Friday, April 29, 2011

Husband and Wife

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Royal Affair

Tomorrow, at 4:00am, I have a date with my mom to watch The Royal Wedding of Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton.  It's such a modern day fairy tale, and I am so excited.  My DVR is set to the maximum number of selections - Good Morning America, TLC, CNN, etc.  I want all the behind-the-scene commentary!

We don't have anything extravagant planned as we watch, except to eat!

The coffee will be strong, hot and ready early.  With coffee, we are having chocolate pie.  We might eat it with a spoon right out of the pie plate, but that's our business :)  I might also need a quiche or breakfast casserole, or maybe even just some simple scrambled eggs.  I've also found two recipes that might be worth trying.  I've posted them below - both look heavenly, and would undoubtedly taste great with my coffee. 

To all the royal watchers out there - I hope you have a yummy menu, hot coffee, and warm pjs for the big event!

Victoria Sponge Cake and the Pioneer Woman's Sweet Cinnamon Scones - yum!

Sponge cake recipe can be found  here

Sweet Cinnamon Scones recipe can be found here

Coupon Addiction

In the midst of the wildly popular hoarding shows and endless articles about the women who somehow manage to stockpile toilet paper for a year at a time, can feed their families of 7 on $100 a month, or can go to the grocery store and buy $200 worth of groceries but somehow manage to pay $20 or some other crazy amount, I've been intrigued.  My boss' daughter (who is darling and sweet, a mom of two small boys, and one of 8 children) and I were talking one day and somehow the topic of couponing came up.  She was telling me that she really tries to find good deals and gave me a few tips on how to get started.  She had actually taken a coupon class by a lady here in OKC who has mastered the art of couponing.  Now that I've read this lady's blog for several days, I am here to tell you that, yes, it is an art.  You can check out Carrie's blog here.  She gives all kinds of tutorials, tips, tricks, etc.  Definitely worth checking out if you're interested in some fun ways to save a little extra money each month!

What I've learned from my 1-week long coupon experience thus far:
  • Printing online coupons requires a lot of printer ink.  But, a lot of fun to find a coupon for a favorite staple item in my house!
  • Just because you have a coupon for something doesn't mean you have to buy that particular item.  Even if AirWick air fresheners are a really good price at CVS, if I've lived this long without wanting or needing to purchase this item, I probably can keep on going without it.  This is harder than it sounds, believe me!
  • Create a shopping list before you go to the store, and try your best to stick to it.  
  • Be organized with your coupons and be familiar with the store specials before you shop.
  • On a whim, stop-on-the-way-home, send-your-husband-to-the-drugstore kind of trips aren't good money saving ideas!
  • Read up on the tips and tricks, and don't get in a rush to save hundreds of dollars in the first month.  Take your time and slowly start a stockpile - both of coupons and products!

My successes this week:

  1. CVS had the large cans of Enfamil formula on sale for $21.99, regularly $26.99 at CVS.  Normally, I wouldn't buy it there, but because I had a $5 off coupon, and it was on sale, I got formula for $16.99 - $10 off the regular price.  Then, I swung by another CVS on my way home from work with the purpose of buying another can (I had a second coupon - you can usually print two coupons per computer.  They are tracked by your IP address, so be careful!).  The second CVS was out, so I asked for a raincheck.  Most stores have this, you just have to ask!  Later in the week, I stopped for a third time, and they were still out of formula in that size.  So, I asked the cashier for another raincheck. They don't know me, and it was different cashier, so now I can buy two cans of formula at that price down the road.  Yay!
  2. Back to CVS - if you don't have a CVS card, next time you're there just ask for one.  You can scan your card for extra coupons, and if you buy things on special in a particular week, you have the ability to earn Extra Care Bucks, or in the coupon world, ECBs!  These are fun, they make you feel as if you've accomplished something great, and can be used as cash - at CVS.  I won't go into too much detail here, because the coupon queens can somehow manage to stay under $5 out of pocket when shopping at CVS (how?!?).  I'm totally not there, but an occasional $10-$15 off each visit is both welcomed and fun!  So, I would encourage you to check out the CVS tutorial on Carrie's blog.  So far, there are four short videos.  Here is a link to her CVS Crash Course.  Who knew?!
  3. Homeland has some really great specials each week, and although they are a bit higher on day-to-day stuff (higher than Walmart or Crest, for example), they will double your coupons up to $1.  And, you can use both a Homeland coupon and a manufactured coupon on one item if you have them.  Read more on Homeland tricks and success stories on Carrie's blog.  She posts the 'good deals' each week, which is really nice of her to do our homework for us.  And, she'll give you links to coupons that can be printed online.  
  4. I saved $42 at Homeland this week.  Of my 32 items, I'd say 20 of those items were either on sale or I had a coupon.  Normally, I'm lucky if I get out of there under $100.  But, this week, I spent $70 and I have everything I need for the week.  Baby steps, but it felt really good!
Finally, below are some of my favorite coupon websites (so far).  Be careful, this gets addicting in a hurry!  And, there are so many websites and blogs out there of people who have started to share their tips and tricks on couponing.  My motivation is just saving a little money.  So far, so good, although I'm not booking my trip to Hawaii quite yet! :)
  • Printable Target coupons can be found here
  • You also might try some of the blog coupon databases, or to "Like" some of your favorite brands on FB.  I've gotten some pretty good coupons that way.
Again, I'm new at this, but I'm just competitive enough to want to succeed at it.  I hope this is helpful to you.  Check out the coupon blog world and let me know what you find as well!

Monday, April 18, 2011

My boys

The Pioneer Woman occasionally has photography contests on her blog, and last week the subject was "Brothers".  I had been anticipating this photography contest, because, well, I have all boys.  I know everyone probably thinks their kiddos are the sweetest, cutest, most loving beings on the planet and I, too, think this about my own.  They make my heart melt, they bring us so much joy, and I love their sweet souls.

Unfortunately, my photos were not selected as winners, or even finalists.  But, I did think I would go ahead and post some of my favorite photos of my boys, and some of my favorite "brother" photos.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Top 5

Today I stumbled upon an article that listed Nate Berkus' top 5 home necessities.  They are:
  • Mini-Fridge

    Nate's not a fan of getting up to find a cold beverage, so he keeps a mini-fridge in his room to save a trip to the kitchen! A mini-fridge isn't just on Nate's list of home must-haves...he also has a mini-fridge in his office here at "The Nate Berkus Show!"
  • Kiehl's Lotion

    Whether Nate's at home or on the road, he always packs Kiehl's lotion to stay moisturized.
  • V-Neck T-Shirts

    Nate lives in his American Apparel v-neck t-shirts. He loves the fit and durability, and at only $21, it's one of his favorite fashion bargain buys!American Apparel, 
  • Cashmere Throws

    Cashmere throws are in almost every room of Nate's home. He loves curling up on the couch with a cashmere throw! 

  • Label Maker

    One of Nate's favorite things EVER is his label maker! He loves labeling everything, including every drawer of his wardrobe. If you're wondering what Nate's doing right now, odds are he's labeling something!
What are your Top 5 Home Necessities?  Top 5 Car Necessities?  Top 5 Handbag Necessities?  Top 5 Clothing Necessities?  Discuss...

Where can I get some of those mugs?

"Here’s what I love about her - I love her coffee cups.  I was at her house… and her coffee cups were just those, ya know, big, cozy mugs where you just want to sit down and chat at the table.  I thought, a woman with these kind of cups is alright by me.”
                                                                          -Oprah Winfrey, talking about Tina Fey

I just love this quote!  I know what kind of mug she must be talking about, and Oprah, I hear ya on the big, cozy fabulousness of a good coffee cup!  

Here is the catalog pic of my most recent coffee cups.  This was a treat to myself from our New Orleans trip a few weeks ago.  It's so great and if you want one, or several, for yourself, check out  I highly recommend a cup of this stature, whether a Cafe Du Monde mug or not - you deserve it!!

A game of tag

I was ‘tagged’ by my sister Taylor….  She's kinda bossy and will bug me for days if I don't repost soon, so...  here goes!  She will also never let it go if I don't post her blog address.  Click here to see her blog.  She is way more interesting, exciting and creative than I.

Places I Go:
1. Junior League of Oklahoma City
2. Homeland
3. Target
4. CiCi's house

Favorite Smells:
1. Vanilla
2. Oil of Olay soap
3. Baby lotion
4. Michael's cologne

TV Shows:
1. HGTV - I like Income Properties, Sarah's House (but I'm ready for some new shows!) and Designed to Sell
2. Oprah
4. The Closer

1. Coming to America
2. The Notebook
3. Bourne Identity, Supremacy, etc...
4. Ferris Bueller

1. Don't drive slow in the left lane... please!
2. Say I love you often and mean it.
3. Take your kids to play outside
4. Plan date nights and stick to it. 

Favorite Things To Do:
1. Drink coffee
2. Bubble baths
3. Design my dream house
4. Snuggling with my babies

1. Telemarketers
2. Mean and hurtful people
3. Arrogance
4. Slow drivers, especially when I'm in a hurry

Friends To Tag: (This means you answer these same questions on your blog!)
1. Julie LeClercq - follow the funny, challenging, and sweet stories of her darling family here
2. Jennifer O'Reilly - follow her amazing, creative and informative blog, as well as and design tips here
3. Jordan Pool - follow this hilarious blog about life with all boys - so funny!  Click here
4. Alyssa Siler - follow my sweet friend's blog here.  Anything from beauty tips, raising awareness for CF, her darling family, and even creative DIY project ideas!
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