Thursday, January 29, 2015

Couponing: Head & Shoulders

The last time I purchased Head & Shoulders Shampoo (for Hubby) was in April 2012. It took a while for him to get through those three bottles, but it was worth stocking up for the price I paid!

The other day, I noticed that he was on his last bottle and they just happened to be on sale this week, and I had a fairly high-valued coupon. I figured it was time to stock up again,

Here's what my transaction looked like:
 -  Two Head & Shoulders Shampoo on sale: 2/$10 (regular price: $6.99 each)
    - Used $3 off 2 coupon
 -  Four Blue Diamond Almonds, 6 oz containers on sale: Buy 1 Get 1 Free ($4.99 each)
    - Used $1 off 2 coupon
    - Used $1.50 off 2 coupon
Total paid: $15.36 including tax 
Regular purchase price could have been: $34

Some of you may think it's silly to blog about these little trips, but it helps me keep track of how much I spend on things like shampoo and I can use it as a gauge for what a good deal is/how much I should pay and how long the products last.

Now, if I would shopped on it would have been even cheaper . . . but I forgot to compare prices before I went shopping.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Goals for 2015

Happy New Year! (Yes, I realize I'm just a few days, OK 11 days, late but I had to make sure my resolutions were sticking before I share them, right!) I'm excited for this year. Excited for growth and excited for change.

I have two things I've been waiting to share with you. Two things that are getting my year off to a really great start and I hope to continue them for the next twelve months because I desperately need to. Ready? Here they are:

1) I'm reading through the Bible this year. And it's not just me. My entire church is doing this together. How fantastic is that! I love this. I can count the number of times I read the Bible last year on one hand . . . okay, maybe two but that's it. My soul has been so hungry for it but I just couldn't find the time, energy, or focus to do it on a regular basis (or monthly basis for that matter). So this year, I'm all in. And so far, it's awesome. The plan we are following is called the M'Cheyne Reading Plan; we read one chapter from four different books of the Bible every day. Right now we are reading Genesis, Ezra, Matthew and Acts. If we follow through, we will have gone through the Old Testament once and the New Testament and the Psalms twice by the end of the year. I am so excited to have my nose stuck in this book all year long!

2) My wellness goals have been somewhat lacking lately. Back in August I did a Shaklee 90-day challenge to make better choices with my health and that put me on a much better track. I started getting outside everyday and paying attention to ME. I still do to some extent but let a lot of things slip around the holidays.

On January 1st, I signed up for a challenge to do one small change everyday for the month. You can see the calendar here. It's been a fun way to mix it up. The small changes include things like drinking 8 glasses of water in a day, adding a workout to your morning, and trying a healthy food you've never tried before. The end goal would be to able to keep a few of these small changes through out the year to maintain wellness.

I've used on and off for the past 5 years. It works well when I use it consistently. And the website is chalk full of great articles, tips and an online community for support. If you are looking for a wellness/weight-loss tool, this is the one I recommend. And it's totally free! (And no, I'm not getting paid to say that.)

Other goals include getting outside everyday, adding a few activities for William like playdates, library events, etc. and being a little more focused and organized when it comes to groceries and meal planning.

What are your goals for this year? I would love to hear about them!

P.S. I stumbled across this new song titled "This Year" it is my new favorite song! Please listen.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Princess Bride Birthday (Part 3 of TX Trip)

My sister-in-law turned the big 3-0 last month and her best friend put on the very best birthday party in her honor. The theme: The Princess Bride

This post may be mostly photographs of the party, but first I just want to say that my sister-in-law is the sweetest sister a girl could gain by marriage. She has always made me feel like a part of the family, like a sister; she will include me in just about everything (including her workouts!). She's incredibly thoughtful, smart, fun and caring. She's also a reader and will recommend the best books!

The princess with the King and Queen (parents)
Didn't they have terrific costumes! 

The banquet table!

Beverages: Iocane or Iocane-free (clearly labeled!)

The princess being attacked by the ROUS

Seriously, the cutest rodent of unusual size ever!

And Mini-Vizzini was pretty adorable too!

My family failed to dress-up, but we were so glad our trip to Texas included being a part of Shannon's wonderful party! Happy Birthday, Sister!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Gift for My Niece

A few weeks before Christmas, my sister-in-law sent me an email asking if I would be up for sewing a pillow case for her daughter's Christmas present. I had sewn a few gifts for her older daughter years ago, so the request wasn't out of the ordinary. In fact, I love giving handmade gifts and was glad she let me know what Samantha needed!

After asking a few questions (size, color, theme?) I found out Samantha (4 years old and cuter than a button) loves Hello Kitty! 

Sewing a pillowcase should have been easy right? Fold the material right sides together and sew two sides and turn it right-side-out. Easy. Ten minutes, tops! WRONG. This pillowcase took me two entire weekends to sew. But check it out - it's so cute!

Now, let me explain my adventures of sewing a pillowcase: I didn't want to go to the fabric store the Friday after Thanksgiving, although I had the time to do it. Instead, I went on Saturday. I took William with me so Chris could write. JoAnn's was crazy. I waiting in line to get the fabric cut for 45 minutes. Then another 20 to checkout. Ugh. William did alright, but I could tell he wasn't loving it. I wasn't either, honestly, I was mad and frustrated with everyone there.

After the fabric was washed and ironed, I started cutting it. Well, I measured twice, just like I was told . . . but I cut the wrong end! So, the fabric was now way too small for a standard pillowcase. I blame this on my foggy-mom-brain and lack of sleep. 

So, I sent Amazing Husband back to the fabric store the following day to buy another yard. He ended up waiting almost as long as I did! He started inventing ways fabric stores could operate more efficiently and may start working on an app for that.

This time, I got it right. I added an accent of pink on the end along with blue piping to make it a little more exciting. That didn't take nearly as long as I had thought, although I did have to rip out a few sections and do them over again. 

So, what did I do with that first yard of fabric I royally screwed up? No, I didn't throw it away!

I made my niece a pillow and quilt for her doll! But that didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped either. In the end it looked adorable and just how I wanted, but it took me several hours to get it there. I am so out of practice!

Merry Christmas Samantha!
May you never doubt how loved you are!