Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thrifty Tuesday

Walgreens didn't fail me this week! I had high hopes and managed to walk away very proud of myself...

2 boxes of Nature Valley granola bars, 4 sticks of Dove Men+Care deodorant, 2 cans Edge shaving cream, 2 bottles Gain dishwashing soap, 4 70 ft rolls of foil, and 3 candy eggs all for...


I spent $6.19 and saved $40.97! The granola bars are normally close to $3.00 a box even at Walmart. Definitely worth a quick trip on Sunday afternoon and a little bit of time organizing my coupons/transactions.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Weekend Rewind..I think?!?

Well I don't know about everyone else, but the weather we've had this weekend has certainly made me question whether or not Spring has actually arrived. You would think after living in Missouri for my entire life, I would have come to expect the roller coaster weather that we experience year after year; however, somehow it always seems to catch me off guard and when the calendar says it's Spring, I want it to be SPRING!

Hubby & I certainly made the best of it with a very relaxing weekend. I couldn't have asked for much more! I'm thinking that God knew we needed some R&R and He of course knows that if the weekend had been beautiful, R&R would have been replaced with yardwork and other busyness.

Friday was nothing more than an easy dinner at home, followed by college basketball, and quickly finished with an early night to bed. Tax season definitely takes it toll on Hubby, but on me as well. Thankfully we are both beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel...3 more weeks, just 3 more weeks.

Saturday we both had to work in the morning and then we had basically no plans for the afternoon. I decided to at least make it smell like Spring and whipped up a quick batch of Lemon Sugar Cookies. Mmm....they were so yummy & light. I'm already trying to figure out what occasion I should take them to in the future. They were definitely a simple sugar cookie...just mix, roll, bake, and enjoy!

Lemony, sugary, goodness!

The recipe definitely made plenty to share!

I also tried to bring a little Spring into the house by finally pulling out some Easter decorations...I don't have a lot, but I certainly enjoy the little touches of Spring sitting around the kitchen.
We did take a quick break during the afternoon to visit a very special little boy. You might remember that last week, one of my best friends became a first time mom to a precious little boy. Unfortunately when we arrived he was being closely monitored and we weren't able to hold him. Thankfully, they've since come home and are trying to settle in. He's absolutely adorable with a head full of dark black hair! Love him!
Seriously...look at that hair on the little guy! It's no wonder the poor girl had horrible heartburn!
The entire family...Jacinda, Brandon & Brooks.

We spent the evening with my grandparents & my cousin & his girlfriend. We had dinner at Ruby Tuesday's and had some much needed quality conversation with my dad's parents. We've been trying to get together for a few weekes, but with my sickness and other busy schedules, we just now managed to find a time to get together. I just love getting together with them. My cousin and his girlfriend came over afterwards to watch some DVR'ed basketball and to take some of those sugar cookies off our hands!

Today after church and nursery duty, we continued our quest for all things Spring and headed to one of my favorite greenhouses/gift shops for their Spring Open House. I've been wanting a new wreath for our front door and had good intentions of making one, but I found this one and just couldn't resist bringing it home!

I love it! It's the perfect mix of Spring & Summer...so hopefully it will last awhile!

I had to snap a photo of our tree in the frontyard...it's gorgeous, I just wish the temps went along with the Spring beauty of this tree!

There are definitely times I wish these blooms would hang around all year!

It's time for another small group tonight, I love having this on Sunday night...it's such a great way to prepare for the coming week!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bye Bye Blackberry

My experience with cell phones has been stellar. I've had several different cell phones in the past 10+ years, but I've never switched due to damage from dropping, a quick swim, or any variety of things that might happen to cell phones.

I'm sad to say that my impecable record with cell phones has come to an end. My old, but reliable, Blackberry Curve met an untimely demise with a certain pup's water bowl. No, it wasn't my Bogey, but my sweet little canine sister Josie's bowl.
So...my phone went from this...
to this...
to this...

and then to this...

all in a matter of hours!

I have officially been Droided. Thankfully I had never used my most recent upgrade period so I could get any new phone at the discounted price, with a new 2-year contract. Not a problem for me, no plans on switching from Verizon in the future.

So...here's my question. Being a Droid newbie...and an app newbie for that matter...any recommendations for the best apps??

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wedding Bells, Babies & a Runaway Dog

I don't know about everyone else, but the weather this weekend and mostly today couldn't have screamed Spring anymore loudly!

Friday was a fairly nice day & we'd decided to spend the evening at home. We went for a walk with Bogey, loaded him up for a quick trip to Dairy Queen for some blizzards (we had to balance out the burned calories somehow!), and then came home to watch some March Madness. We let Bogey come in the house for what will probably be one of the last times this season and we both ended up falling asleep on the couch incredibly early! So...we gave ourselves permission to head to bed about 9:30...yes, I know, we're an old married couple with no kids!

Sounds like pretty laidback, relaxing Friday night right? Well...about 10:20 things got a little exciting at the Layman house. You see, when we took Bogey for a walk earlier that night, we brought him out of the backyard through the gate. But then, instead of putting him in the backyard after the walk we went to DQ, he came in the house, and we let him out the backdoor once it was time for bed. Anyone notice a big problem?!? Yeah, we had left the gate open earlier in the evening just like we always do..and our precious pooch found his way out the wide open gate somewhere between 9:45 and 10:20.

Hubby was quickly awoken by our neighbor calling his cell phone saying they, along with another neighbor, had seen Bogey roaming the neighborhood but couldn't get him to close enough to catch him! So...with my heart beat quickly increasing and my mind racing with all sorts of horrible thoughts, I headed one direction in my car around the neighborhood and Nick headed the other way on foot. Both of us calling and whistling, and me just hoping he was safe & sound. And...he was. I came around the last corner in our neigborhood and there was Nick, trying to convince Bogey to come close enough to get a leash on him. He wasn't trying to runaway anymore, he just wanted to play!

Needless to say, it took a bit to get calmed down but we all finally made it back home safely with Bogey securely locked in the backyard! Ughhh...this was just my furry son, I can't imagine my panic with actual children!

Saturday we had plans for a fun daytrip to Lake of the Ozarks. Nick had a gift certificate for merchandise at a golf course that was getting close to it's expiration so we decided to make a quick roadtrip for some shopping and a nice meal. I had plans on taking some good photos, but not long after we got there the rains came...and they came...and they came some more. However, we still had a great time shopping and thoroughly enjoyed a nice meal on the lake. We'll definitely have to visit again, next time when we can actually enjoy the view instead of pouring down rain.

Today was church, followed by a quick visit to see our friends' Jacinda & Brandon and their new baby Brooks. They welcomed their son into the world this morning at 5:40 am. Jacinda is my best friend from high school and I can't remember a time in my life when we weren't friends! I'm so excited for them as they enter the world of parenthood! Brooks was being watched pretty closely in the nursery when we visited so no photos....;o(, but all is well now and I'm hoping that mom, dad, & baby are finally able to rest!

Hubby & I spent the rest of the afternoon at the golf course, enjoying the 80 degree weather and this beautiful first day of Spring!

And if a baby, lost dog, and the first day of Spring weren't enough excitement, our good friends' from church & small group, Garrett & Andrea, got engaged this weekend! God's blessings are just flowing down from everywhere!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thrifty Tuesday

Well it's back, I've finally had time to get caught up on my coupons and combine them with some great in-store sales! This week I made an impromptu visit to Walgreens based on some great sale/coupon combinations! It seems that the later in the week I try to go, the less likely I am to benefit from the big sales. So...this time I went in with no shopping plan, no multiple transaction lineup, I was just gonna pick up a few things with some extra cash I had and call it good!
Well, as luck would have it, I walk to the front door and notice signs posting "Cash & Check Only." No problem...I'm armed with my cash and that limits what I can spend anyway! I roam around the store mentally trying to decide just how far I can make my $12 go and I finally have 3 different scenarios using Register Rewards all planned out. I make my way to the register only for the cashier to look at me and say..."Oh, our Register Rewards aren't printing either!"
Seriously?!? Guess that will teach me to plan ahead and not waste so much time roaming around trying to add, subtract, and multiply coupons, sales, & the number of products in my head! So I promptly took most everything out of my cart except those register rewardless items. I certainly wasn't going to make the entire trip a waste!
Thankfully they would still deduct any coupon amount so I walked out with 3 full size box of Kleenex, 2 tubes of Colgate Pro Health Toothpaste and 1 tube of Colgate Total all for $2.74. I did some quick math (since I had no receipt to calculate my savings) and before coupons and sales I would have spent 16.74 for a savings of $14!
Not bad even for a spontaneous trip...maybe I'll stop by tomorrow to cash in on those register rewards deals!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekend Rewind

What a perfect Spring weekend! After a long week, it was definitely just what Hubby & I both needed.

Friday was an extremely casual girls' night with some of my good friends from high school. We ordered some pizza and just around the dining room table chatting about everything from babies to high school memories to crazy neighbors. We honestly don't get together all the often, but always have a nice time reminiscing when we do!

Saturday I caught up on my duties as housewife and did almost every domestic chore I could think of! I whipped up some banana muffins. This recipe was so easy & they are so delicious!

Next up was tackling the kitchen and bathroom...I cleaned as best I could, and wow did they both need it! Hopefully I finally got rid of all the germs so Hubby won't be picking up this horrible cold. I also managed to throw in a little bit of laundry and I got all this accomplished before Hubby got home at 12:30!

Saturday had been a scheduled yardwork day for awhile. The weather was supposed to be beautiful & we took advantage of it by preparing our front yard for Spring! We pruned all of our bushes, took out the old mulch, put down new mulch, and now we're ready for the gorgeous flowers to start blooming!


and after...

Thankfully I've already got some crocus making an appearance which means Spring is right around the corner! We decided to stay in for dinner and Hubby grilled up some hamburgers--the first of the season--while I was in charge of the homemade french fries; definitely one of my favorite homemade meals!
Today was a great service at church about sexual purity and the Christian view being so counter to the view the world holds of sexual purity. Some of our teenagers made the commitment for True Love Waits and it was so exciting to see these kids making such an important decision for the futures!
Hubby & I basically did absolutely nothing all afternoon and it was wonderful! A nap and a Spring thunderstorm make such a perfect combination!
It's time for another week and the weather is supposed to be mostly gorgeous again! The sunshine does such wonders for my attitude!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Mish Mash


It's been a long week. With this nasty head cold still lingering around, work has just seemed crazy. It seems that the everyday business has just been on overdrive and we're also implementing brand new software in our agency that will change every single aspect of how we do business. It's stressful enough, but throw in the required 2 or 3, 3 hour training sessions each week and it makes it impossible to keep your head above water.

Poor Nick has been working incredibly long hours, tax season grind is finally starting to take its toll and I'm just praying that above everything else he DOES NOT get this sickness I can't seem to shake! It's definitely one of those much better me than him situations. Thankfully, the end is in sight...the countdown is on! T-minus 40 days!

I'm also so thankful that right now we have the resources to plan some fun things right after tax season...short trip to STL for a Cards game & a long trip to Hawaii the beginning of May. Having these things to look forward to seem to make it all worth it in the end.

I'm so thankful that it appears any major catastrophe was avoided in HI this morning, I'll be honest..my first thought was to the safety of those people, but it was followed closely by a selfish..."What about our vacation?" I'm embarrassed to even write that, but either way it seems that both have managed to escape any major problems and Hawaii managed to avoid any major damage.

I'm so ready for 5 o'clock, I've got a girls' night this evening with some of girlfriends from high school...it'll be so nice to catch-up with them.

And for the rest of the weekend, 60+ degree temps and plans for yardwork...YES PLEASE!!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

not dancin' just yet

For most people who endure strep throat, followed quickly by a massive head cold...the following weekend might be reserved for nothing but recovery, complete with plenty of long naps, hot tea, chicken noodle soup, and movie after movie. Well, that just wasn't in the cards for me this weekend!

Friday night we did stay in for dinner and relaxed while eating popsicles and watching the Biggest Loser---that was about the extent of the relaxation for the weekend!

Saturday was work for both of us in the morning and then we gathered at my parents house to watch the Missouri State Bears play in the 2nd round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. We were seeded #1 and had big hopes of making it to the big dance...more on that in a bit.

I basically watched the game and then had to head out for a personal shower/bachelorette party for this little lady!
Mel is getting married in a few short weeks to the man of her dreams & I was thrilled to be a part of throwing her a fun night. She wanted everything to stay pretty low-key so we had drinks, desserts, played a few games, and watched her open a lot of fun lingerie! A ton of fun, but man was I exhausted!
The bride-to-be with the shower hostesses!
Myself and the gorgeous Mel! Love you girl!
Early on in the evening, Hubby decided that we would be spontaneous and head to St. Louis for the championship game of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. St. Louis is about 3 1/2 hours away and the game wasn't until 1:05 so we quickly made plans to drive up, watch the game, and head home all in the same day. Thankfully my parents decided to go along with us and we had a great time!
Tickets, were the first priority...nothing a scalper couldn't help us with outside the ticket office!

Championship Game...winner gets an automatic bid to the Big Dance!
Missouri State Bears vs. Indiana State Sycamores

The whole group ready to cheer on our Bears!

Hubby & I~we ended up with really good seats close the floor. They were a little far away from the rest of the Missouri State crowd but still good seats.
Unfortunately, the shots and the calls and the shots and the calls just weren't going our way. Indiana State won the game 60-56. Our boys were exhausted. Three hard games in three days is just hard. Being a part of a mid-major conference means that we only get one automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, and that goes to the winner of our conference tourney.
Now we wait and hope that the selection committee recognizes our successes this season and we get an at-large bid! A season record of 25-8 sure isn't anything to hang our heads about!
All in all, a pretty fabulous weekend..minus the fact that I alternate from sounding like a man to a hacking smoker's cough to a squeaky voice! Needless to say, my massive head cold is definitely winning right now...but I'm sure hoping I'm on the mend! Neither myself or the Bears are dancing quite yet...but hopefully very, very soon!
Either way, I'm still proud to be a Bear!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Strep Throat...Day 2

While I'd love to sit here and talk about productive I've been in the past two days and how the weather has been so gorgeous...instead, I've been stuck in bed or on the couch trying to recover from strep throat.

I NEVER get sick, but I guess never say never. This was certainly not an ideal time to be out of the office, my dad is out of the office for meetings which means some decisions fall to me and yesterday was the first of several training days for some new software implementation. Thankfully, a co-worker stepped in and took care of it while I called into the conference call and had to do nothing but listen.

I'm feeling slightly better today but not well enough to spend an entire day at the office and I'm pretty sure none of my co-workers want to take the strep throat bug home with them. I've got my penicillin, some syrupy stuff that's supposed to numb my throat, and my hot tea. I'm hoping that I'll feel better for a short period of time to grab the bleach and disinfectant wipes to do a bit of cleaning...Hubby certainly doesn't need strep throat during tax season!

I'm all for days off, but they aren't much fun when you can't do anything but lay in bed!