Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another Beach Photo

While I'm still trying to get unpacked, the house cleaned, and back to some version of normal, I thought I'd share 2 more pictures of the boys with you.

Hope you are having a great week and I hope to be back on the blogging wagon soon!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Sneak Peek

I have SO much I want to blog about!  I'm finally back home from a 2-week beach vacation and I'm ready to get organized, declutter, and BLOG!

Here's a sneak peek...

Yes--I had this photo blown up to a huge 16x20 canvas portrait. I purchased 2 canvas portraits in this size from an online deal a few months ago and I only paid $25 including shipping!

This picture makes me smile and I knew I would love it forever!

Friday, July 20, 2012


A few weeks ago my family of 4 and my brother's family of 3 floated down a river we have near our home.  It's called Rainbow River, but if you grew up here, you know it as Blue Run.

It was my boys first time floating down and mine too in a long time!

The kids all did so good and we had a great time!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012


My boys both got new sunglasses a few weeks ago and were SO SO SO thrilled !  You'd have thought it was Christmas!  Cecil and I did not buy these for the boys--they were gifted to them by someone we know.  Wasn't that SO nice of this person??? 

So far they are taking VERY good care of the sunglasses and wear them everywhere!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Money Monday {pay your bills online}

Want another way to save you MONEY and TIME?


I can't possibly be the only person out there that hates going to the post office for stamps? (on a side note, you can order stamps online and they ship them for $1.00--that beats the driving and waiting in line any day in my opinion).

I also hate writing out checks and trying to figure out when to mail them so they reach people on time.  I let my bank do ALL the work for me!  I set up auto payments through online banking!  I LOVE IT!  Then, I know it's guaranteed to reach people on time and I don't have to worry about it!

If you don't already pay your bills online, you should see if you bank offers free bill pay (mine does! and most do now) !  It's fast, easy, secure and a WIN WIN situation in my opinion!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Soon, very soon.....

We're hoping to do some of this

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 And a lot of this

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 More of this

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With some of these people

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And NOT see any of these:

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I never say exactly when I go on vacation (because I'm weird like that and I don't want people to know) but it's SOON and I can't wait to share all about it with you!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Packing Up and Moving Out

I've been going to the beach every year for 2 weeks since I was 3 years old.  The same beach.  In fact, the same condo on the same beach.  Over the years, I've come to realize what we need and don't need for our family vacation.  I've blogged about my past trips here, here, and here.  Adventures in packing are chronicled here, and here.

When the boys were little, it was like moving our entire house because we had to have pack n plays, swings, bouncy seats. baby food, diapers, and the whole list of baby needs.  Now that they're older, I've managed to scale down their clothes and pack in one bag each for them, and one bag of clothes for me.  We still take quite a bit of stuff, but it's nothing like it used to be.

Because we have a large condo with a full kitchen, I cook many of our meals rather than spending so much on eating out.  We do go out to eat a few times while we're there, but it's just easier to eat in with 2 rowdy boys (can I get an amen?).

 And of course, LOTS of sunscreen.  I usually take about 8-10 bottles or more of sunscreen.  Nolan is allergic to PABA so all his sunscreen is Water Babies.  I don't wear too much sunscreen at all, so I have my specific kinds, then we have the Sport kind for Cecil when he's down there.

To help me stay organized and make sure we get ALL our needs (I hate getting somewhere and realizing I've forgotten something at home), I keep a list on my computer and print it each year before our vacation.  I add to it throughout the year or right when we return home if there is something I want to remember for the next year.  It works out wonderfully!

The boys and I started packing recently for our trip and it was nice to have their help!  I had one grabbing items from the pantry and one crossing items off the list. 

Here's to a wonderful "Daytona Beach 2012" vacation!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Money Monday {Take your meat out}

I know a lot of people who are "fly by the seat of their pants" when it comes to deciding on dinner and preparing it.  This is definitely NOT me.  One, I work outside the home, two, that would stress me out further than I already am, and three, we eat dinner rather early in the evening so the luxury of deciding once I'm home is not there.

I blogged while back about making a menu and how it helps my home run more smooth (smoothly?) as well as save money.

Something I (try) to do each Sunday evening, after making my weekly menu is pull all the meats out that we'll be using for the week. I can't begin to tell you how much TIME this saves!  You don't have to defrost the meat, and you don't put something on the menu for which you don't have the right type of meat.  It'd be just like me to schedule spaghetti then go to the freezer only to realize I have no hamburger meat!  HA!

I place the meats on a long baking sheet so if the juice leaks from the freezer paper, it doesn't get all over my fridge!

(this method also saves money because you aren't tempted to eat out since you know you have your meat ready to go)

If you have helpful weekly dinner planning methods--do tell!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Shopping anyone?

I had the blessing last weekend of going grocery shopping with a friend of mine who happens to be the world's best couponer!  She is amazing y'all!  She has not been on the TV show "Extreme Couponing", but she SHOULD be!

For all you that think coupons don't save you money, take a look at this!

This was PRE-COUPONS.  $410.34 !!!  We got nervous because it was a little higher than expected, but not to worry, we had COUPONS.

 This was AFTER-COUPONS.  $8.08.  Yes, people.  $8.08.  AMAZING.

In case you thought we bought things we didn't need, let me tell you what we bought.......
  • yeast rolls
  • cinnamon rolls
  • vitamins
  • sausage
  • toilet paper
  • cat food
  • pet treats
  • Lil Debbies
  • Splenda
  • Bob Evans brand frozen side dishes
  • a few other items, including a gift card!
What an energizing shopping trip to get me back on track with my couponing!

Update:  No--I don't have a cat!  The cat treats and stuff were for the girl I went with!

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Moving on Up

A few weeks ago (on the last day of school) Nolan's teacher gave out awards to all the students in her class.  There were reading awards, improvement awards, math awards, etc.  It was amazing to see and hear about the progress some of the kids made this school year!

N's teacher did the cutest theme for her awards!  She named each award after a candy bar!  Milky Way, Snickers (class clown), etc.

Nolan received the AirHead award because Mrs. M said there was no air in his head!  (whew!  I was beginning to think he inherited my blonde-ness) HA!

We just loved N's teacher this year and her Assistant too!!

Nolan had such a wonderful experience in 2nd grade and now he's MOVING ON UP to 3rd!