Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Makeover my basement, Mandi!

You may remember that I entered a blogging contest last year to have the absolutely talented and amazing Mandi come and do a room makeover. I didn’t win, but that doesn’t mean I don’t absolutely follow and adore Mandi (she’s MET Nate Berkus, for heaven’s sake) and am amazed at what she can do with a little paint and creativity. And believe me, paint and creativity are two of my favorite things. My other favorite thing? FREE!!! Oh, you know it. Well, she is doing it again! And do I have the perfect space for her! My basement!

 Don’t panic, Mandi, you don’t have to do the whole basement, you can CHOOSE YOUR ROOM! Right now everything looks pretty much the same, but soon we will sheetrock these walls. The beauty of this project is, there’s nothing to take down, paint over, or rip out.

We can start fresh! You can choose to makeover a bedroom, or a different bedroom, a kitchenette/family room, Or we could break those up and do JUST the family room, or JUST the kitchen. Don’t let those piles of insulation scare you, those will be up in the ceiling and walls soon enough.

 Why do we need Mandi’s help and your votes? Because on our own we will never get this done. Seriously. Two years ago I told the hubby, “let’s not take a vacation, let’s just use those days and work on the basement.” Oh, how I laugh at that statement now. I think that was about the time when hubby started really traveling for work, so that he leaves the country and is gone for weeks at a time. Well, we started on this basement about a year ago. It took us a while to dejunk and clean it out, and then we had it framed back around Christmas time last year.

We currently have an exchange student from Germany living with us, and when we the host family coordinator asked if we could host this school year, I think I said, “Oh, we’ll have the basement done by then, so we will actually have room for her!” Not so. Hubby’s done most of the work so far, and he’s amazing. I don’t know how to do any of the wiring or plumbing to help him. And the poor man doesn’t have a lot of free time, what with a full time job, extra traveling for work, church duties, a garden, and a busy family with 5 make that 6 children.

 I love to paint and can’t wait to slap some paint on the walls. I even have dreams of buying new furniture, but I can’t really think about that (or buy anything) until we get those rooms done. I do have one piece I already painted, remember this vanity?

 Right now it’s stuffed in my bedroom waiting and wishing for a room of it’s own someday where it won’t just get piled high with laundry to fold. But that’s probably the wish of all my furniture in my bedroom to tell you the truth. So, as you can see, we have a lot of…..potential (that’s putting it nicely), and need. We NEED Mandi to come and help us out with her decorating pizzaz and her boundless energy. She could whip this place into shape in no time. All I need from you is your vote. Just click on the box and vote, vote vote.

 From Mandi’s website, the timeline is like this: September 7-September 14: Linky open for voting. Send everyone you know over to vote for your post. Please help me get as MANY votes as I can, so if you could help me by posting a link on your facebook page, or blogging, or asking your friends to vote for me (even if they don’t know me, I’d still LOVE all the votes I can get).

 So if you can mark your calendars, set a reminder in your phone, write it on a sticky note to vote between Sept 7 and 14th, I would SO appreciate it!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Who doesn't love Thanksgiving Point?

We absolutely love Thanksgiving Point, and the annual pass is truly a great value, especially when you have a big family.

Well, over at NoBiggie, Kami has a Thanksgiving Point pass to give away. Check it out and enter here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Graduations are for one reason..to make mothers cry

John had his kindergarten graduation today. I knew what to expect. Four of my five kids have had the same kindergarten teacher, and they pretty much do the same graduation program every year. They recite their poems and songs that they have been working on during the year. The kids are all dressed up nice and they even play Yankee Doodle on their kazoos. It's really cute.

I always tear up at these things, realizing that my little kids just aren't staying little forever like I would like them to. But this time, this time I cried.

My last Kindergarten graduation. How is that possible? And in two more years my sophomore is going to be graduating from high school! How is that possible?

I can't be that old, I just can't! Can I?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

You know it's almost that time of the month when...

I was watching Desperate Housewives, of all things, and I cried. Not once, but three times I teared up. I guess I shouldn't even THINK about watching Lost or Biggest Loser tonight.

I yelled at my son and his friend for drinking 5 juice boxes. Granted, I had given them one each, and soon there were 5 empty boxes, but it's a juice box, for heaven's sake.

I cannot inhale the chocolate fast enough.

Exercise? What is that?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

800 boxes of cereal. No, I don't think it's too much, do you?

This story isn’t mine. It is my sister’s. My sister with the 11 kids who SHOULD have a blog, because her life is amazingly funny, but how would she keep up with it? She has 11 kids!?

This week cereal is on sale at Smith’s for $1 a box. When you have a large family, you stock up on cereal when you can buy them for $1 a box. I bought 30 boxes and I had a couple of coupons, so I was thinking I was pretty clever getting those 30 boxes of oatmeal, Life and Captain Crunch for $27. Oh, how wrong I was.

My sister called me and told me how I could get that same cereal for 40 cents a box. Yes, you have to be sneaky, and yes, it takes more work, but 40 cents a box? While Smith’s is having their sale making the cereal $1 a box (after the instant rebate at the checkout, yada, yada.) Macey’s, Dan’s, and Harmon’s are also having a sale on Quaker cereal, but they use an in-ad coupon to get $3 off when you buy 5 boxes. Their deal isn’t as good as the Smith’s deal, though, so I had thrown those ads away. My brother-in-law, Tom, was cleverer than I. He took the coupons from the other ads, and used them at Smiths. First, he cut out all the coupons from the ads he had, and asked the neighbors for their ads, as well. Then, to get more ads, he went to his local Associated Foods stores and took a few ads from each store. He didn’t want to clean them out of their ads, so he said he wasn’t taking more than 10 from each. Then, using the competing store’s coupons along with the Smith’s sale price, it brings the total down to 40 cents each for a box of cereal.

When she called me to apprise me of the deal, she said he had already gotten over 100 boxes of cereal, and was going back out for more. “So I don’t look so creepy, I’ll take one of the little kids with me,” he said. Because the last thing you want when grocery shopping for large amounts of cereal is to look creepy.

I had already bought one round of cereal (and peanut butter, which was also on a good case lot sale), but I’m up for a great deal, so I tried it. First I looked through our box of newspapers for the ads. I found one ad from Kohlers, our local associated foods store. I cute out the $3 coupon. Then I stopped at Kohler’s to pick up some ads. Oh, and cake mix! Because they had cake mix on sale, and I didn’t want to just run in to grab the ads. I took my 6 ads out to the car, and WHAT?! Someone had already cut out the $3 coupon! Foiled! Oh,well. I’ll try the one coupon I have, and I can at least get $3 off of 5 boxes. I went over to Smith’s, put 10 boxes into the cart and went to check out. “Oh, we’re not accepting that coupon,” said the checker, “I guess we lost a lot of money on those coupons yesterday as we’re not getting paid for them.” She showed me on her little printed paper that they were allowed to accept the coupons from one store that don’t say “good for use ONLY at Associated food stores” in tiny print. Mine had the tiny print, so she was not accepting it. Probably because of Tom and people like Tom. Foiled again!

After my day of working at the school and then cutting out endless skirts for kindergarteners, I called my sister back and told her how I had been foiled twice in my attempt to beat the system. “Oh, really?” she said, “Tom just came back from the store and he’s bought 500 boxes. Nobody told him he couldn’t use the coupon.” Erg. Tom had been to stores all over the Salt Lake Valley, from Draper to West Valley City in his quest for both coupons, and cereal. He couldn’t just go to ONE Smith’s store and clean out all their cereal, so he was making the rounds. He was only back to cut out and organize, then he was going back out again. It seems that 500 boxes is all that the Excursion will hold.

As he was purchasing several cases of cereal, one lady said to him, “There’s no way you can go through that much cereal before it expires.” Are you kidding me? Having 11 kids, Tom is used to obnoxious comments and questions from strangers. He didn’t HAVE to justify his purchase to her, but he did say, “I have 11 kids. We go through at least two boxes of cereal a day. You really don’t think we can eat these 40 boxes of cereal?” If it had been me, I might have just laughed in their face. Do you need to give an explanation besides “Teenagers”? If I let my kids have free reign over the cereal, they would eat it morning, noon and night. A bowl of cereal is often the chosen afternoon snack at our house, providing we have milk to go with it.

When I last spoke with my sister, she said that they hadn’t quite reached their goal of 1,000 boxes, but they were at 800! 800 boxes at 40 cents each– that’s $320 on cereal, but they’ve saved at least $2 per box off the regular price, so I’m going to congratulate them on their MAJOR cereal score.

And if I run out, I know I can always go over to her house, as long as I bring my own gallon of milk.

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 17th, 2010 at 2:25 pm and is filed under bargains--score.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's me or the donuts

Last night we had to go return a redbox movie at the grocery store. We were on kind of a high from a VERY exciting basketball game, and I told the kids we could get donuts. After 7 pm, the donuts go on sale for all the donuts you can fit in a box for $2.99. So, we stuffed in about 15 donuts and went home, and I made some kids VERY happy. I also grabbed some french bread that was day old. I seriously ate almost half the loaf of bread while they gobbled down donuts. I had to have something to eat myself, since I hadn't had dinner yet.

This morning, I allowed them to pack a donut in their lunches, and then there were still 5 or 6 of those evil donuts in the box. I asked my 13 year old to take them to her carpool and offer them around. You would have thought I asked her to go to school naked or something. "What? What will I say? What if they don't want them? What if they think I'm weird?" she asked. Who is going to think you are weird for offering them a donut? I don't get it. I forced her to take the box with her. Hopefully I won't go outside and see a smooshed box of donuts on the floor.

But those donuts HAD to go. I didn't eat any last night, but during the day--when there's nobody here but me and the donuts--I could see that my iron will might waver, and I could end up facedown in a box of donuts. And nobody wants to see that happening.

Friday, March 5, 2010

so much for accountability

Well, I didn't do so great with the whole posting everything I've eaten. But now it's the time of Lent, and even though I am not Catholic, I've given up the SUGAR. I had a bit of a rocky start, but now we are over two weeks into this, and I am doing pretty well. Yesterday, when I went into the Kindergarten class to volunteer, they were having cake to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday. The kindergarten teacher offered me a piece of YUMMY cake. Normally, I would have taken a piece. But NO, I did not. And then a bunch of friends from the neighborhood went out to lunch to celebrate a birthday, and my friend the candy maker had brought bags of samples. I seriously wasn't even tempted! But then I came home, and wanted something sweet. I made sugar free pudding for me and the kids for dessert. Not too bad. I am losing about a pound a week, though, so that's a good thing. I bought some seriously overpriced Hershey's sugar free chocolate yesterday, and I've decided I can have one piece per day.

Have you given up something for Lent? Is it getting easier?