Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Got Coupons? I Wish I Did.....

Hi Friends-

I'm back! It's been a day or two and I haven't blogged. Sorry about that. Sometimes life gets in the way. My family and I are preparing to go on a vacation early next week, so I'm letting you know now that I probably won't be blogging during that time. Hopefully, I will have lots of things to blog about once I get home.

So on to tonight's blog topic: extreme couponing. Have you ever seen the show Extreme Couponing on TLC? It's one of my new favorites. It comes on Wednesday nights at 8 central time in case you want to check it out. The premise is pretty straight forward. Each show highlights two individuals and follows them through a shopping excursion. During this time, they interview the person in their home, show them clipping coupons, and them showing off their stockpiles of stuff. Let's not confuse these people with hoarders. That's a completely different show. Just as engaging but totally different. I find the idea of extreme couponing very interesting.

Who doesn't like to save money, right? As a kid, I can remember my mom clipping coupons and using them at the store. I hated going to the grocery store. My daughter....she loves it. This could be due to the fact that I'm a bigger push-over than my mom was and Raelynn gets to pick out stuff to put in the cart. That fact aside, I don't mind going to the store. I usually go once a week. My church has it's large, weekly service on Saturday nights so I try to go grocery shopping on Sunday mornings when everyone else is at church. (Side note: When I bump into people that I know at the store during these Sunday morning trips, I start to feel guilty. Like maybe they think that I don't go to church. I always try to work this into the conversation. It never occurs to me that they aren't in church either so I shouldn't worry about it.) On occasion, I use coupons when I shop, but find that I can't always coordinate using the coupon before it expires. Most coupons that I see are for things I wouldn't use anyway. Of course, this was all before I saw the show on extreme couponing.

These people are DEDICATED. Most of them go to stores that double coupons, have member bonus cards, and take advantage of all the sale prices. Most of these people don't work for a living, but spend over 40 hours a week searching for coupons, printing coupons, clipping coupons, organizing coupons, and scouting the stores for sales and whatnot. This is where my problem starts. I do have a store that double coupons up to sixty cents (no it isn't the evil Walmart that I shop at) and has member cards that give you some discounts. I think I could even look through all the sales fliers and do multiple sweeps of the store to record sales that aren't listed. My major problem is getting the coupons to begin with.

I don't subscribe to the newspaper. My mother does. I could always get her inserts but these people on the show have a TON of coupons. Multiple inserts and from different papers. On the show I saw tonight, some woman bought an insane number of yogurt cups. Like over 500. I think she may have gotten them free using her coupons in conjunction with the sale going on in the store. Where does she get all those coupons? It boggles the mind.

David says another problem we'd have if I took up this hobby is storage space. I don't have a garage or basement, so we'd probably have to build on to our house in order to store everything. According to these people, they save enough money each year that they could probably build on to their house without paying much. Somehow I don't see myself this fortunate.

It really looks like these people spend a huge amount of time planning and organizing everything. They have these huge binders with special pages inside to hold all their coupons where you can see them all. I think I remember one of those shows where they said that the lady's coupon binder weighed like 20 pounds or something. I don't know about you, but the thought of organizing all that sounds like fun. I like organizing stuff. (For those of you that know me in real life may argue with that fact, but I find that when I'm not working I enjoy cleaning and organizing stuff.) Knowing myself though, I can tell you that I'd end up going all OCD on that stuff. That's just how I roll. Go big or go home.

So....I'm preparing to leave for my trip and will have to do more research on extreme couponing when I get home. If you have any advice, tips, or inserts you'd like to share, let me know. I'm already anticipating all the fun I'm going to have clipping and organizing during this endeavor...because hey...who doesn't love buying 500 cups of yogurt, right? Doesn't that sound like fun to you?

Until tomorrow (hopefully)....Toodles!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pajama Jeans.....It's So Fun To Say!

OPENING DISCLAIMER: The post you are about to read is about the ever popular "Pajama Jeans." I don't own a pair and know of no one who owns a pair, so if you are wearing a pair while reading this, please leave me a comment letting me know your feelings on the subject!

Hi Friends-

As I promised, I am blogging today. You'd think that with summers off, I'd have more time to blog and do things I like such as eating ice cream and watching TV. Well, that's not really true. I have found time this summer to eat ice cream and watch TV. Blogging...well....I'm working on doing that more often too.

So today's topic is a strange one: Pajama Jeans. Have you seen these things advertised on TV? They have their own infomercial that plays all hours of the day and night. Do I own a pair of these magic pants? Heck no! For those of you that haven't seen this infomercial, I'm sure you can find it on You Tube. I'm guessing you have other things worth your time, so if you're not aware of these wonder pants, let me break it down for you.

These pants are supposed to be as comfortable as pajama pants while looking like high-end blue jeans. And if you listen to the infomercial and believe what they tell you, every women looks great in these pants. Really? Then how come there aren't any fat chicks in the commercials? The people they have pimping out these pants would look good wearing a burlap sack. I'm betting we'll be seeing an ad for these soon...."Burlap pajama pants! Look rustic while you sleep and since you'll be asleep it won't matter that the burlap itches!"

But really, I got a look at the box the other day at Walmart. There's this shelf next to one of the registers that has stuff you can find advertised only on TV. I get really skeptical of anything said to be only found on TV. These people must not have heard of the Internet. But it must work, because I feel confident that someone, somewhere ordered them and it was popular enough to find its way to Walmart.

Now the fine people at Walmart don't like it when you open packages, so I didn't get to pull a pair out and look at them. They did have a hole on the front of the box where they encourage you to feel how soft the material is. Feeling how soft something is isn't enough reason for me to buy it. If it's something I will be wearing, I'll need to try it on. And I'm not about to go up to the crabby lady at the fitting rooms and ask her to open the package for me so I can try them on. That just ain't happenin'. I guess I'm pretty skeptical about stuff like this that you see on TV, especially stuff that you wear. You'll never find me wearing the Kymaro Body Shaper. (It's basically the TV version of Spanx.) Again, you won't sell me something that supposed to look good on everybody until I see it on EVERY BODY type out there. Get some real women on there to show how goofy their product looks.

So why even waste my time (and yours) by blogging about something that I obviously don't like? It's because the name "Pajama Jeans" just rolls off the tongue and sounds fun to say. Try saying it a few times really quickly---- I'm sure you don't believe me, but it'll be like when someone sings an odd song and it gets stuck in your head. I'm happy to report that I was able to do just that with to some co-workers in regards to Rebecca Black's song "Friday." It's just so bad that it's good. Be aware of yourself after reading this post....I'm betting you'll find yourself saying "Pajama Jeans" "Pajama Jeans" "Pajama Jeans" and smiling. I know it makes me smile to say it. And I'd smile even bigger if I actually saw someone wearing them.....either that or the above mentioned burlap pajama pants. I think both would be a pretty funny sight....Don't you think so too?

Until tomorrow (hopefully)....Toodles!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Older Than Dirt and Born Before Rocks

Howdy friends!

As requested by my friend Martha M., I am blogging about today. Today is my birthday. I wish I could say that it's been an exciting day, but if I did, I'd be lying. It's been pretty quiet. Which for me, if there's not going to be a big throw-down party, then quiet is welcomed. Here's been my day:

I woke up around 9ish, which is late for me. I went to bed late last night. I've been reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer. (She wrote the Twilight series.) Originally I went to the library to see if I could find a copy of The Help. I couldn't find one. I did find The Host and thought I'd give it a try. Anyway, I woke up, warmed up some breakfast and then proceeded to clean out my closet. I spent some time this morning going through all my t-shirts. I refolded them and restacked them on the shelves. I categorized them into groups: 1) shirts to wear while working outside 2) Twilight shirts -yes, I have enough of those to be a separate group 3) Disney shirts and 4) other shirts to wear. After that, I reorganized my shoes. I didn't have to get rid of much- I had spent some time a few weeks ago going through those things. Today all I did was straighten and organize.

When that was done, I washed a few dishes and organized some in the kitchen. After that, I spent some time finishing The Host. I'll return that book tomorrow to the library. When the book was done, I washed the car so that tomorrow I can wax it. Somewhere in there I made lunch for myself and Raelynn.

Just a little bit ago, I went to my parents' house for supper. On your birthday, my mom will cook whatever you request (provided you're family.) She's such a good cook so it's hard to choose. I settled on meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, macaroni and cheese, and cheesecake for dessert. It was yummy and Mom sent home leftovers. My parents gave me a nice card, some bracelets, and some money for our upcoming trip to Florida. This was very appreciated. We sat around and talked some after dinner and I assisted David in jumping off one of my parents' cars that had a dead battery. Now I'm home blogging. In a bit, I'll go to my friend Wendy's house to go swimming. I'll meet our other friend, Kathy, there.

And that's it folks. Like I said, it was quiet. There have been other birthdays that were much louder, busier, or exciting. I'm trying to pace myself though....we leave for Florida in a week and I'm sure we'll have some fun there.

Final Note: Thank goodness for Facebook. I can't tell anyone how much it has meant to me to read all the birthday wishes. Facebook has been a wonderful way to keep in touch with many people from my past. Thanks for remembering my birthday. It's meant a lot.

Until tomorrow (hopefully).........Toodles!

Friday, June 3, 2011

There Is No Medical Name for the Fear of Automatic Car Washes.

Hi Faithful Readers! (all 2 of you!)

Happy summer! I've been out of school now for about a week and a half and I'm in my "decompressing" mode. Teaching takes a lot of you, and there's a reason that we get summers off. It takes that long to "reset" the buttons and prepare for the next school year.

So, given might be asking what I've been doing for the last week or so since I've not been blogging? (This is for you, Jess) Answer: A whole lot of nothing! It's amazing how quickly a day can go by with very little accomplished. I'm enjoying that immensely. But I haven't been a total vegetable.....

My family is going on a summer trip in a little over a week. We'll be heading down to Key West for a week and then meet David's sister, Susan, in Orlando and we'll do Disney World for a week. After that, all of us will head over to Cocoa Beach for a couple of days and then we'll head back home. For our family, this is major. We go places and stuff, but it always seems that we go to see family as our trip. I'm not saying this is bad, but in the fifteen years we've been married, I don't remember us taking a family trip somewhere that didn't involve a birth, death, graduation, wedding, etc. of a family member. This will be new for us and we are so excited!!!

Part of the preparation for this trip is to get the car ready. My husband is a great driver and does just about all of the driving, all of the time. And I'm totally okay with this. I'm not so fond of driving. David is real good about keeping his vehicle clean on a regular basis. Me...not as much. We decided to take the car I drive, a Saturn, because it gets better gas mileage. To make the trip better, David has had the speakers replaced and personally replaced lots of sensors and gadgets on the car. My job has been the cleaning process.

I don't mind washing, waxing, and cleaning out the car. And given that we'll be spending close to three weeks in the car, I'm motivated to clean it and clean it well. I have literally scrubbed all the of seats, carpets, and floor mats, as well as completely cleaned out every inch of the interior and then gone over it with Armor All. I've also added a a visor cover since the original one was in bad shape. I bought some plastic buffering compound and spent quite a long time getting rid of the oxidation on the headlights. I replaced all the seat covers. I will be applying Rain-X on the windows and some anti-fog stuff made by Rain-X on the inside of the windows. When it gets a little closer, I will hand wash and wax the car as well.

The one thing I DIDN'T want to do was to take the car to one of the local automatic car washes in town. I've gone many times with David. He's a frequent flyer. I enjoy going with other people to the car wash but have never been by myself. And I've never wanted to go alone either. I think it may be because while the soap is on your car, you can't see anything and I'm all nervous about accidentally pressing the brake or accelerator and crashing. David encouraged me to take the car in town to the car wash to get rid of some of the dirt on it and to take advantage of the free, untimed car vacuum. I was nervous, but I forged ahead.

So, I went. It was destined to be because I found a $2 off coupon for the car wash in my purse- (It was on the back of a grocery store receipt.) I pulled up into Mr. Bubbles and some teenager takes my money and scrubs the headlights (already expertly cleaned by moi) and gave me instructions for the car wash. Let me stop here and say that the other car washes that I've been to have you pull up and stop inside the wash and the brushes or water jets or weird hanging down strips do all the moving. A light or something goes off inside the car wash when it's over and you pull out. That's not like this one.....In this one, you pull your car onto a little one wheeled holder on a track, put your car in neutral, and then your car is pulled through the entire car wash. The whole time you aren't supposed to touch the brake, the accelerator, or the steering wheel. It took some deep breaths to get through this. It was loud, the car was moving without me in control, and I couldn't see what was going on. I'm happy to report though that I made it through and my car is nice and clean both inside and outside. (Yes, I took full advantage of the vacuums!)

So now all I have left to do is wash and wax the car. I'm waiting until it gets a little closer to our departure and hopefully, it won't be 180 degrees outside. The weather people on the news have been saying that it's hotter now than it should be for this time of the year. I don't think a cold front it happening any time soon. While we're waiting for it to cool off, let me know if you need your car washed. I've completely mastered my fears of the automatic car wash and can talk you through it if you need me to.