Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas is for Movies...

I have to admit I have attended a movie on Christmas. What else are you supposed to do when you are a teenager, the presents are opened & you want to spend some time with your significant other. I just wish I could remember the movie we went to see... ah young minds are a terrible thing to waste!

If only, now it is filled with family, fun, kids & cleaning. Then collapsing on the couch out of sheer exhaustion, admiring the tree in all it's used up glory!

This new Tim Burton, Johnny Depp movie "Sweeny Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" promises to be a worth while movie experience. As is any movie with Johnny Depp ( I am a fan, because even Cry Baby was fine by me!!!). Johnny sings, how cool is that! The movie opens on - Christmas! Maybe the kids will get a sleepover & we'll have a child free evening for a little grown up fun, DOUBTFUL!

If you visit the official Sweeney Todd movie site or visit Sweeney Todd on MySpace and you are led to make your own confession. Video, write or call in you most hideous of crimes, deepest shames and share them with the world! I'm sure I'd have to sit & think of something worthy of confessing, not that I'm the picture of perfection & all, just wouldn't want to be lame!!! After all I do score on the HIGH end of those "bad" personality quizzes that go around!!!

Make it From Scratch #41

Make it from Scratch #41

Some yummy food entries & great crafty ideas!

First Real Snow, maybe.

We are expecting our first real snow tonight. It's about time!!! We have been blessed with an extended bout of nice snow free weather. I think we're all just starting to feel antsy, like if it doesn't start soon will we get 10 feet to make up for it??? LOL!

The kids both have colds as do I. I know that it isn't really the warm - cold weather changes, but doesn't it always seem to come then???

We had to visit the pediatric cardiologist for the Princess today. We found out in October that she has a heart murmur, so today we had her "inspected." Turns out it is common & "normal" in kids & she is defect free, they weren't however able to locate her OFF button.

I feel for people in this situation without insurance, because this little visit (ok 1 hour & 45 minutes is not little) cost $1000, OMG! ~ I so should have gone to medical school!! But not to be a Dr, a tech of some kind, or better yet work for a company that makes the equipment. ~ Thankfully our out of pocket is 10% (makes me wish for a $20 co-pay to come back) $100 to find out the princess is well was worth every penny & more.

It feels good just to breathe the sigh of relief, we were SO nervous that our old Dr had missed something (after all this is the woman that told my MIL there is no lymph in the groin or leg area, duh, basic biology, of course she no longer does because it was removed in a 12 hour cancer surgery).

Oh yeah, Parent Teacher conferences were last night (I missed Shrek the Halls- Grrr) & the Prince is doing much better this year. His teacher said he has greatly improved in his ability to get things done & focus on stuff, in fact for a while he was meticulous she had to hurry him up! He is in PT to get his core strength up & so far it has helped with his writing a lot. So he will continue that. Woohooo! I am feeling much better about my decision to hold him back now!

I am going to work on a goals update & setting some 2008 ones in the next few days. That seems to be it for catching up, sometimes things don't change for weeks & then all of a sudden we have little time to turn around!!! C'est la vie!!! (my spell check wants to change c'est to crest, too funny!!!)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Not tops on our wish lists

I keep hearing that digital cameras are the it gift this year. I know we bought one for the Princess & the Prince will get mine when I upgrade, most likely during holiday sales. I use my camera for everything, blogging, family photos, movie clips. I'd love my pictures to be crisper. my lowly old Kodak CX7430 with its sad 3 MP. I can get 2x the mega pixels for less than we spent on my old camera. Don't you just love technology! I'm glad I have someone to pass my old one to, not sure what will happen the next time we upgrade... Not very green is it!

I try to carry my camera with me where ever I go, then I can snap a pic here & there. I still never seem to have it when I most want it. Like the Thanksgiving play my son did at school this year, did I remember the camera, of course not. I had to snap some pathetic shots using my Razor. Trust me, not the best quality, especially from a distance.

Now if I wanted a part time job as a professional photographer I'd be looking at the Nikon D3. With 12.1 mega pixels I bet it's better than the photographers who did the Princess's preschool photos equipment. I could have printed better quality on my $90 HP, on glossy photo paper, but I digress! So how many preschoolers would I have to pose to cover the cost.... hmmmm. Let's see $40 each figuring supplies cost $2 each, maybe, so $38 into $5000 is approximately 132.

That's a lot of screaming crying 3 year olds.

Maybe I'll stick with my $79-$99 7 MP choice!

Happy 13th Wedding Anniversary dear...

We went to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra yesterday. It was amazing! I'll take that as an anniversary present every year!

Otherwise we are just hoping for a peaceful evening at home tonight, yea right!!! Not with 2 kids in the house, who are we kidding, LOL!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Not that I'm looking...

But if I were I'd probably be surfing the personals just like everyone else seems to be. At least that's what the media would have you believe. After all I'm not sure it's possible to watch tv for an hour with out seeing at least one online dating commercial.

I wasn't overly impressed with the matching capability of this site, given that the "best" match for me was a younger liberal Catholic who doesn't drink. I clearly answered conservative Christian, who drinks socially. But there was a large selection of available people in my area or really close by, so I suppose if I was looking it'd be a good place to start!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tackle it Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

So as usual I am a day late! In my defense I was too busy tackling to post about it! I spent most of yesterday making my Thanksgiving dishes.

I made 5 loaves of Pineapple Sweet Potato Bread.

And 2 Sweet Potato Pineapple Bake casseroles. No pics yet I only followed through the first bake, marshmallows will go on Thursday.

I also need to get outside & snap a pic of our Christmas decor, they have been up for 2 weeks now. We just haven't plugged them in, that we'll do Friday!

It hasn't hurt that we've had unseasonable weather here, gotta take advantage of the extra outside time!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Birthday Hamsters

Getting the cages.

All ready to go pick out the critters.

This is Lightening Princess

This is Mater.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Just another woohoo to me!

WE went to Toys R Us last night & finished our shopping for the kids Christmas, I hope. I'm sure there will be a couple of gotta haves, but for the most part we are done, now I can focus on the rest of my list!

Also I'll have pics later of our newest family members, 2 Hamsters Mater & Princess! WE got them for the kids birthdays, now I don't have to feel like the worst parent in the world with no pets for my kids... LOL!

We have a Thanksgiving program at school & I had to take the week off of work so now I am just avoiding housework... better get to it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Super Savings Saturday

I think I had an extremely good CVS trip today.

  • 2 bags Hershey kisses ECB, & printable c from email 2/$5 - $1.5c + $3 ECB

  • 2 Dimetapp Cold & Allergy $4.99 x 2 - $4 coupons + $5 ECB

  • Dove Skin Vitalizer 12.49 - $5 coupon + $5 ECB

  • 1 Nova Max Glucose monitor $29.99 - $50 coupon + $20 ECB

  • 1 Ameal chewable $29.99 - $3 coupon + $29.99 ECB

  • 2 Bonnie Bell lip gloss multi packs B1G1 50% off, used to fill in for $5 off $25 cosmetics/skin care

  • Cotton Swabs $3.19 + $2 ECB

  • Tums Smoothie $5.69 - $1 coupon REBATE $5.69

  • 2 Garnier Cleansers 5.99 x2 - $4 coupons + $10 ECB

  • 9 CVS brand snacks & nuts $3 off $10 coupon

  • 200 mini lights

  • 1 Glade Light Show $8.99 + REBATE $8.99

  • 2 Crest Pro Health Night mouthwash $6.99 x 2 - $3 coupon

  • 2 Crest Pro Health toothpaste $4.49 x 2 - $4.49 coupon + $5 ECB on $15 crest purchase

  • 6 Renuzit air fresheners $0.99 x 6 - $1 coupon

  • 2 bags of pecans 2/$7

  • 5 Pudding snack packs 5/$5

  • 10 Chicken noodle & tomato soups B1G1F - $1 coupon

  • 1 Shrek the 3rd 19.99 - $10 coupon from P&G deal last week + REBATE $5

  • 1 Milk $3.59

  • 6 Hershey Candy bars 2/$1

  • 1 Christmas candy $0.99

I have $19.68 in Mail in Rebates & $19 Extra Care Bucks left.

Out of pocket was $39.43. So after I mail in the rebates my actual cost was $1.98 after 3 stamps. Wheeeew.

Not sure I can do this one again! It really helped that mid week I got the $5 off $30 purchase printables in my email.

I was able to get one of the Nova Max deals, they paid me $40 to take it. The Garnier I bought was $5.99 regular price with $10 ECB & I had 2 $2 coupons, so they paid me $2 to take those. Plus the Ameal was free after ECB & I had a $3 coupon, so made $3 on that item too.

According to the receipts I saved $244.90 off retail. I don't know why I didn't start doing this sooner.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

10 Random Things Friday

Not sure who to link to so I wont!

1. My pelvic sonogram was a pointless waste of time because apparently my insides are textbook perfect.

2. Tomorrow is dance class, 45 minutes away from home but not being able to watch practice.

3. I should be doing dishes

4. My new favorite food is Nature Valley Sweet & Salty granola bars

5. I've been sitting here surfing so long my fingers are cold.

6. I bought flannel sheets, they are most cozy.

7. I just emailed my cell phone pic of my uncle who passed away in May, the first time I realized it was in my phone I cried.

8. I have too many unfinished sewing projects to list.

9. I am going to really start Christmas shopping Sunday night.

10. Sunday we are going to but the kids hamsters for their birthdays.

Durable Handbags

I bought myself a new purse after watching the Rachel Ray where they tested the Mom's handbag for germs & found staph, ecoli & bunches of other gross stuff. The purse I was using was old (like 8 years old) & had to have just been nasty!

So of course I find this website in my email today...
Hardware Handbags including a code (HH3) that is good for $30 off until the end of November.

The tout their line as eco-friendly, cruelty free (not leather), & sustainable. It can (as a last resort) be machine washed!

Their price is a tad more than I would usually pay for something like a handbag, but is reasonable considering current pricing trends and if it is as durable as claimed. Note: I paid $9.48 for my bag off the clearance rack & it isn't leather either... I doubt it will last me forever, but it will do!

Frugal Friday

I really don't have much to say today!!! Shock & awe I know!

I think all I've got is to check your whole sale food service companies for baking supplies, especially if you plan on baking tons like I am. I was able to buy my brown sugar for $0.48/pound, flour for $1.60/5 pounds, and margarine for $0.53/pound. Most places don't have minimums if you are picking it up. I also picked up some really cool "egg wash" spray for breads, very nice & easy to use, plus no wasted left over egg. My Grandma used to buy powdered egg whites like this too. Beats making meringue from scratch! Industry secrets! Plus it is an ingredient in most royal icing recipes (for the super cute decorated cutouts!)!!!

29 Ways to a Stress-Free Holiday, HA!

Browsing a 12/17/02 Woman's Day magazine I ran across this article by Catherine Stier! Thought I'd share a bit with ya!!

Relax and enjoy the festivities for a change
1. Make a change - basically take the one thing about the holidays that makes you nuts & do it differently.

2. Be satisfied with "good enough" - this I will never achieve! I am far to OCD to accept good enough, unless I have gone over the top to do everything in my power to make it great!

3. Throw away the shopping list - Not sure how that would work for me! Your supposed to replace gifts with time, I already don't have enough of that!!!

4. Bring out books to add seasonal touches - Sure, I'll have a basket of kids holiday books out after Thanksgiving is over!

5. Use what's on hand - the article suggests gift wrapping photo frames that are already on your walls. I have done it before, but clean up was a pain!!!

6. Go monochrome - I switched all our stuff to red a while back, I'll probably stick with it, since I really don't have the funds to run out & change everything, but I am itching for a change!

7. Know when to say NO - When??? What is this no thing???

8. Keep gatherings small - HA! Unless you consider small 25 people or more running around your house forget it! This large family can't do a small anything!

9. Take advantage of time savers - I get it caterer!!! Oh if only! I did cheat a couple years ago & order some holiday cookies, but I had an infant & 0 time, now I have no excuse!

10. Stick with the tried & true - Can't do this either, I view my entire family as Guinea Pigs & must try at least 2 new recipes a year on them!!!

11. Don't hesitate to ask for help - HELP!!!!!

12. Go with a game plan - Ok so if we start outside CVS we can be in & out in an hour hopefully then we can move on to Toys R US, if we don't spend all our $ there, then we can go to Target....

13. Bring only the essentials - leave the 40 pound purse at home, you'll only lose your stuff in it by the end of the day anyways.

14. Seek the out of the way cashier - This only works at the mall! Or if you can check out at the jewelry counter!

15. Leave assembly to the experts - I don't usually have this issue, but I do like to take stuff out of the original boxes, there is nothing worse than spending Christmas morning untwisting twist ties!

16. - Bring along a positive attitude - Smiles are contagious!

17. Request free gift wrapping - I always forget to ask for boxes!

18. Seek out charity gift wrapping services - I think our mall has this set up, but I rarely shop at the mall & I'm certainly not hauling in my stuff from out of the mall...

19. Stock up - I do this after Christmas is over, buy at 75 - 80% off! They are kids & don't care what the wrap looks like!

20. Reward yourself while wrapping - I like to do this with my sis so just hanging out is reward enough! A couple cocktails are nice too!!

21. Hold on to daily rituals - routines!!!

22. Schedule a break - This is usually driving around to see the lights

23. Make one more commitment - if you are into that kind of thing, church choir, charity, something to enhance you spiritually.

24. Pack smart - if you travel at least. Make stuff you'll want when you arrive easy to get too (PJs, toiletries, etc)

25. Stay safe on the road - Emergency kits, AAA, check the car over before leaving...

26. End Airport hassles - get there early, think we all know that by now!

27. Choose travel proof gifts - Gift Cards! Or mail gifts ahead, probably better off with USPS than the airlines... Maybe!

28. Remember to have fun - This is a tough one, because my mind is constantly in a state of "what's next" at least until that day. Then I relax & enjoy!

29. Record what worked - Holiday control journal (Fly Lady)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Clearing my shelves

I think this will be my Tackle it Tuesday submission!

I just got done taking the rest of my CDs out of the jewel cases & putting them in a binder something like this. The bulk of them are already in totes in the car. Of course I am really looking forward to going MP3 with them all...

I think I'm gonna do it with most of our DVDs too. We just got done rearranging the house a little & I have no more storage for all the DVDs we have. I'll keep more than a few in the original cases (the Lord of the Rings & some of the kids ones). But most will be tossed with the trash soon! I think the kids are more likely to scratch a DVD putting it back in its case than into a flexible sheet protector.

Now I have a couple of built in shelves free for decorating with my Christmas houses! Yippeee!!!


The concession trailer finally sold! My large clutter left the driveway yesterday. We didn't get what we wanted for it, but it is gone. Now once I get the rest of the equipment out of the garage it'll be like the ice cream thing never happened! I'll be thrilled!!!

New Stephen King Movie

The Mist by Stephen King

I have to say I am not a HUGE Stephen King Fan, but I really enjoyed "The Bachman Books" he wrote under the pen name Richard Bachman. My favorite was "The Long Walk" I read that one a bunch. This was the book that "The Running Man" came from. It has been a long time since I've read it, I'm not even sure of it's location. Most likely still on my Mom's book shelf! Or maybe my sisters house, she is a big fan. I think she may have all his books, at least a good many!

"The Bachman Books" was apparently taken out of print in the US because of similarities in "The Rage" to the Columbine tragedy. I'm not sure how I feel about the implied censorship. I don't remember reading "The Rage", but obviously it didn't move me to violence. Are they going to take Tom Clancy books off the shelves because he wrote about a 9/11 scenario years before it actually happened?

I have probably seen most of the movies created from the books. "Pet Cemetery" was my favorite. I don't really go for the suspense/horror genre, but it is always fun to watch a King movie, just to see what part he'll play! It was crazy to watch him play a minister!!

The new movie "The Mist" is coming to theaters November 21st. The basic synopsis is a strange mist covers a town that was just hit by a natural disaster. In true King fashion the trailers lead you to the plot being more about the "human nature monster" & what is worse the monsters outside or the ones within.

Visit The Mist to view the trailers for yourselves!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Super Saving Saturday

Ok, CVS shopped yesterday, with both kids in tow after their flu shots, so it's amazing I was able to do it at all... While I checked out they played with the automatic door, so I was a LOT distracted. I know the Dr. told me they hear just fine, but isn't there a pill to get them to LISTEN...

M&Ms/Dove 2/$5 $5 ECB
Pepto $4.99 x 2 -$1 coupon
Nyquil 2 pack 11.99 - $1 coupon $5 ECB
Ameal BP chewables $29.99 - $3 coupon $29.99 ECB
- $2 off $10 coupon
- $4 off $10 coupon
- $10 GC mypoints
total $35.95
$39.99 ECBs

Bonus CRT coupons $2 on CVS Tussin, $1.50 off Sudacare, $2.50 off any $10 pain reliever purchase, $5 off Dove Skin Vitalizer

2/$5 Secret -$1
2/$5 Old Spice Anti perspirant - $1
3 Glade Scented oil refills (2.50 each) - $2.50 (B2G1Free coupon)
2 bags of candy corn $0.50
1 candy corn toy $0.25
2 candy toys $0.64
1 candy toy $0.49
1 Bounty 8 pack $6.49 - $1 coupon
1 Charmin 9 pack $6.39 - $1 coupon
2 Dawn ($0.98 each) $1.96 - $1 coupon
1 CVS pretzels $1.49
1 CVS toffee popcorn $1.49
1 CVS mixed nuts $4.39
1 CVS Macadamia nuts $3.99
1 NB Vit C $4.49 (B1G1F sale) - $2 coupon
1 NB Vit D $free (wouldn't let me use 2nd coupon, grr)
- $2 off $10 coupon
- $3 off $10 CVS snacks coupon from an email
- $29.99 ECB
- $2.00 ECB
OOP $3.54
Plus I have a $5 ECB left
I wasn't happy with this CVS, the Charmin rang up wrong & I missed it, plus they took my MFG coupons out of the cost for the Shrek the third movie deal, so I had to go back & buy a tide for $5.44 & I picked up 2 packs of wrigley gum with my B1G1F coupon so #3 total was $6.88 after tax. I have plans for my ECB for next week, so I didn't use it. They also wouldn't let me use 2 coupons the b1g1free vitamin deal, technically I did buy two... Oh yea the candy was halloween leftovers & the kids got 2 treats because they were brave flu shot getters!

I wasn't able to get any glucose monitors, but my hope is to be able to pick up a couple next week. I was able to get 3 of the diabetes coupon books that everyone on the web is talking about, so I have coupons to pick up 3 monitors free after the coupon + $20 ECBs. That'll be $60 in ECBs, I am planning on donating the monitors, or giving them to my niece who is diabetic. I am going to see if my CVS closer to home has any monitors today, doubtful, but worth the try, if not I'll stop on my way to the Dr. on Monday!

Summary $ Out of Pocket = $46.37
ECBs earned = $36.99
Savings = 124.76

I also have the $10 ECB for the Shrek movie, next week CVS has Campbells soup B1G1F, I hae a $1/10 coupon & the rebate form for $5 off the movie, so we'll be paying $4.99 for that, sweet!

I already started working on next weeks list. Dimetapp is back on sale $4.99, with buy 2 get $5 ECB. We have already used what I bought in October. Plus Tylenol is back with a spend $15 get $5 ECBs. I also think that the register coupon for the Dove skin Vitalizer is also in next weeks ad with ECBs ($12.49 - $5 CRT = $7.49 = $5 ECB). I found the flyer here.

Visit Money Saving Mom to post your own deals or to check out others around the net!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Festival of Frugality

Halloween Edition of the Festival of Frugality was hosted by Being Frugal

I haven't gotten through the whole festival but Clever Dudette's Inexpensive ways to woo your wife is going to get left open, hint hint....

Also intriguing was My two Dollars Getting organized does not have to cost a lot of money. I craft so I am always on the look out for creative storage solutions, my best was Oreo trays (washed of course) as drawer organizers. They are FREE with the cookies!!!

Oh the insanity!

Hard to believe these were taken over a month ago! The twins next door had their birthday at McDs, of course. So guess where the Prince & Princess want theirs... I'm just not certain I can handle this! DS has 21 kids in his class & DD has 7, that plus friends would be 32+ people. That is insane!!! I think we might take the neighbors & the kids to see the Bee movie instead, that's 4 kids 2 adults, should be do-able!!! It should be cheaper as well, nothing frugal about 32 happy meals :D.