preschool and Jaxson's snack day for his class. It took me four long hours to bake, decorate, and clean up the kitchen. I felt so much better when the boys were all excited to take their pumpkin cookies and spider cupcakes to school. I even attempted to hem up Aidan's Buzz Lightyear costume so he wouldn't trip over it during the Halloween parade (I said "attempted" because the good Lord knows I can't sew!). To end the night, I made up 35 goodie bags for all their friends at school.

So hopefully all my hard work puts me back in "good" mom status. Well that is until the next time I pull a total mom fail! Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween weekend!


Spider Cupcakes


Pumpkin Cookies


Goodie bags for Aidan's preschool class

My sweet Aidan at the Halloween Parade

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Do You Kmart?

I am typically not a big fan of Kmart in Tullahoma. Every time I go in that store, they maybe have two checkout lines open and their product prices are a little higher than I like to pay. But I was on a mission for one Buzz Lightyear Halloween costume for my three year old, so I broke my ban and headed to Kmart. I was pretty excited to walk right in, found his size, and shocked that it was already 40% off making it only $14.50.

After my pleasant shopping trip last week, the Kmart ad in Sunday's paper caught my eye because all their costumes are 50% off this week. You will also see that if you are a ShopYourWayRewards member they are allowing unlimited double manufacturer coupons up to $0.99 for grocery, health, and beauty items only valid 10/23/11 thru 10/29/11. Since Krogers only doubles up to $0.50, I am a little excited to double my $0.75 coupons. So yes once again I am breaking my ban and heading to Kmart to pick up a few items! In the future, I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more double coupon weeks! If you would like to check out this week's Kmart ad click on the following link: http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/WeeklyAdHome?storeId=10151&catalogId=10104&storeUnitNumber=9629

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Get Your Elf on the Shelf

My boys were asking me when Woody, our Elf on the Shelf, was making his appearance this year. I told them that Santa Claus usually delivers him right after Thanksgiving (which is when I get out all the Christmas decorations). They are so excited to see him again and I have to give all my thanks to my mom aka Mimi for this wonderful gift. If you have small children and have never heard of the Elf on the Shelf, you can ask any parent around that this is a must have for the holiday season. You see this Elf has magical powers and flies back to the North Pole every night and reports back to Santa Claus who has been naughty or nice. After making his report, he flies back to your house and hides in a different location every morning. Its so funny watching my boys jump out of the bed all excited to find out where Woody has landed for the day! Another plus is when your kids are acting up, all you have to say is "Be careful the Elf is watching!" and it works like a charm! So much that I really wish we could keep our Elf up all year long!!! If you are interested in getting one, check out the link below:


Meet Woody - Our Elf on the Shelf :)





 

Monday, October 24, 2011

A New Week

Well I did it. The yard sale went well even though I missed the deadline to place an ad in the paper. I made just enough to get me started on some dreaded Christmas shopping which I will start that glorious day we all know as Black Friday. I just can't wait to fight the lines, play buggy war, and stay up all night with the other crazies! But its definitely all worth it to see my boys' faces light up Christmas morning!

Of course I think wow it's over so I can go back to my normal routine but nope this week is just as crazy as always. I really let the housework and laundry go as I was getting everything ready for the yard sale so for me this is mission #1. Then comes getting ready for the upcoming Halloween parties, two family birthdays this week, working the school fundraiser, both boys have snack days this week, and grocery shopping. I come to expect this craziness because as we all know a mother's job never ends!


Deals of the Week:
 If you are need of Halloween candy this week, be sure to check out CVS. They have 4 bags of select candies for $10 and you receive $3 Extra Care Bucks back to use next week. If you use (2) $1.00 coupons when you buy 2 bags of Starburst, Skittles, etc this will make the final cost 4 bags for $5.00 or $1.25 each. Also check out Kroger's this week for some great 10 for $10 deals. I am definitely going to be stocking up on some canned goods with all my Campbells Soup coupons! Happy Shopping!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Love Your Teachers


As I was checking my Facebook the other day, a friend from college was excited about getting a free admission ticket to the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga, TN for simply asking if they gave a teacher discount and showing her school ID. My family is all the time looking for fun things to do but on my husband's teacher salary it can be hard to throw down a $100 or more on a day of fun. That post inspired me to search the internet for other places that may offer free admission or discounted offers for teachers in Tennessee. Below are just a few of the offers that I found:



If you have an active TEA membership card please go to http://www.teateachers.org/ and enter your membership ID number to search for many more great offers including:


  • Save up to 30% on movie tickets when you preorder online.
  • Free admission to Zanies Comedy Club with purchase of ticket of equal or greater value.
  • Free pass to BounceU with purchase of ticket of equal or greater value.
  • Free admission to Nashville Opera with purchase of ticket of equal or greater value.
  • Free admission to Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville (Now don't get too crazy!)
  • Free admission to Sam Davis Home and James K Polk Home with purchase of ticket of equal or greater value.

Trust me there are too many to list! So anytime the family is in need of a family day of fun, please plan ahead and surf the web for great deals in your area! If you are not the planning type, don't be afraid to ask an employee of the place where you are visiting to see if they offer any special discounts for teachers, military, senior citizens, etc...if you don't you could be missing out on a great deal!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Couponing Tips

If your budget has been feeling the strain and want to start the couponing process, I thought I would share a few tips that I have learned over my past 6 months of couponing. Believe me, it is definitely a learning process and I will take all the help I can get!

  • Tip #1: Start following some websites that show all the great deals in your area. You can either follow them by email on their blog/website or most of them have a fan page on Facebook where they highlight the best deals. Some of the websites I keep an eye on is http://thekrazycouponlady.com/, http://www.southernsavers.com/, and http://www.iheartcvs.com/. (*Note: If you don't shop at CVS the "iheart..." websites have several other stores that that they keep up with such as http://www.iheartthemart.com/, http://www.iheartwags.com/, etc. Just do a search on the Internet and you will more than likely find your store.)
  • Tip #2: Check your store's website a few days before the upcoming sales week starts for a sneak peek at what items will be on sale for that week. You can go ahead and start planning your shopping trip and line up the coupons you will be using. Not all stores will give you a preview but I know for sure that CVS gives you a sneak peek either Wednesday or Thursday before the upcoming week sales start.
  • Tip #3: Ever wish you had bought more than one Sunday paper to cash in on that great deal in your store? Well if you check sites like http://www.sundaycouponpreview.com/ a few days before the paper hits the stands, you will be able to see the coupons that will be in those all important inserts. It may not be the exact coupon and amount due to the inserts will vary for the different regions, but it will give you a good heads up on the company that are issuing coupons for that week.
Hope these tips help you in your couponing adventure! I know they do save me alot of time if I check out all these websites before I hit the stores! To the ladies who love makeup deals, I will leave you with a good deal at CVS I found last night from a recent search....

Deal of the Week:

CVS/pharmacy

Almay Intense i-color Shadow, Liner, or Mascara $5.99
Buy 1 and Receive $4.00 ExtraCareBucks (If you have a CVS card, this is a coupon good on your next purchase)
-Use $1.00 on One Almay Any Color Cosmetic Product from Walmart Ad insert 10/9 (exp 12/31)
Pay $4.99 plus tax and Receive $4.00 ECB
*Final Price $0.99 plus tax*

The Yard Sale Crazies

I have been working for 12 hours today dragging out all our old stuff to have a yard sale next weekend. It is insane what we have accumulated in the past 5 and half years of living here. By just cleaning out the closets and underneath the beds, I already have almost 10 bags full of stuff. I haven't even walked into the garage because that is where I will really be losing my mind with all the old baby clothes and toys the boys don't play with anymore. I totally should be doing this more often because when I cleaned out the boys closet I pulled out newborn baby diapers in an old diaper bag. Yeah...I had a total mom moment and shed a tear or two!

It will be even funnier when I start pricing all this stuff. Either these people will be yelling at me that I am robbing them blind or they will be racking up on some great deals because I have absolutely no idea on how to price all this stuff. So cross your fingers that we have beautiful warm weather next weekend, lots of people come and buy all of our stuff, and that I survive this next week getting everything together while still accomplishing all of my other motherly duties. I am sure by the end of the week I will be suffering a major case of the yard sale crazies!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What A Day!

So my morning starts out a little like this...my plan was to be in the shower by 6 a.m. this morning only to find my husband stays in the shower until 6:10. My oldest son, who always rides to school with his dad, changes his mind at the last minute and decides to ride with me and his little brother since we were all going on the field trip with his class today. So calculate this...I had one hour to shower, pack up the car, get the boys ready, and drive the 35 min to school to have my son there by 7:45. Do you think I made it on time? Heck no! We rolled up at 7:51 thanks to a million red lights and those slow driving people you always seem to get behind when you are already running late. So imagine my total embarrassment when I have to sign my son in as late when this is only the second time Mom has ever dropped him off at school!


Jaxson's Kindergarten Class
2011

But all that anxiety and embarrassment quickly went away because we had an amazing day at Lucky Ladd Farm! It was the first time I spent the day with my son's class and I was really interested in how he acted around the other kids. To my surprise, he has turned into quite the social butterfly bouncing around from one kid to another. He just seemed so happy that it really warmed my heart. My little one also enjoyed himself and tried his best to keep up with his big brother but in the end he had a great day playing with his mom and dad. So the valuable lesson I learned today is do not give up on the day when you have "one of those mornings" because it can always turn into one of those days you will never forget!



Jaxson Found His Pumpkin :)

My Silly Boys! :)



















Enjoying the Hay Ride :)

Aidan Found the Sand Box :)










Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Time

As we were driving down our road, we noticed that the leaves on the trees were changing into some amazing colors reminding us that summer is over and fall is officially here. Even though this makes me incredibly sad (I Love Summer!!!), I actually got excited thinking its time to take our little ones to the pumpkin patch! Last year, we visited Grandaddy's Farm in Estill Springs and had a great time but this year we will be going with my oldest son's class to Lucky Ladd Farms in Eagleville. If you are interested in taking your little ones to a pumpkin patch, I typed up a list of pumpkin patches in the surrounding counties. Please visit their links for more information and possible coupons on their website!

Bedford County:
  • Cedar Rock in Shelbyville, TN - Festival Admission $5 per person. *Coupon Alert* Print this coupon on website: Buy 4 admissions and get 5th free!  http://www.cedarrockfallfest.com/

Cannon County:

Franklin County:
  • Grandaddy's Farm in Estill Springs, TN - Admission $10 for ages 10 and up, $6 for ages 2 to 9, Free for ages under 2. *Coupon Alert* Print this coupon on website: $1 off Admission for Weekday Visit! http://www.grandaddysfarm.com/

Lincoln County:

Rutherford County:

Warren County:

If none are these are close to you visit the following link for a more complete list of pumpkin patches around your city and state: http://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/. I will leave you with a few pictures from last year's pumpkin patch trip to Grandaddy's Farm. Happy Fall Everyone!!!


Playing on the Playground!


Picking Out Their Own Pumpkin




My Lil Sunflowers :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Just Dance!

Looking through all the sale ads today, my oldest son and I got pretty excited when we saw that Just Dance 3 was just released for the Wii. Our family has spent many weekend nights dancing the night away in front of the TV playing Just Dance 2. We have played it so much that I noticed both of my kids using some of the dance moves out on the dance floor at a friend's wedding a couple weeks ago! For those parents that say they don't want their kids playing video games, this game is different and will give you a good workout. Its especially great for rainy days when my boys can't go outside to get rid of all that built up energy. So needless to say this is one game that will be on this year's Christmas list! If you are interested in picking this game up check out Target who is selling an exclusive edition with 2 bonus tracks for $39.99. They also have Just Dance Summer Party and Just Dance Kids on sale for $19.99 this week. If you don't feel like making the drive and prefer to order online, click on the link below to purchase from Amazon:


My 3 yr old doing the "Cowboy Dance"









Friday, October 7, 2011

Sweet Family Deal on Groupon


Groupon

Since I'm always looking for anyway to save a few bucks, I was pretty excited to check my email and find this great deal on Groupon to The Discovery Center in Murfreesboro. We took my oldest son there for his birthday last year and we had so much fun that he has already been asking me if we could go back this year. So YAY now i just have to decide which deal to get - the $12 for four admissions (a $24 value) or spring for the $25 for 10 admission punch card (a $60 value). Since it doesn't expire until April 2012, I may go ahead and get the $25 deal so we can go again on my youngest son's birthday. To get this same deal for your family, click on this link:  http://www.groupon.com/r/uu19234159

*Here are a few pics of all the fun we had last year!*



 

 


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Goodie Bag Mania!!!

Halloween is just around the corner and haunting me is the all the goodie bags I will be making over the next several months. With one son is kindergarten, the other in preschool, and a 4th grade teacher as a husband, I easily make about 60 goodie bags for every major holiday. Here are a few tricks I have picked up along the way on how to stretch your money on a limited budget:
  • Tip #1: Of course always shop the clearance aisle after the holiday sale is over to stock up for the next year. For those of you that did not do this, I recommend shopping somewhere like the Dollar Tree where you can find some great deals especially on the bags. You can buy 25 bags for $1 while Walmart sells 20 for $1.88.
  • Tip #2: Don't get sucked into buying the Halloween packaged candy. Try to buy the regular packaged candy so if you have any leftover you can save that candy for the next set of goodie bags. Always check the best before date but most candy will last 6 months to a year after the manufacture date.
  • Tip #3: Recycle those goodies you get from other parties. For example, I have been saving all those pencils my son got at every birthday party, holiday, etc. By the time he started kindergarten, I had over 30 pencils all ready for him to take to school.
  • Tip #4: Do not waste all that trick or treat candy! I try to separate the regular packaged candy and use some of that batch to fill up goodie bags for my son's birthday party which always comes the first week of December.
Most importantly get creative and have fun making the goodie bags! Both my boys love to help and believe me I appreciate any help I can get around here! Hope these tips help you to save some money and lessen the stress of goodie bag mania!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Different Kind of Retail Therapy

My husband was talking to my 5 yr old the other night about how mommy use to go shopping every week and would always come home with bags full of clothes. Of course that kind of shopping came to an abrupt halt when I decided to stay home with my boys. I thought to myself...wow I really miss those days! But then it hit me that I have replaced that kind of shopping with a different kind of retail therapy. Let me just give you an example...


CVS - (4) Dove Shampoo/Conditioner, Dove Deo, Cover Girl Foundation, Cover Girl Powder,
Febreze Air Effects, Swiffer Sweeper Starter Kit, and Swiffer Wet Cloth Refills
Total Price for these Products = $64.95
*Paid $12.17 Out of Pocket & Got $5 Extra Care Bucks to use next week*

Walmart - (2) Cover Girl Blush, (4) Johnson & Johnson Travel Size First Aid Kits, and
 (2) Old Spice Travel Size Body Wash
Total Price for these Products = $13.70
*Paid $0.70 + Tax Out of Pocket*

So its definitely not clothes but I am pretty excited about my new makeup and all the other items are things that my family will use. I mean you can never have too many first aid kits with two lil boys running around! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and a very special thank u to my lil coupon cutter who faithfully helps me every Sunday morning!!! Love him!!!


Mommy's Big Helper :)




Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Love/Hate Relationship with Coupons

Let me take you back when I was little going down the cereal aisle at the grocery store with my mom. The question was usually "Mom can we get Fruity Pebbles?" which was my all time favorite cereal. The answer was always the same "No I don't have a coupon for that." I vowed to never torture my children like that! That was until the budget got a little tight and that oh so popular show Extreme Couponing came on and it was like a light bulb went on inside my head. Why am I not using coupons? So about 6 months ago I started torturing my husband to get up at the crack of dawn for that all important Sunday paper. He quickly learned that this was no easy task and that the coupon crazies would steal all the coupon inserts from every paper out of a machine. But bless him...he stuck with it and realized Walgreen's who sells their papers inside the store opens at 9:00 a.m. so this is where you can find this wonderful man every Sunday morning.

Now to the present I am one of those crazy coupon ladies carrying a large black notebook filled with coupons telling my boys "No I don't have a coupon for that." I still have a love/hate relationship with the darn things...I love cutting my grocery bill in half every month but I hate the cutting, organizing, and giving myself a headache searching all the sale ads to get the best deal possible. But I will admit the pain is totally worth it to be able to stay at home a little longer with my precious little ones!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Treats for All My Sweets

Since my husband started teaching, I always tried to get creative and give out goodie bags or bake goodies for all the students in his class. Of course when we were both working this was no big deal. Now its a different story I got a very strict budget and have added two more classes full of students with my 3 yr old in preschool and my 5 yr old in Kindergarten. Sheesh do you even know how much stuff I have to buy? Crazy amounts of goodies!

Thankfully at the beginning of this year I got into the coupon craze. (Yes I am turning into one of those crazy coupon ladies with the big notebook but more on that at a later date...) I found some really good deals at CVS on Halloween candy and stocked up on goodie bags & baking accessories at the Dollar Tree. Now I am no professional baker but I have been known to produce some really cute cupcakes in my three short years of staying home! Cakes are another story but they turned out okay ;)


But before I started baking all these cupcakes, I wanted to get a few design ideas and practice before I gave some kind of crazy mess to all these innocent kids. Searched the internet and found so many cute ideas! My boys were so excited to have momma baking cupcakes for no reason. Of course it took me forever because I really was trying to do a good job. But in the end, a few of them turned out cute and the boys enjoyed their sugar rush right before bedtime! (Um what was I thinking?? LOL)


Halloween Cupcakes


Sugar Rush!!!






Thursday, September 29, 2011

Balancing Love and Money

Hello everyone! My name is Alissa Roberts and I am currently a stay at home mom to two wild-n-crazy lil boys who keep me moving constantly. I married the love of my life seven years ago and let me tell you when people say "opposites attract" they are definitely talking about our relationship! I am the organizer, planner, and want things a certain way while he is so laid back, waits til the last minute, and however it gets done doesn't really matter to him. Through the years, I have learned that we work because we completely balance each other out!

A little over three years ago after the birth of our second son, I was questioning should I continue to work or stay at home with our two sons. I had an excellent job at the credit union working as a management trainee with awesome benefits. My husband was an elementary school teacher...could we really survive on a teacher income? Our savings account was in good shape and when my husband told me "whatever u want to do" well that's exactly what I did! I called my work the next day and turned in my resignation. It was the scariest moment of my life!

So back to the present here we are still on our journey of balancing love and money. That cushy savings account is no longer there. Yet somehow we are still chugging along month to month. It gets hard and my OCD with finances kicks in and my husband has to continually remind me that it will all work out! And somehow by the grace of God it does...I will never regret my decision to become a stay at home mom! Thus my reason for starting this blog as a way to document our struggles on living on one income and making a loving home for our family!