These boots...

An awesome friend gave Tylee these hand-me-down boots and she immediately had to put them on. I don't know if they've came off since! Kidding, but she wears them ALL the time. The girl has probably 30 pair of shoes (not kidding) and this is all she wants to wear. A couple of our other friends kids love their Croc boots as much as Tylee, so at least I know we aren't the only ones running around town in pink (or green or yellow) boots in the heat of the summer!


Potty Training



I mentioned awhile back that I bought Tylee a super cute hat when I was in St. Louis. Between being gone for a week and then the chaos of buying the camper, I haven't had my camera out. Crazy, right? I finally got it out this weekend and bribed Tylee with a popsicle "if she would put her hat on and look right into Mommy's camera." It didn't work too well. I don't know why she won't take my bribes! I finally got her used to the the hat but getting her to sit still for 1/500 of a second is next to impossible. Somehow, I achieved it! This is my favorite picture yet... And these aren't far behind.The lady in the store had a bulletin board up with pictures of kids in her hats and told me if I sent her a picture, she would add Tylee to the board. I told her photography was my hobby so that would not be a problem at all! Now, just trying to figure out which one to send! She also said she would add any pictures she got to her website. I'll be sure to let you know if Tylee's cute little mug shows up on there. Any suggestions as to what to send?


Penny Pinchin

I've been seeing the big coupon hype for awhile now but I have to admit, I'm one of those people that would rather just pay full price for something rather than dig through racks and racks of the leftovers to find a great deal. Garage sales? No, thank you. I like to think my time is worth something. It isn't that I'm "too good" to use other peoples junk, I just don't want to take the time to find the bargain. Lazy? Maybe. True? Yes.
I have over 70 blogs in my Google Reader and several of the ladies use coupons. It seems that there is a science to "couponing" and again, I do not have the time nor energy to completely dive-in. However, I am not too lazy to push the print button a few times a week in order to save some dough. So I inched my way across the line and started printing coupons. Using them was a different story. I was very intimidated and hadn't a clue how to go about it. I mean, throwing a diaper coupon down at the end of my pile of groceries was no big deal but using 20+ coupons during one shopping trip scared me. I didn't know the rules and didn't want to be embarrassed at the checkout line.
I finally waited until one of my days off during the week so that Wal-mart wasn't swamped and headed in with my pile of coupons. I've read enough to know the main rule: "If you wouldn't buy it before you had the coupon, you don't need to buy it now." Another good one along the same line, "It isn't a bargain if you don't need it." I really tried to stick to my normal shopping but substituted a few things here and there in order to use the coupon. (I normally buy Prego spaghetti sauce but had a coupon for Newmans Own. I normally buy Huggies wipes but bought Pampers with the coupon.)
A lot of people say that you can't just do it half the time and it only works if you stock up when things are on sale. Such as, when you can get mustard for $.25, buy 5 of them and then not buy mustard again for a year. I can see the benefit of that but again, that would take a lot of planning and organization. I'm not into all that so I just do what I can.
(I saved $15 on this trip.)
Here are a few of the coupons in my pile right now. I have:
  • $1.50 off any Febreze
  • FREE Gain Dish Soap
  • $1.00 off Charmin
  • $.75 off BallPark Franks
  • $2.00 off Huggies Wipes
That is around $6 off my next Wal-mart trip (if I buy all of those items.) I don't have a big fancy filing system or spend hours driving all over town to find the best deal but I've probably been saving $50 or so a month just from the 10 minutes a week I spend looking/printing coupons. That is worth it, right?

Here are my resources.

  1. http://www.coupons.com/, http://www.smartsource.com/, and http://www.redplum.com/ are the 3 main coupon sites. They update randomly with coupons and you can normally only print the same coupon once.
  2. http://www.forthemommas.com/ is a site I added to my Google Reader. It is a lady that actually goes out and looks for all the great deals and puts them all on this site. I've gotten a lot of free samples, free photobooks, free magnets, $9.99 Crocs, %50 secret coupon code for Gap, ect. She must spend HOURS looking for all this stuff. I know there are other sites very similar to this, this is just the one that I found and have liked. Most of them find the same deals so all of these sites are very similar.

I'm not even close to knowing all there is not know and I will never be one of those people that get $100 worth of groceries for free. I will never drive from store-to-store to hit up all the best sales but every little bit helps, right? I think so too.


The first of many memories

I had plans on keeping you in suspense all weekend and coming back on Monday and sharing a slew of pictures with you of our first weekend in our new camper!! Things didn't work out that way though and here I sit at home on Saturday morning updating my blog. Stupid railroad. Oh well, hopefully we have many, many, years of camping ahead and plenty of opportunities to share pictures. We picked it up on Thursday morning and Tj pulled it straight from the "camper store" to Parsons Lake (1/4 mile from my house). I was not happy about this but just kept having to calm myself because I knew he was excited. The organizer and planner in me wanted a few nights at home with the camper - you know, to fill it with necessities such as toilet paper, trash cans, and sheets. Tj and Tylee got it all set up and I headed out there after work - with no intentions that we would actually be staying there! About 8:30 I mentioned going home and Tj told me, "No! He was camping!" So I ran home, grabbed Tylee some milk, a couple blankets, and headed back. I can't say our first night camping was the best. We were very unprepared but just happy to be making memories. I got up for work on Friday, headed home to get ready, and left Tj and Tylee there to "camp" without me. I think they ended up spending most of the day at home. Kinda hard to camp without toilet paper or a trash can.
I am standing directly in the middle of the camper in this picture (above), facing the front. The door is on the right. They offer this same camper in several patterns and of course, the only one they had was my least favorite. This was the best deal we found so I wasn't going to pass it up because it had ugly interior. I'm hoping to change out the shower curtain, bedding, ect over time to add my own personal touch and make it better.

These three pictures (above) are taken laying on the bed from right to left.

To the left of the bathroom back in that little corner, are 3 bunk beds. That was definitely a HUGE selling point for us. I don't know if we are planning on having my kids or not but if we do, we have room to grow. If not, Tylee has room for friends (and cousins!) to come with us.

Here is the layout for the visually challenged. (I cannot ever picture anything in my head from just an explanation. Pictures, please!)

I got off work Friday night and headed to Wal-mart. We want to have the camper completely stocked so that we don't have to load and unload anything whenever we decide to go. Do you know what that involves? Sheets, pillows, baggies, rubbermaid containers, foil, toilet paper, shampoo, bowls, plates, cups, a can opener, kitchen cleaner, toothpicks, ect, ect, ect, ect, ect. The list goes on forever. It was fun shopping but I text Tj (he stayed home with Tylee, thank god) and told him I was overwhelmed and coming home. I got a lot of stuff we needed but really the list making has only just begun. I know there is no hurry and Wal-mart will never be too far away, but again, the planner in me wants to just have everything done.

We camped again last night and had a ton of visitors. It was so much fun. Tylee loves her little bunk but woke up scared a few times in the night. (If Tj will let me) I want to make one of those little areas completely hers - which means changing the ugly gold curtain to a hot pink one and getting her some fun pillows and blankets. The OCD in me wants everything to match and it is killing me there is a hot pink/orange/blue sheet just steps away from our red sheets but I think Tylee will LOVE having her own little space in the camper. Turns out, camping close to home was a good idea after all. Shhhh...don't tell Tj. We had the excitement of being in the camper but close enough to home that we weren't out-of-luck if we forgot something. Heres to lots of memories and lots more pictures to come!!


Home away from home...





It is hot

So what's better than busting out one of my favorite memories as a child? One of the cheapest toys Wal-mart carries. The big, scary, slip-n-slide. Oooooh. I mentioned before that my Mom kept Tylee a few days when I was in St. Louis and said Tylee loved the slip-n-slide. Unfortunately, at home by yourself, the slip-n-slide isn't near as much fun. "You slip-n-slide, Mama. Take your shirt off. Where your swimsuit go?" Lucky for Tylee, she has a brother named Boone. I don't think he cared he was solo. The cheap*ss in me kept worrying he would tear it. My frugal husband kept reminding me it was only $5. Can't a dog have any fun?
It was cold for a bit but in 110 degree weather, it doesn't long before the cold hose water starts feeling good. Even when you are 2 years old. These next 4 pictures to me shout "summer!" Isn't this what it is all about? Life is good.
Even though it wasn't quite as fun as when it was at Grandma Ann's with the kids, Tylee was super sad when it was time to put it away. I told her we would get it out again some night this week. We were couped up all winter in the cold and are couped up now because it is so. stinking. hot. Not fair! My "look at Mommy's camera one time" technique didn't work out. She was super annoyed to be taking a break from her slip-n-slide to look at me. Oh well, so goes the life of a 2-year old. Those eyes would be better with a smile but I'll take what I can get. I have plenty of real life smiles to live by these days. Especially when the slip-n-slide comes out.


Lake Parsons

Having Tylee withdrawals? Here are a few pictures from a few weeks ago when we went swimming at the lake. Nothing overly exciting but it should get you through.