September 30, 2008


This month with Walgreens I haven't been quite as on top of things as I should have been - and I'm loosing about $10 because of it.

The first was choosing the wrong acid controller tablets. I got the 30 pack instead of the 25 pack. $6.99 + tax down the drain. I had a $10 off of $40 purchase coupon, so it wasn't lost money, just money I didn't earn.

My other error cost minimal out of pocket but will cost $4.99 in rebates. I used my $2 register reward coupon and my $3 off pert plus coupon, so I had less than a dollar in out of pocket expenses. But now I can't find my receipt to add it to my September claim.

Lesson learned: be VERY careful when shopping and ALWAYS know where your receipts are.

My baby is growing up...

This past weekend my mother and I traveled to Ohio and West Virginia to attend bridal showers thrown by Mr. Right's family and family friends. While we were on interstate headed home, my baby Quinn rolled over to 100,000 miles. I remember the first day I brought him home from the dealership. I'd waited so long for him to finally arrive and when he did I wasn't disappointed.

My father was giving me a hard time for thinking about what new car I would like (knowing full well that Quinn and I are in for the long haul). Defending myself I said "A girl can dream of her next car at 100,000 miles right?" To which my sister responded, "not when that girl's driving a Toyota".

I had to smile. Here's to another happy 100,000 ahead! :)

September 25, 2008

Things I Love Thursday: Kraft Foods

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a lazy cook. I get to Mr. Right's house at about 6 PM, and I don't like eating late at night. So in order to have supper cooked and eaten before 7, my meals can't take any longer than 30 minutes. Thank you Rachael Ray, but I'm sure if I made anything you cook, not only would I be broke, but we would hardly even eat any of it.

I love the Kraft Foods web site. They have quick, easy and tasty meals that don't break the bank. Since they're not giving me any kick backs for this, I can admit that I don't always use Kraft ingredients when making the recipes. In fact, I hardly do.

Its a great way to get a quick meal idea that quickly become family favorites, like Tex Mex Shells and Cheese. Its one of our favorites, and if I can get ground beef on sale at a low price, I can make it for around $3.

For more favorites, check out the Diaper Diaries Things I Love Thursday!

September 24, 2008

Living like no one else...

My father diagnosed me this morning with having financial anorexia. Being too stingy with what i spend money on and not every using it for fun.

All because Mr. Right and I have decided to not get cable immediately in the new house. We figured we would see how well we faired without it before we made the call to have it installed. He and I both have very little faith that this is actually going to work. We would have never decided to get it disconnected, that's a little too drastic.

Keep in mind, I'm spending about $2K of my own money on this wedding (above and beyond what my parents are giving me). I eat lunch out at least twice a week (sometimes every day). And I have a closet full of clothes, shoes, and purses. Whenever the girls want to have a Girls Night Out, I'm at the restaurant right their with them.

In my mind, I do a very poor job of Living like no one else, so tomorrow I can live like no one else. Apparently, in my father's mind, I do too good of a job at it.

September 23, 2008

Game Day Snack Idea

The call went out from Jenn over at Frugal Upstate for favorite game day recipes. A Super Bowl staple with my family is chili cheese dip - very easy and very unhealthy.

1 box Velveeta (yes is just cheese product but its delish and melts very well)
1 can chili no beans (i use hormel)

cut the velveeta into chunks, throw them into a crockpot and stir as the cheese melts. serve with tortilla chips.

Check out her Round Up for more game day ideas.

September 22, 2008


Last night we joined New York in saying goodbye to the House that Ruth Built, ushering in the new era in Yankees baseball. Or as I like to call it "the House that Roids built".

Farewell old friend.

September 18, 2008

Frugal Friday - Green Wedding Ideas

Only 6 more weeks till my wedding!! :)

What's better than a frugal idea? A green frugal idea! (That way you can have something to blame your cheapness on when someone mocks you.) Mr. Right and I decided to go the route when it came to invitations.

I was reading the etiquette I found that the reason for the double envelopes, was that back in the day the mail system wasn't as reliable and sometimes the invitations would arrive damaged. The extra envelope was just to protect the invitation. Since the mail system is more reliable, the only purpose they serve now is to cost you more money and fill the landfills.

After a (very brief) discussion on this topic, Mr. Right and I had no problems eliminating this extra cost. Although I will admit I have received an invitation in the single envelope and thinking "how cheap" as I threw everything in the garbage. Funny how perspectives can so quickly change.

Another idea we borrowed was the idea of sending a RSVP postcard, rather than card and envelope. We got our cards printed on each side for only $5 extra dollars - one side had the RSVP information and the other had my mother's name and address already printed on there. All I had to do was add the postcard stamp and the RSVP cards were done!

For more frugal ideas, head over to Biblical Womanhood and check out Frugal Friday!

its official...

my first conflict with my future mother-in-law. apparently the next-door neighbor came crying to her about not being invited to the wedding, just the reception. so they want to invite her. i say that if we invite her than it opens it up and we have to invite more friends (how offensive to say that someone is invited because they are a "close friend" implying that your friendship is secondary.)

i made mr. right mediate last night, and of course he agrees with his mother. i'm not sure what to do. give in and be done with the stress (for now) or stand firm. they are coming in next week so i suppose we'll discuss it more then.

Things I Love Thursday: McDonald's coke

McDonald's coke is my favorite carbonated beverage in the world. For whatever magic reason, it is drastically better than any other fountain beverage. I know that makes no sense. Everyone has boxes of coke, and carbonation tanks - they all work the same. But I'm telling you its different.

Better than crack really.

Not that I know what crack is like.

wedding details + family drama = stress

McDonald's coke + sunshine = heaven

For more great products, check out the Diaper Diaries TILT!

September 16, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: High Heels

I love flip flops and tennis shoes just as much as the next girl, but I have learned that heels give women a certain kind of power that we must not take lightly.

If tennis shoes = comfort

then heels = sexy

I have to say that I was quite thrilled early in our relationship when Mr. Right encouraged me to wear tennis shoes on one of our dates (that was the night we officially became a couple). I'm a girly tomboy, so it was nice to know that both sides would be appreciated by my new boyfriend.

While he's use to seeing me in tennis shoes and work out clothes (I frequently work out after work before I head over to his place) I love it when I get all dressed up on the weekend and put on a pair of heels - they make me feel far more attractive in a pair of jeans than I would otherwise.

I understand that looking good for your man and feeling good for yourself are important, heels serve another purpose in my life - getting me the help I need in the hardware store or the automotive store. This tactic only works if the prices are fixed (otherwise it has the opposite effect), but whenever I head to one of those stores in my work clothing, I get almost immediate assistance. Apparently a well dressed woman in a store that sells hardware looks like a damsel in distress, and men have it programed in their brains to rush to her rescue.

I first noticed this phenomenon when purchasing oil and a filter for my car at Wal-Mart. Armed with my feminist "I can do it myself" attitude, I went into the automotive section armed with the knowledge that "the book" would have my filter number and all I would have to do was find the number from the book on a box (thanks Daddy!). He warned that an automotive store would be more helpful, although their products my be $1 or $2 higher.

He's apparently never shopped at Wal-Mart in a skirt and heels. No sooner did I get to the book and start to open it, but I had a sales associate by my side looking through the book for me.

Last week, Mr. Right went out to the new house to do some work. He couldn't stop by the home improvement store first because he didn't know what items he would need before looking at the broken pipe. Instead of wasting gas coming back into town, he called me and had me write down what he needed.

Once again I was determined to do it on my own, but armed...I mean shod with a pair of heels I once again found myself rescued by a knight in a blue vest. And he did actually help me. (Did you know there is a difference between a compression coupling and a regular coupling? I didn't and he saved me $3 and a trip back to the store.)

The way I see it, dragons (in the form of car salesman, mechanics, and the like) have been going after princess for years, its about time we turned the tables and appreciated the knights willing to help us.

For more tips and tricks, check out Rocks in My Dryer's Works for Me Wednesday.


Our wedding invitations went out last Monday, and we're already starting to get RSVP cards back-some as early as Thursday! One of my relatives said that they received their invite on Tuesday, which means that a couple of the guests immediately filled it out and dropped it in the mail on Wednesday for us to receive it the next day! At least we know 4 people that are excited about coming. :P

Unfortunately, I have already had a couple "regretfully decline"s. Because of my large family (I have 24 first cousins invited, plus spouses), Mr. Right and I haven't gotten to invite a large number of friends to the wedding. 6 of our "no" responses have been friends. One couple can't come because she has been training for a while for a bike ride in another state. The other couple (how has two middle school age girls) can't come because a family member is getting married on the same day. I understand, but I can't help but be disappointed that they won't be there to help celebrate.

I'll confess that a mailbox full of "yes" cards would have stressed me out as well. The reception hall comfortably holds 150, and we invited around 200 people. I realize that you're no supposed to count on people saying no, but there was just no way around it. And if all 200 would have said they were delighted to join us, I suppose everyone would be eating pot roast off their laps in a folding chair.

Thankfully, Mr. Right has said he will be the one to solve for any seating problems that arise. I doubt that he's confident that he can do it, but rather just sick of hearing me stress about it!

My dear mother, bless her heart (as we say in the south when we really don't mean it), ended up inviting more people. I had invited my great aunt and put "and girls" on the invitation, because I knew that she would have to get one of her daughters to drive her. On the phone with one of the daughters, my mom ends up extending the invitation to even more of the family - telling them that they are all welcome to bring their husbands also. So now instead of 2-3 people possibly coming, we have a potential for 8.

This is not to mention the wedding versus reception invite stress. The national park only allows weddings to have 50 guests, so we had to limit the guests to the wedding to family - parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and only a handful of cousins. Everyone else is just invited to the reception, although we want to play the wedding video at the reception site so everyone can see it. But now I'm stressed that people will be offended that they are only getting invited to the reception. My sister told me that it would look like I was just being cheap, but in fact its quite the opposite. If I was being cheap, I would have just invited them to the wedding or not at all!

September 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Back on the Wagon

Even though we're still in the process of moving, I'm going to attempt a menu for the week - but no promises we're sticking to it.

Monday - Pizza

this is assuming Mr. Right remembers to get it out of his freezer before he leaves his apartment to work on the house

Tuesday - Olive Garden leftovers

We took my mom out to eat this weekend for her birthday and left with a bagful of food. We don't have our microwave installed yet, but I can reheat the pasta on my beautiful new cook top stove. :)

Wednesday - Salsa chicken

If we work on the house we'll switch things around, but this is definitely a stay at the apartment and pack kinda meal

Thursday - Shells & Cheese

Depending on which location we're at, it may be just two boxes of shells and cheese. If we're at the apartment packing up, I'll make Tex Mex Shells and cheese with ground beef, chili ready diced tomatoes, and the shells and cheese.

Friday - Dinner with friends

The Melting Pot! :) I've never been to a fondue restaurant before and I'm very much looking forward to it!!

For more menu planning ideas, head over to Menu Plan Monday.

Paper & Plastic or Stoneware & Silver

I'm currently experiencing the one time in life where a girl is encouraged to be selfish, and I desperately with I didn't have to be. As ridiculous as it sounds I'm duty bound to bask in the tidal wave of gifts - things we don't truly need, but rather would make our home more aesthetically pleasing.

Sure, I'd love to have a new set of dinnerware, but that hand-me-down set from my sister has worked fine for years and I'm sure that wouldn't stop after "I do". My first (of four) shower went exceptionally well. So what's the big problem?

Tonight I got a call from my church asking if I could go to the New Orleans/Texas area to help work a food trailer. My heart soared - my work with disaster relief after Katrina was one of the most blessed times in my life. I looked forward to being able to make a difference in a very real way again. We would leave3 on the 20th and potentially come back on the 27th. The 27th? That's the day of my shower in West Virginia for Mr. Right's family. Invitations have already been sent and plans have already been made.

So please, fell sorry for me, as I lay in bed crying off my $15 anti-wrinkle cream. Because instead of helping feed people who's lives were damaged by Hurricane Ike, I have to put on my Sunday best, smile as I'm introduced to dozens of strangers, and open $20 dinner plates and $30 silverware place settings.

This isn't the person I want to be. So why do my actions say otherwise? My heart is breaking right now. I think its safe to assume that God could say the same.

September 10, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Taco Bell

I tried to be a good meal planner as Mr. Right and I were closing on our new house. I did pre-cooking prep work on several different items (browning ground beef, cooking noodles to be reheated, cooking rice). And for the first week everything went well. Then Mr. Right started getting busy with his job (he works for himself so his hours are whenever he sets them). At that point our days over at the new house became very inconsistent. On days that he has clients interested in looking at property, I can't expect him to go over to the house and paint all day.

Making things worse, from day to day he's not sure when we'll be at the new house. Thankfully we have appliances now (the first week I was cooking on an electric skillet) but he's got the kitchen a mess from his painting that I wouldn't eat anything that was prepared in that disaster area.

Which brings me to what works for me - the Taco Bell value menu. I had asked him to get a frozen pizza out of the at his place freezer on his way to the house. But with a few things on his mind (like one contract he's writing up and another he's trying to finalize) he forgot to get our food. So instead, we stopped at Taco Bell. He got 3 $0.99 bean burritos and I got the $0.79 nachos and a $0.89 burrito (which was actually more than I could eat).

Not quite the $2.50 we would have had in our frozen pizza, but it was a good hot meal with no effort. And when it comes down to it, I'd rather spend $6 on fast food than loose several thousand on a contract falling through.

For more tips and ideas, check out Works for me Wednesday.

September 09, 2008


I got in trouble last night with Mr. Right. I started Sunday night (I guess all the excitement of the shower got me pumped up) on my thank you cards. I did more on my break at work yesterday. Last night when I mentioned them, Mr. Right was very disappointed because he hadn't gotten to sign his name on the ones I had already sent out.

I've always given my mother a hard time about writing birthday cards "I thank God for a special daughter." or "I love you" and then signed "Mama and Daddy". I tease her that she should write "we" or else let him sign it himself.

I knew it was bound to happen - but I've turned into my mother already! In my thank you notes I wrote "Mr. Right and I" and then signed both of our names at the bottom.

I had gotten about 12-15 knocked out before last night, so there was no going back on those cards. Instead last night we just started an assembly line with the next wave of them.

September 08, 2008

Wedding Shower Weekend

Yesterday was my first bridal shower - the big one too. Both sides of my family were invited as well as family friends. Last Monday night one of my cousins (I have around 25 1st cousins) called to say that everything was gone off my registry and I needed to come down and add more items. Unfortunately the company is in the process of a web site/registry over hall, so I just had to write down the items on a piece of paper. I got excited when I realized that people were actually out shopping for me!

I received quite the stash:

Amazing, since I three more showers to go: one for my friends, one for Mr. Right's family, and one for his family friends (they are in a different state from his family which is why we are having two).

I am certainly one blessed lady!

September 05, 2008

Frugal Friday - Do it yourself

Trying to keep my wedding costs down, I've got several do-it-yourself projects. A good friend of mine suggested that we make the boutonnieres and corsages rather than pay a florist - that project is for a later Frugal Friday when I can post pictures of how great they turned out. I'm making my own veil. Kits are $15 at Hobby Lobby. The fancy veils you buy at the bridal store run around $100. If I mess up the kit, for $15 I can scrap it and go a different direction.

Another project I'm looking forward to is making the cake topper. I saw the idea on ebay and plan on recreating the idea myself. This weekend (after my first gown fitting tomorrow morning) I'm heading to the craft store to pick up my veil kit as well as some letters and paint. Mr. Right purchased some sponge brushes to paint the tiny trim areas of the house, so I'll just steal one of those for my project. And I'll make his project figuring out how to stick the letters into the cake.

My to do list:
purchase/make veil
1st dress fitting (not at all frugal)
purchase/make cake topper
start thank you notes (after Sunday's shower)

September 04, 2008


Sorry, couldn't help myself. I got my first gift in the mail today!!! I'm so excited, but I'm waiting till this weekend to open it.

Straight Sexy Hair

Sorry to be MIA for a few days but real life has gotten a hold of me. Monday was of course a holiday and due to my limited computer access I couldn't post about the exciting world of washing down baseboards and masking off rooms to be painted. Tuesday I had to take the day off to meet with the locksmith to change the locks and let the appliance delivery guys in. Oh, and I had to run into Belk and add more items to my registry.

Short side story: I hadn't put much on my registry because I was afraid of looking too greedy. Monday night my cousin called me saying I only had 4 items left and they weren't available at that store. Thankfully I got their the next day to add more items because the first Tuesday of the month is Senior day - they get a 10-15% discount so a lot of my family was waiting till then to go shopping.

Yesterday I was busying playing catch up at work - thankfully to be seated behind my desk all day rather than working my buns off at the house. So that brings us to today, Things I love Thursday.

One thing I love (although I haven't used recently) is Straight Sexy Hair Smooth and Seal My mom bought it as a surprise treat for me last time she was at the salon. You spray it on your hair right before you take the straightener to it. It gives my hair that polished look when I straighten it. Unfortunately for me, I've been sporting a t-shirt, shorts, and a ponytail for the past few days. But this product will be perfect for this Sunday. I'm having my first bridal shower after church so I won't be able to go home and redo my hair. This way my hair will stay straight and unfrizzy all day.

Check out the Diaper Diaries for more TILT suggestions!