Sunday, May 30, 2010

How Couponing Cost Me Money

If you've read previous posts, you've noticed my newest interest (other than Ebelskivers) is reading blogs dedicated to saving money, online freebies, etc. Why? Because to me it's a game. A very fun game. And I like math and numbers. (No laughing. Stay at home moms are easily entertained.) Well, this morning on the Today Show there was a segment about couponing, and how one lady paid $1.67 for $80 worth of groceries because of coupons and store sales. Jon and I were inspired and decided to give this "couponing" thing a shot. On the way to church we stopped into Kroger to get a Sunday paper so we could scope out the coupons. However, after purchasing the paper and realizing it contained nothing of interest, I remembered I had read somewhere that this Sunday's paper would not contain any coupons ("there's your sign" #1).

Not to be discouraged, when we got home I made a grocery list and searched multiple websites to get a nice stack of coupons. We headed to HEB, and of course we choose to go when it's super crowded: the evening before a holiday (fail #2). I had also read somewhere that HEB has monthly store magazines with coupons, so after a 10 minute search to find one, I found a whopping ONE coupon that corresponded to something on our list. A list that should have taken us 15 minutes to complete took almost an hour, comparing coupon offers with store brands to see what would be cheaper. By the time I was counting rolls of paper towels and comparing the number of sheets in regular vs jumbo rolls and calculating bla bla bla, I had had it. We also realized that the coupons in the HEB mag are no different than the yellow ones they have throughout the store (fail #3).

On to check out. I realize that my coupon for $1 off 2 packs of bottled water was only for packs of 24, and I had gotten the 12 packs. I was supposed to know this because of the small "24" shown on the icon of the water, because nothing was listed in the small print. Ugh. (fail #4) I realize our total coupon savings is a whopping $1.90. I pout and throw in a Reese's out of a feeling of failure (savings down to $1.40). Jon and I start laughing hysterically as we're checking out over how much time we'd spent to save $1.40 and people start staring. He says "what the heck" and buys a $2 lottery ticket (something we never do, it was just funny in the moment). Still laughing hysterically, we win nothing on the ticket (fail #5 - big suprise).

Lesson learned: this whole couponing thing is a fine art that must be learned and developed with patience. However, a big part of this is we've usually always purchased store brands when quality isn't affected, so even with coupons, store brands are typically cheaper than brand name merchandise. With that being said, I still think we came out on top. Take that couponing queens. One day I'll be able to join your level of coolness.

Ebelskivers

Behold: The newest thing to keep me entertained:


Jon and I have been married for almost 5 years and we still had a gift card from Williams Sonoma that hadn't been spent. We really didn't need anything, so I found this nifty pan and cookbook. Ebelskivers are basically a small pancake with a filling. The cookbook has so many nifty recipes. My first try was to make Spiced Cream Cheese, and they came out so fluffy and were very yummy! When I was at my parents' house for a few days (Jon was out of town), Aimee and I made S'mores and Lemon Curd Ebelskivers. On Friday night I was feeling really creative and tried making Italian Cream Cake Ebelskivers. I put coconut and chopped pecans in the batter, filled them with cream cheese, and added toasted coconut on top. Needless to say, creative baking is not the best activity to pick up when you're trying to get in shape, but these things are awesome.

Want one? Buy it here!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Peter and Niki's Engagement Photos

On June 5th, my brother and Niki are getting married! Here are some of their engagement photos:

Peter and Niki's Engagement Photos

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Food, Feet and Friends (in no particular order)

The title of this post explains what little miss Madeline has been up to lately....

FOOD
On Mother's Day, we gave Madeline her first bit of baby food. We started with sweet potatoes and have added butternut squash and green beans. Later this week we'll add bananas...yummy yummy! I've decided to make it all homemade, which is super easy and cheap...it's also been fun. (I'm using this website and no, I do NOT grind my own rice for rice cereal. That's where I draw the line). Madeline has been extremely interested in what we eat for about a month, so it's been no surprise that she's loved her baby food. Now that she's gotten used to it she's eating like a champ. Here's some pics of the experience thus far:

FEET
No need to buy new toys...Maddie has found her feet! She is so entertained and will stick them in her mouth. I put new sandals on her the other day and she noticed them while she was eating. She was so intrigued by her new shoes that she refused to eat once she had noticed them...that's my girl! Is she too young for her own DSW Rewards card? (jk) Just like everything else she (and every other child) does, it's impossible to capture the level of cuteness in this activity...here's my attempt...
FRIENDS
We are still enjoying going to our playgroup in Houston on Thursdays and spending extra time with Kim, Hunt, Ayse and Bella. Ayse and Bella will be moving to California at the end of June and we are so sad about it! In the meantime, Madeline decided to show Bella how much she would miss her by stealing her toys. Bella was not about to be bullied and promptly stole her toys back! We were cracking up.
Madeline will also smile at anyone who looks at her. We've come a long way since the "lip" she'd give anyone but Jon or I! This weekend, she went to her first Texas A&M tailgate party at the Aggie Mom tailgate before the baseball game in College Station. Her Granny made her this "little miss sunshine" outfit, so we thought Maddie should wear it to show it off to Granny's friends. Unfortunately, we realized a little too late that she would be wearing burnt orange to her first Texas A&M tailgate. Epic fail.
And finally, because I never get tired of looking at these cheeks and smile...

A Day at the Park

Last week, we went with our friends to Hermann Park to ride the train and have a picnic. Apparently it was field trip day for half of Houston, so we put our stroller squad to good use to make sure we were at the front of the train line. The babies loved the train, although Madeline was more interested in staring at the floor than looking at the park scenery!I figured it might be because of the sun, so we put on her cool pink shades. After the train ride, we had a picnic by the lake. It's fun to watch the babies interact as they get older. I love this one...Hunt is trying to kiss both of his girlfriends!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Silly Goose

Madeline at Bering's last week...I think she's ready for the beach!
Whenever I'm doing laundry, Fergie loves to curl up on the pile of hanging clothes and lay there as they pile up (see the fur??)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kelly and Jack's Baby Shower

Shower #3 of 3 was this past Saturday. My mom, Stephanie and I hosted a shower for our BFF Kelly at my parents' house. Baby Jack is due on July 8th and Kelly looks great! We cannot wait for Madeline to have another boyfriend. :) We served a very familiar menu: Southern Living Brunch Punch with champagne, pineapple chicken salad on croissants, fruit kabobs with a raspberry yogurt dip, spinach pastries and cranberry orange muffins. The cake was made by a lady named Phylis in LC, and was white with strawberry filling. Jack's nursery is a giraffe theme. Me, Kelly (can you believe she's 8 months preggo???) and Stephanie
Not gonna lie, I'm a little sad we don't have another shower soon! I love planning parties!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day

We had a great first Mother's Day. Madeline woke up at 6:45 am (an hour earlier than usual) and Jon got up with her so I could sleep in! :) :) :) Maddie and her daddy got me a massage gift certificate and Sonic gift card (so I can quote "fill my summer Sonic habit"). She even made me a shirt with her hand/fist and foot prints. We are still trying to get black paint out of her fingernails, but I think she was proud of herself. We met my family at South Shore Country Club for a fabulous brunch, complete with mimosas. After brunch we went back to my parents house to watch a movie, then headed back to our house for a relaxing evening. The day was also extra special because it was the last family weekend we got to spend together before my brother Peter gets married in 3 weeks!!! Enjoy the pics...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Strawberries

On Wednesday, Madeline and I went with our friends to pick strawberries at Froberg's Farm in Alvin, TX. Who doesn't want to spend Cinco de Mayo at a Strawberry Farm? :) It was such a neat experience! It's at the end of the season so they were picked over, but we were still able to get some yummy ones. After picking the berries, we spent some time shopping for fresh produce....I felt skinnier just looking at everything. All 3 (or 6) of us got a shopping cart full of produce for about $30! We then had a picnic lunch and let the babies play. Maybe not the best idea to start an outdoor activity at 11 am in May, but we'll definitely be back next year.

We looked fierce with the kiddos in the Baby Bjorns! I love how all 3 of them had on hats and sunglasses. Madeline is holding some of our hard earned berries Happy Cinco de Mayo, Peeps! (thanks for the outfit, Granny) I love the look on Hunt's face. "You better not steal my paci, woman!" The trio. Madeline decided she had enough pictures.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy 5 Month Birthday Madeline!

Dear Madeline,
You are 5 months old today!
  • You weigh 14 1/2 pounds and are 25 inches long
  • You are wearing size 2 diapers
  • You are wearing 6 month clothes
  • You are eating every 3 hours during the day and once at night. In the evenings, we give you rice cereal, but you seem much more interested in what we are eating and will try to grab our food
  • You go to sleep around 8 or 8:30 pm, will wake up once to eat, and wake up around 8 am. You grew out of the Miracle Blanket, but have transitioned to the Sleep Sack nicely! Even though you are not sleeping through the night, we might get brave next week and move you upstairs in your room.
  • You take your naps in your crib upstairs. You'll sleep for 1 hour in the morning, cat nap while we're running errands, and about 1 hour in the afternoon.
  • We've been feeding you rice cereal at night for about a month but you are more interested in playing with it. We are hoping you'll like it better when we start mixing it with veggies!
  • You are scooting everywhere! We'll put your toys on different parts of your blanket and watch as you scoot over to your favorites. You are now very comfortable rolling over from your tummy to back and back to tummy...you also roll over VERY quickly! You can get your knees under you, so it's only a matter of time before you'll be crawling.
  • You are good at entertaining yourself with your toys. We also have a mirror that we put on the floor so you can look at yourself (very entertaining!). You enjoy spending more time playing on your tummy than on your back.
  • You grab at everything: my hair, people's faces, food, toys, Fergie's tail, etc...
  • Speaking of Fergie, you finally started to notice her! You'll smile and laugh at her, follow her with your eyes, and pet (more like whack) her when she's laying next to you.
  • Your hair is starting to grow very quickly! We think it's blonde.
  • You get excited when you hear your daddy's voice!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Madeline's First Pool Experience

Yesterday felt like Summer. It was approaching 90 degrees and sunny, so we decided to bring Madeline to my parents' house to swim in the pool. She loves her baths so it was no surprise that she LOVED the pool! She kept staring at the water and trying to grab it. She didn't quite catch on to splashing, but I'm sure she'll master it this summer. We also had to have a photo shoot to document this momentous occasion (and because her outfit was stunning). :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Shower Power

As I previously mentioned, I'm helping host 3 showers in 4 weeks....two down, one to go! On April 24th, my sisters and I hosted a bridal shower for Niki, our soon to be sis in law. We held the shower at my in-laws house in Bryan so Niki's college friends could attend. We served strawberry salad, pork tamales, pineapple chicken salad on croissants, shrimp salad, cake balls (red velvet, italian cream and chocolate) and champagne punch. The invitations were pink and brown, so we decorated in those colors. We also had a small scrapbook for her called "Notes for Niki" where each guest could write her a note and decorate a page.
Food table I heart cake balls Niki and Madeline Hostesses Gerilyn picked up these cookies shaped like wedding cakes and engagement rings! On May 1st, my high school friends and I hosted a baby shower for our friend Lisa who is having a baby boy in July. The shower was at 11 am so we had a nice mix of food. We served pineapple chicken salad on croissants (Mom's recipe is a hit), breakfast pizza, banana nut muffins, fruit with cream cheese dip and brunch punch (from Southern Living - even better when mixed with champagne).
food table mommy to be with hostesses Ok, now I'm hungry!