Steve and Jaylene

Welcome to our lives and times ....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lydia's Birthday Party

We celebrated Lydia's birthday today. Since we live so far away from family, we just had 3 of Lydia's friends and their parents come to our home for a small party. It was fun! We colored pictures of ladybugs, played with all of Lydia's toys, had a lunch and ate some super cute cupcakes made by my friend Kristi. Lydia loved opening all of her presents - but especially playing with the tissue paper, the boxes, and the wrapping paper!
Here are a few cute photos of the event (more on my facebook page):
We call Lydia our "Liddy Bugs" so my friend Kristi made these super cute lady bug cupcakes.
Lydia had some balloons to play with, and she loved them!
Lydia and her friends colored pictures of lady bugs. Lydia actually did color a little bit before she started eating the crayons.
Lydia enjoyed her first experience with cupcakes.
Lydia got tired of opening presents and started chasing after her new toys.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Frugality goes the extra mile

When we moved to Georgia, it was with the agreement that I would be a stay-at-home mom and Steve would bring home the paycheck. His salary is enough to cover the bills - barely - so we thought we'd be ok if we just lived frugally. Hence, we only have one car, don't get TV, don't go out to eat, etc. But then the car broke down and it cost us hundreds of dollars to fix it. And then I started thinking about emergency situations like that - and how it would be very, very difficult to make it with Steve's salary if we have to pay for extras. So, I decided to become very creative in saving money. I also am advertising for private students, which should help, but right now I only have one. I am grateful for him, though! Better one than none.

Anyway, I think one of my most creative approaches to saving money has been by learning the art of "couponing." I found this site:, and it has helped me so much! I have gone from paying $100 in groceries each week to just slightly over that for the entire month of November. Of course, we have been eating our food storage and a lot of pasta (which I now get for free). I love going to drugstores now - and I NEVER used to go to these because I thought that they were too expensive. That was before I learned how to use their rewards systems. Here are a couple of pictures of what I'm able to do now:

I got these things at Walgreens. By using rewards, I paid a total of 72 cents out of pocket, which basically covered the tax. Who wouldn't love to get diapers for 72 cents, let alone this other stuff?

This is actually missing a Reeses - Steve got to it before I could take the picture. I'm actually very proud of this purchase because after I get back a mail-in-rebate for some shampoo and conditioner, I actually made about $5.00 for taking this stuff away from CVS.

Some weeks are better than others. Some weeks I get nothing, and this week I only got contact solution and lip balm, but hey, it was free!