Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Shopping on a Shoestring

Had a fun day ending the year with some super savings!! I had $30.00 in Kohl's cash along with a $10.00 off coupon if you spent $30.00. In addition I also had a MDSE credit for a vest one of our DD's bought for me I had returned. We needed NOTHING!!! However Kara and Blake are in the midst of a growth spurt, they both could use a few things. Four tops and a pair of pants for Kara, two onesies and pants for Blake. Total cost ZERO and I still have $5.40 left on the MDSE credit. Sweet!
 Here is how it worked. With the sale price I had saved $116.06 right off the bat leaving a balance due of $63.94. Now for the deductions, $30.00 in bucks, $10.00 coupon offer leaving a new balance of $25.68. I didn't want to spend a dime if I could avoid it :) I used the MDSE credit from the return to bring the balance to Zero. Love that :)
On the way home I had to pop into the grocery for  few things. I started scoping out the buggies of 75% off items leftover from Christmas. Bingo!!!! M&M's marked down to $2.19 a bag, regular price $4.99. WoHoo I had a few coupons to boot $1.00 off two bags :) Nice!!! Knowing I had more coupons at home for M&M's I held back on purchasing more until I threw those additional coupons in my purse. As luck or unluck would have it I needed 2 additional avocado's for a snack I was making for the BIG game tomorrow, bake to the grocery. Scored 6 additional bags of M&M's. Our family could care less what color M&M's are as long as they are mixed in with their very favorite cookie :)

The next few weeks are a great time for some super money savings at the grocery, Keep your eyes out for some quick sweet bread mixes, cakes, candies, tea's, hot chocolate, all sorts of special goodies that will be great for the long winter days ahead. Christmas still my heart!!!! They will be fine for next years sugar cookie/gingerbread baking days.

If I play my cards right and hubby will play nicely tomorrow to help me finish a project I will share one of my last minute dirt cheap Christmas gifts from this year that would be a great gift anytime of the year.

Happy New Year to all

Monday, December 29, 2014

Have You Recovered?

 With 24 hours still left on the clock I was able to finish the last of our Christmas stockings!!! YAAAA
 So happy that All of the stocking were hung with care by Christmas Eve :)
 Christmas Eve at my sisters where we open our gifts from the name exchange we do at Thanksgiving followed by a Christmas movie at our home where the big and little kiddo's spend the night.
 Santa was as always very generous bringing lots of toys and practical gifts as well. Only at Christmas will a kiddo get this excited over a pair of mittens :)
 The wonderful, crazy, loud morning begins
A Christmas morning nap is the prefect ending after beautiful time with family
Just a short post today as hubby is back to work for the first time in a week!!! Ya for me I will have some badly needed quite time to catch my breath before the next round of festivities begin.
Hubby and I kicked it into high gear the day after Christmas to undecorated and remove our dead live tree in the family room. What the heck might as well do the whole room :) Maybe it was a sugar high from all of the cookies or just the fact that I couldn't clean with all of the beautiful Christmas decorations all over the house, we took it all down in just two days!!
Yesterday was laundry day. Every bed in the house needed to be stripped and washed, bath towels galore, kitchen towels, over mitts, throw rugs, the works.
 To top it off we switched the family room and living room sofa's out. The family room now has so much more seating but is also wall to wall in sofa's. For now it's OK it but it may have to be switched back as it is mighty crowed for my taste :)
I do believe there will be some decluttering going on in the near future for me. What is it about the New Year that inspires me to do a clean sweep? We have a BIG winter project on the books at our home that I so want to get started on but I know better than to start now as we have company coming in for New Years and the BIG game on New years day.
Dear over crowed, fire trap, attic, your days are numbered!!!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

From our house to yours
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2014

Power Baking

 Hubby and I delayed our nightly Christmas movie over the weekend for an evening of fast food and Christmas light viewing. How in the world do they do all of this!!! Amazing!
 I had not baked a single holiday treat until Saturday morning, figured I better wait until I knew the stomach bug was gone for good before I fired up the oven. This is what POWER baking looks like Ladies! No bake cookies, white chocolate krispies, chocolate covered nuts, red velvet cookies, and snicker doddle's.
 Angle sugar cookies, M&M cookies, chocolate Krinkles, red velvet still drying, and good old fashion chocolate chip cookies.
 Sunday's baking was sugar cookies and the dough for gingerbread houses
 After Sunday dinner we put the grands to work decorating their own sugar cookies. They had a fabulous messy time.
 Some got a little heavy handed with the sprinkles but what the heck. Restock Christmas sprinkles are on the list for after Christmas sales :)
Before starting the cookie marathon Saturday morning I meet to have breakfast with one of my BFF's to exchange the last of the hand made gifts for the year. Stockings for she and her grand :) She has been wanting to do a stocking kit for her sweet little grand for a few years but just doesn't have the time with working a demanding full time job. I still have tater Tot's to complete but.....time is running out his might not make it to the mantel until next year :)
Today looks to be a full day of holiday preparations. Gingerbread houses need to be cut, baked, and assembled for the grands to decorate, a few more GC to be purchased, a tiny bit of sewing to complete, lots more wrapping for hubby to knock out, and maybe a last minute gift for our big girls I would like to make. Laundry, cleaning, and bill paying is also much needed!!
I did NOTHING after Sunday dinner last night other than enjoy a Christmas movie with hubby and DD#2. We celebrated SIL#1's Birthday this Sunday on top of enough cookies to choke a horse add BD cake to the menu and I think you can guess the sugar high the grands were on. Holy cow!!!!!
Diner was interesting.....I really didn't have the time or energy to make a large meal with all the fixins so we went with what I refer to a "man's" meal, also known as lets clean out the freezer a bit. Hubby was assign to the grill, steaks, pork ribs, grilled shrimp, and boiled shrimp. Yep a meal of meat. I did throw a pot of chicken noodle soup on but had to use store bought noodles, they lived :) The boys were happy as pigs in the mud with all of that meat, the girls enjoyed a nice bowl of soup with home made rolls.
If I can pull off getting the gingerbread houses for the grands baked and assembled today I will be one happy lady I can tell you!!  Until those suckers are done I can remove mopping the kitchen floor from my list, that should free up an hour or two of time don't you think?
It's all so crazy and messy and could be stressful if I let it be but I WON"T!!! I have all winter to scrap frosting from the walls and floors. The gifts they will forget in a few months or days, the time together laughing, playing, and mess making will be with them forever and ever. Here is to all you Mommy's and Nanny's who aren't afraid of a little dirt every now and then :)

Friday, December 19, 2014

This is Worth Fighting the Traffic

 Who would have guessed our wild child Kara would be the shy one during her Christmas program this week! She has been singing at the top of her lungs and dancing to "Frosty The Snowman" for weeks. At the program....we could hardly hear her.
 Even after the program as she was giving us a tour of her pre school she was quite and reserved :)
 Karsyn too was not her normal bubbly self when it was her time to hit the stage with "We wish you a Merry Christmas" So sweet and serious.
 The show stopper was Mason Man as one of the Wise men. How sweet is this little face I ask you!!!
 Giving the family a smile and wave before his walk down the isle to Baby Jesus
I couldn't stop the tears as these two and three year olds put on their play of Christ's birth
I will say it again as I am sure I have a million times how VERY blessed we are to be a part of our Grands little lives. They are a loud, sloppy, sticky, buggery, mess of wonderful!!!!
After having the pleasure of attending all three of the toddlers Christmas programs the past two days I look around our home this morning at the 101 not finished To Do's and just smile. Really and truly who gives a crap :) All of this mess is just stuff, the real reason for the season we have been able to share with our big and little kiddo's.
Enough said :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Crunch

 I should have taken a photo of the one and only semi hand quilted Christmas quilt before I washed it!
 The hand stitching is hard to see once it's washed and dried. I used (8) weight red pearl cotton, love the warm cozy look it gives to any quilt.
 However.....My planning was WAY OFF!!! I had not one, not two, but three Christmas quilts on my gift giving list. Hand quilting each one was out of the question if they were to be in their new homes in time for Christmas. Free motion quilting to the rescue!!!!! Two down one to go!
 While the days are filled with shopping, errands, sewing, and such (notice no mention of cleaning) My evenings are spent in what hubby calls my nest. As much as I have enjoyed hand stitching in the evenings watching Christmas specials with him it's crunch time, they need to be done!!!!
 Four done two to go, I think I can, I think I can
All the beautiful pictures of Santa's workshop....Ya right!! This is the reality!!! Every surface of our kitchen and breakfast room is covered in gifts, lists. and sewing.

While the bug has decided to linger a few more days with saltines in hand I tried to get organized this morning. Hubby has 4 piles of gifts to wrap tonight if he expects anything for supper. Carry out....forget it, the table is also covered, the traffic is a mess in the evenings here, and lets not talk about the check book balance. Not only does hubby stepping up to the plate in the gift wrapping department help me out enormously it also helps curb his "Did we buy enough? Should we shop some more?" tendency's. No doubt there will be gift holes to fill before we are done but on the whole the big kids have plenty!!!

Time to fire up the sewing machine, there is no time to waste, pre school Christmas programs begin this afternoon.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Cheer

 Saturday morning was our 25th annual Lawn Mower Christmas Parade.
 Hubby was looking sporty on his 1969 tractor with it's modified pipe :)
 I hope Blake isn't disappointed once all the sights and sounds of Christmas is over. He is so enjoying all his Papaw's singing dancing snowmen
 After Sunday dinner the little ones got busy on their Christmas gifts for the birds. Peanut butter/seed pin cones. Sweet Mason took a lick of his hands, "Nanny I no like crunchy peanut butter" Oops, thankfully it didn't make him sick :)
 The little girls decorated one of the Peach trees for the "Burdies" . They dug little holes around the trees and planted the extra seeds so we can "Growed" more seeds for later. Be still my heart maybe they will be gardeners!!
After the parade Saturday we picked out our live family tree, ouch they have gotten sky high! The grands job as I was finishing up Sunday dinner was to get the thing decorated. I love that the big kids share their memories of the different ornaments with their own kiddo's. Nothing fancy about this tree, lots and lots of things our big girls had made over the years from pre school to College.

Just when you think it's about to come together, things are falling into place, the shopping is almost done, the bank account is not bone dry (yet) something is bound to go wrong....The stomach bug hits!!! Holy cow, I have been down since Sunday evening. Today I think I might live :) If I can get the last of the boxes in the mail today I will feel like I have won a gold medal!!

I am putting hubby to work tonight on wrapping. There is no doubt that we will need to do a bit more shopping most likely for the big boys but I have lost count of who got what and how many of whatever. I lost my list of lists, more than likely one of the little girls have used it for drawing.

The house is looking down right shabby, somebody needs to do some cleaning but with 3 gifts still in the works it will just have to wait. I have been so sick hubby had to cook supper last night, OK so it was only canned soup but still he found the can opener, warned it up, served, and cleaned up!!!! He is a keeper for sure :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Be somebody's Christmas Blessing

 Our Christmas Angel for this year ask for very little. A doll house, roller skates, and a Frozen doll. Having 3 daughters of our own I know from experience girls always enjoy a new outfit at Christmas so we fluffed up her list a bit with a cute purple outfit. We have already had some record breaking cold weather, might as well add a coat to her loot :) When hubby and I were picking out her doll house  he suggested we should buy a little extra furniture and accessories :) Her skates....I had regular pink skates in our buggy, hubby questioned why weren't we getting Frozen skates since we know she must like Frozen. Bubba the frozen skates are $20.00 more. His words to me "Christmas is not the time to go cheap, get the ones she will be excited about!!"
 Yesterday a good friend posted on FB that there were a whole lot of Seniors left on a local Angel tree. That will not do!! After sharing the post with others hubby and I went to pick out a Senior Angel. As you can see we ended up picking a few :)

Not sure if the photo is clear enough to read their wish lists
Ronald ask for : Socks, PJ's, blanket, deodorant, and a radio
Robert ask for : Sweat suit, throw blanket, chocolate, toothbrush and comb
Flora Mae ask for : Robe, toaster, and toilet paper

All of these list hit our heart, they have ask for so little. Flora Mae's broke my heart :( who of us have toilet paper on our wish list?  So I am standing at the tree in the chamber of Commerce looking at Flora's list crying (without water proof mascara). How in the world in a country as wealthy as ours have elderly people who look forward to toilet paper under the tree. My emotions were all over the place today while shopping for these sweet people. Happy that we have more than enough to share with others, glad we have friends who pass the word to others the needs of our community on FB, and MAD that elderly people are doing without the basics. BTW I think I might be the only person in the store today weeping as I added Flora's toilet paper to my buggy.
Our adopted Seniors got every single thing on their lists. This was one time I went with Biggy size :) They all got minky blankets, they all got socks, they all got PJ's, they all got a radio/CD player, Ditto on every toiletries I could think of . Added some lavender hand lotion to Flora's stocking, we girls are never to old to smell good. Chocolate for betcha, along with lots of other store bought holiday snacks for all.

Certainly this is the season for giving but not just at Christmas. Winter is a wonderful time to do some giving without breaking a tight budget. Most of us are stuck in the house early during winter, its the perfect time to play the coupon game.

One of my favorites is CVS, coupons matched with sales in addition to CVS bucks, be still my heart!!!! EBT cards (food stamps) can't be used for hygiene products or cleaning supplies. Why not start a giving box of everything you can pick up for free or almost free playing the coupon game? Get the kiddo's involved, this is some hands on learning about saving and spending wisely along with helping children develop the "heart of a giver"

This is the best time of year to stock up on baking supplies, spices, and lots of the extras. The sales are great, the coupons are plentiful you can score some killer deals. Poor Mothers and Fathers are no different than any other parents, they too want to provide some special treats for their family. Trust me on this, your cakes and cookies will be so much sweeter knowing a family less fortunate is having some too because you took the time to search out the deals :)

Don't be that person who tells your kiddo's to clean their plate because children in Africa or wherever are hungry. Kids learn by example not words. Be the Mommy or Daddy who gets their kids involved. Have them help clip coupon, study the sales flyer's, shop for the food, and stock the charity box. Remind them when they are eating their special treats of how many children are enjoying the same special cookie, cupcake, or whatever because of THEM and all the hard work they have done putting that charity box together with you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Christmas Photo's

 What would Christmas be without the traditional Christmas Jammies photo? It's like trying to get a litter of puppies to sit still
 The boys had to get some wrestling in of course
 The girls were dancing and prancing
 Finally we got them in one place and looking forward, to heck with smiles at that point
 Don't let this sweet photo of the girls fool you, they are still a handful
 Together they rock our world
The boys can't wait until Tater Tot can join in for some tag team wrestling
I am over the top excited to have finally gotten our Christmas photo of the grands done last night!!!! As an added bonus we went to DD#1's home to take them so she was the winner of the mess they make :)
Hubby and I then hit the toy store to finish up shopping for our Christmas Angel. Yippee Skippy we are done with days to spare :) before it all needs to be turned in!!
Once home I ordered our Christmas cards. As much as I have loved doing hand made cards in the past some traditions just gotta go!! Thanks to Walgreen's and their great coupons I will be addressing Christmas cards by 9:00 AM today!!
DD#1 took the day off to try and catch up on her holiday goings and doings the kiddo's are in school/pre school. Excited to meet her for an ADULT breakfast this morning
Hubby also took the day off to work on his vintage lawn mower. Our Christmas parade is Saturday the pressure is on :) Once he gets his pride and joy street worthy we will begin to wrap gifts!!!!
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We still need to do a little more shopping for the big boys, pick up GC for the big kids, and pull a few more late nights of hand quilting but we are well on our way to the finish line.
What the heck was I thinking by doing just a "Little" bit of hand quilting on THREE quilts? I had visions of sitting in the evenings in front of the fire watching Christmas special with my man, maybe even nibbling on a cookie or two :) CRAZY!!!! Plans have changed. One quilt will now have a "Little" hand quilting, the other two will be machine only.
This season is all about knowing when to hold them and knowing when to fold them. Folding those quilts and getting them in the mail it is :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Some Fun Savings

 Hubby and I headed out for a bit of Christmas shopping last night with GC's in hand. I wanted to check the price for an electric knife we need for a Christmas gift. Well now what do you think a cordless electric knife might cost you? Drum roll...... $149.99, holy cow!!!! Needless to say the electric knife was moved to the big box store shopping list. Figured I might as well shop around for any deals they might have. Score!!! Turkey brine regular priced at $18.00 was marked down to $6.99, apple caramel sauce regular price $15.00 marked down to $5.99, Sanding sugar regular price $7.99 sale price $4.99. The little girls are head over heels for anything "Frozen" the sanding sugar will be a real hit with them. I do believe apple caramel sauce is yummy no matter what time of year:)
 We LOVE to brine our turkeys. The brand pictured above is really, really good however with a price tag of $18.00, the brine would cost as much as the turkey :) To get the great flavor of this brine but without the high cost I mix up a simple home made brine then mix it in with the fancy stuff.
 Results 4 pretty fancy brine mixes at a cost of $3.50 each. Regular price for the fancy stuff $72.00. Love that :)
The grands would like tree skirts for their mini Christmas trees Papaw and I picked up for them last week. After checking around for mini tree skirts the best price I found was $14.99 each. No way!! I found some leftover minky backing along with leftover ruffles to make "frozen" tree skirts for the little girls. Used leftover green felt for the boys along with rick rack in their favorite colors.

The last of today's savings was to make new bows for our window wreaths. I picked up the cutest ever door wreath after Christmas last year on sale at 75% off. Totally forgot until I hung the door wreath yesterday that the window wreaths no long matched, sigh We have a pretty cool store not far from home that has tons of floral supplies at dirt cheap prices IMO. 25 yards of sparkly wired ribbon for $6.99, nice....9 bows with enough leftovers for an additional one if needed for $6.99. I have no idea what a pre made bow runs but I do know even the dollar store they couldn't beat this price :)

I have spent the entire day going from one project to another in high gear. Some things I was able to complete others are a step closer to completion. I sew need to get two gifts in the mail no later than Friday of this week, I hope I can, I hope I can!!! Next week MUST be holiday baking. Our girls are always hitting us up for a cookie/snack platter at the last minute. A freezer full of goodies keeps this Nanny from pulling an all nighter!!!!

How are your holiday prep's going? Are you able to stay on budget so far? How about home made gifts? Do you feel like your chasing you tail trying to stay/get caught up?