Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dear Panthers.....

Evan and his best buddy across the cul de sac had a cute idea today, they wrote "fan mail" to some Panthers players. They have gone to a couple of games together recently and are really big fans. The cute thing was the "fan mail" consisted not of telling the players why they are so great and how much they admire them, but of asking them to send them stuff LOL like free tickets and a signed ball. Evan's buddy's dad is a cop and works in a swanky town nearby where alot of the players live, so they asked him if he could leave these letters in their mailboxes! Evan's says something like "My friend and I would like some tickets to a home game please. I would aprishate (appreciate) it." His buddy's says "My best friend would like some tickets to a home game", guess he's not taking the fall for being greedy! They made a few others as well, it was really cute!


My big girl (sniff)

Hannah came home from a sleepover all made up (even mascara!!) and with her hair done, she looked SO grownup! And then I of course made her wash it off, we don't "do" makeup just yet! Here she is holding the little girl I take care of fulltime, she is such a doll-baby.


Isn't it great to be pampered?

LOL, I took this cute pic of my kitten Charlie grooming our other cat, Mia. Usually she takes a motherly role (she's 18 months or so) and grooms him but today she just closed her eyes and enjoyed the spa treatment!


Christmas has come and gone......

Gosh, where did December go?!? I can't believe Christmas is past already but we sure enjoyed ourselves. Ours was pretty low-key and relaxing. Today I put all of the decorations away, inside and out, in preparation for Evan's birthday on Saturday (my baby will be 7!!). Here's a few pics of the kids with some of their loot. Santa scaled back quite a bit this year, I guess he feels the effects of the economy as well.




Happy New Year and here's to a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2009!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Christmas Photo

One of my least favorite things to get done for the holidays is to capture that perfect photo to include in our Christmas cards. I don't know why it seems like such a chore to me, but this year was no exception. The kids didn't want to wear what I wanted them to wear, they insisted on either scowling or fake smiling, which irks me to no end. Once we finally got our photo (not perfect, but acceptable) I tried to order cards online and the website wouldn't load.....just not meant to be this year. So anyway, here is the pose I decided on. I just had some prints made and taped one into each card. Pretty basic and boring but at least the cards are mailed, one more thing crossed off the list!

Busy, Busy, Busy!

It has been non-stop around here, shopping, wrapping, decorating....still can't believe Christmas is next week! Today we got some supplies to make our annual gingerbread houses out of graham crackers, vanilla icing, and candy. Here are the finished products, the kids had a blast!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The kids wanted to put the tree and other decorations up the *second* we got back for our trip LOL. This is the first year that they did the ornaments on the tree all by themselves without our help and they did a fantastic job! The only thing I added was the bow to the top. Here is a pic of the family room fireplace and tree. The lights never look as pretty in a photo as they do in person.


Friday, November 21, 2008

We're off!

We are getting ready to head off on a 13 hour drive to MA tomorrow to spend Thanksgiving with family. Wish us luck LOL we will need it :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008


At, I just ordered a Britax Marathon Carseat (MSRP $279.99) for $42.99 with FREE shipping!! Orders ship in 2-6 weeks but for that price, you can't beat it!! These never go down lower than about $170 or so!! If you need a convertible car seat, these are the BEST brand, hands down!! Click HERE to order yours!

UPDATE! Looks like this was an error but word is Target *may* honor the posted price for those who ordered. So we shall see...

UPDATE #2! Looks like all of these orders have been CANCELLED due to a "website pricing error". Drat, it was too good to be true!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A new pet?

LOL, not really but Madi found the cutest little lizards out back today. She managed to catch one of the fast little buggers.



Leave more comments PLEASE :)

Alot of people tell me they read my blog but very few leave any comments on the posts. PLEASE leave more comments, it's my way of seeing who stopped by, who is reading, and which posts are the most enjoyable to read. That way I can improve what I post in the future. To leave a comment, just click on the "comments" link below each post. If no comments have been left yet, it will say "0 comments". If comments have been left already, you can see what others have written and add your own 2 cents!

Fall Leaves

The kids just LOVE fall now that we have a home with lot of trees in the yard and leaves to play in once again. When we lived in MA, our yard had 20+ old oak trees and we had more leaves than we knew what to do with. In the fall, they would be 2 feet deep all across our yard. Then when we first moved to NC, our yard had only 2 brand new trees, that's it. Brand new neighborhood = no trees. I was so happy, no more messy leaves to rake and blow! I had no idea how much we'd miss it. That first fall was just not the same. Now our new home has woods behind it and now that the leaves have started to fall, I predict that once again we will have more leaves than we can handle. The kids are in heaven and it truly feels like home.




Friday, November 14, 2008

He thinks he owns the place......

When I came downstairs this morning from the shower, here is what I discovered........


Mr. Charlie here is lazily lounging on my kitchen table, as if he is part of the Thanksgiving centerpiece. This cat thinks he owns the place. Now if I could get him to start paying the mortgage....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

LATE Halloween Pics!

Wow, are these ever LATE! Busy is the word for my life right now LOL but it's all good :) Here are a few pics of Halloween pumpkin carving and a pretty bad pic of all 3 in their costumes. Madison was a baby, Hannah was a spa girl, and Evan was Tony Stewart. Miss Hannah was miffed because I put one of her curlers in crooked LOL she is a bit dramatic!





Friday, October 31, 2008

MEGA SWAGBUCKS has started!

Search & Win

If you have not yet joined SWAGBUCKS, now is a GREAT time to join!! They have just started MEGA Swagbucks where you can win 10, 20, 50, even 100 Swagbucks just for searching! Swagbucks is a website that lets you perform searches powered by Google and Ask. com. Each time you search, you have a chance to win. Swagbucks can be redeemed for gift cards, electronics, and other prizes. So far, I have earned some Starbucks gift cards that I'll be using for teacher gifts for the holidays. Click HERE to sign up and start earning your own prizes TODAY!

Monday, October 27, 2008

RUN to KMart!

I never thought I'd say these words but RUN, don't walk to your local KMart. Yesterday through 11/1 they are offering DOUBLE coupons up to $2!! So a $2 coupon will now save you $4!! Click HERE to see the list of participating stores.

I missed out on a few good deals by not shopping yesterday, as some items were already out of stock. But here is what I did get this morning:

Zest soap (3 bars) $2.19 (-$1 c doubled = $0.19 cost)
2X Revlon nail polish $4.19 (-$2 c doubled on each = $0.19 cost each)
Huggies baby wash (YES, I am stockpiling already!)$3.50 (-$1.50 c doubled = $0.50 cost)
Crest Kids toothpaste $2.49 (-$1 c doubled = $0.49 cost)
10 pk Mens Bic disposable razors $4.49 (-$2 c doubled = $0.49 cost)
Visene eye drops $3.99 (-$2 c doubled = FREE!)
3X Dove shampoo $3.79 (-$2 c doubled = 3 FREE!)
3X Healthful Life cat food 16 oz. $1.99 (-$1 c doubled = 3 FREE!)
2X Whisker Lickins cat treats $1.39 (-$1 c doubled = 2 FREE!)
Pledge Multisurface spray $4.19 (-$1c doubled = $2.19...Not the best deal but I NEEDed it to clean my wood floors. You can read all about my Pledge obsession HERE :)
24 pk of ice cream cones (Clearanced to $0.70)
100 pk of Fla-Vor-Ice pops (Clearanced to $2)

My total before coupons was $55.81 and my total AFTER coupons was...drum roll please...$7.91. Go me! And go YOU to KMart....right now!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Evan's "Art Crawl"

Evan's first grade class had an "art crawl" this morning. Parents, grandparents,and anyone else who wanted to attend was invited to go into the classroom and view the kids' artwork, which was displayed around the room. Evan was most proud of his "royalty portrait" and "abstract art". There were refreshments and a really cute slideshow afterwards. The kids were so proud of their work and so so SO happy to have special people there today!

Evan and his "royalty portrait"


Evan & Ms. Abernethy


And here he little stinkpot...err...artist:)


Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Heart Aldi

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my Aldi store! For anyone who is unfamiliar with this chain of food stores, here's a little Aldi 101 to get you started. I thought Aldi was a bit "different" at first, but now I am hooked.

#1) There are no coupons, no sales, although prices are reduced often. Their prices are up to 50% off of typical grocery store every day.

#2) Products are not displayed on shelves, they are stacked on pallets and in self displaying cartons (boxes). Prices are clearly marked with signs.

#3) Before entering the store, you will need a quarter to get a cart outside the door. You put your quarter in the slot and the cart releases from the next one. After you are done shopping, you click your cart back in and get you quarter back out for next time. I tend to give my cart to someone as I am leaving and don't take a quarter in return, so I keep a stash of quarters in my minivan LOL. This system keeps the store's costs down, no carts left all over the parking lot for an employee to collect.

#4) The store is very basic, clean with wide aisles and neatly stacked products. Very rarely are they out of stock on an item.

#5) Most of the store's inventory is private label products. As with other "generic" brands, these are produced by name brand companies and are of high quality. Aldi offers a "Double Guarantee" on every food item that they sell. If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied, you may return the item for a full refund as well as a replacement product. I have NEVER had to return an item but my mom returned an underripe watermelon (LOL) and was very happy with the customer service she received :)

#6) There are no free plastic or paper bags for bagging your groceries. Paper bags may be purchased at the checkout for 5 cents or heavy duty plastic for 10 cents (I *think* these are the prices, not sure since I don't buy bags LOL) and you are encouraged to bring your own. They also sell nice insulated bags for frozen stuff, for 99 cents, a good investment you can reuse over and over. You can also collect empty boxes as you shop to package your groceries after checkout. This is my method of choice as my kids love to make stuff out of my Aldi boxes!

#7) There are very few check out aisles (maybe 5 or so) and usually one (or 2 max) cashiers to check you out at any given time. They are VERY quick and efficient, as they do not bag for you. The cashiers at my store are very friendly and helpful and did I mention FAST?

#8) Accepted payments are cash, check, food stamps/EBT cards or pin-based debit card (NO credit cards). This keeps costs down and speeds up the checkout process.

#9) After you check out, you take your cart of goodies over to the counter and bag or box your own stuff. The kids LOVE this, since it gives them a chance to help out.

#10) You WILL SAVE MONEY! I made a trip to Aldi yesterday for a few things so here are a few examples form my receipt on how prices compare to Super Walmart, the next cheapest place to buy food around here:

Cucumbers $0.49 ea $0.82 ea (HALF the size and almost twice the price!)
5 lbs grapefruit $2.69 $4.99
Baby Carrots (1 lb) $0.99 $1.68
Butter (1 lb) $2.19 $2.54
Romaine hearts $1.99 $2.68
Flour tortillas $0.99 $1.69
Hamburger buns $0.85 $1.18

I have quite a few items that I buy all the time at Aldi. For example, their trash bags kick butt and they are less than half the cost of other brands. Their produce is always very well priced and very fresh and high quality. Even meats, which I am SUPER picky about have passed the taste test in our house!

I have found that by shopping at Aldi, I have lowered my total grocery bill considerably. The kids love that I don't say NO to snacks when they are $0.99 - $1.69 a box, versus twice that at Walmart. Well, I suppose I've rambled long enough....just wanted to share my Aldi love with the world LOL.

Click HERE to go to their website if you need any more info or to locate a store near you. If you are already an Aldi shopper, or after you go for the first time , let me know what you think by leaving a comment. HAPPY ALDI SHOPPING!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Halloween is almost here!

I can't believe we are getting into that time of year already! Soon it will be Halloween and then Thanksgiving and then Christmas....time is going by too fast! Here are a few pics of the kids making and decorating Halloween cupcakes yesterday.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

The cutest little Cub Scout on Earth

Doesn't he look so *innocent* in uniform?!?



I realize I have not written in a long time and I'm sorry. I've been in sort of a funk lately, mainly related to my inability to get pregnant. It is downright depressing! It took us 4 months the first time and then of course we miscarried, now here we are another 3 months later with no luck. So many of my friends and family are having babies or are pregnant right now, and I sort of feel left out. I know my time will come and what's meant to is is meant to be and all that, but I am really down about it right now :( I promise to try to post more often, maybe it wil help lift my spirits.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Itty Bitty Kitty

Another little fur-face has joined our crew! We are calling him Charlie although "Claws" would've been more appropriate. His favorite past times include clawing his way up the back of the sofa, clawing his way up my back while I sit at my desk to perch on my shoulder, and meowing pitifully when he encounters something he cannot claw his way up, such as the cabinets or the refrigerator. Luckily, he's a cute little purr-machine lovebug(and asleep at the moment).


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gas Shortage

We are in the midst of a major gas shortage here in the Charlotte, NC area. My poor husband couldn't find a station with gas on his way home from work yesterday to fill his company truck. He figured he'd be lucky enough to find some on his way into the city today, since gas deliveries are in the early a.m. NADA. NO gas anywhere. So he is at a job site (he's a commercial flooring supervisor and drives all over creation to check on his crews) and he has no gas to get back to his office.

I heard rumor of one station here in our town that has gas, while I was at the supermarket this morning. I guess they are limiting each customer to $15 and a fist fight had broken out because someone went over. YIKES is all I can say.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I'm in total denial here, my oldest child has turned eleven! What happened to the tiny pink swaddled baby I brought home from the hospital? What happened to the easy going mild child, the one who made it concievable to have more children because she was so GOOD? LOL, here she is: my preteen, moody, overdramatic, yet funny, creative, and over-the-top loveable eleven year old.


Now stop growing kid, you're making your mom feel OLD!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

TRIPLE COUPONS at Harris Teeter!

Harris Teeter has triple coupons today through Sunday! They will triple coupons valued up to 99 cents and you can use up to 20 coupons per transaction. Here is what I got this morning for $3.42 (SAVED $38.19).


GIANT box of Honey Nut Cheerios (Used free item coupon, said up to $4.99 so I got the $4.99 box LOL)

Nestle Chocolate Chips (50 cent coupon -makes them $1)

Febreze Noticibles Starter Kit $5.99 ($5 coupon -makes this 99 cents)

Ortega Taco Shells & Ortega chopped green chili peppers (75 cent coupon - makes these 9 cents for both!)

Frenchs Fried Onions (75 cent coupon -OVERAGE)

UTZ chips (75 cent coupon -makes these 25 cents!)

Pillsbury brownie mix (40 cent coupon- makes these 30 cents!)

Colgate toothpaste (75 cent coupon -OVERAGE)

3 GUM toothbrushes (75 cent coupon -makes these 4 cents each!)

Suave shampoo (50 cent coupon - OVERAGE)

Garden Salad blend (B1G1 free)

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pledge Multi Surface Products

I am a BzzAgent and as such I periodically get to try out products for free and share information on the product as well as my opinions with others. What is a BzzAgent, exactly? Quoted from their website:

"Agents are everyday consumers who believe in honest word of mouth. In other words, they like to:
Discover and check out new products, services, books and other cool stuff
Share their honest opinions with people they know
Have their input and feedback taken seriously by companies and brands
Build social capital by being in the know and always having something to talk about

What do Agents do?

Agents participate in word-of-mouth campaigns to discover new products or connect with brands they already love.
In other words:
Agents try a product or service, then naturally share their honest opinions about it with others
Agents then tell us about those word-of-mouth interactions (both the positive and the negative) by submitting BzzReports on our website
Agents get a personalized response to each report, with feedback, thanks and encouragement"

If you'd like to become a BzzAgent, send me your email addy and I will send you an invite!


This week I was sent a package of Pledge Multi Surface cleaning products, including a spray bottle and some cleaning wipes, as well as valuable manufacturers coupons. I was excited to be included in this campaign because I have actually used the spray before and I love it, especially on our hardwood floors. The Pledge Multi Surface products can be used on a wide range of surfaces, including sealed wood, granite, metal, glass, mirrors, electronics, plastic, porcelain, and stainless steel. You can clean more surfaces faster because it eliminates the need for separate products.

The Pledge Multi Surface spray comes in a 16 oz. bottle and sells for around $4. It cleans and dusts almost any hard surface without leaving any resdue behind. Because it is antistatic, you cna even clean electronics, like TVs and stereo equipment. It has a pleasant scent and is never sticky or greasy. Like I said, I clean my hardwood floors with the spray and they come out FANTASTIC!

The Pledge Multi Surface Wipes come in a 25 count package and sell for around $4 as well. I had never tried these before and they have come in handy around the house. They are perfect for quick cleanups in virtually any room of the house. When I notice the TV is dusty, I can grab a wipe and quickly swipe down the TV, DVD player, wood cabinet and glass doors, all with one wipe. Or in the guest bathroom, I can clean the porcelain sink and toilet, as well as the wood floors and even the mirror, all with one product! Definately a time saver!

I have a $1 coupon to give away, good on a Pledge Multi Surface product, that expires in Jan. 2009. Just leave a comment with your favorite time-saving cleaning tip and I will draw one week from today, on 9/24. Thanks!!

Friday, September 12, 2008


My husband just called me from work and said everyone is talking about gas going up to $5 a gallon by the end of today, due to Hurricane Ike's imminent landfall along the Texas Coast. Since my minivan was on E, I went straight down to the corner gas station. The price has already risen from $3.65 yesterday to $3.99 this morning. So go fill up those tanks, just in case!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Ago....

Do you remember where you were, what you were doing on that day life as we know it changed forever? My girls were almost 4 and just 2, and I was 6 months pregnant with my son. We were meeting up with friends at the park on a beautiful morning. When our last friend arrived, she was running across the parking lot, talking on her cell phone and crying. When she told us that a plane had crashed into the first tower, I thought it must be some freak accident, I couldn't wrap my mind around the idea of a terrorist attack. But then, as we drove home listening to the radio as the series of events unfolded, it became undeniable. And to this day, for me, it remains surreal and almost unbelievable. But the reality is that close to 3000 people lost their lives that day. Hold your children, your family closer today, remembering those who perished on 9-11-2001. We must never forget.

Photobucket Image Hosting

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I have been using SwagBucks for about a week now and I love it! You earn SwagBucks by conducting searches using the search engine on their website or on their downloadable toolbar. Then you redeem your Swagbucks for gift cards and other prizes. This week all I have done is everytime I need to search for something online, instead of using my normal search engine, I go to their website and use theirs (search results are provided by Google and Ask). In one week, I have earned 14 Swagbucks. When I get to 50, I can turn them in for a $5 Starbucks Gift Card. At this rate, I can earn a $5 Gift Card every 3 weeks. My plan is to earn a bunch of these and give them for holiday teacher gifts. Anyhoo....if you'd like to try out Swagbucks yourself and start earning Gift Cards, simply click on the link below. Couldn't be simpler!

Search & Win

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Walgreens Money Makers!

Some great money makers at Walgreens this week! If you buy 3 Robitussin 4 oz. liquid cold medicine at $3.99 each, you get $10 in Register Rewards back to use on your next purchase. Use these $3 printable coupons and you pay just $2.97 for the 3 bottles and earn $10 back! A $7 profit. Sweet.

You can do the same with Dimetapp 4 oz. liquid cold medicine as well. Just buy 3 at $3.99 each and use these $2 printable coupons. You pay just $5.97 for the 3 bottles and earn back $10. A $4 profit.

Be sure to do each of these deals as a separate transaction. You can do this deal as many times as you want, as long as you do each separately and don't roll your Register Rewards to pay for the next batch.

You can never have too much cold medicine, especially now that the kids are back in school LOL.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gone Fishin'

We went fishing on Labor Day at a local park with some good friends of ours we haven't seen in awhile. The weather was just gorgeous! Here are a few pics of the kids (minus Hannah, she was over a friend's house that day).
Then things got exciting! First, Evan spotted this Copperhead snake in the water. They are pretty common around here but I had never seen one before....and hope to never again LOL.
Then, Evan caught his very FIRST fish! It was a sunfish and Evan was dead serious about wanting to cook it and eat it but we threw him back.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Cats have friends too!

My neighbors outdoor cat has been hanging around our house, trying to play with our indoor cat. This is them this morning in our front window. He is a male and she is a female (spayed). "Mia and Shadow sittin' in a tree......" Too cute!


Friday, August 29, 2008

Favorite Recipe Friday

I am going to start a new trend called "Favorite Recipe Friday". Every Friday I will share a favorite recipe and I ask that you share yours with myself and other readers as well. Just click on Comments below and leave yours for all to see! That way we will all be well-fed and happy :) Today's recipe is my DH's favorite Lemon Squares, from Betty Crockers 40th Anniversary Cookbook:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup margarine or butter (I always use real butter when I bake) - softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon peel, if desired (I omit)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

Heat oven to 350. Mix flour, butter, and powdered sugar together. Press into an ungreased 8X8 or 9X9 baking pan, building up 1/2 around the edges. Bake 20 minutes. Beat remaining ingredients for about 3-4 minutes. Pour over hot crust. Bake an additional 25 minutes, or until no indentation remains when the center is lightly touched. Cool and then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares. I especially enjoy these cold from the fridge :)

Tony Stewart's biggest fan

Evan just may be Tony Stewart's biggest little fan. Here he is next to Tony's trailer at Nascar Speed Street in Charlotte back in May.
He also got to sit in the #20 car
and make a #20 wooden model.
And lastly, here he is at Universal CityWalk in Orlando outside the Nascar cafe. Love the face in this one!

Back to school

Sorry I sort of fell off the face of the earth these past few weeks! We just finished our first week back to school and that is always an adjustment. Here are a few pics of the kids before they headed off for their first day. Evan is in 1st grade, Hannah is in 4th, and Madison is in 6th (middle school- gasp!). So far so good!