Friday, February 27, 2009

Let's figure out this coupon thing.

If you have been following the whole 'April Learns How to Use a Coupon' adventure, then you will appreciate that I'm actually putting forth some effort.

First I started buying coupons at The Coupon Clippers because for a nimrod like me it was so easy and the sight isn't cluttered with a bunch of crap or cwap as my daughter would say. I've spent under $20 on coupons and to date I've saved over $80 on items that I would normally buy without a coupon. I've also noticed that I'm stocked with stuff that I usually have to buy every month. I have 5 bottles of Softscrub, 6 boxes of tampons, 4 bottles of lotion and on and on just because I was able to save a ton by using my coupons.

I've finally got in the swing of looking at the sale's fliers for my local grocery store and yes, I look at them online and I figured out they come out every Tuesday...... I know, I'm a genius! I also learned that I can load coupons onto my grocery card. Yes, it's true, so I loaded some coupons onto my card last night and when I buy that item the coupon will automatically ring up when the cashier swipes my card, plus I can use a manufacturer's coupon along with it and save even more! I sound like a pro don't I?!!!

I'm also in the process of figuring out CVS and Walgreens. I found a great sight that has tutorials for both stores and has links to great coupon places. Go here to learn all about it.

Okay, so let's go back to the question; Are coupons worth it? I'm going to vote YES! The first time I used a bunch of coupons on items that I buy on a regular basis and watched my bill decrease by $40, well, that was all the proof I needed.

I have to admit I still have a lot to learn, but by golly it's a bit of a rush to see just how much I can save.

Now if you need some inspiration to start saving I recommend these sights;

Retail Anarchy
- Written by our own Jean Martha's/ Renovation Therapy/ I love Upstate's fiance. Sam has a book and a documentary and a bunch of radio podcasts that focus on how to save money on groceries and basically figuring out how to declare retail anarchy. I also love that he put together a list that he calls Deal Sites.

Be A Blessing- Great tutorials for learning how to use CVS and Walgreens sales.

Savvy Savings Tucson- Written by cookbook author Stephanie Ashcraft. The girl has great deals listed on her sight and she's a coupon queen.

I know there are tons of sights out there and many of you initially pointed me in the direction that has led me to where I am now, so thank you my dear cheap/frugal readers for helping me learn what a frickin' coupon is and how I can use it.

You can't save the world, but you can save some money so get out there and try!

A story about April written by Clay

**Guest post by Clay

April and I had been married a couple months and April was still in her "I don't like Clay very much" phase of life, partially because we lived in a small, ramshackle rental house, it was a pit...with a back stoop.


It was a Saturday morning, April was heading out to work at the animal hospital and I was still in my big red bathrobe sporting some major bed head. I said goodbye to April and heard the screen door slam behind her. Then I heard the "incident."
My first indication that something was amiss was when I heard an ear piercing shriek and five or six terrified "CLAAAAAYYYs." I know that many of you haven't had the pleasure of April's spine-tingling, terrified shrieks, but I am the recipient of one every four or five minutes. They usually happen when a bug is within 25 feet of the house, but they also happen when she is in a room and I come in and "scare" her. They go something like this:

April: [doing something and more often than not, having a conversation with herself] "oh yes, thank you for asking, I've been a professional blogger for many years now and..."

ME: [bang, bang, bang...that's me walking into the room, very loudly] "um....April"

April: "SHHRRRRIIIEEEEEEKKKKK!!! WHY DO YOU ALWAYS SNEAK UP ON ME!!!"
ME: I'm sorry. [At this point I usually just back out of the room with my hands in a "don't be mad" sort of way.]

I get blamed for floating in and scaring her on purpose but this has happened to other people as well so I know it's not just me. It even happened to one poor sap who was walking in front of our house...on the sidewalk, you know, where people usually walk. April was clipping a hedge at the time. It went something like this:

April: [Clip, clip, clip] "oh yes, thank you for asking, I've been a master gardener for many years now and..."

Man on the Street: [bang, bang, bang...that's the guy walking on the sidewalk, very loudly] "Hello"
April: "SHHRRRRIIIEEEEEEKKKKK!!! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR DOING!" Man on the Street: I'm sorry. [Man backs away with his hands up.]

Anyway, the hair-raising shrieks happened and I, being a dutiful husband, ran to her aid through the back door and stopped...and stared...and was confused. April was lying high sided on her stomach about two steps down with her head facing downhill and her arms and legs behind her body as if she was a skydiver gaining speed before the chute opens.

There were only four steps.
She was high sided on the second step. I stood there and wondered, "Does she really need me to help her up? I mean, all she has to do is put her hands down. Is she trying to slide across the yard? How did she get into that position in the first place? She was only out here for about three seconds. What the heck?"

All the while, the shrieks and screams continued until April craned her head around and saw me standing there, kind of stupefied. She gathered that I wasn't reaching down to help her so she turned down the volume...slowly and started to rise to her feet...slowly.
In those three or four minutes I had the chance to look down at myself and notice that my robe was wide open and my lily white boxers and my lily white skin were gleaming in the sunlight. And I'm not kidding about the colors. I don't tan a lick and I have very clean underwear. In fact, they were pretty much the same shade of bright, especially for anyone who squints or happens to be standing more than 15 feet away.

I raised my eyes past April as she rolled back and forth enough to gain the momentum to get up and saw our back-door neighbor standing slack jawed and shirtless watching the whole thing. Sigh.
This very neighbor also happened to be holding all the materials for installing a new mailbox and was heading for the very spot where his old mailbox used to be. In the very spot where April, two days prior, had run aground with our car sending his old mailbox hurling halfway up his yard. And that happened right before she peeled out and left the scene while I stood there just shaking my head. So what was I going to do? I gave him a pleasant "how you doing" wave, a "this kind of stuff happens all the time" smirk, a "I hope your project goes well" thumbs up, and a "what kind of person would bash your mailbox and not pay for it" shrug. Then I closed my robe, turned and walked back into the house.

I think my wife might have made it to work on time with most of her pride splattered on the back stoop, but I didn't hang around long enough to check.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The millionaire in the patched overalls.

You people warm the cockles of my, my, my....what is that saying? You warm the cockles of my heart?

Anyway, thank you for all the kind words and prayers sent our way and especially for Virginia. She has been surrounded by her children and grandchildren and nieces and nephews and her house is full of love and warmth right now.

Clay and I went over a couple nights ago to deliver some food and we had the immense pleasure of sitting down at the kitchen table to share a couple of beers and watch the end of a basketball game with two of Ramone's sons and one of the grandsons.

I was amazed at how accomplished are Ramone and Virginia's children. A lawyer, a high ranking Navy officer, an engineer, an accountant were just some of the professions in the house that night.

Ramone valued education for his children. His kids were one of the first families to attend the private school in town and then he made certain that all of his children went to college.

It made me take a good hard look at their lifestyle. Ramone didn't believe in credit. He borrowed money to buy his first house, but not from the bank. He borrowed the money from a strange wealthy man that rode his bicycle everywhere he needed to go and his house was filthy. Ramone was worried that the man would lose the title to his house in the mess so he worked overtime and weekends at the railroad and paid off the debt in a matter of months.

Can you imagine paying off your home in less than a year?!

Ramone still owns that home and a few others......all paid for. I remember Ramone scoffing at me when I told him I couldn't afford to do something because I had a mortgage. He was right to scoff. What are we doing?! We take on so much debt for things we can't buy! Ramone viewed debt as disgraceful, humiliating a failure.

I view debt as a bridge from point A to point Fairyland.

By living a simple, uncomplicated life Ramone was able to provide more than just the basics for his family. He drove old beat up trucks (most of them are still on his property being used for storage), mended his fences with bailing twine, patched the holes in his jeans, heated his house with a wood stove and grew his own beef and vegetables.

What an admirable way to live.

He left his wife with a suitable income and his children occupy the homes he bought. Even as an elderly man he was ensuring his family had all they needed and more. In return they are all at his house now comforting Virginia, taking care of the cows and honoring the memory of their patriarch.

I think we might all learn a thing or two from Ramone. I think it's true that most of the wealthiest people in America don't look wealthy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Empty Milk Crates

Ramone passed away yesterday. We will miss him terribly. I sure wish we would have had just a couple more years with him or even one more summer.


I loved looking outside to see Ramone working in the yard or talking to his 'kids' which is what he called his cows. "Here kids!" he'd call when he had a treat for them. Last summer he saved some pears in several five gallon buckets and would yell, "Bucket Kids, BUCKET!" and those darn cows would come running across the field to get a pear from him.


Many days I would look over to see him sitting on his milk crates waiting for the water tanks to be filled, that's when I had the best conversations with him. He told me about the families that had lived in my house and about the land around our homes and the railroad that used to run through his property. He told me about serving in the war and sailing with the Navy. He told me how he was the first Mexican American to graduate from the local high school. Ramone told great stories.

Ramone had a habit of leaving things in a certain place that seemed befitting. Those two tractors, empty, still, but in that one spot together they were just right. Now those milk crates will sit there empty and still, but in just the right spot to remind me of sweet Ramone.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Watering the Cows

While my neighbor, Ramone, is in the hospital I've been watering his cows. I think I am now officially a tiny bit of a farmer because I had to break the ice in the tanks. Not only did I have to break the ice, but I had to do it with a bent piece of pipe that I assumed was used for breaking ice purposes........until I saw the axe setting by Ramone's porch.


What I'm trying to make you understand is that I got up early in the morning, braved the frigid cold and watered the cows. Now, it wasn't so cold that I had to light a fire in the barrel to thaw the hydrant like Ramone does, and to that I say, THANK YOU GOD! But, still I was beating the heck out of that ice and was yelling to the cows DON'T WORRY YOU WON'T DIE OF THIRST.....NOT ON MY WATCH....I'LL BREAK THIS ICE IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO.....I'LL SAVE YOU ALL.....I'M A FARMER.....I'M A FARMER... I.....AM...A...Far...is that an axe over there? What the heck?

I must admit that the cows were a bit afraid to come get a drink until after I went back to my house.

Oh! I almost forgot......



I took a picture of my new haircut while I was watering the cows. I know! It's great, right? You love it? I KNOW!!!!



And look! My new glasses! Am I annoying? Do you want to punch me in the face?
Please don't hurt me....please. I'm a farmer and I wear glasses.

Friday, February 20, 2009

From my hair with love.

Remember when I had long luscious hair that flowed like silk down my back and I fixed it every single day?



Remember when I got my glasses and it became painfully clear that my hair wasn't really all that lucious or silky and that pulling it back in a pony tail was not considered 'fixing it' at all? I also discovered I had grown a beard.


I know you remember this. Right? The bangs. Good Lord the bangs. Well, okay....


maybe, it was more like this. Remember how I couldn't stop talking about those bangs?

Then I went and got my hair cut again and forgot all about posting pictures of me with my new style.

And that's just silly, because this blog is allllll about me, myself and I.

It's just that I feel so wonderful and free with my new cut and the six or eight or however many inches I had chopped off has given me a renewed lease on life and I've been flitting around town like a little bird. Flit, flit. Flutter, flutter. Tweet, tweet.

Who knew that hair could weigh a person down so much?

I'm a new person.

Gone is the serious Olivia with no smile.

Gone is the scruffy Sawyer with a scraggly pony tail.

I'm the best haired April I've ever been.

I mean the layers in my hair alone have brought out the body and bounce that my head has been missing all these long, dreary, big-bangs months.

Are you ready to see the new April?

Yes?

My friend, prepare yourself.....











I KNOW!!!! I'M GORGEOUS!!!!


See how my stylist incorporated my big bangs into my new cut? I feel absolutely radiant.


Please don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shopping Agony and a Cheap Haircut

Last week after admitting to myself that my hair was nothing more than a ratty ponytail I decided to get it cut. I took my chances and went back to the hair school, because spending lots of money on my mop is just not what I want to do. This time I made sure the stylist was aware that I didn't want my bangs to start back by my ears. She agreed that my bangs were really deep. Yea, I know.

I also asked for a partial foil, which is when they highlight just the top and sides of your hair. This is much cheaper than getting the whole head done and I discovered the school assigns you a student with more experience when you come in with something more complicated than a haircut.

$32.00 is what I paid for a cut, foil and style. HELLOOOOOO, that is so CHEAP!!!

I took my two little boys with me and they sat for two hours watching me get beautified. I told them I would get them a treat if they were good. My seven year old said, "Mom I don't want a treat, they don't last. I want a new toy."

I've never heard any of my children have that sort of reasoning skills. He is obviously brilliant and who am I to deny his logistic abilities? Or, he knows how to work his mom.

So, off to Target we went.

I have not been in Target for MONTHS!!!

I couldn't help roaming up and down all the isles. They had quilts on sale. At one point I was staring at a twin sized quilt in my hand and had completely redecorated my oldest son's room in my head. It was going to be WONDERFUL! Charcoal with a bit of turquoise and and white to set off all his red St. Louis Cardinals memorabilia. He would love it and love me more for bringing it all home.

I stood there pondering the lovliness of it all for a few moments. Then reality jarred me to my senses and threw a big bucket of guilt on my head.

I put the quilt back on the shelf. With a heavy sigh I remembered his comforter is just fine. He doesn't want or need new bedding. He hasn't asked to change his room. Most importantly remodeling his room IS NOT IN THE FRICKIN' BUDGET!!!!

DAMN RAMSEY! DAMN RAMSEY! DAMN RAAAAAAAAAAMSEY!!!!!!!!


My heart was racing and I felt my hands get sweaty. I was going through some serious Target withdraw. I left the store with two small Lego toys that were well earned and a serious case of Shopper's Agony.

This staying focused business SUCKS!

My new moto: STAY BACK TARGET IS CRACK
I'm having it tattooed on my my knuckles tomorrow.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Simmer down now.

I met a blogger in real life and she was really sweet.

My children were stunned and amazed and couldn't decide which beautiful treat to stuff in their gob first.
I think I will send her my children as a thank you.
I mean, really. It's the least I can do.


Thank you Marilyn, my baking will never look good again.

Ramone Update

I can't tell you how touching it is that even though I don't know many of you in person that when I say I'm concerned for my sweet neighbor Ramone your response is to comment with well wishes and prayers.

Thank you.

We went to the Hospital on Saturday to visit with Ramone and Virginia. Ramone is weak and tired. The doctors were going to do some more tests today.

When Ramone wasn't dozing off he would engage in our conversation. I told him the cows missed him and to get home soon.

Virginia told us some great stories. When they lived in town they had a neighbor that didn't have indoor plumbing and their outhouse was stinking something fierce. After asking the neighbor several times to take care of the problem, Virginia had some strong words with her in which the neighbor challenged Virginia that it was her property and Virginia couldn't make her clean it up if she didn't want to. Well, that was enough for Virginia to call the Health Department.

Thirty days later the neighbor had been forced to move out and Ramone bought the property for a song. Because, as Virginia said, "Nobody wanted to live in that sh*! hole". They tore down the house and it's still an empty lot today.

And that my friends is how Ramone and Virginia are doing. I'll keep you updated as I know.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Aldi must be Heaven.

There are so many reasons to shop at Aldi. I mean really. Once you get past the cardboard smell and the early 80's color scheme, Aldi is really quite heavenly, especially on your pocket.


The employees at Aldi are always very friendly and get me checked out quickly. In fact I would say they are perfect.


Yes, perfect.




Afterall, Jesus works at Aldi.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The cows and I are sad.

My sweet-sweet neighbor, Ramone, is in the hospital battling congestive heart failure. His wife, Virginia, called me yesterday to tell me they took him to the ER at two o'clock in the morning. Virginia was so tired, she just recently had surgery on her back.

Virginia said, "Well, I'm going to go out and water the cows and then I'm going to lay down for a bit."

WHAT!

This is how she rolls. Never asking me to help her. Of course I insisted on taking care of the cows until they tell me otherwise. As I was filling up their water tanks the cows came lumbering over, but instead of drinking they just stood and stared at me. I could hear the muttering.

What's the blond chick doing here? Where's Ramone?

I can't think of what this place will be like if Ramone doesn't pull through. I know he's 88 years old and lived a full and beautiful life, but I still have so many questions to ask him and he told me he would help me get my garden planted correctly this year. I can't tell you how many times he has told me to, Getchoo some lime and getchoo some sand!

I feel a measure of comfort knowing that he and Virginia are out here and know so much about the area and the soil.

This is one time that looking to the future makes me sad.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Blemish and Foul Wind

Oooookay, I think we've all seen enough of that.

Now, how about some more stories about ME to make you feel better about yourself? Yes? Could this blog be any bigger a display of self deprecation and humiliation? Or is it that I need attention? Because being 95 feet tall with freaky blond hair and a butt the size of Canada isn't really doing it for me anymore, obviously.

****

This morning, I had to take my older kids to school. I decided to just get dressed and go. I looked like, well, like I just woke up and threw on some clothes. Even better I had just popped two zits on my chin. Have you seen me after I pop a zit? It looks like a giant tumor has erupted on my skin, red and pulsing to my heart beat, it's hideous. No big deal, I thought, drop the kids off and scoot home, I'll be invisible.

You know what's about to happen, don't you?

The most beautiful woman on the face of the planet saw me at school and made a bee line for my van waving at me to get my attention so she could talk to me.

Oh, Lord. Here she comes. No! Dear God, NO! Should I just gun the engine and peel out of the parking lot? Would it be bad if I ran over her? Maybe if I pretend I don't see her. Nope, I'm waving, that pretty much says come here and talk to me. Lord, WHY?!

I rolled down my window so my zits could say hello.

****

A couple days ago I took all my kids to the longest evening of basketball in the history of basketball. I had to watch three games and part of another one. We were the visiting team and crowded together in a little lunch room area that had accordion style doors that opened to the gym. My two little boys and I were sitting in chairs very close to all the other parents.

What better time for my boys to start ripping the foulest smelling farts ever?

What did they eat? Sulfur? Rotten eggs? Dog poop?

Like any good parent I immediately started placing the blame. "Oh! Honey. Phew! Do you need to go to the bathroom? Wow. YOU are really stinking up the place."

If that wasn't bad enough, my baby decided to sit on my lap and let go of a mighty, butt- flapping wind that could only come from a rear the size of Canada.

MOSES SMELL THE ROSES!

I knew that if I started to blame him for that incredible auditory display it would look like I was the guilty party. In silence, I sat in my chair holding my son staring straight ahead pretending like I didn't hear or smell a thing. And we all know what that means, right?

GUILTY! GUILTY!! GUILTY!!!!!!

****

What lessons have you learned from this ridiculous post?

1. Never leave the house.
2. Basketball stinks.



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm DANCIN'!

There's a lot of things I feel I need to explain before you watch this video.

1. I was in the middle of either putting up or taking down our Christmas tree in the first one, it's sad that I can't remember.

2. I yelled at my oldest son that I was dancing because he was begging me to come help him with his homework. I have to set my priorities, right?

3. Later you'll see I had shoved a big dinner roll in my mouth and was in the process of trying to eat it. Eating while dancing helps control calories.

4. I was making grape jelly in the kitchen when my son decided to start filming me dancing to Fergilicious. My jelly turned out Grapilicious.

5. The chair thing.... I don't know. I think my daughter caught me doing that.

6. While watching these clips, it became obvious to me that I never fix my hair. I made an appointment to get it cut tomorrow.

7. I am going to loose sleep tonight, because I posted this stupid video.

8. Dancing is all I have left.

9. I was a cheerleader.

10. I was too tall to be a cheerleader.

11. I'm sick of myself. Gah.

12. Please excuse me while I go hurl.


Monday, February 09, 2009

White Boy Gettin' His Groove On

I have no idea where he got his sweet moves. I'm so proud.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

She's home!

Last night we had the amazing privilege of seeing the homecoming of our good friends and their new daughter, a little girl adopted from Ethiopia.

This is a very unique group of children. It includes two little girls that are awaiting the arrival of their newly adopted sister, two little girls that have been adopted and one little girl that is eagerly awaiting the adoption of her little sister. It was very sweet and touching to watch how excited they were.


I've watched this video about ten times and I get goose bumps and a nervous excitement every single time.



video

I have so much I want to say about last night, but I'm a bit overwhelmed. It was one of the most joyous occasions I've ever witnessed.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Blabbing Blogger Seeks Basketball Bible

When we moved back to Kansas I decided not to talk about my blog to the new people I was meeting. I did this because I wasn't sure if it was healthy to unleash so much April on people all at once.

It takes me a bit to warm up in new environments and therefore I tend to be more reserved and quiet and timid and basically paralyzed until I'm comfortable. I think people would say, "She's just a tiny waif of a thing. I can barely hear her when she speaks." Yes, that's exactly how people would describe me. They would also comment on my long fluttery eyelashes, rosebud lips and delicate gait. Because, really, I'm just a sweet, quiet introvert that has been buried inside the body of a gigantic, babbling blond that laughs louder than a hyena being tickled by a baboon!

Unfortunately that gigantic babbling blond eventually gets the best of the tiny waif and one day in a moment of coffee induced spasmodic tongue-flapping I told a new friend, "Oh, I have a blog! And it's so wonderful. You should read it. EVERYDAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!"

Since I hang out with her in larger circles of coffee induced spasmodic tongue-flapping women the topic of my blog has been mentioned a time or two.

So, I wasn't too surprised when I got a little note from my Pastor's wife that she heard I had a blog and could I please tell her how to find it.

This is the email I wrote her. Because why in God's Holy NAME would I just say, "Sure, thanks for asking."


Hey K,
I'm home missing bible study because I have four children and they've stapled me to the floor of my kitchen and poured oatmeal in my hair. Also, I can't seem to find the front door, I think I left it behind a couple loads of laundry. AND if I have to take my little boys to one more basketball game this week they might think that's where we live.


Translation: We've been gone a lot, I have company coming tonight, my house is a disaster, I'm still in my pj's.


Anyway, here's my blog address, please know it's my creative/crazy outlet and by no means reflects the serious, mature adult that I am everyday. aprildphillips.blogspot.com

Have a great weekend and if you want to get in touch with me call any of the local basketball gyms within a 100 mile radius.


I really wanted to sign it with a meaningful Bible verse, but I couldn't find one that had any reference to basketball or blogging. What's with that?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Jack Johnson - Angel (Live 2008)

Need a little heart meltin' today?

Claystor, please put this guy on my ipod for Valentines Day and I won't make you take me out. Oh, and could you also put his songs on my ipod too? Thanks Hon, that'd be great.

A huge THANK YOU to the DVM's wife for introducing me to Jack Johnson on her playlist.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I am Olivia Dunham, FBI agent, or am I?

Yesterday, after I was done with my crime fighting and alien investigating and criminal interrogating, I had to take my oldest son to one of his basketball games. I know, I know, I don't know how I do it all either.

After watching two games I was ready to get home and get my two littles fed and to bed. Levi, my four year old had decided to crawl up in a ball on my coat under the bleachers and fall asleep, the poor little guy was so tired...of watching basketball.

I picked up my three hundred pound four year old and headed out of the gym. I was thinking how relieved I was that we had been able to park so close to the gym. When I turned the corner I noticed the door had a set of plastic posts and chains blocking the door and a sign that said something about the door being locked after 5pm, alarm, security, emergency exit, blah, blah, blah. This is a joke right? I mean there were hundreds of people in that building. Why on earth is this door blocked?

Behind me were several college students that had just come out of a class that were headed the same direction as me. I noticed the door was slightly ajar. My only other option was to go out the other exit and I was NOT going to go down two flights of stairs and then back up another two flights of stairs on the opposite side of the building to get to my van while carrying the seventy-five thousand pound four year old! So, I opened that door.




WHOOP! WHOOOOOP! WHOOOOOOOP! WHOOOOOOP!
That's what the alarm sounded like. The college kids behind me turned and ran down the flight of stairs to get away from the crime scene.

But, I...the FBI agent, with the 90 ton sleeping four year old in my arms yelled, "LET'S GO BOYS!!! COME ON! GET THROUGH THE DOOR! RUN! RUN!" Because I am not about to let a stupid sign warning me not to go through a door, or posts with chains blocking the door, or an excruciatingly LOUD alarm stop me from going where I need to go. I am a professional. I am an FBI agent for crying out loud, I go where I want to go when I want to go and aint nothin-nobody-nowhere-no how gonna stop me!


And nobody did. So I took my tiny swaddled babe and placed him in his car seat. With a gravely voice I looked back at the building squinting through my new glasses and said, "That's right Cowboy. Maybe next time Muchacha. Who's the Boss Hoss. Get back Freckles. Don't mess with Sweet Cheeks. It's the Belle of the Ball. What say you Cha Chi? The Mighty Hunter has returned! What do you think Captain Bunny Killer is gonna say if he catches us? Whatta ya got there Rerun?...." and then my boys asked if I could stop talking so we could please go home. And we did, oh yes, we did.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Frugal Froohaha

Sometimes when I need to recharge my frugal battery I'll try to find someone out in Internet Land who has great advice.

Well, looky what I found. Now I can peruse through 50 different links and surely find someone that will motivate me to keep those dollars in my pocket.

What if I want to make some money online or from my blog? This nice lady posted how much she made from each source.

Remember when I asked you if you thought it was dumb to purchase coupons? Well, I decided to give it try. So I purchased $9.10 worth of coupons, meaning each coupon has a handling fee and I think the minimum purchase is $9. It took five days to get my coupons and I had several that were going to expire on Jan 31st. Quickly, I made my plan and went to our local grocery store that doubles up to $1 on manufactures' coupons. Note that I only purchased coupons on products that I use like Cascade and Jet Dry and Suave (which I didn't think could possibly get any cheaper, but I ended up paying $.49 a bottle, cha-ching).

I did notice that some of the products were more expensive at the grocery store than Wallyworld, but after I used the coupons I did save a bit.

I was forced to purchased more of the products than I would normally due to the 'save $1 when you purchase two' blah blah blee blee bloo bloo and now, hello, I have 6 boxes of tampons in my bathroom. Stocking up is not something I like to do, but I'll do it for the sake of saving.

I used ten coupons and saved $22.80. I have a bunch more to use, so I'm sure I'll end up saving over $50.

I think buying coupons is worth it for me right now since I'm a beginner at this whole coupon thing. I promise I'll keep trying to do better.

Now, go be frugal and free yourself of debt and destruction and dementors and deli meat and doilies and doo-dads and dorks.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

There is a Benjamin Moore store in my barn.

First of all, I want to thank all of you for giving me some great ideas for the dining room chairs.

Paint.

Don't paint.

Paint pastels.

Paint black.

Distress.

DO NOT PAINT!

Cushions, lots and lots of cushions.

Belts.

Quilts.

My favorite was to use duct tape. I would totally do that. And I still might.

But, I really want to thank the two or three people that said I would NOT get this project done. Because nothing motivates me more than when a person says I CAN'T do something......unless I really don't want to do it, then I'm all yeah, not gonna do it.

Clay and I both thought painting the bench was the only way to go. Since we're still being the cheapest people on the planet I didn't want to go buy any paint when there are billions of gallons of Benjamin Moore paint in our barn left from the previous owners. I'm serious, billions, okay maybe it's more like twenty..............million.

Since yesterday the temperature got up to a balmy 70 degrees I decided to go out to the barn and search for a red to use on the bench.

After rummaging through cobweb coated cans and prying them open I found a rusty red and a maroon and decided to put my college color class to good use and mix my own paint. I KNOW! I am so amazing. Amazingly cheap.

So, for zero American dollars I give you the bench.



And I don't like it. I think the color is okay, but it's too dark against the wood floor and the table. It just says blah to me.
See? Blah. So, now I'm going to look at it and think some more. Maybe I'll try a yellow/green....if I can mix my own, which I think I can-can mix my own paint-paint, diddy-diddy bop-bop, diddy-diddy hop-hop.

Oh, sorry, had to break into a little hip hop action there. Nothing makes my children roll their eyes more than when I break into song. A day without singing is a sad day. Especially a day without some opera. Try it. You'll like it. Just sing whatever you are saying. Especially when you're kids' friends come over to play. SING IT!

Now, back to the bench.

What if I paint the yellow/green over this red and then distress it? Huh? What say you?

Oh, and stop telling me to do cushions, because have you seen my children eat? If you have, then you will understand why we can't have fabric on the seats. I'd be posting about how awful the cushions look and then you would be saying....paint the cushions!!!!

I've found the fiber rush to repair the seats online. I think I can do four chairs for around $25 and that's not too bad, right?

I probably won't be painting the table or the chairs. My reasoning is Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Independence Day.

What? April, please 'splain dis crazy cockamammee nonsense.

You see, I like to decorate my dining room for all those holidays and if I have my table and chairs painted all different pastels then it would look great for Easter, but come Thanksgiving I would want to barf all over the chairs to try to get the pale blue to look good with the pumpkins and maple leaves. That makes sense, right?

Also, I still haven't painted my daughter's furniture, which was my childhood furniture. I've been meaning to do it for 15 years now. So, really, the chances that I will actually paint all the chairs and the table. Har har hahahahaha!

Now, we'll see if I get this done. Go ahead and tell me I won't do it. I dare you. Actually, could you just say a lot of mean things about how I won't get Ellen's furniture painted and how that will make her resent me when she becomes a mother and she'll never let me visit my grandchildren because she had to grow up with with her mother's hand-me down crappy furniture and what kind of a mother treats her only daughter with such neglect?

Yeah, yeah, say all that and let's see if that gets me motivated to paint her furniture. I'm thinking, naaaah.