Thursday, May 26, 2011

Good Bye 2 Doors, Hello... Family Jeep! Carmax, I Love You!

So... it's done. My Jeep is gone! It now belongs to Carmax! I have very bittersweet feelings about this. My Jeep was my baby (other than my real babies of course... and my camera, lol :) And I did meet my hubby because of my Jeep... but.... it hasn't been working out well for me lately, it being a two door Jeep and all. The whole climbing in and out through the back seat wrestling the kids in and out and having NO room for groceries has been getting old. So, after much hassle trying to sell it ourselves.. off to Carmax we went!

We went there the other day and met with a really sweet woman named Alexis (who had great hair! :) and she was super duper friendly and explained the whole process, which was really simple. They gave us a quote and asked what we thought. Daniel and I briefly talked about it before going, but didn't want to make any decision until we had time to thoroughly talk it through and pray about it. We said that we would need time to think about it. I was kinda nervous when we said we didn't want to take it, because salespeople, particularly car sales people, seem to have a way of making you feel really bad, like you wasted their time. She was not like that at all! She was just as awesome and nice when we said "bye!" as when we said "Hi!" :)

So, we got home, looked some stuff over and I found my dream vehicle online! Well, several of my dream vehicles, lol :) We also saw that CarMax really did offer us a great offer on my Jeep, so we decided to sell my Jeep to carmax!

So, off to carmax we went! That is, after a very long day that included me wasting an hour doing my hair 50 times before settling on a side pony :P Diana also has learned how to say "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! a million times in a row until I answer her, so I heard that constantly today too. we went to CarMax to sell my Jeep.

I was kinda apprehensive about it all. When I bought my Jeep I just about signed my life away, the process took forever and I didn't understand really all the I signed (that's nice to admit online.. right??? lol. Don't worry, my dad was there for me :) I was young :) So, I went in there to the front desk and asked the two ladies up there what I needed to do (they both had great hair.. come to think of it, everyone there had great hair, lol :) They were sooooo sweet! They were super friendly and told me everything I had to do. Felicia was the main girl who helped me with all the paper work. She was the best. The whole experience was great (the even had a play area for the kiddies!) and I suggest anyone who wants to sell their car (or buy!) to go to CarMax, the one on Metro Blvd in Milwaukee if you get the chance ;)

Now we just have to decide on what to buy! I didn't think it mattered much to me, as long as it has four doors, I told Daniel I would be happy. there are so many Jeeps out there! Now we just need to find the one perfect for us. I can't wait to go out with the kids in a FOUR DOOR Jeep. How sweet will that be? I should buy myself some awesome sunglasses, so I will look good driving the new Jeep. Sunglasses make me feel cool, lol. So lame.....It's late... so good night all!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

All Things Pretty, Spring and Vintage!

The last few days have finally started to feel like spring! The weather is slowly starting to get warmer, the sun shines soft and bright through the trees in the morning and there are bright little green buds on the plants. Ahh! So poetic and inspiring. Speaking of poetic and inspiring, all things vintage come to mind. I have been so inspired by anything pretty and floral lately. That is what this post is entirely about, all things pretty, spring and vintage!

My new favorite hair clip! This was made by my friend Becky, owner of Dancing Daisy Boutique.( ) She has so many beautiful designs and colors, I chose this one because of the soft muted green. My girls each have several bows from her also, check out her etsy shop, she constantly is putting up new and adorable creations!

This is my beautiful sister Mandy. She popped in the other day to watch the babies and I fell in love with her bright and happy perfect pink dress. Adorableness! I'm on the hunt this spring to find modest and pretty vintage dresses and vintage inspired dresses. This is just that! Of course, beautiful clothes can be expensive. Imagine my surprise when she said this was a local thrift store find of about $6.00!

This is the dress I picked up at Target the other day on clearance for $13.00. I love the style of Target dresses, but often they are far shorter than I am comfortable wearing. Usually up way past my knees. Then there is the other extreme of maxi dresses. Maxi dresses look so great and elegant on tall people, but drown my 5'3" frame. So this one fits perfect!

Here is photo from my husband's and my room..... the one in my dreams anyway :) I like the soft peaceful neutral colors and the lightly painted wood armor. Can you imagine not being able to relax in this room?! I love this... I just need to find a few good thrift store finds... then convince Daniel that we need to move to an ocean front home.

I don't normally like colored kitchens, but this one is just so delightful! The light slate gray/blue is soft and peaceful without being boring and the pastel canary yellow is light enough where it's not an "in your face" color. I like the mix of the vintage porcelain sink and the stainless steel dishwasher. A marriage of great style and modern convenience!

There it is, my latest finds of pretty, spring and vintage!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Share the Savings, Share the Love!

So, I went to Walgreens last Friday.... found some amaaaaaazing deals!!!! Yessssss! This time I purchased a total of $53.00 dollars worth of stuff an only paid $3.45! I'm staring to get the hang of this whole couponing thing ;)

Of course, I didn't figure all this out on my own. Not only are there numerous online forums and websites that will help teach you (, are my 2 favorites ) but also when my mom finds a good deal she tells me and even store employees help! I wrote about Tara the other day from Walgreens. Man, she is awesome!!!!! Her knowledge is astounding of not only how to use the coupons, but how to split up transactions and what different in store coupons can be stacked.

I recently popped in the other day and we got to talk'in and I asked how she learned so much about all this. She said it started years ago when her son was in diapers and she realized just how expensive it is. She started not just using a coupon here and there, but learned how to use multiple coupons for diapers. Of course, after she started saving money on diapers she picked up how to use coupons like that for other things. Couple that with working at Walgreen's, she's like an encyclopedia!

In fact, Tara told me that's one of the things she likes most about her job, being able to share what she has learned with people and continually learning from customers as well! Seeing her regulars come in always brings a smile to her face. :) Of course, with all the happy couponers coming in there, there is bound to be a nut or 2. There is one person she said who will often come through and want to do up to 30 transactions at a time! ----Yikes! Thankfully, people like that are the minority :)

So, yeah. Tara is awesome. She has fun, enjoys her job and loves her co workers. If you're ever in the area and want some advice about coupons or just want to visit the most awesome Walgreen's EVER, stop in at Saukville!

Saving so much is so intoxicating! It's nice getting the good brands, buying the super nice disposable razors instead of selling out and buying the cheapos and generally buying things I maybe wouldn't if I didn't get as a good of a deal as I have been. And, at Walgreens, since often you need a "filler" item, it gives me a good excuse to buy something extra and have it save me even more money!

Walgreen's is quickly becoming one of my favorite stores...even giving Costco a run for the money! Haha, wow, I am lame... but you know what? That's ok! Because if I insist on only being amused and excited by what is generally considered exciting, then my life would be pretty boring. :) No offense to my little sweet hearts :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cleaning and Organizing! In My Dreams....

So, last weekend was Mother's Day and it was great and relaxing. Of course, since it was so relaxing I didn't do any cleaning and I knew Monday there was going to be extra to do. Then, Sunday night I was looking for an extension cord and could not find one absolutely anywhere. We have like 3 extension cords and live in a 2 bedroom apartment and none were to be found. Ggrrr!!! I was so upset and frazzled! I should have just stopped looking, but I felt that I had to find one and just started going through everything. The more I looked the more frustrated I became. Soon, I was pulling everything from out of the closets, digging everything from out under beds and couches and going through all storage containers, toy boxes and piles of papers. The whole time promising myself that on Monday I was absolutely going to organizer and clean every square inch of our home. I figure, why not pull out everything... it was all going to be organized anyway on Monday.. right??? Can we see where this is going.... lol :)

Wow... talk about a shameless photo upload!

So, Monday comes and I wake up to an overwhelming mess throughout the entire apartment. So sad.. I did actually feel motivated to clean and organize, but somehow I must have just totally lost my mind and traveled to imaginary perfect megville. Somehow I thought I would be able to clean and organize my entire household, get dinner done on time and take care care of a one and two year old and be finished by 3:30 in the afternoon. Ha!

Well, I am happy to say that although it took every free moment from my day, I DID clean and organize the entire living room. That includes sorting a bunch a piles of paper, organizing the coat closet and cleaning under all couches and stuff like that. I also rearranged everything a bit, I like our set up now much better. Although I didn't have time for major organizing and cleaning (scrubbing out the oven, alphabetically sorting the pantry, ect...) I did still have time to do dishes and general clean up. Yeah!

I'll be doing more organizing this next week, Lord willing. I love organizing, just hate the cleaning part! Maybe I'll be able to get my mom to watch the girls for a day and I'll just go all over the house cleaning like a crazy person!!! I think I'll do that next time I want to attempt such a large cleaning project. How do all the other people go about organizing their households?? Is there a good system I need to know?? Then how do you keep it like that?!?!?!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day! Or, Cupcake Day!

So, yesterday was Mother's day and it was great! It was very sweet and simple. We all slept late and ate really nummy omelets and then I quick ran out to do food shopping. I wonder, what other the other moms with young kids do on Mother's day?? It wasn't my first Mother's Day, but my babies are still to you to "get" any holiday, so it was a very laid back day. Anyway.. I have been talking about cupcakes lately and how much I want one because all the cupcakes at Costco look like amazing little dreams made of frosting. Oh num! The only problem is they don't sell them in any less amount than 24. Yikes! Considering I am the only one who eats sweets in the house... buying that would be a total recipe for disaster! So, before running out hubby insisted that I buy something sweet! So at the food store I bought a single perfect cupcake. (also a few donuts.. but thats not what this is about ;)

So, anyway, after months of wanting a cupcake with too much frosting, I got one! Look, it sparkles :) It was great Mother's Day and I just relaxed with my awesome little family the entire day :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Friday is for Food Shopping and Falling in love with Coupons!

Ok, so like I was saying the other day... I love food shopping! I used to hate it with an unhealthy passion because it can be very difficult to run to multiple stores carrying 2 kids and having to climb in and out of the back of our 2 door Jeep. Sometimes it's very awkward wrestling with the groceries while trying to buckle in the kids in the back seat with one leg on the middle front seat counsel and one leg in the back seat while I watch our cart roll past the window..... I can just feel people watching.. *blush* embarrassing. I also have tried running errands in a timely manner... that's always a big fat FAIL.

So, I now just embrace the fact that we will be gone the better part of the day and we just kind of take our time, or at least I don't rush. I also make sure that Thursday night the house is clean and I never plan on cooking dinner that night, I almost always pick something up quick to make and that takes a lot of stress out of the day.

This morning started early but Diana had MAJOR MELTDOWN so instead of leaving the house at 7:45am the girls took a much needed nap and we didn't leave till 10:30 or so. But it's all good! That worked out better because then I got to put on make up. Yes!!!! I also just got a new shirt and the most adorable pair of brown cargo pants. Can I say that I love them? Because I do, I really truly love them. I was praying asking God to help me find a cute pair of pants because all my "normal" pants still don't fit :( and all the pants I seem to find in my budget and in my size are total mom jeans... Gross! Mom jeans....

Anyway, I found these pants at a high end thrift store (there are such things! "high end thrift stores" :) and they fit perfectly, Daniel thinks they are totally cute and they are super comfy. I know God had them picked out just for me! You can't really see them in the pic, but they are awesome!

So we got all ready to go and the girls looked totally adorable :) I tried the headband on Ellie. That lasted maybe 2 seconds and she didn't like it and Diana was pushing to leave... so we left the adorable head band. Oh well, one of these days she'll be old enough for me to bribe ;)

Every time we back up then pull out of the driveway Diana breaks out into applause...I hope she always keeps that enthusiasm!

First stop was the gas station. $25.00 got me only a tad over 6 gallons, which stunk. But I made silly faces at the girls while pumping the gas and they laughed and it was adorable. I should have then gone to our bank inside Piggly Wiggly to pull out our food shopping / Daniel's gas money for the week, but the thought of going through the hassle of jumping into the back to un buckle the girls and spend 10 min with all that just did not appeal to me today. So I wasted money and went through a drive through ATM. I was worth it because next was Walgreens...

So, Walgreens was one of the 2 places where I was armed with all my coupons and a battle plan for shopping and saving money! The cart was too small for both kids so Diana had to just walk and stay by me while we shopped. It was good for like 2 minutes and then she saw a display of jewelry...she gave the spinning display one quick whirl and sent about 20 necklaces flying off in every direction... so that was awesome. I had her stay by me and hold my hand and she was really good, but then I had to look through the 50 different brands of razors and study my coupons to make sure I was getting the right ones. Didi started off in the direction of make up but I held her hand and had her stand in one spot and told her she was not to move. She listened really well and stayed put, but while I was going through the razors she put about 20 different types of pantyhose containers into the cart, but she stayed put!

Soon Ellie started crying because she wanted out of the cart and Diana was trying to throw anything she could reach into the cart and I got all flustered so we cut our trip a tad short and there were a few things I forgot to get but that's ok because we totally rocked our coupons!!! The lady(Tara)at the register was totally sweet and helped me sort all the items into different transactions. It took awhile, but she helped me with all coupons and taught me a lot. ( I went back there today and saw her helping someone else... I'm pretty sure she does this a lot, sweet lady!)

If you need to learn how to use coupons, go to the Saukville Walgreens and see Tara!!!!

Walgreens check out process.....

Some of the things I was getting was only one per transaction, and since some of the transactions gave me "Register Rewards" (basically a gift card voucher to be used at Walgreens) I wanted to be able to do a transaction, get a few dollars in Register Rewards, then use that reward money towards my next purchase. Also, your coupons cannot exceed the items your buying, so if I had 5 coupons and only 4 items, I had to buy a "filler" item to be able to use my coupons. So the cashier was awesome helping me sort out everything into 5 different transactions was really patient about Diana and Ellie being fussy.

Total cost before coupons: $71.05

What I paid: $25.05

I also earned an additional $9.00 in register rewards (free vouchers to be used on anything at Walgreens next time I go)

So, with mfg. coupons, in store coupons, buy one get one free deals, and all promotions..... I spent a grand total of...


I was so thrilled!!! (Still am :)


So altogether (not including other shopping I did) I bought

Had a savings of: $85.30

And total I paid: $53.24!!!!!

Another success! I am really thanking God that he is opening more windows for us to save money, it's such a blessing!

After Target we went to Aldis, not really a place to use coupons but their prices are so low is doesn't really matter. The girls each got an adorable stuffed animal that was on sale. But, Diana thew a complete fit, hit Ellie several times, screamed at me and threw her toy out of the cart while we were waiting in line. So, I picked up her toy, put it on a side shelf and Diana started reaching for it whimpering. I told her that she was being mean to Ellie and she needs to listen to mama and not throw things, and that is why she wasn't getting her toy back. She looked so upset but didn't whine again after that. As I was loading things onto the conveyor belt I looked over at the girls sitting in the front of the cart (it's a double seater) and Ellie was being adorable and snuggling her puppy and Diana just looked at the bunny I had put back being perfectly quite and had tear filled eyes. I wanted to get it for her so bad!!! She was being so good after that! But, I need her to know that there are consequences to her actions and rules are rules.

So this is what mom and dad meant by "this hurts me more than it does you..."

Next was Costco. We went to the bathroom for diapers changes and Ellie somehow threw her puppy into the sink. But I was able to dry it in the super awesome, highly powered, dyson hand dryer. It blows a high power blast of air in a perfect straight line. It was awesome even though this photo is oddly disturbing....

Then we sat in the food court area and I had a mocha freeze.....numm!

And Diana and Ellie ate lunchables that I picked up at Aldis. Almost the whole time they ate they staired down two other kids who were about their age who were also eating. That was awkward, they all just staired down each other like "Who are you and how many other little little people like us are out there?!?!" "What? You got cherry juice? Well, guess what.. I did too. Let's all stare at each other while we drink it. I need to make sure you don't somehow have more than me..." Like I said, it was odd.

We wandered the aisles for almost an hour and I spend too much money and it was fun. :) By the time we got to the 15 min long check out lines though were whining, shoving and crying. Instead of having people all around me who understood, I had a bunch of people shooting me dirty looks and rolling their eyes. That was not so much fun but didn't really bother me, I knew the girls were being awesome for being gone so long and it was past nap time.

It took another 15 minutes to rearrange everything in the Jeep and that was a trip..we were all feeling tired and a *wee* bit grumpy and just a bit frazzled. But we then listened to Third Day on the way home and it was great.

Then, after 6 trips up and down the apartment stairs, the kids took a nap and it was all good. Another awesome shopping Friday!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Photo Contest... Yeah!

So, while perusing the Internet I found this awesome blog called Otherwise know as, (life is too short not to) wear red heels.The blog is even better then the name ;) Anywho... she is hosting a photo contest!!! You're allowed to enter two portraits. So.. here are mine! I had a really hard time choosing but with the help of hubby paired down my many favorites to.....

My beautiful daughter Diana looking out the window and telling me about all the wonderful things she is seeing :)

And my other photo is my adorable little Ellie belly, being the cute little goofball that she is :)

Both photos were taken by me and are my entries! Have fun everyone who is entering and God bless you!