Monday, November 23, 2009

The Darya Project

This family is doing the seemingly impossible, and they only have a few more days to do it. The dad is a friend of a friend, which is how I found out about their remarkable journey. To get the main idea of the "challenge," start with Lydia's entry on Nov. 17. In less than a week, she has raised over $5,500. I dare you to read their story and not be touched and compelled to give.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No Excuses...Just a New Post

I'm not even going to try to make an excuse for my non-existence in the blogosphere. Here's a new post:

I didn't actually watch the CMAs, but I won't let that little detail stop me from commenting. Hey, I got home from rehearsal at 8, and then--hello!--Glee was on until 9. After getting the kids to bed, then re-visiting them several times for various needs (stall tactics), I had to take care of a few grown-up duties before I could settle in. But here's what I DID see, between commercial breaks, soundbites, and the final moments:

  • Taylor Swift is a precious young thing, and I even like her music--when it is recorded in a studio, with LOTS of technological "help" thrown in. But, let's face it, she's pretty awful in a live performance. And Entertainer of the Year? Honey, let's just hope you can grow into that award, because you are not there yet! How 'bout you start with hiring a vocal coach? (Love ya, sweetie, but sometimes love hurts.)
  • Is it just me, or did Darius Rucker look rather awkward singin--and sort of dancing--in his solo performance? Darius, I get it: you're conflicted. You're a black man singing country music. But please don't allow your desire to fit into a new genre cause you to deny your inner blackness! Darius, you are a BROTHER--you have rhythm! Know who you are, and BE THAT!
  • Is Naomi Judd trying to bring back the mullet? I'm just sayin'...
  • Little Jimmie Dickens is priceless. I can watch that little guy all day--especially with Brad at his side. Love him!
  • Yay for Barbara Mandrell! I love seeing truly talented people be honored. And does she look amazing, or what?!? I'm privileged to attend church with her, and let me say that she's just as lovely up close. I'd do well to look that young and fit NOW, not to mention when I am her age!

That's all for now. Just had to throw my 2 cents out into the blogosphere. What can I say? I'm a natural-born critic. It's what I's who I am. ;-)

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Find a Happy Place! Find a Happy Place!"

That's one of my favorite lines from Finding Nemo. And it's not too hard to guess where our family's "Happy Place" is: Walt Disney World! So, when I discovered that Reagan had 10 days off in October, I began trying to think of ways to get there.

Now, keep in mind that we were just there in late May...less than 5 months from this proposed trip. But had I known that Reagan would have 10 days off in October, I would have certainly voted for waiting until then to go. After all, October is the time of free dining, cheap resort rates, and short lines!

Still, having just been, the Daddy vetoed another Disney trip immediately. No surprise really. We'd be frivolous to go, right? Instead we started planning a smaller vacation to Atlanta. And cheaper...or so we thought. But when I started pricing hotels, tickets to the aquarium, a trip to the American Girl store....well--"cha-ching!"--our smaller, cheaper trip started adding up. When I mentioned this to the Daddy, he jokingly said, "Run the numbers, give me an Excel spreadsheet, and we'll discuss it."

OK, so I didn't actually do a spreadsheet, but I did some " 'cipherin' " as Jethro used to say. And I figured out that we could actually go to Disney World CHEAPER than we could go to Atlanta for the week!!! We'd be crazy not to go, right? That's what we thought! 3 weeks, we'll be there! Can't wait. I'm going to take lots of pictures for my website (, and do some research for that as well. But my primary objective, as always, is having a great time with my family in our "Happy Place." For us, at least at this point in our lives, no other destination compares.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Combining Blogs

OK, so I have been terrible about blogging lately. Well, actually, that's not entirely true. I have been concentrating on my Disney blog, Affording the Mouse. But I realize that many of you really only want to see pics of my sweet girls and hear what they're up'm going to try to do better.

In order to accomplish this, I realized that I simply cannot keep up with separate blogs for each of the girls as well as my own. So, I've combined Reagan's and Presley's with mine. Presley's Page and What Reagan's Doing will be deleted (don't worry--I've saved an archived copy!) and their adventures will be featured here going forward. And, you can actually see old posts from their blogs here as well. So, nothing lost really. Just the hassle of keeping up with multiple blogs. I'll still have my Disney blog, and that will still be my main focus, but I hope to post here at least monthly with an update. If that's not satisfactory, you'll just need to join Facebook--that's where you can really find out what we're up to!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


OK, so it is not my intention to turn this into one of those couponing/bargain hunting blogs (although I do love reading them), but I needed to share my latest shopping triumph with you. much would you pay for the items pictured above? $50? 60? Maybe even $70? Well, retail value on these items is a whopping $78.45 (with tax added). But how much did I pay? I'll tell you later.

First, let me tell you that Harris Teeter is doing "Super Doubles" this week. What that means is that they double manufacturers coupons up to $1.98 in face value. You are limited to 20 coupons per day, but this can mean significant savings if you have coupons for $1.50 or even $1.75. (FYI, most stores will double coupons up to $.50, but HT usually doubles up to $.99 every day.)

So, with my VIC card (the equivalent to a Kroger Plus card), I saved $12.44 in basic "advertised sales." With my coupons, I saved $46.23 after doubling! (That odd number is because I actually got a few items free. Technically, HT would have owed me money, but they do not pay overage on free items. FYI, some stores, such as Target, do!)

That brings my total to a whopping $19.78! Not too shabby, considering all these items are name brands and several are higher-priced health & beauty items. That makes my savings around 70%. Oh, and I returned the next day and purchased several more items and saved approximately 65% on that shopping excursion!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pop Star Trailed by Paparazzi!

We had a little fun today prepping for Reagan's 6th b-day party. The party will have a "Pop Star Diva" theme, so we thought it would be fun to dress Reagan up as Hannah Montana and take some "paparazzi-style" photos. We hope to take a few more--maybe at Starbucks grabbing coffee, or in a car driving away. Those "on location" shots require a bit more planning. Here are a couple to entertain you now:

"Hannah" walking her dog, flashing the peace sign

Taking an important call

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Couponing

It has been a really long time since I have posted anything here. So, what have I been up to? For one, I've been concentrating on my Disney blog ( lately. Trying to post at least a couple of times weekly there has eaten up a lot of my free time (well, almost free--the time when Presley naps and Reagan watches TV). Mostly, we've been busy with summer. With both girls home, I have my hands full.

My new favorite hobby is couponing. Kind of lame hobby, I know, but it keeps me busy and it saves me money. So...a much better hobby that simply shopping, wouldn't you say? Most of the time, I can save as much on a grocery shopping excursion as I spend--in other words, I'm getting my groceries (including health & beauty items) for 50% or more off regular prices. I wish I had kept track of how much I was spending BEFORE couponing, so I could compare it to what I spend now. Then I could add up all that savings and see what my "salary" for a year of couponing would be. :-) For now, I'll just brag by showing you what I got at Target today for $5.47 (it would have been $4.47 but one coupon site would only let me print 4 coupons instead of the 5 I needed). Still, pretty good when you consider the retail value of this is around $27. Have a look:


  • 10 Sobe Lifewater (retail $1.39 each; I got them all for $1, or $.10 each!)
  • 3 Eggo Bake Shop (retail $2.29 each; I got them for $.50 each)
  • Tide travel size (retail $.97; Target actually paid me $.03 to buy this)
  • Nexcare Bandaids (retail $.99; I paid $.44--a splurge, but these are great)
  • 2 RoseArt washable markers (retail $1.99; I paid $.50 each)
  • 12-pk. Bic Pens (not sure of retail, but I spent $.50)

On the Sobe, I combined a sale (10 for $10) with coupons (Buy 1, Get 1, or BOGO) and also a special promotion (Buy 10, get a $5 Target Gift Card). Again, they would have been free if I had enough coupons. Still, not a bad deal!

Tomorrow, I'm heading to Kroger to do a Kellogg's promotion. If you buy 10 Kellogg's or Keebler items (and a few specified others), you get a $10 rebate. Kroger is also doing a deal where you save $5 when you purchase 10 qualifying items from their list. Some of the Kellogg's items are on the Kroger list, so...with coupons and combining these deals, I plan to come home with a couple of sacks full of groceries for maybe a couple of dollars. Oh, and Kellogg's is also offering a $70 coupon for Dell with this deal, which will come in handy when I purchase a new laptop. See why I get excited about coupons?