fancy it up a bit

Last night we enjoyed a night at home. I am no fancy cook, that's for sure. However, I do enjoy throwing a quick meal together here and there. My "recipe" dinners usually only happen on the weekend or in the summer. The other meals I make are "tried and true" meals that I know we both like and I can whip up easily. Even though it was Saturday night, I wasn't in the mood to cook anything fancy....so we had a simple dinner (I mean a shells and cheese kinda night....). However, I was in the mood to fancy it up a bit with the atmosphere. :) I lit a candle and even got out our nice china plates, cloth napkins, and pretty beverage glasses out. So we had a sweet, romantic, simple dinner in a semi-fancy home atmosphere. It was fun. :) I do recommend it!

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boys will be boys

Well I am inside relaxing and had a few minutes to blog. Free time? Crazy, I know! I got caught up on some organizing yesterday and planning for after Thanksgiving break at school, so I'm allowing myself to do something I never do....just sit. I don't sit well. I come from a line of very busy women. :) My boys (hubby and puppy) are outside doing boy things....chopping wood (yes, Boone helps with his teeth), burning, and hanging around the barn (shed). Although I love being outdoors, I'm letting them do their "manly" things as I enjoy the peace and serenity of a cozy living room.

My to-do list tonight:
-cook dinner
-bake a pie for our church Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow
-be lazy on the couch
-soak up life

I so cherish these lazy weekends where we have no set plans. Today, that's what I'm thankful for....among so many other things.

(ps...check out the bottom of my blog page for this great blog I found of this awesome young couple amidst home renovations and building a family...creatively inspiring!) enjoy.

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coupon and clearance crazy

So I am a little obsessed over trying to save money. I really do my best to never buy things at full price...other than necessities such as groceries. It's almost like a challenge to me. I find it so fun to find a bargain. Here are just a few of my tips that work for me. I hope they can help you save some pennies, leading to more to give during the Holiday season. :)

*COUPONS! Yes...it is worth your time! Get a really cheap small photo album and put your coupons in the places for pictures. I try to keep my food coupons in the front, household item coupons next, dog coupons after that, and finally shopping/restaurant coupons in the back. I keep it out of my purse as I grocery shop. It's great!

*If you shop at Kroger, they double any coupons that are $0.50 or less.

*If you bring reusable bags to Kroger, they take three cents off your bill for each bag you bring or you can choose to earn 3 gas points for each bag you bring in. The points then rack up for you to get the 10 cents off gas.

*More about Kroger...you can load coupons onto your Kroger card from their website AND they send you packets of coupons once you are a Kroger Plus member.

*At Target...look for the RED. :) Those are the clearance tags...especially at the end of the aisles. Love it! (Did I mention the dollar aisle? Even that aisle is at clearance price at times.) And Justin wonders why he can't get me out of that store...

*Don't be afraid to talk prices with people. For example, I called Insight and let them know of Direct TV's better deal they were offering and that we are really looking for the best deal...the phone conversation ended with us getting some free movie channels. :)

*Justin and I live by an envelope system...thanks to Dave Ramsey's class. Yes...real envelopes. Allot so much cash for each month. For example, we have a grocery envelope, a restaurant envelope and a "blow money" envelope (money to just "blow" on anything we want each week). You can pick and choose what is most important for you to have in the envelope system. It really does help to budget and figure this out. You'll be amazed how much money you can save when you get control of your money!

*Half Priced Books...if you haven't ventured there...do so! Magazines for $0.50, books for less than $5...and so much more...amazing! (Even better...you can get a few dollars for bringing in old magazines and books.)

*Flea Markets...shop for cheap treasures. You can find some great items for the home and neat things to reinvent for your taste.

These are just a few things I do to save money. Find what works for you! :)


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giving thanks

It is amazing to me how we have already blown by Fall and Thanksgiving in order to push the Christmas season. I LOVE Christmas, it's by far my favorite time of year. The warmth and joy of everything Christmas. However...I do find it sad that we can't even enjoy fall and Thanksgiving. My rule has always been...no Christmas decorating, music, etc. until at least the day after Thanksgiving. (Although I do have to admit after going to our amazing church Christmas bazaar this Saturday, I am fighting the urge to break out the Christmas decorations.) We really do need to treasure a holiday that reminds us to give thanks for all that we have been blessed with. My list is far too long to mention...I'm sure your list is as well. We forget too often to be thankful...I plan to completely embrace this time of year as a reminder to simply give thanks. Life passes by so quickly....do what you can to slow it down a bit. :)

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