Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Adventures in Couponing: Target Gold Mine!

And I'm back at it!  Someone recently, and accurately, labeled me a "Yo-Yo Couponer."  I go through spurts of getting great deals and making time to scout them out and go get them.  Then there's weeks where I can't be bothered and I don't want to do anything.  My husband has noticed that when I don't make the time to coupon, our grocery bill is definitely higher.  I'm taking those two things as signs that I really need to focus on it again.  It really does make a difference!

This week, I headed to Target three...yes, three...days in a row for some deals.  I need to learn to be patient and wait for a lot of the deals to be announced before just running there so I don't have to make all these trips.  Although each trip was worth it.  I want to highlight two of these trips (the other wasn't coupon based, just stuff we needed last minute).

Trip one:
 (from left to right)
1.  2 Carefree Panty Liners - on sale for 89 cents
     used one $1.00/1 coupon for one and a 50 cents/1 coupon for the other which made one free  
     and the other 39 cents!
2.  1 Bottle liners - $2.99 - no deal, just needed them
3.  1 Mail envelope - $1.64 - no deal, just needed it
4.  2 Papermate 10pk Pens - on sale in Back-to-School bins for $1.00 each
     used two $1.00/1 off coupons from Target.com - made them FREE!
5.  4 Rose Art 24 pk Crayons - on sale in Back-to-School department for 25 cents each
     used $1.00/3 RoseArt products from RP 7/29 - made all 4 of them FREE!
6.  2 Suave Kid's Body Wash - on sale for $1.79
     used two 75 cents/1 coupon and I think another coupon (can't find the deal now and I didn't keep   
     good notes - sorry!)
7.  4 Gerber Puffs bags (from registers) - 99 cents each
     used two $1.00/2 coupons - made them 50 cents each
8.  1 Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar - on sale for $1.17
     used $1.00/1 coupon - made it 17 cents!

Total Spent: $9.06
Total Saved: $10.35!
*sorry about the stuff I couldn't find.  I'll keep better notes next time.  This was from the week of 7/29

Trip two (made today!)
(from left to right)
1.  1 Stayfree 18pk Ultra Thin Pads - on sale for $2.89
     used $2.00/1 coupon from SS 7/22 and $1.00/1 Target coupon from mailer envelope - made them 
     FREE!  *I also heard there was a Target coupon in the PG from 7/29, but I didn't have it
2.  2 Scotch Tapes - on sale for 49 cents in Back-to-School bins
     used two 50 cents/1 coupons from Target.com - made them FREE!
3.  Colgate Kid's Toothpaste - on clearance for $1.86
     used $1.00/1 any Colgate toothpaste from Target mailer coupon - made it 86 cents!
4.  3 Papermate 10pk Pens - on sale for $1.00 in Back-to-School bins
     used three $1.00/1 Papermate coupons from Target.com (same as in first trip) - made all of them 
5.  2 Garnier Fruicis (one shampoo & one conditioner) - on sale for $2.79 each
     used two $1.00/1 coupons from Coupons.com and two $1.00/1 coupons from Target.com - made 
     them 79 cents each!

Total Spent: $2.44
Total Saved: $13.40
This one is my favorite!!!

*Be sure to check out Target's new coupon policy - mainly that you can only use four of the same coupon in one trip.  And they no longer allow overages, so the coupon needs to be entered manually to be changed to the price.  For example, the 50 cent coupon for the tape needed to be entered manually by the cashier to make it 49 cents off.  Make sure you pay attention to that!

I'm excited to get back into couponing and really start saving some money.  I'll try to share here as often as I can and take better notes!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Letting Go

A lot of this going on around here...
I've gone into super-organize-and-go-through-everything mode.  It started with my house stuff.  Did some organizing/purging in my scrap room.  Got my kitchen pantry organized.  Need to go through Layla's toys/clothes and sell some stuff she's outgrown.  Then it moved onto moving forward with some projects and letting some go.

This has been on my mind for a while.  There are  few projects I've been doing that haven't really been amazingly fun to me.  They seem a little more daunting than exciting.  After some contemplation, I've decided to let some of them go so I can concentrate on what I really enjoy.

1. December Daily - I've done two December Daily's for the past two years.  If you haven't heard of this, it's a project that was created by Ali Edwards.  She does one each year and you can purchase kits and follow her process to help you create your own.  It's an album that chronicles each day in December to capture the holiday season.  Don't get me wrong, I do love the concept.  And I love my two albums I have.  Unfortunately, for me, it became more daunting.  I struggled to finish it and didn't enjoy the process based on what was going on in our lives.  So, I've decided to let it go.  Plus, with Project Life, I don't really think I need it.

2. One Little Word - this is another Ali Edwards project.  It's a year-long class at Big Picture Classes.  You choose a word for yourself that you want to focus on and incorporate into your life.  Then, you follow prompts each month to create pages that focus on the word and where you are with it.  The reason I'm letting this go is because it's not really speaking to me.  I chose a word: Strong.  And it's fine, but the project and the album isn't really speaking to me.  Seeing the message board for the class, it's really helping a lot of people and they're really enjoying it.  Me - not so much.  I guess it's just something that's not really for me.  I'm going to finish the album since I did start it, but not a ton of effort is going into it.  So I won't do it again.

3. Project Life - I AM NOT GIVING UP PROJECT LIFE!  I just wanted to emphasize where I am on it.  I LOVE this project!  I love collecting all the little things that would normally be forgotten soon after it's happened.  I love looking back at the past 6 months and realizing what we've done and where we've gone.  My husband flipped through my first album and loved looking back as well.  So, definitely moving forward with it.  However, as of right now, I'm not going to share my album.  It really became daunting to take the pictures every week and post them with the details.  Plus, my blog became nothing but PL and I didn't want to do that. Update on how it's going: beautifully!  I haven't gotten more than 3 weeks behind at a time.  I keep really good notes about what I want to include each week.  I save EVERYTHING!  I enjoy setting up in front of the TV on Sunday nights and working on the week.  I really love it and can't wait to dive in again next year.  Planning on getting the Clementine core kit next year when it's back in stock.  And for 2014, I plan to combine the leftovers of the Turquoise kit I'm using now and the Clementine kit I'm using next year to make my own kit-of-sorts. 

I feel less pressure by letting these projects go and refocusing on what I really want to create.  Now, to go through some baby stuff...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Book Review: Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Today, it started raining.  We had a pretty good storm and in Tucson, that's a blessing!  I took advantage of the weather and sat down to finish my book, Deadlocked.  It's the 12th novel in the Sookie Stackhouse series, which the True Blood show on HBO is based on.  Now, if you haven't followed either, or just one of the series...they are VERY different.  There are lots of things in the show that are different from the book and it can be hard to remember which realities go with which series.  You have to be willing to let them be their own concepts.  But I do love them both. 

Deadlocked is really good.  There were a few slow parts, but the last few pages blew. my. mind.  My mouth was literally hanging open.  I won't give anything away, but I really enjoyed this latest edition of the series.  And I'm always happy to feed into my Eric Northman obsession admiration.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Making Some Changes

I've been unhappy with my weight for.....about 10 years now.  The last time I remember really being happy with the way I looked was my wedding day.  Realistically, I'll never be there again.  Let's get real, I've had two kids.  My body has changed.  I'm in a place right now where I'm not completely unhappy.  Yes, I have a belly that I'd like to get rid of please.  However, I am strong.  I've been working out a lot and feeling good it.  I'm rocking some pretty good leg and arm muscles.  And, my husband is happy.  That's most definitely important.  The number on the scale, however....not moving.  I'm hovering around the same number week after week.  The working out part, I got that.  I'm working out for an hour and a half about four to five times a week.  I'm good.  My issue is my diet.  Oh - my diet.  I love food.  LoveLoveLoveLoveLove food.  Love bad food.  Fast food?  Yes please!  I know it's disgusting.  I've seen Super Size Me and Fast Food Nation.  What did those do?  Make me want a Big Mac.  I'm not even kidding.  So the diet is where I need to focus.  My husband challenged me to take one month and just eat as healthy as I can.  I'm skeptical because if I make a ton of changes at once, I'm afraid I'll freak out and find myself in the McDonald's drive thru for said Big Mac.  So instead of eating nothing but chicken and broccoli for a month, I'm going to make some small changes that should help me at least kick some bad habits.

First up: FAST FOOD.  No fast food from today through the end of August.  Absolutely none!  This should make a difference because I hit a drive thru at least once a week.  Sometimes twice or three times.  So that is change number one.  NO FAST FOOD FOR A MONTH!  Let's do this!

 This is going to be hard...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nailed It!

Have you seen these posts on Pinterest?
 Ah - I love it!  I'm starting a series of posts about the Pinterest projects I do, recipes I make (hopefully with better results than that!), and scrapbook pages that I make based on Pinterest inspiration.  I'm calling the series "Nailed It!"  And this is the first one.

My friend and scrapper extraordinaire, Shanna Noel, just started a new blog and challenged her readers to complete a Pinterest inspired project.  Unfortunately, my schedule didn't allow for me to get too creative, but I did make a recipe.  For book club this week, we all brought Italian inspired dishes.  I had this recipe for caprese skewers pinned and really wanted to make it.  I just so happen to be basil-plant-sitting for a friend who's out of tow for a couple of weeks and she said I could help myself.  So I did.  Simplest ingredients: grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella (cubed), fresh basil leaves (chopped) olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Instead of doing the skewers, I dumped it all in a bowl and made a salad.  I took along the oil and balsamic so it didn't get too greasy on the drive over. I also added fresh Parmesan shavings, which I tend to pop in my mouth and snack on.  Dangerous.  It was very fresh and good and everyone enjoyed it.  Nailed it!

One Year....REALLY?

One year ago today...
 ...this little angel came into our lives.  We became parents to TWO girls.  Two princesses.  Two divas.  Call it what you will.  We call it joy.  Our little Layla is such an amazing little girl.  She's so smart and curious.  She's an early walker - at 10 months.  She has the best smile and laugh.  She will walk towards me with a huge smile on her face and it melts my heart to the core.  She loves her sister and she loves her Legos.  She's a little peanut, just like her sister.  One year later, I can't believe it's been a year already.  Where does the time go?  I love you my Sweet Little Angel.
Happy First Birthday Layla!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Book Review: "Dinner: A Love Story"

*image downloaded
 I picked up Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach after seeing it featured on Ali Edwards' blog a while ago.  I checked out amazon and saw this video.  This video sold me.  I loved her philosophy and it really sounded like something I wanted to get behind.  Plus, my dinners were getting a little....boring.  You can only eat spaghetti, Lean Cuisines and baked chicken so much.  I loved her idea of keeping a Dinner Diary.  I keep something kind of similar, although it's a dry-erase that I redo each week to keep track of what we plan to eat for dinner.
*image downloaded - courtesy of Jenny Rosenstrach
The book is part memoir, part cookbook.  She's a great writer and I may or may not have developed a little crush on her husband - he's hilarious!  I didn't necessarily agree with all of her strategies (I don't want to eat dinner at 9pm after the kids have gone to bed), but for the most part, she inspired me.  We normally eat dinner at the table as a family.  She's inspired me to change up my normal meals and to try new things.  Her recipes are not complex.  Even the "harder" recipes are something that I can definitely do.  She got me wanting to make Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potatoes.  I don't normally even like Chicken Pot Pie.  But I'm going to try it!  While I was reading, I kept a bookmark of a lined piece of paper which I wrote down recipes as I read them and knew I wanted to try.  The list got pretty long!  She's really gotten me excited to cook again. 

I've tried two recipes so far and they were super easy and really delicious!  This book now lives in my kitchen, on my cookbook stand where I see it everyday.  It's a friendly reminder to cook really good food for the people I love.  I'm sure I'll revisit it and read it all the way through if I feel like I'm getting in a dinner rut again.  I highly, highly recommend this book!

*Now I just need a Dutch oven, which I've been wanting for a while anyway.  This just gives me another excuse to buy one!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Brain Dump

For the past few weeks I've been re-evaluating what I wanted this blog to be.  When I looked through my past posts, it's mostly about scrapbooking.  Which is fine.  Scrapbooking is a big part of my life.  But that's not all I want it to be about.  Then I noticed that it started turning into "Sarah's Project Life Blog" and that's definitely not what I want it to be about.  I read my header on top and realized that what I wrote there, is what I want this blog to be about:  I am a scrapbooking, reading, creating, eating, couponing, mothering, wifing woman who wants to share it all!  That's me.  That's what I want this blog to be about.  Things that are important to me.  Things that I enjoy.  Things that helped me that can hopefully help others as well.  And of course, some scrapbooking.  

I sat down and started making a list of topics I want to start including on a regular basis.  I thought about what I want to share and what I enjoy reading on other blogs as well.  It goes a little something like this:

- recipes
- book reviews
- pinterest projects (fun ideas with this one)
- scrapbooking projects
- currently posts (like this one)
- new blogs I discover or that my friends start

I have a few more brewing, but I'm still tweaking a little.  I want this space to be interesting and exciting and I felt like it was straying from that.  I'm excited to share more of myself, my life and things I truly enjoy and can't wait to share with others.  

I'll be back tomorrow with a book review that I CAN'T WAIT to share!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Last Call

Last call for Merrick!  Please email your mailing info at Sarahbr18@aol.com!  I have another person interested in the number stamp, so if I don't hear from you by the end of today (Sunday), I'm going to send it to her!

I'm spending today getting some thoughts together about my blog.  I have some ideas and I'm brainstorming on which direction I want the blog to go and what I really want to write about.  Thank you so much for your support as I go through this transition.  Planning a "Brain Dump" post tomorrow about my thoughts.  Hope everyone has a nice, relaxing Sunday!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy Mail

These are heading to the post office today!  I hope you all enjoy them and thank you for checking out my giveaway.  I hope they bring you all joy!

*Merrick!  Please email me with your info so I can get your stamp out to you!

I still have four items left from Studio Calico kits (see below).  I'll keep them up through the weekend, then they'll go into my other giveaway bag.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Studio Calico Giveaways!

I've been a little...blah...lately.  One thing that always makes me feel better is purging.  Going through and organizing something definitely helps me feel lighter and less chaotic.  I decided to do that with some of my Studio Calico kits.

I. Love. My. Studio Calico. Kits.  That being said, I had acquired a couple of duplicates and just had some bits that I don't plan on using a second time.  I decided to sift through them today and pulled out some stamps and a few embellishments that I won't use again.

Here's where you can benefit from this: All of these things are being given away!  Yep - just giving them away.  Helping someone else build up their stash for free.  Random act of kindness, all that good stuff.  If you would like any of these items, please leave me a comment and I will answer you quickly.  As things are claimed and I receive your info, I will take down pictures so it won't confuse anyone.  FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE! 

Basic Grey chipboard from County Fair - 4 pieces missing

Studio Calico Scraps from Brooklyn Flea - not used

Basic Grey buttons from County Fair

Again, this is FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE, so if you really want something, speak up!  Good luck!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


- Trying to organize my thoughts.
- Rethinking what I want to do with my blog.
- Purging a few scrap items...giveaway soon?
- Getting so inspired by CHA releases and projects up on Studio Calico.
- Working on staying patient with my children.
- Enjoying my husband being home.
- Cooking some yummy dinners!
- Wondering why my weight isn't dropping (completely unrelated, I'm sure).
- Denying the fact that my youngest is about to turn one in a week!
- Submitting tons of my work and hoping to get published sometime soon.
- Dropping my oldest off at preschool twice a week for 3 hours - hello work time!!
- Watching So You Think You Can Dance and totally loving Cyrus.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Whoa there, Blogger...

I apologize for my PL posts getting all mixed up.  I added tags and for some reason Blogger decided to be awesome and switch the post's order.  Anyway, they're all there for you. 

My mother-in-law is flying in tonight and we're gearing up for a week and a half of pure bliss!  Be back soon!

Project Life: Week 11-14

Welcome to Weeks 11 through 14.  Here we go:

Week 11
This week we headed home (with lots of travel drama).

My sorority sister got married in Scottsdale this weekend.  I got to go and meet up with some great friends.  It was a wonderful reunion!

Week 12
This week consisted of lots of getting back on schedule and getting back to normal.

And Layla started crawling.  YIKES!

Week 13
Got caught up on some project this week.

     Had some Easter fun and went to see The Hunger Games.

Week 14

I'll be back tomorrow with weeks 15 through 18!

Project Life: Weeks 15-18

Welcome to weeks 15 through 18!

Week 15
This was a hard week.  My grandmother passed away.  I included an insert of her obituary.

The second spread is dedicated to her through the years.

Week 16
Spent a lot of time at home this week.

Week 17
Very good week - went to the fair and JOSH CAME HOME!

So happy Josh came home!  And can we talk about the Banana Pudding Shake at Chick-Fil-A?  Seriously.

Week 18
Gym time together, dog sitting, signing up for Vacation Bible School...

Even got to sneak out on a date to see The Avengers!

Thanks for sticking with me.  One more catch-up tomorrow!!!

Project Life: Weeks 19-21

Thanks for sticking with me so far.  Here's the last of my AH! I GOTTA CATCH UP blog posts.  Here's weeks 19 through 21:

Week 19
We did some fun shopping to get ready for our anniversary trip!

For Mother's Day, Josh and Caylan got me a pearl necklace.  They were able to choose the oysters, watch the pearls come out, choose a setting and they made the necklace right there.  Josh took pictures of the whole thing and included them in my card (sized for my album - seriously, how awesome is he?).  It was the best present EVER!

Week 20

Friends of our got married this week - one year out from their big wedding - they just decided to make it official at the courthouse.  The big wedding will be next year in Texas.  They asked us to be there and it was such an honor.

We went to a birthday party - the blank spot on the bottom will hold a good picture of Caylan with her friend Rhyleigh when a get a copy from the party.

Week 21

Book club, gymnastics, lunch with a friend and triple digit weather.

A BBQ, signing up for pre-school, good beer and an impromptu dance party.

And now, I'm officially all caught up!  Tonight, my mother-in-law flies in.  The rest of this week will consist of family time, Caylan's first dance recital....and then we leave on Sunday for our vacation!  I'll be back after that with more Project Life and a list of goals to focus on.  I'll be making that list in the Bahamas when my mind is clear and I can reflect and focus on what I want and what's important.  Everyone have a wonderful week and I'll be back soon!