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:

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 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,, and (*Note: If you don't shop at CVS the "iheart..." websites have several other stores that that they keep up with such as,, 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 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:


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 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

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!

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!

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: 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


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:

*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 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!