Friday, August 28, 2009

I think I finally got it right.

If you know me at all, you know what an awful time I have trying to make a decision. It doesn't matter if it is cereal or a car. I just can't decide. The same is true about paint colors. When we moved in two years ago, I was pregnant and my doctor suggested that we wait to paint. Ok. Fine by me. The walls were a flat beige color. It just did not look good at all, but we managed.

The color when we moved it. Notice the horrible brass light fixture.

At the beginning of the year, I finally picked out colors I thought I would like. I chose a dark gray and a burgundy color. We liked it at first. After a couple of months, we both admitted that we were secretly hating the gray. LOL.

Gray and burgundy

So, we venture out and purchase more paint. We go with a color that has a hint of green in it. My hubby loved it, but I was still on the fence. I really didn't like it next to the burgundy. The front wall and the kitchen are painted burgundy. Well, my hubs said that I could paint over the burgundy in the entry and that is what I did!!!

Please ignore the fixture and the ceiling. I still need to touch up. I was just so excited I had to get pictures up!

I really like the color now. It is called Manatee Grey from Glidden. The next post will be about my new bathroom color!!

Still have a fever

Baby fever that is. It's so hard knowing Crash will be my last child. I love, love, love being a mommy. I would give anything to have one more, but I know it is just not possible. My hubby sacrificed a lot by working nights and coming home to take care of our son. I know it was very physically demanding for him. The only way I will be incubating a little one is if my hubby gets a promotion or we pay off all our bills. I don't see that happening any time soon. Sigh. Big, big sigh. My biggest issue is not being needed as much. My children are getting older and no longer rely on me. I am going to have the worst case of empty nest syndrome when they go to college. Hopefully, they will stay close to home. I know. I am pretty pathetic.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kmart Doubles

The next Kmart Super Doubles is 8/30. The Crystal City store and the South County store both participate.

The Rules:
- limit 10 coupons doubled per person (I believe the ad even states this is per day.)
- you must have a total of $25 before coupons of health/beauty and grocery
- limit 4 like coupons per transaction (So you can't clear the shelves in one swoop)
- Any coupon up to $2.00 will double
- You cannot get overage. If you have a coupon for $2.00 and the item is $3.94, the register will take off $2.00 and then $1.94.
- By one get one free coupons are not included*
- printable internet coupons are accepted

Helpful tips:
- Try to stay away from the multiple coupons, $1.00 off 2 etc. These do not automatically subtract the proper amount. A prompt comes up on the register for the cashier to select the products. If the cashier only selects one, then you will not get the full benefit. It's kind of a hastle.
-$25 isn't really hard to get to.
- You don't have to use the doubles to just get free stuff. You can also get good deals on things that you use. I take this time to get Pull Ups for Crash. They are $9.99 a pack. I am able to get them for $5.99 a pack.
- Make sure the coupons are applied to the right product or you will not get the maximum value. To avoid this the best I can, I only get the same flavors, scents, colors, etc.
- You can lower your out of pocket by going here for a $5 off $50 coupon. You can also sign up here to sign up for their emails and receive a $5 off $50 coupon. I never received any of mine, so good luck.
- Check out the Kmart Monthly Circular. When you buy participating products, you receive a coupon to use on your next purchase. Plus, you can plan ahead for your deals.
- Kmart has a coupon book at many of their check outs and customer service desks. I am not positive if these coupons double or not. I believe they do.

My Must Have Items:
Vaseline Lotion $3.00- use $1.50 off = free
Skintimate Cream Shave or Gel, travel size $1.89- use $1.00 off = free
Cutter Insect Repellent $5.39- use $2.00 off (not free but we use a TON of bug spray) = $1.39
Tag Body Spray $3.50- use $2.00 off = free
Pond's facial cleaning towelettes, 15 count $3.00- use $1.25 off = $.50 each
Visine A.C. and for contacts, .5 ounce $3.99- use $2.00 off = free
Bengay $4.99- use $2.00 off = $.99 each
Salley Hansen nail color $2.99- use $1.00 off = $.99 each
Reach Floss $1.69-$2.69 - use $1.00 off = free or $.69 each
Reach Toothbrushes $3.69-$4.19 - use $2.00 off = free or $.19 for a two pack
Starbucks Frappuccino $2.00 - use $1.00 off = free
LaCross beauty products $1.49 up to $2.00 - use $1.00 off = free
Purex 3-in-1 laundry sheets $5.50 - use $1.00 off = $3.50 each (I will buy three and get a $5 coupon back. I will also use a store coupon with this to lower the out of pocket. These are my splurge items.)

Some others to check out. I don't have the prices for these but I hear they are decent deals:
Playtex Rubber Gloves
Ziploc Bags
Nice N Fluffy
Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
Snickers, Twix, Three Musketeers
Airwick Adjustables

I think that is all. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave me a comment.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kmart Rocks My World

I have found a new love in my life. There is one week a month where I devote a lot of my attention to a very special event: Super Doubles. Typically, one week a month, Kmart will double coupons up to $2.00 in value. This means, any item that is $4.00 and under will be free. You can also find sweet deals on super cheap stuff too. I got a few photos of some of my loot. I had a wide shot, but it didn't turn out. Crash had gotten a hold of my camera and put some fingerprints on the lens. Jerk. LOL. Not pictured are the Smart Waters and Frappacinos I already consumed and put in my fridge. :) I plan on selling most of this stuff at an up coming garage sale. I will be able to sell it for a reduced price from what you can get in the store, but I will still turn a little profit. I have already donated quite a bit to some charities too. I figure they could use some stuff too.

Here is an overall breakdown of what I purchased. These numbers are not 100% accurate. A few items were put away in our closet or consumed.
Rolaids- 23 boxes
Visine A.C.- 22 boxes
Reach Floss- 18
Reach Toothbrushes 2 packs- 8
Reach Toothbrushes single pack- 2
Pond's Scrubbing clothes, 15 ct- 4
Gum- 16
Cutter Back Woods bug spray- 5
LaCross Nail tools- 3
Tag Body Spray- 6
Edge, travel size- 8
KY Warming liquid- 5
Skintimate, travel size-1
Dry Idea roll on deodorant- 3
Vaseline Lotion- 22
Kotex liners, 22 ct- 15
LA Looks gel- 11
Listerine Total Care- 10
Smart Water- 34
Rubbermaid 20oz bottles- 19
Suave Lotion-2
Starbuck's Frappacinos- 20
Purex 3 in 1 sheets-3
Total spent out of pocket for all of this is approximately $62.00. I do not know what my actual savings is. Someone threw away my receipts. Cough. Crash. Cough. I would say it was no less than $550. I believe that is a savings of over 80%. I still have $23.00 in coupons I received to use for the next doubles coming up on August 30th. This helps cut on the out of pocket if I have any items that happen to not be free. I will have a post coming soon of my favorite Kmart doubles deals.

Time is money, but not for long.

I found out that it looks as though all hours are going to be getting cut, severely. I recently had 5 hours per week cut from my check. Now it looks like I will be lucky to get 15 hours a week. It's pretty much going to stink, but oh well. We will be able to manage. We always figure something out.
I was coming up with a mental list of things I will be able to do with more free time.

1. Clean more- I know what you are thinking. Who really WANTS to clean more? Me! I have a mild case of OCD. I cannot stand having dirt any where. Being able to clean more will help my anxiety.

2. Learn more about my camera and photography- I will have a lot more time to read up on my camera and tips for beginners. It gives me a little anxiety because I'm still not able to understand all the cool features of my camera.

3. Exercise- I will have plenty of time to exercise. I stress out because I am so rushed. We are always on the go. I have been really had on myself lately about my weight and health. More time means more time to work out.

4. Finish housework/repairs- At the beginning of the year, we jumped into a million home projects at once and we burnt out, fast. I will have time to do painting touch ups and decorate, etc.

5. Blog more- I have neglected my blog since the start of football season. I will have more time to blog about all sorts of random topics.

6. Take more photos- After I figure out how to use my camera, I will be able to take some really badass shots. Hopefully. I will have time to find different locations and subjects to shoot.

7. Bargain Shop- Finding good deals sometimes takes a lot of time and effort. Perusing the racks at Salvation Army and Goodwill is well worth it. You can find some amazing deals. I will also have time to get ready for any Kmart Super Doubles Event. I prefer this to Walgreen's now.

8. Start my own business- I'm not really sure what I would do seeing as how I'm not particularly good at anything. I could have lots of sales with my Kmart finds. I could set up my own phone sex line. I could open my own day care. The possibilities are endless. LOL.

9. Give myself pedicures and manicures- I will be able to change my nail polish routinely instead of just whenever it wears off. :)

10. Visit with friends- I have a few friends in T-roy that I haven't seen in a LONG time and I would really love to reconnect with again.

11. Crochet more- I like crocheting. It's not terribly difficult to do. I could make a buttload of scarves. LOL.

12. Paint and draw- I used to have a little bit of art skills, but I put those to the side along with other things when I became a mommy.

13. Pray more- I'm not super religious, but I do pray. I would have more time to read the Bible and offer up more meaningful prayers.

14. Landscape- I will have time to take better care of my yard. We love being outdoors as it is. It's a little late in the year to get a garden of any kind going but I can start researching and planning for next year. My garden's going to kick butt!

Well, that pretty much concludes my list. If you have any other ideas, don't hesitate to leave me a comment. I'm open to anything. Well, almost anything.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Camera basics.

I'm pretty much clueless when it comes to my new camera. I have NO idea what all of the terms mean. I read the manual and played around with all of the functions. I do not understand when to use the different functions and why I should use them. I am one of those annoying people who needs to know everything about something. I am not just satisfied knowing that something has the ability to perform a function. I have to know everything that goes into it. Perhaps this is the geek in me, but I can't help it!!

The other day, I had trouble sleeping. I slept for a whopping 3 hours and was wide awake. I decided to clean the basement and then play around on the net. I have been debating purchasing a book on photography. I cannot for the life of my decide which one to purchase. There are way too many choices. I figured the best thing I could do is start with the basics. I need to learn the photography terms. I found this site. It may be pretty basic and simplistic, but so am I. :) My plan is to take one letter of the alphabet a day and learn all of those terms. I figure I have to start somewhere.

Here are a couple of books I am contemplating:
Nikon D60 for Dummies- Self explanatory. I'm a dummy and feel really overwhelmed with my new camera. LOL.
The Digital Photography Book- Several blogs I have found recommend this book.

If you have any other suggestions, please don't hesitate to let me know. I'm open to anything.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Much better, thank you.

I may have had a little melt down the other day. I was very frustrated and very tired. It happens. Sometimes we need to just take a minute and let it all out. My blog is the best way to do that. It's like screaming, but not scaring anyone. It's like getting that ton of bricks off your shoulders. It's just talking and rambling with out being interrupted. It's free therapy really, since obviously my anxiety medicine is not working. LOL. Let's face it: we would like our lives to be perfect and peachy every day but they aren't. We have weak moments from time to time, but that's what makes us human. Hello, my name is Cecilia, and apparently, I'm not perfect. (Don't tell my hubby!) :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Coupon Shopping

I started coupon shopping a few months ago. I was reading a blog, and the writer talked about getting all these fab deals. I thought to myself, "Hey, that's stuff we use and need! I should give this a shot." Boy, I am glad I did. This has really saved our bank account. So many of my friends and fam ask me how I find such good deals and coupons. I decided to post a blog with some info for them. I may have done this before, but I can't recall. I tried searching and came across nothing. Forgive me if this is a repeat.

Money saving blogs: These blogs give a rundown of many deals at various stores. They will also post links to great coupons or freebies you can get.

Deal Seeking Mom
Money Saving Mom
Common Sense with Money

Coupon and deal sites: I mainly stick the the forum sections on these sites. People post deals they get and how they get them. There are also threads on how to get started couponing.
Slick Deals
Hot Coupon World

Coupon Sources: These are some sites I use to get more coupons. I can't justify buying 20 newspapers. If I want multiples of a coupon, I use these sites.
The Coupon Master
The Coupon Clippers
Coupons and Forms
Coupons and Things by Dede

Yes, I get multiples of some coupons. There are some items that we use a lot of, so why not get a reasonable number of them to have on hand at a killer price?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pretty fly.........for a white guy.

This post is about Crash and his dance moves. He gets them from his daddy. :)
Here is a video of the proof.

Kids are the best. :)

I need to vent.

Today has been a frustrating day. Nothing too extreme happened, just a lot of little things that are adding up quickly. I will just list them quickly.

-- Hubby is perpetually cranky because of his job. I am trying my hardest to be sympathetic, but I just can't handle everything being my fault anymore.
-- The older two kids are getting to the phase where they fight. About everything.
-- There aren't enough hours in the day.
-- Got stuck in traffic this morning. 5:30 a.m. Yep, still not sure why, but it sucked.
-- Poured down rain when I ran in to get my quarter coffee.
-- Spilled said coffee in gas station and felt like a complete idiot.
--Got to work only for the rain to start falling harder. Froze in the building because I was soaked to the bone.
-- Got a huge blister on my toe. Not sure how that happened. I have had these shoes for a while now. Guess from being wet.
-- Came home from work to immediately jump into housework that could have been done while I was at work.
-- Had to switch the car seat to the other vehicle because apparently my hubby doesn't know how to take his vehicle for an oil change. The kids were really happy about sitting in a hot car.
-- Put the car seat BACK into my vehicle so I wouldn't have to do it at 5 a.m. tomorrow.
-- Got in trouble for not buying salsa even though I haven't been to the grocery store.
-- Probably need a new tire for hubby's vehicle.
-- Definitely need new tires on my vehicle.
-- Most likely will be receiving a pay cut. Not sure how much. 5-10% is the best guess. I have worked there for 4 and a half years and had ONE raise. Yep. That's right. No benefits other than childcare. We don't make much at all. Just a little above minimum wage.
-- Got in trouble for NOT putting gas in hubby's vehicle even though I DID manage to get the oil changed for him.
-- I was also the one who changed the oil last time in his vehicle.
-- Crash was tired and cranky at 6.
-- It's 10:30 and Crash is STILL not asleep.
-- The Cards did NOT score 6 runs again, so I am pretty much screwed tomorrow with no quarter coffee.
-- Feeling like I pretty much suck at life in general right now.

I know things really aren't that bad. I'm just having a difficult day. I'm exhausted, so that really doesn't help my state of mind either. Hopefully, crash will go to bed sometime this evening. Thanks for letting me whine and cry. I don't feel better, but I will soon.

I need a change.

I am really wanting to get a new duvet cover for our bedroom. We have two that I switch out depending on the season. I'm kind of tired of looking at the same ones. They are very boring. Come to think of it. I'm kind of tired of looking at the paint color in their too. LOL. I decided to look online at Target to see if they had anything of interest. Plus, I have a gift card. :) I found a few that I like. None of which go with the current color of our wall, and we don't have any plans to paint soon. :( Oh well, I can still window shop.

I'm not really sure which one I like the most. I would have to say the teal and green ones are probably my fav. I would also guess that my hubby would not like either one. He is SO boring. LOL. I can say that here because he doesn't read my bloggy poo. Let me know what ya think. Shoot, if you have a favorite place you get bedding, feel free to let me know!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Salsa's in Crystal City

Yesterday, we decided to take the kiddos out to eat. It was six million degrees outside. We have a very tiny a/c unit that has trouble keeping the living room cool during these hot summer days. We hang out in the family room downstairs to stay cool. Cooking usually increases that temp by quite a bit, so I try to avoid it. I don't like sweating while I'm cooking. Ugh. Plus, we had a little extra cash since my hubby sold a motor. We decided to try Salsa's in Crystal City. We all love Mexican food and I had a coupon. :)

The restaurant was dead. There were literally two other groups in the place. To me, this is usually a bad sign. I was a little apprehensive. We were seated and they brought us salsa and chips. They also brought a dish of pico de gallo! YUMMO! I love pico. The salsa was pretty good. It's not nearly as tasty as Las Palma's, but it was much better than La Pachanga. Hubs and I liked the pico. I would have loved it if it had more cilantro.

Hubby ordered a pick three: beef enchilada, chicken chimichanga and chili relleno. Rice and beans accompany the meal. He liked all of it. He reluctantly let me have a bit of each, and it was all delsh.
I ordered a pick three also: chicken taquito, beef burrito and beef taco. The taquito was very good and unusual. It was sweet and spicy, but it worked for me. The burrito was ok. I mean, it's a burrito. I took the taco home and ate it later. It was tasty too.
Tater and Grace ordered the kids quesadilla and chicken fingers. They are so boring. Crash snacked on everyone else's meals. Hubby was feeling nice and let them order sodas which we usually don't do.
The total bill with the coupon was $23 and some change. It would have been under $20 without the sodas, but oh well. We will definitely be going back.

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Toy

My hubby bought me a new camera. He did a lot of research and decided that the Nikon D60 would be best for me. LOL. I will take his word for it, because I have NO idea what camera is best for me. I haven't read through the manual completely yet. It's hard with Crash running around getting into stuff. LOL. The kiddos wanted to go to the park today, so I brought the new baby along. My children, well, my boys wanted nothing with being my models. I managed to grab a couple of Tater. Grace warmed up nicely to the idea. LOL. "Mom, let's go over here and do this." "How about this, Mom." She's funny.

I need to read a few books on photography. I don't know much at all. I know I am just tired of my family photos looking like dog poo. I'm excited to start learning though. I would really love to take a class, but I cannot do that without a sitter. Sigh. Darn kids.

Scanning through the photos I took, I can already see that lighting is obviously very important. I noticed a lot of shots where shadows were on faces and what not. I had an easier time shooting in the shade than the sun. LOL. I have a feeling that there will be a lot more pictures of Grace in the near future, unless I can bribe the boys to behave.

Warning- Photos of dog bite in post

First, I wanted to thank everyone for your support and kind words. Being a parent is the most difficult job a person could ever have. Often times, I feel as if I am failing horribly. It's nice to get encouragement.

Well, it has been a week since Tater was bitten by the dog. Tater had to miss football and baseball. His father and I were concerned that it would open back up pretty easily. It was a pretty deep wound which is hard to gauge from the pictures. Not to mention all of the bruising around it. Tater was pretty sore. Ugh. It still makes me cringe when I open the pictures. I am still so thankful that it wasn't as bad as it could have been. We were so lucky. I don't have the
You can turn back now.
Immediately after the attack. This gash was still bleeding when I arrived at the hospital an hour after the incident.

One day after the attack.

Two days after the attack.

Bruising on his other side from being pinned against the fence.

One week after the attack.

Kids heal quickly. Thank goodness. I am surprised at how fast the bruises are fading especially after how dark they were. The smaller wound is completely healed. It was just a puncture. The larger wound which I call a gash looks so much better. I am so happy he is feeling better. Tater is still pretty cautious around dogs, but hopefully over time he will let his guard down.
One funny note: Whenever we changed the bandages, Tater would tell Crash not to put his finger in his hole (talking about the wound). LOL. It just sounded funny to me.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I am the worst mom ever.

The one time I don't have my phone on me all day, and I miss an important call. Or several. I was too lazy to go down and get it while I was cooking dinner. Nobody is going to call, I assume. I am an idiot. I got an awful call from my daughter that Tater had been bitten by a dog and they were going to take him to the emergency room. I could hear the panic in her voice and instantly my heart starts beating like crazy. I can't tell you all the things that run through your head when you get a call like this. Is he ok? How did it happen? Why did it happen? Why didn't I have my phone on me? Do my kids now think that I was ignoring them? I start crying thinking about how I failed them in this tiny little way. I finally got the call fifteen minutes later and was able to make it to the emergency room. Fifteen minutes sooner, I could have met them at the house.

I listened to the voice messages my daughter left me. They made me cry too. I could hear how scared she was, nervous. I can't help but think she's angry with me because she can't get a hold of me. No parent ever wants their child to be hurt. You would trade places in an instant to ease their pain. I instantly blame myself. What could I have done to prevent this? Probably nothing. I wasn't there. It wasn't my house. It wasn't my neighbor. It wasn't my dog. Tater was just being a kid, doing kid things, not hurting anything or anyone. Sometimes these things happen. I can't control everything. I can't stop everything. I'm not a superhero, but it would be nice if I were. It is hard accepting that as parents, we cannot protect our kids at all times. We have to let them live. We can't keep them in a box where we know they will be nice and safe. Boy, the emotional issues that would cause! LOL.

Tater is doing well. I still contend that he could have used a few stitches, but the doc in the e.r. said no. He is on antibiotic to prevent infection and will not have to get rabies shots. Thank goodness the dog's owner had enough sense to immunize his dog. I am just very grateful that Tater's accident didn't turn out like so many of those tragic dog bite cases. We are very fortunate. I just hope this doesn't cause him to be afraid of dogs now. I would hate for him to live in fear. Only time will tell.