Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just to tease you a bit

Here are some sneak peeks for the upcoming Serendipity April "Just Enough Please" kit. I loooved working with this kit btw. So much fun to work with! ;)

A full reveal will be next Wednesday, April 1, and I can't wait to share! I've been doing a LOT of scrapping, but I just can't show any of it yet. The anticipation is killing me! Maybe these little peeks will hold us both over! ;)

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Southern Belle


is quite the Southern Belle! She's totally cracking me up with how she's pronouncing different words.

For instance, ask her what her name is and you'll get..."Kate. My-nah (our last name)." Then quickly followed with, "Come here now."

Or she'll say, "Hey-yelp" for help, and "RITE" when saying "right now", "a-gee-inn" for again.

Totally puts a smile on my face. I honestly don't know where she's getting it. WE are not that southern! Of course not! hehehe!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Warning! photo heavy post!

Okay, I usually don't go this long between posts. But then we've been out-of-town, so I guess I'll use that excuse. It was really nice to get away for a few days. We stopped by the farm to see my grandmother who's recovering from a knee replacement surgery.(She also turns 80 tomorrow! Wow!) The girls enjoyed seeing the horse, and picking daffodils. I'm afraid that Caroline picked ALL the daffodils, but we put them in a vase for my grandmother to enjoy.

Then we drove a little more and spent a couple of days with Mom, which meant more merry-go-rounds, trips to the petting zoo, playground. It was quite the trip!

At Oak Mtn. State Park petting zoo:

And of course the carousel at the Galleria:

And no trip to B'ham is complete without a little trip (or 2 or 3 in my case) to Scrap Etc. WHICH they're getting ready for their Event in May, and it's not too late to go! This year it's going to be in Atlanta with lots of fun scrappy projects and some amazing teachers! Check it out here for more details!

Okay, sorry for my little aside. But as I was saying, we've been out-of-town, and I've been trying to get back in to the swing of things since we've gotten back. I've also been preoccupied with getting clothes together for the consignment sale, and picking out which veggies I'm going to attempt to grow.

When get finally got home we met up with some friends and their 2 cutie pies to play on yet another (and different) playground and cook out too!

3 of the 4

The grillers!

And the usual expression

This was just before she fell between the bench and picnic table landing head first on the concrete. She's a trooper but has the battle wounds down her face to prove it!

Sooo, THAT in short and in pictures, has been the last week or so of my life. Lots of family, friends, and many many blessings! Even a couple of scrappy goodies too!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fun at the park!

What a great day! After a really great Bible study and prayer time, the girls and I met up with some friends at the Pumpkin patch playground on Signal Mtn. And boy was it fun! The girls are smack worn out, but they LOVED every minute of it. Again, I was playing with my camera today, and unfortunately I didn't do so good. Guess that's a part of learning though. Here are just a few, mainly going down the humongous slide.

The girls in the tunnel.

on the slide

again (and again, and again, and get the point)

My daredevil at it again. (rolling my eyes)

For Micah

Probably my favorite shot of the day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

See? I told you.

I wasn't kidding when I said I missed my camera. The sun finally came out this afternoon, and we took full advantage of it! The girls picked weeds and played in the puddles with rocks and snails. (yuck!) Here's a few that I really love. I'm sparing you the majority that I took. I was basically just playing with my aperture and shutter speed, trying to learn what I'm doing with this new camera. I'd love some constructive criticism if you'd like to give some. I'm all about learning and critiquing in order to get better.

Picking "flowers" aka weeds

Washing snails (yuck!) but I liked the reflection in the puddle.

real flowers

Some Bradford Pear blooms in my front yard.

Some things "clicked" in my brain the other day as I was reading Pioneer Woman's blog and photography tips. She has a 4-part rundown in layman's terms about the basics of photography. Not only did I really enjoy reading it because of her humility and sarcasm, but I finally feel like I got it. Now I know I'm by no means there yet, but it was nice to play with some settings today while enjoying the sunshine.


Yes! I finally broke down and bought a new memory card. No more trying to fix the old one. Whew! What a relief! I can't tell you how many times this last week we were playing outside and I'd mentally take the pictures I would've taken if my camera was working and wish that it were fixed. But now, it's back to normal, so I'm back to normal. It feels good to have that trusty tool back in my hand! lol! (I had no idea it was that bad!)

And so what'd I go and take pictures of first? Layouts of course! LOL! This is the one I did about a week and a half ago with the Inspired Blueprints sketch #11.

This one's Sarah Kate hanging out with my dad while we were at the beach after Christmas. It's taken at my very favorite restaurant down there, Lulu's. On New Year's Eve at noon, Lulu's holds a "Noon Year's Eve" for the kids, and they roll out HUGE rolls of bubble wrap. They line all the boardwalks, aislesof the restaurant, etc. with pink bubble wrap, then countdown the New Year (at noon), and the kids go ballistic stomping on the bubble wrap. It really does sound like fireworks, and it's a blast! However, it's a nightmare to try to photograph! This picture was taken after the stomping of the wrap. Sarah Kate and Dad were chillin, listening to the easygoing music, bubble wrap still underfoot. She was as content as could be. Thus the name of the LO.


Well, now that I have my camera back in hand, I'm off to shoot a few more LOs and my kids too if this rain will ever stop!

I hope you're enjoying your weekend, and like Sarah Kate are as content as can be!
May God grant you His peace.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Grocery Game

Okay girls (sorry if you're a guy but I assume it's mostly girls here), many people have asked me about how I "play" the grocery game. And since my memory card is kaput, and I can't upload any pictures to my computer (yes, I'm in mourning) I thought now would be a good time to share my strategies.

First off "The Grocery Game" is something that Virginia blogged about sometime in the Fall, and I thought I'd try it out. She does this with pharmacies and drug stores instead of grocery stores. There are lots of blogs and websites dedicated to the game. Some that I know of are A Full Cup, The Grocery Gathering @, Southern Savers. Basically the gist to the whole thing is that you use coupons that are compatible with the weekly grocery/pharmacy specials in order to get the biggest bang for your buck. Here's how I have adapted it to work for me.

1. Cut coupons. We make a weekly trip after church to buy a Sunday paper. The inserts that I'm interested in are Red Plum, Smart Source, and sometimes there's one from Proctor and Gamble or other manufacturers. I cut almost all the coupons out, not just the ones I KNOW I'm going to use, because you never know what's going to be on sale. It's also important that you have a good coupon base, because sometimes a coupon may have been released 2 or 3 months prior to the sale. So if you're the least bit interested in playing along, start clipping now! Oh, and to save time, we both clip coupons while we watch our Sunday night shows. ;)

2. Check the blogs. Honestly this used to take me FOR-EVER, but now I've narrowed it done to one maybe two blogs that cover the stores I'm interested in. For me, that's the Southern Savers blog by Jenni who recaps all the grocery stores and drug stores that are abundant in the south (duh, that's why the blog's named that). Each week Jenni does a run down of what each store has on sale and the specials or buy one get one free (BOGO) each is running. She also listed the coupons according to the date and which flyer that were printed in. And almost as important, Jenni links to online coupon sources!

3. Print off online coupons. I do this weekly, based on what's on sale. I don't print out ALL the coupons from a site like I just print off what's on sale and what I KNOW I'm going to use. This takes me about an hour. By the time I surf the site(s), decide what deals I'm going to buy, print the cooresponding coupons, and clip them out I've taken about that long. BUT it's one hour for an entire week's worth of grocery shopping. And after you see the savings, you'll see that it's worth the effort. At least it is for me anyway.

4.Stack! This is where a lot of the "game" comes in! In many cases a mfr. will provide a coupon, the store may also offer a coupon in one of their flyers, a competitor may offer a coupon, and then there may be a special that week. I try to hit a LOT of the BOGO sales and other weekly deals, and then "stack" my coupon(s) on top of that special. This gives you the most savings, and sometimes you can score an item for FREE or for cents on the dollar!

5. Shop. Make a list, organize your coupons, and go for it! Each store has their own "rules" as far as how much they'll double the coupon, or if you have to buy both items when it's a BOGO special, etc. If you use Southern Savers, Jenni explains each store's "rules" at the top of each blog post. I also try to go without my kids, because there's still a lot of decisions to be made like to buy 1 BOGO item or both, or more even. In a lot of cases I have several coupons for one item. I have to decide which one will give me the most savings. Soooo, I try not to take the kids.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

Jenni posted this last week on the weekly Publix entry under the BOGO specials:

General Mills Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios or Banana Nut, save up to $3.99
-.75/1 Various Cheerios printable (makes it $1.25 ea)
-.55/1 off any Cheerios cereal printable or printable
-.50/1 Banana Nut Cheerios SS 2/22
-$1 off general Mills Banana Nut Cheerios printable (Food Lion) (use competitor with Manufacturer coupon)

(The words 'printable' are links on her site to the places where that online coupon is available.)

Okay so to interpret Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios or Banana nut Cheerios were on sale BOGO last week, which means that TOGETHER they were $3.99, or $2 ea. Already a good deal. THEN there were 4 coupons available, some online and one in paper. If I printed off the -.75/1 coupon (reads 75 cents off/ 1 item) then they'd be $1.25 each. I'd print off TWO of these coupons, because I'm buy 2 boxes and the coupon is good for one box each.

I could print that off OR further down she tells me -.50/1 Banana Nut SS 2/22 which means that I could use the (50 cents off 1 one box) paper coupon that was printed in Smart Source (SS) on Feb. 22 (2/22). If I had TWO of those coupons I could use them both because they're for one box each as well. This would be ideal, because in this case Publix doubles coupons .50 and less, which would mean the coupon would be a $1 off each box thus making them $1 each. I hope I'm making sense...

Lastly, Publix happens to match competitor coupons, and Food Lion posted an online printable coupon for $1 off Banana Nut Cheerios. Sooo, here's how the scenario could break down:

Buy 2 Banana Nut boxes @ $3.99
Use (2) -.50/1 coupons from SS 2/22 (Smart Source = paper coupon)
Publix doubles those 2 coupons because of their amt.
Stack the Food Lion $1 off competitor coupon (print 2)
and the Cheerios are FREE!!!

I wish this scenario had actually worked out for me. 1. I didn't have 2 SS coupons. We only buy one Sunday paper. 2. Publix was out of Banana Nut by the time I got there. I could have asked for a rain check, which they're obligated to give me, but I'm a sucker for the Frosted anyway. and 3. I forgot to print 2 of the Food Lion coupons anyway because I was in a hurry. But I'm sure it worked out for someone. hehe! It was still a good example to give since it has printables, paper coupons, is a BOGO deal, and you can use a competitor coupon too.

That about sums up how I play. I does take some time, especially at first, but I think it's worth it. If you try it, I'd love to know how it goes for you! Feel free to share or ask any questions too. ;)

Happy shopping!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring has hit!

Since the temps. have been in the 70s the last 2 days, I've gotten Spring fever like crazy. It doesn't help that my dear friend sent me home with some delicious smelling daffodils, or that Lowes sent me their latest "Creative Ideas" magazine. So this afternoon I finally caved. I bought my first set of bulbs and hope to plant them in the coming weeks. Pssst....y'all remind me to plant them, because I'm the world's WORST at buying flowers and either leaving them in their containers or forgetting to plant them! The 2 5 gallon buckets of dead azaleas that are now sprouting weeds are a testiment to that.

But here's what I bought today:

5 "Dolly Madison" lily bulbs

I think these will go great with the purple irises that are starting to come up!

Lily of the Valley

Hopefully THESE will be the solution to my shady, weedy backyard. I'm still desperately trying to get my hostas, and hopefully some ferns to grow back there too. I'm hoping these will do the trick! And they smell good too!

And last but not least, I bought these:

2 hot pink Bleeding Hearts!

I hope to put these babies along the side of my house next to my rose bush. I'm so excited!!!

In other news, Caroline has been saying THE funniest things lately. (And I'm writing here so I'll remember them ;) )

Last night in the tub while I was washing her hair I made the comment at how long her hair is getting. She replied with, "Yeah, mommy, my hair IS long. I tink I need to go to the hair cut store."

And then today while driving home from church she asked if she could have something, I don't remember what, but my answer was 'no'. I told her, "Nope. Sorry....Sorry Charlie." To which she replied, "Heeeey! My name's not Char-wee! I'm Car-wo-wine. Dat's my name. Car-wo-wine!" Yep, we chuckled about that one too!

Hope you've had a great weekend! I know I have! Be back soon with a new LO! ;)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lots to share!

First item of business, I'm having a blast over at the Dr. Seuss Celebration crop at Color Me Daisy!! Here's what the most recent thread told me about myself:

That pretty much sums me up, don'tcha think? At least the so much to do part...
And this is my example for one of the challenges over there. It's my last LO using the March CMD kit:

"Growin' like a weed"

It wasn't until I uploaded this photo of Sarah Kate that I realized just how big she's getting! She looks so old to me in this picture! Ahhh...growing up. Guess I'd better just embrace it, huh?

On a completely different note, I was tagged by the wonderful Gretchen. She's the one I blame my addiction on for the past 7 years. Yes, it was Sarah that took me to the Creative Memories party, but it was Gretchen who told me about the online side of scrapping. She also introduced me to Scrap Etc., and took me to my first ever Scrap Etc. Event (which there's still room if anyone wants to go! There's even a raffle to go for only $10!!!). So yes, Gretchen's to blame! Good thing she's from Josh's side of the family so he can only blame HIS family and not mine! hahaha!

Anyway, back to the point...Gretchen tagged me in a photo tag, the 6th picture in the 6th folder on your computer. And I'm also supposed to tag 6 more people to pass it along. Here's the picture:

One of my all-time favorite photos of Caroline. She was playing near the woods because she'd finished her lunch during one of our "daddy dates" (picnics) this summer. This shot totally captures her personality right down to the stick in her hand! And for all of you who think I'm "caught up" in my scrapping or that I scrap every picture, I don't. This one's a favorite, and it's not scrapped...yet. It's stuck somewhere in my Summer 2008 envelope.

And with that I tag Tab, Crystal, Kristii, Victoria, Gina,and Ellen

Friday, March 6, 2009

Partial reveal

Hi there everyone!
I'm here again, and this time I want to show you my latest creations with the Color Me Daisy March kit. This kit is full the latest papers from Glitz Designs, their "Sparrow" line, and I must say that this kit has been soooo fun to play with! As a matter of fact, I'm still playing with it! I've just got so many ideas for it! So here are the first 2 things I've created using this kit.(Click on the picture for a larger view.) There's still more to come...

"B'day Princess"

Just one, yes I said one, of Caroline's 3 birthday cakes. Her b'day ended up being birthday week instead of just one day! lol! On this particular day Nonnie brought her a crown to wear too, thus the title, and the added feathers on the LO.

"She loves to accessorize"

These were taken one of the days when it was EXTREMELY cold outside. Caroline insisted that she wearing her sunglasses with her hat!


used sequins as the center of the flower

Oh, and don't forget about the CMD crop this weekend! ;) Grand prize is $100 worth of Glitz Designs products, which I'm sure include these yummy papers!

Color Me Daisy crop

Just a quick announcement to remind you that they Color Me Daisy online crop is now in full swing! We'll be cropping with lots of challenges, RAKS, and other prizes all weekend long, so be sure to head on over there and check it out! ;)

Monday, March 2, 2009

March Serendipity reveal!!!

Woohoo! It's the first of the month, and I can finally show you my Serendipity projects I was able to create this month! I got to work with the "Just Enough Please" kit, which was filled to the brim with all sorts of goodies! Here's a quick pic:

I loved working with the greens, pinks, blacks and whites of this kit! I also got hooked flowers and making my own out of patterned paper.

"Barbie Jeep"

My girls STILL love playing in this thing even though neither one of them can steer, and push the gas pedal at the same time! LOL! I had a fun time playing with the Magic Mesh in the kit, and thought to use it as a mask for a messy look for this LO.

"Meeting Heidi Swapp"

the paper fold

Almost a year ago now I was able to meet Heidi Swapp at the Scrap Etc. Event in Nashville and take a class with her. I LOVED all the techniques she showed us as we worked with her mirror mini album, and it was fun to get a glimpse into her creative mind! Her project was SO involved, but I really loved doing it!

"Easter 08"

Okay, NOT the greatest picture of me, but I wanted to document one of the few full-family photos since I'm usually taking the pictures instead. It's so funny to look back at how little the girls really were, even just one year ago! And how BALD Sarah Kate was! And here I thought she was bald now! Ugh--that hair's gotta grow in one day she just may be 4 by the time it happens! LOL!

And lastly, a couple of cards:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Can't believe my baby's 2!!!

It seems like yesterday that the Lord saved her life, being born 8 wks. early, and spending 12 days in the NICU. I can't imagine life with out this little one, she brings so much to our family. But here she is 2 yrs. later, a ball of energy!

Here are a few pictures I got of her this weekend. I LOVE them!

Although she won't look directly at the camera most of them time, she's not shy at showing her expressions! But it's that energy that I love! And the things she says totally crack me up! Today was full of singing "Happy Birthday to me" but then she'd change the "me" to whoever it was she talked to on the phone last. So I've heard "Happy Birthday" sung to Grandmother, An Darah, Unc Mike, Carowine, mommy, daddy, and Doc Scott. She didn't actually talk to Scott, but we talked about how it was his b;day too and she improvised. So it's been a fun-filled day. No official party because we've seen almost the entire family within the last week or so. So we just celebrated with SK's favorites--pancakes for lunch, tacos and cookies for dinner. (We've had 3 b'day cakes in 3 days, so we're a little cake'd out.) All in all a great day, sad we didn't get snow, but incredibly thankful for another Sarah Kate birthday! :D