Friday, February 24, 2012

Room Re-Do!

I've been laying low for the past week.  Still not feeling too well.  Seems like it will never end! 

We did manage to get Ava's room switched over, it's all painted and pink and girly now.  My parents had the girls for a sleepover while we worked on it, and I had hinted to her that I was going to paint her room and make it pretty.  I didn't come right out and tell her I was going to switch it, because I'd asked her how she felt about it before and she said no way...but she's five years old, and she doesn't like change, of any kind.  At least, at first.  She warms up to it, and then she's fine.

So, she got home and immediately ran upstairs to check it out.  She ran into her "old" room first, which is now the play room.  I'm not finished with it yet so I didn't take pictures, it's done enough that the girls can play in it, but I still have a few more things to do.  Anyway, she was hysterical, crying and just...inconsolable.  I ruined her whole little life!  But then she went to see her new room, and after a few minutes in there things weren't so bad anymore.  After an hour or so, she was loving it.  She even gave me thumbs up and told me it was "cool."  :o)  

I'm still not quiiiiite finished with her room yet either, but the only things left to do are to re-paint the ceiling, get a lamp shade, and fix a dresser drawer that broke.  I took some pictures anyway.  Let me know if you have any other decorating ideas!  There is a LOT of pink, but that's what Ava likes.  She's a total girly girl and loves pink.

Heading in to her room.

So, there you have it!  :o)  I think it's cute.  Super girly, and fit for a little princess!  Like I said, the drawer is being fixed, and I need a lamp shade...thinking maybe green to tie into the green on her bedding and the greenery around the room.  I don't know.  Break up the pink a little.  I can't decide if I want to paint the lamp base or leave it cream, her blinds are cream and so are the lampshades on her little chandelier.  Also, I replaced the little babydoll cradle with a basket bassinet...the cradle was missing a part that I couldn't find.  I have no idea why, but Blogger isn't letting me add captions to the pictures except for the first one. 

Next up, Charlotte's room.  She wants her room painted purple so I picked out a lilac color.  I wanted to start working on it earlier this week, but you know, life happens.  It will probably wait until next week.  I'm still working on painting some end tables for her, I'm almost finished with them.  I finished that book case I was working on last week, except for that I decided I wanted to put some trim around the bottom.  I have to figure out how to cut it and get the angles right, I'm soooo not a tool using kinda gal.  I want to be, I'm just...not, haha. 

In other news...I just got an email about a wind advisory, up to 57mph winds, right about the time I have to pick Ava up from the bus.  That oughta be fun!  :o)  Mike said to tie Charlotte to a rope so she doesn't blow away, hehe.  I will just carry her. 

I *love* this deal!

LOVE when they offer free 8x10 photo canvases!  The others are a great deal too!  I really need to get a move on with decorating the new house.  There is nothing on the walls in the living room, family room, kitchen, hallway...and I could go on, haha.  With re-decorating and updating my style, it's going slowwwwwly, but this is an awesome deal and some black and white or sepia canvases would be timeless.

FREE 8x10 photo canvas (Just pay shipping!) or $35 off larger canvases.

11x14 photo canvas for just $27, shipped!

16x20 photo canvas for just $37, shipped!

What a great deal!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gift Ideas!

I shop for the holidays all year round. It's the only way to go, so I don't totally irritate my hubby with massive spending, hehe! A little here, a little there, finding great deals, and Christmas (or Easter) is a breeze!


Right now Vistaprint is offering six free items to help you showcase your most important photographs.  All you have to pay for is, is shipping.  Not bad!

Shipping Starting Prices:

Calendar- $5.67

T-Shirt- $4.86
Magnet- $4.52
Mouse Pad- $4.41
Mug- $5.67
Photo Book- $5.83

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What a Week!

Weeks like this, make me absolutely LOVE being a firefighter's wife.  The schedule is absolutely amazing.  Handsome Hubby had the entire week off, thanks to a trade he made a couple months ago.  He didn't have to work his second job either thanks to him finishing his "training" and having to wait for the new schedule to come out unless someone called in...and no one did.  It's also been a sloowwwww week for volunteer calls too.  He got up with the girls every day this week and was on bus stop duty.  With my not feeling well lately, this has been so nice for me.  I'm so lucky to have a husband who takes such good care of his family.  He only ran out to go to the gym (he does Cross Fit) and to do some training at the volunteer house.  Such a nice week of him being home so much. 

We haven't really done too much this week, despite his time off.  I fully intended to get some painting done, but all I've done is work on painting a bookshelf for Ava's room.  That's something, at least, right?  I just get worn out so easily (and yes, I have been working on this shelf all's COLD outside and in the garage).  I spent lots of time on the couch snuggling.  We are watching How I Met Your Mother from the beginning on Netflix and we got through Season 1 and most of Season 2.  We did go out on Thursday to take the girls to the library, and I needed to run into the grocery store.  I told hubby I was in the mood for a nice big salad, so he took us out to dinner.  It ended up being Family Night where we went, and the girls had a blast.  They had balloons and fun headbands/hats for the kids, plus a cotton candy machine.  We had a really nice time and my salad was delicious.  We haven't done a mid-week dinner out for awhile since Ava's been in school, and usually we don't do much of it on the weekends because everything is packed.

Today I'm planning to finish up painting that book shelf.  The girls are going to my parents for a sleepover tomorrow, and I asked the husband if he would help me switch Ava's room, with the playroom.  The girls picked their rooms before we moved in, and Ava picked the what seems like the biggest room upstairs (well, the master bedroom is bigger, but you know, the biggest other room, haha).  It's pretty comparable in size to the room Charlotte picked, but it's a bit longer and narrower, so it does feel bigger.

This is only part of the room, it's long... big enough for two beds...bigger than the room that the girls shared in our old house.

It is painted blue with clouds and glow in the dark painted stars on the ceiling and it has decals of trees and butterflies and stuff... and Ava wants to paint it pink.  I am fine with that (though everyone else I mention it too seems to protest), but, the fourth bedroom is the playroom and the layout is just not working out for the amout of toys and big stuff that the girls have.  They keep some toys in their rooms, but most of them stay in the playroom so they can share.  So this weekend while the girls are at my parents, I'm going to switch the rooms.  And paint the current playroom/Ava's new room the color pink that she wants, and have it set up really nice for her when they get back.  She doesn't like change, so I'm hoping she likes this (and the more pink and girly, the more chance she will, haha)...if not, I guess I'll have to consider switching it back, but really, I think they'll love it and having room for all their toys since some are still packed.  And this way, we'll get to keep the pretty walls and not paint over them since they'll look great for a playroom.  At least for now, until we maybe decide to have baby number three...  which won't be for probably at least two years with my health issues.  At that point, we'd just have to move the playroom down to the basement.  Maybe we should just do that in the first place...but the basement is still unfinished. 

I should probably go ahead and paint Charlotte's room too so she doesn't feel left out.  She wants purple.  Bright purple, but I'm thinking more of a lilac. 

So, yeah, kind of a lazy day today.  The girls got me up at about 8:30, and I made them waffles, hashbrowns, and scrambled eggs for breakfast.  They're watching Tinkerbell right now and I'm waiting for the last coat of paint I put on the bookshelf to dry before I add another coat.  I plan to enjoy being lazy today since it will be crazy here tomorrow with painting and rearranging.  Fun, fun! 

Just a note, don't be alarmed by the crazy posts today.  I decided I wanted to switch over the personal posts over at The Coupon Wars, to here and keep that strictly for shopping and coupons talk. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fairy Gardens

How cute is that idea??? I am so getting some bigger pots to sit outside...probably one for out back and one for the front... I know I would have loved that as a little girl so I am sure that the girls will like it now and really grow to enjoy it as they get older and more imaginative.

And, I will have fun picking stuff out at the craft store because I'm totally girly like that... :o)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Earn Cash and Prizes. Seriously! :o)

As I'm sure you all know, I *love* taking surveys and earning rewards.  It's not really a great way to make a living, but it is a great way to supplement and earn some fun things in your spare time.  I earn gift cards to treat my family to a nice dinner out every now and then, or I'm able to select prizes or gift cards I can use towards making the holidays special.  It really helps at Christmas!  I even earn checks that I can put into savings as well.


MyView is a global community of expert individuals who express their open, honest, and valid opinions on a wide range of topics.
By experts, they mean folks just like you who are knowledgeable or passionate about almost any topic. Gaming. Business. Family. Movies. TV. Books. Technology. You name it.
It's pretty simple. You tell them what you think about stuff like:
  • Never-before-seen movie trailers
  • New tools and solutions for IT Professionals
  • Cutting edge tools and solutions for IT pros
  • The latest fashion trends
  • New video games
  • Health topics
  • Business issues, large and small
  • And much, much more
In return, you earn valuable rewards that you can spend all over the web.  Sounds good to me!

You might also like to check out the Join Nielsen Home Scan Consumer Panel - Earn valuable points, which are redeemable for electronics, household items, jewelry, toy, gift cards, and more. If they are accepting panelists in your area, you'll receive a price gun that you scan your groceries and coupons to earn points. This is a fun activity for kids to do while you're putting groceries away and the longer you're a panelist, the better the prizes get.

I get asked all the time what survey companies I use, so here are a couple that I work with:

Brand Institute

This is a check I got from Global Test Market!

I also recommend YouData, where you get paid to view ads.  They PayPal you payment every week!

Another option is Pinecone Surveys, and they are fantastic but very selective about who they allow to participate in their surveys.  

And don't forget about Swagbucks!  Not only can you earn points for searching with them, but also for watching videos and completing surveys as well.  They are in my top 3 for earning!  Next two being Global Test Market and Opinion Outpost, as linked above.  On a lazy month I earn at least a $25 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks just from hitting the daily goal, but if I actually put more time into it I can earn $50-100.

Also, if you'd like to earn a little extra cash for shopping, be sure to load a few apps on your phone like Receipt Hog, Checkout 51, Mobisave ( use code GEZYTEXC to let them know I sent you! ;)  ), and iBotta (my referral code is z3kypw if you want to be on my team!  The more team members you have, the more bonus cash you can earn!).  I've had great results with all of those.

Are there any that you have had good results with?  I'd love to hear about them!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

How has your day been today?  We don't really go all out celebrating Valentine's Day.  We just never have.  Sometimes we do flowers and cards, every once in awhile we'll go to dinner.  Usually it's just a low key day at home for us, though.  I got the girls a few little trinkets, and of course we did cards for the kids in my little Kindergartener's class.  I bought a bunch of cute cards a couple years ago, on clearance at Target.  I think I paid maybe .10-.20 a box.  They all have pencils, stickers, or tattoos.  She picked out Hello Kitty cards with pencils.  We also sent in some Hershey's Kisses to pass out as well.
She brought home sooooo much candy!  I'm glad I didn't send in more than the Kisses.  My youngest and I made cupcakes today so she had something fun to do too.  Yummy!  We also had a special dessert tonight after dinner.  I put a couple scoops of vanilla frozen yogurt, with some sugared strawberries and a half a cupcake in a little bowl for the girls.  We don't normally have dessert, so it's a treat when we do. 

They're going to be heading to bed soon and then it's mommy and daddy time.  I got my handsome hubby a personalized card with milk and cookies on it.  It says "We're way better when we're together!"  So true!  I was going to make him some cookies to go with it, but since I made cupcakes already today...and our cookie jar is full (that wasn't expected, usually the cookies go quick!), I opted out...haha!  I did get a box of yummy chocolates for us to share though, and I'll be sure to give him a nice massage later. 
I've been in a bit of pain today.  Still dealing with the cramps and of course, everything else.  Pretty sucky on Valentine's Day...I'm hoping the new med kicks in soon.  I can tell things are getting's just slowwww.  And I get so tired.  Just cleaning the downstairs leaves me exhausted.  I have to rest a lot, and I feel like I'm being a lazy bum, but if I over-do it, I will pay for it and I know it.  I push myself a lot because I feel so can't really tell just by looking at me that I'm in pain or what I'm dealing with, and I just feel like no one really understands, so I just look, well, lazy.

Okay, gotta go get the kiddos to bed.

New Coupons!

Lots of new coupons available at today! 

$1.00 off 1 Honey Bunches of Oats cereal $1.00 off one Pebbles Giant Size cereal

$2.00 off one e.p.t pregnancy test $2.00 off Wisk Laundry Detergent

$1.00 off HORMEL™ COUNTRY CROCK side $1.00 off HORMEL ALWAYS TENDER meat

Monday, February 13, 2012

Girl Stuff. You've Been Warned!

I have PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome).  Normally, other than when I'm trying to get pregnant, it doesn't bother me too much.  It's a little hard to lose weight, sometimes I get the odd hair growth where I don't want it to be, but mostly, I have anovulation and don't get periods for months, sometimes even a year.  This year I've been experiencing some more not so fun complications, like one-two month long, heavy menstrual cycles.  They are painful, annoying, interfere with my every day life, and just no fun.  I am not really a fan of hormonal birth control, especially after having to try so hard to get pregnant.  They work to "fix" this issue with PCOS though. To regulate and control things. 

During a six week long period a few months ago, I went in to see what we could do, figuring it would most likely be to put me on birth control.  We decided to go with Seasonique and it worked, until the 8th week of pills when the bleeding came back again.  You're supposed to expect breakthrough bleeding with these pills, but it got progressively heavier and more and more painful to the point that having anything touching my abdomen was excruciating.  This went on for nearly three weeks when, I passed a mass of grey tissue, slightly marbled with red vein looking lines.  It was a few inches long, an inch or so wide, plump, rubbery, and just not something I'd ever seen before in all my years of dealing with these girly issues.  Large, heavy blood clots, yes, I'm used to those, but they're always dark red.  I decided that was enough, the Seasonique obviously wasn't working for me, and I  was worried that it might be a more serious issue with this tissue passing.  I saved the tissue just in case. 

So, I called my doctor's office to see what they thought.  If what I was experiencing with the tissue and the bleeding was okay, and could we maybe just switch pills to one that I knew worked better for me.  They insisted that I needed to come in for an appointment the next day, but my doctor was out of the office for the week.  Would I mind seeing another doctor?  No, not really, if you think I need to be seen and not wait, that's fine.  I wasn't looking forward to it, because it was a female PCOS issue, and I knew my doctor was the only doctor in the practice who does GYN care and has had experience with PCOS.

I go in the next day, and the doctor spends half of the appointment reading about PCOS and which birth controls are best.  He prescribes me a pill I've taken in the past, and told him works for me.  At first he tells me to skip the first week of pills.  Then a minute later he says to take two pills the first day, and two pills the second day, then one pill a day.  So, I clarify, skip one week, and then two pills for two days?  No, he says, he had changed his mind.  Start from the beginning of the pack and take two pills for two days.  Okay. 

He asks to see the tissue.  I show it to him and he barely glances at it.  He says "Oh, that's just a blood clot."  Hmm.  It does look pinkish red, because you know, it came out in a flow of blood and I didn't rinse it.  But as far as I can tell (I know, with all of my medical expertise, haha), it's not a blood clot.  Perhaps just a large clump of uterine lining?  I don't know.  As long as it's normal, whatever, I don't care.  I'd just never seen it before and wanted to make sure.

So he hands me my checkout papers, and I go to put my coat on and leave.  I turn the corner from leaving his exam room and the doctor is standing in the hall talking to some nurses.  I hear "And it was just a blood clot!" and they all laughed.  I looked right at him, he looked right at me, and turned around and walked away.  Now, considering he just saw me and looked at my "blood clot" (I still don't think it was one) I can't imagine he was speaking about anyone else. 

When I got home, my husband pulled up the office's complaint form.  This was Friday.  It's now Monday, and I just got a call from him a little while ago...  I didn't answer.  He left a message apologizing and stating he didn't mean to make me feel disrespected or to be unprofessional.  Nice, right?  Well, then he says he wants to explain what happened, and that he will call back again to speak with me.

What is there to explain?!  I keep trying to think of a scenario where he wasn't making fun of me, but with what I saw and heard, and how when he saw me he just had that split second deer-in-headlights look, and turned around and walked away without another word.  He knew I'd heard him. 

I don't know if I want to take his next call or not.  I don't really want to speak to him, and I certainly won't be seen by him again for any issues at all.  It really sucks though because I like *my* doctor.  And I'm one of those people who get's really nervous going to a new doctor and it's hard for me to find one I'm comfortable with, and *my* doctor is amazing.  She's my PCP, but she also handles my GYN and PCOS stuff, so it's so convenient and she's just a great doctor.  Talks to you, explains things, LISTENS, all the stuff a good doctor does.  I don't want to just quit going to this practice, because I really like her.  I just don't want to run into this guy again.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I love VitaCost!

Recently, I signed up for through a friend's referral link.  For signing up that way, I got a $10 coupon code emailed to me instantly, and once I made a purchase, they were able to get a $10 coupon code as well.  Win-win!

For awhile now I've wanted to try Mrs. Meyers cleaning products.  I have always been big on things smelling good, and the scents on these products sounded amazing.  So I bought some Lemon Verbena and some Lavender counter top sprays, and a Lemon Verbena hand soap.  I paid about .26 after my $10 coupon code, and then the $4.99 flat shipping for orders under (I think $45, might be $50, then you get free shipping).  That made each product about $1.66!  A very good price for Mrs. Meyers, compared to what I've seen in stores. Long story short, I fell in LOVE with these products.  They make me want to clean, so that alone is worth the price!

As a bonus, one of my sprays even had a $1 off coupon attached!  Made my day!

Plus, you can pick two free samples to add to each order, I got some organic lemon tea, and some incense sticks.  The samples change all the time, so you never know what you might find.

If you want to sign up, just click here, or any of the photos in this post! 

I'd love to hear what you think of VitaCost if you've ordered from them before.

Plus One, Times Eleven Million. Our Story. Part 1.

My husband and I met in 2001.  Right before our Senior years of high school, we were both working at the same grocery store.

I still remember the first time I saw him.  At sixteen, I looked over to see this young man, and my heart just skipped a beat.  I remember thinking there was something special about him.  I needed to know him.  The only problem was, was that I was painfully shy. 

He was quiet, but much more social than I was.  We talked a little here and there, I flirted to the best of my inexperienced sixteen year old abilities.  I don't think he noticed that I'd developed a crush on him.  I tried to keep it to myself, but it was hard to deny.  Only two or three of my friends knew.  Time went by, and while he was always extremely nice to me, he never seemed to see me as more than a friend.  Finally, I had an opportunity to ask him out.  One of my favorite bands was playing, and quite a few other popular bands as well that I knew he enjoyed.  I asked him to come with me.  That took a lot of courage!  He originally said yes, but then he had to back out because it was a bit far away and his mom wasn't comfortable with it.  I don't blame her, looking back! 

A few more months passed.  I turned seventeen.  Then it was almost Christmas.  I couldn't take it anymore, I thought about him all the time and I just felt like I was going to burst if I didn't tell him.  So, I wrote to him in a Christmas card.  I waited to see him again, and didn't until after Christmas.  I almost chickened out...  giving him a Christmas card, after Christmas?  Confessing my crush?  I was so nervous, but I walked up to him at work and gave it to him one day.  I said I was sorry it was late, that I hadn't seen him around lately. 

I got a phone call that night.  We had our first date in January of 2002.

We've been together ever since. 

It didn't take long for us to fall head over heels for each other, and as all young lovers do, we made our own special way of saying how much we cared for each other.  Rather than "I love you," "I love you more," one day one of us said "I love you, to infinity and beyond!" and the other playfully responded "Plus one!  Times Eleven Million! HA!  I win!"  It stuck.

So, here we are, married since 2004.  We've been through a lot of life together, lived in a few different states, have two beautiful children, a cat, a dog, and we just bought what we hope will be our forever home.  I'll post more chapters of our life and special memories as I have time.  :o)

You Know You're a Firefighter's Wife If...

Not all of these ring true for me, but a lot do!  Found this here.

You Know You're a Firefighter's Wife If:
You know what IFSTA, IAFF, SCBA, WSFTA, and ARFF stand for.

Your Husband's wardrobe looks like this: non-descript bottoms paired with any navy blue shirt/sweatshirt with a fire department logo on it.

Your Husband's haircut is "nice and tight". So are his buns.

You've eaten more gas-producing foods in a 24 hour period than any sane woman should (unless she's a firefighter).

You know the difference between a police siren and a fire siren.

Your kids think the fire station is "Daddy's house".

You've received more dalmation-themed collectibles than you thought humanly possible.

You know that all of your smoke detectors work.

Your Husband will not let you near the BBQ.

You can make 4 dozen cookies without a recipe in 1.5 hours flat and have them delivered asap.

You know that you always have a team of highly-trained ems professionals at the ready (you know, in case a baby falls down the stairs or something).

You know that it is faster and waaaay better to take the ambulance to the hospital (NEVER go it solo, and actually WAIT in the waiting room!).

Your single friends are always aksing "are there any single firemen at Hubby's work?".

Your children can make good use of vaccuum hoses and rubber gloves.

Everybody knows a Firefighter, and will asume that you know them too.

You find it hard to sleep when your Hubby is at work.

You get severly angry when people don't pull over for firetrucks and ambulances.

You've held more birthdays at the fire station than should be allowed.

You get to listen to stories about fires, mva's and in my case, sprinkler systems.

You've seen Backdraft 40 million times and Ladder 49 10 million (but who can get sick of staring at Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta?).

You've had some of the best holiday meals at the fire station.

You've lost all sense of what a "weekend" really is due to your husband's crazy schedule.

Your husband gets to go on field trips & preschool once in a while.

All of the teachers want your husband to "demonstrate" his skills for the class (yeah, right she just wants to see him in his bunker gear).

You feel like the luckiest girl alive when he comes home off shift and sends your heart a-flutter.

Getting the Layout Right

What good is a cute layout if it's all over the place and just not RIGHT?  :)