Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sundays at Tiffany's

Another benefit of the Junior League: I'm meeting people with similar interests, and am learning about some neat stuff. My new favorite is a website that allows you to track books that you've read, rate them, track recommendations and books on your to read list. It is taking my reading hobby to a new level. One of the cool features is that it provides the text for my update. This weekend it was James Patterson's novel Sundays at Tiffany's, that I believe got passed along from my Dad and Aunt Leslie.

Sundays at Tiffany'sSundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sundays at Tiffany's was very different from other James Patterson novels, and I really enjoyed the change. While the plot is somewhat unbelievable, I think that is what makes it magical.

View all my reviews

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sissy is headed to Dallas!

Sometime in life, things just work out. I love when that happens.

I got a phone call this weekend from my sister Abby. Her teacher cancelled clinicals on Thursday and Friday because she is going to a conference. Abby already has Wednesdays off this semester, and is playing hookie on Tuesday to get up here early. All of a sudden, I went from not seeing my sister until Christmas to having a week together. I. AM. SO. EXCITED.

Doody and Layne are really great men. They are giving up their time with their spouse, their money (because Abby and I are students with no income), and their reward points (Thank you Southwest!) so that their wives can have some quality time together. I am so appreciative, and I feel so loved.

There is nothing like time with your sister, especially with a sister like Abby. She's like a fresh whirlwind that blows through your life and leaves everything for the better.

Lucky me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A $40 Co-Pay

The best investment I made this week was a $40 co-pay to the City Doc Urgent Clinic. I was told I had acute sinusitis and acute bronchitis. I got a breathing treatment, a steroid shot, and an antibiotic shot. I got a script for a  Z-PAC and another steroid pill. And an inhaler. And I feel A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Only Layne came home from a work trip last night and sounded like I did a week and a half ago. Lesson learned. Layne is going bring his co-pay to the doctor tomorrow...

The Coupon Queen

Instead of working on a school assignment that is due by 11:30pm tonight, I decided to procrastinate a little more by jumping on the blog to tell you about my new, self-proclaimed title, the coupon queen.

Don't get me wrong, I know there are people who are better at this than I am. There are more tricks for me to figure out. But in this household, I am running the grocery scene...and have started to master the art of it.

I've come along way. When I first started dating Layne, a trip to the grocery story together never ended well. I had no process, I just did my thing. Layne had a routine as to how he approached grocery shopping, and he didn't deviate. CLASH. I have this ingrained habit from when I was child of holding on to the side of the cart. I distinctly remember Abby and Gregory in a grocery cart with Stephen and I holding on to the side and mom pushing us in a cart and pulling the groceries behind her. (How she did this I'll never know.) Without realizing it, I still hold onto the side of the cart all of the time. It drove Layne nuts. CLASH. We've figured out how to go to the grocery together since then, but I will always look at those beginning days and laugh.

Now I am the one who has a specific approach about the grocery store, and it starts with my grocery list. It is so easy to go to the store for 12 things and come home with 20. I find myself buying extra things- things I want but don't need, or things I will use just not right away. Rarely are they on sale, and rarely do I have the right coupon. So the first step for me is to commit to my grocery list. Like anything in life, there are exceptions. But the conscious commitment to sticking to the list goes a long way.

Next, I compare my list with the weekly flyers. If you don't get the paper on Wednesdays and Sundays, look online. All of the grocery stores I use post them, and there is more information about other store discounts as well. After looking over the ads, it was obvious that Kroger was the right place for me to go this week. The last thing to do was to look through coupons and see if I had everything. The world of printable online coupons has really made a difference in the way I approach grocery shopping. I now list what I need, and find the coupon to match it. And you would be surprised how easy that is to do. Yesterday, I was able to find $1 off of the milk we use, and $0.75 off of my creamer. Finding coupons for our essentials is the best, and in total I used fifteen coupons last night.

My favorite steals of the day: 12 pack of coke zero and sprite zero $2.00, my Herbal Essences shampoo $1.45, Yoplait Frozen Smoothies $1.54, Kraft sliced cheese $0.89, Oscar Meyer Deli Meat $1.09, and my Quaker Rice Cakes $1.19

Was it worth it? Look at these savings and you tell me.

Manufacturer's Coupons (that I brought in) - $9.95
Bonus Coupon (I held my bread off to the side and used the coupon to pay for it) - $1.50
Kroger Plus Savings (why I chose to go to Kroger, they had sales on my items) -$27.41

Total Savings-  $38.86  (29%)

I invested about an hour of my time to prep. And keep in mind that I'm grocery shopping for Weight Watchers as well, so I was able to find steals and deals on the specific items I need to eat healthy. Totally worth it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meet Miss Vivian

This past weekend, Layne and I drove up to Bloomington, Illinois, to see his cousin Keith get married. We had a great time with our extended family, and cherish the times when we can together with his cousins. While we were in town, we had some quality time with Chad (Keith's older brother) and his wife Monica, and their two children Braden and Vivian. Vivian just turned one this week, and we were able to watch her learn to walk in front of our eyes. 

This beautiful blue eyed baby just stole our hearts. 
How can you refuse those big baby blues?

One day she's learning to walk, and the next she's running up the cell phone bill talking to her friends about nothing all night. They grow up too fast.
Posted by Picasa

Think Pink!

It's October, and in our family that means it's Breast Cancer Awareness month. As most of you know, our mom is five a year survivor. It's a cause we believe strongly in because it hits close to home. My favorite month of NFL football is October, and it's all because of Think Pink movement that has swept over the league.

Some people think it is stupid to see pink football cleats, or even better, the pink ribbon Tracy Porter had shaved and died into his head. But I think it is an an example of people at their finest. An increase in breast cancer awareness saves lives, and I am proud to be apart of an organization that has made an amazing effort in the fight.

See, in 1999, my sorority (Zeta Tau Alpha) partnered up with Tanya Snyder.... the wife of Dan Synder... who owns the Washington Redskins. Who is also a survivor. In 1999, the the Redskins were the only football team who participated. Local Zeta chapters showed up to pass out pink ribbons at FedEx field. Now, almost every team participates. Special towels... special hats... special cleats... you've seen it for yourself.

Like the ladies say... real men wear pink. And although there are those few of those few who don't think pink should be on the football field, it does its job. You remember. And awareness is half the battle.

So wear pink this month. You could save someones mother, daughter, sister, and wife. I know I sure am thankful who led the way for my mom... and it's time to pay it forward.

P.S. - I collect Yoplait pink lids, and if you save them I will be responsible for getting them from you and turning them in. Maybe we can't change the world ourselves, but together we can make a difference.