Friday, December 31, 2010

Coupons For Dummies

So, I have always been a fan of a good deal, but recently I have become completely addicted to couponing. And no, that is not a typo. Couponing is a verb, and a very active one at that. It all started because Justin's half-brother's ex-wife's husband (phew!) Henry, whom we enjoy hanging out with very much, asked me if I had ever been on When I said I had not, he told me all the great deals they have gotten because of it, so I decided to give it a look over. That was all it took.

Hip2save is a fantastic website run by a stay at home mom with a knack for coupon shopping. She and other shopping mom contributors post the amazing coupons, deals and freebies they find and tell you how to get them. She even has a full explanation of how to accomplish the deals as a Newbie and gives several tips to help you in your hunting.

On Monday, Justin and I did some serious power shopping at Waterford Lakes in Orlando. We drove over after I got off work so we only had 1 hour and I had some very specific things we were going to get. We began at Ulta because I needed shampoo and I had a $5 off any purchase of $10 or more, so I scored my bottle of Redken Clear Moisture for $13 along with a Christmas double pack of Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer for $26 (normally $18 each or 2 for $36). From there, we went to Petsmart, where I had a coupon for a free individually wrapped Greenies treat for Gordo. On top of that I had another coupon for buy one get one free on the individually wrapped Greenies and a coupon for $10 off a tub of 27 Greenies, normally $35 but on sale for $30. After that, I headed to Bath and Body Works for their semi-annual sale where I scored 7 full sized moisturizing soaps at 50% off, a scent pod and 2 refills for $6, and a small lotion for 50% off. Then we ran to Old Navy because they had adult jeans on sale for $15 per pair! I got 2 pairs and a sweet pair of bright green comfy yoga pants for $8.

Combined savings for our Monday night venture: $108.57

The next day, I went all out on my grocery shopping. I had a folder full of coupons organized according to the store sections (food, health & beauty, home sanitation, etc.) and a detailed list of what to get at each store with my coupons already paper clipped together for each place. I went to 4 stores (Walgreens, Publix, Target and Walmart - in that order), and it took me 4 hours in all, but I came home with a carload of food all bought at sweet deals. Publix was where I saved the most with a total savings of $48.81 just there.

Combined savings for my Tuesday night grocery shopping: $102.25

In among my shopping adventures, I had several items that I got completely free with my coupons. For example, I received a bottle of Excedrin Migraine and Excedrin Extra Strength completely free. Just go to this link, fill out your info, and they mail you a coupon for each that you request. Mine arrived in about 2 weeks, which is really quick. I didn't get it on my shopping trip, but I also received a completely free bag of Purina One Beyond Dog Food and they shipped it to me for free :) I'm also excited about my biggest conquest that I haven't gotten yet. I won a one month supply of Pillsbury Toaster Strudel for free! That's 4 coupons for a free box of Toaster Strudel that are on their way to my mailbox as we speak. Everyone can win this by clicking the above link and playing the instant win game. If you win, it says it will take 4-6 weeks for delivery of your coupons, but there are women on hip2save that say they got theirs in 2 weeks. I was incredibly excited about that one because I never win anything when it comes to the luck of the draw, so that made it even better :)

Anyway, if you want to see the source of my insanity, head over to hip2save and give it a look-see. Even my sister has become an addict and she got 5 small jar Yankee Candles for $20 shipped to her door because of this site. Since most of my friends are in the same boat as me financially, I hope that this will help you out in the coming year, as I know it already has helped me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Christmas Movie Worth Watching :)

Last year, I bought Mickey's Christmas Carol as it was always a favorite Christmas film of mine growing up. I was surprised to find that the dvd not only had Mickey's Christmas Carol, but also 3 other short Disney Christmas films. My favorite of these was The Small One.

It was nice to see a kid's movie (not made by a church) that has centers around Christ, the true meaning of CHRISTmas. Now, I look forward to watching it each year, especially when I have kids :)

Sorry I couldn't find it all in one clip, but I guess it was just too long. It's only about 25 minutes, so watch each one in succession. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gordo Meets Elly

So, Shannon's birthday present this year was a papillon puppy. Back at the end of September (when her actual birthday occurs), we had trouble finding anyone around with them. Luckily, some friends/relatives of Justin's had a papillon so I asked them where they got theirs. When I looked at the website they sent me, we discovered that the breeder had just had a litter of 2 puppies, a boy and a girl. The girl is now Shannon's dog, and her name is Elly. She is quite the rambunctious ball of fuzz, and while Gordo was hesitant and confused at first, he warmed up to her. These videos were taken about 20 minutes after Elly came into our house.
There is another video, but blogspot seems to hate it for some reason, as I have tried 5 times to upload it, only to find out there is some kind of error. Hopefully these videos give you an idea of what our few hours of watching her were like :)

When Shannon came to pick her up with my mom and Marisa, Marisa decided to have some fun with Gordo's latest wardrobe acquisition.

I love this one. It's like a dog crime scene :) This was after she was too tired to play anymore.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Gordo Thanksgiving

This year is the first year in many that we have only had one family to visit on a major holiday. My Kline family (in light of recent occurrences) decided to ditch the traditional on Thanksgiving and do something completely different, like go to Disney. Since Justin can't sit or stand for extended periods of time (in fact he is now staying home from work longer - until late January), we didn't think he would enjoy walking miles around a park and waiting while we all rode rides he couldn't ride. So while my family rode Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, Justin and I went to his parents house.

For our meal, I made home made french bread rolls and two pies: Chess Pie and Chocolate Chess Pie (because they come in a set, after all). As we were leaving, I decided that we don't take enough pictures of ourselves, so I grabbed a point and shoot and started off documenting how the Gordo enjoys his car rides.

Yes, I know I look weird.
And here is the signature squint once we get going around 40 mph.
I tried to get a shot of the both of us, but add a wiggling corgi to a moving car and only one hand to hold the camera steady, this is what you get.

I interpret this look as him saying, "What on earth do you want? I was busy."
But he's so cute :)

He always leans further out of the car when we get on Justin's parent's street.

And here is Justin trying to drive and still smile at the camera ... very safe.
So, last year, Justin's mom bought Gordo a santa suit to wear, but he was still growing and he ended up being to big to wear it (and I felt really bad). So this year, she bought an outfit that didn't have to wrap around that robust rib cage of his: A reindeer hat and jingling collar.

He was licking his lips in preparation for the meal.
After a few minutes, he was not only utterly humiliated, he was also completely sick of the antlers.

He kept looking up at me pleadingly.
So, we took off the hat, but we made him wear the collar. And he jingled all day.
And unfortunately, I got so snap happy with the Gordo that I filled up my memory card. So, that's all you get to see my Thanksgiving experience :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Aimee & Carlo Get Married!

Well, Justin and I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of some friends of mine from high school, Aimee and Carlo. I've been friends with them both for a long time and it was so nice to see them tie the knot :) They also threw one heck of a shindig, if I do say so myself. We all sort of hung out with the same group back then, and because everyone was in town for Thanksgiving, it ended up being like a better high school reunion, meaning a reunion of just the people you would want to see at your reunion.

So, together again with Taylor and Katrina (my main crew back then), Katie, Jeff, Mitch, Romel, Albert, Alyssa, Charles and many others, we partied almost all night long. Also Katrina brought her two adorable kids, Sophie and Adrian. Katie was prepping for the evening of missing her UF/FSU game.
Katrina showing her cleavage.
Jeff... being Jeff. No really, he's always like this.
Justin looking thrilled.
Me with my sweet buddy Sophie.
Holy crap, that's a cute kid! Look at those cheeks :)
She wouldn't look at the camera or smile unless I tickled her, so this was the play by play.
Then she would cheer, because I had done such a good job at tricking her into laughing on camera.
And I even got her to eat chicken and rice for dinner. I am amazing.
I guess the food on my plate tasted better than her mom's.
Dude, really, that's freakin cute :)
Katrina worried that she looked red when she really didn't.
And then the dancing began :)
This was the bouquet in mid-air.
And April catching the bouquet.
And more of Sophie being cute.
Here is Jay and Carlo, the groom.
I believe this was a Jay bending and flailing to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
And Taylor looking fierce.
Isn't Alyssa's dress fantastic?
And we all had to sing along as we danced.
This was Alyssa doing the moves to Poker Face.
Doesn't Romel look proud :) And Taylor looks caught.
I don't remember what song this was, but I'm guessing it talked about time.
Here are Charles, Albert, Alyssa and Romel.
And Alyssa campaigning ... for something.
And Taylor all up on the Aimee, the beautiful bride. Taylor was her first husband, after all.
And Mitch looking like he is going to charge the camera football style, but he was actually dancing.
And more dancing :)
And finally the night had to end so the newly weds could get to going. So, they had their last dance :)
Don't they look happy?
I was so glad we were able to go to Aimee and Carlo's wedding. It was such a great night and they looked so happy :)

After the wedding, Carlo's mom hosted all of us at her house, where we all hung out doing not too much. Then when people started to get hungry again, we headed to Denny's in Titusville... because that's what we do here. We did it in high school and we will keep doing it until Titusville gets a better late night restaurant.

This was so much fun, and we all need to get together again! Maybe in another 6 years or so :)