Saturday, January 24, 2009

My First Shopping Trip!

I took my Coupon Binder to Smith's last night.
I had a bunch of anxiety as I walked in to the store, I told myself that it was going to be okay and I only had to buy one thing if I wanted. I could take it as slow as I needed to.
I picked out my items, took the coupons out of the binder, removing my staples as I went, keeping everything very organized.
I wheeled my cart up to a checker that had been at Smith's for awhile, but not their fastest.
I asked her if she wanted the coupons as we went or all at the end.
She said as long as I wasn't getting any free items it was better for her all at the end. Then she said, "Oooh, Good Coupons. This is homework. You know these stay-at-home mom's work on this stuff to save money and put in a lot of effort in to help their family. You should be very proud!"
All my anxiety melted away at that point. I didn't expect her to be so positive!
Very good trip for my first time out!
Yes I saved a bunches of money between my Smith's card, Sales and Coupons... $26 on a $73.00 bill! I got lots of groceries too! I started putting things away out of habit or I could have taken a picture and put it on with this post.
Today I went to Kohler's and stocked up on some Applesauce for the Blueberry Bake... I was out. Coupons plus a sale is a cool thing!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

At last...(menu plan)

Upcoming Dinners

BBQ Pork Sandwiches (using Pork Roast) and Cottage Cheese
Chili Sweet Potato Hash
Smothered Sweet Pork Burrito
Philly 20 minute Skillet Salmon
Cilantro Cream Chicken with Lime
Chicken Noodle Soup and Rolls
Ha! A meal plan! Now I can shop!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Birthday

I had an awesome Birthday this year.
On the night of my birthday, my Dad and Mom and my sister and brother-in-law and their kids came down to Salt Lake. I picked up Kenzie, Emily and Dennis and we all met at PF Changs.
Actually Kenzie, Sammi, and me are all celebrating birthdays this month so when we sang happy birthday we sang to all of us.
It was so nice to have so many of my family there! I wish I would remember to take pictures!
The next day Kenzie spent with her Daddy and he treated her to a massage at Zen Message. She probably was very appreciative of the treat after giving her bed to Amy and Mike and spending the night on the floor. (The spare bedroom has not recovered from Christmas, yet.)
Amy's Family and Emily and I went to Walking With The Dinosaurs. We sat in the Coca-Cola Suite where they fed us pizza and popcorn and cookies. We saw huge lifelike dinosaur replicas that were walking, roaring, fighting, eating each other, protecting their young,... it was the COOLEST show and I got to see it with those I love!
This is going to be a great year! SPARKLES!!!
Oh and I got the coolest birthday card from my folks. The message was one I needed to hear and remember...

Daughter,
If I were
your age again,
I'd spend a lot less time
examining what's wrong about me,
and a lot more time enjoying what's right
about me.

Because, you know what?
You're already perfect enough.

So, live life on your own terms.
Be who you are
and love what you love.
Reserve the right
to be wrong.

If things take an occasional turn
you hadn't planned on,
don't be tempted to call it a mistake.
Just call it life,
and tuck the experience
in your back pocket for safe-keeping.

Pretty soon you can
take it out,
share it with someone else,
and call it wisdom.
I'm not kidding.
That's how it works.

So, hey--enjoy the life you're in.
Be as happy as you can.
And feel how deeply and completely you are loved.
Always loved.

Dad and Mom

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Couponing Categories II

I had to update my Food Categories for my Coupon Organization. I think I'm done now.

FOOD

Baking- Ingredients

Baking- Oils

Beverages

Breads, Etc.

CANNED

Canned-Broths, Soups

Canned-Fruits

Canned- Legumes and Veggies

Canned- Meat

Canned- Other

Cereal

Condiments

(includes catsup, mayo, jams, peanut butter)

Dairy

Grains, ( and Dried Legumes, Potatoes)

Pasta

Produce

Other

FROZEN

Fruits

Desserts

Entrees

Sides

Veggies

Other

MEAT

Bacon / Sausage

Chicken

Lunch Meats

Other

GENERAL- HOUSEHOLD

Animals

Baby

Paper Goods

Plastic

Other

(includes film, batteries, lightbulbs, etc)

MEDICINE

Allergy

Antacids

Cold flu

Pain

Vitamins

CLEANERS

Air Freshener

All Purpose

Bathroom

Kitchen

Laundry

Other

PERSONAL CARE

Dental

Hair

Personal Care

Skin Care

Makeup

Soap

Other

OTHER


The CAPITAL Letters are Headings for Bigger Categories. I'm hoping these work out well for me.

Sunday Alone

Blueberry Bake as I've come to call it, is even better as a leftover. And we get plenty left over when I make this. I'm so loving it with the a mixture of 1/2 Six Grain Cereal and 1/2 Oatmeal.
The texture and flavor is phenomenal. I've warmed a little up for every meal today, trying to get caught up on getting organized around shopping, meal planning and (the house), in that order.
It's coming along. I'm in that stage where things get messier before they get cleaner. But I'm getting there. I'm not freaked out by coupon organization now, thanks to my new coupon binder and the little lesson I got on how to use it. I figured out my categories, and filed lots of coupons.
I need to get new labels as I had to peel and restick a few of them and write over the top of others, but I am so so happy about how I got it together now.
I also have entered the ingredients of like 4 dishes I like to make into my Splash Shopper program on my phone, for on the fly meal planning.
I haven't left the house at all yet, but I think I'm going to run down to Smith's real quick and get a few staples.
Good day, but when I look around, it looks like I didn't do a thing! You'll just have to trust me on that!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Biggest Fan

I asked my husband Dennis if he ever reads my blog. He said no. So I asked him why.
He said he's just not in to blogging at all!
Is it just me or does anyone see that the logic is a little skewed on that one?? LOL.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Categories for Couponing

These are my Food Categories for Shopping and Couponing. Obviously won't need the Baby Category at my house.
DECIDED ON 50 catogories later on... after I got my coupon binder. This is a bit boring to have two lists of categories so I removed this one...

These will be necessary for organization. I've got a price list put together which I adapted from PYP. They are the pros and have done all the legwork. I added these categories so I could shop easier and find my soon to be organized coupons as well.
I looked at a ton of videos on YouTube about couponing and coupon binder organization, many of these were done by fellow PYP'ers and they were very helpful. My favorite vlogger was Money Dummy, she's a teacher and she explained coupon clipping and the coupon binder organization really well. (Click link above, to see if you are interested.)
This can be pretty simple of fairly complex. Lots of categories means it might take a lot more time to file, but less time to find what I want. I'm going to be picky about what coupons I clip and not let it give me anxiety that I may miss out when granola bars are free with the coupon. (I don't eat granola bars.)
Still watching for my Daily Herald subscription.... not here yet!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Couponing

My subscription should have started Sunday, but for whatever reason it didn't, but the lady who I ordered them through is going to help me out by following up with them. She said they would probably deliver them later this week. Yeah!! (Glad you told me to call, Trish. I thought my order was still 'processing' or something.)
I just clicked on "coupon list" for the first time on the Pinching Your Pennies (PYP) website. (or if I clicked on it before, I didn't understand the beauty of what they had going on there.) It lists all the coupons and you can sort them all different ways and the ones that are expiring are blinking!!!
I think with all the coupons clipped out and sitting in makeshift envelopes I was wondering how you can keep track of it all.
Also, now that I actually have coupons, the whole PYP site looks different to me now. HOW COOL!! I am so glad that there is such a website and that there is all kinds of people on it at all different levels. It's Networking with a capital N and you can be as anonymous or as visible as you want.
I've been very intimidated by this whole couponing and PYP in the past, but recently I've given myself permission to just learn and get better over time.
Just reminded myself of my daughter Kaylee who at 3 years old was VERY frustrated with coloring. She noticed that people tried to stay "in the lines" and was doing her best, but if she messed up, she would cry and throw a mini tantrum and stop coloring. I had to make her repeat after me: "I am three years old,... and it is OK,... to color outside of the lines." We had to do this many times. Eventually she began to laugh about it and not take herself so seriously when it came to coloring. We both like to be very good at the things we choose to do, right away.
Sometimes I need to remember. "I am thirty seven years old (soon) and it is okay to color outside of the lines."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"How 'bout I DATE you, today?"

That's what Dennis asked when he got out of bed this morning. He said we should go to Zen Massage and both get massages. I thought carefully for about 5 tenths of a second and said, "Yes."We went to Zen Massage on 5520 and Van Winkle. Dennis and I both had appointments scheduled for 3:00 pm and we arrived about 5 minutes early. They also take walk-ins.
This was definitely not just a massage, it was an experience from the time you walked in the door.
They had us sit down in these super comfy chairs and poured us some yummy exotic white flowering tea and talked to us about how we were feeling and what we needed from our massages.
Dennis of course was mainly concerned about his leg (the last one he broke) and the pain he's having there. Me, I was all about tightness and pain in my neck and shoulders.
After we finished our tea we went back to our suite with Amy and Kaitlynn, our therapists and our newest favorite people. They told us to face down on our beds and that we should call them on the phone when we were ready.
The suite was very warmly and simply decorated. There was an amazing sound system and I'm guessing bamboo floors in the suites. There was a couch and the two massage beds.

After we climbed under the blankets they came in and each of us received "The Best Massage I Ever Had", we both agreed. They played zen music, the room was warm but not too warm. I cried after it was over. Seriously the best massage ever.
There was a shower with all the amenities in the suite, which I decided to take advantage of afterwards.
Then went back and sat and had a little more tea. So ultra relaxing!
AMAZING! I know!!! We are so spoiled!!!!
Also, we didn't have to break the budget! Partially because we know that Dennis is in need of massages right now and we have that built in to the budget and we have the personal care and gift budget that we pulled out of so I could get one too.
If you find you have enough personal care and wellness money or gift money in the budget (or fun money, medical expenses, etc..) you gotta go! No, seriously you gotta go!
My husband has the bestest ideas!! I love him so much!

Couponing Organization


This is my organization system so far. Yes it is a dish drainer. I don't think I'll be taking it to the stores. I haven't started getting multiple copies of coupons yet, but I thought I'd better organize what I have before I get 5 of everything tomorrow.
It's kind of paralyzing at this point. I have coupons that may save me money at home so I can't just stop by the grocery store and shop, because I might spend more than I need to. I HAVE to have a plan.
I have checkout anxiety. This kind of reminds me of back in the day when I had food stamps and they wouldn't let you tear the coupons out of the book and organize them until you were paying. I'm worried about how long it will take in line.
I'm worried that I will forget that the Walgreens coupons are double sided or that I meant to pull out 5 coupons for that and I only used one...
Yikes! Who worries about this kind of stuff? Lol, it's just coupons right?
I know this gets more complicated tomorrow. It'll be ok right?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Breakfast Bake Tag

Oh yeah, Baby! It's good.
Upon closer inspection, it turns out I used Six Grain Cereal from the Lehi Roller Mills to make this. This worked very well and creates a very interesting texture for the tongue! This reminds me of something you would get at a Bed and Breakfast.
So go to the recipe and make it. Make it for your kids, your grandkids, your coworkers, anyone who could use cheering up in the mornings...
Amber and Jamie, YOU are it! See my last post for link to the recipe, you won't be sorry if you choose to play! OK, I tagged two people, like I said before, My Blog My Rules! ;) Oh and if you want to make it and post without being tagged you get immunity in the next round. (I'm just making stuff up, now.)
Warning: Dennis said that it doesn't go with Steak at all and is definitely NOT a dinner! He said it is good. That's saying quite a bit because we bought a HUGE bag of the Six Grain Cereal and ended up giving it to my parents because Dennis didn't really care for it! He sounds picky, huh? He's not really, if you stick to protein, ... he's very open to most meat. ;)
Oh, I served right out of the oven with milk and just a tiny bit of Vanilla Creamer!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Berry Baked Oatmeal Breakfast


Well if you have been paying attention to what they have been eating at Trish's house Baked Blueberry Oatmeal keeps showing up on the Menu Plan. Recently she mentioned that it was a keeper and I really got excited. So I found the link on her blog that takes you to the recipe at and then I noticed that The Little Red Hen Food Site had recently tried this recipe as well!
So in my mind Trish started a little game of Recipe Tag and since I saw that The Little Red Hen was obviously "it" when she made it on January 4th, and since I saw that post, and was the first one to comment since Trish, I am now it. Can you start a game of tag like that??? Oh well, it's my blog, I make the rules here! ;)
So I've mixed the ingredients and it takes less than 5 minutes so when you find out that you are "it" you will know that the time commitment is not big. It's super easy... no excuses.
Oh and the rule is that you must take a picture of your Bake and let us know if you had to alter the recipe.
Since I am making it in an 8" x 8" pan I will increase cooking time by 15 minutes as The Little Red Hen did when she made it in the smaller pan. (Recipe is for a 9"x9").
So who's it? Well I'm checking it out in the morning and I'll tag if it's yummy. But be prepared... I have it on good authority that it's so YUMMMY!
Recipe was altered because I didn't have blueberries, but I did have a can of blueberries, boysenberries, blackberries and strawberries. But my gut feeling is that just blueberries are better, since there are less seeds. But you gotta do what ya gotta do right? See ya tomorrow!
Yay! A game!!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Draper Soup

When we are having a late night at work we sometimes stop at Citrus Grill in Draper, Utah on the way home. We like their house soup which is a Sweet Potatoe Corn Chowder. I’ve done my best to recreate it here. I think it's yummy!


Ingredients
•2 tablespoons butter
•Extra-virgin olive oil
•1 onion, diced
•3 garlic cloves, minced
•6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
•1/4 cup all-purpose flour
•6 cups canned chicken stock
•2 cups heavy cream
•3 med Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced
•3 cups frozen Sweet White Corn
•3 dried red peppers crushed
•3 dashes cayenne pepper
•tsp tumeric (for color)
•2 Tablespoons chili powder
• Tablespoon coriander
•Salt and freshly ground black pepper
•1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are good and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Dust the vegetables with flour and stir to coat everything well. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the cream and the potatoes, bring to a boil and boil hard for about 7 minutes, until the potatoes break down (this will help to thicken the soup and give it a good texture).
Add the corn to the soup. Season with salt and peppers and other seasoning and simmer until the corn is soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the parsley and give it another little drink of olive oil. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with seasoned flat bread.

Sparkle!!

"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004)

I remember my sister Misty telling her girls to "Shine!" when they were about 2 and 3 years old. They would put their hands in the air and wiggle their fingers and smile. They were so cute. I just had to "Shine!" with them; it felt surprisingly good to "Shine!". Ariel and Cortney knew exactly what to do to "Shine!"
My word of the year that I selected was "Sparkle!" I've thought about this silly word for days now and am now absolutely sure that this year I want to "Sparkle!".
  • I want to have that certain sparkle about (me, the thing that says I have energy and eagerness and smile a lot.
  • I want my husband to think; "Yes, somehow she managed it. I didn't quite know what she meant but she's done it. She's definitely got sparkle!"
  • I want things around me to sparkle,... my kitchen, my floors, my bathrooms.
I've borrowed some definitions/synonyms here to refer to later as I try to bring some "sparkle" into an ordinary day.

  1. A lively, emphatic, eager quality or manner: animation, bounce, brio, dash, esprit, life liveliness, pertness, spirit, verve, vigor, vim vivaciousness, vivacity, zip.
  2. Sparkling, brilliant light: flash, glint, glisten, glister, glitter, scintillation, shimmer.
  3. Brilliant, showy splendor:, gorgeousness, magnificence, resplendence, resplendency, sumptuousness.
  4. To gleam, glimmer, glint, glisten, glister, glitter, scintillate, shimmer, twinkle, wink.
Cheesy, I'll admit, but it seems like a little sparkle in my life is just what I need.
free glitter text and family website at FamilyLobby.com

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Music Man and Main Street Pizza Noodle

Dennis, Kaylee, Kenzie and I all went to a play at the Egyptian Theater in Park City. It was really nice to do something different from the usual and we all had a good time. The girls even put the phone away at the play and the restaurant without being asked.
The Egyptian Theater is TINY. It took a lot of ingenuity to do the scene changes and they did a really good job. All the backgrounds had two sides and all they had to do was flip them around.
I had never seen "The Music Man". It reminds me of the play "The Rainmaker" as far as the plot goes.
After the play we went down to Main Street Pizza and Noodle. We had the pasta. SO yummy, but land sakes that place is expensive! We each got our own pasta plate and while it was very very good, Kenzie did just as good the other night, her chicken was better, and if we would have taken the time to make our own noodles and some pizza dough bread, it would have been all that and more. Don't think I"ll be spending money on that place for a good long while. But I digress...
School is starting and the girls are going back home to their other homes. Kenzie will be back in a couple of weeks and we'll probably see Kaylee again in the spring. It's been very nice having them here. Kaylee even got to go to Kenzie's birthday party this time. Today is the day and I probably should go wake them so they can get ready to leave me again. :(

Friday, January 2, 2009

I think I'll Try... "Couponing"

So I got myself a month to month subscription of the Sunday Daily Herald so I can try out this couponing thing. I am a newbie to this and although Trish showed me a little a couple of years ago I really don't remember too much about it. I think life is much more settled now, though and I might actually be able to make back the money I spend on the paper and organize around shopping a lot more than I have done in the past.
I have been reading on Pinching Your Pennies' website to brush up a little bit and saw a COOL looking binder that a lady who goes by CouponMom is selling for a hefty $75 dollars. I am wondering if it's worth the money? I know you don't NEED it, but it looks helpful. I'll put off buying one for a couple of months for sure. Unless it would improve the likelihood of my success. (A lot of pressure to earn back $75 dollars you spent on a Binder, though.)
I have been using the grocery smarts list and that's been pretty nice. It is really great for finding out what a good deal is and when to stock up. I've stocked up on some good deals. I've noticed the difference in the grocery bill already and would like to take it up a notch or two.
I could use all the tips and pointers you have the time to give me. For instance do you recommend cutting all coupons , or is that too time intensive? Should I date all pages of the inserts? Should I try and meal plan before I shop or shop and then meal plan?
If the couponing thing turns out to be too demanding I'll quit the subscription and try it out when I am more ready for the commitment.
Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

C. Beth Blog ~ Word of the Year

I love C. Beth. She writes well and she's pretty dang funny. She has a couple of blogs and I read them both whenever I can. One is The One Minute Writer and she does a daily prompt on some subject and you write about it for one minute.
I love reading what others wrote and if I'm inspired I'll leave a comment with my one-minute writing. I've also clicked on some of her followers and a lot of them have pretty awesome blogs too.
So I'm actively considering my resolutions for the new year, and come across the idea to pick a word of the year that inspires you or reminds you of a trait you want to pursue, or a quality you want to enhance in your life.
C.Beth got the idea from Lisa Leonard's Blog which is pretty great too, lots of awesome photos.
Lindsay had a good one: Simplicity.
Now I'm actively considering resolutions and my word of the year. What's yours?

The big plunge...

Starting Weight 193.8
Week 1 194.2 - +.4
W- 2 190.2 - -4.0
W- 3 186.4 - -3.8
W- 4 186.2 - -0.2
W- 5 184.0 - -2.2
W- 6 184.5 - +0.5
W- 7 185.0 - -0.5
W- 8 183.2 - -1.8
W- 9 180.0 - -3.2
W- 10 183.2 - +3.2
W- 11 179.0 - -4.2
W- 12 177.1 - -1.9
W- 13 175.1 - -2.0
W- 14 171.6 - -3.5
W- 15 169.9 - -1.7
W- 16 168.4 - -1.5
W- 17 165.4 - -3.0
W- 18 161.9 - -3.5
W- 19 165.4 - +3.0
W- 20 163.0 - -2.4
W- 21 165.8 - +2.8
W- 22 162.0 - -3.8
W- 23 159.8 - +0.4
W- 24 158.0 - -2.7
W-k 25 156.4 - -1.6
W- 26 154.3 - -2.1
W- 27 153.9 - -0.4
W- 28 152.0 - -1.9
August 30, 2009
W- 29 149.9 - -2.1
W- 30 147.7 - -2.2
W- 31 147.1 - -0.6
W- 32 149.5 - +2.4
W- 33 151.3 - +1.8
W- 34 150.2 - -1.1
W- 35 150.8 - +0.6
W- 36 150.3 - -0.5
W- 37 149.1 - -1.2
W- 38 149.8 - +0.7
W- 39 150.1 +0.3
W- 40 156.3 +6.2
W- 41 153.3 -3.0
W- 42 152.6 -0.7
W- 43 152.6 -0.0
W- 44 150.7 -1.9
W- 45 152.4 +1.7
W- 46 153.0 +0.6
W- 47 152.3 +0.7
W- 48 150.1 -2.2

W- 49 147.5 -2.6
W- 50 146.3 -1.2
...
...
W- 53 151.0 +2.0
W- 54 149.3 -1.7
W- 55 144.9 -4.4
W- 56 144.1 -0.8
W- 57 140.0 lbs. Goal!!!!