"" Three Ladies and a Dad: July 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Umm, yeah. My kitchen called. They want their table back.

New carpet sounded fabulous last week. The price was right and it was a nice neutral shade but dark enough that it could cover any spills, drips or crayon marks. I guess I forgot how in order to get new carpet, the old carpet must be ripped up. In order for it to be ripped up, everything has to go out of the room.

our kitchen table area

view number two

our living room

But, you know what? It will all be okay. Because I get to go to bed on this tonight. Nice, right?

On top of that, has anyone else's children been hyperactive this week? I don't think I have ever disciplined them more than I have this week.

I hear a glass of wine that is calling my name.

Financial Shape: July 2008

Jeremy and I are in the process of becoming debt-free. At the end of each month, I write down what we accomplished that month, as well as any goals we have for the next month.

Here's how we are so far:

Step 1: Fund an
emergency fund with $1,000.00. Start a budget. (We also plan on using the envelope system, which I think this little tool will work great for that.)
Step 2: Pay off all debt with the debt snowball. Still working on it. Besides making a substantially larger payment towards one payment this month, we opened a new credit card. (Wait, hear me out!) It has 0% APR on balance transfers until August 2009. I transferred all but $2,000.00 of my student loans on this card. As soon as we get the first statement, we will go to the bank and set up an automatic payment. That way, we will never forget about making the payment and sending the APR into the default rate, which is sickening (23.99%!!!). We divided the amount we transferred by twelve (the number of months until August of 2009), and that will be our 'minimum' payment.
Step 3: Put 3-6 months expenses into savings.
Step 4: Invest 15% of income into Roth IRA's and Pre-tax Retirement Plans. We skipped ahead to this step and opened a small account for the girls. We will add to this plan, as well as start one for ourselves once we officially reach this step.
Step 5: College funding for our girls.
Step 6: Pay off home early.
Step 7: Build wealth and give!

This was the first month we had a budget. It did not go over very well. We forgot to put our land payment on the worksheet, and a few things popped up that we forgot to write down. Another problem with it is we don't have enough cash to fund all the envelopes on the 1st of the month. I would love to keep the debit card at home and live strictly out of the envelopes. We are discussing different options so hopefully, August will be better.

$5.00 Sears Gift Card

If you go to AdPerk, you can earn a $5.00 gift card to Sears. Rumor has it that if you got the $10.00 gift card when it was offered, you can't get this one too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Walgreen's Coupon

Click here to get a $5/20 coupon for Walgreen's. It is only valid Thursday, July 31. It states you have to have $20 in purchases after coupons. Use it wisely!

Money Saving Mom Blowout!

I know that if you have read this blog, you have heard me tell you about or referenced Crystal at Money Saving Mom. You see, when this little blog popped up in my Google Reader as a suggested blog based on what I like, those three little words captivated me. Who doesn't want to save money?

That is where my obsession with coupons and getting the best deals came in. She made it so easy and fun! I have to say everything I have learned with saving money, originally started with her. Before I found her blog, I never new those $.50 coupons were in all reality, gold.

Crystal has a little big sale going on today only! TODAY ONLY you can get an incredible ebook package from MoneySavingMom.com--over $100 worth of money-saving ebooks, homemaking helps, and encouragement for only $5.97! This package includes:

Supermarket Savings 101: How to Drastically Cut Your Grocery Bill This includes six audio downloadable audio lesson and a 57-page downloadable handbook. ($17.97 value)

Simple Tips for Successful Home Management This includes a 32 pages instantly downloadable ebook. ($5.97 value)

What to Do While Waiting for Prince Charming : Encouraging Young Women and Their Parents in the Incredible Potential and Possibilities for Unmarried Women This includes a 70-minute downloadable audio presentation and an audience question and answer segment at the end. ($3.97 value)

What My Parents Did Right : Encouragement for Weary Parents from a Grateful Homeschool Graduate Includes a 56 minutes downloadable presentations and an audience question and answer segment at the end. ($3.97 value)

A Proper Tea Includes a 33 page ebook ($4.97 value)

Make Your Own - Simple Crafts and Decorating Includes
65 pages of detailed instructions and illustrations and color pictures. Instantly downloadable ebook. ($6.97 value)

Simply Centsible Breakfast Includes instantly downloadable17 page ebook. ($4.97 value)

How to Start Your Own Business Includes instantly downloadable 80 page ebook. ($15.97 value)

Menu Planning Made Easy Inlcudes instantly downloadable 54 page ebook.($5.97 value)

Homegrown Business Includes instantly downloadable 80+ page ebook. ($15.97 value)

In Good Season : Autumn Includes instantly downloadable 41 page ebook. ($6.97 value)

The Bread by Hand eBook Includes instantly downloadable 41 page ebook with illustrations. ($4.97 value)

Momma's Guide to Growing Your Groceries Includes instantly downloadable 69 page ebook with illustrations. ($7.97 value)

Simply Centsible Suppers Includes instantly downloadable 20 page ebook. ($4.97 value)

Thriving on One Income Includes instantly downloadable 80 page ebook. ($7.97 value)

This is a steal! Run over here and check it out.

What makes this deal so good is that this ebook package includes the ecourse Supermarket Savings 101--this course alone is worth much more than $5.97 and will teach you how to drastically reduce your grocery bill. If your grocery bill is seeing the effects of the economy, this is for you. You'll learn how to cut your grocery bill by up to 50% or more and have fun saving money at the same time!

The $5.97 sale price is good today only. Tomorrow, it will increase to $8.97 and Friday it will increase to $11.97. The sale ends Friday at midnight.

Wordless Wednesday: The Girls' First Pedicure

Thanks mom!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Blog Givaway - $10 Target Gift Card

Ten thousand hits people...let's have a party!

As a way of saying thanks, I am going to give one reader a $10 Target gift card. To enter, just leave me a comment telling me what this gift card would buy or help you buy.

A few rules: If you are not a blogger, I will need an e-mail address so I can contact you. Please leave it to me in your entry. Comments will be closed on Friday, August 1 at 9 pm, CST. Check back in Saturday morning for the winner, chosen by random.org.

That's it! Good luck!

It just so happened that Bloggy Giveaway is hosting their own giveaways. Go check it out and look at them all!

(This is open to United States residents only.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

No Cavities!

After an appointment to the dentist, we were given a clean bill of health for their teeth! No cavities and no oral cancer.

I thought we should go celebrate with ice cream. After a quick thought, I decided against it. That would be a bit ironic.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Here is that free box of Cheerios I was telling you about here. (Family, you are signed up, but sign up your husbands!)

Free sample of a eco- friendly Bamboo dryer sheet.

Free coupons for Downy Total Care

Free sample of Meow Mix

Free information about type 2 diabetes, plus a free workout DVD and resistance bands!

Menu Plan Monday

This week looks so good!

Monday - Salad Wraps

Tuesday - Grilled Sweet and Sour Chicken served over rice

Wednesday - Tomato and Hamburger (Turkey) with a salad

Thursday - Grilled Taco BBQ Chicken with black beans and corn

Friday - Leftovers...we will have one extra mouth to feed. Adam and Desera will be on date night so we will have their two kids (one is a baby). In a few weeks, we switch kids. It works out perfect!

Saturday - (Turkey) Sausage Skillet Supper

Sunday - Fajitas

Head on over to Laura at Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Spending too much on groceries?

I thought this article was very helpful (and true!). Something I want to add is shop without your husband. I find we go way over budget if Jeremy comes with me, which also means we will have two hungry kids in tow. We are all much happier if I go alone. And it is a nice break on me!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pushing through the week...

This week has been nothing but do this, do that. Do you ever have one of those?

No matter how many times you clean the kitchen, it is still dirty...
Mop the floors but regret it immediately after you hand your children sippy cups of Kool-Aid...
Fold laundry, but your laundry room is never empty...
Clean out your car, only to wish you cleaned your house because it really needed it too...

Some weeks are a struggle to get through. Working moms and busy non-moms understand what I mean. I could not imagine what I would do if I came home to a clean house everyday, with everything put in it's place.

But then I have to be thankful. I try to remember that:

I have little pink clothes that need to be washed...
I have a car to clean...
I have a house to clean and floors to mop...
I have food to dirty dishes...

Today after work, the girl's have a teeth cleaning at the dentist. They are excited (starnge, huh?), which makes me happy. This means that they can go back together, with me in the waiting room. Don't think I am a bad mom - they actually do better at stuff like this without me there. That means I can get a few minutes of alone time. I brought my new purse (I got for $10 on clearance!) and plan on switching everything over. Is that pathetic I plan on doing this? Hopefully, you say no.

Jeremy and I had to laugh when we saw the appointment reminder postcard.

Dear Macie and Zoa,
This is to verify the appointment you made with our hygienist for your dental cleaning and oral cancer examination.

Wow! Talk about preventative care. I didn't realize they check six and three year olds for oral cancer. We know that is the standard wording but it threw us both off guard.

After we get home from the dentist, Jeremy and I will be getting the bedrooms ready for new carpet. In order to do that, everything needs to be removed from the closets and floors and put downstairs. Once the carpet is in (next week sometime), we will move things around a bit. The computer will come upstairs and the toy room will go downstairs.

If I seem 'maxed out' for a while, you now know why.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Free $10 Sears gift card and more!

Remember when I told you about the free magazines from AdPerk? If you did this, be on the lookout in your e-mail inbox. With this exclusive offer, you can earn a $10 gift card to Sears by watching watching some videos about Kenmore products. I got an e-mail telling me about it and you have to use that link to access the offer.

Free subscription to PC World

Samples Galore...and more!

Grab your free reflex hammer. (Whitney, this is for you.)

Free subscription to American Cowboy

Free sample of Gilette Shampoo (I pack these type of freebies for when we go out of town.)

Free Microfiber Dairy Towel (You have to register first.)

Free Sample of Kotex

Free Sample of Oatmeal Crisp

It's back! Vote for Ryan's beard style and get a Schick Quattro Trimmer.(Thanks Ashley!)

Don't forget to check out my post on rebates. Quite a few of them are ending on 7/31 so grab them while you still have time.

There was also a form for a rebate on Scrubbing Bubbles Action Scrubber in this past week's Sunday paper. Here is a $2.25 coupon, meaning you will make money on this rebate. (I have a few extra forms if you need one. Just let me know.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Start them out early!

Wholesome Toddler Foods is a website I came across that has some great tips, tricks and ideas for getting your child to eat the foods they need, along with coloring pages, teaching concepts and worksheets. I found some fun recipes that the girls can help me with as well! Jeremy and I are fortunate to have good eaters (example below) but I will be using the website for new ideas.

Now for the example:

Monday night, Jeremy and I were meeting with a Life Insurance agent and they girls were watching television in the living room. They both come in the kitchen, telling us that they are hungry. I start offering them things, yogurt, popcorn, etc. etc.

Macie looks up at me and asks if she can just have a bowl of green beans. Zoa chimes in that she wants some as well.

I can't complain!

Thank you for being a friend....

RIP Sophia

(Am I the only one that loves this show?)

Free peanuts and more!

When I took my small break, there was a great coupon that came out. When you buy three Kraft, Nabisco, or Oscar Meyer products, you save $3.00 off any Planter's Peanuts. These are a little less than $3.00 at Wal-Mart. There are 3 current links online, and you should be able to print two of them from each link just by hitting your browser's back button.

Planter's #1

Planter's #2
Planter's #3 Thanks to (Freebies 4 Mom for the links!)

We stocked up on Kraft salad dressing, hot dogs we can freeze, and next I plan on stocking up on the individual packet's of Kool-Aid.

Note: If there are any more coupons or freebies, I will just add to this post instead of creating a new one.

More coupons and free stuff:

Free Sample of VetBalance Wellness Formula Dog Food

Free Sample of Earthblend Super Premium Dog Food

Free Sample of Member's Mark Infant Formula

It's back! Vote for Ryan's beard style and get a Schick Quattro Trimmer.(Thanks Ashley)

Take a survey for a coupon by mail for free Orajel!

Monday, July 21, 2008

What just happened here?

Did I really just read a school supply list for our first grader?

Where did the the last six years go? Have I missed something?

Good way to wake up...

Free Tub of Huggies Baby Wipes

Free Schick Quattro Trimmer Click enter and take their one question survey. Gone!

Free Sample of Glad ForceFlex trashbag (You don't need an ID number)

Walgreen's has BIC highlighters on sale this week for $.39. Use $1/2 BIC coupon and get them free. (Thanks Money-Saving Mom!)

Crayola Washable Markers are on sale at Walgreen's for $2.00. They also have a $2.00 Easy Saver Rebate on them, making them free.

(Scroll down to my menu for a free cookbook.)

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Salad Wraps

Tuesday - Chicken Pot Pie (Get their free heart-healthy cookbook here.)

Wednesday - Chicken Caeser Wraps...again.(Requested be everyone)

Thursday - Burgers on the Grill

Friday - Grilled Chicken and a veggie

Saturday - Leftovers

Sunday - Pizza Rigatoni

Head on over to Laura at Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Freebies and Coupons

Free Homeade Simple Coupon Book - This always has a great coupon in it for a Free Cascade Dishwasher Rinse.

Sample of Benefiber

Free Box of Zoe's Granola

Jiffy Recipe Booklet

For those of you who have dogs, here is a sample of Greenies Pill Pockets. They hide any medicine your dog should take. Pretty nifty!

More free cereal. I can't remember the last time I actually paid for cereal. This time, it is Cheerios.

Enjoy these, and hopefully, I can post again later.

It's FrIdaY! Who else is thrilled?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Remember when I lost my mind? Ever since that day, Macie has been wanting to cut her hair off. I have been resisting - I have always been a girl that likes long hair. I then compromised and told her we could cut it before first grade. (Which is one month away...oh my!)

Yesterday, she took the plunge. After a few tears, "because it was her first short haircut", Cortney cut eight and half inches off of my baby's hair.



After: It's a little girl's swing cut!

Macie and I talked about it, and she wanted to donate her hair, "like mommy". I chose Pantene's Beautiful Lengths this time. But then, today (of all days), I got this in the mail.

It was my certificate from when I donated my hair to Children with Hairloss (Here is more information if you are interested in donating your hair. It's really not that bad - I've done it three times.)

Maybe God was trying to tell us something, so we listened and decided she should send her hair to this organization.

Macie filled out the form, sealed it in a bag...

...stuck it in an envelope...

...and it is going in the mail tomorrow.

I am so very proud of her. "My hair is going to make a little girl happy, right?"

And Zoa. Wow! During the pictures, she wanted to take some. Here are her skills:

She must really like her legs!

This is actually really good. She had the classic, 'hold your arm out to take a picture of yourself' pose. I am not sure who she gets it from. Hmmm....

Alright, that post took a really long time. Jeremy is getting impatient.

Good night chickadees!

Savin' Some Money

I have had a lot of good deals lately. Walgreen's has been my 'must go to' store lately for free stuff. If you don't know, Walgreen's has their weekly ad, right? If you see a coupon in it, you can also combine a Manufacturer's coupon for free or really cheap stuff. That is what my trip included last night. No printable coupon, but all my coupons from the inserts from the paper. ($64.96 total down to $13.42 after rebates, sales, and coupons!) I am starting to save a lot more money, but each time I see the bill at $50+, I get nervous I went over budget. In the end it always works out. I still am shocked how much I save.

There are a few new coupons out there, sorry if I have posted. I just wasn't sure if it was anything anyone was interested in them anymore. I get around fifty hits a day, but maybe a few comments a week. Tell me what you want to hear people!!

And on top of that, it has been go..go..go. I have not even went shopping for this week's menu yet. Needless to say, I am sure we will have a whole repeat for next week.

Here's one popular coupon to hold you over for a while! This is a new link so if you have already printed them, try this link as well.

Save $2.00 on Johnson and Johnson
...more Bath Buddies!

Here's a little teaser about what I will posting about this evening: Like Mother, Like Daughter

What are you thinking?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - Caeser Salad Wraps

Tuesday - Bruschetta Chicken Bake

Wednesday - Pizza on the Grill and a salad.

Thursday - Grilled Chicken and Sugar Snap Peas

Friday - Jeremy requested burgers on the grill. Again. But hey, it's summer.

Saturday - Outback!

Sunday - Leftovers

Snacks - Oranges

Head on over to Laura at Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, July 11, 2008

So much for cleaning....

I have migraines. A few months back, I had one for over 24 hours and finally called the doctor. They got me in, checked me out and sent me home with a prescription for the pain. "Take one to two pills, as needed."

Fast forward...

I have taken it a few times without any side effects. I have taken one or two pills, either together or an hour apart, after I realize the the first one is not working.

This evening I got home and after having a headache most of the day which Tylenol, IBProfen, or any other over-the-counter medicine would not relieve, decided the take one of the prescription pills. (How's that for a run on sentence?) About an hour later, I took another because the first one was not helping by itself.

Since about 5:30, I have been on the couch, exhausted, shaking from the inside out and nauseous. Tired, not tired from staying up late, but tired as in when you have the flu and you are too tired to even walk. Jeremy has been very considerate though, letting me have the couch while he entertains the girls. Just so you know, I much rather have the headache.

But to make this story so much better, did you see my last post where I told you we have a home stager/interior decorator coming tomorrow around 9:30 to scope out the house? Nine-thirty - on a Saturday morning.

Hmmm, come to think of it, I think this may be a good excuse to order some pizza, just so I can get something in my stomach. Pizza Hut makes everything feel better.

Ready, Set, Stage!

This weekend holds a lot of organization. (If this dang headache will go away!) I want to clean out the closets, including our hall closet. It is the one for all our linens, bath towels, and whatever else we have that does not have an official home. Looks like my night is planned out for me!

Saturday, we are having a stager/interior decorator come take a peek at our house. We are not sure sure what we are doing wrong. Everything is non-cluttery (is that a word?) in our house. Hopefully, she will give us some insight on what to do to make our house more appealing to the eye.

That evening, we will be heading over to our friends' house, Adam and Desera. Adam and Jeremy have been friends for years, and it just so happen Desera and I clicked very well too. They used to be neighbors of ours so we don't see them as often as we like, but when we get together, we make up for lost time. The kids play and the grown-ups do their thing, (and I get to hold Broderick for hours) so everyone is happy.

Something else I wanted to mention, please take a look at the right side of my blog. Good Search is a search engine that let's you pick an organization that can benefit from you using their website. Go look at it, it's pretty neat. It is powered from Yahoo so it is a good search engine. And if you don't have a foundation or charity you would like to help, use the one listed below the icon.

Other than that, nothing exciting when on this week. I started school shopping for Macie's uniforms...which by the way...Old Navy and the Gap are having some great sales! I will probably head to Kohl's this weekend also to pick up a a skirt or two. Are those not so cute!? I am also loving these socks!

Jeremy wanted to try to plan the menu for this past week. He never did it. I never went shopping for food, so we had what was in our cabinets. Want to know what it was? Salad, spaghetti, leftover spaghetti, and burgers. Tonight, I am not sure what is going to happen.

Alright, that's all for now! And Kara, I want you to start posting weekly pictures of your baby bump - as soon as you start showing!

Have a good weekend lovelies!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hurry up and go now!

Get your free subsription to Shape magazine, while it last!

Sorry, it's gone now.

(Mom, Tara, and Whitney - you're good.)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fresh Blueberries!

Saturday morning around 10:00, my family and I took off to pick fresh blueberries. I planned on getting some to make blueberry cobbler with, along with blueberry muffins to freeze for Macie to eat before school. The drive was expected to take about 30 minutes. Macie, Zoa and Ethan (my nephew) rode with my parents, and I rode with my sisters, Tara and Whitney.

Once we got into the vicinity of where we though the blueberry farm would be, we were lost. We stopped and asked three people that were working outside. One person we asked reminded us of an Amish man, another was a nice lady we believed to be from Mexico and a young man outside playing basketball.

The first two gave us wrong directions and the last person finally got us there.

Once we pulled up, this is what we saw:

Notice the little sign to the left: Closed.

Blueberries will just have to wait.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Celebrating Freedom

Happy Fourth of July! I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!

Photo via.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


This evening:

4:30 - Arrived home from work.

6:00 - Lied on the couch and watched television.

6:05 - Fell asleep.

8:15 - Woke up from my 'nap' by Jeremy asking if we wanted to see a movie.

8:15-11:00 - Went to theater, watched Kung Fu Panda, and came back home.

11:05 - Back to bed.

Note: I really need to go to bed earlier next week. Collapsing into bed at 11:45 does not make for a happy and energetic mom.