2012: The Year that Was

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

I spent an entire year home with my daughter.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I honestly can’t remember what resolutions I made for this year, if any. If I did, I didn’t blog about them.

For next year, I want to continue blogging on a regular basis, really work on losing weight and spend as much time as possible with Lucy. I am blessed to be able to stay home with her, and I need to take advantage of every second I have here. Life goes by so quickly.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My sister-in-law and two good friends of ours.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My grandpa. I miss him every single day.

5. What countries did you visit?

None.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you didn’t have in 2012?

To be out of credit card debt and to be able to add onto our house.

7. What dates from 2012 will be etched upon your memory, and why?

March 11, when my grandpa died.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

Being a SAHM/WAHM for an entire year. This is not an easy job, people. I used to think it was. Boy, was I wrong.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not playing as much with Lucy as I know I should have and wish I had.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had sinus surgery, if that counts.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Honestly, we didn’t buy many “big” things this year, which is good. We’re trying to be more savers than spenders.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My husband. He is such an amazing Daddy.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Legislators who thought they had the right to tell women what to do with their bodies and who look out for themselves rather than their constituents.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Paying down credit cards.

15. What did you get really excited about?

Paying off a couple of credit cards and Lucy’s birthday. I always love throwing her a fabulous party.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

Call Me Maybe. I don’t know why, but I really like that song. It’s pretty catchy.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

Happier
Thinner.
Richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Playing more with Lucy rather than having her do independent play, sticking to a budget.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Playing on my computer and phone.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

We spent with as we always do – with my family in Tennessee.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?

I fell in love with my husband and daughter more every day.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Oh, man. The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Survivor, Big Brother, Top Chef, Next Iron Chef, How I Met Your Mother, Raising Hope – just to name a few!

23. What was the best book you read?

I didn’t read as much as I have in past years, but I did read some Janet Evanovich books that I loved.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

This bluetooth speaker that we got from Best Buy to play music off our phones. It’s awesome!

25. What did you want and get?

To begin getting out of credit card debt.

26. What did you want and not get?

To be able to add onto the house and try to get pregnant again.

27. What was your favorite film of 2012?

Argo. Fantastic movie.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 32. We had our traditional breakfast at a local place where they painted my name on the truck and then went out to dinner.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Being able to expand our house and family.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2012?

“Mom” clothes – I wear jeans and t-shirts a lot.

31. What kept you sane?

My husband and friends.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

See #13

33. Who did you miss?

My sister and grandpa.

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

Life goes by quickly.

35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up

Menu Plan Monday ~ Dec. 31, 2012

So….it’s been a long time since I’ve participated with Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday. I’m hoping that getting back into it will help me really stick to a menu each week. My goal for 2013 is to not spend all of my grocery budget every pay period, so hopefully really planning things out will help me reach that goal.

We have a pretty light week planned since we’ll be at Joe’s parents’ Monday night and Joe will be out with a friend on Wednesday night. We don’t usually have frozen pizza twice a week (it’s our typical Sunday night meal), but I figure we probably won’t want to cook much when we get home from the mountains.

Here’s what I have planned for this week:

Monday: Dinner at Joe’s parents’

Tuesday: Frozen pizza

Wednesday: Mommy-daughter date night

Thursday: Tacos, Spanish rice

Friday: Haystacks

Saturday: Dinner out

Sunday: Frozen pizza

What’s on your menu this week?

Christmas Decorations – A Bit Late

I know it’s late, but since a lot of people in the blogosphere posted pictures of their Christmas decorations, I wanted to share mine as well. Our living room is fairly small and, since I don’t really know yet how to decorate the other rooms, I just decorated the living room. Enjoy!

DSC04783
DSC04789
DSC04756
This year, we didn’t get a real tree because we just didn’t have time to go get one. We picked up a pre-light fake tree at Big Lots for 50% off and, when we took it down tonight, we talked about how much easier it was. I still prefer real trees, but this will do if we can’t or don’t feel like cutting one down. And, though it wasn’t as full as I like, it was still pretty.

DSC04830
Every year, we get an ornament that represents something about our family from the year.

DSC04765
DSC04766
DSC04767
DSC04768
DSC04770
DSC04774
DSC04775
These I made last year with my mom’s group. I love them!

DSC04769
DSC04771
DSC04772
And, that was our decorated house this year. I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Publix Trip ~ 98% Savings!

So, it took me a while (as in, until this week) to realize there was a moneymaker opportunity on the Nature Made vitamins at Publix (maybe this is my lesson to keep up with the Green Advantage Buy flyers), so when I finally discovered that deal, I knew I was going to have a killer week.

This week, my goal was to stock up on Morningstar products (50 cents each!!!!) and get some super cheap Kellogg’s cereal for the points. We don’t necessarily *need* the cereal right now, but it’s good to have on hand, and the points make the 76 cents I paid for each set of two boxes worth it.

I made several trips this week. My first was on Sunday to snag a great deal on Coke 12-packs. Then, yesterday I went to a few stores to spread out my vitamin overage (and I was able to get three penny items!). However, the third store I went to yesterday was out of all the vitamins that were moneymakers, so my total there was higher than had planned. Oh, well. I still can’t beat this week’s total. It’s the best I’ve had in a while, and I have a ton of my grocery budget left for next week. Hopefully, I’ll save a good bit of it this week because we’ll be at my in-laws’ on Monday night and Tuesday.

Overall, I spent $3.86 for $147.57 worth of items. Next week my total will be higher because there won’t be any vitamin deals to absorb the overage, and I do need to get more Morningstar so I’m stocked up until the next sale. Here’s the breakdown:

Trip 1

What I got:
(4) Coke 12-packs, $12
(5) Nature Made Vitamin D, $3.99

Coupons used:
(2) $2/1 Coke 12-packs printable (NLA)
(5) $3/1 Nature Made Publix coupon (Green Advantage Buy Flyer)
(5) $2/1 Nature Made manufacturer’s coupon

Total OOP: $2.95

Total: $2.95

 

Trip 2
What I got:
(4) Morningstar products, BOGO $3.99
(2) Kellogg’s Apple Jacks, BOGO $3.76
(1) Publix Apple Juice, $2.69
(3) Nature Made Folic Acid, $4.39

Coupons used:
(4) $1.50/1 Morningstar product
(2) $1.50/1 Kellogg’s cereal
(1) Penny item coupon – apple juice (from the newspaper)
(3) $3/1 Nature Made Publix coupon (Green Advantage Buy Flyer)
(3) $2/1 Nature Made manufacturer’s coupon

Total OOP: -$1.97

 

Trip 3
What I got:
(1) Morningstar products, BOGO $3.99
(2) Kellogg’s Apple Jacks, BOGO $3.76
(1) Publix Apple Juice, $2.69
(3) Nature Made Magnesium, $3.99
(2) Cheez-It, BOGO $3.39

Coupons used:
(1) $1.50/1 Morningstar product
(2) $1.50/1 Kellogg’s cereal
(1) Penny item coupon – apple juice (from the newspaper)
(3) $3/1 Nature Made Publix coupon (Green Advantage Buy Flyer)
(3) $2/1 Nature Made manufacturer’s coupon
(1) $1/2 Cheez-It

Total OOP: $0.63

 

Trip 4
What I got:
(4) Morningstar products, BOGO $3.99
(2) Kellogg’s Apple Jacks, BOGO $3.76
(1) Publix Apple Juice, $2.69
(2) Right Guard Body Wash, 2/$6

Coupons used:
(4) $1.50/1 Morningstar product
(2) $1.50/1 Kellogg’s cereal
(1) Penny item coupon – apple juice (from the newspaper)
(1) $1.50/$7 frozen product purchase Kroger coupon (home mailer)
(1) $2/2 Right Guard body wash manufacturers coupon
(2) $1.50/1 Right Guard body wash Target coupon

Total OOP: $2.25

Total retail: $147.57
Total OOP: $3.86
Total savings: 98%

Christmas 2012

Warning: This will be a long post. But, it’s full of pictures of an adorable little girl, so it’s well worth the read!

Our Christmases are always “messed up.” We spend Christmas Eve at my parents’ house, which is when my family has traditionally opened presents, so, rather than dragging all of our presents for Lucy to Tennessee, we modified our celebration and open our gifts here on Christmas Eve morning.

This year, we opened stockings on Dec. 23. I picked up a bunch of little stocking stuffers at Party City for no more than $1 each and a couple of little princess toys, and they were a HUGE hit! We also got Lucy a Hello Kitty digital clock off Amazon for her stocking but, after a couple of minutes, it stopped working. We’ll be calling them to get a refund.

DSC04808
DSC04809
DSC04824
Lucy was SUPER excited to open her presents the next morning. She did really well this year by not disrupting them as they sat under the tree. She really didn’t go near them as well. I was one of those kids who sat by the tree, shaking presents and trying to guess what was inside the wrapping, so I was pretty impressed with my girl. She got some awesome things – an Ariel doll, a train set, a shopping cart, some Strawberry Shortcake DVDs, play food, a Barbie karaoke machine and a personalized Minnie Mouse blanket. Her “big” gift was a train table, which she loves. Yep. That’s my girl – princesses and trains.

DSC04832
DSC04839
DSC04841
A few hours later, we headed to my parents’ house. Although it fell on a Monday, we chose not to go up on Friday because we didn’t want to ask someone to come check on our cats.

When we arrived, we hung out and Lucy made cookies with my mom for Santa. It was quiet since my brother and his family weren’t there, but Lucy loved getting all the attention. After our traditional dinner of Chow Mein, we headed to the living room to open presents. Lucy was SO excited to give everyone our gifts (she had been trying to ever since we walked through the door). And, of course, she was excited to open her own gifts!

DSC04845
DSC04848
DSC04852
DSC04866
DSC04871
DSC04875
DSC04884
DSC04889
After all the presents were opened, Joe, my brother and I headed out to see a movie (The Guilt Trip. It was pretty funny.) When we returned, my dad read Lucy her 24th book, “The Night Before Christmas.” I feel like I should have had Joe take the picture. He says he’s their adopted son.

DSC04890
DSC04891
And, Lucy put out her cookies for Santa and went to bed.

DSC04892
DSC04894
On Christmas morning, Lucy was SUPER excited to see what Santa had left for her. She waited fairly patiently for almost an hour until we knew my parents were awake and could go over to their house. She was not disappointed! Santa brought her a princess mp3 player that play music and the princess stories, a Cinderella doll, and a box with a bunch of princess dress up clothes and accessories!

DSC04903
DSC04907
She and Daddy also read her note from Santa (thanks, Uncle Randy, since Mommy and Daddy forgot to write one!)

DSC04901
And, Snow White joined us for the rest of the day.

DSC04911
Joe’s parents came up for lunch, as they do every year, and we had a great time. I love that our families get along so well and spend the respective holidays together.

I cannot wait until next Christmas. Seeing the magic through my daughter’s eyes makes it so much more fun.

Wordless Wednesday: Grocery Shopping

IMAG1164