Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I have been an on again, off again couponer for many years. At first I was so excited to get a "deal" that I would buy everything I could...I ended up spending money I shouldn't have, for things I didn't use. So now I only buy things I know I will use or plan to donate. Couponing can be overwhelming at first...cutting, organizing, and even the anxiety of using them....but I can tell you it is worth it. Lately I have been using coupons for non-food items like diapers, lotion, razors etc. I figure if I save money on these items, I can use the money for things I like to splurge on (grass-fed beef, organic chicken, money to do our backyard etc). There are many websites and blogs on the subject. I have found a few websites that have helped me:
http://www.thegrocerygame.com/- this is a great website to use if you are just starting out with couponing. You can try it for $1. You pick what store(s) you want to shop at and each week it has a list of items on sale or items you can use coupons with.
http://www.thekrazycouponlady.com/- I love the way she organizes the coupons and you can print out the sections for your binder for free on her website. She also lists what's on sale at various places each week and how to use the coupons. I read the book and I love it! (it goes into detail on how to put the binder together and look for deals on your own) You can order it on her website as well.
http://www.sharethe31secret.com/- very similar to the krazy coupon lady. I like that you can print out the "store policies" for various stores (you might need them if you run into any problems...but I have not had any...yet).

This information has help me a lot and I am not so overwhelmed. As mom's we need all the help we can get :) I hope this information can help you as well. Below are the "deals" I got recently at Rite-Aid. They have great deals with their SCR program (Single Coupon Rebate) and coupons combined!

Above I spent $2.55 ...that includes tax!

Above I spent $8.90 including tax!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Might not look like much, but I can't tell you how excited I am that we have a mini orchard! I have had these trees since I got married (almost 7 years). They were in giant pots and I refused to plant them until I was sure we were going to stay...so this is a big step for me.
I have always wanted an orchard. I have the fondest memories of my Great-Grandma Freda's orchard (it was much bigger) As kids, my sister and cousins would run around and pick fruit off the trees...there was a sink in the middle of the orchard where we could wash our fruit. There were also a few outdoor couch gliders that we would sit on. We always left grandma's with fruit and flowers from her yard. In a small way, it's a tribute to her and I hope that my children will enjoy it as much as I did (Kaylee already does...as you can see).

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Concrete

I am so excited about concrete! Our backyard has been empty since we moved in a year ago and we finally are making progress :) It still might be a while before we finish the yard completely, but I am so happy we have started. I know...it's a lot of concrete, but I figure big yard = Big concrete...and we will save on water...right? Right now I am watching them finish the rest of the concrete :)

Monday, March 22, 2010


I love art!!! As a former elementary school teacher, I loved anything hands on or art based. However, I had no idea what to do with a toddler when it came to art...except for maybe paint and crayons. When Kaylee was almost two, I stumbled upon this book and I absolutely love it! It is great for toddlers, but older children will love the ideas as well. It's called First Art by MaryAnn Kohl (click here) The pictures below are the "sculpture in a bag" project. Kaylee and Corban loved it! So if you are needing new ideas or projects to do with your little ones, I definitely recommend this book :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Painting Pictures

I love art!!! There is nothing better than creating something. It's even better to watch my little ones create something unique and beautiful. However, I am sure as most of you have realized...it can get messy! There are a few things that I have learned that have helped me to not be fearful of "The Mess."
1. Smocks- The blue things my kids are wearing...they are amazing and cheap! They can get pretty messy, but then I just take it off and wash it. I ordered mine through Rainbow Resource (click here) but you can get them at any art supply store. I discovered Rainbow Resource when I was working with homeschooling parents...they have so much stuff...I love it.
2.Washable Tempera Paint- Just in case it gets somewhere I don't want it...I know it will come off.
3. Paper Plates- Love to use these to put paint in...so when they are finished, I throw it away...easy clean up.
4. High chair- My little guy is in a high chair because I know that if I let him sit with his sister or anywhere else for that matter...he will get up move around and get paint everywhere! So....this is my solution.
I hope that some of my solutions will help you with messy projects :) It has been raining a lot here...so we have been doing a lot of projects lately. Here are the pictures of Kaylee and Corban making their pictures:

Friday, February 26, 2010


I have not written anything in over two months...I am so sorry! I wonder if anyone is still out there? For those of you that are, here are my ramblings....things have been busy, sad, beautiful, new and crazy. On January 5th my little Kaylee started preschool, which brought tears to my eyes. I was so proud, happy and afraid at the same time. My thoughts were: "She will have so much fun!" followed by, "What if someone kidnaps her?" I know, totally irrational...so I had to remind myself that she will be fine and not to be a crazy mom :) She did fine and when I picked her up she was happy. However, that night I received a call that my grandma was in the emergency room. I had recived many of these calls before, and it was discouraging because she was recovering so well from her surgery in December. On my way there, I was praying, and I really felt that regardless of the outcome, somehow I would be okay. I knew she loved Jesus, I knew she had been suffering and if it was time, I could not argue with that. When I arrived, I was the first grandchild there, my grandpa was there with my dad and they told me she probably was not going to make it...they were going to work on her for 40 minutes more, but that was all they could do. Then the doctor took us in, he told us that they did their best, but her heart had worn out and that she was gone. Water was pouring from my eyes, but I was trying to stay strong for my grandpa and dad. After a few moments... I think shock sunk in because I was able to think clearly and tell my sisters what was going on. My sisters and I were able to go in and say our goodbyes...I know it may sound morbid, but it really did help....I needed to say goodbye and let her know what I always told her when I saw her...that I love her!!!
The next day was the worst! I woke up sobbing...the shock wore off and it all hit me. I had a hard time with the idea that I was suppose to go about my normal day when things were not normal, and not okay. I could not stop crying, even though I knew she was no longer suffering, that she was now happy and at peace...I was sad because I knew that I would not see her for the rest of my life and that my babies would not remember what a wonderful, beautiful person she was.
The next couple days I felt like a cloud was over my head...or that I was in a fog. I had a photo shoot with a little baby boy and for a brief few hours, I felt that fog leave...I felt good....but as soon as it was over, that feeling slowly crept back. Within a week I no longer felt that dark cloud, but it has almost been two months, and a day does not go by that I don't think of her. I know she wanted me to live a full and happy life and so that is what I am doing. I am enjoying being a mom...listening to my children laugh...dancing with my kids without reservation, and being thankful for my husband who loves me and supports me in all seasons of life. (I know sappy, but true)

I am planning on writing more on my blog... just the day to day stuff with photos, recipes and instructions (when applicable) ...not too much of this serious stuff. Also, I recently started my own photography company. You can check out the website at: www.bumpsandgigglesphotography.com
Here is a picture of my recent photo shoot: