Wednesday, December 7, 2011


10 year old daughter to 6 year old daughter: "I was very surprised that Mom never embarrassed me one bit on the field trip today."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Save Some Moola

Here are some of my best money-saving tips for the holiday season:

1. Go cash only. Set a budget, and put that amount of cash in an envelope. Feel rich for about 5 minutes. Use only cash for your Christmas shopping, even if you have to pay for some items separately at checkout. If you buy something online, take that amount of cash out of your envelope and take it back to the bank.

2. Shop through  . Go to Ebates first and then click through to your favorite sites from there. You'll get cash back for every purchase (they put it right in my paypal account!) You can find TONS of stores on ebates, including Walmart and even Groupon.

3. Check Black Friday ads - - if you already bought something with a Visa or Mastercard and then it goes on sale for Black Friday, Visa and MC will refund the difference, as part of their normal price protection program.
4.  Sign up for emails from your favorite money-saving sites (I get the ones from Money Saving Mom and Pinching Your Pennies). They will direct you to great deals every time. For example, today I got an email alert from PYP that 20-pack AA batteries were on sale at for $5.99, plus they were buy 1 get 1 free. The email suggested I sign up for a free 30 day trial of the ToysRUs free shipping program, ShopRunner. I did all of that, and my total for 40 batteries came to $6.74 with tax. I paid that amount with the Ebates money in my Paypal account, making the batteries totally free! (Of course, I'll have to make sure to cancel that free trial of ShopRunner before it expires)

5. EVERY time you go to Walmart, ask if it is 50% off clearance day. They do this randomly (usually on the weekend), but if you're lucky, you'll be able to get 50% off clearance toys, clothes, kitchen goods and more. 

6. Don't discount the value of homemade! I'm making my sis something for her very-close-to-Christmas birthday, and I think she's going to love it! (I hope)

All you seasoned shoppers are probably done with your Christmas shopping already, but for the rest of us...have fun!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I'm Just Saying...

I miss the Dixie Chicks.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Family Ties

Due to the fact that the connection between my camera and my computer stopped working for a while, this is a VERY belated Father's Day post, but I had to put it on because it is the perfect follow up to my Mother's Day post. Go back and remind yourself what an awesome present TLC gave me for Mother's Day, and that will give you a better appreciation for what he gave JByrd for Father's Day:
Not a regular tie like some dad's might get:
Of course not!


And, coincidentally, one that TLC had to take back that night when it was time for bed.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Too Late For Me

Flipping through the Reader's Digest while I had JaydieBop at the doctor (strep throat), I found information about an exciting new scientific breakthrough: loud noises can be bad for the hearing of your developing fetus when you're expecting, and thus you should avoid vacuuming when pregnant.

They couldn't have said that 17 years ago?


Friday, July 1, 2011

Power Play

You never want to put the words "Arizona" "summer" and "power outage" in the same sentence, but, it happens sometimes.

So, it was about 2 p.m., maybe around 107 outside when the power went out yesterday, and the temperature inside started climbing WAY too fast.

Luckily, we have a pool.

And, of course, I was forced to forget about work for the afternoon, since I couldn't log in to my remote computer.

Also, of course, we were forced to BBQ since we couldn't use the oven or microwave.

So, for us, the around-6-hour power loss went like this:
Groan and worry: 4 minutes
Hang out in pool with cousins and a couple neighbors: 5 hours
BBQ and make s'mores: 26 minutes

It turned out to be a fun afternoon. And when the power eventually came back on, my kids were actually really disappointed because we were just about to go spend the night at Grandma's (2 of them ended up going anyway, they just couldn't stand it! - thanks Grandma!)

Here's to the unexpected!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Integrity, for sale?

Yesterday I had the opportunity to sell my integrity for $2. Now, don't picture me in some seedy alley somewhere, or worse! It was just that Trevin had a basketball game, and I knew they would be charging $2 at the door.

Now, before I continue on, you'll have to know that I really HATE paying to get into these recreational league games. First of all, we pay a large-ish fee just so he can play in the league. Second of all, most of the rec leagues DON'T charge admission, so it really bugs me that this one does, and third of all, we like to go to the games as a family to enjoy some time together and support Trevin, and there are kind of a lot of us.

So, when this league charges admission, it messes everything up for me. Trevin had 5 games this week (yes, 5!), and there are 6 more people besides him in my family, so if you do the math, you'll see why I hate that little $2 charge so much.

And that is why only baby Alyza and I went to his games yesterday (Dad would usually Never miss, he loves those games, but Yay! he has a new job, and these were daytime games). As I strolled her giant stroller up to the entrance door, the one where they collect the admission fee, another door opened off to the side of me. This door was far away from the admission table, and led right onto the court where Trevin would be playing.

I'm ashamed at how badly I wanted to walk through that door! The only thing that saved me was remembering a story I read once that had a big impact on me, about a guy who had a chance to cheat a parking meter or something, but he said, "I would never sell my integrity for a quarter."

I decided not to sell my integrity for $2, but the fact that I really wanted to was a good reminder not to let my frugal nature get the better of what I know is right.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Custom Heels

All the other mother bloggers out there might go on and on today about breakfast in bed, mani/pedis, or any number of other wonderful Mother's Day indulgences, but I bet nobody but me will be writing about a gift like this:


Don't be jealous
And to answer the obvious question: yes, I'll be pairing them with a slinky red gown.

Also, to answer the other obvious question: slippers, duct tape, and empty Mentos gum containers (see previous post and note the purchase of many containers of Mentos gum)

And do you even need to ask: Trev, of course.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Moderate Couponing

I may not be Extreme, but I do know my way around a coupon:

Original price before discounts and coupons: $127
Price I paid after discounts and coupons: $23

p.s. please ignore the gummy bears and cocoa krispies (which I tried to hide behind the rice krispies) and focus on the oranges and hummus! 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Channeling My Inner Shel Silverstein

Medusa stopped by to admire my braids,
So I kindly offered to do hers.
Perhaps if I hadn't been so polite
I just might have finished this ver...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ye Olden Times

It's spirit week at the elementary school. Today is 70s & 80s day:

Girls just wanna have fun!
She wouldn't let me tease her hair :(

Far out.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bed Head

Alyza's hair is growing in curly, and it is so crazy!
Don't you love it?!

Friday, March 11, 2011

And More on Frugality...

Speaking of frugality, my kids have coined a phrase: "Curse your frugal nature, Mother!" Mostly spoken when:

* They want to go to the movies and I say let's wait until it comes out on Redbox.

* They want to go get a haircut and I say then what do we have this awesome haircutting kit for?

* I ask Trevin to make me some laundry soap and he wonders, yet again, if I have ever thought of the grocery store as a source for laundering goods.

* They want to toss tonight's veggies that nobody ate and I say no, I'll put it in some soup which nobody will eat.

* We splurge on fast food and I only buy 3 packs of fries and make everyone split one. I'm told we're the only family where everyone doesn't get their very own pack of fries. Plus, I save the ketchup packets.

But, what can I say? I spring from the loins of someone who washes and saves her disposable plates!

P.S. Other great ways to save money:

Use Groupon deals - sign up for and buy deals now for cities you plan to visit this summer on vacation.

Always go through Ebates to shop online. You'll get cash back on all your purchases at places like Staples, Old Navy, Walmart, and yes, even Groupon!

Make Swagbucks your home page for searching the web. When you search on Swagbucks, you will be randomly awarded points from time to time, and those points can be redeemed for goodies or gift cards to places like Amazon. It's amazing how fast the points add up. Right now I'm using my points to buy diapers on AmazonMom, where shipping is free and I can almost always find a 20% off coupon in those free baby magazines they keep in the doctor's office.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Guest Post

If you have a second, check out my guest post on my go-to website for frugality,

Friday, February 4, 2011

Do You Really Need a Written Reminder?

Which one of my children felt the need to post this reminder inside the medicine cabinet in the hall bath? It's been there for three months, I'm not sure what that means.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Grammy and Aunt Kristin came over to visit the other day, and the girls and I noticed that they arrived in separate cars.

"I wonder why they drove separately," I said.

"Well," replied AJ, "maybe one of them stinks."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thank You, Connie

Thank you, Connie, for the beautiful photos of Alyza. I don't post photos here very often, but here is just a sample of the beautiful work Connie did for me:

I'm going to miss you and your family when you move :(

Friday, January 21, 2011

Organize Thyself

I went to a class on organizing and cleaning at church last night.

I came away with 1 observation and 2 tips:

Observation: Most of the tips people gave for organizing their kitchen began with "I got an insert handy organizational thing here for my pantry."   Note to self: buy house with pantry

A tip I will use: dry dishcloths outside in the sun after using them and they won't get stinky (I hope. Stinky dishcloths are the bane of my existence)

A tip I will not use: clean your toilet brushes in the dishwasher. Um...disgusting.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Old Home Movies

I've been watching some old home movies lately, trying to label them and, you know, be organized. Here are some things I've noticed:

* I wore the same shirt to my son's 8th and 12th birthday parties.

* Short hair is not for me.

* When taping children's sports activities, it's advisable to tape a few moments here and there, rather than the whole, long, entire game. Also, having a steady hand is a plus in a videographer.

* Someone (who shall not be named in this post) taped over my oldest son's first moments of life with an episode of Ellen (the TV show, not the talk show. Like it matters. Either way, I'm completely bitter.).

* My house is always tidy in the videos where company is over for a birthday party, and messy in the videos where I'm just taping the kids playing, as it were, in their natural habitat.