Monday, January 30, 2012

That's how it goes

It's true what parents say about giving young children toys - they are more interested in the box and wrapping paper than what's inside. However, we still continue to buy the neatest noise-making, sparkly, hippest toys because we think the child will love it. Apparently, despite all my years studying child development, I still fell trap to this phenomenon. I have a desk drawer at school full of stickers - glittery, shiny, holographic, animals, disney characters, princesses, fairies, etc. You name it and I probably have that sticker in my drawer. Wouldn't you know it, today when I asked what sticker one of the kids wanted to work for, he chose the produce sticker off his banana. *sigh*

Monday, January 16, 2012

Extreme Couponing!

The coupon fever has hit! There's a show on TLC called "Extreme Couponing" that follows women who go to the extreme to save money at the grocery store. I mean these women are really crazy - it's literally a full-time job strategizing what products to get at what stores and which manufacturers are offering specials, etc. They have binders filled with coupons, maps of stores with aisles coded to match the coupons, and every inch of their basements stockpiled with items. Quite frankly, I'm skeptical of that show because Sam and I have done the math along with the show to see how much is being saved and we never come up with anything close to what they say is saved.

Anyways, I did my own version of extreme couponing tonight and I must say, even though I only saved $37.00, I was so excited that I had Sam take a picture of me in the check-out line and I squealed in delight when the cashier handed me the receipt. Wow. I should tattoo "DORK" on my forehead. $37.00 is a lot of money to save buy taking a few minutes to cut out pieces of paper, but the women on the show save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a single grocery of the shows I saw, a women bought something like $1,400 in groceries and after coupons, paid only $50. Sam asked how many of the products that I bought with coupons would I normally buy without, and really there wasn't anything that I bought that I wouldn't normally. I'm careful to only clip coupons of items I already purchase so that I don't fall into the trap of buying things I don't like or won't use just because I have a coupon. And, furthermore, there were several items that I had a coupon for that I ended up not getting because a different brand was still less expensive without the coupon. So, I may not be an extreme couponer, but I'm a responsible one :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year; New Goals

Happy New Year to everyone! 10 days into 2012 and I'm just now getting around to writing this post. I wanted to write it sooner but school started up again and wedding mode is kicked into high gear. It dawned on me that all those little wedding details I had been putting off until after the new year now have to be faced. We have the major things down - ceremony church, reception venue, my dress and bridesmaids, tuxedos, cake tasting, and photography - but there is much to do still! Mom and I went flower shopping on Monday and I purchased my headpiece for my veil, but I still have shoes to find, which is always easier said than done when it comes to my giant feet! Lol! Slowly but surely it will all get done.

Anyways, it's a new year which means it's time to setting some new goals! Here are my 2012 goals:

1. Be calm as the wedding approaches and remember it is only one day and a marriage is a lifetime. My goal is not to stress about the little things because let's be honest, no one is going to remember every detail of our wedding 30 years from now. I am preparing to spend the rest of my life with my best friend, not just one day.

2. Enjoy this year of weddings supporting all my friends who are also planning the rest of their lives! I'm a bridesmaid in one destination wedding this year, and will be attending the wedding of two other friends, as well as helping another friend plan her wedding for 2013, so I really want to be a good support person for these wonderful women in my life.

3. Spend more time in prayer thanking God for everything He has blessed me with - a fiance soon to be husband, family, friends, a good job that I enjoy, a delightful new home, good health, etc. My goal is to pray the rosary every week and spend that time in reflection and thanksgiving.

And.....although I can't label this as an official goal because I'm still undecided about it myself....I might like to get a pet this year. Sam likes dogs and cats (and lizards, sugar gliders, parrots, tigers, etc. but I'm not entertaining those likes!) and I like cats, so I always thought I wanted a cat. BUT, I'm now thinking about maybe a dog. Not a little yapper and not a huge dog that would eat me, but something medium size that doesn't smell and shed a bunch. Sam's mom just got a new dog and I have to admit I really had fun playing with him in the yard. It got me thinking that a dog might be fun, but I have to give it some more thought. So, getting a pet is not a goal per se for 2012 but it may happen.

Happy New Year and thanks for reading my blog this past year. I'll continue with it as best I can :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Candlelight dinner

Christmas is my favorite time of year for many reasons, but one of the predominant reasons is because it's the one time of year where women can wear fancy party dresses and eat as much desserts as they want without the nagging little voice in their head saying, "drop the cookie and look at your fat thighs in the mirror." Desserts are a widely accepted and embraced part of Christmas and instead of looking at a creme brulee thinking, "wow, that's a whole bowl of fat and calories," I can look at it and think, "what a beautiful raspberry and mint leaf adorning the top."

Sam and I had a beautiful and delicious evening at the Franklin Park Conservatory, dining on fabulous dinner and dessert fares while surrounded by lush, tropical plants in the Palm House, romantically lit by candles on the tables and faint Chinese lanterns hung from the ceiling. I knew it was going to be spectacular when I first saw the dramatic tree branches and Christmas lights adorning the walkway to the Palm House. We ate dinner, listened to a live concert going on in the main lobby, and walked around admiring the numerous gingerbread creations on display. Fabulous evening with my fiance :)