Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Super Safeway Deals 9/30-10/6

I'm sure you're all going to happy when I pick up my camera tomorrow and you come to my blog and see pretty pictures instead of long shopping lists, but I still have one more day so bear with me! There's a couple good deals at Safeway this week that I thought I'd share with you.

Yoplait Yogurt is on sale for $.50 each when you buy 10
$1/8 coupon HERE
$.50 off 6 loaded on my Safeway card at Shortcuts
$.50 off 6 loaded on my Safeway card at Cellfire
Total: $3.00 for 10 or $.30 apiece

4 Chinet 36ct Paper Plates $2 each (using Safeway coupon found in this week's ad)
(2) $1/1 HERE
(2) Buy One Get One Free (coupon found on the dinner size packages, took off $3.49 each from total)
Total: $3 Money Maker
(I have a couple more BOGO coupons that I will probably use to stock up on more free plates for MOPS!)

I hit up the Kellogg's sale again, though I didn't get as good of a deal as I did with the Rice Krispies, I did have a coupon for a free gallon of milk with the purchase of 2 Kelloggs cereals which was a nice bonus! I bought 2 boxes of Frosted Flakes (David's favorite), 2 boxes of Raisin Bran, 1 box of Pop Tarts, and my free gallon of milk.
$1.50/2 Raisin Bran found HERE
$1/2 Kellogg's cereal (found in store aisle next to cereal)
$.55/1 Pop Tarts (from the newspaper, but there are some IP coupons floating around as well)
Total: $4.40 for all 6 items (including the gallon of milk!) using two Safeway Doublers (the store aisle coupon won't double)

1.25lbs Ground Turkey 2/$5

Buy 1 2lb baby carrots Get One Free $2.99
($1/1 Safeway carrots coupon HERE)
Total: $1.99 for 4lbs

Glad Force Flex Trash Bags $4.99 with Safeway coupon
($1/1 HERE)
Total: $3.99

I could only find 1 Kleenex box so I couldn't do this deal, but I'll check back later to see if they get more in:
(3) Kleenex 110 ct boxes $.99 each
$.50/3 (found next to Kleenex in the store aisle)
Total Out of Pocket: $2.47
$3 off your next purchase which makes this a $.53 Money Maker

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Home from Nashville

My trip to Nashville last week was fantastic, the MOPS convention was a lot of fun and the speakers were all really good. There were four general sessions that I really enjoyed in addition to five break out sessions I went to. I talked about what sessions I was signed up for in my last Nashville post, but my favorite two were The Adventures of Hearing God's Voice and Speaking Your Man's Language. I also really enjoyed listening to Ken Davis' comedy routine. He spoke at one of the General Sessions and again as one of the late night entertainment options. My throat and sides ached from laughing so hard after listening to him!

One of the best parts about going to the MOPS convention was going with two other moms from our MOPS Steering Team, Odessa and Tera. I knew Odessa some before the trip but didn't know Tera as well. After four days and countless hours traveling together I've gotten to know the two of them pretty well. They're pretty neat women and I'm glad I had the chance to really talk with them about life. It's too bad I don't get that opportunity with all the moms I'd like to get to know at MOPS!

The hotel was humongous. See how big this atrium is? There's at least two more of them just as large! There was even a river through this particular atrium with fish in it. The whole thing is a climate controlled 72 degrees which was just weird.

We didn't really leave the hotel much but had a few hours on Sunday afternoon to check out the Grand Ole Opry and mall right next to the mega hotel we stayed at. Here I am in front of the Grand Ole Opry:

Here's the reason I came back home. If you can't read the note that David left me on the bathroom mirror it says "Kellie, I love you with all my heart, brain, and soul. You are my treasure and jewel. David"

It was nice to see the kids as well. I got home a little after midnight Sunday evening and Grace woke me up at 6:30am Monday morning. I was definitely back to my real life!

Walgreens Deals 9/28-10/3

This morning I carted both kids into Salem with me to run a few errands including Walgreens. Neither child was especially excited about shopping today and so I used the carousal as a bribe. The bribe worked because we got through Walgreens, Costco, and the bank without too many tears shed. All we got at Costco was string cheese because we've been out for over a week and it's a popular snack at our house. Costco is the cheapest place I've found to buy it, plus the package is large enough that we only have to buy more every 3-4 weeks.

Walgreens was my "big" shopping trip today, and was my third attempt at shopping their sales and I think I'm getting the hang of it. Walgreens has a Register Rewards program that prints out a coupon for $X off your next purchase when you buy certain items. From what I can tell, once you start the ball rolling on the Register Rewards (RR from here on out) you can use them each week and get a ton of stuff for free. That's the theory anyways.

Today tomorrow (9/30) there's a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase that you can print HERE, but remember the $25 has to be the total after coupons and RR. It's possible to make money this week so it's a good week to start the RR ball rolling!

Here's what I bought:

1 Herbal Essences Shampoo $2.99
$1/1 coupon (8/23 or 9/13 Red Plum insert)
$2 RR
Total: FREE

1 Chapstick Fresh Effects .15oz $2.99
$3 RR
Total: FREE

1 Dentek Floss 55yd $2
$2 RR
Total: FREE

1 Gillette Fusion Razer $8.99
$4/1 coupon (9/27 P&G insert)
$6 RR
Total: $1.01 Money Maker

1 Vaseline Sheer Infusion Lotion $6.99
$7 RR
Total: FREE

1 Oral B Advantage 123 Toothbrush $2.99
$.75/1 (9/27 P&G insert)
$3 RR
Total: $.75 Money Maker

3 Theraflu $12
$2/1 Internet Printable (no longer available)
$2/1 Walgreens Season of Health Coupon Book (find it on the pharmacy counter, takes $2 off each one!)
$8 RR (make sure you buy 3 to get the $8 RR, if you buy 2 you only get $4 RR)
Total: $4 Money Maker

2 Walgreens Brand Children's Ibuprofin $9.98
$4.99 Buy One Get One Free
Total: $4.99

For some reason the $5 off $25 coupon I had didn't want to work and after 5 minutes of the cashier stalling she finally rerung the Gilette razer taking off $5 which I think screwed up my $6 RR I should have got. Since I still made money on the transaction I didn't say anything. My total out of pocket after the coupons and a $5 RR I had from last week was $20.20. I got $31 in RR back to use before 10/13. So basically I got everything for free and made $10.80 for shopping this morning.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm headed to Nashville!

Tonight I'm headed to Nashville with two other Moms to go to the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) convention. I'm pretty excited but nervous about the travel to get there. We're leaving PDX at 10pm and get to Atlanta at 5am. Then we have a layover until 8:30am. We arrive in Nashville at 8:30am. I wish they were beaming us (like Star Trek...surely you all know when I'm talking about!) but I'm pretty sure all the times listed are local times and we'll be going through several time zones. From what I can tell that means our layover will be between 2 and 5:30am our time. Fun stuff!

The conference is at the Gaylrd Opryland Hotel (I'm not making that name up) and from the looks of it the hotel could be a city unto itself. It encompasses 35 acres! The seminars I'm signed up for are: Mothers of School Aged Kids (holy cow that's me next year!), Speaking Your Man's Language, Hospitality Position, Engage: Others, The Adventure of Hearing God's Voice, and Making Work at Home Work (hoping that will be useful as my photography work increases).

I'm pretty excited! I'll most likely be on Twitter a fair amount. My Twitter updates my Facebook status automatically but if you're on Twitter and would like to follow me my username is daisysue62.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I fought Blogger and I won!

I've tried my hand at tweaking this blog many times. Some tweaks worked, most didn't. I was stuck on the Lefty Stretch theme for a long time because I like having plenty of room to chat and post pictures that were larger then a postage stamp. A lot of blog templates use the three column design and I really don't need more then two. What would I do with the third column? Annoy you all with advertisement? No, I didn't think you'd like that either. I'm going for clean, not cluttered. Simple.

So after much googling for Blogger "how to's" I've finally figured out how to change the widths of things to suit my needs. I like that I can throw a pattern on the sides and keep the background behind my text and photos solid. I couldn't do that before and it was wildly irritating. I also like that I know exactly what pixel size to make my header image. How easy this will be to maintain!

So what do you all think? Is this new overall design a keeper? Don't get too attached to the colors/background since I'll probably change them a million times to suit my mood and the season. I just can't settle on one look when there's millions of fun possibilities out there!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Sick Season Strikes Early

I mentioned that Grace came down with a 101.3 temp within an hour after her first day of preschool (that has to be a record!). Well Ethan joined her in the Sickie Club this weekend. I noticed they were both coughing a bit Friday late afternoon/evening and I heard Ethan's barking cough Friday night. Saturday morning Grace had a pretty running nose and Ethan had stridor breathing. If you're not familiar with stridor breathing you're lucky. Stridor breathing sounds like a terrible wheezing sound when inhaling. It really sounds terrible.

I got up with the kids Saturday morning while David slept in, and I did some google research on coughs and croup because I was pretty sure that's what Ethan had. The barking cough kind of gave it away. I did check his temp and it was normal, 98.6 on the nose. Later in the morning I took Grace out to buy a birthday present for her friend's birthday party that afternoon and stopped by Safeway (for free canned soup. go to for a $1/2 coupon!). When we got home a little before noon Ethan was asleep. David said he fell asleep on the couch so he moved him onto our bed where he slept for another hour. When he woke up he still had the stridor breathing and I was concerned so I gave our pediatrician a call to talk to a nurse. I described his cold and symptoms to the nurse and she asked to listen to his breathing so I held the phone up to Ethan so she could hear him. She advised me to take him to the Emergency Room as quickly as possible and to bring a cell phone with me in case I needed to call 911. What a way to freak a Mom out! I told David what the nurse said and he was immediately skeptical. Ethan had been acting fine this morning playing and just seemed extra tired due to his cold. So I called back and got a different nurse. I described his symptoms again and made sure to emphasize that he was acting normally. Again I was told to take him to the Emergency Room because he could act fine and worsen quickly. She told me that the stridor breathing was a sign that his airway was closing and kind of had the tone of "this is serious you moron". So David moved Grace's car seat out of the van into his car so they could go to the birthday party while I got Ethan ready to go to the Dallas Hospital.

We got there around noon and I had no idea what to expect. Thankfully there was only one other person in the waiting room and we were seen way faster then I thought we would. The first nurse we saw checked his temp (low fever), weighed him (25ish pounds) and measured him (32-33" is the best guess since he was not interested in standing up). His oxygen level was 99% and that was the main thing I needed to know. Next we moved to the room to see the doctor who was totally not concerned about the stridor breathing. He told me that pediatricians overreact about it but it's not a big deal unless it's really bad (what on earth is really bad is what I want to know) or is accompanied by dehydration. He looked in Ethan's throat and said it was definitely swollen and he had spots on his throat so he would treat it with antibiotics in case it was strep throat. He also said that the way his throat is shaped causes the stridor breathing. Ethan just has a more narrow airway so when he gets an infection in his throat along with a cold it can cause his throat to swell and the stridor breathing to occur.

The final diagnosis was tonsillitis (swelling of his throat and tonsils) and croup. We were given a prescription for steroids to help reduce the swelling in his throat and a round of antibiotics to clear up the throat infection. So far I'd say it's working because the stridor breathing is gone today, though he's still coughing. I don't think there's anything we can do about the croup except wait it out because it's a viral infection.

So the whole Emergency Room and buying prescriptions (I hate 20 minute waits...roaming the grocery store aisles with no agenda is really not fun) took two and half hours. The steroid medicine is supposed to make him hyper (lovely) and is given once a day and he hates it. The antibiotic (amoxicillin) is taken 3x a day and he tolerates it.

I really hope the croup never visits us again.

Rite Aid Diaper Deal Alert

This post is for all the Moms of Children in Diapers that I know. That's a lot of you! Rite Aid has a great deal on Huggies right now and it's definitely worth your time to check it out. Rather then retype out all the details on how to get the awesome coupons just check out the Frugal Living NW blog post. I used three $3/1 and 2 $2/1 Rite Aid Video coupons in addition to the $5 off $20 Rite Aid coupon and paid $14.98 for 3 packages of Huggies Natural Choice diapers. I submitted my receipt online for the $10 rebate so the total for 3 packages of diapers comes to $4.98. That's $.07 a diaper for Ethan's size 4's. Not too shabby! Oh, and I'd already done the Video Coupon thing before but used a different email address and borrowed my Mom's street address and it let me do it again. You can print all the coupons out twice so don't forget to do that!

I also picked up two small boxes of Wheat Thins for free. They're on sale for $.99 apiece and I had two internet coupons for $1 off one box so I guess I actually made $.02 on the deal. If you do the Video coupon make sure to watch the Clean & Clear video to get two $3/1 coupons. This week Clean & Clear products are 2 for $9 and you can use two $3/1 video coupons and a $2/1 internet coupon to get two for $1.

Friday, September 18, 2009

More Safeway Deals

The alternate title for this post would be "Oh no, this is going to be trouble" which is kind of how my husband feels about the whole couponing thing thus far. I don't think he's seeing how cool this is! Thus far my grocery budget is the same if not slightly higher as I work on stocking up on the things we use a lot. Hopefully within a month or two I'll get to the point where I have a good supply of things we go through constantly (hello cold cereal and mac n cheese!). Then I'll be spending less because I won't have to pay full price for things.

I know most of you have heard about the super good cereal and snack sale at Safeway this week but there's some other good deals there this week as well. Here's some I took advantage of today:

Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs $.99 (max. 4) This price is only good Friday-Sunday.
I had a $1 off one package internet coupon and a $1 off 2 packages internet coupon.
Total: $.97 for 3 packages or $.32 a package

Safeway Artisan French Bread $1.59
$1 off 1 Artisan Bread coupon can be found here
Total: $.59

Campbells Chicken Noodle or Tomato Soup 2 for $1
(2) $.40 off 2 cans from last Sunday's newspaper
Used 2 doublers
Total: $.40 or $.10 a can

Prego $1.67
If you buy 5 Campbells items (Prego and Pepperidge Farms goodies also count) you earn 100 extra Box Tops for Education!

And of course I had to do another Nature Valley deal. This time I only got 4 packages of the Nut Clusers. No free Capri Sun but I made money on the deal!

Nature Valley Nut Clusters $10 for 4 boxes
$3.20 in eCoupons from Cellfire and Shortcuts
1 $1 off 1 and 1 $1.60 off 1 internet coupon
(2) $1 off 1 coupons from the newspaper
2 doublers
$4 off 4 promotion
Total: I made $2.60

Alright, I'm done grocery shopping for the week. Excited to see what next week brings, hoping for a Mac n Cheese sale soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wedding pictures are finally up!

Some of you know that I photographed two weddings two weeks ago (back to back!). It produced a mountain of work which took me twice as long to finish (surprise surprise). Along with the wedding photography came the drama of my camera breaking. I'll spare you all the details, but it broke at a seriously inconvenient time (just as the bridesmaids started walking down the aisle at the first wedding) and it's at the repair shop until at least next Tuesday. I rented a camera for the second wedding and prayed nothing would go wrong because I couldn't afford to rent two cameras. That will be the very last time I do a wedding without a backup camera. Trust me.

Check out my photography blog here to see a couple photos. Each wedding has a separate post so be sure to scroll down to see both!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Super Safeway Deal!

If you live near a Safeway and have access to internet coupons then you are in luck! This week Safeway is running a promotion where you save $4 when you buy any 4 participating General Mills cereals, Nature Valley granola bars, or Betty Crocker fruit snacks. Plus you get a coupon for a free package of Capri Sun. Totally time to stock up on cereal and snacks and get some free juice while you're at it!

Today was the first time I attempted to do two transactions back to back and it went pretty well. I was a little nervous since I'd never done it before, but it really wasn't a big deal. A tip I've read online is to "profile" checkers and whenever possible find a young male checker since they're the least likely to question coupons or raise a stink about doing multiple transactions etc. So I found the young guy at the end and he rang me up without one problem. I think I'll be back in his line in the future!

Here's how I did it. For this one you don't need any Sunday paper coupons and you can print all the coupons online. Don't forget to sign up for Cellfire to get extra savings!

Transaction 1:
2 boxes of Cocoa Puffs (hey, they make for a good snack!) $2.50 each
$1/1 internet coupon found here
$.75/1 internet coupon found here (I had to use this one because I already used one of my $1 off coupons at Target last week but obviously it would be better to print out two $1 off coupons if you can!)
(2) $.75/1 Cellfire coupon found here

2 boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch $2.50 each
(2) $.55/1 internet coupon found here

Total for Transaction 1: $1.65

Transaction 2:

2 boxes of Trix cereal (another good snack!) $2.50 each
(2) $.55/1 coupon found here
$.55/2 Cellfire coupon found here
Total: $1.35

2 boxes of Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks $2.50 each
$1/2 internet coupon found here
(2) $.40/1 Cellfire coupon found here
Total: $1.20

10 pack of Capri Sun $2.50
FREE with coupon from Transaction 1

Total for Transaction 2: $2.55

Grand Total: $4.20 which is $.42 an item

The max. is 20 items for this deal and so I'll be back for another 12 once I finish rounding up my coupons!

Grace's First Day of Preschool

I know you've all been waiting to hear how Grace's first day of preschool went on Monday and you'll be happy to know that it went great! She was very excited to go after all the preparations. We went last Friday to meet her teacher and see her room which was a nice preview for her. She found her hook to hang up her coat and backpack, her spot at one of the tables, glanced longingly at all the toys, and found her name on the Special Helper board. We received some homework before school started when they asked Grace to decorate a paper doll to look like herself and to pick a stuffed animal to bring to school the first day. We worked on the paper doll on Sunday and Grace picked out her Lilly frog to bring to class.

Monday afternoon we all four trooped down to the school and let Grace and Ethan play on the playground for 5 minutes before we headed into Grace's classroom. She hung her backpack up and handed her paper doll to her teacher before she sat down at her spot and began to play with playdough. That's when we took our exit, and just as I predicted, Grace didn't even look up to see us go. It actually makes me kind of glad that Grace has zero issues with separation anxiety. It means that she's secure enough in herself to not need me there all the time and trusts that we will be back to get her.

I picked her up Monday afternoon and she told me all about her afternoon at school. She was very glad that she was the only one to bring a Lily to share and kept telling me there were 2 kitties. I guess it's a faux pas to show up with the same stuffed animal in preschool. She brought home a School Rules book she colored/glued, a fish hat she made, and a letter with all the snack times for the month. We're signed up for the most inconvenient day ever, a week from Monday. I'm leaving for Nashville Wednesday evening and will get back really late Sunday night and I'm pretty sure that making up 16 individual snack baggies will not happen Monday morning. Guess I'll do those before I leave!

Grace was pretty tired when I picked her up from preschool and I assumed she was tired from all the excitement etc. but within an hour of getting home I could tell it was more then just being tired. Then she snuggled up to me and I noticed she was hot. I broke out the thermometer and her temp read 101.3 so I gave her Tylenol and got her to nap and go to bed early. Who knew the sick season could start less then an hour after school gets out the first day? She was a little lethargic yesterday but today she's acting normally and has no temperature. I'm hoping it was just a freak fever that's gone now.

Since I still don't have my camera back (and probably won't get it back until at least the 22nd...) I had to make do with my iphone to get pictures on Monday. Really irked me, but is spurring me to find a replacement battery for our HP point and shoot so we have a back up camera for these kinds of things. Here's what I managed to get with my iphone though:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Coupon Crazy

Last week I discovered that I can print coupons off the internet after a looooong hiatus and now you can accurately call me the Crazy Coupon Lady. About a year ago I started getting into coupons and then David downloaded the Windows 7 beta and none of the coupon programs would work. Frustrated me beyond belief so I gave up. Last week I read Kelleigh's blog post about coupons and thought I'd give it another try...and guess what? The newest version of the Windows 7 beta that David downloaded last month now supports the coupon program and I can print! Good thing my husband works for an ink company because I'm keeping them in business with all the coupons I've printed out :) Right now it's a lot of fun but I'm hoping I can eventually settle into a system so that it doesn't consume all of my free time like it does now. I'm sure that at some point I won't find it as fun to spend 6 hours a week figuring out how to save $.50 off toilet paper but for now I'm enjoying it.

Now that Grace is starting preschool (she's currently at her first class...will blog about that tonight!) I am able to go shopping for 2.5 hours by myself which is going to make this process much easier. I think it would be easy to go crazy and run around to 10 different stores to get the best possible deals at each one of them, but since I live in a small town with only one grocery store I'm going to have to scale my ambitions down a bit. I think it will be easier if I focus only on 2-4 stores to shop at a week so I think I'm going to focus on Safeway and Rite Aid as they're in Dallas, and I think Walgreens and Fred Meyers in Salem. Of course there's also Target and Albertsons which I might visit periodically when they have an especially good sale going on. Like this week at Albertsons where they are taking double coupons for the coupon amount, NOT just up to $.50 like Safeway. Kind of excited about that one!

Today I hit up Rite Aid and Safeway and here's my deals:

Rite Aid

1 canister of Wet Ones $1.99
use $1 off 1 coupon from here
$1 Single Check Rebate
Final Price: FREE

Airwick Ultra Freshmatic Kit $6.49
use $6 off 1 coupon from 9/13 paper
Final Price: $.49 (I bought two because I had two coupons)

Suave Body Wash $1.99
$.50 off coupon from 9/13 paper
$1 Single Check Rebate
Final Price: $.49 (I bought two because I had two coupons)

Johnson & Johnsons Baby Products $2.99 apiece
$1 coupons from 8/13 paper and here
$5 rebate off 3, $10 rebate off 5, $15 rebate off 10
Final Price: FREE (I bought 5 because they didn't have enough product for me to get to 10, will check back Friday when they get new stock)

Stayfree 16ct Pads $3.99 buy one get one free
$2 off 2 coupon
Final Price: $1.99 for two packages

I also used a $5 off $25 coupon from which is good through this week. So I spent $18.39 out of pocket and will get $13 back in rebates. That means I got it all for $5.39! Rite Aid deals are good through next Sunday.


Coffee Mate Creamer $1.99 with Safeway coupon
$1.50 off 2 coupon from here
Use a double coupon (only doubles up to $.50)
Final Price: 1.98 for two

Tyson Chicken Nuggets $3.99 with Safeway coupon

Grapes $.88 a pound

I also got bananas but they weren't on sale. Are they ever? Safeway deals/sales start on Wednesday so be sure to stock up on creamer and chicken nuggets before then!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Grace's 4 Year Portraits...a tad overdue!

So I'm a bit late in doing Grace's four year portraits since she turned 4 over a month ago. We've been busy, but mostly I've been waiting for the lovely red poison oak rash to disappear! Nasty stuff, that poison oak. I'm still scratching a spot on one of my legs!

I took the opportunity to bring Grace to the park for some pictures one day while David was working from home this week. I waited until Ethan was down for his afternoon nap and then did my best to make picture taking sound like fun to my four year old. She wasn't buying it at first, but after a mention of a "special treat" if she cooperated things got a little better. Grace has never been a fan of the camera, and only really wants her picture taken if the camera is pointed at her brother. Siblings are a big help in motivation I've discovered. The best motivator was actually the last spot we found on the way back to the van. I noticed this little tree with the perfect limb for sitting on, not three feet from the ground. I swung her up there and ooohed and aaaahed and told her she looked "just like Sleeping Beauty" which got her glowing and her real smile finally made an appearance! Not only that but she smiled while looking in my direction...a real rarity when I have a camera in my hands. Usually she looks down or anywhere other then my direction. She can't really look up because of her ptosis, and any shots that I get of her looking up really make the ptosis show up so I avoid them with her.

I edited the photos two ways, both my regular vivid colors and a more vintage "honey" look. By the way, if anyone out there reading this has Photoshop you really should check out Coffee Shop for a bunch of fantastic and FREE actions! I really like the Color Pop and tried out the Vintage Honey Action for the more vintage looking photos. Check out my photography blog for my favorites.

And what do you all think about the vintage look? Do you prefer the full color? Personally, I think I like the vintage look for some of the photos, but purposefully dressed Grace in bright girly colors that would pop in photographs.