Monday, December 29, 2008

Not me...

So it's Monday (well, for at least another hour or so...) This of course means that I must report in on the things that I didn't do. Actually, that would probably be the truth of it... in the past week especially, there were alot of things that I managed to avoid/forget/skip.

Of course, it wasn't me who didn't blog at all last week. I mean, I wasn't working, so wouldn't that mean I had an extra 40 hours... Surely I did blog, they probably were just in that new invisible computer ink.

I didn't run out of time on Christmas Eve, and resort to simply stashing EVERYTHING in the garage before family arrived. No, that doesn't sound like something I would do, because of course I was off work all week, and would have had more time for things like cleaning & getting things ready. I know it also could not have been me who didn't make a single Christmas cookie until AFTER Christmas, and then just a pack of Toll House... with all the ingredients that I have in my house...

Speaking of after Christmas, it wasn't me who waited until after Christmas to pick up sale items to use as gifts, not for next year, but for people who I knew I wasn't going to get to see until after Christmas anyways...

It was not me who still didn't get to finish Christmas cards... but went ahead and bought cards for next year on clearance. I mean even marked down to $1 a box wouldn't be a good deal for the person who just stores them to look at herself!

It was not me who headed into the kitchen this morning with the thought of making waffles, but decide to have a left over piece of peanut butter fudge instead. That sounds like the kind of person who would petition for peanut butter fudge to be it's own food group...

I'm also not the girl who has been running around with her hair in a ponytail almost 24/7 for the last WEEK to avoid the hassle of fixing it. I also didn't decide to try out my new black nail polish by painting one of my toes, and then never getting around to painting the rest...

Well, since it's getting late, and I'm getting sleepy, I guess that's all I can think of for now that I didn't do. McmMama over at MyCharmingKids has a wee one in the hospital, so there's not a link for posts this week, but I'm sure your prayers would be appreciated!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Natalie over at A little of this, a little of that tagged me. Pretty simple, just have to go to 6th picture folder and find the 6th picture... and hope like heck that it's a pic you remember why you took, so you can tell everyone, lol.

Here goes:

Well, I think that most people should be able to figure out that's Hillary Clinton. This pic was taken over the summer. My roomie, another friend & I went to Frankfort to hear her speak. It was HOT that day, both waiting outside AND inside waiting. But we were right up front, I got her autograph. Though she didn't secure the nomination, I am glad I had the opportunity to meet her.
Feel free to join in & link back

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas according to me

Antique Mommy was sharing some absolutely important and worth memorizing Christmas information over on her blog. I love when reading another person's blog gives me a topic for my own, especially since I seem to be swamped these days!

So here goes:

I grew up with the SAME Christmas tree in my house from my first Christmas all the way up to in my 20's. It was a white tree my mom bought out of the box as a display model right before my first Christmas... for YEARS I thought people who had green trees were just weird! When I moved out on my own, mom even bestowed it on me. Now that the tree has been laid to rest (I still did keep a bough of it that I decorate) I have a new tree. I couldn't find a white one I liked, but this one is a blueish green, which is prolly the next best thing.

My first Christmas season on my own was the Christmas of the dueling Christmas trees. Both myself & my roomie had brought trees and he liked his green one better than my white one... and well... Green trees are weird... They sat in the living room, opposite of each other. His kept falling over! I had nothing to do with this!

I am 30 years old, and I will still wake up by 5 AM on Christmas morning... I think it has been this way since I was born... it is beyond me how people sleep in... It's Christmas people!! When my younger brothers came along, my mom told me I couldn't open presents until they woke up. My brother Ray wanted to sleep till 10 AM!!! I used to still get up early... go dig through my stocking... go dig through everyone else's stocking, trade any candy I wanted :) and then go sit in my brother's room and poke him until he woke up! Yes, I was a loving child.

This year, there is no Christmas tree up in my house. The new little monster would be only too happy to make that her next chew toy. I got this cute little Charlie Brown mini tree - not sure where it's going yet.

Any decorations put up this year will have to be above waist high... see above comment abuot little monster for any explanation you need. That being said, most all of my decor is still boxed up. It will make it's way out... eventually

My favorite Christmas song is The Twelve Days of Christmas. Each year I go with friends & family to Southern Lights and when we get to that light display, I begin seeking, providing entertainment for all (they say they don't like it, but I know they do.) Though sometimes I have to sing it fast to keep up with the light displays.

I make a holiday punch that changes just a bit every year. I don't have a recipe. It's more of a method. I put whatever looks good when I'm shopping in it. It's very sweet usually, which is the PERFECT excuse to mix it with Arbour Mist. My mother likes it as well.

I don't put alot of pressure on myself to find the perfect gift. I also don't want others to stress about what to get me, because if I really want something, I just go buy it myself.

This year, Christmas Eve is at my house... I'm serving Pizza!!! I actually think Christmas dinner would be complete with Pizza & turkey... (turkey... mmmmmm) and cookies... there must be cookies

So that's Christmas according to me.... Feel free to share your own thoughts, ideas, traditions, or whatever else you wanna share!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Great Expectations and Small Jubilations

I read a post from Rachel who blogs at SmallNotebook. She did a guest post on MoneySavingMom which you can read here. She was sharing the more simplistic approach that she takes to Christmas. She doesn't get all caught up in the "keeping up with the Joneses" in order to throw a more lavish spread than those around her. Not saying that there is anything wrong with going all out for Christmas. This year, I'm going for a semi simple approach. Partly because of time constraints, the economy, etc... and partly because of the monster residing in my house!

I still don't really have much in the way of Christmas decor out. I've given up on even putting anything out until this upcoming weekend. I'll be off work for at least 2 weeks after Friday (perhaps even longer) so I will have a bit more time to get everything out. I hope to put up some pics once I have! That being said... Christmas decor will be kept to a minimum this year... because Zali, aka Monster, is a bit chew happy, so my Christmas tree is staying boxed up this year. I've tried experimenting with some decor on the entertainment center, and well... it's not going to well... she's pretty feisty when we're not around. I guess I'll be more creative in decorating from the waist level & up in my house!

I am having my family come to my place for Christmas eve. I'm going to keep it pretty casual, make a homemade pizza, some appetizers, punch & we're going to watch a movie as a family. For Christmas Day, I'll drive to my parents house.

I do plan on doing some baking... still haven't decided what, I guess I'll decide next week when I'm off.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It wasn't me

So it's Monday, the rain is pouring, and I would much rather be snoring! But since I'm up... It's that time.

I certainly did not decide to write up this blog while I'm at work, no if I was at work, I would most certainly be on the phone with someone in England or emailing someone in Australia, not playing with my blog.

I did not run and grab dinner last Friday, only to come back home and sit in front of my house, eating it in my car so as to avoid the begging eyes of my four legged children while I tried to enjoy the food. No, that wouldn't have been me. It also wasn't me who stopped at Walgreens to buy a Christmas present and ended up buying more outdoor Christmas decorations... especially since the inside of my house has not been decorated yet.

I am not the person who routinely leaves the ringer turned off on her cell phone and convienently leaves it in another room so that she doesn't have to actually ignore a call when I would rather veg out or sleep in. No that would be irresponsible, definitely not me.

I most certainly have not postponed many household tasks that need to be done, with the excuse that I will be off for 2 weeks at Christmas and can get everything done then. That would mean that my garage is overflowing and the dining room table is stacked up with stuff for the garage, and is probably why the Christmas decorations haven't made it out yet... Nope not me.

I know it wasn't me who saw the little monster chewing on a box this morning and decided to leave her be, because that meant she was leaving me to get ready in peace this morning. I also was not the one who suggested to roomie that we meet for lunch today because I didn't feel like rummaging through cabinets and really didn't want peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.

I also did not forget to drop my prescription off EVERY single day last week, except for Saturday, only to remember that Kroger's pharmacy closes early on the weekends. I also did not say, well I will get up first thing Sunday morning and drop it off, only to be still sitting here on Monday with my prescription in my hand. Nope, couldn't have been me, because I would know that I only have a certain window of time... and then my face will start flaring up...

And I know that I certainly did not still avoid finishing Christmas cards this weekend... I mean if that were the case, I might as well wait until next year or something like that :)

Be sure and visit Charming Kids if you want to see what other people didn't do!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Be nice

Does anyone remember those old commercials, I believe they were from Pantene, the "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" ones? I recently had an incident that somehow made me think about that commercial.

On Wednesday, I was skimming through my email, and noticed that JCPenney had emailed me a $15 off $15 coupon! I printed the coupon out, and figured it would come in handy. Later that day, I saw another email from them, about their sale that was going on that day, with "Huge doorbusters all day, etc" so I thought, "what the heck, I'll go out tonight, might be able to stretch that $15 even further!"

I got to the mall, and went to the store, I didn't need anything in particular, and I'm pretty much settled on Christmas gifts, so my roomie & I decided to head up to housewares. This was where most of the deals were to be found, so I figured I could find something useful. I browsed through the entire section, finally deciding on this roasting pan set. (It's a really nice set, btw!) It was a great deal. It was originally $39.99, on sale for $19.99 and had a $10 mail in rebate. With my coupon, I'd only pay $5 for it, and either get that $5 back, or depending on how the manufacturer does their rebates, actually make an extra $5!

So we go up to the register. The lady working seems pleasant enough... She rings up the item and gives me the total. I hand her the coupon. She looks at me and says, I don't think that it will let me take the coupon for that. I politely stand there and wait for her to give it a shot. In the meanwhile, another lady was approaching, and I guess she saw/overheard the conversation, she had a similiar coupon ($10/$10) - she politely pipes in that the gentleman downstairs explained to her that it would be good off of anything. The cashier then looks at her and tells her that it will not work on everything, and that for example it won't work on the appliance she's holding. She tells her that if she wants to tell her what department this guy was in, she'll call down there and tell him he's handing out wrong information.

Now the whole time, this lady's (cashier) voice is pleasant enough, she has a friendly voice, but the tone she's using and the statements she's making, combined with the facial expressions, body language, are giving off a quite different impression. The other customer leaves the area and the cashier proceeds to begin keying in the coupon. And she's visibly annoyed, she had to key the coupon in twice because she miskeyed it the first time. I continue to stand politely, not speaking, waiting for her to finish. When she gets finished, suprisingly enough, the coupon worked. I scan my card, and pay for the item. That's when it gets really fun.

When the receipt prints out, it also prints out the rebate form. The cashier looks at it, and is standing there holding all of it. She looks up at me and says "Hmmph, looks like this has a $10 rebate, but I don't see how you're going to get a rebate, since you only paid $5 for it to start with!" Then she hesistates, as if she's waiting for me to tell her to just toss it or something. Instead I just smile and wait while she finally hands me my receipt. Out the store I go!

So, why did that remind me of the "Don't hate me..." commercial... Simply because that's not the first time I've been shopping and scored a great deal, only for the employee to think I'm somehow cheating the system. And that's not the only place it happens. To be fair, we've all been guilty of it I'm sure... You go to the store and notice the person checking out in front of you got a great clearance deal on a jacket you bought for full price last month, or even just has a better set of coupons than you do.

The way I see it, we are currently living in some very troubling times. Let's face it, our economy sucks! People are losing their jobs, their homes, everything... every day. We're all feeling the strains of the world right now. Let's not begrudge each other when one of us figures out how to actually make it work. Let's celebrate each other's successes just as much as our own. The world is bad enough without us having to tear each other down!

The ten spot

So, what exactly can $10 get you these days. You definitely can't get pizza delivered for that, and most drive thru value meals for 2 will run you more than that. That's not to say that you can't stretch that $10. I did just that yesterday... with change to spare!

I stopped in at Kroger last night. The above pic is a shot of my purchases. The grand total: $8.96

My total before savings would have been $57 - so that's about 85% savings

I bought:

2 Boxes General Mills Cereal (Cinnamon Toast Crunch & Trix) @ $3 each

2 Boxes Chex Mix Bars (Turtle) @ $2.50 each

3 Boxes Strawberry Poptarts @ $1.78 each

3 Bottles of Hairspray @ $1.11 each

3 Bags Lifesavers Candy @ $1 each

1 Can of Hairspray @ $2.18

4 Trial Size FiberChoice Tablets @ $2.19 each

1 Almay Makeup Remover Towlettes @ 2.99

1 Maybelline Mineral Makeup @ $1.69 (clearanced)

I used

$1/2 Cereal Coupon (Internet Printable)

$1.25 off Chex mix bars (x 2) (I.P.)

$1 peelie off poptarts (x3)

$.50 off any Suave (doubled) that was a peelie on the products (x4)

$1 off Lifesavers MFN (x 3)

$2 off FiberChoice (hang tag on some of the other products) x 4

$2 off Almay Product (From the Kmart Beauty Book)

$2 off Maybelline Mineral Foundation MFN

I also got the $4 off your order for buying 4 select General Mills products.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A great way to get Entertainment Book for Free!

I was reading through some different blogs, it seems everyone has Entertainment books on sale right now, and there are lots of ways to get them pretty cheap. I finally ran across one that will make it FREE! If you don't know what the "Entertainment" book is, you can click on the link, basically it's a coupon book for your local area that gives you a ton of discounts, etc.

If you want to pick one up for free - here's how:

Start by going to Cashbaq and joining if you have not joined already. They are actually giving $5 just for signing up, so you'll actually make an extra $5!

From the main page at Cashbaq, you'll see the link to the Entertainment book, which if you follow their link, is on sale for $25, and is being discounted $10 when you buy through that link. This brings the cost down to $15. (WITH FREE SHIPPING)

When you are order the book, you'll be given the option of signing up for "auto-renewal" for future editions you'll get $5 off your order, bringing the cost of the book to just $10. You'll get an email notice when the next edition comes out next year, and you can cancel it if you're like me and will be looking for another great deal :) I always mark these down in my calendar so I don't forget!

You'll check out and pay the $10, but Cashbaq will be refunding you the $10 through their site! And if you were new to Cashbaq, you'll actually be getting $5 more, so you'll get paid to get the book.

Not a bad deal if I do say so myself. I was originally planning on picking up the book for cheap at Walgreens, but Free is better :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Going to extremes?

I was reading an interesting blog by Mary over at Owlhaven. She posed the question of is there a point in which frugal becomes TOO frugal? So, I started thinking, exactly how "frugal" am I?

Being a young 30-Something, I've often found that some of my friends think my ability to stretch a dollar or acquire things cheaply is pretty cool. Others probably not so much. And even amongst the ones who are amazed at my spending, some don't often think it's something that they would do themselves, sometimes citing lack of time, lack of knowledge, lack of patience, or unwillingness to stoop to using coupons, etc. I get it, to an extent. So before I get into figuring out how frugal I am, I could probably start with why I am in the first place.

I will say, right off the bat, that the word "Frugal" probably leaves a bad taste in people's mouths. To some, it implies a mental image of a person separating their 2 ply toilet paper and washing out their butter containers. ( I do NOT separate my TP, but I do keep some of those containers, hey... storage containers have a way of disappearing in my house, I need every advantage I can get). I often use terms like "practical, economical, or "good steward" of my money" to describe myself. So why am I, you ask?

If you think I have problems spending money, you would be incorrect. I personally LOVE spending money, I like buying things, all sorts of things. So much in fact, that I discovered a long time ago that the better the deal, the more things I could buy! Think about it. Let's say you have $100 to spend on groceries,personal items, and entertainment. If you go into the grocery store and spend $75 on food, that leaves just $25 to spend on personal & entertainment. But what if you were able to get that $75 worth of groceries for just $30... well, that leaves you some more wiggle room.

Now don't get me wrong, yes I could stop buying toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, air freshner, and household cleaning products today, and would seriously not need to sweat replacements for a year. However, I am not by any stretch of the imagination leading a miserly life. There are parts of my life that I choose to budget, which gives me that much more money for the other parts. I share a very large 3 bedroom 2.5 bath townhouse with only 1 other human being (granted the pets help occupy this space). Between dear roomie & I, we have acquired a $400 vacuum, a very nice, larger than necessary flat screen television, a Wii & it's accessories, and many more things. My bathroom overflows with health & beauty products, and I do my fair share of eating in restaurants. For me it's about balance. I am able to make my money go farther. This does not mean I have a never ending bank account. I do make hard decisions when it comes to finances, and sometimes opt to do without things.

So, for me, how frugal is too frugal? Well, I'm really open to trying most anything once. If it's a money saving option, I'm all for giving it a go, provided it's doable for me. An idea that's had some success for me, cooking from scratch. I'm still expanding on this, but I now make things at home that I used to buy prepared. I've discovered that I prefer a completely homemade pizza and that with the right prep work, it's not an inconvience. Not saying that all my frugal endeavors have met with the same success. I got the notion that I could save a ton of money if I stopped eating out at restaurants entirely. Well, for some that may not seem like a hard task, but in my crazy hectic life, it's sometimes the only thing that can keep my schedule sane... needless to say, this idea did not last long. Now I'm not out eating $30 dinners every night, but I don't beat myself up terribly if I decide that the lunch I packed is just not appealing and can wait until tomorrow. And then their are the ideas that I don't even attempt. Lately I've been reading online from many different sources about making your own laundry detergent... and I have to admit... it kinda appealed to me... but then I gave it some more thought. I do manage to keep a good supply of laundry detergent on hand at a very reasonable price, and I have a high efficiency washer, which means I do have to pay particular attention to what goes in it. Of course at the end of the day, for now it's a matter of time management for me. I decided that it's just easier for me to use my good ol' Tide and call it a day. My schedule is hectic and I'm saving enough in other areas, that this isn't a battle I need to win.

So, if you're still with me (I know, I've rambled) that would be my answer... for me, how frugal is too frugal? To put it simply (well, as simple as I can) if the act of being frugal outweighs the benefits of the frugality (either in savings, time, or fun) then I pass. I don't however wrinkle my nose up at the brave souls that give it a go. If you're committed to it, and it's not inflicting harm, I say go for it... it's all about personal choices.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It wasn't me...

It wasn't me stopping in to see what my favorite Newlyweds were up to when I should have been working. It wasn't me either that read this post and was inpired to share one too!

It wasn't me who just had to go to the post office Friday to get the cute "Holiday" stamps so that Christmas cards could get done over the weekend and then forgot to actually fill them out. And it wasn't me who decided that Christmas decor would go up over the weekend, even buying some new items, only to have everything still sitting in boxes come Monday morning.

It couldn't have been me who went to the grocery store on Sunday, only to come home and look around at a fully stocked kitchen and pick up the phone to order pizza. I also was not the one who started cleaning the kitchen only to resort to stacking extra things on the deep freeze and high tail it back to the living room to catch up on some tv.

I know that I wasn't the one who somehow gathered a large group of friend's and acquaintances to go out bowling over the weekend, only to depart from said gathering hours earlier than the rest because I was sleepy. And it just couldn't have been me, who made these plans to offset the original plan of a Christmas gathering at my house that was cancelled because I found reading the Twilight series to be much easier to do than the rearranging and organizing that was required in order to entertain at home.

And speaking of Twilight, it's not possible that I have become quite smitten with this fictious character, Edward Cullen!

You can of course find even more of this type of blog over at Charming Kids

Great trip to Kroger

Well, I was going to post the picture of my Kroger trip, but unfortunately I didn't realize until just now when I went to upload, that the picture was nothing but a blur (guess I was moving to quickly to put up everything) I spent $42, my pre-coupon price was almost $80, and that was taking off sales prices and a couple of deals that took $$$ of the total as the items were being scanned (like the cereal deal). Pretty good deals. Since I don't have my pic, I'm not going to detail out everything I bought, but just bullet out some of the great deals I picked up.

Celestial brand tea, FREE (on sale for $1, still had 1 of my $1 coupons lingering)
Daisy Sour Cream, FREE (on sale for $1, used recent $.50 MFN's - doubled)
Sargento Potato Finisher $1.50 (on sale for $2.50, used recent $.50 MFN - doubled)

Cereal Deal - Cinnamon Toast Crunch/Honey Nut Cheerios/Cheerios are on sale 4 for $12. If you buy 4 boxes, you get $4 off that order, making them $2 a box. I then went online and got Cinnamon Crunch & Honey Nut Cheerio coupons for $.55 off a box. That made 4 boxes = $5.80 or $1.45 a box

Fleischman's Yeast Strips, on sale $1, used $.45 recent MFN, made them $.10 for each strip of 3. Also, look out for some bonus packages that have an extra packet... I wasn't paying attention, just grabbed some, and got home and realized I got 1 of the bonus packs, wish I would have caught that at the store!

I picked up a steak for $2 (thanks to $2 peelie off the Natural brand of Kroger Meats)

Shredded lettuce is $1 a bag. This is a handy product. Used some last night to make tacos (already had shells on hand from Meijer's deal on those awhile back)

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cool Giveaway

Over at Moms by Heart you can enter to win a $20 coupon for one of the Jennie O Oven Ready Turkeys! Now this is a giveaway I can get into... hello... TURKEY!!!!!! Yummy. I've used one of these before and loved it. Click here to get the scoop.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One of my new favorite things

Just thought I would share! I recently picked up a moppine and I love it! Are you wondering what exactly a "moppine" is? Well, have you ever watched the Rachael Ray talk show? It's from her line, it combines 2 kitchen essentials into 1 handy item. #1 Oven Mitts and #2 a Dish Towel. Basically it's a big dish towel, but in 2 of the corners (opposite of each other) Oven Mitts are sewn in. It's pretty handy. I first heard about them last year on her show, and thought they sounded pretty neat, but never got around to purchasing. A couple weeks ago, while shopping in Wal-Mart I stumbled across them. I picked one up, and both myself and the roomie just love it. If you want to pick one up for yourself (or as a great christmas gift for your favorite cook!) you can check your local Wal-Mart, they run about $8. Or you can find them online. I think one of the shopping channels (can't remember which) sells a set of 3 for $18. You can also go through to link to places to buy them. I got the cute orange striped one!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Any takers?

I'm looking for a couple of guinea pigs :) You may or may not know that I sell Avon. I don't do much promoting of it on this website (don't want to run off any readers with pushy sales tactics). I am going to be testing out some new skin care products that will be out in about another month, I want to get user opinions... in order to share with future customers. While I simply love trying out new stuff, I can't effectively try all the products at the same time. So here's what I'm looking for. First, I should point out, that I'm a small, home based business and can't afford to giveaway the products for this test. These aren't samples, they are full sized products. What I will be offering is this, if you are willing to give the products a shot and give me your opinion about them, I will sell them to you at my cost. Because of the nature of this, this one is only for Lexington metro area residents... but if this goes well, I might have other opportunities open up for any readers outside of that area at a later date.

So what would you be testing? One of two skin care bundles. These are MARK products. I personally use some Mark products myself and LOVE them. They are pretty neat skin care products.

One person will be trying:

Calm Yourself Bundle. The cost of the bundle is $13.30 (plus tax) - when it hits the books, it will be $22, so that's a pretty decent savings. You will get:

*Calming Effect Comfort Milk Cleanser - This soap-free cleanser that treats delicate skin with skin-nourishing milk complex also relies on banana and oat milk protein to help calm and comfort.

*Calm Yourself Hydrating Mask - This gel mask immediately increases skin's moisture by 168%, plus packs the power of five super soothers - sea moss, wheat germ, cucumber extracts, aloe vera and green tea. Antioxidant-rich lemon and orange extracts also help improve skin tone

*Go With the Grain Light Exfoliating Beads - Vitamin-rich adzuki beans and rice bran - two traditional Japanese exfoliators - blend with corn cob to lightly polish skin

The other bundle I need a tester for is the "That's Deep" bundle"

*That's Deep Purifying Gel Cleanser - A super-fresh, soap-free cleanser with sugar maple and black willow bark that goes right to work against dirt, oil and other skin cloggers

*Shine Fighter Oil Control Mask - An intense purifying mask featuring kaolin, a natural, oil-absorbing clay. Exfoliating sugarcane and antioxidant-rich pomegranate extract also work to rid skin of dirt and oil, and promote a clear and radiant complexion

*Berry Grand Super Exfoliating Beads -Antioxidant-rich cranberry and pomegranate seeds combine with apricot seed powder to polish away skin impurities

If you're interested in trying either of these bundles, let me know. I'll have a special gift for each user as a way of saying Thank You. Also, if you notice, there isn't a moisturizer in this bundle, if you want to add on one of Mark's moisturizers while you're trying, I will order you one (again at my cost for this testing) - You can ask me for details :)

Candy Corn Mystery and other ramblings

So, last week was a bit hectic at times, and at other times, I used the opportunity to just get away from my computer and enjoy some R&R. Wednesday night, I came home and was able to solve the Candy Corn Mystery...

What exactly is the Candy Corn Mystery? Well, have you ever wondered what would happen if your dog ate an entire bag of candy corn??? I'm sure it's been at the top of your list of unsolved mysteries... It's no longer at the top of mine. After walking through the door Wednesday evening, I was caught off guard by some suspicous stains and blobs in my house. With a new little terror on the loose, it's not unusual to come home to find something has been gotten into, but this was a new one for me... For you see, these blobs/stains were Hot Pink... So I am instantly concerned wondering what Zali has gotten into that would cause her to have this abnormally colored vomit (sorry there just isn't a nice way to phrase it). I start worrying thinking she has gotten into some cabinet and ate through a stockpile of air freshner or detergent... but she seems fine. Finally, as I start picking up everything, I catch a glimpse of an empty bag of candy corn... and having been the only one in the house for the last few days, I know that this wasn't there before. I quickly deduce that the brightly colored orange/yellow/white candies are what has created this unusually colored suprise and also can probably explain the little monster's very round, very tight belly... I pick up a few straggler pieces that she somehow missed... I'm contemplating whether or not she should see a vet. I decide to just monitor the situation... as she is acting pretty normal... not as active, but fine. She did survive, and in another hour, had one heck of a sugar buzz!

It's shopping season

So, last week kicked off the official start to the Christmas holiday shopping. I'm always interested in how each year more and more stores start their sales earlier and earlier. I can remember when no store was open on Thanksgiving day, then K-Mart started, now many more followed suit. And this year, JC Penny actually opened at 4AM! Unbelievable. So - my blogging was pretty slim lately, thought I jump in and share my shopping stories.

I did start by taking advantage of some great grocery deals at Meijer last week, I meant to post them earlier in the week, but since those sales are now over, figured I wouldn't detail them out. My "official" shopping started on Wednesday night. You have to love shopping online... there are just far fewer headaches! I got my email from Lane Bryant announcing their sale earlier in the day, and was excited, this is the sale that I wait for every year, it's "Merry Christmas to me!" seeing as how Cacique bras have to be quite simply the world's greatest, even with the $38 price tag on most, they are one of my essential items. Which is why I love their Thanksgiving sale... B1G1 Free!!! I combined that promotion, with a $50 off $150 gift cheque AND Free shipping, and got $300 worth of bra's for $100 - That's 66% savings, it's hard to get a better deal. No pic posted for this one :)

Next up, Meijer, on Thanksgiving morning. I was an efficient shopper, was in and out of the store in about 15 minutes. I picked up a few rolls of Christmas wrapping paper for $.59 each, a pumpkin pie for dinner ($2.99) and the item I had went in to get, a 9 piece casserole set for $9.99!

Next I went on to CVS (though was irritated once I got their to discover they had actually let people start at midnight... HELLO... I live right down the street, I would have so been there) But I digress, picked up a quick selection of items that were completely free, combined w/ coupons which made them money makers. I spent ECB's and Gift Card, so nothing out of pocket here:

That was it for Thursday. Now on Friday, I had considered getting up early to hit a few deals, but talked myself into staying in bed instead. Later in the evening, Kev & I did stop by a few stores and snagged a couple things we were wanting to pick up that were on sale. It was great, because we got good deals and ALOT fewer people!

Target: Juno DVD $6 (This is a GREAT movie if you've never seen it) and Gremlins DVD $3.99

Walmart: Still had some $2 DVD's so I picked up a few to use as Christmas gifts.

Also browsed Half Price Bookstore and got a couple books for myself.

No other shopping, until Sunday, when I hit up K-Mart's Double coupon days (up to $2 coupons!)

Not everything was completely Free, however some things were items that I already had on my list to pick up regardless, so they were cheaper by buying there. Some of the best bargains:

Gillette Body Wash $3.99 - used $2 coupon from Sunday's insert making them Free. I bought 7!

Vaseline Moisturizer $2.99 - used $1.50 coupon making them Free. I bought 2

Reynold's Oven Bags $2.29 - used $1 coupon making them $.29 each

Glade Air Freshner $.99 - used $1/2 coupon making them Free, I think I got about 8

Febreeze Air Effects $2.99 - used $1 coupon making them $.99 I bought 4

Purina Beneful Dog Treats $4.99 - used $ 2 coupon making them $.99 I bought 3 bags

Pledge Dusters/Refills $2.50 - used $1.50 coupon making them Free, I bought 7

I won't take the time to detail out all the bargains, because there are a ton of sites that already have. I suggest if you haven't stopped by, grab your coupons and go!