Monday, June 27, 2011

Gut Instincts

Remember when your mom sat you down and told you to always follow you gut instincts? Well, I am here reminding you to do that. If you don't feel good about a situation, immediately remove yourself from it and take the necessary steps to protect you and others in the future. Recently, I was approached by a man in a vehicle asking me for help and I got that God awful feeling inside me. I immediately responded with a stern "No" and tried to take note of everything that could identify this man. I witnessed him speak to two other women, not children, and they all backed away from the car. Even though I always get nervous when I call 911, I did it. Even if this man is harmless, he gave me a really bad feeling and I followed my gut instinct. Who knows, maybe I prevented a potentially bad situation. Moral of the story, follow your instincts.

Much love.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Couponing & Being Thrifty

Recently, about 6 weeks ago to be exact, I became couponing. My goal is not to buy anything that I will not use just for the sake of buying it, but rather my goal is to save as much money as possible on things my family and I use on a daily basis. This evening, I had one of my best "Couponing" shopping experiences. Thankfully Harris Teeter was having Super Doubles (they double all coupons up to $1.98) and there were a bunch of specials (BOGO or BOGO50%, etc.). Harris Teeter also has electronic coupons that you can clip to your store card and can use a manufacturer's coupon with. The only catch is that you are only allowed 20 coupons per transaction, which is pretty typical among all stores.

Here is the result of my shopping experience:

Without coupons and store specials, this order would have cost $95.42. Completely crazy right?!?! It doesn't look like that much stuff. But, with all my coupons, I was able to save $57.52, bringing my total to $37.90.

Here is a peak at my Coupon Binder. I want/need to get one with a zipper, but before I spent the money, I wanted to test my couponing skills and make sure that I would stick with clipping, organizing and using the coupons. I think I a hooked!

I organize my binder by general food categories and by the way the stores are set up, so that if I see a good deal while I am shopping, I am able to find the coupon rather quickly. This last trip, I made an excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything (quantity, original price, sale price, coupon value, amount I would pay after coupon) so that I knew going in what my bill should be and sure enough, I was within $1 of what I calculated!

All I do is get the Sunday paper, clip the coupons from the inserts (Smart Source (SS), Red Plum (RP), and Proctor & Gamble (P&G)), organize them and then look at blogs that have my local stores for matchups.

It's hard to save on fresh veggies, but there are some coupons out there and the blogs are really helpful for that. In lieu of saving on veggies, I decided to grow some!
I know, I need to mow... It is on my "to do list" this week :)

On Thursday night, I was able to score two free tickets to the local Cajun festival for Friday night, so Ryan and I were able to listen to some great music by Cowboy Mouth for FREE! We also had dinner on Saturday at a local sushi place and used a 20% off coupon that I got in the mail. The sashimi was melt in your mouth delicious! Today I have been making bridal luncheon invitations for my Sarah and I love them and her!!

Much love.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I Need Rain.

Maybe it's just me, but when it rains, I don't feel guilty about staying in my PJs, forgoing a shower, drinking tea, ignoring the outside world and focusing on what needs to be done inside the home and that includes painting my nails, rocking out to music in front of the mirror, being crafty, and cleaning while stopping to watch HTGV and Gilmore Girls! All this sunshine has been wonderful, but the guilt I feel for neglecting the yard and the complete lack of enthusiasm I have to stay inside (because of the guilt) and get paperwork and research done, is starting to build. Plus, the water bill could use a break from constantly watering my ever growing plants that seem to wilt at 2pm in the afternoon like clockwork. Maybe the fact that the temp has already broken 100 degrees is part of the issue...just maybe. What happened to the beautiful season called Spring?!?! Don't get me wrong, I love summer, but my body enjoys a gradual change in temperature. The past few days have been much better, but this weekend is bringing a heat wave *break out in song*! The constant back and forth of temps just makes me tired. I need to drink more water and wake up super early and workout to beat the heat.
This post is more for me than for anyone else. I need to get into a routine and stick to it. A few weeks ago I was rocking out to my routine, but this past week has been a total disaster. Ugh. The good news is that I haven't actually gained any weight. The bad news is, I have lost muscle definition and that just stinks. When I workout I feel so much better about's the motivation that is lacking big time. It always helps to tape a picture of a VS model to the bathroom mirror for motivation...until it gets torn down from the realization that no matter what I do, I will never look like that. I just need to look at my LaSalle Honors Program Tshirt with the logo "All this and brains too" to know that I've got it in my own special way.
Lately I have been tutoring and it's going really well! I have always loved to help fellow students with homework and studying for tests, but I never officially tutored anyone until a few weeks ago. Math, economics and statistics are the subjects that I have been sought after to tutor in and I love it! This is great practice for a possibly future in education. Witnessing the light bulb flickering and then go on is a beautiful thing! If anyone has any suggestions for how to approach teaching word problems with ratios/percentages and conversions, I would appreciate it. Word problems like these seem to pose the most issues for my students and while I have a few different approaches, I am always open to others. Each student learns differently and my goal is to completely understand the specific learning styles of my students.
My research is going...slowly. It's not finding the time, it's finding the level of concentration that I need to truly comprehend the material that is posing an issue for me this summer. Every now and then I have a research mode day. Hopefully tomorrow will be one of those days.
Good night.
Much love.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Family & Faith

Life is a never ending lesson. No matter where you turn, if you are open to it, there is a lesson, moral, style to me learned. You may not realize it in the moment, in the year, or even in the decade, but at some point in your life you will be reminded of that life learned lesson. Having faith and living my faith are two lessons that have been instilled in me from infancy, yet sometimes I completely ignore what I know I should be doing. I get caught up in drama, am insecure at times I should stand tall, let frustration and worry overtake the person I strive to be...and then the reminder of the lesson I've learned so many times steps into my life to say Hi! This reminder came at my grandfather-inlaw's memorial service. He had several loves in life, but above all, he had family and faith.
It was family that we celebrated that weekend. A wonderful generation was created and lives strong today. Four generations stand tall and are bound to each other by blood and love.
Father and son...

Uncle and niece...

Cousins and siblings...

Grandmothers, grandsons and great granddaughters...



Uncle and nephew...

Aunt and niece...

Uncle and niece...

Mothers and children...Siblings...

Father and sons...

Husband and wife...

Cousins and grandchildren...

Father and son...

Cousins and great grandchildren...

The weekend was emotional, but family and faith held us together and made us strong. Words cannot express the love shared by this wonderful bunch for their amazing Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather & Friend.

Much love.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Making a house a home

Our house may be small, but it is perfect for us and with each passing day it becomes more of a home. Gardens are growing, furniture is being updated, gates are breaking, tiki torches are being glowing, little Amura is growing, dinners are made with love, and Ryan is home much more! Ryan being home alone makes this house a home for me! Home is where the heart is and my heart is with him, so wherever he floats, my heart floats as well. Having Ryan home to put the new hardware on Jared's dresser was a rare moment and a photo opp indeed! There's something about a man, my man, using his hands even though this is completely minor in the handyman world, it is big in the sentimental world! Jared has a dresser and it is black with brushed nickle hardware! Very manly and a perfect fit for his room.

Little Amura still makes her daily visits in early morning and early evening when the sun isn't beating down turning our yard into a sauna. Ryan and I both talk to her and while she freezes at first, she eventually starts twitching her ears and then continues to nibble. She's growing like a weed and still cuter than ever!

What's a home without a garden?!?! Our herbs, peppers and tomatoes are growing like crazy! There is a huge sense of pride watching them grow. As a child, my parents always told me to water the plants and I would mope out there and do it, but now, I have a completely different outlook on watering plants. If I don't do it, they will wither away and die; they depend on me and my pocket depends on them. I don't want to have to buy basil, tomatoes, peppers, parsley, squash, etc. all summer if I can just grow them in my backyard! Oh and the bunny has stopped eating them, Thank God!

We have a big weekend ahead filled with lots of family. I will write about it next week and will hopefully have a ton of photos to share with you!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Much love.