"....I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." ~James 10:10~

Monday, January 31, 2011

{Valentine Decor---Too easy NOT to do!}

Oh my goodness!

Last night I was putting out some of my Valentine decorations and realized that I am lacking in the love day decor department. I like to go all out for Holidays and love, after all, matters the most....right??? {Don't you just love that song btw?}

So I began stalking some of my favorite craft blogs and found these awesome ideas that are

1. Cheap
2. Easy
3. Gorgeous!!!

So why not???

I'm gonna be busy tomorrow night during American Idol:), working on these....

V-day Chandelier Swag
Grocery Bag Wreath
Felt Heart Wreath
Rosette Garland


Thanks to everyone for posting these LOVEly creations!


Since I consider myself EXTREMELY blessed to have a sweet, kind, good lookin:), Godly husband I decided to do something special and plan him a surprise party for his birthday!
I think he was pretty surprised...although I'm pretty sure he also knew SOMETHING was up!
{Honey, if you did know....thanks for acting surprised!}
A giant Birthday Boy pin for my handsome Birthday Boy!
Happy Times and Good Memories!
Happy 27th Birthday Travis~ I love you more and more every single day!
Thanks also to everyone for coming to celebrate with us---It really meant alot to Trav! (and me, too!)
The lovely Burgess crew + Hunter's cute girlfrind Brittney....
...and the star of the show~NunNun (aka: the mature Nunster:) having a blast with his special guy!
Happy Birthday....
....from ALL OF US!
We love you....

...through and through!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

{Things about Thursday!}

I spy with my little eye~
...Something that made me really happy during my lunch break today! Molly and I went to Old Navy because we heard they were having a great sale...and YES THEY WERE!
{Thanks, Meg!}
Everything marked with an orange clearance tag was an extra 50% off, which meant that THESE...
....were only $5!
I happen to LOVE Old Navy's Stainless Steel water bottles and have several at home. They DO NOT LEAK and they don't emit any harmful plastic chemicals. Luckily, today several of them were only 48 cent! As soon as we saw that, Molly and I bought all of them...except for one scraggler we spotted after checking out that got away and we didn't have time to get back in line for! We saved that one for you...
The two on the end were $1.49 and the three in the middle are the 48 cent bargains!
I was also happy when I came across this coupon in my email today~I love a reason to go to Chili's!
I felt kinda icky from eating two HUGE bowls of raisin bran for dinner last night so I decided I would try to drink LOTS of water today----

Breakfast was my FAV~ Peaches -n- Cream...
{...I dig it 'cuz you know that I'm a fein...}
---if you got that, you are OLD SKOOL, like me!---
....and this little pack was my mid-morning snack. (Doesn't that rhyme so nicely:)
These things are SO GOOD!
And good for you, too! Turn your head sideways and read for yourself...lol...I couldn't get this pic to turn counter clockwise to save my life!
Last, but not least, I finished up my afternoon with a HAPPY HOUR SPECIAL----
A diet cherry slush always treats me right after a long day at work!
Here's to a FABULOUS FRIDAY...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

{Restaurant Review: Brioso Fresh Pasta!}

My favorite lunch crew and I decided to visit a new restaurant here in Anderson, Brioso Fresh Pasta. It's located at 3131 North Main Street, in the Anderson Mall, making it a very convenient and quick lunch trip from the DSS office. That's great because the less time it takes to get there, the more time we have to eat and chat! Today's crew included me, Rachelle, Molly, Brandi, Mark, Lisa, and Leslie....We weren't sure what to expect since it was our first visit, so we asked the owner, Wayne Cripps for some help ordering. Molly, Leslie, and I wanted to keep it healthy and Wayne suggested the freshly made whole wheat penne pasta with a tomato sauce. The flavors were INCREDIBLE and you could really taste a freshness to the pasta that you don't get in most Italian restaurants. My entree had just the right amount of spices and seasoning and I would've eaten every bite except that I got too full. The portion size is PERFECTO for lunch!
Our server came by and sprinkled some parmasan cheese all over my dish, making it extra tasty! Luckily, we had a coupon~Buy one entree and two drinks, get the second entree for free! You know I love me some coupons! My sister Molly and I each got our entree and diet coke for $12.73 which meant our meals only cost us $6.36 each--not bad for a delicious lunch date with the crew!
The style is casual and fast and the ambiance was nice---it's got a high class feel to it. I loved the bottles of water on the table, as well as the fresh bread with oil, sea salt, and pepper. Yum!
Thanks for posing for this shot, Lisa! :)

According to wikianswers.com----
Vivacious is an English equivalent of 'brioso'. The word in Italian is pronounced 'bree-OH-soh'. It's the masculine form of an adjective whose feminine form is 'briosa', which is pronounced 'bree-OH-sah'.

The take-home menu I have says to enjoy and "be 'BRIOSO'" and that's the best way to describe how you feel after eating a delicious meal there with good friends!
Leslie enjoyed her meal, too! See---her bowl is pretty much empty!
And Molly hilariously insisted that when Wayne took her order and said, "Here, this is yours" that it meant she got to take it home:) Silly, Mo! Leave it there for next time...
Oh and try visiting My Upstate Perks for a special deal especially for you!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

{Spending less at CVS!}

I stopped by CVS after work yesterday to see if I could score a few bargains, since I was already on a couponing high...lol! I spotted a deal for soft drinks in their sales paper and knew going in that was a deal I wanted to take advantage of.

The deal was this:

Get five 12 pks. of Coke products for $15 and get $5 back in extra bucks. (Extra bucks are given on a coupon and can be used immediately after a transaction on other merchandise in the store, they are basically just like cash). So I paid for my soft drinks first and got them each for $2, considering I basically got five 12 pks. for $10! Coke 12pks usually retail at CVS for over $4 so that added up to major savings!

(all of this cost me only $17.42! Five 12 pks. of Cokes would normally cost you at least $20 themselves!)

So...after I got my softdrinks I scanned my CVS card at the coupon machine and got a coupon for $5 of when you buy 2 revlon cosmetic products! Score! Always scan for coupons before you start shopping!

Next, I shopped around for all the other items I needed (or just wanted:) and got all of my other coupons together. It takes some time and brain power---but it's totally worth it!
I selected all of these items (a few which were already 75% off!) and it ended up costing me only $2.47 after all my coupons! I used my $5 extra bucks from the softdrink purchase, my $5 off two revlon cosmetics that I got from the machine in the store, a $1 off 2 campbell's soup coupon, a $1 off any Reach brand floss, a $1 off any Colgate advanced toothpaste (which were already BOGO!), and a $1 off any Almay cosmetic! Woo Hoo! Not to mention, I used all my new cosmetics this morning and loved them! (P.S. I'm pretty sure that most of those coupons came out of this weeks Sunday paper.)Travis saw the receipt on the counter and said he was quite impressed! Yay!

Couponing is SO MUCH FUN!---Especially when you LOVE TO SHOP, like me!

Monday, January 24, 2011

{Hey Rookie...}

Hi, my name is Laura and yes--- I'm a couponing rookie.
I've been trying to develop a system that works well for me. I've drawn off of many other fabulous couponing blogs (see friends, family, and favorites in side bar) and found that an accordian type filing system works well for me for all my loose manufacturer coupons. If I'm in a store and see a good clearance or BOGO sale I can just open my file to see if I have a manufacturers coupon that will add up to even more savings. This is how I have my coupons organized currently...
{Sorry it's a little messy...I DID just get back from Bilo:0}

The first tab that's folded down (and I need to fix) is "other". That's where I put coupons that don't fit into any of my other categories. The rest of the tabs are as follows:
2. Pet
3. Food
4. Household
5. Beauty
6. Dental
7. Dining out

You can design your file in any catergories that work well for you and the things you buy most often. I also keep all the weekly sales inserts(like from CVS, WALGREENS, GROCERY) inside another folder and pull them out when I need to see if I have a manufacturers coupon that would work with their current deals.

Today was my first actual trip to the grocery store with coupons in hand and I think I did fairly well considering I'm the new kid on the couponing block. I needed several things that weren't on sale so I paid full price for several items however, overall I saved $15.88 in BOGO deals (which meant many of my items were half price since I only needed one of most of the items) with my Bilo Bonus Card and an extra $8.82 with my coupons!

As you can see, that took my total from $63.05 down to $39.73! And I particularly like shopping at Bilo because we always put our Fuel Perks to good use! In fact, Trav just filled up my car the other day using fuel perks.
As I build up my stock of manufactures coupons and get better at this, I hope that I can start saving even more money by using coupons! I hope to become a pro at couponing!

Highlights from today's trip were:

Beggin' Strips: on sale 2/$6.00
Busy Bone: $3.72
-3.72-buy one beggin' strips package get the busy bone free
-1.00 instant coupon from beggin' strip package
-1.00 instant coupon from bone package good on beggin' strip purchase
=a grand total of 1.00 for my package of beggin' strips and the busy bone!
...looks like Glory got lucky!

2,000 Flushes toilet bowl cleaner (the kind that does the work for you---all you have to do is throw it in)$3.78 BOGO
-$1.89 in BOGO savings (at Bilo you don't have to buy 2 in order to get the savings!)
-$.55 manufacturer coupon
-$.55 manufactuer coupn (Bilo doubles most coupons up to 60 cent)
=a grand total of $.79 for my 2,000 flushes toilet cleaner!

If anyone has any tips/advice about couponing or has anything to share, please leave me a comment! It would just make my day!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

{Weekend Recap!}

THANK GOODNESS for weekends! We celebrated John's birthday at their place...
...and had pizza, cake, and ice cream...Yummy!

Molly made this CUTE cake!

Last night we decided to have a movie date....

While Travis played golf, I spent the earlier part of the day thrifting....
I found 12 Little Golden Books at Haven of Rest to add to my collection for $2.00
I also went to Goodwill to check the dollar racks...
I found a cute skirt to wear over my bathing suit this summer for a buck which made me LONG for some sand and sunshine! Overall, it was pretty slim pickins in the thrift world yesterday~
But---- I lucked up at Burke's outlet and found some good deals....
I got this pair for $4.50
And these for 49 cent! They were 90% off!

I definitely have spring fever now!

What about you?


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Today's Top 10!

In no particular order:

1. Lazy Saturday's are always good:)
2. My house is now "Tidy" which (I know) is different than clean...lol!
3. Glory got a good, long walk (which means I got some exercise, too!)
4. The bloomin' heartburn I had from last night's Bloomin' Onion is finally gone...
5. Found a few things at the thrift store
6. Ate some yummy cheese grits
7. Found some great new books for my sunday school class
8. Roxie took a nap with me...
9. I have a BOGO coupon for Marble Slab to use----
10. ---After we go see "The Dilemma"!

Gotta Run...movie starts in a few!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

{Spicy ~n~ Sweet!}

Travis and I had our first Thai food experience earlier this week. I really wasn't sure WHAT to get but luckily we were with a friend who is a nut for Thai food so he was able to offer some good suggestions. I decided to go with the mildest Sweet and Sour veggies with chicken. Doesn't it look beautiful? Lots of fresh veggies and lots of colors usually means it must be pretty good for ya, too! I must say though---this Thai food thing is gonna take some getting used to:) The flavors are unusual and strong--and if our friend is reading this, I think I enjoyed the company more than the meal. But hey, the steamed white rice was perfecto! Lol!
...and so was the Ambiance!
We all shared this Tom Yum soup and the guys thought it was well---Yum---so I let them have it.... no problem!
And a meal is even better when you get a $25 gift certificate at Restraunts.com for $3!

That's the SPICY part of my week....
and here's the SWEET part~
Although she may have two horns on her head, this is certainly a little angel! Makayla manages to make an appearance on almost all my posts---might have something to do with the fact that she is just A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E!
Eddie Munster Style!

One last thing....I read a quote from my church bulletin this week that I wanted to share because it really stuck with me---"Contentment is quickly ruined by comparison."
Isn't that so true??? It brought this verse to mind...

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
If you're going through a difficult time right now or feel that your circumstances are too much to handle, TAKE HEART! You're not alone, God's there with you every step of the way! And JOY will be found-I promise!