How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most.--Stephen Covey

Monday, January 31, 2011

Couponing Journey

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have started to buy the Sunday paper every week and am cutting out the coupons. Well, today while I was couponing (as I shall call it!), I had this ephinany. Why in the world am I shopping at Publix or Kroger when I could be shopping at the local SuperTarget and getting 5% off my grocery bill each week!? Duh... I mean, why did I not think of this before!?

Why do I get 5% off my total when I shop at Target? Well, I have their debit card. This shouldn't surprise you since if you know me, I am totally addicted to Target and it's my favorite store in the entire world. And it's not because I worked there once upon a time, even though it was the best job that I have ever had yet.

Don't worry, I'm not ruining my credit or anything. And definitely not going into debt because of having a Target card--Jake and I are totally staying away from anymore unnecessary debt and trying very hard to work ourselves out of debt. Basically, the Target Check Card is basically what it says it is. It's linked to our bank account and is used like a debit card. AND, every purchase we make we get 5% off our total bill :) You can apply here (make sure you select the Target Debit/Check Card and not the credit card!).

Can't go wrong, right??

Anyway, the SuperTarget is a little out of the way for grocery shopping, but if I coupon and get 5% off my grocery bill each time I go, it's gotta be worth it, right?? I am going to try that this week and see what happens. I'm hoping to save a lot of money :)

I'm also looking for a new way to organize my coupons. Right now I don't have any organization to them at all and have been researching ways to do it... but haven't found anything that stuck out. There may be a prospect though... A blog that I follow, Free Pretty Things For You, posted a giveaway today from an Etsy store that is giving away a gift certificate for one of their products. And low and behold they have this fabulous little coupon organizer:

Etsy seller: jimmypickles
Ahhhh! I want it soooo much :) I absolutely adore the owls.

I keep meaning to write about how I'm changing the blog. Another time! I've got a lot of ideas up my sleeves and am excited to get the blog organized!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Adventures

This has been a good weekend, but exhausting. Very busy. Jake worked yesterday and so we didn't get much time together this weekend which is always a major bummer. I did drive him to work yesterday though which meant that 1) we got to spend some time together despite him working; 2) I went to the gym early in the morning (normally I wouldn't make it to the gym on a Saturday!); and 3) I cleaned the apartment alone (bittersweet--I like having help to get it done but I also like to clean by myself because that means that everything is how I like it done).

Today was bible study and church. Then Jake and I went to lunch (subs at Publix--always yum!) and then we went up to Savvi Formalwear to get Jake and his groomsmen's suits all squared away. A wedding something checked off the list!! It always feels good to get things off the to-do list.

After our trip to Savvi/the mall, we ran some more errands and then came back home.

Jake wearing a cat bed on his head... sometimes he's a little strange :P
Can I mention how awesome the weather in Atlanta was today!? I'm sure all my friends and family from the north will be envious--but it was 68 here today. I'd say that is a great accomplishment for the end of January :) The closest park to us was completely packed--when we drove by there were people parked on the grass and in all sorts of weird places. People here in the south get very restless during the winter months.

Since the weather was so nice, Jake and I took Diesel for a nice walk around the neighborhood behind our apartment complex. It was nice to spend some good quality time together. Plus, I worked out 6 of 7 days this week since we went for that walk tonight. yay!!

Diesel is currently passed out from his walk. We're watching a movie and dreading Monday coming way too soon.

Friday, January 28, 2011

100 day countdown!

Yes, we are finally there!! 100 days to go until we are Mr. & Mrs.

And, tomorrow we will finally be out of the triple digits. Seems like we have been there forever. I mean, we've only been engaged since September 2009.

Everything is coming together nicely :) This weekend we are going to pick out Jake's and the groomsmen's suits and then next weekend we have our food tasting at the venue. I've been working on the invitations and invitation inserts and getting super excited to get everything put together.

It's going to be a great party!! I can't wait to see how it all comes together and turns out.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why must weekends fly by?

Not that this weekend really felt like a weekend. After 3 days of not working due to snow and ice which resulted in a 5 day "vacation" for the kids that I nanny--this week is all screwed up. And on top of that, I worked Saturday and Sunday too--I "babysat"supervised last night from 6pm-12:30am and then had to be back to work today at 10am for an overnight supervision. I'll be here until 7pm tomorrow night :-/ LONG work day. I'm already looking forward to next weekend.

What I'm pretty bummed about today is that we missed our bible study (Jake didn't want to go alone) this morning and service. Okay, okay. We could have gotten our booties out of bed early and gone to the 8something service but after getting home at 12:30am and getting ready for bed and having to pack for my overnight work stay, I was not getting up any earlier than I had to. Especially since Jake worked on Saturday and I had a busy day as well--gym, Target, lunch with Jake, and grocery shopping (which always results in a cleaning of the fridge and kitchen and this time a reorganization of a couple cupboards.

So, I've had a little bit of inspiration for the blog. Either I am going to start a "newly wed" blog about my adventures about being a wife and eventually a mom -- sharing recipes and crafts and whatnot. Or I am going to transition this blog into that. I am thinking the latter. I am very excited as I search for DIY projects to decorate our house (that we don't have yet...) and am excited to really dive into decorating our home. I'm also very excited to get out of apartment living and am hoping that we can find a house to rent or lease to purchase after the wedding. I have my fingers crossed but I know that God will lead us in the right direction when it comes to that time. All I know is that we need a larger apartment and one way or another will be moving this summer or fall ::groans::

As far as the blog goes, I'll be posting updates about Jake and I as we transition into our married life (although, I suspect it won't be much different than it is now... which isn't a bad thing!) as well as pictures of crafts and meals and whatnot. I *think* this is what I want to do with the blog :) I think it'll be fun. I'm just excited about being excited about being crafty again and want to share all the projects I will be doing.

Anyway, not a whole lot to update on. Jake officially transitioned into his new work schedule at work -- he alternates 4 day work weeks with 6 day work weeks (or it could be 5 & 6) and has his own team again. Oh!! We officially paid off my wedding band and will be able to pick it up on Friday. One thing that will be checked off the wedding checklist :) Don't worry, I won't be wearing it, but I am excited to see it against my engagement ring all sized and everything!! It's getting so close and I'm getting so anxious. So much to do and so little time to do it!! lol. It's going to be great!

So, I am off. Wanna get the kids to bed fairly early because although they don't have school tomorrow, we are getting up early to be out of the house by 9am to go to breakfast because the cleaning people will be here then. I want to be away from the house while they are cleaning and don't want the kids underfoot. We're going to breakfast and a movie :) Fun times... although, I'm not looking forward to getting up early. I'm tired.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snowed In - 2011

It's incredible to me as I grew up in the mid-west that when it snows or ices in Georgia that the whole citystate shuts down until it melts. On Sunday night it started snowing--I mean, really snowing. It was coming down so hard that while Jake, Jason and I were outside playing in it, it was stinging our faces as we walked through it and making us into live snowmen because it was just settling on us. In a matter of 2 or so hours, we had 4 inches and got about 6-7 inches total by morning.

I know all my northern friends are going, really?? But here in the good 'ole south, snow and ice really paralyzes the state. For example, for the past two days we have been stuck in our apartment. Even Jake's dealership closed down!! And to put things into perspective for our northern friends -- the mall has been closed for the past 2 days. Amazing, huh? What would it have taken to close anything in Michigan or Illinois?? I swear we still went to school if there was a foot of snow on the ground. But here, everything closes. Everything shuts down until the ice is off the road and the snow is gone and it's warm enough to not worry about it.

The current problem is that Atlanta has 8 total salt trucks and half of them are broken down!! So you can imagine what kinds of problems we are having here... And not only that, but they aren't even plowing the roads--they are just salting which is causing slush and more water which is freezing again. ::shakes head:: Us northerners need to teach these southerners how to deal with this!!

So, I am proud to say that Jake, Jason and I went outside to play in the snow. It was like 11pm when we finally noticed that it was coming down (even though we knew it was coming) and got on layers of clothing and went outside. It was fun. We tried sliding down some of the hills on some of our plastic container lids, but the snow was too heavy and not slick enough. I'm sure if we went out today or yesterday, then it would have worked.

Here are some pictures from the first night it snowed.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas Highlights

Christmas this year was awesome. For the first time in my life, I didn't feel like Christmas was missing anything. Not that Christmases in my past were horrible or really lacking anything -- Christmas actually held meaning this year as Jake and I have been going to church and accepted God into our lives. It's not that Christmas didn't mean the birth of Jesus before to us (or each of us individually), it's just that this year was extra special because of our involvement with our bible studies and church. I know that I'm not explaining it very well but I'm having a hard time grasping the words to explain it to you all. All that I can say to you all to sum it up is that we have fully realized that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Anyway, as I've already mentioned in a previous post, we got a new Christmas tree this year that replaced what we call our Charlie Brown tree (it was a good starter tree!).

I baked this year... but I have a confession to make. They weren't from scratch as I usually make my Christmas cookies from. They were tube bought... ::shrugs:: I wasn't feeling the whole baking thing this year but the cookies turned out great (they were delicious!) and I decorated them myself.

Here are some pictures from Christmas 2010!!

Me and my little sister, Tara

Tamales for Christmas Eve dinner -- Thanks to my Aunt's Mexican heritage :)

Jake was Santa's helper.

There were soooo many stockings Christmas morning!

The tree and all the presents!

The other half of the presents -- and my cousin waiting patiently for everyone to wake up so that they could open presents!

View of the pool and lake on Christmas morning from my Aunt and Uncle's house.

Jake and I Christmas morning in our Christmas PJs <3

My Uncle telling the kids the Christmas Story. We then proceeded to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Such a sweet moment.

This is how Jake labeled all of my presents he got for me -- each one differently of course. lol.

Jake didn't believe the chaos that pursues with my side of the family. There is wrapping paper and gifts everywhere. Really, it's pure craziness!!

Next year, Jake and I hope to be renting a house in the area and will be able to really decorate and go crazy for the holidays. Okay, Jake isn't hoping for all the decorating, that would be me!! lol. We are hoping for a house to rent though for more space and everything!!

It was a good Christmas :) Can't wait to celebrate with the other side of the family next year. Which will be fitting as our first Christmas as husband and wife!! yay!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Whoa. In 4 months we will be husband and wife...

Wholey moley!!

4 months to go!!!!

Where in the world has the time gone!?

I feel like I still have so much to do and I'm so anxious to get it all completed so that it's just done. I'm incredibly organized and like to have things planned out and done before hand so that I'm not so stressed as the time get closer. I wish that while I was in school I was like that with big papers and projects--but that was sooooo not the case. However, with other things, like moving/traveling/partying/etc. I like to be ahead of the game.

See, this will be the biggest party that I have ever hosted. The biggest thing that I have ever planned on my own and it frightens me that everything isn't going to be perfect. Wait, did I mention that I was a perfectionist as well? I am well aware that there will be snags on our wedding day and everything probably isn't going to go as planned, but that will be okay because some of those things (probably most) we won't have control over. The decorations, invitations, everything else that we can get done right now, we have control over now.

I see what you are thinking right now. That I am a major Type A. Not the case at all. Trust me, I don't mind standing in line (patiently) or driving slow the speed limit and I definitely can relax at any point in time. It's just part of my personality to be a perfectionist, which goes hand and hand with being a people pleaser.

Anyway, I know that the wedding will be beautiful and all I need to do is sit down and make a plan for the next couple months. Due dates, if you will, for things to be completed. Yea, there is that organization again...

This month we are:

- meeting with Savvi Formalwear for Jake's suit
- meeting with the owner/planner at the venue to make our menu (yum! and yay!)
- completing invitation wording/begin printing invitations

Not too bad.

I don't really have much to report on in our life other than the 4-month mark. Only 120 more days!! I've been working out regularly (yes! I can do this!) and Jake's work has changed their schedule and team structure yet again. Jake is back to being a team leader and having his own team as well as working an alternate 5-day/6-day work week. This means no more 4-day work week with 10-12 hour days!! Now all I have to do is find a job in which I work normal hours (8-5, or something along those lines) and life will be good again. I hate working an opposite schedule as Jake :(

Alrighty. That is all for now. I promise a Christmas post is coming soon :) Off to the gym.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Looking for Inspiration

I keep blogging hoping that inspiration will come to make the blog more interesting. Mainly I started the blog to keep my family and Jake's family updated about our life here in the ATL, but sometimes it would be nice to know that I have some followers as well. Not everyone wants to read about our lives though. I mean, we're pretty laid back people who like to spend our weekends watching movies and playing video games and we very rarely go on any sort of adventures (although, we should!). I keep hoping that an artistic or creative bug will hit me as well and that I'll suddenly be into scrapbooking, knitting or sewing. Or maybe I'll figure out ways to save money. Or how to reuse things or make fun things. But, when I said goodbye to my childhood, I sort of said goodbye to my creativity as well. Not on purpose, mind you, but it happened. I got to busy growing up and being a teen and then a young adult and a college student to be creative. I know it still exists in there somewhere because every now and then I do something that completely amazes me--like, finding a way to make centerpieces for the wedding (yes, I scrapped my original idea). But even then, the idea isn't mine.

I hate scrapbooking, btw. Although, I'm sure I would be awesome at it.

I have tried to knit. And I just can't get my hands to work the needles correctly. It frustrated me and I have no urge to try and learn again.

I am not one to give out any sort of advice about money, at the moment. Or how to save money. I hate coupon clipping and spending time making a menu from the sales (hence why we subscribe to E-Meals).

I am at a loss of what else to do. I want to write but I haven't had inspiration for that either. :-/


I keep hoping that inspiration will hit. And it doesn't. Sad, I know. It's sort of like with my career life. When I put my hands up in the air this summer after searching for a job from May until September/October and let God lead me to where I should be, I landed a job. Granted, it wasn't a job that I was looking for or in social work, but it is a job. I am soooooooo grateful to have a job!!

Anyway, this is where I am in my life now. Waiting for inspiration for the blog and where my career life will take me next. I really want to get in the field, but for some reason, I feel like God is trying to tell me something and I just have to sit and listen to what He is saying to move forward. And, right now, I feel like I'm in the right place at the right time and He's talking to me too quietly for me to make any moves right now.

I know it will come to me soon. I just have to be patient. 
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