Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2 Week Menu: October 26-Nov 7th

A few weeks ago I taught 3 couponing/meal planning classes- they were a hit! 
{At least I thought so!}
After having such a great response, I decided to start posting my weekly menus on this here blog. 

I also will be talking about local sale prices- mainly to be price matched at Walmart. 
One part of their Corporate Ad Match policy states: 
"We do not honor competitor's ads from outside the store's local trade territory." Which basically means if you're are outside of the Provo Store markets (depending on the store- the ads might be state/region wide- check the stores in your area to see if the match my store's current prices) then the prices I list are not valid at your local store.
{Gosh, I hope that makes sense!}
*Also, if you are going to Ad-Match, I highly recommend you printing out the Ad-Match Guarantee and taking it with you to the store. This will help you understand and clarify any potential questions. 

I hope that even if you are not able to Ad-Match at your local stores, you might be able to use some of the recipes or learn how to Ad-Match yourself (it is AW.E.S.O.M.E.)

Here is my 2 week meal plan for Oct.26th-Nov 7th: 
Sun: Chili dinner with friends
Mon: Halloween Party
Fri: Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks
Sat: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Mon: Whole Wheat Pasta Primavera

{I awkwardly feel exposed knowing that on any given night y'all will know what I'm cookin'}
Anyways... here is a list of the best current prices for items that I either needed for the recipes above or needed to get for another reason. You DO NOT need to bring in the sale-ad with you to get these prices. It says right on the policy {which is also posted on every check out lane at Wal-Mart}. 

Sunflower Market: 
Seedless red grapes: .77/lb  

Macey's
Gala, Red delicious, Golden delicious: .99/lb
Avocados: .50 each
W. Family Apple Cider: 1.69 for 96OZ.
Pillsbury Brownie or Cake Mix: .89 each
Don Julio Chips: 1.09 for 9OZ

Buy Low
Fuji Apples: .50/lb
Ground Beef: 1.99/lb. 
Italian Squash: .50/lb. 
Large Dozen Eggs: .99
Red Onions: .33/lb
Yellow Onions: .25/lb
Cucumbers: 4/$1
Don Julio Tortillas: .99

Bananas: .50/lb
Yams: .25/.lb

I hope that this helps. It is sort of confusing, and I know it isn't all inclusive, but I know living on a student budget is difficult.
Look forward to a post on Rite Aid and Wal-Mart in the near future! 
~~Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thoughts: Desserts spelled backwards

Do you know what that spells? 

S.T.R.E.S.S.E.D

This is probably a weird post- but that's okay.
{Suits me well :)}

Everyone has a way that they handle stress. 
Some do it well, some not so well, and others handle stress by
not handling it. 
During different stages of my life I have gone through each of these.

Sometimes- we handle stress by trying to soothing our self: 
{He sucks his thumb while holding his shirt...?}

I however- generally don't handle stress well. 
Usually when I'm stressed out- I get so overwhelmed by everything going on
that I end up doing nothing. 
{Backwards, right?} 
Or- instead- I eat. It took me 
going on a very restrictive diet for 6 weeks to realize something about myself. 
Food is more than just calories to me. 
I didn't realize how much a bowl of ice cream at night meant to me. 
To me: 
Food a comforter. I use it to socialize. It controls my mood. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm grateful that I was able to make this self realization. 
{Sad that it took 22 years- but that's okay}

As a mother, I know that my personal habits and decisions do effect my children and husband. 
I don't want to teach my children to use food in unhealthy ways. 
I have realized that talking things out is a lot more important to me than I once thought- I totally need it. 
I have learned that though food is used to socialize doesn't mean that it only has to be sweets, or that I have to try everything. (Though I always want to!)
I have learned that if I eat regular, healthy meals/snacks
 food can have a positive effect on my mood. 
I have also learned that the Lord really can heal ALL wounds. That things that are important to me, are important to Him. That when I feel the most alone is when He is most ready to show His eternal love for me. 

I have also learned that I really do have the best husband. 
Sorry gals! jkjk. 

So here's to eating healthier, talking more, and learning how to handle stress better!

Friday, October 21, 2011

airing my dirty fan blades

Today I am going to air my dirty fan blades. 
I have seen the dirt on them for months now- and have wondered how to clean them. 
Wipe them off so the dust just settles everywhere else but the rag? 
That was the best I had come up with. 

Until Pinterest. 
{Yeah, baby}

So- I went ahead- and cleaned my ceiling fan 
{with an old pillowcase!}

Here are my dirty fan blades for all to see: 

{eek!}
{Gross!}

The process to clean them took less than 2 minutes. 
So here goes: 

Place the pillowcase over the fan blade: 
 Then use your fingers to swipe the dust off- this may take a few swipes.

{I also sort of held the open side of the pillowcase closed.
I don't think know if any dust would have fallen out- I just wanted to cover all my bases}

Then- just do that for all of your fan blades... and

Voila!


WOW! Those look pretty good.

But what is my favorite part?

All those not-so-cute "dust bunnies" are INSIDE the pillowcase. 
Just where they belong!

**If you click on the picture of the clean blades- there is still some sticky gunk on the side of the blade. I will just wipe that off with a water and some cleaning solution.

There you have it!
Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

Idea found here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

keeping up my end...

When I found out that I was with child- I freaked out, 
ate WAY too much, cried for a period of time I am not willing to admit
decided to read as much as possible about pregnancy and infancy. During that time period I felt confident about pregnancy (not to say I didn't have emotional weeks moments) and after taking a class about birth, 
I was strangely misinformed ready for labor and all that it would bring. 

Then, my sweet baby arrived, and after reading some more, I had Parker 
put on a schedule which he {I} loved.

Until recently.

I think because a lot of changes have happened- mostly to Parker (whole foods, walking, communicating etc)- he hasn't done as well with his schedule. It has fluctuated- obviously he isn't sleeping as often as he was at birth- but lately I have no idea when his naps will be. 
Friend: Hey, Aubrey! Want to go for a walk at noon today? 
Me: I don't know? Parker, do we want to go for a walk at noon or is that nap time today? 
Parker: puzzled look....

I have never been willing to have that as a lifestyle- but lately- it is what it is. 
And then I realized what it is. During pregnancy and infancy, I had read as much as I could, asked other seasoned Mom's their ideas etc. so I had a decent idea what was going on. 

Not. Any. More. 

I haven't picked up a single book on toddlers. I haven't asked anyone how to communicate with their 15 month old. Is there discipline at this age? If so, what is it? What the heck should I be doing with this kid?

If I am not keeping up my end, I can't expect the Lord to figure it all out for me! I need to show the Lord that I am seeking answers in all avenues and then seek His help in understanding how it all applies to my little PK. 
Ding. Ding. Ding. 
{Sometimes the light bulb just takes a little bit longer for me. :) }

So, if you have ANY tips, books, websites etc.- I would HAPPILY accept them. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Magazine (or anything) Holder {tutorial}

I've been redoing my craft room 
WHAT! I haven't told you!! 
Well, I am. And it is marvelous. 
First- because I have a craft room. But also because I get to decorate it any way I want. 
{Well, and the rest of the house too... hehe}

Here is where I first saw a box turned into a magazine holder. She did a great job!

So one day- I just went for it. No plan- just went. 

This is what I came up with: 

I started with this: 
{I actually went out and bought this cereal just for the box- and for the cereal too}

Then I cut off the top tabs like this: 

Then I went and marked where I wanted the diagonal line to be drawn:






It was 6 inches from the bottom and 2 inches diagonally from the side
{it is marked in the pictures- but it's hard to see}

Then I cut: 
Yes, the box is turned around- I don't know why- 
Also, I have seen some magazine rack things made with no top edge- 
meaning it is diagonal all the way to the top corner- that is just a personal preference thing. 

Then I started to trace the paper I wanted to cover the box
All I did was lay the box down and literally trace around it- easy :) 

Cut the traced paper- and attach. I used Spray Adhesive. 
Remember when I said that I would be doing a project using S.Ad here? This is said project. I really do love S. Ad. It's easy to use- and has severe hold. 
{I mean severe- so yeah, make sure you are ready to stick when you go to stick- 
cuz there is very little give.}

As with nearly every.single.project I have ever done- I had to make adjustments. 
As I was tracing the paper- I realized the box was taller than my 12x12 paper.  See...



So what did I do? I cut off the extra box.  On all 3 sides of the box. 

Then I covered the rest of the sides with the paper. Trace, Cut, S. Ad, Cover. 
Here is what I had: 


I LOVED it! I mean love, love, loveeee, lurve, loved it! 

But something was missing. So I did some do-bopping (a new term meaning: random crafting)
and this was my finished product: 
Basically just 4 brads and a small scrap of cardstock. 
{Do you believe that the TAG took me longer to make than the rest of the box itself??} 
No Joke. 

I love it! I can't wait to get it placed in my new craft room with... something in it. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

When I'm hot, I'm HOT: post 2

I LOVE Rite Aid. 


I know some people have "their" stores or brands or companies. One of my stores is Rite Aid. Fo' sho  :) 

They have the easiest rewards program, their rebates are the easiest to get, and their coupon policy makes sense- not to mention they have the nicest clerks! 
I have been a couponer for a little while now- and have had a hard time working with Walgreens. I know they have great deals some weeks- and some weeks I venture in there (when the diapers are dirt cheap) but on average- Walgreens is much more difficult to use {as a couponer}. 

ANYWAYS... this is what I got at Rite Aid today. 
Rite Aid loot: 
Allergy Buster nasal spray ($8)
Sinful Colors nail polish ($2)
Revlon nail polish ($3)
Blistex cold and allergy lip balm ($1.50)

I then used a peelie coupon from the Allergy Buster spray for $2 so the break down goes like this: 
Total: 15.45 (before coupons)
Total: 13.45 (put on card)
with the Up Rewards I recieved- basically a coupon/gift card 
that can be used on most products in the store
Total OOP: $1.96 

For 4 products which I am excited to have- and for not doing any prep work before going into the store- aside from looking at the ad. 
Let me know if you are interested in Rite Aid. I would be happy to do a few more detailed posts on Rite Aid- if anyone is interested. Or I just might do it anyways. I'll surprise ya :)

p.s. This is a post that features my honest opinion- I was in no way paid for this post. 
{Not to say I didn't want to be!}

When I'm hot, I'm HOT: post 1

Today is Monday. Most people dread Monday's. 
The weekend is over, the entire week is ahead of you etc. etc. etc. 
I love Monday's-
because I get to go shopping. 
{Not all Monday's and some weeks I don't get anything-but I still like going}.

I decided to start posting some deals I get in a series called: "When I'm hot, I'm HOT"

Before I show you what I scored, let me show you my shopping partner:

{HAHAHAHAHA. I got so many comments in the store on his lounge stance}

So here's my Savers loot:
Savers Loot: 

Birdcage- $6.99 (This has been on my "list" for a LONG time)
Long sleeve Gymboree onesie ($2)
Dry Erase/Cork Board (.99)
Pair of Rocketdog shoes ($4)
Large square frame with glass  (.99)
Balderdash ($2)
Skip Bo ($1.50)
Office Trivia game ($2)

Total: $21.30

I love when I make finds like these. Both of the frames were ($10) but had the lucky "gold" {yellow} tags. Each day the store chooses a .99 color- meaning that all items with that color tag are now .99!

Then the Rocket Dog shoes were priced at ($7.99) but had the {orange} color tags. Each day they also choose a 50% off tag color.

I also ONLY buy games used. I mean $2! That's 90% savings! In order to do this- you HAVE to check the boxes- literally open the lid and check through the box to make sure everything you need is still there. (The balderdash box was missing the die- but we already have several). These are our "family" Christmas gifts and we love to get new games for our weekly game night.

So there you have it. Do you have a Savers or other thrift stores around you? Do you like to shop thrift stores or do you prefer other stores? I would love to hear from you :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thoughts: Always Provo

Here in Provo- people move about as often as they grocery shop. 
No joke. 

We live in a college town- where people are always having babies, graduating, getting another job etc. Thus, moves happen regularly.

With every move comes a little heartbreak for me- knowing that a good friend won't be as
 close anymore. It has gotten to the point where it's hard for
 me to open up to people because I know the friendship will be short lived. 
Sad, right? 

This time is no different. I have gotten so close
 to this family that I feel like it's my sister moving-- like it's my nieces that are moving and
 I won't get to see them every week anymore. 
They were our first {really} good friends. They opened up to us and always treated us
 like we were the coolest people. {haha}
I have learned so much from them- they are amazing.
They have done so many special things for us-I will always owe them.
I have learned how to be a better friend from them. How to be a better spouse. 
How to be a better mother.
 How to be a better person.
I have loved being in my ward. I have learned so much from so many people- but to have that opportunity- people come and go rather quickly. I get that. 
{It doesn't make it any easier, though.}

I know that I will be talking about this time in my life for a long time.
My children and grandchildren will never wonder whether or not I liked Provo- or this chapter in my life.
Here is where I first lived on my own. 
 They will know that this is where I met the best man I know. 
I fell in love with him and wanted to marry him. 
And he agreed :) We had nearly all of our firsts here. 
Our first date here. Or first kiss. 
We had and resolved our first fight here. 
Our first-third apartments are here. 
My first pregnancy was here. Our first baby was born here. 
I have come to know myself so much better here. 
I have fallen deeper and deeper in love with my husband here.
I survived the first year of motherhood here. 
I have come closer to MY Savior, here. 

Provo is {that} place for me. A place I will always consider home.

Thank you for helping make this such a special place for me. 
 You know who you are. :) 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Orange "Trick or Treat" Banner {Tutorial}



Today's tutorial is going to be on this oh-so-festive "Trick or Treat" banner. 
This also could possibly be one of the only things I have ever made using my own noggin. 
Yep, you heard right! I came up with this by. myself. WHOA! 

Okay-- in all fairness nothing about this is completely original- but it's the closest I've ever come.
So basically the supply list is as follows: 
Coffee Filers
Brown Paper (paper bags would work too)
Orange paper
computer/printer
jute (other hemp-like rope)
glue/Spray adhesive
hole punch

So here goes, class: 

I started out by punching a hole into a coffee filter: 

I counted out how many I would need (12) and punched them all at the same time. 
***Once I was all done, I decided I needed 2 punches per filter- about an inch apart- so they won't turn as they're hung and the letters will always be visible. 
Then I cut and distressed 12 brown circles. I made one that I really liked and used it as a model for the rest. They are not all exactly the same... if only I had a Silhouette. *someday*


I don't have any "distressing" ink, so I just used my black ink pad. I've always just used that-
and it works okay.

Then I printed (using orange cardstock and my printer) out the words "Trick or Treat." I downloaded a free font, called "Grange" from here to use. Then I cut them out a little smaller than the brown circles. Not perfectly as you can tell- about as good as an 8 yr old I would say.

Then I used my glue stick to put the orange letters on the brown distressed circles. 

Next, (I don't have a picture of this) I used my Spray Adhesive to attach the brown circles with the letters on them to the coffee filters. 
**I am in LOVE with Spray Adhesive. I used it for another project that I will be showing next week, and it is A-MAZING. It was $5 at Wal-mart, but if they sell it at Robert's/Michaels/Hobby Lobby and you pair a 50% coupon with it- it's not too bad. Plus, the stuff is A-MAZING like I said :) 

Then I strung them all together, punched the second hole in the coffee filters like I said earlier, re-arranged the letters so it spells "Trick or Treat" not "Treat or Trick." No joke. I did that. haha. 

Then, I just wrapped the extra jute rope around my black lanterns on the mantel- but you could hang it anyway/anywhere. 
EASY. 

***Now that I'm all done with it, I wish I would have used a different orange color. Even for Halloween, I think the orange is just too bright- a more muted orange would have looked better. But, with my limited budget- whatever I have on hand it is :) 
Here's one last look at the final product: 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween Paper Bats {tutorial}

Currently, my front porch is adorned with these cute and spooky paper Bats:
{Serisouly, don't look at the hanging garbage bag-- it's gross!}
 
I love how they look like they are flying! And it was a change from the typical wreath. {I love wreaths! Don't get me wrong- I just like to change it up a bit}

Basically, it's as easy as it looks/sounds. 

I used these bat images that I found from Google images-- Hint: search clip art bat images. Do NOT search for "bats". They are really, really gross looking. Unless if you're into that sorta thing. Whatev

I didn't want to print them out because I was lazy and in a hurry confident in my own drawing abilities- so I just looked at them and sketched them onto some black, linen cardstock-
which I purchased for $5 at Roberts. 
{FYI: At our local Dollar Tree they have black poster board- 2/$1. Had I known that- 
I would have saved the $4 and gone that route.}

I made... Oh about 60. 
To get the look like they are flying and are sorta 3D- you need to make different sizes. Like how in the bottom left corner they are smaller and then get bigger as you get to the top corner of the door. See: 
{Sorry for that GIGANTIC picture of the front door. Still getting these editing features figured out}

Then I just stuck them up there. 
You'de think that cutting 60 bats out would take the longest. Nope. 
Hanging them took forever for me.

First I tried masking tape. I located the tape and started making those circles of tape. 
Then I decided just one circle per bat wasn't enough. 
They of course had all fallen down in the freak snow storm we had. 
So I made 2 additonal circle pieces per bat (this was after I waited for them all to dry). 

The next morning- my front door was WIDE open and my bats were all over the place. 
So I grudgingly and angrily happily picked them all up and called the repair guy to 
come fix our front door.

Day 7,349 of trying to get the bats to stay- I decided on sticky tack. 
{That I had totally forgotten I had until I found PK eating it}

Smacked 3 pieces of sticky tack on the door that now stays shut, and voila. 





Oh, and I almost forgot to mention. I got that tiny Halloween welcome mat from the Dollar store. 
It is one of the stores that I frequent. 
To the point where Jed has asked me to limit the number of times I go. 
It's just a grave yard- that I used sticky tack to stick on top of our actual "Welcome" mat.

YAY! One tutorial down. 
How did I do? Did it make sense? 
I found this on Pinterest from here:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Halloweeeeeen!

{Said in an eerie voice} 

OH BOY! I L.O.V.E Halloween. I mean, LOVE! 
I think because it's the night where everyone is as crazy as I am- so I blend in. 
Not to mention dressing up and the CANDY!

I live for October 31st. 

Rightfully so, I like to decorate for the occasion. 
Today, I'm gonna give a walk through to give you a taste for the upcoming {tutorials}! 
Did she just say, "tutorials?"
Yes, friends, she did. 
I haven't decided if I'll do a tutorial on ALL the decorations- so if you see something you are interested in- let me know! I would happily pull a tutorial for ya. 

So this is the outside of our home: 



Yeah, I didn't really like the garbage bag either... I took it down. 
Maybe if it stretched the whole width of the doorway and was a bit longer... who knows. 

When you walk in the front door, there is an antique window on the left. Here it is all decked out: 

(A view from looking back from the living room) 

Then in the corner of our living room are built-in bookshelves...


with some touches of Halloween. 
{Can I tell you that these shelves give me the biggest headache when it comes to decorate? I am ALWAYS fixing them- taking stuff off and rearranging... it's a never ending battle}
The piano could not be forgotten either: 

Last, the mantel. Oh, how I love having a mantel.



So, that's it. Not SUPER crazy... no- I don't have a shower curtain for every holiday. {someday maybe}
What did you think? Interested in any tutorials? Check back for a look see.