Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Worm and the Why


Happy Halloween!

Due to all the rain we've had since the leaves fell off our two huge trees, we were unable to rake a single leaf until Halloween morning.

Lubbock and I kept Kevin company while he, literally, shoveled leaves. The rake just wasn't strong enough to move the piles.

I put up our Halloween decorations and Lubbock jumped in the leaves ... yes ... those are pajama bottoms on my child.

He had taken his cute little toy pig (thanks, Gretchen) out there with him, but lost it in all the foliage. I started pushing small portions of the pile aside when I realized I had a worm stuck to my hand.


I am *not* a fan of insects, bugs, grubs, or ... in general ... anything with more or less than two legs. But, I am also not a fan of pushing my dislikes onto my kid, so I 'manned up' and said, "Lubbock ... look ... a worm! Wow!"

I picked it up ... *gulp* ... and handed it to him. "Go show Daddy!"

Lubbock was so excited, "Worm! Daddy! Daddy! Worm!"

He played with that poor thing for a very long time. He carried the worm to one part of the yard, set him down very carefully, looked at a few leaves, picked him back up, showed him to Kevin again, and made a best friend.

I'm happy for him. Gross!
And, in case you're worried about the pig ... he was found.

Later that day, we teamed up with two very scary dragons to visit our neighbors and collect some yummy candy.

It didn't take too many houses for Lubbock to get the hang of Trick or Treating. Ring doorbell ... grab a handful of candy ... turn around and run back to Daddy ... yell "thank you." We couldn't get him to say "thank you" while still facing the homeowners, but at least it was said. And he really had no interest in saying "Trick or Treat!" ... I guess he figured that he got the candy either way, so there wasn't much point in wasting his breath.

As you can see, Lubbock was Super Why! He loves that show. I asked Beth if she'd be interested in helping carrying out the vision and she happily agreed. She had the great idea of using Velcro to attach the cape to his shirt. He loved wearing his costume and we're keeping the shirt in his regular wardrobe rotation because it's too dang cute!

On the list of other things that are too dang cute: Beth's own kiddos. They were a firefighter and a dalmatian.

Now that we're into November, I can start talking about Christmas, right? Yup, I'm one of those people! Thanksgiving and Christmas are one big holiday to me with no line drawn in the sand to divide the two.

I'm really excited about this Christmas since it will be our first one at "home." I'm excited to start new traditions with our little family.

What traditions does your family have?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Fine Line

Dear Friends,

You know me. You know my struggles. You know my successes.

You know they often co-exist.

After reading and re-reading several of the organizing, decluttering, cleaning books, the biggest thing I've taken away is that things always get worse before they get better.

And that often it's a very fine line between what you see on my desk and what you see in my bathroom.

A very fine line between what's going on in my front room ... what is going on in there? And what's going on in the living room (well, except for the "line up the books" game that is a constant favorite around here).

One of the books pointed out an extremely amusing similarity amongst clutterbugs ... they collect storage containers. Very interesting. It's always with the hopes of finally figuring out how to organize all that "stuff."

Yup ... that was my hope. But, the more stuff I get rid of ... the less stuff I have to organize. And the more the containers have become the clutter. Hmmm.

As I write this, I see a similarity to weight loss. You lose weight and you've got all your "fat clothes" and you keep them ... just in case. Just in case you're fat again. Wow! How unhelpful is that!!?!!

I've even said that about the containers. I'm keeping them in case I need them. A thought process I've just about eliminated when it comes to clutter, but for some reason allowed myself to apply to the containers.

In case ... what? In case I go back to my old ways and am swamped with so much stuff, I can't see straight?

I'm over you, containers. You're outta here!

Does anyone need a container or two? (Or twenty?)

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Sweater Hats

They're here! They're here!

I'm so excited. I wanted a unique hat for this winter. One that would keep my ears warm while running and one that would enable me to be visible to approaching traffic (why are all winter hats black?).

I found what I was looking for at That Funky Boutique on etsy. And, of course, Lubbock needed one, too. I guarantee nobody else will have our hats.

They are made out of old wool sweaters, so they are good for the environment and the Buy Handmade movement.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The 63% Juice

Do you coupon?

I sometimes do. Sometimes not.

One of the first arguments Kevin and I ever had centered around couponing.

Within weeks of moving in with each other, I was laid off from my job as a Document Control Coordinator (yes, as boring as it sounds). I determined that while looking for a new job, I'd try to save us as much money as I could.

This included couponing.

Kevin joined me on one of my couponing outings and as I reached for a container of juice (free with a great coupon), he said he wanted a different kind. I told him this one was free, so he should just suck it up and drink it. I really don't remember what else was said, but I remember standing in the middle of the juice aisle ... crying.

This time around with coupons, I'm trying to have more fun with it. I have a group of friends that get together about once a month to swap coupons (mostly it's an excuse to have an evening out). We meet at a coffee shop and spend two hours clipping coupons and talking about good deals that are out there.

I spend about 30 minutes every Sunday morning going through the ads and blogs, and clipping coupons out of the papers (I get three Sunday papers to be able to take full advantage of the coupons). This morning, as I reviewed the grocery ads and coupons, I discovered I had a great combination of coupons to redeem. I do most of my couponing alone, but Kevin wanted to come this morning.

This trip to the store reminded me a bit of the "juice trip" ... but, it also didn't.

Before leaving, I pulled out all the coupons I knew I would use and reviewed the ad one last time. We entered the store and Kevin followed my lead. I was able to get everything on my list and more. Kevin noticed a few deals in the store that weren't in the ad ... go, him!

So, here's the breakdown: (Q = coupon)

Oh, I have some friends who will be completely unimpressed (like Kris) ... and I have some friends taking notes (like Jen). Click on the names to see some of the good deals they've been able to pull off.

3 Red Baron pizza ... sale 3/$10 and I had 3 $1 Qs
3 12pack Coke ... sale 3 12packs/$11 ... in store deal for 3 FREE PowerAdes and I had a FREE 2 pack of 50 oz. bottles Q

For the rest of the products, for every $10 you spent, you automatically got $3 off

6 Cheezits ... sale 4/$10 ... and 3 x $1.50/2 Qs
6 Duncan Hines ... sale 10/$10 ... and 3 x $.55/2 Qs
5 Welch's ... sale 4/$10 ... and 5 x $.75 Qs
3 Pepperidge Farm toast... sale 4/$10 ... and 3 x .50 Qs
3 Nestle cookies ... sale 4/$10 ... and 3 x $1 Qs
2 Barber chicken ... sale 2/$10 ... and 2 x $1 Qs

So, there was an instant $12 savings for the $40+ worth of product I bought.

Then, I had a $3 off $30 purchase Q for Jewel and a $2 savings Q for taking a survey (look at the bottom of your receipts, ya'll)!!!

Transaction began at $122.21
- Preferred Card savings - $48.85
- Manufacturers Qs - $22.59
- Jewel Qs - $5.00

Total $45.77 (a 63% savings)

One more thing ... the pizza deal included 3 FREE RedBox rental codes (a $3 value) ... Wow! And I got a Q that printed out to save $3 on 4 Welchs ... so, tomorrow, I can go back and get 4 more for $4! (I hope Kevin doesn't get sick of all this juice ;) And, one more bonus ... I don't have to go junk food shopping for a long, long, time!

Couponing Rocks ... GO, ME!!!!