Monday, November 30, 2009

Walgreens trip

This post takes my couponing skills to the max. I love a bargain, and I like to get things for free. Who doesn't? On Black Friday, I went out to Walgreens, I go there a lot to get stuff for cheap. I didn't do as well as I would have liked because I messed up on my second transaction due to being in a hurry.

Edit: Clarification - Register Rewards are a "catalina" like item that Walgreens provides on certain items every week. They print after you pay for the item on a seperate machine from the receipt. If you've ever looked at an ad you might notice the price might say "Toothpaste $2.99 but with $1 in Register Rewards it's like getting it for $1.99." All of these Black Friday items were Register Rewarded at the actual price of the item. So, if you have an actual manufacturer coupon, you're making money after the first transaction because you're just rolling the rewards back and forth. CVS is another chain drugstore that has a reward program, but we don't have them here in Omaha.
Also, Walgreens, occassionally provides in store coupon books. This use to be a monthly thing,

First Transaction:
Infusium 23 Conditioner  = $4.99
Johnson & Johnson Soap = $5.99
Total before coupons =  $10.98
Infusium 23 coupon = - $ 2.00
Total with 6% tax   =    $9.64 (out of pocket). And I also received $11 in Register Rewards(RR).

So I went to the next store and picked up three Dove Deodarants:
3($3.99) = $11.97 - $11.00RR = $0.97 + $0.72(tax) = $1.75 out of pocket
And since I screwed up, I only received $4 in RR and $1 Dove coupon. (Instead of $12 in RR and $3 in coupons)

Third trip:
Johnson bodywash - $5.99 - $4RR = $1.99 + $0.36 (tax) = $2.35 (out of pocket) and $6 in RR.

Fourth and final transaction:
Aquafresh toothpaste $1.99
Dove deodarant $3.50 (I don't know why it was cheaper)
Puzzles as filler 2 for $1
Total $6.49 - $6 in RR + $0.39 cents in tax = $0.88 cents out of pocket plus $6 in RR for later and another $1 dove coupon.

Total out of pocket: $14.62. I did some minor price checking at Target and managed to save about $20 (including tax) not including the $6 in Register Rewards that I have to use for a future purchase, so not too bad, but I could have done better. I also really wanted to get some 64 packs of crayons that were going to work out to be 99 cents for my CASA bags for this spring, but they weren't in any of the three stores I visited.

Holy Housewarming!

I traveled back to Iowa for the Thanksgiving weekend and was incredibly grateful by how generous my family was with housewarming gifts. My mom had sent me a few emails weeks ago asking a few questions  about my current kitchen items. After hearing about my cheapo pots and pans and how the handles smoked in the broiler decided I needed something of a bit "better quality."  So, she and my dad were kind enough to buy me a set of 10 pots and pans with lids. With the impending mortgage, I am going to be cooking at home a LOT more and it's going to be nice to have a good set of cookware to use.

Here's the skillet, as you can see the sticker is still attached. And in the back, you can see the new paint for the 2nd floor.

As if that wasn't enough, Friday my aunt asked me if I wanted my Grandma Pugh's stoneware. My maternal grandmother died when I was five, so my memories of her are somewhat limited and unfortunately I missed out on a few traditions. I felt bad that I didn't even offer up the stoneware to my sister before saying yes. However, when I talked to Elizabeth today, she said, "Well, you never got a quilt, and everyone else in the family has one of those." The family tradition you're supposed to have a quilt made for you. I've pretty much given up hope that I will ever see this quilt. So basically, the stoneware is now my quilt. Here is what my new stoneware looks like - considering that it's at least as old as I am, it's held up well. Twelve place setting, and only two cups have chips.

Salad plates

Dinner plates, normally not a big flower fan on things, but I think Grandma did a good job on the pattern.

So after that, I'm already thinking I've made out like a bandit. Saturday morning, my aunt announced that she was going to buy me a housewarming gift - and that she would buy me a mixer - she gave me a price range. I was floored and after trying to tell her it wasn't necessary and getting nowhere... I hopped online and did some bargain shopping. Younkers BF prices were still in effect, plus they had a $30 mail in rebate. I got an awesome mixer for an insane price. It's new and shiny and black, technically "caviar." It has the dough hook, wire whip, flat beater and a pouring shield. Just in time for holiday baking. Normally Amanda and I do holiday baking and make fudge. Our arms get so tired from mixing that we go back and forth. This year, we'll just set a timer. :)

New mixer, better view of the new paint color, raffia ribbon.. It looks lonely. I need to add my toaster.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday Fun

Today, I didn't really do traditional "Black Friday" activities, but I don't typically shop either. I'd rather do something like Cyber Monday. I went to Walgreens and got a bunch of free/practically free things and will probably return tomorrow to finish it off. Once I'm done working that deal, I'll take a picture, with my results, I'm guessing I should end up with about $30 - $40 worth of stuff for about $15. We'll see.
Anyway, my sister and I were emailing and decided test run a Christmas baking project: Hot Chocolate on a Stick. I'd found it via a message board that linked this blog: So, we checked out the ingredients, the only thing we didn't actually have - the popsicle sticks. A month ago, they would have been everywhere. Now, I couldn't find them to save my life. I showed up at my sister's after hitting Walgreens and ended up taking Anna to Hobby Lobby. "Shopping!?" Anna asked excitedly. She ran to get her shoes and coat. We improvised with lollipop sticks as that is what we could find.
My sister didn't own a double broiler so we created a makeshift one with two pots and it worked fine. We used baking disks from Hobby Lobby that I already had on hand and brought from Omaha. Melted those and then added the dry mix. And then my sister exclaimed, "This is so not going to work! We made fudge!" This stuff is thick. I was bound and determined to make this work. I'm patient, but I'm stubborn as hell. "It'll work, put it in the ziplock bag." My sister transferred it in the bag and I cut off a corner. Have you ever tried to pipe frosting? It works fine because of it's consistancy. Have you ever tried to pipe fudge? Elizabeth was laughing to the point that she was almost rolling on the floor. Which in turn made me laugh.
And after about two cubes, I decided it would be quicker and easier to just spoon the mixture into the cubes. After I spooned a row, I smoothed it, and then added the sticks. We let them set for about an hour or so and then they popped right out. That was my biggest concern, getting them out. We microwaved some milk and then proceeded to stir. And then we ran ito Elizabeth's biggest concern - the lollipop sticks are cardboard. Milk is hot. The chocolate came off the stick, and then we needed spoons to stir.
This hot chocolate was a-maz-ing!!! Seriously!!! Way better than Swiss Miss or any other powder. Elizabeth, Walker, Cyote and I all tried it and thought it was great. I'll take a couple pics of it tomorrow, when I head over to drop off Walker's birthday present.

Monday, November 23, 2009

One Bathroom down, one almost done....

This is a picture that I took last year in Lisbon, that I plan on blowing up to either 8x10 or 5x7 and framing. It's Lisbon's twin to the Golden Gate bridge.

The bathroom pulled together with a couple towels from Target. My sister did some touchup painting on Saturday. When I was doing some packing, I found my old Tiffany's box from a vase I received from an ex-boyfriend a few years ago.

Photo print from the Des Moines Art Festival a few years ago.

Shower curtain, also from Target. Need to find a liner that fits it yet, but it'll be a good week before I'm going to use it so I should be okay. I almost bought a black one, but thought it would be too dark. I'd also like to say that I almost lost the battle with the shower rod. There were some choice words used. I'm debating if I need some type of curtain for the window. It has blinds, but I'm also pretty close to an intersection.

Food Inc

Over the weekend, I rented Food, Inc. I found the movie interesting and it gave me something to think about regarding where my food comes from and my involvement in the process. After sleeping on it and giving it some more thought - I'm sad and disappointed in myself. Why? The way that I participate currently and the way that I was raised don't exactly match.

Let me explain.  Growing up my dad brought our milk home and I don't mean from the store, yes, I know this is not common. Up until I was about 2 and a half, he worked on a farm and just brought the milk home from the farm. After that he hauled milk for the almost 25 years and brought home almost every dairy product imaginable. The benefit? I knew where my dairy products were coming from, who was producing them, what their farms looked like, and how the process happened. I'd been on the farms when I'd traveled with my dad, met farmers, even been offered pets and I'd seen the processing plant. I also remember how often my dad tested this milk for bacteria and other issues - daily. So while I wasn't directly involved in the process, I imagine my parents felt comfortable about the start to finish of the dairy I consumed. And given the opportunity, I still will jump on the chance to get the products from them because I think the quality is better than anything I can find in the store. I'm also well aware that a lot of milk comes from the happy cows of California. Easily the number one producer of dairy in the country. Nowadays, when I go to the store, I have no clue how my milk gets there. None. It magically arrives on the shelf, I buy it and drink it. And repeat. I've switched to organic milk since the kind that I drink is local (by that I mean it's only a few hours away, and chances are good I could actually drive by their operation). I was encouraged to find out that Wal-Mart is no longer selling milk with rBST. While I don't shop at Wal-Mart, I can only imagine that other retailers will follow suit.

I could go on for days about different things from the movie that I'm concerned about - ammonia being used to "clean" or "purify" 70% of our meat from e coli and mad cow disease. Which after driving by some of the feed lots that I do, I somewhat understand. The entire segment on the larger chicken manufacturers/producers made me ill, but I feel pretty good about where my chicken comes from: My reason for feeling good about this type of chicken is because Market to Market (Iowa produced PBS show) did a piece about this Nebraska based business a few years back and the owners gave the producers free access to anywhere in the factory from production line to kill floor. Nothing was off limits. That tells me that they are comfortable with their operation. I was so dismayed when I moved to MI a few years back and Smart Chicken wasn't available there. I looked yesterday and they now sell at the local Meijer's. I was also quite surprised to learn that the majority of soybeans come from only one manufacturer. How can that be legal? Wouldn't that be a monopoly?

One of the things that really frustrated me was seeing this overweight family saying they could not afford to eat healthy food. It's cheaper to do the dollar menu at the local fast food place. Come on. Give me a break. Heck it'd be cheaper to make a box of mac and cheese. (Healthier, no.) Or buy a loaf of bread and some lunch meat when you average the cost out over a few meals - amazingly, I can do math. I didn't exactly grow up in a weathly family as a kid, but my parents were smart enough to figure out how to plant a garden.  A packet of seeds doesn't cost that much and could yield quite a bit.  Also, call me crazy, but if you don't want tons and tons of something, maybe you and a friend could split a package of seeds? Or if you're like me and don't have the space to plant a garden, try container gardening. Here's a quick list of some of the stuff I remember us growing over the years: grapes (annual), raspberries (annual), tomatoes (annual), rhubarb (annual), plums, peppers (annual), corn, potatoes, watermelons, carrots, radishes, green beans, peas, cucumbers, and lettuce. And then there's two crazy processes called canning and freezing. OMG! Also, eating out when I was growing up was a luxury and was pretty rare.

p.s. Do you like the photo? It's from a local place called Brewburgers that was on the Food Network. And no I didn't eat all that cheese.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Moon

Up until my birthday at the end of July, I had never even opened a Twilight book. And then Amanda decided I needed to be part of the hysteria that is Twilight and gave me the first book as a a birthday gift. I then purchased the second book to read on work trip to Michigan. (Please note, that since then I have not read the 3rd or 4th books.)

So, with the upcoming release of New Moon, there's been lots of discussion about going to see the movie, and I will be seeing it Thanksgiving weekend in DSM unless something happens. But, my friend Jessica decided to assemble a group to go see it on opening night at midnight. Here's what's funny about the group that I went with....I was the youngest person in the group and I'm 30. The oldest person was about 38 or 39. Most of them also had kids. We met up at 94/95,  a bar and grill that Jessica's husband has part ownership in for drinks and snacks and then headed to the theatre around 11. The theatre was nice enough to convert our tickets to one screen since some people had 12:01 other 12:02, 12:04 and 12:05 shows.

In addition to the usual snacks, Kona grill and Coldstone were also there serving food. What cracked me up was that we were also dressed in jeans, cute shirts, cute shoes, make up etc. Almost all the teenagers that were there looked like they had rolled out of bed - pajama pants and Uggs? I'm not even kidding. We were hoping for some crazies. After securing our seats and getting snacks, there wasn't a whole lot of wait time left, the theatre even did a trivia contest in our theatre where you could win prizes. Someone in our group one free movie passes.

As for the movie....MUCH better than Twilight. And I've always been split between Team Edward and Team Jacob - somewhat Team Both of them. I'm leaning toward Team Jacob after this. Kristen Stewart kinda annoys me, I think it's her expression more than anything. I thought this stayed pretty true to the book though, as best as it can in two hours. Oh and I picked up the third book - thanks to Barnes and Noble for giving it to me for 50% off.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

exterior shots

Here are some exterior shots of the house:

The little window is my kitchen window, over the sink. I'm excited to go from, no garage to two car attached garage - just in time for winter. :)

This deck is a pretty good size. My realtor told me that if I want, I can put steps down to the grassy area, though right now there really isn't anywhere that I need to go. Maybe if the commercial lot gets developed into something like a strip mall, or if I frequently start walking to the strip mall on the next block over I will see a need for adding steps.

Amanda and Ellie came to visit on the night of my closing and brought me this flowering plant. My green thumb is pretty brown, but I've managed to keep this alive for almost a week now. My problem is that plants don't talk, so I forget to water them. We'll see if this makes it through week two.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Splash of Color

Friday, I woke up, got dressed and headed to Home Depot to buy paint. I'd done enough research to determine what colors I wanted the bathrooms painted. I figured that I could get both bathrooms painted on Friday. I grabbed my paint chips and headed to the paint counter and talked with the woman there about what I wanted. She told me with a bathroom, I might be able to get away with a quart per bathroom. SCORE!! While she was mixing up my paint, I assembled my supplies - Killz, brushes, rollers, trays, drop cloth, tape, edgers, etc. I grabbed my paint cans picked up my ladder and left the store
I also decided that I need to not go to Home Depot looking like complete and total crap. There were hot guys everywhere and I looked homeless in my old, paint-friendly attire. Okay, I probably didn't look homeless, but I certainly didn't look cute.
So, I after a stop at Target for snacks, it was off to the new home to get to work. Um, yeah, I forgot about how long it would take to tape off the room. The amount of time to tape everything off....forever. All the stupid corners. Once I got that done, the Killz went on quickly. Next I moved on to the paint. For this bathroom, I was going to use asparugus. Hmm...things turned out less than spectacular and I've decided that I need another coat of this paint before I'll be putting pictures up. I finished around 4 and headed back to my apartment so that I could shower up and head to Urbandale.
I got started on the third floor bathroom a bit later today than anticipated. I attended a going away party last night for Kaylen. (She works on the play 101 Dalmatians - if it's coming to a city near you, go check it out.) I was moving with the speed of a sloth this morning. Once I taped off the bathroom this afternoon, I added the Killz. It was time for the paint. One big bonus of the upstairs bathroom - it has a window. I was getting such a headache on Friday from the fumes that I kept having to stop and leave the room. I cracked the window during when I was applying the Killz. For the upstairs bathroom, the paint color is called "Embellished Blue" but it's practically Tiffany Box Blue. Love this color, and can't wait to get some accents. I almost got this completed with one coat before running out of paint. Just need to finish the corners and such and behind the stupid toilet. I realize I should have removed it, but that would most likely end poorly for me. I should have some more photos in a few days. :) And I have some pics of the exterior, but my camera is in my car, and it's FA-Reeezing here, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

So today i bought a house

Today I closed on my new home, which was very exciting!!!  I took the day off, which turned out to be very smart, because my closing got moved from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Since I had the morning free, I decided to kill some time by heading to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to check out their goods. If you've never been to a ReStore before, it's kind of an adventure, you never know what you're going to get. They have a collection of items that have been donated from both your average homeowner as well as contractors and businesses. So, if you want say, beige, but don't need it to be a specific shade of beige they may or may not have enough of it for you depending on how much you need. They also have some appliances etc. I was mainly going to check out their paint supplies and also see what kind of ceiling fans they had. I got lost on my way there. I thought I would be super cool and not use Carmen the Garmin to get there. I knew it was near the CASA office. So I got a bit lost, which was okay, I had time. Plus, I got to see some of Omaha that I don't normally see, and eventually busted Carmen out to find my way. The store ended up being a bust for what I was looking for, they had a crapload of wood stain, but since my flooring is fake wood, no dice. I texted my sister in an effort to convince her to buy a couch that would match the one that she owns and probably doesn't like much. She declined. So I headed home to kill some time.
And then finally, two rolled around and it was time to sign my life away. Paper after paper, document after document. They probably could have snuck something in there and said, "Here's where you give us your 401K." and I would have just said, "Where do I sign and initial?" After all that, I got the keys!!!! Yay! I made a quick stop at my friend Jessica's and then headed over to my new townhouse. Which I apparently forgot to take a picture of the outside. Doh.
Tomorrow I begin the painting of the bathrooms. And next weekend is the painting of the living room/dining room area.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The marker incident

My sister had to work for a few hour on Sunday because she missed most of last week since my nephew, Ethan, was sick. Sunday, when I left their house, my brother-in-law, JJ, was hanging out with the kids. Anna had been put down for a nap, and Ethan and JJ were going to play some Wii after I left.
At some point during the afternoon, JJ fell asleep, Anna woke up and located a blue marker. JJ was not asleep for long and woke up to discover his two and a half year old daughter had covered her hands and face in blue marker.  Elizabeth asked if I was still there for this, like I would have let my niece marker the daylights out of herself. I laughed and said, "No, but given her OCD, I can imagine what she looked like. JJ had a heckuva time getting her to take her shoes off for her nap." Apparently it wasn't just a few marks her and there, Anna had managed to cover her face with the marker. Which does and doesn't surprise me, considering what a neat freak she is, but she also likes things to be very exact. JJ looked at Ethan, as if to say, "How could you let your little sister do this?" And Ethan basically had a look that said, "You and Mom always say I'm not the boss of Anna." Luckily it was a washable marker and not permanent and it all came off. Still very funny to me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A little clarity

So growing up, whenver I'd start complaining about something or try to throw myself a fantastic pity party, my dad would always remind me that there were people in the world who had situations who were much more dire than mine. And I've tried to keep that in mind throughout my life, but at times, frustration gets the best of me.
Over the weekend, one thing after another seemed to be going wrong, things that would normally seem trivial and insignificant, the dryer ate my quarters and didn't dry my clothes, I had to work until 6:30 Friday night delaying leaving town, I got a massive bill from my doctor, the milkshake from Culvers basically exploded all over me in my car. Saturday, I ripped a contact and managed to lose my car on one of those supercurvy streets near the stadium. Nevermind that my stupid team couldn't locate the endzone with a road map. Seriously nothing really huge, but I've been letting work stress me out way too much lately which doesn't help and  I'm buying a house, which is just a bit stressful so I lost it for no real reason over the weekend.
I had a great Sunday morning/early afternoon with my sister, brother-in-law and Ethan and Anna which reminded me how lucky I am to have such a great family. After playing a little Wii, I left for Omaha, stopping to get a cup of coffee for the trip.
And then an email hit my blackberry from my mom. One of my dad's cousins had been killed around 6 a.m. Sunday morning in a car accident. My mom stated early speculation was that the other driver was drunk, which surprised me because of the time of day. He was only 41 and his 18 year old son had been with him as they were on their way to go hunting.  News spreads quickly even though we have a large family and everyone had heard by evening.
My great-aunt has been so amazing about everything. I guess that's what happens when you're in your 80s. She has incredible compassion toward the other family. And after hearing about everything that had happened I felt so childish and selfish over everything that I was whining and moaning about. My great-aunt had just lost her son, four of her grandchildren lost their father and she just took it all as part of God's will, accepting it as a part of life. I just don't know that I could be so calm, so at peace with all of this if it was someone close to me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lists, Lists, Lists

I am more than willing to admit, that I am perpetual listmaker. I'm probably a bit OCD about it if I were to be completely honest. Back in college, I used to seperate my lists into quadrants - school, Theta, personal, misc (random category of the moment). Now, when I've got a long to do list, I break it down into - home/around the house, work, financial, personal (i.e. gifts to buy, pick up drycleaning, etc.)
Currently, I've got a growing list all about moving. Things I need to start thinking about getting done. I'm very excited that with this move I don't need to get new doctors, normally that's always an item on my list.
Yesterday, I called and got the new utilities at the house switched into my name so that the cleaners could come in and clean in exchange for a $50 gift certificate.
I'm up to about 20 items with my list. A  lot of it involves changing my address, switching and canceling service from one location to the next. And then packing, cleaning, and getting rid of things. When you move, what's the thing that you always forget to do?
And now, I'm off to look at paint colors.

Girls' Night In

Back when I still lived in Des Moines, a group of us would periodically - (between monthly/bi-monthly), get together to hang out. It had started when someone was hosted a Pampered Chef party, then a Tastefully Simple party, then a Body Shop party. Then I think Abby suggested maybe we could get together and not have a sales person be present. So, each time one of us would plan the event, and we'd get together and we just took turns. It worked out great. And then, I moved to Michigan. Oops. But then I moved to Omaha. And so did some other Thetas from ISU. Kim moved away and then returned. Since Amanda and I were familiar with the concept, we thought it was time to bring it to a new city. Kim organized an event a few months back at a great little Mexican place (Senor Mateas - it's like Tasty Tacos with margaritas) and since then we haven't gotten back together as a group. So I took it upon myself to get us together again since many of us had mentioned.
Everyone agreed that Monday we'd meet up at my house for dinner. I'd make the main course of lasagna and everyone else would bring something - bread, salad, appetizer and dessert. Kim arrived first followed by Amanda with Ellie and April. So now we're just waiting for Salsa to arrive. And we're waiting, and waiting. Kim and I joke that she's probably napping again, like Saturday night when she overslept - so Kim calls Becky. Nope, she forgot. HAHAHA! All in all though the food turned out great, even though we didn't have salad. Everyone seemed to have a great time and our next get together is set for Monday. We're going to be checking out a place called SmashBurger since I guess Jenn Jenn is going to be in town. Should be good times

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Little Bit Sad

So if you want something not depressing, stop reading.
On Sunday, one of my former co-workers passed away. I've known him for five and a half years, he's been battling cancer for four and a half years, yes, almost the entire time that I'd known him, Bruce has had cancer. Bruce was an incredibly upbeat and optimistic person. Almost always happy, smiling. You'd have no clue that he was battling a stage four cancer and making regular visits to the Mayo Clinic. Up until mid-June 2008, he was still working full time, how, I have no clue. The treatment he was going through was intense and he had no feeling in his feet as a result.  He realized that he just couldn't keep up with the day to day demands that a job like mine has, I put in around 50 hours a week, easily and there's all the driving. So, he went onto long term disability.
A few weeks ago, the Mayo Clinic told him that there wasn't anything more that they could do, gave him 2 -3 weeks to live and sent him home. I've been mentally preparing myself since then. I knew it was coming. Quite honestly, I've been trying to prepare myself for a long time. I'd always hoped it would go into remission, that there would be a miracle, but the cancer kept spreading. So I think Sunday, I went a bit numb. Yesterday when I talked to my friend, M, who'd known Bruce since the days when they worked at Farm Bureau, I stayed strong, she was a wreck, rightfully so. She'd known him for 25 years.
And tonight when I was heading out for a dinner meeting and running down a list of to do's - buying a sympathy card was on the list and I lost it. And just bawled for about 10 minutes. Tomorrow (Wednesday), I travel to Carroll for the funeral. We'll see how that goes, I'm not big on crying in public, but I'm generally a mess at funerals.  Here's his obit:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Favorite Websites of Late...

Oh yes, I’m a Facebook addict as much as the next person. I hit up my news pages on a daily basis, and has basically become a staple in my life. But here’s list of five other sites in the past couple months that I’ve started frequenting on a regular basis. Trivia and Quizzes all in the same place. This site is hours of mindless or maybe I should say somewhat mentally challenging fun. For the trivia geek like me, it’s fantastic. And there’s quizzes on every topic – I avoid certain areas, I will not be naming the periodic table of elements any time ever. But I can name all 50 states, all the presidents and entirely too much pop culture.  This is such a great feel good site. Yes, it’s indeed cheesy. I don’t care. Sometimes when you’re having a total crap day, cheese like this helps.

And when that doesn’t work...there’s always, . My favorite of the week is an entry from October 26th. Sarcasm and passive aggresssive honesty at its finest. – I’ve also recently discovered this site and realized that I’ve become really lazy and complacent with my cooking. It’s not that difficult or time consuming to do some cooking. Plus I think it’s pretty cool that she’s located in Central Iowa, so I should if I choose to make something that she’s making, I should be able to find it here in Omaha. I’ve decided to look past the fact that she roots for the wrong team.

I’m a big fan of couponing. And love sites that do the work ahead of time so that I know where the best deals are ala . Last year at Christmas, I got my brother-in-law Aerosmith Guitar Hero with a Guitar for over 50% because of this site. Considering I doubt he uses it much, it was probably a good deal. Since then I’ve also discovered , which I like because they will have info about my local grocery store. It’s because of sites like these that I sometimes leave places like Walgreens or Target and only pay $1 for $20 worth of stuff. I love saving money, who doesn't?