Friday, November 14, 2008

Day 3 over at the Blog Party brings us another question:

When do you start Christmas shopping? How do you budget for Christmas? Do you stick to your budget?

In the past there has been NO budget. I see it, I know they will like it, I buy it. Last year and this year have been totally different and I have no choice but to have a budget. We cut down who we buy for by drawing names with some of the family members. We are also lucky that our kids are small. I know as they grow bigger, their wish list items become more expensive. Let's face it, I can visit the "dollar" section at the front of Target and they think they have been given a treasure. I am very THANKFUL for this!!!

My shopping is 90% complete. I have two more presents to pick up and am watching for the sales. I have always been this way. It is just less stressful for me to not "HAVE" to shop with all of the crowds. If I want to go out and deal with the atmosphere, I can and not feel pressured that I didn't get the item that I needed to. It's not part of the question, but I am just curious as to "What is your budget for Christmas presents this year?"

Sponsors: Day Three Blog Party Question is Brought to you by Appledonia, Hippos Toes and My Bag

HFH Update

Ok, I am really irritated with this "plateau" I seem to be on. Only lost 1/2 of a pound this week!!!!!!!! UGGHH!!!!!!!!!!! So, we are changing it up this week. For exercise, we will have the treadmill, the elliptical machine and............"The Biggest Loser" cardio workout (50 whole minutes of it)!!!!!!! Does anyone have this dvd? I hope it is worth the money spent. Hope you all had a GREAT week!!!

Aloha Friday

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday.
In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.
If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link below. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

With the economy the way it is, everyone is trying to adjust their budget, whether making more money or cutting expenses. I have been taking advantage of ebay and selling my kids outgrown clothes and toys on there. It's kind of like a garage sale all year round. The bigger items are harder to sell on there because of shipping so I have been trying to sell my daughters crib/toddler bed on Craig's List. Craig's List is free to list and it lists them in your area. We have also lowered the temperature in our house. We all HATE to be cold, but this year I am telling them all to put on a sweatshirt and snuggle up with a blanket. We are also cooking at home nearly 100%. You can make your $1 stretch farther this way. I really wish I were crafty enough to have an etsy store. I love things homemade but let's face it, Martha Stewart, I am not!!!!
So, today's question is how are you stretching your budget/ supplementing your income?
Check out more questions at An Island Life.

Walgreens $5 Coupon

Go here for Walgreens $5 off $20 purchase today and tomorrow. Transfer a prescription and receive a $25 gift card, use the gift card to pay for your purchase and pay nothing out of pocket!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Today is day 2 of the party and man was yesterday FUN!!!! I found so many new blogs that I didn't know even existed!! So, today's question is about Traditions.
We have some traditions that are old and some are new. I always put up decorations and our tree the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I love it when my house is filled with Christmas decorations and memories. We always, since I can remember, make sugar cookies about a week before Christmas Eve. We deliver some to family and friends and we keep some for the family get together. My grandpa's birthday was on Christmas Eve and since he passed away six years ago, the ENTIRE family has went to his grave site Christmas Eve to light a wreath and pray and then we ALL (I mean like 30+ of us!!) go back to grandma's house. It's a good thing she has a huge farm house.
Then, since I am the only one in my immediate family that has kids right now, my parents, brother and sister all come to our home Christmas morning for everyone to open presents. We usually do it pretty early. When I was growing up, my dad was a dairy farmer and he would finish milking the cows around 6am and we would all be up waiting for him to get home. So, we have kind of kept that tradition going. We open presents at the crack of dawn and then eat breakfast and then we are all usually passed out all over the living room!!!! Then, it's over for another year!!!
Make sure to click the picture above to check out more traditions at the Blog Party!!
Sponsors for todays question: LaPlates and Lets Go Strolling and Natitys Design

FREE Photo Book from Snapfish and Oprah!!!

If you didn't catch yesterday's edition of Oprah, it was all about de-cluttering your house. In other words, get rid of the stuff you don't need!!! One idea that was thrown your way, was to scan your child's (children's) art work into the computer and upload it to a photo book. So, snapfish is offering everyone a FREE photo book ($29.99 value!!). This would make a great Christmas gift for anyone, make it a vacation book, a 2008 book, the possibilities are endless. I did one of these for my daughter's first year and it is very cool. Anyway, go here to get your FREE book, but do it soon, because you only have until Friday night.

Thousand Words Thursday

Check out more ATWT with Jen at Cheaper Than Therapy

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day One of MomDot's Blog Party

The party has begun over at MomDot. What a way to kick off the holiday season!!!
The point is to have a ton of fun visiting other blogs and win prizes!!! Each day there is a question to answer and there will be sponsors each day as well.

Day One Blog Party Question is Brought to you by La Belle Toile and This and That by Randi
Today's question is: Introduce us to your family and share Holiday pics from the past.
Well, most of you know that I am a sahm since our first munchkin was born......he is now 7 and we have added munchkin #2 and she is almost 3. That is it for more munchkins to be added.
My husband and I were high school sweethearts. We have been married for 11 years and together for 18. He served with the USMC on presidential guard duty while President Clinton was in the White House.
I have a passion for photography and my poor kids have had a camera in their face since the day they were born.
As promised, here are some holiday pics. These are all from Jaise's first Christmas, our family that year and Daddy helping Jake put the star on top of the Christmas tree in our new house.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


On this Veteran's Day, take a minute to remember those that have served for our country. Not only the men and women that serve but also their families. I was a military wife while my husband served in the USMC and one of the first things he taught our son to do, was salute when the National Anthem was played... anywhere. They would be getting ready to watch the Red Wings Hockey game and there would be Jake, binky in his mouth, sitting proudly on his daddy's lap, while they both saluted to the National Anthem.
So on this Veteran's Day, my family says Thank You to YOU whether you are currently serving, have served in the past, just signed up to serve, or are one of the supporting family members. Thank you for keeping us safe and know that we APPRECIATE you and what you do.

Monday, November 10, 2008

NorthPole dot com

I always forget about this site and find it when it is too late to utilize it. Thanks to an email I received from my friend Vicki, I have found this little gem of a site with just under 50 days until Christmas. Check out the North Pole site for a ton of holiday recipes, activities for the kids, a Santa tracker, and a ton more stuff.

We missed last week but are back on track this week.
Tuesday: Buttermilk Pancakes, sausage, hashbrowns
Saturday: Seven Layered Salad Squares, Grilled Chicken Breasts
Sunday: Chinese Takeout
Check out more great menus at Org Junkie

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Black Friday Deals

Check out all of the flyers for Black Friday over at Hot Coupon World. Plan your attack now for the busiest shopping day of the year!!!

Great Gift Idea

Below are a few examples of photos that I have taken over the years. I can take any photo you have and turn it to black and white and leave a certain item in color. Contact me for pricing information if you are interested. If you live close enough, I can do a photo shoot for you with all of your photos on a cd for YOU to develop!!!

Holiday Gifts