Monday, December 15, 2014

Blame it on Black Friday

I have been completely slacking on the blog posts guys and I’m sorry.  I always have a reason even it’s just being plum lazy : )  But that’s not the case this time.

Following Black Friday I was in a lot of pain.  My right hand had arthritis cramps from pulling that table through the store.  My thumb was overworked with the cell phone.  And by Monday or Tuesday night I was in full on back pain.  I’m talking about crying trying to get out of the car it hurts so bad, kind of pain.  It’s taken the rest of the week to get back to normal although, I wouldn’t call it normal, I’d call it cautious.  I am very much aware of every movement I am making.

The Holiday Shopping Season is full blown and even though I have a lot of items crossed off my list, I am still a bit overwhelmed.  I think it just comes with the territory.  You can be prepared or not and I think we all feel a bit overwhelmed in one way or the other.  I am trying not to stress.  I have decided as of today that I will do very little in-store shopping at this point.  Especially on weekends.  Traffic is crazy both on the roads and in the stores.  After witnessing tons of near-accidents today, I am giving up! Lol  Online shopping it is for me.

I do have to stop in store sometimes…like for taking advantage of great Cartwheel app offers like this one I scored earlier this week.  I have no problems shopping before work during the week : ) 

But with the convenience of online shopping, I find that is my preferred method for most things.  I never shop without a coupon code, Ebates and I try to get free shipping about 90% of the time.

I had plans of posting a few gift guides but honestly, the closer it gets to Christmas, the more frazzled I get, even if I’m prepared.  Work is sucking me dry.  So is the life of a working mom who blogs as a pastime.  You understand, I know and I’m thankful.

Friday, November 28, 2014

My Black Friday 2014

This year I was excited for Black Friday weeks ahead, but after I did my stint at the Sam’sClub Holiday Celebration event, I was losing my enthusiasm for Black Friday.  It wasn’t until Wednesday evening, discussing with DH, that I decided I would venture out.

I’m learning from my mistakes last year, and realized that in order to ensure I got the top toys on my kids wish list’s I would need to grab those deals as soon as I saw them.  I had already had a few items be a lower price and I’m afraid I won’t see that again before Christmas.  So this past week I’ve ordered and picked up quite a few top toys for great deals at Target and Walmart.  I am absolutely in love with the Target Cartwheel app!! Also, thanks to Shopkick I used $25 to help bring the cost down on top gifts and getting gift cards in return!

I shopped online at for Black Friday to get the $19.99 boots.  I got a pair for me and I got a London Fog coat for buddy boy for only $25.  I tried to get boots for my daughter but they were out of her size, and I always like to buy up a size or a half a size and it wasn’t working in my favor.  I knew I would get her boots sometime this weekend so I didn’t stress it.

I was feeling bad throughout the week about cutting Thanksgiving short with my family in order to shop.  The way it goes is we have Thanksgiving dinner as lunch at 1pm with his family and then we would have it as dinner with my family a couple of towns over for dinner around 5.  With Black Friday start times getting earlier and earlier, I asked my Mom to up her meal time.  Last year we ate at 4 and that gave me enough time to get back to Greenville and back out in time for the 8pm event 2 at Walmart.  This year I was eyeing items in the 6pm event 1 time and we were planning to eat around 4:30 with my Mom.  Wednesday night I discussed it with DH about getting the ipad mini as a family gift that way both kids and us can use it.  He thought it was a good idea and a good deal.  The only dilemma was, how was I going to make it work out?

At dinner at my Mom’s I was able to get DH to agree to take me to Walmart {not go with me, but take me} and the kids would stay at my Mom’s until we got back.  I would much preferred going to the Walmart local to me, because my city has two and I’m familiar with the layout.  Although I used to work at this Walmart in my hometown as a teenager, that was, gasp, way over a decade ago, and it was very much foreign to me.  Thankfully, I have the Walmart app and the store map was very helpful.  What wasn’t helpful was all of the slow people in the store, but I found my line for the ipad mini and prepared to wait.

What I didn’t prepare for was how long it was going to take.  It was well over 45 minutes of waiting and that’s after 6pm when it began.  The line was in the outdoor section for camping and stuff and there was only one cashier.  That was very smart.  I have a feeling it wouldn’t have been so bad at my local Walmart, but hey, I got my family something I know we’ll love and enjoy and for a great deal.  $199 with $30 gift card. 

Random Tidbits:  I wonder what’s worse?  Standing outside in the cold in line for Black Friday? Or standing inside in a warm store with funky smelling people around you in a Black Friday line?  I’m leaning towards the latter people, I tell you.  I’m so glad I’m not pregnant because I would have hurled and it would have been even worse.

A lady in line ahead of me was knitting and her man was holding the yarn.  I tried to take a pic but honestly my thumb was so sore, apparently I’ve been overusing it on my new iphone 6 that I’m totally in love with : ) lol  I thought it was cute though.

I had to pay for other items separately.  That really sucked because I didn’t have a cart, and I was dragging a large box with one hand and my other arm was full of stuff.  I’ll be honest here… I cut in line.  I saw that long ass line and was like there’s no way.  Not with DH sitting outside in the car probably getting more and more impatient.  So I heard the lady say that lines 1-8 were open with few people in it and I joined a group of people heading that way.  Line 8 was actually pretty short because it was in the back.  I love it when people don’t realize that you can go to the back cashiers, because I can squeeze right in, especially without a cart! 

I was very chatty tonight, I guess I’m breaking out of my shell, and as I was talking with the girl in front of me at the cash register, the lady behind me had spotted a handful of DVDs that someone had stashed where the gum is, and as she picked up the top several, on the bottom was Maleficent!!!  It was there just for me!!!  I even said to her “omg is this for real? Omg thank you so much! You did that just for me! I’m so grateful for you!!!”  Yeah I’m sure she thought I was a nut job but I didn’t care!!!  I scored Maleficent for $7.96!!! Woohoo!!!  I was so overjoyed at how that worked out for me!!!  I was glad I didn’t have a cart, even though my hand wasn’t, because I was able to zoom past many others and get my receipt checked at the door and had DH giving me curbside service and we were off to get the kiddos and head back home!

I knew that when I got home I was not going to venture back out.  But I had decided that for the real Black Friday I would make Old Navy my first and main stop.  They were open from 4pm on Thursday and open all night long.  I had planned to get up at 5 something and go.  I overslept and left around 7. Lol I was surprised at the overall selection being pretty good.  I figured it would be mostly picked over.  Everything was 50% off.  I got several outfits for the kids, a few turtlenecks {my heart’s desire} for me and I found some adorbs wedge boots for Brianna and they were a size up just like I was looking for!!! Score!!!

After Old Navy and a much lighter wallet, I was feeling that I didn’t want to go to any department stores.  I decided to go to Walmart to use my gift card and look over any of the good deals that may still be in the bins.  I grabbed pajamas for my son and nephew and grabbed a few of the good deal on the Dork Diaries books for my daughter.  I couldn’t remember what ones she already had, so I grabbed three that I thought I hadn’t seen before.  When I got home, I realized I was almost right, only one was a duplicate and I’ll be taking that back.  I also found two other DVDs on the list also for $7.96 each.  I was happy for that because when on sale DVDs are around $14.99 for new releases and average $19.99 and up, to get them for under $10 is a great deal!

I did great this Black Friday and I’m overall done.  I have more things to get to complete my total lists, but it feels really good to be a month away from Christmas and have a lot of it done.  I will probably venture back out tomorrow and then be sure to avoid spending money for a lil bit.  I don’t anticipate doing much for Cyber Monday, but I can’t rule it out.  I do like to participate in Small Business Saturday and will probably get some ECU gear for the family from the local shops.  I haven’t been back outside since I came back home this morning at around 9, so I guess I can stand to leave the house tomorrow : )

How was your Black Friday this year?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

She Got Her Iphone 6

I am both super excited and super exhausted at the same time, but if I don’t crank this post out now it may not get done.  I shared in my previous post about the Sam’s Club Holiday Savings Celebration.  I updated the post with a link to the legit ad sent to me by Sam’s Club via email the day before the sale.  So I was hopeful that many people weren’t aware of the event.  I was going for the Iphone6 and I was hoping that also, that many people were going for the TV deals.  With the ad, it confirmed that there would be a minimum of 40 phones available.  And that’s split between the three carriers they offer {Verizon, Sprint and US Cellular}.  I made my mind up that I was going to go for it.  I was going to get my Iphone6.

If you’re in the majority of the country it is cold as heck right now!! Like I can’t stand it!!  Had this event occurred a week earlier it would have been no big deal to get up early and stand in line.  But it wasn’t.  It was 25 degrees.  And I don’t have appropriate winter gear. 

Because I figured that many people didn’t know about the event, I decided to try to arrive by 6am.  When I arrived, there was a line.  I wasn’t a fan.  It was well organized and managed.  There was a guy who made sure that everybody in line had a Sam’s Club membership card on them.  He was accompanied by two other associates to help keep the crowd in check.  

It wasn’t a crazy line.  When I arrived there were maybe 15-20 people ahead of me.  The four people in front of me and the guy behind me were all there to get the TV deals.  As I was doing the two-step to keep myself from freezing, around 6:32, things started rolling.  Two associates came out, one who was handing out tickets to those in line for the high demand, limited quantity items.  The other associate was handling those wanting Iphones.  It took a long time for her to come down to me.  I realized it was because she was making appointments to activate the Iphone 6 customers with the different carriers, colors and GB sizes of the phones.  And there was a guy who seemed like he was just one of “those” customers who was taking up a lot of her time.  My appointment was set for 9:30.  The awesome thing was that it meant I could leave and come back.  I got my ticket and headed home.  Everybody else who did not want an Iphone 6 was left in line.

I admittedly wanted to snap a few pics, but quite frankly I was too cold.  I don’t have any gloves at the moment and I never seem to know where they are each season.  I was so cold that I was cold for the rest of the day.  But it was worth it when I got my hands on my new Iphone 6!!!

I came home and got the kids breakfast and after attempting to get a quick nap in and being irked that I was unsuccessful, I headed back to Sam’s Club with the kids.  I had a few other things I wanted to get and figured I’d get them and then get my phone and then shop some more.  Lord knows I should have made a list because I do need to go back to Sam’s Club because I got only a handful of the items I really needed to get.  I probably would have had the energy to walk around more and pick up things had I not stood waiting forever to get my phone.  There were two girls working the cell phone kiosk.  And I’ve sold cell phones before so I am aware of the way things work.  Well one guy was getting a couple of new lines and was taking up a lot of time.  Another guy, the guy who was in the line earlier who was being one of “those” customers was really holding up the rest of us customers.  I’m not quite sure what was going on, but the girl helping him had to keep calling the carrier in order to get the sale/activation to go through.  I also used to work for an authorized reseller and know that it means there’s issues.  Just to put it into perspective, I probably arrived at Sam’s Club around 8:45 and when I looked at the kiosk he was there.  I came back to the kiosk at 9:24 for my 9:30 appointment and he was there.  By the time I was assisted it was maybe 10:15 or later and he was just leaving.  Like what the heck.

After it was all said and done, I came home and set up my new Iphone6.  It was a pain.  Not due to the new phone but due to the way things go I guess.  Last week I synced my phone to my Itunes and I thought I backed it up too.  I didn’t.  So the backup was from back in 2013 and at first I was devastated about losing all my apps.  But then I just hooked up my old phone and backed it up and then restored that to my new phone.  Two restores, a software update, a backup and about an hour or so later I was in business!!  I’m sure the situation would have been much less stressful without all three of the other members in my household calling and pulling for me throughout the entire process. #momlife

It’s day two now of having my awesome new Iphone6 and I am love, love, loving it!!!  I’m super careful with it, treating it like a newborn baby, until I get a case.  They didn’t have any that I wanted at the store and I have been too tired to go looking.  Part of me wants to order a cheapie from Amazon and part of me wants to splurge and get a cute custom one from Zazzle.  Either way, I must get one this week.  It feels so awesome having a phone that works!!!  And for half off!!!  My local Verizon store still doesn’t have them in stock, so I’m truly thankful and happy!!!

That was my birthday gift to myself and now it’s time to focus on Christmas.  I’m getting excited are you?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sam's Club Holiday Savings Celebration

Black Friday ads are coming out but before I can even begin to get excited about Black Friday, I am super excited about the Sam’s Club Holiday Savings Celebration!  I knew there were perks for being a member during the Holidays and for Black Friday, but to my understanding they were for the higher plan memberships.  I was pleasantly surprised to see this ad the other week for a pre-Black Friday event.  It will be for Sam’s Club members only and will open at 7am Saturday November 15, 2014.  I plan to be out early just to be sure I get the one thing that caught my eye.

That one thing is the Iphone 6 16GB w 2 year activation for $99!!!  I have desperately wanted and needed my new phone and for half off with it actually being in stock, unlike my Verizon store, I just can’t beat that!!  I’ll report back and let you know how the venture goes : )

For anybody who is interested in anything else, I wanted to share some noteworthy deals.  However, that has seemed to be not as easy as expected.  I saw the ad over a week ago.  I’ve had a very busy week and an even busier weekend, so tonight {Sunday} I came back to look at the post.  As I was clicking through, I realized the ad changed.  One page would be the way the ad looked originally and the next page would be the Sam’s Club Black Friday ad.  I went back to the original post and started clicking through and I realized that the ad wasn’t lining up with my notes.  I went to the Sam’s Club HolidaySavings website and confirmed that the majority of my notes were not valid.  If you are interested in any additional deals, please visit the Sam’s Club Holiday Savings website.  Especially if you’re in the market for a tv, because they had some good deals.

If you’re looking for the Iphone 6 or the Ipad Air both in 16GB {$99 and $295 respectively} then you may want to run not walk to this savings event.  I’ve seen different counts on the quantity of the Iphone, from as few as 15-20 to 40-50.  I highly doubt they will have 40-50 on hand, which is why I plan to be there early.  I’ve seen the count around 4-8 per club on the Ipad Air but it’s also available online at that price on November 15th.

 If you’re thinking of heading out remember again, it is for members only and there are no rain checks.  Quantities are highly limited.  Some items are available online, most are in-store only.  I feel like I’ve stated “members only” quite a few times, during their Black Friday weekend event, non-members will be able to take advantage of those event weekend prices.  Stay tuned for that.  Until then #happysaving.

Updated:  Here's the link with the legit ad from Sam's Club sent via email.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Turning 32

The past week I’ve been off on bereavement.  I’ve been absolutely unproductive.  

Lazy.  All day.  E’er day.

Part of it was emotions.  Most of it was having a pity party.

A week off from work and I waste it.

Or did I?

Maybe I needed it.  Needed the break from work to just be with myself during regular business hours.  Needed to be with my family for dinner.  Needed to go to Bible Study.  Needed not to travel to Philly.  Needed the extra sleep.

I needed to be productive.

I’m not proud of myself.

This time to myself I’ve questioned what do I want?  If everything that I have going in my life right now is because I brought it, then where the hell are the things I want?  That’s where I’m at right now.  Stalled out and wondering why.  Wondering when are things going to turn around?  When is the pendulum going to swing in the other direction?  What do I need to do to make this happen?  I’m in the having a temper tantrum stage.  Not because I can’t have my way, but because it seems NOTHING is going my way.  I know all things happen so that other things will happen…I get that, I’m just not GETTING that if you know what I mean.

So here I am, turning 32 not happy with the particular place I am in my life right now.  There’s still this void.  Still an emptiness.  Unsatisfaction.  On the upside, a lot of great things have happened, and I am working on focusing more on my gratitude, but the things I want the most…those things aren’t happening.  I have made great breakthroughs in dealing with some of my limiting beliefs…and I suppose that’s the reason why I’m in this temper tantrum stage…because I feel like I’m making progress but wanting to see the rewards.  Aha moment.  I’ve had so many of them lately.  I’m ready for more nudges.

While I’m waiting on those nudges, I figured I needed to do my part.  That’s what I’m gathering from all of these aha moments anyway.  With the help of a few blogs, a few sermons, and a few random confirming signs; I’ve decided that I need to make some real substantial changes in my life.  If I am going to have the life I want, the life I truly want; if I want to become the woman that I see in my vision then I need to BECOME her.

So for starters, I’m writing out my life.  In story form.  Just for me to see, but it’s helpful for me to get direction and to be specific in what I want for myself.  I am also, in my spiritual walk, being committed.  I need to take the time out in the mornings to pray and meditate.  I need to put myself first and work out because I’m letting myself go.  I need to take care of my body and what I put in it.  I need to read and study the Bible.  I need to read more for myself in other books, spiritual books, self-help books, and books to learn new things.  It’s time to dust off that library card.  I need to step up my style.  It’s time to mature.  I need to write more, because it’s what I love to do.

Those are just starters.  I’m done with the complaining about my life but not fully making the changes needed in order to cause a change.  This is the time where I would usually give up.  But I’m different now.  There’s been a change in me that won’t allow me to stay the same.  There’s a little voice, who has probably been yelling at me for years, who is finally being heard.  I can’t hear everything she’s saying, but I can hear her saying to get up and do it.  The 8 year old Aria had so many dreams and so much spirit and she was such a happy little girl.  She possessed many of the qualities that the turning 32 year old Aria wishes she had.  Somewhere along the line I allowed her dreams to be pushed back.  I’ve allowed circumstances to knock her down and keep her down.  But not anymore.  Life is too short to keep wishing things were better.  I have to make them better.

Here’s to turning 32.

Here’s to a year of more smiles and less tears.

Here’s to a year of great experiences and memories.

Here’s to a year of a happier and more fulfilled me.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Get Ready for Black Friday!

I know it’s hard to think about, but if we’re gonna be honest… Black Friday is a tad under a month away.  And if you want to have a successful Black Friday, it’s time to start getting prepared.  Don’t worry.  You don’t have to have tons of money, but you do have to get prepared.  If you haven’t read it yet, check out this post I posted a few months back where I shared how to start saving up your coins to prepare for the Holidays.

If you haven’t been able to really add to your savings.  That’s okay.  You still have time.  But it’s time to be aggressive.  Here’s just a few suggestions:

1.   If you’re like me and couponing has become your least favorite chore, then suck it up and put forth the effort again.  You know it’s worth it, so just do it. {talking more to myself here!}

2.   Take your lunch to work.  So much money is wasted on eating out.  If you must eat out, then use coupons to get the best deal.  But if you can make it work with some basics, not only will you save money in food but you will also save some money in gas.

3.   Meal Plan.  So you didn’t thaw out the meat and you don’t know what you’re gonna whip up for dinner.  Grocery shopping at 5:30 pm isn’t a great idea.  Neither is pulling into the drive-thru and spending upwards of $15 for non-filling food, and that’s if you have a small family or small kids.  Idk about you, but my kids are starting to need more food than your standard kids meal can provide.

4.   No more movies until after the holidays.  No more extra-curricular activities.  Cutting down on your entertainment expenses can really add up to money saved up.

The bottom line is that every cent counts.  These are just a few suggestions, depending on your lifestyle, I’m sure you can find a variety of ways to save up some coins so that you can provide a nice holiday for you and yours.

Now that you’ve found some areas to save your coins, there are some other ways to get prepared for Black Friday.

Make a list, or two or three.  You’ll be checking it more than twice J  Any reason to buy a notebook works for me!  But now’s the time to make your lists for who you’re shopping for and what you’re getting.  You can’t go into Black Friday winging it.  Nope.  You need your lists, and back up lists.  Unless your phone has a great battery life, I suggest writing your list on paper and keeping it on your body.

Make your budget.  Now’s the time to look at what you already have to work with, project how much you will bring in within the coming weeks, and decide what are your must haves and what can wait until after Black Friday.  If it has come down to it, and you have the credit and can afford it, then yes, look at your current lines of credit as well.  For many people, Black Friday isn’t just a time to get wants and gifts, it’s also a time to buy items for the home.  Items like kitchenware, bedding, and appliances.  For some it’s time to stock up on kids clothes.  If you’re expecting a baby or one in the family then it’s a time to buy for those needs at the lowest prices of the year.  For some it’s a time to get great items to donate to those in need.  I say all of that to say, make your budget and be honest with yourself and your finances. 

Make your game plan.  Follow my Black Friday Series to get ad breakdowns for the most popular stores.  I’m here to share the deals.  Upon finding what stores have what are on your lists, determine where you’re going and when and with whom.  If you can get a group together that’s great.  The buddy system is ideal.  Last year I did go out by myself, but I only went to one store and the security level and well-lit parking lot made me feel safe.

These are just a few of the ideas I’ve come up with in getting prepared for Black Friday.  You have a few weeks to prepare.  Black Friday is fun, thrilling and awesome as long as you’re prepared.  If you’re not prepared, it can be one of your worst experiences ever.  Be sure to subscribe to my posts so you don’t miss out on the BlackFriday Series.  Starting pretty much immediately because there are already a few leaks coming out!  I’m excited!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Weird Few Days

It’s been a weird few days.

My grandfather passed away this weekend.  Although I’m not a funeral girl, I was going to go.  If I was being really honest, I’d share with you my list of people of whose funerals I WOULD attend.  I don’t handle death that well, and it’s only in recent years that I have started having to deal with it.  I guess I’ve been lucky in that way.  Some people are dealing with death from the time they’re children.  Not me.  My great Grandmother passed away when I was between 8th and 9th grade and it was life-changing.  And since then, I’ve been against funerals unless the person was really close to me.

Well I wasn’t the closest to my grandfather, but I felt that I should go.  Out of support.

But then the rude awakening of the fact that as an adult I am nowhere near where I want to be or am supposed to be.  I have no emergency fund.  Which means in the case of an emergency trip, I don’t have the means to go.  It’s the end of the month…which means bills take up my entire check.  It’s just bad timing.  The service is on a Thursday.  Why Thursday???  Move it to Friday or Saturday and 90% of the dilemma is avoided.  I have kids in school…it’s just awful timing.

But it bums me out.  Like yesterday when it was crunch time, you are either going or you’re not time…I was a ball of mess.  Just so disappointed in myself.  But then I had to look at it from a different perspective.  All things happen for a reason and all will work out in the way it’s supposed to.  If it was meant for me to go and travel then it would have been an easier solution.  Instead I was trying desperately trying to fit a square into a circle hole.  It just wasn’t working.  Every option.  Every scenario.  It is what it is.  Lesson learned.

Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm So Over Super Doubles

I used to get so excited for Super Doubles at Harris Teeter.  Especially when they switched it from doubling coupons $1.99 and under to $2.00 and under.  Huge difference! Huge!  But as time has gone on, with each trip it becomes less exciting and more frustrating and discouraging.

My city has three Harris Teeter locations.  I go to the largest one and none of them are exactly close to me.  So it really sucks to go and have many of the items on my list be out of stock.  Sure I could get a rain check.  That doesn’t help me right now when I want/need it.  Earlier in the week I needed eggs.  It was Wednesday, the first day of the new ad and Super Doubles.  Eggs are on sale for I think $1.77 for 18 count.  I went to the Teeter that was adaptable to my route home.  This is at 6:45ish pm and there were no 18 count eggs available.  And the dozen count were more expensive as were all of the other eggs available.  I was pissed.  I should have just gone to my regular store.  I got my eggs today at my regular store and there were plenty in stock.  That’s why it’s my regular store, because it’s larger and tends to carry more.

Just wanted to vent a few frustrations I experience when it comes to Super Doubles…

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

In order to be most successful with Super Doubles you have to be prepared to be at Harris Teeter first thing on Wednesday morning when the sale starts.  The sale begins at 7am but you have to be there before that getting the items you want, and then by 7 you’re ready to check out.  It makes for great savings.  I wouldn’t know that personally though.  That’s not a possible scenario for me.  DH has to be at work at 7am and the kids bus comes around 7:20.  Again, none of the stores are really close to me.  About 10-15 minutes depending on traffic and light cycles. I had to accept that I wouldn’t get every top deal.

Rain Checks

The best way to come out on top with Super Doubles is to use prior rain checks.  During non-coupon event sales weeks, when items or varieties go out of stock you get a rain check.  Since during Super Doubles weeks the sales ad aren’t the greatest, maximizing doubling higher value coupons with previous sales weeks prices makes for the best bang for your buck.  It only takes a few extra minutes to get them from the customer service desk and they don’t expire.  I need to get on top of this myself.

Get Out of my Way People

People shop the way they drive and it annoys me like crazy.  I used to have a good system of grocery shopping so that I got it done first thing on Saturday morning and was home just as the kids were getting up good and DH was still sleeping.  I haven’t done that in so long.  For the past several months it’s been more of a mid-morning shopping trip.  And that means way more people than the handful that were with me at 7am on a Saturday.  I can’t take all of these carts and people in my way…some knowing what they’re looking for and where they’re going and others not.  That just proves to me why I must get back to the early bird routine.  Blah.

At the end of the day I realize that I just don’t have that fire for couponing anymore.  I want to save money and still need to, but it’s just not there.  No desire.  Heck, my body still hurts from last weekend’s big cutting and sorting session.  And I’m still behind.  I have to figure out something.

I still managed to save a little something so I won’t complain about that.  Any savings is better than no savings in my opinion.  I got some items I didn’t have coupons for, but were on sale and needed.  I saved $32.40 @ 57%.  Not bad, but I’m used to larger savings especially with a coupon event.  I get excited by the larger savings opportunities that come with Coupon Events, but the discouragement outweighs the opportunities often times.  I won’t give up, but it’s not my preferred flavor of coffee right now, ya know?  And I suppose, that’s okay with me.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Children’s Book Haul

I was inspired by my friend in my head Erin’s recent blog post, over on The Sunny Side Up Blog, where she shared her family’s Halloween/Fall book collection.  I commented that I had just received a coupon from Barnes & Noble in my email and had intended to go this weekend and pick up a couple of Halloween children’s books to start my own tradition.  I picked up a few books alright…

My focus was to get a couple of books to read with my son.  He’s in kindergarten and we really need to read more with him.  So first I saw this I can Read TMNT book.  I knew he would love this because they are his favorite and because it’s a beginning to read book and will have many of the sight words he has to learn at this stage.

I intended to look more for myself, but due to the timing of this trip, it wasn't happening.  We stayed in the Children’s Section for most of the time.  I found tons of great Christmas ideas for the kids in both books and crafty items.  While Brianna was looking at books she wanted and Jordan was playing with the train set with another child, I was trying not to buy every book in sight!  I found all of the books I had as a child and I knew that I had to get our collection started with these.  Sure, we have books already, but not the classics.  Many of our books we have we've obtained via the Scholastic book fair that comes to the school.  Well if you’re familiar with them, then you know these are paperback books and not very sturdy.  I wanted some real good quality books that I will ensure stay that way.

I loved Frog and Toad books as a child.  I decided to pick this particular one up, Frog and Toad Together, because I specifically had this one myself.  It was a favorite of mine for sure.  Ironically enough, I detest frogs with a severe passion, yet love these books.  Go figure.

Danny and the Dinosaur was also a favorite of mine.  They didn't have that book by itself, but for very little, I got this 3-in-1 book, Adventures of Danny and the Dinosaur.  It includes three titles: 
  • Danny and the Dinosaur
  • Happy Birthday, Danny and the Dinosaur
  • Danny and the Dinosaur Go to Camp

I know my buddy boy will enjoy these stories.  J

As I strolled by the children’s Halloween books, I saw the display with Where the Wild Things Are, and it said that the book, regularly priced at $18.99 was $8.99 with purchase of any other children’s book.  Well, it’s a classic that I too had as a child, and I couldn't pass it up.  As an added bonus, the cashier took the coupon off of this book because it was the most expensive.  I always appreciate that.

Lastly, I saw this sweet book called That’s When I’m Happy.  I thumbed through it and thought it was just too precious of a story not to get.  So I got it and said it’s definitely time to go.  I wasn't trying to spend a lot of money on books.  I saw quite a few that I added to my wish list for the kids.  As I was checking out, as usual I was asked if I wanted to join the B&N Membership.  It’s something I've always intended to do and just haven’t.  I decided why not go ahead and do it?  Plus, what they never mentioned before, (perhaps because I am usually sans kids when I go) was that there was a kids program that gives rewards points for each children’s book that I buy.  Since I want my buddy boy to read more, and Brianna is already an avid reader, that’s definitely a reason to take the plunge.  Then when he said I would get coupons in the mail soon for signing up, it was a done deal! Lol

The next time I go, I will go without the kiddos.  And I’ll buy a book for myself.  I really want to get a new Bible, either the NLT or the Message, eventually I want to have both.  I also want to get some books for personal growth and to freshen up my knowledge in some areas.  I still want the books I talked about in my Lit Chick post too.  All in due time.

Monday, October 6, 2014

7 Years Strong

Many times my blog posts are meant to share with my readers and many times they are for me.  I know that one day I will get all of my posts bound in a book and I like to look back on where I have come from.  How I felt at times.  How I looked at things…

Today is my 7 year wedding anniversary with my husband.

It’s my day off.

I detest working on days that are important to me.  I am sure that will change when my position changes at work.  If you work in an environment where you are only dealing with your co-workers then sure, go to work.  But as for me, that’s not my work environment.  So I don’t work on my birthday or my anniversary or Valentine’s Day (not because I love that day, but because I loathe dealing with others who are bitter on that day).

I am off, he is not.  But that’s okay.  Our anniversary is more of a milestone marker than anything else.  We are not big on celebrating and that’s just how it is.  Would I like to change that?  Yeah but it’s not that important to me.

What is important to me, is that the day continues to come each year, and that whatever we go thru, we stick it out together.

As the day was winding down, we reminisced on what a beautiful day our wedding day was.  It was absolutely perfect weather, a gorgeous Carolina fall day.  We were talking about how the day was just right, when he turned to me and said that even with all that we've gone through, that he would marry me all over again.  It melted my heart.  Because that means more than just those few words to him and to me.

I love that man even when I want to kill him and I know he feels the same about me.  I cry when I watch Four Weddings at almost every ceremony.  I cry when I see anything wedding, when it comes to the vows…sob city.  Because I know what those vows mean.  I am so proud of us for making it this far and for continuing to make it.  We have grown together.  He is my husband and I am his wife of 7 years.  Wow.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lazy Bones

I have no excuses to give… I’ve just been lazy.

I haven’t been in the best of spaces as far as how I’ve been feeling lately and it’s easier not to blog then to blog and put all of my feelings on front street.  But I miss my blog desperately.  Enough is enough.

I’m being intentional about this thing.  Like I am with many other aspects of my life.

Overhaul mode.  That’s what’s going on.

Not happy with life?  Change it.  Do whatever you can to change it.  That’s what I’m doing.

Is it the fact that I turn 32 in a little less than a month??? And I’m not where I want to be in life.  Nowhere close.

Is it the fact that for months and months I’ve steadily gained weight and now I’m completely out of whack with my sleeping and wanting to eat right and workout but damn am I lazy?  Well that doesn’t help things…

Is it the fact that when you start to look on the inside of you and you find things you don’t like, it makes you want to stop the process?  Yeah I’m stepping on my own toes here…

Is it the fact that I’ve completely slacked on my coupon game which means I’m spending more money?  And all I can think about is Christmas is coming, Christmas is Coming.  So is Halloween.  Jordan’s birthday.  Thanksgiving.  Black Friday.  Stop.  Don’t panic.  Breathe.

So perhaps it’s all of the above plus more.  I haven’t gone into kids stress, marriage stress, work stress….well that’s been me for the past couple of months.  And instead of coming to what gives me solace, I retreated.  When I reread my posts I don’t want to read the woe is me ones.  I just don’t.  It’s all a journey, I realize that, but I just don’t want to put that kind of energy out there.  I want to focus on the positive, yet be honest with myself and my readers.

I don’t want to paint a picture that I am always happy and I don’t want to paint the picture that I am always sad and unsatisfied.  So often we look at others and think, man I wish I had her life.  She has such a beautiful home and family and she makes it look so perfect.  Ask any blogger, youtuber or even celeb that you follow and they will tell you that the picture they paint isn’t their consistent reality.  We all have chaos.  We all feel like we’re failing miserably.  We are all human.  Did you hear that?  I said human.  And that means we aren’t perfect.

And with that last paragraph I am reminded of why I blog.  I feel sooo much better now that I got that out.

Here’s to more posts! (imaginary wine glass in hand)  and less being a lazy bones.


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