Monday, June 27, 2011

Our Weekend

Last week was absolutely insane for me at work. I had three groups in at the same time as well as a two-day meeting before they all arrived. Now, I am looking forward to having this week off (well, except for this morning when I have to run in for about an hour). Anyway, after my last group left on Saturday, we met a friend and his two kiddos at the zoo in the morning and Jason and I were able to have a date on Saturday night! A big thanks to Jason's niece, Kali, for watching Drake after spending her entire week at CIY. Our date night consisted of going to dinner, Lowe's and getting ice cream. Pretty exciting, I know. Why did we go to Lowe's, you ask?

About five years ago, we painted our kitchen a bright yellow. Ever since painting it, I haven't been able to figure out what to do in our living room (the walls touch). After having my free sample (;-)) of Valspar paint here for over a month, I finally slapped some on the wall in our kitchen to see how it would look. I loved it! It matched our countertop really well and made the white baseboards and trim "pop" so we were on a paint run to Lowe's during our date!

So, this is what we spent pretty much all day Sunday doing:
 Kitchen - BEFORE
 Kitchen - AFTER
 Hallway - BEFORE
 Hallway - AFTER
 Living Room - BEFORE
 Living Room - AFTER

I considered doing our entryway this same color, but I think it would be a little too dark. Right now, those walls are the lighter color that was on the living room walls. I think we'll keep it this color, but we definitely need to re-paint. It hasn't been touched since the builder painted in 2004.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Great Grocery Challenge

 Walgreens: OOP $4.06, Saved $29.96!

Meijer: OOP $18.23, Saved $29.65!

Target: OOP $3.02, Saved $11.05!

CVS: OOP $.94, Saved $10.59!

I was able to use my Zyrtec raincheck and make it a $5 money maker! I'm pretty glad my sister called saying she would take it off my hands, too!

Weekly Total: OOP $26.25, Saved $81.25! (76% Savings!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Bike Trailer

We found this at my  neighbor's garage sale last weekend. I was so excited to try it out and Drake loved it, too! It looks practically brand new and seems very lightweight. I'm looking forward to many more bike rides.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Great Grocery Challenge

CVS: OOP $2.42, Saved $12.72! (Still working on that gift card. :-))
(*One gallon milk not pictured)

Walgreens: OOP $7.53, Saved $35.66!

Meijer: OOP $30.39, Saved $60.77!

Target: OOP $.78 (plus tax), Saved $6.00!

I just picked up a couple shave creams at Target along with some cards this week. 

WEEKLY TOTAL: OOP $41.12, Saved $115.15 (74% savings!)

Saturday, June 18, 2011


My dear friend's dad was in a serious motorcycle accident last week so I've watched her girls a couple times when she and her husband needed to be there. This past Tuesday, I brought the girls to my house so I could be with Drake while Jason was helping build a playset for one of our neighbors. My friend has a six year old (E) and a 15 month old (A). Yep! Her youngest is only 6 weeks younger than Drake.

E was such a good helper with dinner and playing with the kids and even with bath time.

Granted it was only one night, but I imagine this is what it would be like if I had a 6 year old and twin 1 year olds. :-)

We are so thankful that my friend's dad is doing well and improving every day. There have been some scary moments, but he is out of ICU and into a regular room now! All we can do is praise God for answering the many, many prayers over him, the family and the doctors/nurses at the hospital.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: New Toy!

I've been looking for something like this the past couple months and finally found one at a garage sale! We also bought a Little Tykes turtle sandbox last weekend that is currently being used as a mini pool/water toy. The next item on my list is a plastic kid's picnic table or table and chairs for outside. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Great Grocery Challenge

 Walgreens: OOP $22.61, saved $59.47!
CVS: OOP $5.82, saved $37.93!
*These were my 4th and 5th transactions (milk isn't pictured) on a $25 gift card and there is still some left...not too bad!

Meijer: OOP $31.31, saved $35.26!

Weekly Total: OOP $59.74, saved $132.66! (69% savings)

Oops...a little over budget this week, but I have great Register Rewards and Extra Care Bucks to roll, so hopefully there will be some great deals to be had coming up!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Coupons and Stockpiling

Last night, I met with some ladies in my neighborhood and a few of their friends to talk about couponing. It felt great to help others realize how much they could save, and I think they were pretty impressed, too.

Since they found it helpful, I figured I would share a few tips here for those that are interested.

1. If you are already shopping at a store where you use a "savers" card, you can load coupons to it! Visit, register your card and begin selecting coupons.
  • If you shop at Target, visit for coupons to print. 
  • If you shop at CVS, make sure you have their card as well as the green bag tag and scan both on every visit!
  • If you shop at Meijer, visit for coupons and sign up and load coupons at
  • Stores that have their own coupons typically allow you to use a manufacturer coupon and a store coupon on the same item!

2. Take advantage of websites that already provide sale matchups with coupons.
If you are interested in couponing, focus on one store to begin with (the store you shop at most often). Learn all you can and get some great deals!

I have a nice small stockpile...NOTHING like those on Extreme Couponing, but one of my favorite parts of couponing is that I have so much more to donate to those who need it! And, it's not costing me any more. It's actually costing me less than I used to spend on groceries alone.

If you're reading this and have a question you want to ask, leave me a comment. I'll answer all of your questions in a post later this month.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Porch

We have lived in the house for seven years and never had anything on the front porch. I know...sad, right? Jason remembered that some friends left the two flower pots when they moved (that was three years ago) so he painted them black for me, and we bought some flowers. Then, I found those chairs at Meijer (only $12.99 each). The flowers aren't doing great, but they look really cute when they are flowering and the doormat ties it all together perfectly. I just love the bright green chairs, and I'm so glad to have something on my porch.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pool Party...take 2!

We attempted a pool party Memorial Day weekend only to find out that the motor for our pool cover wasn't working. It has since started working again, but we now have a back up motor just in case. :-) Anyway, we invited friends over on Saturday to swim. The day started off hot and steamy - perfect for the pool!
It was nice to able to let Drake float and play in the ring this year. He could barely sit in this last year.
Aren't these the most adorable footprints you've seen?
Drake with daddy in the pool.
Our buddy, Harken, enjoying a little time outside.
Beckett had lots of fun in the pool!
The guys - Brandon, Jason, and Matt
And, the ladies - Mande, Kate, me

It sprinkled off and on and then got pretty cloudy and cool. I'm looking forward to many more days in the pool this summer.