Friday, January 30, 2009

Little Luxuries

Today I took a lovely drive up to Mountain View, Arkansas. I haven't seen my husband yet, but I have gotten to chat with a few of the nice locals and buy this oh-so-yummy 1/2 pound of Homemade Cookies-n-Cream Fudge!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Weekly Grocery Shopping

This month I have started taking a closer look at our grocery spending. I find it rather ridiculous the amount of money we spend at the grocery store, considering I'm usually the only person eating at home and, I don't even eat at home that much.

My last trip resulted in the laundry detergent rambling. Last time I went to Country Mart on 1/08/2009 and my spending totaled $51.99. It looked like this:

I found that small pile to be a bit sickening compared to the price.

Today I decided to try a couple of different stores. First I stopped by Big Lots just to see what they had. I was pleasantly surprised with their grocery selection today and did most of my shopping there. I also stopped by Dollar General to pick up a few more things.

**Note: You might notice there is no meat in either picture. Our freezer is currently stocked with ground beef, chicken, and steaks. I don't usually cook a lot of meat while Steven is gone because I eat out so much.

Today's trip:

Big Lots:

Suddenly Salad (my favorite!) 3 @ $1.50 ea.
fruit juice 1 @ $2.00
Kraft Mac & Cheese Deluxe 1 @ $1.30 (This was a great deal. I found this same box for over $2 at Dollar General!)
Sunflower seeds 1 @ $1.00
Trail Mix 2 @ $1.00 ea.
Oreos 1 @ $2.00
Cereal 1 @ 2.00
Pringles 1 @ $.90 (another good deal - this is the cheapest I have ever found them)
wheat bread 1 @ $1.20 (another deal! This same bread was $2.75 at Dollar General & is usually ~$2.80 at Wal-Mart!)
White bread 1 @ $1.20 (and another deal! This bread is usually $1.85 at Wal-Mart)
6 rolls of toilet paper $3.70 (Quilted Northern, not generic brand stuff!)
12 bars of soap $4.50
Duncan Hines cake mix $1.00

and my best deal...
1 package of a chocolate peppermint bread mix @ $1.50
- I looked up the web site for this product and was shocked. This bread mix usually sells for $8.00!!

total: $30.55

Dollar General
saltines 1 @ $1.00
1/2 gal milk 1 @ $2.50
Cherrios 1 @ $2.00 (these also had a $1.00 coupon on the box for my pop-tarts! woohoo!)
FiberOne strawberry pop-tarts 1 @ $2.00 (before coupon)

total: $6.80

Grand total: $37.35

For more grocery shopping lists and deals, check out The Grocery Cart Challenge.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I got flowers, and I didn't get mad!

After work on Saturday (if you call playing with a cute baby and taking pictures work), I met Steven at our favorite restaurant for an early supper. He called me on the way there and told me to wait outside for him because he had found something for me in town that he wanted to give me before we ate. Honestly, I figured it was another Wii game or maybe he had gotten really ambitious and went to get the Cricut Expression early because he knew I planned on getting it that afternoon.

When he pulled up next to my car, he drug me out of the car and over to the SUV where he pulled up the tailgate to show me what was inside. Inside, I saw these!

Ok, now you are probably wondering why on Earth I would ever be mad about getting flowers. I'm not. HOWEVER, for the last year Steven has refused to buy me flowers. I do mean refused too. His reasoning? For the 2 years before that, maybe more, every single time he bought me flowers, I managed to get mad at him for something totally unrelated before he was able to give me the flowers! We finally broke the curse though. Steven said he decided to try a new approach this time -- buying them and not talking to me again until he gave them to me. :-)

My new toy!

I finally got it! I got a Cricut Expression! I have been wanting one of these forever, and begged for one for the last few months. Well, Saturday I finally got it! I went straight home and plugged it in. So far I have made some greeting cards, random punches for later use, and a few things to go on scrapbook pages that are in-progress. I love it!

Steven was playing xbox online and talking to a friend. I ran in there to show him one of my greeting card creations and was apparently a bit too giddy. I overheard him say, " wife. I bought her one of these Cricut machines things that does all these letters and design punches. She's just beside herself."

Steven actually thinks it's pretty cool himself. He helped me play with it a bit. He also helped me think of some more stuff I plan to use it for this year.

Oh, and to my local friends that already have one of these...
So far, I have the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge and the Home Decor cartridge.
I'm willing to share if you are. :-)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thirteen Thursday

I've been pretty lazy with my blogging lately. Actually, I've been pretty lazy overall, but that's another story. In an attempt to actually accomplish something tonight, here is a 13 Thursday list of random pictures form my computer.

1. This is why Steven has no room to sleep when he comes home. All week long, Minnie has believed this was her spot, and then she's expected to give it up?

2. Roush should be a model. He loves to have his picture taken. It's a very strange thing for a cat to enjoy.

3. Roush also likes to sleep in very cute positions.

4. Occasionally, I can no longer stand throwing a nasty, slimy dog toy. Mr. Squeaky got a bath recently.

5. Steven's latest toy:

6. I bet your grandma didn't get vodka for Christmas! haha, ok it's hairspray for her to use at work...and I think that box came from the beauty supply store. Why would they have a vodka box?

7. Christmas or a birthday party? Both actually. My cousin, Casey, was born on Christmas day of 1987 - 9 months and 6 days after me.

8. Sometimes on long trips, my husband does scary stuff to make me laugh.

9. Steven rarely finds a book interesting enough to read.
Emerald rarely chooses to sit in his lap.

10. He sure is cute when he sleeps, but I'm rarely awake before him.

11. Every family needs a sweet little cocker spaniel.

12. I love this picture. Taken about a month ago at 10 a.m. using available light.

13. This is my favorite picture of Biscuit of all time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I hate buying laundry detergent.

It's true. I absolutely hate it. I hate the fact that I am paying someone else between $14 and $16 each time - so that I can wash my own clothes. Yes, I realize that's pretty cheap when you think about the per load price, but it still irritates me. At $14 a box, I think that should include someone else to do the folding/ironing. :-)

For a while now, I have been following this genius lady over at The Grocery Cart Challenge. While my money-saving abilities are nowhere near her level, I do try. You may remember a while back, when I posted about making my own fabric softener. That was another of her genius ideas. That worked really well, and I plan to do it again soon. The only reason I haven't made another batch is that I happened across a bottle stashed in the back of my cabinet that I had somehow forgotten.

Anyway, back to my original point-

Last week I decided to try a new grocery store to avoid some impulse spending at Wal-Mart. (I have a weakness for craft supplies.) While I was surprised by a few good deals (bananas for $.69/lb), I was annoyed when my normal laundry detergent brand was not carried in the bigger boxes. I was even more annoyed to discover that the smaller boxes were sold out and on sale! After checking out and examining my receipt, I realized that $52 worth of groceries would have been less than $38 without the laundry detergent! I never win with laundry detergent. Oh, and did I mention that yesterday I found a brand I have been wanting to try (but couldn't find at Wal-Mart) on sale for $4.99/48 load box at the pharmacy! I'm telling ya, the laundry people are spying on me and laughing hysterically...

This lead me to have a discussion with Steven over the weekend. I found it a bit humorous.

Me: I hate buying laundry detergent.
Steven: Why?
Me: It's so stinkin' expensive. It drives me crazy. This may sound crazy, but I think I'm going to start making my own.
Steven: You can do that?
Me: Well, yeah...the factories figured out how to make it somehow. Besides, Google knows everything.

I guess he just figured the recipe came to Mr. Tide in a dream? haha, who knows.

Ok, I'm rambling again. I say all of this to say that as soon as I use up the two small boxes in my laundry room right now, I'm making my own. I have not decided which recipe I'll go with yet, but I'll post it when I make a decision.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mr. Squeaky

This is Mr. Squeaky. He is Emerald's favorite toy. He is also, somehow, the only toy that has survived her abuse. We have searched every pet aisle we come across for a toy that is Emerald-proof. So far, he is our only survivor, and guess what. He was bought when Emerald was less than 2 months old and cost a whopping 97 cents. We have spent as much as $5.00 on a dog toy, just for her to eat it in less than 10 minutes. I do mean "eat," too. As in, she tears a hole in it, then picks it apart piece-by-piece and eats it. She sure does love Mr. Squeaky though.

Minnie Pearl uses Emerald's love for Mr. Squeaky to her advantage. A few weeks ago, Emerald weaseled her way between me and Minnie in the bed. This irritated Minnie, so Ms. Minnie Pearl jumped off the bed, found Mr. Squeaky, squeaked him once to get Emerald's attention and waited. Of course Emerald was quick to jump off the bed to steal her beloved Mr. Squeaky back from Minnie. This was exactly what Minnie was counting on. She jumped back up in her spot next to me while Emerald was distracted with chewing on Mr. Squeaky. Emerald never caught on. She isn't always the brightest.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I just have to share...

I've been looking through the pictures I took last weekend, and have finally posted some on my photography blog. Here is one, but go HERE, to my other blog to see the rest! My sister-in-law has an adorable family. :-)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I think I have a problem

My name is Emily, and I am addicted to Christmas stuff.

That doesn't look like a lot of stuff, does it?

Not pictured is:
3 more boxes like the top one, containing my snow village
1 more box like the top one, full of outdoor Christmas lights
2 Christmas trees
6 outdoor wreaths
2 outdoor Christmas tree topiaries
2 square wreaths
lots of tin cookie boxes
lots of wrapping paper, bags, and ribbon

I can quit anytime I want. Promise. :-)

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Little Sweeties

We spent the last few days in Missouri visiting Steven's family. I had so much fun visiting with his family and playing with his sister's little girls. Hanna and Kaeleigh have both grown so much since I last saw them back in the summer. Oh I have missed them! As soon as I stepped out of the car at Kathi's, Hanna was out the door and jumping in my arms.

It is so amazing to see their little personalities coming out. Hanna is 3 months shy of 3 years old, and she is obviously a girly girl. She has loved shoes, clothes, and having her hair fixed since she was a year old. She's a very polite little girl and is very caring. She gets very concerned and asks, "Are you ok?" if she hears someone, even strangers, say ouch or make a face like you've hurt yourself. Hanna hates having her hands dirty. On her first birthday, she licked the side of her cake to keep from having to put her hands in it. Now, she asks for a napkin when she eats and wants to wash her hands as soon as they are dirty. She is also my little sweetie. Hanna likes to go pick up my moter-in-law's cell phone, take it to her, and say, "Aunt Emmy. Call her." How can you not love that? She's definitely stolen my heart.

Even at less than 7 months old, Kaeleigh is already so different than her older sister. Kaeleigh is a very easy going baby. She only cries when she's hungry. She also....

obviously doesn't care too much to get a bit dirty. :-)

Those are mashed taters all over her feet, and carots on her face. Saturday evening we went to his dad and stepmom's house for dinner with his sister and her family. After everyone had finished eating, Kathi and I decided to let Kaeleigh have some of the leftover mashed potatoes right out of the serving bowl. She loved them. :-)

Kaeleigh Jo is such a happy baby! She loves music, and her big sister. Hanna always makes her laugh, and Kaeleigh never makes a sound when Hanna smothers her with hugs and kisses. She also started crawling over the weekend! Kaeleigh is in awe of her Uncle Steven. She was constantly staring at him all weekend. No matter who was holding her, she'd turn to stare at Steven. I do see her following in her sister's footsteps with her love of accessories. She loves wearing hats and headbands.

Saturday morning I got the chance to go to the park with the girls and their parents for a family photo session! I can't wait to get their pictures up on my wall! I'll post some here as soon as I sort through them.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Aunt Emmy's Girls

Tonight I was holding Kaeleigh, and Hanna brought her pillow and
blanket to cuddle with us on the couch. I love these little sweeties!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Starting the year off with a THUD

Last night Steven and I headed to Paragould to have dinner with some friends. After that, we went to a get together at another friends house to ring in the new year with some Rock Band. The evening was pretty uneventful until we headed home.

The house we were at had some steep front steps, no outside light on, and no handrail. Steven stepped back inside for a second, and the genius that I am decided I could manuever the steps heels.

It was so dark, I misjudged the distance of the next to last step, and then I was on my rear at the bottom of the steps.

I did a lovely job of twisting my left ankle. Check out my "man foot" as Steven calls it.

No worries though, my favorite shoes survived without a scratch!