Sunday, July 31, 2011

Those Crazy Wonderful Summers

Caleb has it soooo easy around here
Today we went to a birthday party for a friend's kid and when dropping them off, we saw how cool of a place it was and didn't want to leave.  When we were there a friend asked us if we were so happy to have our kids going back to school now that summer break is over.

No way.

I enjoyed every bit of this summer and my only regret is not getting out more.  We just had a tough summer and couldn't do a whole lot.  We had plans for different adventures around town but mostly stayed in and just hung out together. I CAN'T believe they are going back to school in just a few days.  Sigh.  I don't know.  It just is so hard to think that they are gone ALLLLLLL day like that and don't get home till around 4pm. That's hardly any time I get with them.

The girls put him in a padded basket w/ his
favorite cereal and carried him around.
Yet when I think about homeschooling, I fall short.  I have no problem homeschooling the younger grades but when they start getting up there, I worry that I could keep up with their training.  I'm 32 years old and I have an extremely short attention span already.  You should've seen me in school.  Teachers dreaded me because of my short attention span and extreme hyperness.  Getting me to sit down for hours to this day is impossible.  I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E. Ask Michele.  <--- Ha. I always tell you to ask her because she knows me more than anyone.

My days have NEVER EVER been busier than these last few weeks and I don't know why.  More than just my kids being here.  I think it's been more about decluttering and other odds and ends that are not part of a normal day.  Another thing is I've been really focusing on really listening to the kids when they talk to me. Even if it's something I think is silly.  I'll take the time to discuss it with them.  (Even if I'm holding back a smile because their issue is so small to me but SOOO HUGE to them.)  I guess it's harder being a parent that really builds a relationship rather than one who throws them on the back burner to watch the boob tube or do my own thing all day.  I really treasure our time together.  Sigh.  I just don't want to to go away for sooo many hours a day.  Wouldn't part time school be awesome?  Can't they cut down the hours some?  Often I lose track of what I was doing because I LET the kids interrupt my activity so they can show me something.  

It really has been a peaceful summer because no one broke a bone or got airlifted to the hospital for any reason.  I mean, Kyle did bash his face on a friend's door frame at her house.  He now has a permanent face dimple (right on his cheek).  Not sure what to do about that.  The doctor said you can only fix it by surgery.

I really like these pictures because it shows the activity in our living room.  Calie (my friend's kid staying over) playing a game, my son Kyle being himself by falling over, and his friend sitting on the couch.  The other 5 kids were running around outside the view of the camera.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I Love Itty Bitty Things!

Only $5.99 (Great stocking stuffers! Hint, hint)
I have this fascination for products that come in tiny sizes.  So happy to get this Monopoly Game Keychain for when we're out and about sitting bored somewhere.  I mean, who gonna break out a normal game right in the middle of the waiting room.  Ha!  By the time you set it all up, they call you back.

I really want to try their other tiny key chain board games like Life, Operation (cute, haha!), and Candyland for my kids.  They even have twister!  You'll have to just look and see how interesting that one is.  I'm gonna give this as a gift to my nephew since he loves Monopoly.  You HAVE to go check out all the cool types of keychains they have.  Not just games but other types of cool stuff.  :D

*I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Anti-Aging Skin Regenerator Review

Regeneration USA sent me their anti-aging Anti-Aging Skin Regenerator so I could try it out and tell you about it.  Let me tell you a little about it first.

Anti-Aging Skin Regenerator penetrates the skin with Organic Fulvic Ionic Minerals and delivers complex nutrients needed for healthy looking skin. Our natural Skin Regenerator will make your skin feel smoother, firmer and naturally diminish your wrinkles.


Contains essential anti-aging amino acids  •  Regenerates & Revitalizes skin cells • Naturally smoothens wrinkles • Promotes healthy smooth & glowing skin • Replenishes the skins lost minerals  •  Relives Mosquito Bites, Skin detoxifier • Aids in skin rashes healing faster • Relieves skin irritations & Sun Burn • Reduces the effects of aging  •  Relieves athletes foot & psoriasis.

I would shower and when my face was clean of any products I sprayed this on my face.  After that is when you apply moisturizer for your face.  However, with products like these it's extremely difficult to try something only for a little bit and expect immediate results.  I can't tell you that I walked into the bathroom with my skin sagging to the floor and then walked out looking like Cher or anything.  I just used it every day.  I can say that I haven't had to wear any skin foundation or even powder.  My skin is been pretty nice lately. It's unfair though to judge any anti-aging product after only using for a couple of weeks.  I do get the importance of something like this though.  Our faces always see the sun and there is just so much damage that comes with it.  

Thank you Regeneration USA for letting me try and talk about your product!  I'm continuing to use it every day.  :)

*I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

No More Excuses

Ohhh, I just figured I was safe from having to weigh myself but ever since EatSmart offered to send me their EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom scale, I knew I had no more excuses.

It's sooo pretty and slim!  I love, love how you just step on to weigh yourself. There is no tapping to turn it on.  It's just ready to go.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  It's classy and sleek looking.  It has an extra large backlit 3.5" display and "Step-On" Technology.  Right now, with the link I gave you above it's 24% off so a savings of $9.  (I love savings). 

I do love being healthy, it's just hard when I get off track to force myself onto a scale.  Actually, I'll generally just ignore weighing myself but now I can't.  I have it under our living room armour so any family member can use it.  We love it!  It's just a great way to conclude the previous weeks eating habits whether it's good or bad.  The scale tells the truth.  

Other people love EatSmart scales also.  Check out more reviews on Facebook!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Comical Reaction to Mom's Game Answer

Charles, Chaz, Ryan
Last night my family played our newest favorite board game together and it was so fun!  I had been looking for a game like this for so long and it can be played with kids.  Do Tell makes it to where we discuss issues in a light way or act out funny things.

We were even able to add in my younger ones and would just help them along.  Sometimes I just get so frustrated with video games and how much it takes us away from each other.  Well, not me.  I don't have video game issues of course.  I'm too busy, ha!  My love is blogging and couponing.  But blogging only takes about a half hour a day so no one can really complain about that.  Oh, and the couponing hugely benefits our family.  My husband says I have awesome hobbies so he doesn't mine the time it takes. :D  lol.  

Anyway, I made a video of when it was my turn and I had to read a card.  This is how comical my family is!  I had such a hard time talking because I couldn't stop laughing.

Ivy acting out what she wants the most.  An ice cream!  I'm pretty sure that was one of Ivy's first words.  She has this absolute love and devotion to ice cream and talks about it a lot.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Surprising Thoughts From a Stressful Moment

Man, even in the toughest of days with my kids, it's good to find a positive. At least try to.

I mean those really bad days where kids are leaving their stuff everywhere and not taking initiative to pick up after themselves, kids are arguing, or a baby takes off their diaper and lets poop roll out without us knowing.  Things like that.

The other day it was just one of THOSE days.  My heart was pumping and my chest hurt some from the stress.  The first thought that came to my head was:

"I am so glad I had children or I'd probably be the most selfish person on the planet.  This is SO GOOD FOR ME."

I stopped for a minute and wondered how that thought came from such a stressful moment.  HOW?  You would think I would've thought, "Man, you were crazy to have all these kids".

Every time we feel irritated, impatient, and our tempers are boiling... I think it's because our flesh is having a battle with our spirit.  Our flesh wants to gratify itself more than anything else.  

What's the cure?  Caring for others. In this case, my children.  I can't run away or turn them over to their parents. I am their parent.  Having kids is the best thing that's ever happened to me.  It makes me die to my flesh daily.

***Character qualities I can apply***

Joyfulness vs. Self-pity
The spontaneous enthusiasm of my spirit when my soul is in fellowship with the Lord
Psalm 16:11

Love vs. Selfishness
Giving to others basic needs without having as my motive personal reward -1 Corinthians 13:3

Loyalty vs. Unfaithfulness
Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to God and to those whom He has called me to serve. -John 15:13

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fun with Couponing and Freebies

$60 worth of products for FREE
I'm pretty sure it's because of Extreme Couponing that people are starting to really figure it out.  I guess the easiest for me is through Coupon Sense because I don't have to spend my time looking for online coupons or even look through the ads.  I do look through them but not always thoroughly.  So far getting 10 papers every Sunday has worked best for me since Fry's does a lot of 10 item deals.

So here is my latest deal!  How much did it cost me?  Wellll, my order was -.67 cents!

I saved 110% my receipt says.  Amazing!

I worked out a deal with some of my neighbors.  They each told me their favorite product and when I get coupons for those, I give them several for free and in return they give me their coupons every time it comes in the mail.  So my neighbor is getting the 4 Crest toothpastes shown in the picture.  :)

If you decide to try Coupon Sense, please let them know that I referred you!  I love them!
Referral Number:2017636

Amazing Cleaning Techniques

Magic Eraser, Kaboom, Pinesol, Comet, Earthbrite
Scotchbrite, Handi-wipes, Microfiber cloth
My mother-in-law gave me one of the best gifts someone could give me.  She didn't clean my house for me, she showed me her amazing cleaning techniques.  She used to clean houses for a living, rich people houses, and they would always request her.

We didn't do the house, we just focused on the kitchen, floors and bathroom.  the pictures shows her favorite products, except I did forget the Clorox (Or Lysol) toilet cleaner in the picture.

I'm writing some things down to remember because she was so detailed I actually had to take notes. Ha!


  • On the cupboards use Handiwipes to wipe down
  • Use Scotts Liquid Spray w/ soft cloth to wipe down

My mother-in-law always used Pledge until yesterday when she tried Scotts Liquid Gold.  Plus it had a beautiful almond scent. The wood on my cupboards look amazing. 


  • Use Scotchbrite scrubber and comet to scrub counters (or handiwipe)
  • Then a soft cloth sprayed lightly with Scotts Liquid Gold.  It'll give your counters a really pretty shine.

Microwave, Oven, Stovetop

  • Use Earthbrite to scrub stove, microwave, and inside oven.  You lightly rinse and then squeeze water from scrubber that comes with Earthbrite.  Then dab the scrubber on the cleaner in Earthbrite tub.  Clean in little circles like you are waxing something.  Never ever put back the scrubber wet in the product tub.

(no Scotchbrite green scrubber ever)

  • Then use handiwipes to rinse good.  
  • Then microfiber cloths to dry and shine up.
  • On your stove is where the razer blades come in really handy.  Use a soft touch when getting stuff off your stove. You'd be surprised what you can get up with them.  I've tried getting some of the black stuff off but never could till using the razer blades.  My stove looks like I just bought it.


Tub: Put some Comet around in the tub, then handiwipe with little water on it to wash

Shower walls: Spray with Kaboom and wipe with a wet Handiwipe.  Might have to use twice.

Sink: Comet and handiwipe

  • Fill bucket with water and maybe 1/4 cup of Pinesol
  • Use Scotchbrite green scrubber
  • Use scrubbing brush for grout and baseboards
  • Use Handiwipe to rinse with clean water
  • Then a dry towel to clean.  

I did all the steps in parts of the floor rather than doing the whole floor only one step at a time and then going back to do the second step. These areas in my house look amazing!!!

Worlds Skinniest House

Isn't this soooo wierd????

Can you imagine living in something like this?  LOL

I had to share this because this is such an odd idea for a place.  I wonder if that would be all hard floors since pushing a vacuum would be a pain.  You would just vacuum up on strip and then carry if up or down the ladder.  Hmmm... So odd.  I like odd stuff.

Have you seen those little houses people are building too? When I was single I could've happily lived in one of those places.  They are so neat.

Read more HERE!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mrs. Clean is Coming to Rescue Me!

Guess what???

Today my Mother-in-law is coming to my house and helping me deep clean the house. Sadly, I've never really learned how to do it so since she used to clean houses for a living, she's gonna show me.  She gave me a list of cleaners and supplies so I ran out and bought them.  Then my mop decided to break on me the other day so my floor is getting bad.  I'm not sure what to do about that one because the store I get them from is out of stock.  I don't want a cheap one that'll break so fast and most stores I checked sold some pretty dumb ones.  I need a strong heavy duty ones that cleans up really good.

She is about to be here any minute.  I'm sure when I'm done I'll be lying on the floor because she is a master cleaner.  I think her dad was Mr. Clean so I'm a little intimidated.  I will slip in a picture when I get a chance.  She might not let me do even that because she'll make sure I take no breaks.  Haha.  Anyway, I'm excited she's gonna really show me some things and how to do them right.

<---Probably one of my only superpowers!  Except for maybe remaining positive in absolute defeat.

I know I'm 32 but if I let my sister ever do a guest post on here she would inform you that I was the baby of the family and got away with not cleaning most of the time.  My mom tried hard to include me but I found ways to hide in the closet during cleaning time or slip out of the house.  I hated cleaning.  But then I forgot that cleaning comes with getting married, having your own home, kids, and everyone has to do it.  So I didn't get away with it forever. Ha.  I thought I lucked out by hiding but my sisters actually lucked out because they got some good training in.  I do work super hard every single day but I want to learn how to work smarter not harder.  When friends come over they say I never sit down because I'm working so hard to stay on top of things.  So I am trying to make myself just sit and relax when friends come over. Not worry about things falling apart.  Cleaning is not a problem for me, I'm not lazy by any means.  It's knowing how to deep clean that is kind of lost on me.

So today is a GREAT day!  It's never too late to learn!  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tough Economy Makes Families Want to Stock Up

Any part of the week we have extra kids in our house.  Can you
guess which two are not mine?  Tee hee....
Wow, I can't believe I've gone 4 days without blogging.  It's UNREAL how crazy busy I am and I don't even go to work every day!  Sometimes I sit there and day dream about only cashiering like I did back when I worked at JCPenney.  I told Charles that if I ever had to work again after my kids grow up, that'll be my dream job.  Just ringing people and and talking to them.  Forget about the pay.  I can't believe I complained about it when I was a teen.  Now I'd be all excited to just talk to people and help them buy stuff.  Remember those days?  Crazy, crazy....

Here is another point of view though that I was thinking about today.  There is NO money.  No material thing. No gadget.  No Cable.  No car. No house that could ever get me to change my mind and want to go to work while my kids are being raised.  There is just no temptation for me whatsoever there.  The only regret I can see myself ever having is not spending enough time with my kids. I can't imagine laying on my death bed saying "Man, I never really lived because I never got to buy that Hummer I always wanted."  Nope.  I am not joking when I say that we cut every unnecessary expense in our life so I can stay home. Our bills are very, very simple on purpose.  I'm not knocking at all people who have to work!  I am only saying for myself. I know how hard it is and I've had all my cards crumble. It is really tough times out there and more and more families are just really struggling.  Been there, done that.  I guess that's why I'm putting so much time into saving and stocking up right now.

Part of my stash of dishwashing soap
How can my days POSSIBLY be so insanely busy?  You know what's been making me crunch time?  Couponing.  I learned a hard lesson from waiting to cut coupons till they add up.  I just went shopping again so I had to sit and cut coupons.  It took me soooooo long.  I'm talking hours to catch up.  I will always cut and put away my coupons as soon as I get them now.  That was just ridiculous.  Then I went to the store and saved huge.  But still... it really takes some time and dedication.  Maybe even practice.  The first time I went coupon I settled for 50% of savings.  I was kind of sad about it and was determined to try harder. Then it was in the 60's, then 70's, and now 80's.  I guess the biggest thing is not just getting excited about using a coupon but truly waiting till it's a rockin deal.  I've never had my pantry and both fridges soo full so it's exciting and my family is reaping big time.  

Free toothpaste
It's really cool having 32 toothpastes I got all for free, the toothbrushes too.  Or only paying 88 cents for expensive shampoo or whatever it is.  We'll definitely have deoderant, shampoo, toothpaste, shaving stuff, feminine products, dishsoap, etc that'll last us about a year.  That's from only couponing the last two weeks!  I won't pay for anything unless it's at least 80% with sale and coupon.  Otherwise, forget it.  It stays on the shelf.

Stacks of kids crayons
I really need to start getting my shampoos for free.  If I would've saved my coupon I would of gotten 10 free Aussie shampoos today and even got money back.  ARgh!  Patience.  I'm hoping to get good enough where I can give them away to people in need.  Seriously, I'm not gonna need 100 packs of toothpaste. But I sure am heck gonna aim for them to give.

Anyway, tomorrow is a HUGE laundry day and I'm babysitting so I'd better get some rest.  

I LOVE MY BLOGGY friends!  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We're a Large Party Wherever We Go

We're already a family of 8 but we usually always have extra kids with us.  At least we get group rates!  Haha

Today is my beautiful girl's birthday!  Ivy turned 6.  Yesterday we took her and some friends to a fun place to play ALL DAY.  If we're gonna pay almost $200 we're gonna stay as long as possible.  I almost passed out a couple times from tiredness but just shook my self awake.  Besides, they have a GREAT buffet!  I ate and ate and ate.  I brought a coupon for a buy one get one free buffet so that at least saved me $10.  We hadn't gone since I was pregnant with Caleb so it's been awhile.  Back then Ashley was about 1 1/2 years old, just like Caleb is now.  So it brought flashbacks.  Boy, does time fly or what???  Sniff.....

Anyway, I took 10 kids with me and it was lots of fun!  I just kept walking around watching them and seeing what everyone is up to.  It's impossible to follow them all around at once but it's a really fun and safe place.  At the end of the night when it was about to close I grabbed a whole tray full of pizzas and cookies because I just KNEW they were gonna be done and sooo hungry.  I hear it every time.  They'll be this huge buffet that's ignored because they are too excited.  Then when it shuts down they cry because they are hungry.  

I grabbed 10 slices of pizza, 10 cookies and drinks. You should've seen the look on the workers faces.  They probably thought I was a pig!  Haha.

Last time Ashley went she couldn't ride rides like these so she was excited!  She made friends with almost every girl in that place. She even charmed people into playing golf with them.  She had a whole group of people patiently waiting while she tried play.  Every time I saw her she was holding hands with another little girl and running around.

Ashley riding with my friend's daughter. 

Caleb pointing to the obvious

It's crazy to think Ivy was just a baby when I first started this blog. Now she is 6 going on 16!  She said "Mom, now that I am 6, I really need some makeup and jewelry."
Ivy with her Aunt Jodee

Be Good to Yourself!

These are sooooo fun!  Montagne Jeunesse Masque  just come in these individual packs you can buy at most stores.  

Since I like to peel things I tried the Peel Off Passion first.  It was fun!  Haha.  I let it dry and since it was clear, my skin looked like a plastic doll.  I could hardly move my face.  It worked fast to make a masque.  Then I sat down and had my girls peel it off. Wow!  If you have any yucky stuff stuck in your pores it's gonna come out.  Then I was surprised by how soft and clean my face looked.  I loved it!  Actually, I plan on heading to the store since it's incredibly affordable.  I'm talking anywhere from $1 on sale to maybe $1.59 for each one.  That's nothing.

I also tried the Fudge-Sauna and Mud Pac facial cleanse. Actually, those two times I got the family in on it and we were all walking around with masques on.  Then we washed our faces and of course it felt awesome!  We had so much fun doing the mud packs together and it gave me that fun spa experience without the big bill.

On Facebook and Twitter!

*I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using created by Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bath thyme Body Milk Review

I looooove being surprised by a product that I thought was just gonna be like all the others.  I mean, to me lotion is almost always just lotion.  I don't expect a whole lot out of it.  So when I got Body Milk Zinnia and put some on, right away I was surprised by the wonderful scent that came from it. Then my husband walked in the room and said, "Did you put on perfume?  You smell really nice!"  Hmmmm.... so I picked it up and put some more on!  Shoot, this scent actually stayed on me longer than perfume, plus is was sooo moisturizing.   I really truly like this lotion.  I keep it right at my kitchen sink for easy access to keeping my hands moisturized after washing dishes.  (and my arms, neck, legs, etc.)  It's just so yummy to use!  It didn't feel greasy in any way either.  I had no problems at all with the pump and I actually keep the lock it came with so my little ones don't pump it all out.  It's mine.  Miiiiiine!  <--- Said that last "mine" with an evil laugh.

Bath thyme Body Milk
Indulge yourself with the moisturising and firming action 100% botanical derivative base enriched pure plan essential oil, vitamin E to stimulate healthy tissue and provide antioxidants to the skin with added Shea butter to leave the skin felling soft, delicate smooth and perfect moisturised.

ZinniaBenefit from scent: The clean refreshing fragrance of Zinnia will enliven the mind and body and leave the skin refreshed and smooth without being greasy. 

*I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using created by Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Decluttering My House Declutters My Mind

I spent so much time decluttering in my house that I haven't blogged for a few days.  But ohhhhh, I'm in love!  I threw out so much stuff it's amazing.  Caleb was even sharing a room with Charles' office but now that Charles no longer does Design work, we just emptied it all out.  Now it's solely Caleb's room and it's very simple.   A couple of months ago my 9 year old son Ryan climbed in his crib to read a book to him and it cracked.  We had to throw the crib out and Caleb was sleeping in a playpen.  I went out and bought Caleb a car bed and he really loves it.  When he's ready to get up in the morning he just gets out of bed and knocks on his door.  He is soooo cute.  

Then I went through the boys room and got rid of everything they don't play with.  I brought a HUGE empty plastic bin and filled it to the top.  Basically they only play with costumes (which I also went through), guns, swords, Legos, and their video games.  So it was pretty easy to rid of a lot.  I'm waiting for Resolve (for carpet) to go on sale so I can use my coupons.  Then I can spot clean their carpet.  Then I'm gonna rent a Rug Doctor to really clean it. I always declutter clothes as I'm washing them so that's done all the time.  If it's faded in any way or torn, even a sock it gets thrown out.

My room was also completely decluttered and a lot came out of it. The only thing is I have to go through my clothes.  I have so much clothes I could clothe the Duggar kids for awhile. Clothes are hard for me to get rid of because I love fashion and love to mix and match everything.  I will go through 20 outfits before I find something I want to wear.  If I don't feel beautiful in it, it's tossed immediately.  I'll never forget what Oprah said on a show once.  She said that when you are trying something on and you don't feel absolutely GREAT in it, don't buy it or toss it if you already have it.  Now I apply that to when I go out shopping.  You shouldn't have to talk yourself into something.  You either LOVE it or you don't.  

Caught sleeping
Since I was on a role, I just kept decluttering all Saturday and into the night.  I wasn't done till 7:30am Sunday morning.  So I just took a shower and we all went to church.  It was sooo hard to stay awake in Sunday School because they were showing a video and it was dark.  But then I had nursery duty downstairs so it made it easy to stay awake.  As soon as I got home though, I went to bed till church that night. I fought to stay awake during the service even though it was such a good sermon.  Actually, I got caught sleeping because my mom took a picture.  So there is evidence. So embarrassing!  Haha!   I was just leaning on my husband and didn't mean to pass out.  It's his fault for having such a comfy shoulder.  Then when church was over again I went straight to bed!  Was it worth it?  Yes.  Every bit of being tired for a day was worth it.

Ohhh, it was so exhausting but waking up without that burden on my shoulders of clutter just feels so, so good.  I only have one room left which is the girls' room.  Then I'll start on the garage.  :)  I feel good because when I declutter my house is just declutters my mind.  I don't have all that worry and frustration.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Great Way to Organize Your Coupons

My All-in-one Organizer
The first time I tried to use my coupons in the store I embarrassingly took over 3 hours to find maybe 15 items.  I just had my coupons in a stack and I would drop them.  They were disorganized.  I've seen even extreme couponers put all their coupons in a see thru binder like I have but the types of coupons were all shuffled around. It's really, really hard and discouraging to try to save money but have to spend hours just trying to find a few things.

Organizer on the left/Coupons on the right

Well, I had it and went out to buy myself something to make it fast and easy for me.  I found this really neat zip up binder at Walmart.  I liked it because it has two sections. One of the left for my organizer I've already made and the right for all my coupons. 

Then I bought dividers, specifically ones that are easy write on and pockets on the front of each divider.  I actually needed about 24 total so I had to buy 3 packages of 8.  I divided it up by sections of the store so I could just flip to that section and find the coupons I needed.  I mean, it takes me all of 5 seconds to find the coupons I need right at that moment.  I have a freezer, snack, meat, dairy, drinks, baby items, medical, cosmetics, etc, sections.

So for example: This is how I'd put my coupons in the meat section.  I use those inserts that display baseball cards.  It's just easier to look at coupons this way. 

The reason I like the dividers with the inserts in the front is because I put the coupons in there that can be stacked.  If I ever find two or three coupons that can be used on one product, I put it right in the front of  that section so that I will remember to get it.  It means the product will be free or ridiculously cheap so I don't want to miss out on it.

I used to be afraid of couponing because I didn't know how to do it but if you just find a system that works for you, you'll save tons of money!  I have only been doing this for one week and already saved over $1,100 on my regular grocery bill.  I love it and my husband can't believe it when I come home from the store.  The way I use coupons is I use them on top of a sale.  I always look for ways to stack a coupon also.  It just depends on the rules of the store.  My store takes competitive coupons so I can use a store coupon (from any store) AND a manufacturers coupon on one product.  PLUS if that product is already on sale then it's a killer deal.

Here is a good reason to use coupons.  Just tonight I went grocery shopping again to pick up some more things I saved 78%!  Tonight when shopping for some groceries I spent $60 but saved $227!  Wow!  

On another checkout today I bought these items.  Retail cost before sales or coupons was $177.  Want to know how much I paid?
I only paid $12 for all this!  
That is a 93% savings!

Hope this helps for anyone looking to figure out a system that will work for them.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Working Hard to Make Home Simplified

Trying to find fun in waiting in the ER
It's been sooo hard to have batteries for my camera since so many things in this house use batteries like the Wii and Xbox 360.  That's four controllers so 8 batteries.  We save big time by using rechargeables.  I'm not kidding, those batteries have last us several years without dying.  They're still recharging just fine.  It's wonderful.  However, now we don't have enough so this weekend I'm gonna go out and buy more so I can use my beautiful camera!  Ha.  I'm always having to sneak batteries from one of the controllers when no one is looking.

I've kind of disappeared lately because I've been decluttering.  I know I say that a lot.  Someone on facebook said I did.  I really do say it a lot I guess.  It's just that I don't mean I've decluttered the whole house.  Just one area.  Like yesterday I spent hours reorganizing my pantries and cabinets.  I stopped using the one in the garage because it's just too hot out there and so I did a switch of pantries.  Today I worked on my bedroom and simplifying it.  Sometimes my bedroom seems to turn into the last resort.  I never have time to go back in there during the day because I'm with my kids, homeschooling Ivy, washing dishes, doing laundry, taking care of the baby, making meals, etc.  You get the idea.  So it's easy to just change real fast and not take the time to put everything away.  Or we'll just set something in there and "deal with it later."  Finally I had enough and donated most of it.  I went through LOTS clothes.

Yep, that's a diaper on Scooby
Tomorrow I'll be doing massive amounts of laundry and while putting them away, I'll always get rid of more.  While clothes are washing, I'll be decluttering both the kids rooms.  AGAIN.  I know it's about that time when they really start to struggle with their chore time.  If they are overwhelmed, they just shift things back and forth.  Kids shouldn't carry that burden.  I can't expect them to do a great just when there is just too much stuff.  Tomorrow night I'll be decluttering my laundry area also.

So, it's been a whirlwind around here!  But a good kind that is refreshing.  I really want to make it simple.  My husband at one time told me that he liked how the house was getting cleaned all the time and kept up.  But he said it was more important to him for me to spend time with the kids and build relationships with them.  It hurt to hear that but it was an eye opener for me and I'm glad he said it.  Since then I've really put them first and spend a lot of time with them.  It's important to truly listen to them.  Sometimes I feel like I just want to get the dishes done without any interruptions.  Instead, I'll just rinse off my soapy hands, bend down and listen to what my child has to say.  Even if I think it's a silly issue, it's not to him or her.  The dishes can wait.  It's been such a wonderful year of really building relationships with each and every one of my kids.  

Anyhow, it's 3:40am and I'm finally done for the day.  Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Animal Haven

These pictures were taken with my camera phone before my camera came in from repair.  So the quality isn't so great.

Some of you remember my sweet dog Scooby a while back that died because he was injured badly.  I cried sooo hard when he died and he was one of my favorite animals I've ever had.  He hurt my heart so bad to have him die in my arms.  

Well, a friend called and said they had another Scooby for me.  Except his name is Hoover. Like the vacuum cleaner since he eats everything off the floor.  I keep calling him Scooby on accident though and my husband really wants to change his name to that.  I'm not sure about it though.

He is only a puppy but he snuggles me all the time and lays by my feet at night.  I looove having a little dog to sit with me. Sometimes it's hard being an animal lover and see stuff happen.  Or having to fix injured birds, or burying little grasshoppers, caring for chickens or having one die because of extreme heat.  I don't know.  If I never had kids, I probably would of been someone that worked with animals.  But having kids is SO MUCH BETTER!  HA!

What do you think?  Should I keep his name Hoover?  Or keep our Scooby name since we all keep calling him Scooby on accident?