Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Put Me In Coach....

I'm adopting the phrase, "Put me in coach, I'm ready to play..." as one of my new sayings. I really hate making resolutions, since I usually break them within the first month. :( I have only kept one and I am proud to say that I have gone 15 years without drinking soda. I honestly don't miss it...but anyway...back to my point.

As you know, the economy tanked out about the time we were finishing up our adoption (not to mention the extra expenses added onto our CRAZY adoption). It was a horrible time to be a stay at home mom, but it was a VERY important decision to help with Caroline's adjustment into our family and we were financially able to do this. As a way of saving money, I began clipping coupons. Little did I know how our lives were going to change with this new 'hobby'. We were paying VERY LITTLE for our groceries and were eating filet mignon at least once a week! As time went on, the 'free' newspapers started dwindling and my patience/energy started going down too. Clipping coupons became a HUGE chore since I was obsessed with it!! I kinda just stopped....yes, it was sad! I was still mindful of what I purchased but wasn't saving the obscene amounts of money like in the past.

Now that I am back to work, I can't even remember the last time I bought a paper. Finances are tighter and extra time is nonexistent. So, I decided my "Put Me In Coach..." moment will be to begin clipping coupons AGAIN. I bought two papers on Sunday and will start out slow and easy. I DO NOT have the time to run all over the place for the best deals. My stockpile will not be trophy-worthy, but I WILL start saving money again. I have even planned my grocery lists for this week and next week at Publix. As usual, I am VERY excited to see how much money just a few coupons can save me. It's about time to get back in the game...

I wish that I could stay accountable to this by taking pictures of my purchases/deals once again, but TIME is of the essence and I have NO extra time. I'm still having a difficult time balancing my work/home/Caroline/tennis and I just don't think I could do that. I'll see what I can manage to come up with since accountability is VERY important. Stay tuned and let's see how many 'points' I'll be able to score.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas Baking

Caroline and I did quite a bit of baking over the Christmas break. She LOVES mixing and stirring and of course, eating the batter! The pictures are a bit backwards, but I wanted to capture some of the moments for our family members and friends out of town.

On Christmas Eve, we made Reindeer Food. It's to help Santa's reindeer find our house from the sky and to give the reindeer some food to nibble on while Santa is doing his job! It was super easy to make and she LOVED sprinkling it on the lawn and the sidewalk.

We also make a special ornament each year to hang on the tree with Caroline's handprint. I paint her entire hand in white paint and then paint the fingers to look like snowmen. We use the clear ornaments and add 'snow' to the inside. Super cute and super easy! I didn't take a picture of the finished project, but I'll add it to next year's list, hahahahaha.
This year, we made Reindeer Magic Food. Caroline knows how much Papa loves to munch on goodies, so she made this for him. It consists of pretzels, peanuts, rice chex mix, fruit loops, m&m's, and white chocolate. Melt the white chocolate and mix ingredients. Pour onto wax paper and let dry. Break up into pieces and enjoy!
On Christmas Eve, we baked Santa some special cookies. Unfortunately, the cookies turned out AWFUL! I think we used too much flour during the 'cutting out' process which weighed the cookies down. But, Caroline had fun and they looked cute!
In case you're wondering, we have several trees in our house. This one is in our kitchen/breakfast room. It started out with just initials (our monograms) but then we started adding our homemade ornaments from Caroline. I think it may just be one of my favorite trees! And yes, we are VERY southern, so we bake in our new smocked dresses! :)