Monday, June 27, 2011

Shopping

I've started taking couponing seriously.  Not seriously enough to end up on one of those extreme couponing TV shows, but enough that the cashiers at the stores flinch a little bit when I hand over the stack of little glossy papers for them to scan.  I've been saving an average of $22.00 per week.  I know that's not much in terms of my whole grocery budget, but it's still pretty good.  If I didn't have so much going on during the day, I'd spend more time going through sales papers and comparison shopping, but between two jobs and a busy home life, I just haven't made it a priority.

I've also been cautious about clothes and shoe shopping.  I was in desperate need of new shoes, and I admit that I spent more than I budgeted, but I was also happy that I got very good quality shoes on sale.  When I did my massive closet cleanout, I tried on all of my shoes and any that were too worn out or uncomfortable at all had to go.  That left me with no work shoes.  In the past few weeks, I bought 2 pairs of heels, 2 pairs of flats and 2 pairs of comfortable/everyday shoes, all Aerosoles.  My feet are happy, even though my wallet squeaked in fear when I took the money out. 

I also bought 2 blouses and 2 sweaters for work--a necessity since I now dress up almost every single day and I had to get rid of almost all of my blouses.  (I had to get rid of them because when I started swimming last year, my forearms bulked up a little with more muscle and the sleeves are too tight.)  I got a 30% off coupon and was lucky enough to find some nice blouses and sweaters on sale/clearance--I ended up spending about $30.00 total and saved $110.00.  Not too shabby, eh?

Now, if I could just figure out a way to further reduce my utility bills...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Single-Handedly Keeping My Garbage Man in Business

I haven't had much to say lately, hence, no blogging.  I've been in the worst funk for weeks.  My days just run into each other between working my regular job, teaching and managing everything that goes along with summer school, organizing the house in anticipation of having to move, and still making sure I'm available to my kiddo.  It's really no crazier or harder than anyone else's life, but I'm tired.

As for moving, it's not definite (yet...), but I know we can't stay here.  It's been a battle of wills with the spouse as to whether or not we keep the house, but his will is finally being overruled by the reality of our financial situation.  I've been cleaning like crazy for the past two weeks and have thrown out so much stuff that I'm stunned.  We don't have a particularly big house, but as I look at what I'm getting rid of, I can't believe it all fit in here.  Two weeks ago when I cleaned out my closet and my half of the bedroom, there were 6 bags of clothes, coats, shoes, etc., plus 5 bags of stuff to throw away.  I couldn't even tell you what all I got rid of, so it must have been pretty insignificant stuff--a heck of a lot of insignificant stuff!  It did feel good, though.  I'm approaching each room I clean with the mentality of:  When did it last get used?  Is it needed?  Will it fit if we take it to a smaller house?  Could someone else get use out of this?  Do I want to deal with the hassle of packing and then unpacking it?

While most of the things I'm getting rid of are minor, I'm shocked that I'm getting rid of things I thought I would keep forever!  As I look at them, though, I realize they are, after all, just things.  I'm allowing myself one storage bin for "sentimental items".  Things like a graduation card from my college best friend, a faded ultrasound picture, my first Mother's Day card--things like that I'm keeping.  Everything else has gotta go.

I'm not sure if that makes my garbage man happy or sad.  I do know that he works hard, but he's really been busting his you-know-what and earning his paycheck at my driveway in the past few weeks.  I'm hoping to get in another garage sale sometime in the next few weeks and then maybe we'll just rent a dumpster for a day and get rid of anything else in one swoop.

And I keep telling myself that even if the mister finds a full-time job in the next few months and we end up staying, my house will be cleaner and more organized and free of junk than it has been in years.  And that is a good thing.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Hevin Bech

Heaven Beach.
It was the title of a picture that my daughter made.  It was a simple picture, nothing fancy, a man and a little girl walking together with a dog.  I thought it was supposed to be her and her dad, taking the dog for a walk.  She was quick to correct me.

"No mommy.  Heaven Beach is a place where you can take a walk with God and ask Him questions.  You know, questions that you don't know the answers to."

I carefully explained that I thought it was a nice idea, but that I also thought it was okay to ask God questions anytime. 

She nodded and said, "I know.  But when you walk next to God, really walk with Him and pay attention, you'll be able to hear Him answer."

My kiddo often stuns me into silence with her casual but beautiful insights.  I'm pretty silent right now.