Saturday, December 29, 2012


The end of the year will be here in a few days, so that means New Years and Resolutions.  I only had 1 resolution this last year and that was to weigh less on Dec 31st 2012 then I did on Jan 1st 2012, and I have done that.  Did I lose as much as I would have liked?  No, but that is ok, I am still down for the year and that is the important thing!

I don't have too many Resolutions for 2013 either.  I don't like to make a ton of huge big plans that I know I am just going to fail at LOL.  I prefer to have a few things that I can focus on and do.  There is nothing worse then setting yourself up for failure, no thank you!

So here they are my 2013 resolutions.  First up is I want to successfully complete the Insanity 60  day DVD workout program and earn my Insanity T-Shirt.  To go hand in hand with that, I want to weigh less on Dec 31st 2013 then I did on Jan 1st 2013, obviously if I can do the 1st one I can do the 2nd one LOL.  Next, I want to buy less.  I know that sounds weird lol, but what I mean is, my stockpile is really great right now, so I don't really need more shampoo, even if it IS free.  I need to learn to say no to free stuff if we have more then enough of it.  It's time for us to reap the benefits of our stockpile and live off of it!  I also want to find some place local that I can donate food and personal hygiene items to through out the year.  I want to help others, and this will help to keep my stockpile being used.

So there you have it my New year's resolutions.  I only have 4 for this upcoming year, but 2 of them go hand in hand with each other, as do the other two (kind of).  Do you have any New years resolutions for this upcoming year?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I love my stockpile

What do dish soap, hand soap, body wash, shampoo, shaving cream, laundry detergent, stain booster, toilet paper, paper towels, mouthwash, and toothpaste all have in common?  They are all items in my stockpile that my family has needed in the last 2 weeks.   Most of the items  are items I got for free at some point too.  My family needed the items and they just grabbed them from the stockpile when they needed them.

2 weeks ago, my oldest daughter had the flu, so she was washing her hands, a LOT!  She came up to me one day and told me she was out of soap, I went out to the garage and grabbed another soap and refilled her dispenser.  My oldest had been told to do his laundry about a week ago.  He said he couldn't because we were out of the stain booster and the laundry packs that him and his sister use for their laundry.  My hubby and I just laughed at him as I had him follow me to the laundry room where I had a  cabinet full of laundry detergent and stain booster.

I love that I don't have to go around and check how everyone is doing with everything (cause we all know kids aren't going to tell you they are low, they are going to come running to you when they are out of it and they need it!).  I don't have to make lists and try to remember to buy stuff.  I already have it all at home ready to go, and it was cheap!  If I had to run out just to buy the laundry detergent and the Tide stain booster I was looking at around $15, no thank you!

Deciding to stockpile was one of the best decisions I have ever made!  Do you coupon and stockpile?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A year of savings

Well, I didn't do all of 2012 like I had planned.  Like I said in my last post I didn't keep track of nov or Dec at all.  BUT, I did do Nov and Dec of 2011.  So I can share my savings from Nov 1, 2011 til Oct 31st, 2012.  August and Sept are missing, due to our move, but I am fine with that.

In 10 months I saved our family:


How awesome is that?!?!  That is my KNOWN savings, savings that I actually kept track of!  If I add in an estimate for July, August, Nov, and Dec I can confidently say I saved between $11,000 and $12,000 for my family this year (if not a tiny bit more!)!

I am so excited for over his number!  I love couponing and I can't wait to see what I save in the following year!  It's never too late to start!  Every little bit saved is more then you had before, so what is stopping you from saving money?  It's a new year coming up in less then a week, don't be afraid to start saving money!

A tiny white lie

So, I told a small white lie to you.  I said I was going to keep track of my weekly saving/spending and share it with you, and I haven't.  Nov and Dec were just too darn hectic for me with 3 birthday's and the holidays.

Sorry!  I am REALLY going to try to do it in the new year.  I've tracked my savings, but I really want to track my savings vs my spending and also see what my over all savings are.  In order to do this, I have to track it!

With 3 birthday's, a trip to TN for Thanksgiving and the hustle and bustle of Christmas was just too much for me to keep up with everything I wanted to do, so my tracking went to the wayside.

I need to get better with my blogging too!  I am always thinking "I need to blog about this" or "that would make a great blog post", and then I don't do it LOL.  So I am going to try to blog more often!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 30

I am thankful that November is done!  It was hard coming up with something for every day to be thankful for, even tho I have a lot to be thankful for.  It's a lot harder when you take the time to sit down and write about it!  It was fun to do this challenge (even tho I fell WAY behind!), but I don't think I will be doing it again, at least not as a blog!

Day 29

I am thankful for my family and friends.  They have all helped shape me into the person I am today and I don't know where I would be without them.  They all mean so much to me, and I cherish them all.

Day 28

I am thankful for the opportunity to be a Stay At Home Mom.  Years ago, I could never see myself as a SAHM, but I have to say, I have enjoyed the last 7 years.  It is definitely a lot different then being a working mom.  I was in the Navy when I had my older 2 kids and they went to daycare.  It was nice being with my younger two, and knowing all their first's were really their firsts.  I love spending time with them and watching them grow.  I like that I am able to take my older kids to activities that they want to do, and I can go to all the parent teacher conferences and other activities that happen at school during the day.  I am looking forward to the days whee I can chaperone my younger children's field trips.  I am very blessed that we can afford for me to stay home with my children, and even tho I get frustrated at times, I cherish every moment.

Day 27

I am thankful for Everquest, lol.  Because of that game I met my wonderful Husband, but I have also made some fabulous, lifelong friends.  Some of them I have never even met in person, but they still mean the world to me.  We had triumphs and defeats together, we worked together and formed a bond that a non-gamer may not understand, but that bond is strong.  I love seeing wonderful things happening to them, such as engagements, weddings, and new babies (a lot of these because like me they met someone online in EQ), and I cry with them when they experience a personal loss (just like they were there for me when my Dad died).  I love and cherish my EQ family, all the ones I have met, and all the ones I have yet to meet (but know I will someday down the road).

Day 26

I am thankful for my couponing blogs that I follow.  They do all the weekly ad matches for me, which makes couponing so easy for me to do.  They really do all the hard work, and I get to reap the benefits. When ever new coupons come out, they tell me about any new deals involving them too.  It takes so much less time for me to plan my shopping trips because I can just go to their blogs and see what is a good deal and what coupons I need to make it happen.

Day 25

I am thankful for my kindle.  When we went to Tennessee I took my kindle with me and I easily had a ton of books at my finger tips, without taking up a bunch of space.  I read 3 books while we were gone in Tennessee.  I still enjoy real books, but I love the convenience of the kindle.  Now that I have the new Paperwhite I also love that it has a built in light, so I can still read in the dark (no distracting lights for my hubby while he drives!).  I absolutely love my kindle and I find that I am reading a lot more often with it too since I can download free books whenever I want.

Day 24

I am thankful for college football.  On the 24th we drove 2 hours to Knoxville to watch the University of Tennessee play against the University of Kentucky, and win!  It was a great day spent with my husband, both his brothers, and one of his brother's friends.  UT is my husband's Alma Mater, and it was great to not only watch UT play, but to win also!  We went to another game a few years back which was a very disappointing loss.  After the season UT had this year it was great to end the season with a win.  My husband is a HUGE college football fanatic and it was great to spend some time together doing something that he enjoys.

Us at the game before it started

Pre game warmups, look how great our seats were!

Final score Ut 34, UK 17!


Day 23

I am thankful for lazy days.  Sitting back, relaxing, reading, or watching TV with nothing to do and no where to go.  I don't get 100% lazy days very often, but not being in my on home I was able to relax and be lazy the day after Thanksgiving.

Day 22

I am thankful for being able to spend Thanksgiving with my Husband's family.  We got to go to his Grandma's house were we spent time with an Aunt, Uncle, and his brother's, our Sister In Law, and a bunch of the kids cousins.  Then we had a second dinner (my first time to ever have 2 Thanksgiving celebrations) with his Dad, Aunt, and 1 of his brother's again.

I am thankful that we were able to make the trip to Tennessee to spend this time with his family.  The kids had a lot of fun playing with their cousins too.  Hopefully this is something we will be able to do more often.  Family, Food, and Fun, all things to be thankful for.

Day 21

I am Thankful for my baby girl, Aislinn.  The 21st is her birthday and she just turned 2 years old.  The last 2 years have just flown by, she is growing and changing everyday.  Her vocabulary and what she learns just continues to amaze me.  She is our little Diva.  She takes after her Granddaddy, more then any of the other kids.  She has his temper and stubbornness and she is impatient too lol.  But she is so sweet when she looks at you with her big brown eyes (my only brown eyed child) and says Pllleeaassseee so sweetly.  I can't wait to see what adventures we will have with her as she grows up.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 20

I am thankful for Blogger.  It lets me write and share my blog with all my friends and family.  They made it easy to set up and easy to use, which is always a plus for me.  I may not blog as often as I would like to (sometimes it's just because I'm a serious slacker!), but I love that it is here for me whenever I want to, or get to use it.

Day 19

I am thankful for airplanes.  Airplanes made it possible for my mom to come from Arizona, and my In-Laws to come from Hawaii for my little ones birthday parties.  It was awesome that Grandparents from both sides of the family were able to be there for Riley and Aislinn's 4th and 2nd birthday party.  We don't get to see them that often, so we cherish the time that we do get, and Airplanes make it all possible.

Page 18

I am thankful for GPT sites.  GPT stands for Get Paid To, these are the sites that pay me to do survey's offers, searches, etc.  I have earned literally hundreds of dollars through them, which has resulted in buying myself and my family numerous items for free.  I have spent almost $200 of free money on Christmas so far this year, I got my husband a kindle touch for free, and I got myself a Samsung galaxy tab2 10.1 for free, all because of my GPT sites.  I spend time on them when I want to and I can do as little or as much as I want, how much I earn is up to me.

Day 17

I am thankful for my car.  For several months after I had Aislinn we had to drive 2 cars when we went anywhere as a family.  My Traverse fits 7, so it is perfect for our family of 6.  We paid a bit extra to have the captain seating in the 2nd row, vices a bench seat and 8 person seating, and I love it.  We may be still paying on it, but we got a great financing deal and a huge chunk of it is paid off already.  I will be driving this car long after it is paid off, so we can continue to fit our large family in it.

Day 16

I am thankful for my Stockpile.  Because of my stockpile I have saved so much money.  I love that anytime we run out of something, or run low on something we can just run out to our stockpile and grab a new item.  Over 50% of my stockpile is made up of items I got for free.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 15

Day 15 I am thankful for my camera.  It lets me catch so many memories that I can cherish down the road.  I am the picture taking queen, just ask my hubby.  There are times my older kids look at me and say "seriously? you want to take more pictures?".  I absolutely love my DSLR, the pictures have such an amazing quality to them.  My kids may complain, and my hubby may roll his eyes at me at times, but I will continue to take hundreds of pictures at a time, so I can fondly look back at all the memories we have made together as a family.

Day 14

I am thankful for our Realtor.  She was AMAZING! Seriously!  We met up with her on a Tuesday and by Friday when we boarded the plan to come home we had put in an offer on a house and had already been to the bank to submit paperwork for our loan.  She dedicated almost all of her time to helping us find the perfect house in a short period of time.  We absolutely love our house.  We know we found it and bought it pretty quickly, but we truly feel like it is the perfect house for us and we don't feel like we settled at all.

If anyone wants to buy a house in North Carolina, I will gladly pass on her name to you!

Day 13

I am thankful for my 4 yr old son Riley.  I am thankful for all my children, every day, but the 13th of Nov is his birthday, so it's a special day just for him.  He has such a crazy, spunky personality, he makes me laugh ALL the time.  I just love him to pieces and am so thankful that he is my son.  I couldn't imagine my life without him in it.

The Birthday Boy on his birthday :)

Day 12

I am thankful for Pinterest.  Silly?  Maybe!  But it's true!  I have gotten SO many ideas for recipes, crafts, and my home that I never would have thought of on my own.  At one point I was severely addicted to Pinterest, but I have been able to curb my addiction and I don't spend as much time on there as I use to, but I still enjoy it.  I love that there is now an android app for it, so I can browse it from my tablet as we watch TV.

Do you follow me on Pinterest?  If not click on the "follow me on Pinterest" button on the top right of my blog!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 11

I am thankful for my husband's job.  We got very lucky and he has a great job working for a great company.

His old company got bought out, so we decided to move back to Arizona back in 06.  We wound up living off his severance pay and our credit cards, and we racked up a lot of debt during the 3 months it took for him to find a job.  When he got offered the job with Mclane we jumped at it.  They have treated us so great.  He started as a senior accountant in Dec of 06.  6 years later and they have promoted him to controller, moved us to California to be a controller and have now moved us to North Carolina to be one.  We have been able to pay off ALL of our CC debt and buy a house.  We are financially stable because of his job, and it doesn't hurt that he loves what he does too.

Day 10

I am thankful for my best friend.  We have had our ups and downs, we even had a really big down at one point, but here we are 19 years later, still best friends.  I know if I ever really need to talk about something I can call her and she will be there for me.  When we get back together, it's as if we were never apart.  We got matching tattoos to celebrate our 10 year anniversary of being best friends, no matter what I will always have good memories when I look at my tattoo.  I love you Mel, thanks for being such a great friend. I can't wait til we are old and terrorizing other's in a retirement home together.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 9

I am thankful for my Slow Cooker!  Some people might find this silly, but I really am!  There have been times that it has been a life saver.  I love that I can throw everything into the slow cooker and have dinner waiting for me when I get home from football practice, cheerleading, dance, tumbling, band concert, baseball, softball, etc.  My kids do a LOT of activities through out the year, and I love how active they are, but sometimes that means getting home late, but also leaving too early to eat dinner before hand.  With my slow cooker I can just dump everything in there and whenever we get home dinner is ready.

This is the one that I have, and I absolutely love it!!  It has a timer on it, so I can set the temp and then how long I want it to cook.  When the time ends it beeps at me, and then it automatically turns it to the 'warm' setting!  How cool is that?

I also love that I can easily cook roasts and whole chickens in my slow cooker with VERY minimal effort!  A nice big huge home cooked meal, and I am able to go to the store, run errands, maybe go to a practice with the kids, and do stuff around the house without thinking about it.

So yes, I am very thankful for my slow cooker!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 8

I am thankful for social media.  It has helped me keep in touch with so many different friends and with my family.  It has also helped me find and reconnect with friends I have lost contact with over the years.  I am glad that it has made it so easy to catch up and keep up with friends and families, and made it easy to store and share our family pictures.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Insta GC

Instagc is a site I just joined on October 8th.  I am LOVING this site!  I have already cashed out $48 in Amazon gift cards!!  Seriously!  I get free gift cards just for doing offers.  I only do free offers, and they have a TON to pick from.  You can even watch videos to earn points.  They have a chat feature, so you can talk to other members and they are all so friendly and helpful, they will answer your questions and will even tell you what offers are crediting quickly.

Now, this site does take a tiny bit of work.  You can sign up with your normal email, but you'll want to make some email accounts for doing your offers.  Basically you just want to clear cookies and use different emails to help your offers credit better.  I write down what offers i do with which email address, so if I need to conform something I can.  Doing it this way also avoids spam to your regular email inbox too.  But this is a quick and easy way to make money.

You earn 10 points when a referral signs up and confirms their email address.  After that you earn 10% of what they earn.  This particular site is 1 account per household.

They also don't have just amazon gift cards too!  They have Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Old Navy, Game Stop, Starbucks, and more!!  And the best part?  It's instant payment!!!  I select the gift card I want, and then they give me my code right then and there!!  THAT is awesome!!!

Now is the perfect time to join and earn a little extra money to help pay for Christmas!  You can join me by clicking on one of the banners on the page, or on the hyper link above.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot

I've always been a boneless skinless chicken kinda person, but with a family of 6, that's a lot of chicken!  I recently decided to buy some whole chickens, that I got a great price on.  I love my slow cooker, and what better way to cook a whole chicken then in the slow cooker?  Just dump everything in and let it cook while you go about your day.  I spent less then $4 on the whole chicken and we even have left overs.  Yesterday was a pretty busy day with Voting, grocery shopping and taking my daughter to Ballet, so it was the perfect day to use the slow cooker.  I had taken my chicken out of the freezer Monday morning knowing I wanted to cook it on Tuesday.

Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot


  • 1 whole chicken 
  • 1/2 c chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 small onion*
  • 3-4 carrots*
  • 3-4 medium russet potatoes*

*you can add or subtract the amounts of the veggies, these are just rough guidelines.  I just kind of eyeball it and stop when I think it's enough for all of us.


After removing the neck and giblets from the chicken place it breast side up in your crock pot.

Next add the chicken broth and the spices.

Cut up the Onions, carrots and potatoes and add them to the crock pot. (the onions are hidden and there are more carrots under the potatoes, I decided to add extra carrots)

Cook on low for 4-6 hours.  

Mine cooked for 5 hours and when I went to take it out of the crock pot the legs, thighs and wings all fell off in the pot and had to be removed separately.

Serve and Enjoy ~

Day 7

Today I am thankful that the election is OVER!  I have seen soooo many people get rude and negative about it and I have seen so many attacks against 'friends'.  So sad and crazy at the same time.  Even this morning I saw people posting about unfriending their friends on Facebook.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and beliefs!  Everyone is entitled to share them too!  But please, please, be respectful about it!  Try to act like mature adults!  Name calling and throwing out insults and threats because someone doesn't agree with you is just wrong.

This has been the worst election ever, and I think a huge part of that is the social media.  Future elections worry me, because I think people are just going to get worse, rather then better about how they voice and share their opinions.

Maybe, if we as Americans can learn to get along on the political front, our elected politicians can attempt to find a middle ground too.  Because really, the only way to 'fix' America is if we can all work together, rather then each side trying to push their personal agenda's.

Day 6

On day 6 I am thankful to have the right to vote, both as a woman, and as an American.  It wasn't that long ago that women didn't have the right to vote.  We have come a long way as a country when it comes to several things, yet we have a long way to go still.  The only wasted vote imo is the one you do not cast.

I voted, did you?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 5

Today I am thankful for coupons.  They have done so much for my family in the last 2 years.  We have saved SO much money, and we have so much more because of it.  I am even able to buy items specifically to donate to help others out.  When the tornados ripped through Alabama in early 2011, I was able to donate items from my stockpile.  When the fires burned through Colorado earlier this year, I was able to donate items from my stockpile.  Even now, as NY and NJ are trying to recover from Hurricane Sandy, I am getting items together to donate to help them out.  I am so happy that I am able to do this, and it is because of coupons.

I have also met some pretty amazing ladies and made some great new friends because of coupons.  I miss going to my coupon swaps in Indio and getting to sit with my friends and chat while we went through coupons.

So today, I am thankful for coupons, for the money they save me, for what they give my family, for what they help me give to others, and for the friendships gained.

Day 4

I am thankful for the Military.  I grew up an Army brat, because of the Army I got to live in Germany and England (I actually went to school in the British school system), and I got to see Wales, Scotland, and Belgium.  I have seen Big Ben (he was being renovated when we lived there), the crown jewels, Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guards.  I have been to the city that the Pied Piper was about, and I have been to too many castles to count, including the Fairy Tale Castle, Neuschwanstein.

When I was older, I joined the Navy.  I can't even begin to list all the things the Navy did for me.  I made some amazing friends, that I am still in contact with all these years later.  I lived in some pretty great places too.  I also got to see more of the world (Hawaii, Singapore, and Hong Kong).  I was part of Operation Unified Assistance after the Tsunami hit Indonesia in late 2004.  I will never forget the devastation I saw, or the wonderful acts of humanity that I saw performed. The Navy helped me to grow as a person and helped to shape me into the person I am today.

I am also thankful for all the sacrifices our military men and women make on a daily basis for our freedom.  Not just the members, but their families too.  Having been on both sides of a deployment (the spouse left behind, and the member gone away) I know how hard a deployment is on everyone involved, our military members and their families give so much, and for that I am very thankful, every day.

Day 3

I am thankful for my Mom.  We may not have always seen eye to eye....especially when I was going through the rebellious teenager stage LOL, but now she is one of my closest friends.  She has always been there for me, even when I didn't realize that I needed her.  I've messed up a few times in my life, but she never turned away from me and has always accepted me for who I am.  I am very lucky to have such a great Mom!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 2

I am thankful for my children.  They light up my life, even tho we have had to deal with quite a few issues, I wouldn't trade any of my kids for the world.  They are all so special and unique, each in their own way and I can't wait to see what they do with their lives.  They are my world, and I would do anything for them.