Monday, April 30, 2012

My Attempt at Extreme Couponing

Let me preface this post by saying, my version of "extreme couponing' is far less daring than what you see on TV....

Lately I have been using coupons more and more. It both saves us money (being a newlywed is rough) and I actually like saving money. I was fortunate enough to have parents who taught me everything about money and budgeting growing up. In high school I was given an allowance for the month. I had to learn how to budget it because if I ran out, there was NO way I was getting any extra for activities or food. During the summer I had to get a job because there was no allowance. Also, when I went to college, my parents would deposit all the money I needed at the beginning of the month: tuition, sorority dues, insurance, etc. Once they did that, I was responsible for making sure all the bills got paid on time. Although I HATED it at the time, it is one of those things when I look back and think "yep, they knew what they were doing." So thanks Mom and Dad. Because of that, I can confidently say, I am very good with our money. I am now the bill payer in our household.

So back to couponing. I have started following several money-saving and couponing blogs and have learned a lot of useful tips. They compare that week's coupons and tell you where to shop to get the best deals.

When I grocery shop I always use coupons but tonight I went to Walmart just to get good deals. Who knew there were so many things you could get for 50% off or even free. My goal was to save more than I spend. I didn't quite make it because of one particular item but that will be explained.

Below is my loot from my first attempt. In total I spent $13.95
Here is how it was broken down:
  • Ocean Spray Juice - coupon for buy one get one free ($2.98 each)
    • Total: $1.49 each
  • Band-Aid - $1 off coupon ($1.97)
    • Total: $0.97
  • Reach Floss - $1 off coupon ($0.97)
    • Total: FREE
  • Nivea Lotion - $2 off coupon ($1.97)
    • Total: FREE
  • Barilla Pasta - $1 off coupon ($1.28)
    • Total: $0.28
  • Schick Hydro Silk Razor - $4 off coupon
    • This is the one that screwed me up. I went to get the razor itself (it was $5.97 so I would have gotten it for $1.97) but they were out. As I was leaving the aisle I saw this gift set: it included the razor, 4 blades and a full size shaving cream for only $9.97. I didn't know if the coupon would work but it did!!! It was an even bigger deal.
    • Total: $5.97
So all in all I used $11 worth of coupons on $24 worth of merchandise. I almost made the 50% off mark, but hey, it was my first attempt so I am still pretty proud.

Tomorrow I have an even bigger shopping trip planned at another retailer. I'll share those results later this week!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Week I Turned 27

This week I turned 27. Not an exciting birthday, especially if it is on a Wednesday and especially if you have a crazy week at work.

The week started off great, my agency found out we won, not just one, but TWO national awards. We were named one of the 50 Fastest-Growing Women Owned/Led Companies in North America – Women President’s Organization and American Express OPEN and the Small Agency of the Year – The Holmes Report.

Tuesday night my in-laws took us to a great dinner at Rolando's in Rogers and they gave me a gift card to Lowe's to help fund my landscaping project. I can't wait to start!

On my actual birthday, my husband made me steak and got me a REALLY nice bottle of wine to go with it. It was a great, laid back night at home.

Then on Thursday, our friend Tim played at JJ's so we got a big group together and hung out on the patio while Timmy played. Ryan got petifours from Rick's for everybody at the dinner. Yummy!

Even though I had a lot going on at work which consisted of constant phone checking after hours, a 11:45 p.m call and several "fire drills" in the office, I still had a great birthday week. By the time Friday came around, I was completley exhausted and incredibly tense all over my body.

Ryan asked me if I felt older and for the first time ever I actually said yes - 27 feels so much closer to 30 than 26 did. Yikes! Here's hoping 27 is as good as 26 was.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Today is my Daddy's birthday. I have a very special relationship with my Dad because of circumstances in our life. For a few years, I was the only girl in his life. I dare you to find a father-daughter relationship that compares to ours. He is the BEST Dad in the entire world! I look up to him so much. He is a great leader, father, mentor and friend. I look JUST like him and even have the same personality. I don't know how many times a coach or a player has come up to me and said: "You have got to be Coach Adams' daughter, you look just like him." His birthday is only 5 days before mine so we get to celebrate together every year which is special. He is always telling me how proud of me he is and he would do anything in the world for me. He taught me hard lessons growing up but I am the person I am today because of him and my mom.
Daddy, I LOVE you so much and I hope you have an amazing birthday. You are the best!
My Kindergarten graduation. He was at EVERY milestone, celebration, activity I have ever had growing up.
This is one of my favorite pictures of us. When I was young, a lot of the times I would stand on the sidelines at his games. Wonder why I love football so much?
He was even my personal trainer for my wedding. We still work out together 2-3 times a week now. He doesn't know it but that is a special time for me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sheri and Kendall's Baby Shower

A couple of weekends ago I went to Sheri and Baby Kendall's baby shower. I had a lot of fun meeting some of her friends and hanging out with our family. She got a lot of adorable clothes and some baby necessities. Kendall will be here about 5 weeks and Ryan and I can't wait to meet her! This weekend I put together her gift basket for when we visit her at the hospital. I wanted to be sure it was ready in case she does come early.

On a funny note, Sheri pulled me aside at one point and had a very serious look on her face and she said: "Kendall will need a cousin to play with and Ben and I have decided we think YOU AND RYAN need to get on the baby-making train for the good of the family." I died laughing!

I didn't take a lot of pictures but here are a few.

Kendall's nursery. It is adorable with the lime green, hot pink and zebra.
The present stash

The cake. Yummy!

Beautiful Sheri opening her gifts. You would never know she is pregnant unless you saw her from the front. I have never seen a cuter pregnant lady ever!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter (A Few Days Late)

I hope everybody had a great Easter. This year's was a good one for us. We started off the day at our church's Sunday Easter service. It was one of those services when the music and message were so amazing, I got goosebumps several times. Amazing! Our friends Josh and Buffie were also able to join us which was a treat in and of itself.
After church we headed over to my cousins', Sarah and Nathan's, house for some mimosas, dessert and an "egg hunt." My Aunt Janie and Uncle Doug filled eggs with numbers that had coresponding prizes. I got everything from a bottle of wine, to a Rick's bakery gift card to a box of Hot Tamales. So much fun. There I took the one and only picture of the day. This is baby Caroline and she loved being in Spencer's arms. She is adorable.
After my family get together we headed up to Rogers and got there just as Ryan's family was finishing lunch. Everybody left and we were able to hang out with his parents and brother and catch up. Very relaxing with a class of Skinny Girl Margarita in our hands.
We got home around 6 and finished the night off by catching up on our shows as we laid together on the couch.
To top it off, I had my first piece of candy in 40 days. Yup, that's right! I had a very successful, and trying, Lent :) There were many days I would have given my right hand away for just one piece of chocolate. But I survived, with all my extremities in tact.
The weather was amazing and it truely was a blessed day. I am so thankful to have both my families close and that we get to see both of them on Holidays like these. I hope everybody's Easter was as good as mine.

Sunday Projects

Ryan and I have been on a kick lately in which we do projects around the house on Sundays. We feel very productive about ourselves at the end and we get some stuff done around the house.
One of my favorites that Ryan did was create a new shoe rack for me. I got the idea from none other than Pinterest. You can see the original post here. All it is is 2 pieces of crown molding attached to the wall. Since I am almost 6 feet tall, we put it over the door in my walk-in closet. I was able to put 10 pairs on a 6-foot piece. I am hoping to add another on the opposite wall. Its a great way to get some shoes out of the door hanger and off my closet floor.
Another neat tip I found on Pinterest was how to grow your own green onions. Simply put the ends of the onion in some water and they literally grow overnight! These babies were in water for about a week. I will never buy green onions at the grocery store again!
One Sunday was devoted to planting. I worked on flower pots and a herb garden and Ryan planted our vegetables. This year we will have cabbage, green bell pepper, zucchini, strawberries and 4 different kinds of peppers: jalapeno, habeneros, Serranos and chilies. Yummy.
Here is a decorative project for my bedroom. I have been wanting to put something above our headboard for a while and I loved the idea of our monogram. I covered a canvas with scrapbook paper and then attached painted letters. I thought it came out pretty cute, and what do you know - another Pinterest idea! Probably not something I will leave up forever, but a good, cheap alternative for now.
I made this as a gift for Sheri and baby Kendall. Her nursery is a light lime green with black, white and zebra accents. It was super easy too. Again I used scrapbook paper on a canvas and stappled the ribbons below for the bows to attach to it.
I have a few more projects in mind, one involves a red ceiling and next weekend we will begin the landscaping adventure. I will send updates throughout that project!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Fur-Babes

It's no secret I am a dog lover. Infact, I am a bit obsessed with my fur babies. But I mean, who wouldn't be obsessed with these adorable faces?

I thought I woud play show and tell with all the furry creatures in my life.


My main man. Tackle is the first dog I have called my own and he is a momma's boy through and through. He is my shadow and has absolutley no interest in any other human or animal if I am in the room. Which I dont' mind one bit :)


This sweet girl is my adopted daughter. She has been Ryan's dog since she was a pup and is quite possibly the smartest dog I have ever met. She has a bigger personality than some humans I know. Sassy pants describes her to a T


Before Tackle there was Sam. My family got him when I was a freshman in college. He is a big sweet heart. He was already named when we got him so Sam Adams was very fitting. This dog changed my mother from a non-dog lover to a dog fanatic in a quick second.


Buddy is to my father-in-law as Tackle is to me. He is a giant slobber monster with a mohawk but as soon as he sees Jerry, he so excited. He is Ryan's hunting partner and will play fetch as long as you throw a ball at him.


Tucker is the new addition to our family. He belongs to my brother Spencer and his girlfriend Lyndsey. He is still a puppy but the sweetest puppy ever. He loves to cuddle and is very well behaved for being so young. He was rescued out of a river.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Leah!

Dear Leah,

I cannot believe you have been gone for seven years! We all know that today is your birthday, but we also know celebrating YOU would not stop after April 2 - it would continue throughout April. I love you more than words can say and miss you every day. Hope you are having a big party in Heaven with my mom, Baby Teddy and Nanny and Grandaddy. I hope you are enjoying a canadian bacon pizza from Pizza Parlor and 1 or 2 or 6 Bud Lights.

Happy Birthday Leah. I can't wait to see you again! Until then, continue to watch over our family and PARTY LIKE A ROCK STAR!

My April Fool's Baby Brother

My baby brother turned 24 yesterday on April Fool's Day. As you can imagine, there were many pranks played on him growing up.

Happy Birthday Spencer! Love you tons!

Me and Brother from the early days. Look at that curly hair!

Spencer's college football days. Once football was over, he lost 80 pounds! :)