Mar 31, 2009

Couponing 101

My friend Amanda has gotten really good at couponing. I've been reading her blog for the past couple of weeks and have been inspired to try to do some money saving myself! This past Sunday, I sat down with the coupon inserts and all the weekly specials. Here's what I got on my first money saving venture to CVS:

Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner Foam 2/$5.00
Used 2 $0.75 off coupons
$1.75 each after coupons

Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste 2/$5.00 PLUS $1 Extra Care Buck (ECB)
Used 1 $0.75 off coupon & 1 $1.00 off coupon
$1.75 for one, $1.50 for the other PLUS one had a free toothbrush attached - SCORE!

Glade Sense & Spray Air Freshener $5.99 PLUS $1 ECB
Used $4.00 off coupon
$1.99 after coupon

Scrubbing Bubbles Tub & Shower Action Scrubber Starter Kit $2.99
Used $2.75 off coupon
$0.24 after coupon

Electrasol Powerball Tabs on sale for $3.99
Used $1.00 off coupon
$2.99 after coupon

Windex Original Glass & Surface Wipes 2/$5.00
Used 2 $0.75 off coupons
$1.75 each after coupons

TOTAL after tax: $17.11
Total Savings: $27.79

Then, in a separate transaction (so I could use my ECB's), I bought:

Sally Hansen Creme Bleach priced at $5.29
Sale: Buy 1, Get 1 Free
Used 2 $1.00 off coupons
Used $2 ECB's
After tax, $0.88 each after coupons and ECB's!
Spent $1.55 on this transaction
Saved $9.29!!!

Other great deals I got:

Food Lion has Wishbone Salad Dressings on sale 10/$10.00
I bought 3 at $1.00 each
Used 2 $0.75 off coupons and 1 $0.65 off coupon
Paid $0.25 for two bottles and $0.35 for another bottle!

Hall's Cough Drops 25 count at Walgreen's - regularly $2.49
Bought 2 packs using in store coupon which brought them down to $1.39 per bag
Used 2 $1.00 off coupons
After tax: $0.49 per bag!

Plan to go to Wal-Mart tomorrow ...
16 oz. Kraft Salad Dressings on sale for $1.58
Will use $1.50 off coupon
Will pay $0.08 after coupon!

See how much FUN this is!?!?

Some of these deals may not be the best in the world, but I am hoping to get better as I go and collect more coupons. All of these deals came from just the coupons that were in this past Sunday's paper (plus a few here and there I printed online). Some things I did learn this week: First, I can't be overly brand conscious. Truthfully, I've never used Scrubbing Bubbles or Electrosol Dishwasher Tabs. However, I'm sure they will clean my bathroom and dishes just fine. If not, then I'll chalk it up to experience and know to bypass those brands in the future! Secondly, I bought some things that I didn't necessarily need at this time but got them because they were a good deal. Nobody in my house is coughing right now so we don't need Hall's Cough Drops at the moment, and I don't have an immediate use for 3 bottles of Wishbone Italian Salad Dressing. However, at some point in the year, somebody will use the cough drops, and I plan to use the salad dressings as marinades or ingredients for suppers over the next few months. The point is, I'm buying ahead at good prices and stocking up for later. When the time comes that I need the cough drops, I won't have to spend money on those (and probably pay full price!) but may spend my money instead stocking up on shampoo or deodorant or something else that particular week that happens to be on sale. Once I get going, I hope to have a steady supply of things stocked up so I only have to replenish at times where I get the best deals!

My next mission is to go to Wal-Mart during my Spring Break with a list of several of the food and toiletry items we typically buy from there. I want to have a running record of the Wal-Mart price, which is where I typically shop, so I will know if comparatively, I am getting a good deal elsewhere or would come out better at Wal-Mart. See ... I'm serious about this!

Mar 30, 2009

Baby Shower!

On Saturday, Sarah Ellen, Jennifer, and I threw a baby shower for Justin & Lindsay. Although I think the pouring rain probably kept some people away, we still had a great turn out, and they got lots of great stuff. Here are some pictures from the day. We are so excited for our little guy to get here!

The food table

Starting that little boy out right!

They got lots of great gifts!

The proud grandmothers

The proud cousin

Yay for great gifts!

Another awesome banner made by my sister-in-law!

The happy parents-to-be

Mar 28, 2009

Saturday Linkage

Your Coupon Buddy Freebies
Updated weekly with lots of offers for free items!

Chance to Win a Free Book
There's a giveaway going on over at The Preacher's Wife. Leave a comment and get entered for a chance to win a great book! If I don't win, I'm going to buy this one for myself!

Trade You! Slow Cooker Recipes
Whitney Caroline Designs is offering a 10% off coupon in exchange for your slow cooker recipe. You get a coupon, the chance to win the grand prize, AND lots of great slow cooker recipes. Check out the things in the Whitney Caroline store. ADORABLE stuff!

I've heard special education teachers recommend this for years to parents of students who are struggling with reading. It's great for that as well as for teaching letters and beginning reading skills to little ones. Camryn loves it!

Mar 27, 2009

Funny Videos

I am not one for stupid humor. Jason thinks I am no fun sometimes because I don't laugh at a lot of things he finds funny. Things just have to be really good for them to make me laugh. The two videos below fall into the "stupid humor" category to me but for some strange reason, I find them hilarious. Happy Friday!

Mar 25, 2009

Have You Ever ... (AKA My Week Thus Far)

Have you ever dreaded everything about your week? From meetings to certain responsibilities/tasks, I haven't looked forward to a single thing this week.

Have you ever wanted the weekend to get here so badly because a certain set of friends are coming into town, and you are crazy excited to spend time with them?

Have you ever wondered what you'll be when you really grow up? Sometimes I wonder if psychology is going to be it.

Have you ever been excited about a new recipe only to make it and realize you could only eat a few bites of it, because you were totally unimpressed and then had to throw out 3/4 of it because nobody was going to touch it again? Pizza stuffed meatloaf. Sounds so promising, but really ... not a good idea.

Have you ever thrown away your pizza stuffed meatloaf and wished you would have stuck with your old faithful meatloaf recipe all along?

Have you ever stayed up way too late watching reruns of The Office with your husband, thus making you extra tired in the morning, thus making the dreaded things you had to do that day look that much worse?

Have you ever overanalyzed someone's tone of voice or the tone of their email and wondered if they were mad, aggravated, or indifferent toward you, when it's probably just all in your head?

Have you ever lost your patience trying to teach your child something new, thus reminding yourself for the billionth time you could never homeschool?

Have you ever celebrated each time the clock ticks off another hour because that makes it one hour closer to Spring Break?

Have you ever wished summer vacation was already here when Spring Break hasn't even gotten here yet?

Have you ever gotten tired of listening to your same old radio station, thus turning it over to the county station for the ride home, thus making you feel extra sassy for the rest of the day?

Have you ever wondered how many people are aggravated with you by this point for your overuse of the word thus?

Have you ever been completely disgusted by another woman's un-femininity and wondered how the opposite sex still finds her attractive?

Have you ever gotten ill with Blogger because it doesn't always update when someone last posted, and you only find out when you finally go to their blog and realize they've posted 4 times since Blogger last updated?

Have you ever been really bummed because all you needed was a Coke to get you through the rest of the day, and the only drink machine in the building is Pepsi?

Have you ever sent emails or texts to the wrong person? Happened to me twice in the past week. Glad I didn't say anything bad about them!

Have you ever almost gagged at the smell of the cafeteria food in an elementary school?

Have you ever felt incredibly uneasy when the principal announces over the intercom the school is on lockdown? First time I've ever had to experience that. Not fun when you're in the back of the building and have no clue what is going on.

Have you ever had a pile of laundry sit for days on end waiting to be folded, and you really have no intention of getting to it any time soon?

Have you ever sat staring at the computer for 10 minutes, trying to think of a way to end your post AND use the word thus one more time?

Mar 20, 2009

Jon & Kate + Eight

I actually typed this post a couple of weeks ago. Since then, the Gosselins have gotten a lot of press over the fact that Jon has possibly been unfaithful and rumors of their separation. Now, the TLC commerical for next week's season finale is promising a major announcement, which I'm sure everyone thinks is that they are splitting up. For what it's worth, although I'm sure there is probably a huge strain in their marriage right now over everything going on, I think the announcement will be that the "fame" is getting to be a little too much for them and they are taking a break from filming or will have a reduced filming schedule. We'll see if I'm right. But, for now, here's the original post I wrote a few weeks ago ...

What do you think of this show? Jason and I have mixed feelings about it. Over the summer, we were addicted to it. We watched the new episode each Monday night and had it on our TV any time there was a rerun. I am amazed at how Jon and Kate manage a household of eight children. I do well just to handle one! Jason also bought Kate's book, Multiple Bes8ings, for me for Christmas and I really enjoyed reading it. Kate has a very strong faith, and this book is her testimony of sorts, in addition to the story of the sextuplets (I sound like I'm writing a review here, don't I?). So, all in all I do have respect for them because of the difficulties they've had to face and how they have handled them through their trust in God.

Now, on the flip side, we - Jason, especially - have a hard time watching the show now because of Kate's attitude and the way she talks to Jon. This is nothing new, but just seems to happen more frequently and intensely in recent shows. Sometimes, Jason will even suggest we change the channel, because it makes him so mad to watch her be so incredibly condescending. We recently watched an episode where they moved into their new house. Jon bought new shower heads (obviously from Bed, Bath & Beyond), and Kate ripped into him for it. First she belittled him for not using a coupon and then for not giving her the receipt from the purchase. Next, she followed him around the house and stood over him until he coughed up the receipt. Then, she gave him a speech like he was one of the kids and made him answer the question, "What is the rule about receipts, Jon?" I hear myself having conversations like this with my 3 year old child but not my husband! Another one that comes to mind is the yard sale episode where Jon forgets the kids' lunches at home (a recent rerun I've seen). Kate looks straight into the camera and belittles Jon (and men in general, by the way) because he forgot the lunches. You know, if I had 8 kids, I'd probably forget lunches every now and then, too. I'd probably be lucky to remember my own head most days. These are just a few of the bigger instances we've seen ... not to mention the every day snapping, ordering around, and fussing she does. We also think it's really not a good thing that she makes all of these condescending remarks right in front of the kids.

The funny thing is, we've had long conversations before between ourselves and with friends about whether or not Kate deserves our pity. Some people are on the side of the fence that she is managing a household of 10 people and is understandably stressed. I can appreciate that, but also believe she needs to show a little more respect to her husband who is her biggest helper and the only one who truly understands the life they are leading. If you notice, none of her other family members or friends are ever around any more, so I think he's the only one who's left! What do you think?

Mar 17, 2009


What has happened to the blogging world out there? Nobody's blogging anymore, nobody's commenting anymore ... is anyone still reading anymore? I used to look at my blog list and see several people who had updated within the last few hours. Now, as the days drag by, I'm seeing weeks and months before the next update occurs. People, do you not know I check your blog every day? Lame, I know, but really - I love reading what's going on with your lives. Seriously, I'm even addicted to the lives of some total strangers out there. And, believe it or not, I learn things from you. Some of you are not just entertaining, but you are incredibly insightful, and I love how you make me think about things. I don't have anything to think about when you don't update for weeks on end! Even the people I would call "professional bloggers" - you know, those people who get thousands of hits and hundreds of comments each day - are not blogging as much as they used to. They're "taking breaks" or "giving attention to more important things." Oh, blah, blah, blah ... what's more important than keeping your adoring blog readers happy and satisfied? Your kids? P'shaw! (In case you didn't realize it, you're supposed to "get" the sarcasm there!)

Is Facebook doing this to everybody? I know it's much easier to quickly check everyone's Facebook status or glance at their recent pictures instead of sitting down and actually putting some thought and creativity into a blog. And, although I haven't done it, it's GOT to be easier to put your pictures on Facebook than here on Blogger. An advanced trigonometry test is easier than that. I understand the attraction, because I do like to periodically lurk around on my husband's account just to see what you all are doing/thinking/tired of/hating/loving/etc. at any given moment of the day. But, at this point, I'm still sticking to my guns and not joining the Facebook world. I have my reasons, and the biggest is I just don't wanna. So, here's my plea: Comment every once in a while so I know you're still there. Post a picture or two on your blog so I know what you, your hubby, your kids, your dog, cat, fish are up to. Tell me what's been going on in your life. I miss you.

Mar 14, 2009

Answers To Your Questions!

Here are the answers to the questions that were asked about me:

1) What is your favorite thing about being a mommy?

I would have to say my favorite thing is just how much fun I have with Camryn. I always knew I would enjoy my child, but I never expected how much I would love the conversations we have, the new things she would surprise me with each day, and how downright funny she is. She is really just a fun kid to be around.

2) What is your favorite vacation spot as a family?

Our favorite spot is Oak Island, NC. You can read about our vacation there last year here and here. It is just this quiet little beach where the only thing we have to do is be together and enjoy each other. It is so relaxing, a great place with lots of neat little shops, local restaurants, and places to explore. We love our time there and how removed we feel from reality when we get to go. Now, we also have a family trip to Disney World coming up this summer, so ask me this question again in about 5 months, and I may have a different answer for you!

3) What are you most proud of about yourself?

This was the hardest one for me to answer! I guess the thing I am most proud of is my cooking ability. I love to get in the kitchen and make great-tasting things. I love to cook for other people, and I love making them happy with yummy food. I am not an all-star chef by any means, (I still have plenty of kitchen snafus!) but it is a skill I have that I feel like I am pretty good at.

4) What is your favorite feature on yourself? Jason? Camryn?

My favorite feature is my crooked smile, although I think I've outgrown it a bit as I've gotten older. It's really only crooked now when I smile really big. My mom used to tell me, "God gave special smiles to special little girls" so that always made me like my smile.

My favorite feature on Jason is his eyes. I've always loved the shape of them. I think they're hot.

My favorite feature on Camryn is her precious smile. But, you gotta love those chubby little cheeks, too!

5) What is your favorite thing to do by yourself?

Just enjoy the silence. Any time I am in my car alone or at home alone, I love to have silence. Jason likes having the TV on even if he's not watching, and Camryn is a talker, so there is always background noise when I am with the two of them. And that's fine, because I love being with them. But, when I have the chance to be alone, I love having quiet moments to just think, to accomplish chores or other things that need to be done, or just waste time doing things I want to do (that don't involve the TV!). When I have the chance, I also love to shop by myself. When I get to shop by myself, I never have to worry about someone getting bored when I spend hours on end shopping for kid clothes, I actually have time to look for things for myself and try things on without having to rush, and I can walk around in circles without someone having to follow around behind me (Jason gets annoyed with me when we shop because he says I walk in circles around the same things over and over!)

6) How did you pick Camryn's first and middle names?

When Jason and I were dating and all googly-eyed and sappy in love, we used to talk about when we would get married and have lots of babies. Come on ... you know you did it, too. So, we always said from the time we dated in college, if we ever had a little girl we would name her Camryn. Her middle name, Olivia, was just a name we liked. We're really picky about names, and we have a hard time agreeing on them. The only two names we had on the table after we found out we were having a girl were Camryn Olivia and Camryn Merritt. Olivia just because we liked it, and Merritt because we wanted something to represent our time at Anderson College where we met. (The administration building on campus is Merritt Administration Building for all you non-AC people out there.) Jason actually made the final decision on the middle name. I left it up to him, because I could have gone either way. In the end, Camryn Olivia just flowed a little better.

7) When did you know that Jason was going to be the person you married?

Probably right about the time we started dating. It took us a while to get to the dating point, because I was already dating another guy I was pretty serious about. So, if I was going to break things off with that guy, it was going to be for a really good reason. I plan to do a bigger post on "our story" in a few weeks. We have a milestone date coming up.

8) Do you think you will have any more kids? If so, how many kids do you want?

I knew somebody was going to ask this question! I just assumed it would be Beth or Kelli! I know there are plenty of you out there not-so-patiently-waiting on Burley Baby Number Two. Unfortunately, I do not have anything to report at this time. Here's the thing - having more children is definitely a door that is still open for us. However, we really aren't sure right now how many children that will be, when that will happen, or how our future family will even be formed. At this point, we are honestly just waiting on God's direction, and most importantly, His timing. But, don't worry - you will all be the first to know when there's news to report. How's that for a vague, non-committal answer!

Thanks to all you ladies who participated and asked such great questions! This was fun!

Mar 7, 2009

Getting to Know Me!

OK - I am honestly a little nervous to do this because I'm scared you guys are going to leave me hangin' and I'll come off looking pretty lame! However, I was tagged here to do a "getting to know me" post, so here goes! What are you dying to know about the Burley family?

1.) Are there any questions you have always wanted to ask about me or our family? I thought this would be a great way for anyone who does not know me/us that well to ask the questions lingering in the back of your head. I will be answering your questions one week from today!

2.) Also, I would love for you to post the things you think you do know about me/us.

Mar 3, 2009

Camryn's Birthday Party

To kick off Camryn's birthday weekend, Jason and I took cupcakes to her class during snack time on Thursday. She was so excited to get all dressed up for school and to have Mommy and Daddy come to her classroom. We loved making her feel like a very special little girl for the day!

On Saturday, we had a huge birthday party at our house. This year was really fun because Camryn was old enough to pick the theme for her party and take a part in some of the planning. We had a princess party for our little princess, and everyone had a great time! We were also excited because this was the first time many of our friends from Anderson and some family members were able to see our house. It was very special to all three of us to have everyone we love so much under one roof helping us celebrate! Camryn got lots of great gifts, including more princess stuff than we even know what to do with! And, with all the clothes she got, she will definitely be the best dressed child around this summer!

The very pretty birthday girl

A family shot right before the party started

The super cute birthday banner Aunt Alison made for the party

Another awesome cake from the CAKEMAN!

The birthday spread (thanks, Amanda, for the great menu ideas!)

The presents

Alyssa & Camryn enjoying their lunch

My two favorite girls

Jason & his family eating

Marmee & Papa

Our wonderful friends, Sarah Ellen & Jeff, who stayed the whole weekend and helped us with EVERYTHING!

Sarah & Emily

Me & my Kelli

Opening presents

Jason & sweet Eli

Camryn was lucky to have both sets of her great-grandparents at her party!
Camryn with Great-Papa and Meemaw

Camryn with Marmee & Great-Papa

With Grandpa & Grandma Burley

A few of our great friends who traveled from Anderson for the day - Thomas, Stephanie, Emily, & Sarah

Cammy & Grammy
With Uncle George & Aunt Martha
Alyssa & Camryn - the two princesses
Cam with Papa and Debbie

With Aunt Lindsay & Uncle Justin

Camryn and her Aunt Alison

Camryn & Caleb

What a little cutie!