Proverbs 31 - A Wife of Noble Character

........Oh, to be this strong, this wise, this fair....that's what this blog is about after all...... Learning to live well and love well and to do all things for His glory...


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm baaaack...

Happy New Year everyone! We are safe at home tonight and hope you are all having much fun.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Jedi Master

Awww, I told my husband this weekend that Barack "You do not need my birth certificate" Obama was a Jedi Master and thought I was so stinking clever, but Grey Blackwell of the Raleigh News Observer beat me to the punch! This video is awesome!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Super deals!

This week, I am only going to post for the super, super sales I've scored rather than all the sales/matchups. These are my great deals this week:

At Bi-Lo:
2 Mt. Olive Sweet & Hot pickles BOGO ($1.85 each)
4 Lucky Charms (2/$5, used 2 $1/2 coupons, and store had $4 cash back wyb 4 - $1 each!)
1 Mueller's spaghetti ($1.99 sale price, used store coupon $1 off, $1coupon - net FREE!)
2 Ragu ($1.99, used $1 store coupon and $1 wyb 2 Ragu & any one pasta - .99 net price)
1 Kikoman soy sauce ($1.45 sale price less $1.10 (.55 coupon doubled) - .35 net price)
2 HF turkey smoked sausage (2/$5 sale less $1 coupon - $2 each)
1 pint grape tomatoes (with sale & store coupon - .99 net)
1 fresh italian bread (with sale & store coupon - .99 net)

At Bloom:
2 Fresh Express Veggie Lover's salad mix ($2.99 sale price less .50 coupon - net $2.49 each)
2 Green Giant Steamers (2/$3, used 2 $1 coupons - net .50 each)

At Publix:
2 Ziploc Freezer bags (2/$3, used $1/2 - net $1.00 each)
1 Publix Sundae cones ($2.50, used $1 Publix coupon - net $1.50)
2 Publix frozen pizza ($4.69, used 2 $1 Publix coupons - net $3.69 each)
4 Ore-Ida Steam & Mash (sale $3.99 BOGO - used 3 $1 coupons and one Buy3 Get1 coupon - .75 each!)
1 Friendship sour cream ($1.39 less .70 (.35 coupon doubled) - . 69 each)
Publix 1/2 gal. chocolate milk (BOGO - $1.35 each)
2 Eight O'Clock coffee (BOGO less 2 $1 coupon - net $1.55 each!)
2 Emerald nuts (BOGO less $1.50/2 coupon - $4.49 for 2 - I got "Cocoa Roasted Almonds - OMG, they are sooooooooo good!!)
2 Deer Park 6 packs ($1.99 each less $1/2 coupon - net .25 per bottle)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ingles Weekly Sale

As part of the Grocery Gathering, here are this week's (10/26 - 11/01) sales at Ingles.

Progresso Soup 3/$4 (.50/2 – S 10/05, 09/07)
Progresso Vegetable Classics Soup 10/$10 (.50/2 – S 10/05, 09/07)
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls 3/$5 (.25 – S 10/19, 10/05, 09/07, or HERE)
Pillsbury Biscuits 5/$5 (.40/3 – S 10/19, or HERE)
GM cereals 3/$6 ($1/3 – S 10/05, 09/07, or $1 HERE)
Yoplait yogurt 10/$6 (.40/6 – S – 10/05, 09/07, or HERE)
Birds Eye cob corn 2/$5 ($1/3 HERE)
Stouffer’s party size lasagna or chicken enchiladas $10.98 ($1 – RP 09/14)
Totino pizza rolls 2/$6 (.35 – S 10/05, 09/07)
Kraft Bagel-fuls $2.18 ea ($1 - click on the blue coupon bar in the left column)
Tyson anytizers 3/$10 ($1 – S 10/12 and $1 Target coupon HERE)
Pillsbury Savourings 2/$6 (.75 – S 10/05, $1 – S 09/07)
NY Texas Toast 2/$4 (.40 – RP 09/28)
Michelina entrees 5/$5 ($1/5 HERE, or $1 - click on the blue coupon bar in the left column)
Snicker’s fun size bag 2/$4 ($1/2 – RP 10/12, RP 09/28)
Breyer’s ice cream 2/$5.96 (.50 S 10/26 and/or Winn-Dixie $1/2 10/05 insert)
Kraft Singles 2/$6 - (.75/2 Kraft Family Magazine)
GM Honey Nut Cheerios 3/$6 ($1/3 – S – 10/05, 09/07, $1 HERE)
Kellogg’s cereals $2.78 ea ($1 HERE and/or $1 off any produce wyb Kellogg's HERE)
Mueller’s dry pasta BOGO
Charmin (9 roll) $3.98 (.25 – P&G 09/28)
Simply Potatoes BOGO
Nestle Toll House Cookie dough $2.66 ($1.50/2 – RP 09/14, or $1 HERE)
Dannon Light & Fit yogurt 2/$4 (.50 HERE)
Sundown vitamins BOGO ($1 – RP 10/05, $3 – RP 09/28)
Excedrin $4.98 ($2 – S 10/19)
Nutrisse hair color $4.97 ($2 – RP 10/12, RP 09/14)
Jergen’s lotion $2.98 ($1 – S 10/12)
Benefiber $7.98 ($2 - S 10/19, S 09/21)
Cool Whip can 2/$4 ($1 wyb Jell-O – S 10/12)
Jell-O cups 3/$7 ($1 wyb Cool Whip – S 10/12, .50 – S 09/14)
Fast Fixin Italian style meatballs $5.98 ($1 HERE)
Fast Fixin Buffalo wings $6.98 ($1 HERE)
Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers $2.78 ($1 - S 10/26)
Healthy Choice soups 5/$5 (.75/2 - S 10/26)
Healthy Choice microwave soup bowls $1.78 ea (.75/2 - S 10/26)
Chef Boyardee canned pasta 5/$5 (.35/3 - S 10/19)
Ball Park franks BOGO (S - 10/19)
Fresh Express salad mix BOGO (.75 – S 09/21)
Litehouse dressing 2/$6 ($1 - click on the blue coupon bar in the left column)
Earthbound Farm organic Romaine hearts $2.98 (Get $1 coupons HERE)
Earthbound Farm organic baby peeled carrots 2/$3 (Get $1 coupons HERE)
As an aside, I usually don't shop the nearest Ingles because it isn't conveniently located for me; however, I noticed this week's sales corresponded with several coupons I already had clipped and several more I'd seen and/or printed from the web so I thought I'd give them another try. I created this post then called the Ingles to check out their policy on competitor coupons when they explained that this particular store does NOT accept competitor coupons NOR do they accept INTERNET coupons!! Egads. Most of these are hardly real deals if I cannot stack coupons. Soooo, this is my first and, alas, last Ingles post. Phooey!

And the winner is.....

#12 - Steve

Please email me:

Thanks to all who entered. Please visit me again.

Well folks, Steve was a no show so I've calculated another random number....
#3 - Kaye, come on down!!

Halloween recall

My friend Susan just sent me an email about this, but cynic that I am, I had to verify.
The following is copied directly from

Canadian news sources confirm that more than 3,000 kilograms (6,600 pounds) of Sherwood Brands Pirate's Gold Milk Chocolate Coins manufactured in China were recalled from store shelves on October 8, 2008 after they were found to contain melamine, a toxic chemical compound.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the gold foil-wrapped chocolates were being sold at Costco and other bulk and dollar stores across Canada. Though the amount of melamine found in the candy was very low and no injuries have been reported, the agency decided to issue a warning because the distribution of the product was so wide.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has not issued a recall because the product was only distributed in Canada, a representative of the agency told the Akron Beacon Journal. The FDA says it has taken "aggressive action" to ensure that no melamine-contaminated products reach store shelves in the United States. However, consumer advocates warn that some brands of candy sold in the U.S. are still manufactured in China and other foreign countries and the FDA has not always acted quickly enough to prevent contaminated products from reaching store shelves.

Moms & Dads, this is a real reason to pilfer through the Halloween goody opposed to my usual late night scavenging for Reese's Cups!

Monday Morning Musings

Even though I attend a very dynamic church and have great pastors, it's rare that I find a sermon I want to share here. As a rule, our executive pastor blogs about the sermons by our senior pastor; however, our Scott is in Africa doing mission work this week so yesterday, Bill continued the MYOB series by discussing finances. I'm guessing he won't toot his own horn (though it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility if you know Bill LOL), so I'll toot it for him.

Talking money in church! I know, I think he was begging for a big offering, but that wasn't the case. He spoke primarily about the fact that giving is counter-cultural and that we are all subject to greed. You have only to look at statistics on credit card usage and recent home foreclosures to know it's true. You might even be such a statistic though I certainly hope not.

Bill really brought his point home for me in saying that a parent desires to give his child everything they need and want; however, it is important NOT to surrender to that desire so that your child will learn what they can/will do without! At one time, I was a credit card junkie to put it nicely with thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars of debt and little to show for it but a realllly nice wardrobe and over a hundred pairs of shoes. Then, I got divorced. My salary was truly a pittance so I took a part time job to supplement my income, but continued to spend like a Trump. It was literally a case of the classic "champagne taste on a beer salary." So I figured the best way out for me was to (ta da) get my parents to give or loan me the money to get out of debt. And do you know what they said? They said "NO." For a short time, I was really ticked, but then I developed a real pride in my poverty - I worked more, lived frugally (can you say wacko roommate?!), and NEVER went shopping. And I paid it all off. And saved. A lot.

It was a decision and a lifestyle that completely went against the worldview of "You want it? OK. You like it? Get it." Back then, I was not involved with a church and had about two inches of dust on my Bible, but this IS a Biblical principle: The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7

Bill also espoused some Dave Ramsey tips and Biblical references to demonstrate how and why we all need to MYOB when it comes to money. Click HERE for the sermon podcast.

Menu 10/20-10/26

This week, we will be eating only what's in the fridge, freezer & cabinets. I think I've done very well with stockpiling recently, so there shouldn't be any need to go grocery shopping until next week. Yeah! That's the BEST way to save money...just stay home!

Monday - Chicken Nuggets, broccoli with cheese sauce, hoppin' john
Tuesday - Voila skillet meal, salad, bread
Wednesday - Soft tacos with lettuce, sour cream & salsa
Thursday - Herb butter salmon, wild rice, veggie
Friday - Neighborhood Halloween Party!
Saturday - Beef Stroganoff, bread, veggie
Sunday - Breakfast for dinner - sausage & eggs

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Format & Coupon Giveaway

So, what do you think of the new format here?? I've added some columns and changed the background. Please let me know what you think.

Have you left a comment yet for the coupon giveaway? Hurry...I'm giving away $70 in coupons in just a few hours!

Halloween website for the kiddos

Check out this cute site! This one is fun for even little kids to do (and FREE) - WOO HOO!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween costume

This morning, I've been trying to get the mountain of wrinkles out of Sophie's SuperGirl costume with little (OK...NO) success. Can you imagine a garment with the following laundry instructions: "Do not iron. Do not dry clean. Do not wash. Wipe with damp cloth." Poor planning on my part to say the very least! Who on earth intentionally buys a garment for a 4 year old child that cannot even be WASHED? Guess she'll just be cute and wrinkled.

Friday, October 24, 2008

2008 Election

Thus far, I've resisted the temptation to get on my bloggy soapbox...BUT the election looms less than 3 weeks away. Check out this information from Palmetto Family PAC to see where the candidates stand on issues that you care about!

I need help!

I added Google's AdSense to my site, and much to my dismay, just saw an ad pop up to "Get your foreign bride here." Argghhh. I had to assure the fine folks at Google that I did not blog on porn or use profanity. Is there any way to censor the ads at my site?? I know there is someone out there (much) more knowledgeable than I with the answer. PLEASE comment below! Sheesh.

There, I said it!

Do you know how much I love my sweet baby girl?? Do you know how glad I am she's at my parent's house right now?? LOL

Another Freebie

VistaPrint is at it again! Get 100 FREE postcards (anyone have a Christmas party coming up...) and pay only a small shipping fee. This deal is only good today so hurry!

Forms to make your life easier!

At the suggestion of my sweet Mama, I have added links (top right hand of page) to my Master Grocery Shopping list and to my Family Budget worksheet. I'll start with telling you about the shopping list because almost everyone agrees that (a) They need a good basic list, and (b) They don't mind using a list. (Budgets are another story!)

My list is very detailed and in the order of the aisles at my favorite grocery store. (It's your lucky day if you shop Publix on the Parkway!) The spaces to the right of the item are where I make notes of sale prices and any coupons I have. I use the boxes to the left of the item to list the quantity I wish to buy. I print the entire list & post it to my refrigerator door so I can easily add to it as I run out of a staple item or when I am making my weekly menu. Since the list is so long, I will often use a highlighter pen before I head to the store so I won't miss anything! Feel free to print directly from the Google Docs site or download to your computer to personalize.

I adapted the budget form from a MicroSoft template. You'll see some items have different color fonts which I use to indicate autodrafts (with the date in the description column) or cash items. I make two monthly withdrawals for half the total of all cash items then use receipts to log purchases into the spreadsheet. When the cash is gone, so is the spending! I also have some expenses highlighted with a different color background. Most of these expenses are not monthly so I calculate a monthly amount to equal the annual bills. I total these columns and transfer the amount to our savings accounts which I access when the bill comes due. Again, you are welcome to download my format and personalize for your own use.

Budgeting is very personal, but is necessary so that you can truly know what and how you are spending! If you don't master your money, then your money can easily become your master!

I'd love to get your comments especially on budgeting principles and your methods. Let me hear from you!

Adoption Update

Yesterday, hubby & I got our fingerprints done (finally!) so all that's left is sorting this paperwork and getting it to the agency. If I can find John's SS card (sheesh), I'll get everything copied and over to the agency Monday a.m. YEAH! Then we will get the home study and home inspection scheduled and go from there.

Thanks to all for your prayers!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Coupon Giveaway!

I am giving away a package of coupons worth over $70! Random drawing will be held Monday October 27 at noon. Leave a comment below to be entered. Winner will be notified here and will have 24 hours to claim the prize. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Can you say "BLING?" She has on two necklaces and three bracelets while she talks on the phone and drinks a "little Pepsi please Mom." Is she 4 or 14?

CLR tackle - scum and mildew and mold, OH MY!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

I've joined the 5minutesformom CLR tackle challenge this week! First, I received my full size bottle of CLR in the mail about a week ago. After carefully sitting the bottle on my kitchen counter and staring at it for several days (a week?), I decided to test it on some of my more difficult (ahem, grosser) cleaning jobs around the house.

I need to add a disclaimer here that I'm married to Mr. Clean. Literally. My house on its worst day still isn't THAT bad, and I'd be lying if I said otherwise. I live with the guy who actually moves the chairs, stools, and rugs out of the kitchen before he mops. So...the accumulated mold and mildew and soap scum and other yucky stuff that CLR is supposed to banish really isn't a big issue around here. OK. That said, let me tell you what I DID clean and how the product worked.

In the sinks - I sprayed the underside of the sink faucets to clean the nastiness that lives there then waited the suggested two minutes. When I wiped the faucets, TONS of goo had come loose (yuck - I DRINK out of that faucet) so I grabbed a toothbrush and started scrubbing. I had to repeat the process twice before everything rinsed clear, but WOW do I have some clean faucets now!

In the toilet - Several squirts of CLR into the full toilet bowl plus one rag liberally sprayed with CLR make for a tidy bowl FAST. I was very pleased with how quickly the mold at the water line cleaned with VERY little elbow grease.

In the shower - I don't have a big soap scum problem anymore since I banished all bar soaps from my house and forced liquid soaps and body wash on my loved ones. However, I do (rather, did) have mold around the shower door frame and more nastiness growing in the drain. I sprayed the drain & used a toothbrush to loosen the funk, most of which did finally come loose. For this to be really clean, I think I'll suggest to hubby that he needs to unscrew the drain cover and clean in there. I think the CLR would work great and it would be nice for someone else to do the dirty work! CLR quickly cleaned the red growth on the shower head. The frame around the shower door, the guides at the bottom of the door, and the caulking all continue to have black mold stains, even after using CLR and a toothbrush. I suspect that the growth is behind the caulk which is why I wasn't able to (and never have been able to) get them spotless.

Overall, I am pleased with the way CLR cleaned. I was not impressed with the scent though. I can't describe the smell - maybe "industrial." I am accustomed to cleaning products having a fresh, clean smell (pine, lemon, orange - something pleasing to the nose), but CLR seriously lacks in this category.

On a positive note, I am EXTREMELY sensitive to fumes (as in I develop bronchitis/asthma when exposed to fumes for longer than just a few minutes), and this product did not cause me to have any shortness of breath or coughing spasms. For this reason alone, I'll use it again and would recommend it to others.

Happy cleaning, y'all!!

Monday, October 20, 2008


I just made the cutest business card FREE at Vista Print. You can't tell, but this one has my name and numbers. For the "Company Name," I typed "Sophie's Mom." I think it will be adorable. (OK, I know the picture on the card looks a little "hootchie," but I figured with my red hair & the cartoon's red hair, people would remember who I was!) Holly and Mindy at mommieswithcents made a free t-shirt to promote their blog.

Also, there is still time to take advantage of Vista Print's half-off sale on Christmas cards! This site is just so cool and so FREE! What could be better?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Halloween costume

My little one has changed her mind up to six times a day about what she wants to be for Halloween. Sometimes she wants to be Batman; sometimes Tinkerbell; sometimes a fireman; sometimes Nemo; sometimes Dora the Explorer. How on earth can I make or buy an outfit to suit such the fickle child??

Today, I found the SuperGirl costume at Target on sale which I promptly snatched up. After lunch, I let her try it on, and (hurray!) it's a hit!

Menu 10/20 - 10/26

I'm early getting this post up...yeah!!

Monday - Voila skillet meal, salad, bread
Tuesday - Breakfast casserole
Wednesday - Soup
Thursday - Herb butter salmon, cheddar mashed potatoes, veggie
Friday - Chicken nuggets, hash browns, veggie
Saturday - Chicken noodle casserole, veggie
Sunday - Spaghetti, salad, bread

Gymastics Superstars

Last night, we took Sophie to see the Olympiads at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville. It was incredible to see the talent that these gymnasts have...such balance, and poise, and strength. I was not expecting the teeny bopper music (FYI - when you use the words "teeny bopper music," you are automatically OLD!) of KSM and Jordan Pruitt, but it was OK.

Sophie asked me early in the show if I'd remembered to bring her leotard. I said no. She then asked if she could just wear her Airborne t-shirt (which she had on) when she went on stage to perform. I said that would be fine. She then proceeded to ask (over & over) WHEN she would get to go on the mat. I told her that when she heard them call her name, then it would be time. PTL that there were no gymnasts named Sophia! When the show was over, she burst into tears because she had not gotten to perform. I told her that after she was in the Olympics THEN she could perform with the Superstars.

Upon our arrival home, she ran (!) up and down the hall practicing walkovers and cartwheels! I need a padded room for her. Actually, maybe the padded room will be for ME!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bloom weekly sale

I have written the post at MommiesWithCents for this week's Bloom sales. I'm hoping to make the time to get it posted on Thursdays in addition to weekly Bi-Lo sales. For more info, check out the Grocery Gathering. Great way to learn to save on groceries!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Today, I tackled a mountain, literally, of laundry. My husband was off work Friday & Monday, and all weekend was slamming busy so today...laundry. The washer & dryer are still running as I type even though I started 14 hours ago!! Sheesh...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Menu 10/13 - 10/19

Monday - Chili with black beans
Tuesday - Penne with marianara
Wednesday - Soup
Thursday - Chicken Tenders, potatoes, veggie
Friday - Crab Cakes, rice, salad
Saturday - Voila skillet meal, salad
Sunday - Pork chops, noodles, veggies

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Happy Birthday, dear daughter!!

Triple Coupon Deal

Bloom is tripling coupons this weekend! Check out Mommies With Cents for details!

There, I said it!

What's in a name? Hmmm...This is a real clip from our local paper. I marked through this fella's address, but not make any other changes. Do you think perhaps this poor guy turned to a life of crime because he could never learn to spell his name? How does one even pronounce "Tyrassassazzion?" Is that supposed to be "Assassin" in the middle of the kid's name? I think I am, for once, speechless.

Great CVS Deal

DON'T FORGET TO LOOK AT THE CLEARANCE ITEMS AT YOUR STORE! Sometimes, I get so caught up in ECBs and sales that I forget about the clearance aisle.

I checked the clearance shelf today and found Airborne on sale for $2 AND I had two $2 off coupons, so I got these goodies for FREE! Also, they had Sunlight dish soap on sale for .35 each, and Orajel Toddler Toothpaste (regularly 3.99) on sale for $1.00. I had a .55 off Orajel, so I got a tube of yummy bubblegum "Little Bear" paste for only .45! That's less than a dollar spent for goodies I can really use.

Check out CVS Superstars to see some really savvy shoppers!

Publix deals 10/08

When I hit Publix each week, I try to only buy items which are on sale AND for which I have coupons. Yesterday, I flubbed a few items which I really needed but still only spent $74.50. I had almost $67 off in coupons & sales, but that's still more than I usually spend. Rather than list every item, I'll just share my GREAT deals:

2 - Honey Bunches of O's - on sale BOGO $1.95 & I had a coupon for a FREE box, so I spent $1.95 for two boxes of cereal
2 - Tabasco - $1.49 & I used two .50 coupons/doubled, so I paid only .49 per bottle!
1 - Cover Girl Eye Makeup Remover - $3.69 & I used one $1 manf coupon plus one $2 Publix coupon so this only cost .69
4 - Progresso Diced Tomatoes - on sale 4/$5 & I used two $1/2 coupons, so these were .75 ea
2 - Scotch Brite sponges (3pk) - on sale 2/$2.99 - used $1/2 so these were $1/pkg
1 - Cascade Rinse Aid - $3.49 - FREE with coupon
2 - Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes - on sale $1.75 - used two $1 manf coupons and one $1/2 Publix coupon, so these were .25 ea
1 - GE Reveal light bulb - one sale $1.99 - used $1 coupon
1 - New England Hazelnut Coffee - sale $2.90 - used $1.50 coupon
8 - Attune Probiotic bar - 6/$5 - used 4 BOGO coupons, so these were .42 each
1 - Publix Kidz yogurt - sale $1.67, used $1 coupon
2 - SeaPak Salmon - sale $3.80 each, used two $1 coupons so these were only 2.80 each
1 - Pillsbury Frozen Grands - sale $2.50, used $1 coupon

My big expenses were over $5 for a fresh fruit bowl (even with $1 coupon), $5.39 for olive oil (used .75 coupon), and $4.59 for NatureKids Organic breakfast bars for Sophia. (These are the ONLY bars she will eat. I'd LOVE for them to be on sale &/or have a coupon, but I've never seen a sale or a coupon!) Nabisco crackers were on sale 2/$5 so I bought two, but didn't have any discounts other than that. BOO. Maybe next time!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Coupons Galore!

Sign up for Betty Crocker coupons and get tons of great coupons including cereal (we have a Lucky Charms addiction here), Muir Glen organic tomatoes (almost free when combined with Publix coupon in this month's Greenwise magazine), and Progresso ($1 off any product except soup - all of which are on sale at Bloom this week).

Wordless Wednesday

I guess it's not really WORDLESS Wednesday since this is my third post today, but....this is my little one when we went out for a sushi lunch last week. She is chowing down on baby octopus!

Baby Talk

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of meeting Morgan Hamm (Olympic gymnast) when he visited Airborne Athletics. He came just as Sophie's class was finishing up their lesson so all the kids were able to speak to him and take photos (OF COURSE I forgot my camera...).

Sophia went right up to him and said, "Hey! I'm gonna be in the 'Lympics next time."

With that kind of confidence, she probably will!

A New Blog

I'm so excited to join Mindy & Holly at Mommies with Cents as a regular blogger. I'll be contributing recipes each week for the Mmm Wednesdays post as well as writing about local sales and other topics. Check us out!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Love to read? I do, and I love this new idea from Random House. Go to their "Read It Forward" site to request a FREE book. You don't even have to pay for postage! They have several to choose from this week with quite varied topics. Request the book(s) which interest you the most, and Random House will send it/them (or a replacement) to you. All books are given on a first come/first served basis. This might be an idea for your book club or, like me, just a little "mommy time" late at night. (This is where I got Amy MacKinnon's new book "Tethered.")Enjoy!

Book Review

I just finished "Tethered" by Amy MacKinnon. WOW, what a FAST read; I could not put this book down! The main character, Clara, certainly has a troubled past (and present for that matter) and an eerie occupation as an undertaker. A police detective, Mike, begins work on the cold case of an unknown child murdered three years ago. As the two collaborate, you learn of their past trials and grief. Even though I sussed out the murderer fairly early in the book, the mysteries surrounding Clara, Mike, and the funeral home kept me on the edge of my seat. I had to reread the final chapters twice to "get it."

I know many are quite put off by any books or movies where children are abused or killed, but this book did not seem explotative at all. In fact, with the exception of one police officer's dialogue (and there wasn't much from him), you won't find bad language here either.

If you like a mystery or psychological thriller, this is for you. You can check out the author's website here.

There's a mouse in my house....

OK, he's not a mouse, but one of Sophia's beloved "chipmonkeys." And he's not in the house, but actually in the garage. However, the garage IS attached and therefore IS part of my house. Suffice it to say that rodents (even cute ones) are NOT welcome. I just hate to set a mousetrap for Sophie to find her chipmonkey friend with his little neck snapped. I can also assure you that I hate to set a "humane" trap because, frankly, I want this little rodent dead. I would get a cat, but John is so allergic it just seems cruel. Hmmm. No easy winner here.

Menu 10/05 - 10/18

Sunday - Spaghetti (Sophie's GOTCHA' party)
Monday - Shrimp Scampi, salad, pasta, bread
Tuesday - Chicken Noodle casserole
Wednesday - Soup
Thursday - Tacos
Friday - Voila skillet dinner, veggies
Saturday - Lasagna, salad, bread
Sunday - OUT (Fall for Greenville)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fast Track

Sheesh. What a morning! John was up at 5:30 and in the shower when Sophie started calling me from her bedroom. "HEY MOM!" I called her to come in our room at which time she announced she had wet her bed. So I got up, took her to potty, changed her clothes, and put her back in our bed to sleep for another hour or so.

John called (late) to wake us up. He apologized that he didn't call at his usual time (7 a.m.), then told me it was 8:40. I jumped up, put in my contacts, pulled on some jeans and a baseball cap, rushed to the kitchen to pack Sophie's lunch, ran to her bedroom to pack her backpack, then took her clothes to our room where I proceed to dress her WHILE SHE WAS STILL ASLEEP! She cried while she brushed her teeth and I simultaneously fixed her hair. Finally, I hustled her to the car which was COLD, noticed the hubby forgot to take the trash to the street, picked up the paper, then sped toward her school.

On the way there, she called her Daddy to say good morning. I got on the phone, and he commented on how early we were going to school today. I looked at the clock, and it was only 8:20! He had misspoke earlier when he called as it was only 7:40 then. So now, I have 45 minutes to kill before I can take the princess to school. Off to Starbucks we go!!

Upon arrival at school, I realize I don't have my checkbook and have forgotten to pay for October tuition. Also, today is the last day to order the artwork (magnets, etc. for fund raiser). AND it's pizza day. Praise the Lord that I was able to scrape together enough cash and coin so Sophie could have lunch LOL!

When I return home, I'm greeted by my half-painted kitchen, a small mountain of laundry, and Sophie's wet bedding. I think I will lie down and set the clock back to 7 a.m. and start this day again. Maybe a little slower this time.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


HURRY on over to to register for $5000 toward a new washer and/or dryer! Alternate winners will receive a goody box with cleaning items and coupons.

On the same page, there is a registration for a Ziploc gift pack with the new vacuum sealer and over $14 in coupons for cleaning/household items for the first 20,000 to sign up.

Join Right@Home to get regular emails with coupon links and a great coupon booklet by snail mail.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Baby Talk

A forgotten classic "Sophieism:" Upon seeing a ground squirrel, she exclaimed, "Ooooh, look Mommy. It's a chipmonkey!" I can't help it. It's so stinking cute, that I can't correct her...poor child will be taking the SAT still thinking that rodent is a "chipmonkey!"

Tackle It Tuesday - Kitchen Project VII

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

My kitchen project is like a Friday 13th movie...on and on and on! This a.m. I started by sanding and spackling several areas which still need attention. I'm off now to paint behind the refrigerator so we can (finally) get it out of the middle of the floor! Then, my attention will go to removing masking tape that has been up WAY too long - I need tweezers & a razor blade to get it off! Sheesh...a long afternoon ahead of are coming soon!

Menu 9/29 - 10/04

Monday - Hamburger Helper, steamed veggies, bread

Tuesday - Salmon Patty, cheddar mashed potatoes, green beans

Wednesday - Soup/Salad

Thursday - Baked pork chops, wild rice, broccoli/cheese

Friday - Homemade pizza & salad

Saturday - Voila skillet meal, salad

Sunday - Spaghetti dinner for the family (Sophie's "Gotcha' Day!")

Christmas is Coming!!

The Holiday Countdown has begun: 86 days as I type this! Eighty-six days? How can it be that Christmas is sneaking up on me again? I'm so excited that the ladies at Mommies With Cents have started a Weekly Holiday Countdown detailing the best deals so you can make serious headway on that shopping list. While, you're there, don't forget to check out their "FREEBIE" posts and to enter their giveaways.

This week, I am especially interested in the games on sale at Toys R' Us and, of course, the batteries I will need to stock up on at Target.

Also, if you didn't purchase your Christmas cards after the holidays last year, you can still buy some lovely cards for just a little moola here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Top 5 websites I'm loving these days

1. FAITHLIFTS : Great daily devotions for Mommies

2. CAFEMOM : A neat site to meet other Moms and discuss family issues...or just laugh about them

3. Sesame Street : Great preschool videos and games

4. Focus on the Family : I am enjoying information specifically for/about SAHMs

5. Letter of the Week : Educational series for preschoolers

Check 'em out, and let me know what you think!

Eric Carle can illustrate your Kodak photo book!

What a great contest!! You can win a Kodak photo book with illustrations by Eric Carle (you know him from the Very Hungry Caterpillar; Brown Bear, Brown Bear; and The Very Lonely Firefly, among others.) Click HERE to enter the drawing. Winners will be drawn on October 18.



Gotcha Day

This week marks our 3rd anniversary of bringing home our beautiful Sophia. In the past, we have not celebrated her "Gotcha' Day." This year, however, she is beginning to have some ideas about adoption, birth families, etc. due in large part to our beginning paperwork to adopt another daughter. In the spirit of teaching her what a great gift and opportunity that adoption can be, we want to have a special family celebration this year to collect infant items which will then be shipped back to her orphanage of origin.

Other ideas are listed below (compliments of

~Similar to a birthday with cake, presents, and a party.
~No party, but giving the child a choice for a special activity i.e. zoo, museum, park, and perhaps a special dinner.
~Lighting candles to honor birth parents, foster parents, etc.
~A family activity i.e. picnic, baseball game, or visit to an amusement park
~Presenting a gift that represents the child's birth heritage i.e. the country, state, or city they were born in.
~Reviewing a child's life book, and perhaps adding a page to represent the past year
~Doing a presentation in your child's classroom about adoption and how families are different.
~Sending in cupcakes or an activity that your child's class can participate in that represents adoption, families, or your child's cultural background.
~Remembering the children left behind, children still in foster care or orphanages: volunteering with a foster care group or sending a care package to your child's orphanage.
~Using the day to acknowledge other adoptive families that may be struggling by committing to provide respite a certain numbers of hours per month.
~Writing in a family journal.
~Helping your child to write or draw something in a journal about their life, their adoption, or their past.
~Reading a book about families and/or adoption.
~Letting the honored child sit at the head of the table throughout the day.
~Make a crown to celebrate the special day.
In the past, adoption was considered a quiet, secretive event. Now, thankfully, families can celebrate the joy and happiness that has come to them through becoming an adoptive family.

© Susan M. Ward, Older Child Adoption Online Magazine

I'd love to hear from other adoptive families to see how/if they celebrate!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stocking the Freezer

Today, I got tons of meats & dairy to stock the freezer. I'm making my menus for October, and should not have to do ANY GROCERY SHOPPING until at least mid-month!!

I had another prescription filled at Bi-Lo (this one in my name) to get a $25 gift card which I used to purchase only meat:
3.21# ground chuck on sale for 8.56
.91# cube steak on sale for 3.90
1 pkg boneless beef stew 3.82
2# pepper bacon on sale for 1.99 each!!
1# Jimmy Dean sausage 3.99 less 1.00 coupon
1# Italian Sausage 3.99

TOTAL $25.24 - so I only spent .24 out of pocket!!

Then, I went to Bloom to pick up their specials:
2 - gallons milk (2.99)
2 - iceberg lettuce (.77)
2 - white loaf bread (.59)
2 - whole chickens (.59/# - mine were 3.02 and 2.58)
1.78# red grapes (.99/# - mine were 1.76)
1 - chocolate syrup (1.41)
1 - butter (3.00)
2.26# bananas (1.56)
18 eggs (2.84)

TOTAL $24.87

I've spent more than usual this week on groceries although the deals were fabulous. I'm praying that all the local stores will have crappy sales for the next two weeks so I won't be super tempted!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Publix deals 9/24

Yes, I continue to shop this week...and, yes, I stood on a chair to take this picture! Check this out:

1 - Gum (1.49)

1 - Hillshire Farms Deli Ham (3.50)

1 - Publix Tussin cough syrup (4.79)

1 - Publix trash bags (2.29)

2 - Campell's Select Harvest Soup (sale 2/2.39, used .50 manf coupon doubled & 1.00 Food Lion coupon, so I got 2 cans for less than .20 each!)

1 - Ronzoni Smart Taste Spaghetti (sale .90, used 1.00 coupon, so I made .10!)

1 - Chinet Casual plates (sale 3.29, used $1.00)

2 - Chex mix (sale 2/2.45, used 2 coupons for.50 doubled, so I got these for .22 each!)

4 - Bird's Eye Voila (sale 2/4.99, used 4 coupons for 1.25, so I got all 4 bags for the regular price of one bag!)

2 - Lay's potato chips (sale 2/3.79)

2 - Mott's Apple juice (2.59, used 1 Publix coupon for 1.00 and one manf coupon for 1.00, so I got 2 bottles of juice for 1.60 each)

2 - Publix canned mushrooms (.89)

2 - Cabot cheese (sale 2/$5, used 2 coupons for .30, so these cost 2.20 each)

1 - Publix milk (3.59)

1 - Tyson frozen chicken (sale 4.99, used $2 off Food Lion coupon, so I got this for 2.99!)

1 - Pillsbury Toaster Scrambler (sale 2/2.49, used $1 off manf coupon, so I got this for .25!)

1 - Watermelon (2.68)

6 - Green Giant frozen boxed veggies (sale 1.00, used 3 manf coupons for .50 doubled, so these cost .50 each!)

1 - Traditional Medicinal herbal tea (sale 4.39)

1 - Publix white bread (.89)

1 - Dixie napkins (200 ct) (sale 2/4.00, used .55 manf coupon)

3 - Hamburger Helper (sale 2/1.99, used .80/3 manf coupon, so these were .73 each!)

2 - Martha White muffin mix (sale 5/4.00, used .50/2 doubled, so these were .30 each!)

2 - Suave shampoo (sale 2/2.00, used 1.00, so I got these for .50 each!)

PLUS, I had a $5/35 coupon so this whole trip cost only $51.26!! I saved over $62 in coupons & sales. WOW. I would say that I can't wait to go back, but I guess that's evident as this is my third trip this week....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Publix deals 9/23 - FREE Good Belly!

Yesterday, Publix was out of two things I wanted to buy so I had to return this morning. Contessa Shrimp Scampi is on sale for $2.99 each, and Good Belly is on sale for $1.98 each. I picked up 2 boxes of scampi and used a $2/2 coupon (was inside the last box I purchased). I also got 2 packages of Good Belly and used 2 $1 off Publix Q from the Pyramid coupon booklet and used 2 coupons for .50 each which were doubled. So today, I spent only $3.98!

If you buy Good Belly, check the inside of the carton for the .50 off coupons!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Coupon Book

I found this new coupon book at Publix today with great coupons on paper and baby items. The coupons have "Redeem at Publix" printed on them, but they are regular manufacturer coupons. If you haven't already gotten the paper goods at CVS this week, you can use many of these coupons to get the $10 ECB on Kimberly Clark items.

1.00/2 Kleenex

.75 Cottonelle

.75 Scott tissue

.50 Scott moist wipes

.75/2 Scott paper towels

.75/2 Viva paper towels

3.00 Huggies

3.00 Pull Ups

3.00 Good Nites sleep pants

1.00 Huggies baby wipes

1.00 Kotex

2.00 Depends

2.00 Poise pads

This week's menu

**9/23/08**I've had to update my menu since I filled the house with smoke last night!! Last Friday, both Sophie & I were puny with sinus troubles so John bought DiGiorno pizza (very cheap with coupons of course - pizzas on sale for $5.99, he used $1 Food Lion coupon plus $1 off coupon I got on a box of Capri Sun last week!) Anyway, the pizza magically fell through the oven rack making a huge mess. In my medicine haze, I forgot to clean it all weekend. Then last night, as I preheated the oven to roast my chicken, the smoke roiled out of the oven. I was actually afraid that there was a real fire in there!! Suffice it to say, we had cantaloupe, cottage cheese and crackers for dinner!

Tuesday - Roast Chicken, rice & veggies
Wednesday - Sausage & Eggs
Thursday - Soup
Friday - Neighborhood TGIF party
Saturday - Chicken Noodle Casserole
Sunday - Salmon patties, cheesy potatoes, veggies

Baby Talk

After a fire truck passed by this morning, Sophie exclaimed, "That truck is scaring my ears!"

I love it!

Publix deals 9/22

A quick trip to Publix this morning scored me:
2 - Chinet crystal tumblers (2/2.49)
1 - cantaloupe (2.50)
2 - Vidalia onions (2.18)
2 - Duncan Hines cake mix (2/1.59)
2 - Yoplait Gogurt (2.99)
1 - 6pk Publix Spring water (1.99)
1 - Friendship cottage cheese (2.09)
3 - bananas (.79)
less coupons:
-1.00 Chinet
-1.00 Chinet
-1.00 Duncan Hines
- .75 Gogurt
- .35 Friendship
-1.98 Publix water
Total spent after sales/coupons - $13.53

Saturday, September 20, 2008

CVS Deals

Today, I made my third trip to CVS this week!! Monday, I shopped for "stock up" items; yesterday, I had to go for a prescription (Sophie has a sinus infection - yuck); and today, I went back for more stocking up since there is finally a sale on paper goods which I am running low on (only one roll of paper towels left).

When I got there, I started looking for L'Oreal RevitaLift Anti-Wrinkle Serum (my wrinkles just LOVE serum!) which was on sale today for $11.99 with $11.99 back in ECBs (so basically, FREE), but couldn't find it. My dear cashier, Ms. Janis, looked with me then concluded that this store didn't carry that item. Soooo, she GAVE me the RevitaLift Intense Double Lifting treatment (regularly $16.99) for FREE! With a name like "Intense Double Lifting treatment," my skin should be as soft as Sophia's by next Thursday!

I bought:
6 - Kleenex (1.00)
1 - Cottonelle (24 roll pkg) (6.49)
2 - Viva (8 roll pkg) (6.49)
1 - Robitussin cough syrup (4.99)
1 - Simply Saline (4.99)

- less coupons, I spent $27.40 and got back $12ECBs.

Then I bought:
1 - Pepsi (1.34)
2 - Bumble Bee Pink Salmon (1.50)
2 - Swanson Chicken (1.50)
2 - Maxwell House coffee - BOGO - (4.99)

- less coupons & ECBs, I spent .33!!

OOH, I also found out all the summer clearance was going to be marked down again this week to 90% off so I can pick up flip flops & faux crocs for pennies!

Great Buys at Wal-Mart

Monday, I dropped Sophie at MMO and went deal shopping. First, I went to CVS and got:
1 - CVS brand hair/body shampoo for hubby (3.99)
1 - Excedrin gelcaps (5.49)
3 - Skippy peanut butter (3/$5)

less coupons & ECBs, I only paid $1.89!!

Next, I was off to Wal-Mart for:
3 - GG steamers (1.82)
1 - Pub cheese (this stuff is addictive!) (2.98)
1 - 4pk YoPlus yogurt (2.12)
1 - Nestle 28 count bottled water (3.88)
1 - Great Value coffee (2.28)
1 - Capri Sun (1.97)
1 - Great Value bacon pieces (1.46)
1 - Chipotle Tabasco (2.78)
1 - Electrosol (3.67)
1 - Food jar for Sophie's lunchbox (2.74)
1 - Mega bag Malt-O-Meal cereal (4.48)

less coupons, I only paid $20.10!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bi-Lo Shopping

I finally made it back to get a presciption filled, and collect my $25 gift card. Instead of stocking up, I decided to use it for this week's groceries. If I can resist the temptation to "save" more money this week, I'll really slash away at this month's food budget!

6 - Betty Crocker potato pouches (.80)
2 - Uncle Ben's wild rice (1.00)
2 - Lipton noodle sides (1.00)
1 - Pam spray (3.20) - not on sale, but I'm out!
1 - B&B spread (2.69)
1 - Land O Lakes CoJack cheese (3.19)
2 - Borden shredded cheese (2.50)
1 - Yoplait 4pk (2.60)
1 - Pet Chocolate Milk (3.63)
1 - dozen jumbo eggs (1.79)
1 - gallon milk (4.19)
3 - Green Giant mixed veg (frozen) (2.00)
1 - Scooby Doo ice cream (4.29) - bribery again LOL
1 - watermelon (3.99)
1 - potatoes (1.46)

3 - 1.00 - Green Giant
3 - $1/2 - Betty Crocker
1 - .50 - Pam (which was then doubled)
1 - .60/2 - Lipton (which was then doubled)
1 - 1.00 - Yoplait
1 - $1/2 - Uncle Ben's
$5 off Publix coupon
$25 BiLo gift card

Total spent OOP only $10.63!!

AND, for the first time EVER, someone offered to take my groceries out for me! If you know me at all, you know customer service is the reason I usually stay clear of Bi-Lo and Wal-Mart and do all my shopping at Publix. A banner day - ten bucks for a week's groceries AND someone loaded my car - WOO HOO!

CVS deals

Yesterday I got some great deals at CVS:
1 - 2L Dr. Pepper (1.25)
2 - Chex Mix (1.00 ea)
2 - Schick Quattro 3pk (7.99 ea BOGO)
1 - CVS Garlic powder (.99)
1 - 6pk CVS water (2.99)

...all of which I REALLY needed...I also got:

1 - 24oz Gatorade (1.00)
1 - Nerds candy (.79)

...which I really DIDN'T need...but I had to bribe Sophia since CVS was our SEVENTH errand after school!!

.50 - Chex
.50 - Chex
1.00 - CVS Water
2.00 - Schick
2.00 - Schick
$2/$10 - CVS internet coupon

Total spent out-of-pocket $9.25

I also have to tell you that the employees at my CVS (Batesville Rd., Greer, SC) are the BEST! Our two favorite cashiers (Vicky & Janis) always spend extra time talking to Sophie, and yesterday, Vicky actually bought Sophie a Nemo ball cap off the clearance aisle!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Three days ago as I was putting an Electrosol tablet in the dishwasher, it crumbled into my hand. Some of the "powder" from the tablet got under my wedding rings, and this is the burn that resulted. I had no idea how caustic dishwasher powder was. You probably can't see from the picture that I have a nasty, peeling blister where my rings usually are.

I can't tell you how often Sophie helps me do dishes by putting the tablet in the dishwasher and turning it on, and I've never even thought to have her wash her hands afterwards! My friend Susan suggested that maybe the platinum in my rings reacted with the detergents to make it worse. Who knows? I DO know that we'll be washing our hands around here after touching any dishwasher tablets in the future.

Wow. Look at this picture. Just yesterday, I was a young punk, and now MY HANDS ARE GETTING OLD!!

This week's menu

Monday - Shrimp Scampi & grits
Tuesday - Fried Rice (Didn't cook Friday night!)
Wednesday - BBQ Chicken "calzones"
Thursday - Breakfast Casserole
Friday - Steaks (Sophie @ Bub's & Pop's for the night WOOHOO!)
Saturday - Bible Study
Sunday - Spaghetti

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bi-Lo Shopping

Usually, I'm a loyal Publix shopper, but this week's advertisement at Bi-Lo included a $25 gift card for any transferred prescription. Combined with sales, I was expecting to buy tons of groceries for nearly nothing. However, the prescription I dropped off at their pharmacy was expired. By the time I'd loaded my cart and returned to pick up the medicine and gift card, my daughter was rabid to buy gum and hurry home for lunch...soooo I paid for my purchases with real money overspending my grocery budget for the week.

I plan to return tomorrow (without my lovely & lively child!) with another prescription and spend all $25 on meat to stock the freezer!

Today I got:

4 - Betty Crocker potato pouches BOGO (.80)
1 - Folgers coffee (3.55)
2 - Ragu pouches (1.82)
1 - Mueller egg noodles (1.85)
1 - Starkist tuna pouch (1.50)
1 - Southern Home croutons (1.00)
1 - Case Southern Home spring water (3.98)
1 - Southern Home gallon milk (3.59)
3 - Yoplait whips (.50)
2 - Pillsbury crescent rolls (1.86)
1 - Southern Home butter (2.99)
3 - TGIF Potato Skins (3.00)
1 - TGIF Chicken Quesadilla (3.00)
2 - TGIF Steak Quesadille (3.00)
1 - Chicken Leg quarters (5#) (3.98)
1 - Chicken Breast (2#) (6.04)
2 - Tennessee Pride all natural sausage (1.99)
1 - bunch green onions (.60)
1 - Pkg. 3 romaine hearts (3.49)
1 - Pkg. 3 bell peppers (4.99)
1 - Watermelon (3.33)
1 - Cabbage (1.55)
1 - Greeting Card (2.79)

2 - $1 Pillsbury Crescent
6 - $3 TGIF any item (woo hoo - got all these FREE!)
2 - $1/2 Betty Crocker potatoes
1 - .60/3 Yoplait
1 - .75/1 Starkist (no doubling)
1 - .50/2 Ragu
1 - .25/1 Folger's

Doubled Coupons:
.40 (Yoplait up to $1)

Total Price: $95.27
Less sales, coupons: (40.72)

Pretty good sales, actually, though I'm still a little ticked about my $25. Grrrr.

This week's menu

Better late than never :)

Monday - Neighborhood cookout
Tuesday - Salmon Patties
Wednesday - Waffles & Sausage
Thursday - Mojo marinated Pork Tenderloin
Friday - Pork fried rice
Saturday - Quesadillas
Sunday - Sesame Chicken

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Being Intentional

This morning I met with one of our pastors about some, eh, issues I've been having with our church and its programs, and I can't tell you how great it feels to have someone listen to and validate my feelings! On that note, I will strive to be intentional this week in the following:

~Let my "yes" mean "yes." I've made several offers to volunteer with different ministries, and it is so important that I follow through with my commitments.
~PRAY for my brothers & sisters in their projects.
~Commit to my family care whether it be through special times, finishing this kitchen project (!), or doing laundry.
~Prepare for Saturday's adoption parenting class, open my mind to learn something and not feel like I've wasted a day of this long weekend!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Book Review

I just finished a wonderful novel this weekend by Jamie Langston Turner. THE SUNCATCHERS is an uplifting story about a troubled sociologist/author who moves to S.C. to write about evangelical Christians. As he makes friends with the family next door, he learns why they act the way they do. This is a story of hope, and who can't use a little more hope these days?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Baby Talk

Sophie just kills me with the funny things that come out of her mouth. Tonight, I woke her to take her to the potty when I returned home from our neighborhood HOA meeting.

Our conversation:
"You're home! (insert genuine surprise & big hug) What did you do at your meeting?"
"Well, we talked about neighborhood business and grown up things."
"Did you do any arts & crafts?"

Gotta love the mind of a 3-year old!

Publix deals

Wow! I scored a cart full of goodies today.

Items Purchased:
1 - bag Fresh Express lettuce shreds (1.99)
1 - bag Publix baby spinach (2.29)
1 - pkg. portabella mushrooms (1.50)
1 - Pillsbury French loaf (1.67)
1 - Frigo string cheese (3.50)
1 - Publix cottage cheese (1.99)
1 - Tennessee Pride sausage (2.50)
1 - Hillshire Farms pastrami (3.00)
1 - Sarah Lee 100% whole wheat bread (2.49)
2 - SeaPak shrimp scampi (7.29)
2 - Kraft Easy Mac (3.39)
1 - Pace Pico de Gallo (3.49)
1 - A&H baking soda (.59)
2 - Ken's salad dressing (2.99)
1 - A-1 Sauce (1.91)
2 - Mott's Natural apple juice (2.59)
1 - gallon Publix vinegar (2.79)
1 - case Publix bottled water (4.99)
2 - bottles Shout (2.89)
1 - Kotex tampons (1.53)
1 - Ziploc freezer bags (2.00)
1 - Publix Greenwise toilet paper (2.49)

1 - .35 Pillsbury IPQ (doubled)
1 - 1.00 Hillshire Farm Q
2 - 1.00 SeaPack IPQ
1 - 1.00 Kotex IPQ
1 - 1.00 Kraft Q
1 - 1.00 Pace Q
1 - .75 Ziploc IPQ
1 - 1.00 Tennessee Pride Q
1 - .55/2 Ken's Q
1 - $1/2 Motts Q
1 - $2.49 Free Sarah Lee Bread
1 - $2.89 Shout BOGO Raincheck from last week
1 - $2/2 Shout Publix flyer
1 - $2.38 Publix Greenwise TP - penny item sale
1 - $2.00 Food Lion produce IPQ
1 - $10/35 Bloom grocery Q

Regular price total $85.06
- $24.89 (sales)
- $28.87 (coupons)

Total OOP spent: $31.30

As my friend Sarah would say, "Yay, me!!"

Check out Fiddledeedee! for shopping tips and coupon links!

Rainy Days & Mondays.....

I love this idea from - posting a weekly menu. This should keep me on track with my manic grocery shopping!

Monday - Spaghetti
Tuesday - ChickN Nugget Pot Pie
Wednesday - Tacos
Thursday - Italian Sausage with bowtie pasta & spinach
Friday - Steaks
Saturday - Neighborhood Potluck
Sunday - Paella

Breaking the Silence


Sometimes silence is a good thing, like the middle of the night when your child has been sick. Other times, silence can be devastating, like keeping a painful secret. Yesterday, one of our incredibly talented musicians at church shared her difficult testimony including sexual abuse, addiction, and mental illness. To see how breaking the chains of silence started her road to recovery and healing, click HERE or see the podcast link under "Breaking the Silence."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Great Buys @ Wal-Mart

First, if you know me well, you know that I can't stand shopping at Wal-Mart. Yes, I know the deals are great, but I spend HOURS going from department to department to get what I need (HBA aisle for trial sizes & feminine items, infant clothing for J&J Bath Buddies, gardening for charcoal, cleaning aisle, office supply aisle). Sheesh. By the time we finally leave, both my daughter & I are rabid. However, I have finally given myself over (or sold my soul depending on who you ask LOL) to making a regular stop for the super sales.

Today, I scored:

Kotex pantyliners (14, 16 and 18-ct.), $1.00
$1/1 Kotex Pads, exp. 8-3-08 (SS 6/8/08)
$1/1 Kotex Pads, exp. 9-14-08 (SS 7/20/08)
FREE after coupon! (Thanks, Tara)

Eucerin 1oz lotion, .97
$1/1 HERE
FREE after coupon!

Johnson's Buddies Easy Grip Sudzing Bar, $0.94
$1/1 printable
$2/2 printable
FREE after coupon! (Thanks, Tara)

Huggies Clean Team Wipes (40-ct. soft pack), $1.64
$3/2 Huggies Cleanteam Flushable Moist Wipes, exp. 9-13-08 (SS 7/20/08)
$3/2 Huggies Clean Team Products (Huggies mailer)
$0.14 ea. after coupon! (Thanks, Tara)

French's Mustard, $0.92
$0.50/1 French's Mustard, exp. 8-31-08 (SS 6/22/08)
$0.42 after coupon! (Thanks, Tara)

Solo Plastic Divided Plates (15-ct.), $2.23
$2/1 Heavy Duty Paper Product, exp. 8-31-08 (SS #2 5/18/08)
$0.23 after coupon! (Thanks, Tara)

HP Printer Paper, $3.97
$3/1 printable HERE
$0.97 after coupon! (Thanks, Tara)

Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, BOGO $2.28
$1/2 HERE
$.064 each after coupon!!

Total OOP: $3.18 plus tax

With deals like that, I guess I have to go back!! Next time, I'll get a sitter & wear comfy shoes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I love great deals!!

Woo hoo! I just came in from Target where I got some great deals:

Malt-O-Meal cereal 1.99

2 Tylenol gelcaps (8ct) 1.94

Satin Care shave gel .99

Clean & Clear scrub .99

Glade candle 2.00

7.91 Total


Malt-Meal -1.00

2 Tylenol -2.00

Satin Care - .55 (newspaper)

Clean & Clear -2.00

Glade candle -1.00 (newspaper)


For more great deals and coupon links, check out Denise's blog at THE CENTSIBLE SAWYER


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nonstop Chatter

I remember my Daddy telling me that my daughter did not need speech therapy, that one day I'd be sorry I ever taught her to talk. Today was such a day.

My Sophie is a talker. As in nonstop, all day, no nap talker. She talked to other children and adults at gymnastics this morning, family at a luncheon, strangers at the mall, her baby dolls and stuffed animals, and almost constantly to me. In fact, the last thing I said to her tonight was, "Shhhh. We'll talk more tomorrow. Go to sleep."

My neighbor Mimi says to enjoy this because her teenagers barely speak to her anymore. Surely, there is a happy medium, some middle ground. Any suggestions?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Being Intentional

"Be Intentional." My friend Traci tosses this expression around quite a bit, and I like it. shows "intentional" to mean "calculated, deliberate." I get it. I should plan and act accordingly. It means that I should think about what I want and need to accomplish this week and work toward those specific goals without letting my carnal foes, busyness and idleness, take over my precious time.

My goals this week are:
  • Help my daughter deal with Daddy's business travel
  • Help my daughter acclimate to new preschool schedule & teacher
  • Paint primer on all the moulding in my kitchen
  • Paint the baseboards (OK, maybe I won't get to this by Friday, but I'm feeling optimistic!)
  • Call gym
  • Call social worker about home study

Interestingly, I notice two more synonyms: voluntary and willing. Willing to give some of that precious time to a friend maybe?
  • Spend Wednesday afternoon with Susan
  • Babysit for a friend Friday afternoon

We all get absorbed in our day to day activities and get distracted from the things that matter. What will you do to be intentional this week?