Saturday, January 30, 2010

I got a new car!!!!

As much as I have loved my 1997 mazda, all things must come to an end....
We've actually been looking for a new car for a while, as my car was really starting to get worn out, and a lot of things were needing to be fixed/replaced, likely costing more than it was worth. I was starting to feel a little unsafe with Connor in the car. it was time.

We had been looking for a few months to find a dependable vehicle that was in our budget- plus we needed something that had some room for travel and transporting all our stuff.

Here it is- I got a 2006 Honda Pilot! It is beautiful- drives great and in excellent condition.

This is one of the seller's photos- I got it Weds night and it has been dark when I got home every day since so I had to steal this photo since it is too icy to take pics in the driveway today.

Here is a view of the back- it has a third row that is folded up in this picture to seat 8 people! Like a van, but sportier! The seats actually all fold down completely flat for large cargo.

Here's a picture of the 3rd row folded down. The cargo net is removable, obviously, but good to keep groceries, ect from sliding around all over the place. I accidently deleted the pic i had uploaded of the third row folded up. This is what happens when you blog with a toddler.

Interior picture of the front seats and console. Two things i love about this car that I didn't have in my previous one- cup holders and being able to see what station the radio is on! My last car had only one cupholder which had been broken by my dog, and the radio/cd player had something wrong with it so the screen was completely black. It still worked, but you had to just guess at what station you were listening to. It has TONS of storage!!!

Back of my new car in the garage

Front view

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Ok, so a post not involving pictures of my adorable child......haha. I have to admit I've been a slacker about taking pictures the past week. Someone is always running and dancing and won't sit still for a second. If you haven't seen them, I posted a few videos recently....

So anyway, I wanted to blog about couponing. I've really gotten into it recently basically as a way to keep more of my hard earned money!!!! All the expenses of life really add up. Some people wonder "how do you have time for that?" I am happy to report that it really does not take much time at all! Trust me, if it took up a lot of time, I would not be doing it!!!

I have always used coupons, but have recently learned some new tools that have really paid off!!! I started using some websites including which provide the tools I need. They basically go through all the ads for the week and then match them up with what coupons are out there. There are links for coupons for many of the products.

I check out the website once or twice a week. Then we plan out what items we'll get on sale over the next week. We keep a running shopping list going on the fridge for thing as we run out. I simply add the products that we'll be getting to our lists.

"How do you have time to go to all those stores?, I don't have time to shop around"
I actually do not go to a lot of stores. Our main store is Publix- we love the way it is always organized, neat and clean and has great customer service. This is where we do our main grocery shopping. They double coupons up to 50cents (to make it an dollar off). They also have a lot of really great buy one get one free deals on many items that we buy often. We go to Publix once a week- either Friday night or Saturday/Sunday depending on how my work schedule is.

The only other stores we shop at regularly are CVS and Walgreens. I used to think that CVS was very expensive (and it is if you aren't only shopping the deals) but I've started working the ExtraCareBucks and now pay very little for shampoo, toothpaste, and diapers. There are plenty of resources on the internet about using ECB's. It is a little overwhelming at first, but worth "playing the game".

We only go to Walgreens to buy milk and newspapers on Sunday afternoon. Walgreens and CVS are right across the street from each other. No extra driving.

Maybe once a month I will go to Target to buy things that are cheaper there or to stock up on certain things we need that they don't sell at grocery stores.

"Most coupons seem to be for junk or things I can't use"
This can be true to an extent, but overall I think it just a myth. Who doesn't use shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, ect? Plus we buy plenty of granola bars, diapers, frozen veggies, yogurt, ect. There aren't any coupons for fresh fruits or veggies usually, so we just look for those on sale and buy what is on sale for the week.

So here's what I do:

1. Buy the sunday paper- I buy at least 2 at walgreens (they sell them for 88cents vs. 1.50 so it is almost buy one get one free).
Take out the coupon inserts. Then I usually will cut out all the coupons I might possibly use. This is something I do while we are watching TV or a movie. SO no added time. Sometimes I will do 2 weeks worth at a time.
2. Organize the coupons in my binder. This is a new addition to my couponing. I used to use a little tiny organizer, but I was having trouble keeping things organized. When Connor dumped them into the floor it was my last straw I went to Staples and bought a flexible 3-ring binder and some baseball card inserts.

As you can see each coupon (or multiples of coupons) has its own little pocket .They're organized by type of item (refrigerated, baby, cleaning products, ect).

3. Pull out the coupons I'll be using at the store and put them in the front pocket. I still take my binder to the store in case there are other deals I have missed on my list. Basically you hold on to your coupons till the items you buy are on sale. And remember that any coupons over 50 cents double at Publix (and many other grocery stores).

When things are a really good price- we stock up. That means that we currently have 12 12-packs of diet pepsi in our garage, but since i only paid about 90 cents per 12 pack we can find the space to store it. And, yes, I'll use it. I take 2 to work each day- so that means it will last till the next deal comes around. We usually buy about 6 or 7 jars of spaghetti sauce, 7 or 8 boxes of granola bars, ect. You need to buy enough to make it to the next sale, so you don't have to go out and buy anything full price. As for shampoo, toothpaste, ect, we stock up on those so that we never have to pay much and never have to run out and buy them last minute.
Also, we DO NOT buy anything unless we are going to be using it. Don't waste money buying something just because it is a "good deal".

I'll have to blog more about this later.....this is only the beginning!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

First Haircut!!!!!

I usually get my hair cut by a great stylist, but now that we've moved out of the big city (LOL) and my hours are so long during the week, it is really hard for me to schedule a haircut. Plus, with all the holiday stuff going on, ect she didn't have a lot of openings on my days off. SO it ended up that the last haircut I had gotten was in MAY! Too, too long.

I actually made a hair appointment for the first week in January, but then my stylist was sick (she's also 35 weeks pregnant right now) and the next appointment I could get was Jan 20th!

I finally gave in and asked my nurse at work if her daughter could do my hair- she's a cosmetology instructor at a local Technical college around here, plus she works at a salon, so I thought she could probably handle my super thick wavy hair. I have tried to just walk in places before and have had very poor results so I needed somebody with experience which is I why I love my usual stylist.

So anyway, she actually came to my house on a Sunday afternoon to cut my hair! She did an excellent job- it looked like an animal had been shaved after she was finished cutting (on the floor- not my head). I am very happy!

She also offered to cut Connor's hair for free while she was here, and he needed it!!!

He just got a little trim in the back- it was starting to go out of control, and he's inherited our thick wavy hair as well.

We started out wearing the smock.....he though it was sort of a strange bib, but sat still.... I was actually amazed how still he sat- i'm sure it looks like i'm choking him here,
but i'm not, i promise. Just keeping his little head still for sharp scissors.

and here's my hair- you can scroll down to see pics of how long it was pre-haircut!

I'm really spoiled now......having somebody come to my house to cut my hair was NICE!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

One year pictures!

So we finally got Connor's one year old pictures taken. Since he turned a year during the prime Christmast portrait season, I wanted to wait till January so that it would be less crazy. When we have done pics before (at 5 months and 9 months) we went to the Picture People, and we decided to try Portrait Innovations. The good thing about all those kind of places is that you can go and if it doesn't turn out well, you haven't spent anything but your time!

This principle proved itself all too well! I made an appointment for Wednesday- my usual day off. I did some errands, and then got everything ready- clothes ironed, ect. I even went to the grocery store and bought some cupcakes to use a prop since he wouldn't really smash his birthday cake. I got Connor from school and off we went!

Well, the session was a total FAIL. He was already in a bad mood b/c we were just 2 days into his new classroom and he was having major adjustment issues. So when i got to school he cried when he saw me, and then when we arrived at the portrait place, he looked puzzled as to why we were not at home. I tried to give him a little time to warm up, but it was not happening. Every time we tried to get him in the picture area, he started crying. So we ended up leaving and rescheduling. I wanted to cry!

Saturday morning we were back again, this time with low expectations, haha! I just really wanted a few good pics b/c he will not ever look at me at home- my camera just isn't fast enough! I've even tried to set up little "photo sessions" at home,but i'm never happy with what I get. Well, he was much happier, didn't cry one time, and we got some great pics! So i was a pretty happy mom! Here are some of the unedited pics....

Connor just loved this little rocking chair- he actually brought it over to the backdrop,
and was rocking it himself.

I felt like he was a tiny bit old to do bathtub pics, but they turned out well.
I'm going to put one in the hall bathroom!

By this point, he was getting bored, so we didn't end up getting any pics in this outfit.
He figured out that there was a lego table in the waiting area and would not be distracted from that no matter what!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Our baby is really growing up!!!!

Connor is continuing to change and grow so much these days! He's really a great walker now, and tries to run at times (and falls down). He has started climbing things including trying to get up the ladder to the attic when we were putting up Christmas decorations. Seriously.
He likes to feed himself at meals, and we are now totally off baby food. He'll still let us feed him yogurt because he loves it so much. He's starting to want to hold a spoon during meals, but hasn't quite figured that out yet! He finally adapted to drinking cow's milk during the day, but is still nursing at home. The medela has been long packed away!!!
He's talking all the time, most of the things we can't understand. He says dada, mama, na-na (when he wants to eat a bite of something), zats-zis (what's this), zook(either book or look), tree (Christmas Tree), ze-jus (Jesus on the nativity), and many more things.
Connor started a new class at school this past week- Toddler 1. It is a huge transition for him. No bottles, they sit in tiny chairs at a tiny table to eat their 2 meals and snack (off the school menu). We don't even have to send his cups anymore, they provide them. They sleep on mats instead of cribs. He has two brand new teachers, but he knows most of the kids. He doesn't even leave a diaper bag anymore. They keep his diapers in his cubby and he has a basket where he keeps extra clothes as well as his blanket for nap. He's started coloring and sending home art projects and they have a daily activity/lesson. What a big boy!

Christmas......part 4..

While we were up in my hometown, we were fortunate to be able to stay with my friends Wendy and Joe and their 15 month old, Grant. Connor wasn't feeling his best (he ended up having an ear infection), but it was nice to be at an already-babyproofed house!

Connor's new cup from Santa

this is the best pic we could get of them together

Connor liked the train!

what to do???


Christmas morning we went over to my parents' house to open presents. Connor seems to be enjoying his books and hammer in this picture!

The newlyweds

Christmas afternoon, Patrick, Connor and I drove across the entire state of Georgia to his family's lakehouse. Thank you GPS! We made it in good time, with only one bathroom stop. Thank goodness for a baby that doesn't eat as frequently anymore, and is happy with a sippy cup and goldfish crackers!!!!

Connor loves the presents!!


This was one of his favorite things from Christmas. It is a Fisher Price Little People farm set, and he loves to carry around the barn- it has a handle and all the people and animals store inside.

reading with uncle Mike

Orange is my favorite!

stealing this!

opening presents with mommy!

To top off our trip, most of both of our families ended up with a stomach bug,
but we all survived it in time to return to work on Monday.
New Year's Eve was sort of boring since I was on call. I ended up going to bed before midnight!
If you are wondering, the only New Year's resolution I made was to blog more!
This is the only way I can keep track of things!!!!!!

So this was the end of the Christmas posts! Hope you survived them all!!!!!!

Christmas...part 3..Robert and Amber's Wedding

My baby brother is married! He and Amber tied the knot in a tiny ceremony Christmas Eve. I was originally supposed to have to work all day and would not be able to attend but my work schedule was changed and we could be there!

Connor and I before the ceremony...

Mr. and Mrs. !

(Sorry these pics are backwards, thanks blogger.)

Our family

Nana, Papa and Connor post wedding.

My whole family- my parents, sister, the new couple and us!

Wedding party- ringbearer was not happy!

candles and guestbook