Thursday, October 28, 2010

10 Random Things that Happened in October

I've been on yet another little blogging hiatus. But truth be told I was waiting on some new glasses I ordered two weeks ago to arrive so I could tell you about them. Plus I wanted to make a list for this blog post....

Thus I give you the 'Top 10 recent and random happenings in my life you MUST know about'...(as if my life is really that interesting to anyone other than my mom...hey - let a girl dream!)

1. I cut my hair. Feeling the need for a little change, my hair ended up on the chopping block. For those of you who live on another planet and haven't seen the pic on facebook yet...tadaaaaaaaa.......

2. We (Mom, Dad, Cory and I) rode the entire Blue Ridge Parkway. All 469 miles of it! It was an amazing trip in so many ways. I'm so thankful!

3. Two years ago this month, as I stood by my dad's bedside in ICU watching a machine breath for him, if you'd told me that I'd stand at the top of Mt. Mitchell with my dad during a ride down the Blue Ridge Parkway, I would have NEVER believed you. Well folks, I'm here to tell you miracles happen...and my dad is a MIRACLE! (hello tears...whew!) God is good!

4. Our house is decorated for Fall/Halloween...and I LOVE it! A few pumpkins here, a pumpkin spice candle there, a fall spray on the door....bring on the chilly weather!

5. Since cutting my hair, I've decided to give dry shampoo a whirl. I found some by TRESumme at CVS...for about 4 bucks. Hopefully it'll cut some time off the getting dressed process in the morning and help preserve my highlights and lowlights. I tried it for the first time Tuesday morning. Feels a little strange on my scalp...but my hair looks clean! Mission accomplished!
6. A perk to following an array of blogs is that I come across new decorating, money saving and recipe ideas ALL THE TIME! This weekend I made these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins that I found on Fly Through Our Window....Delish! Super easy peasy!

7. My new glasses from Zenni Optical came in the mail Tuesday and I LOVE them! I'll post more details about this later. But for any of you out there who has ever purchased a pair of classes you know they can be in a couple hundred bucks! Well friends, you HAVE to check out Zenni Optical. I just received 3 pair of the cutest glasses (great quality) and including shipping I paid a whopping $40! No kidding!

8. I spent two weekends in a tent! If you know me...then you know this is kinda a big deal! Yes, Cory and I love to go on day hikes...and on a rare occasion I'll do a 1-nighter hike with him. Given the opportunity for a weekend hike...I usually get the words "NO!" out of my mouth before Cory even finishes asking. Well...recently we went 'truck camping' (no hiking...just loaded up the truck with such luxuries as air mattresses and our 'big' tent and drove to a campground for the weekend). And this 'truck camping' took place 2 weekends in a row! Never thought I'd say that! The first weekend we did a little day hiking in search of a amethyst mine up in North Georgia (no lucking finding it) and the second weekend we went canoeing down the Etowah River. The purpose of this canoeing trip was to canoe through this old mine shaft called the Etowah Tunnel...check out this video (warning: she says a few bad words) of this hilarious lady going though the tunnel. Our trip through the tunnel didn't go as smoothly. The water was about a foot down due to the lack of when we got to the rapids...our boat just rammed right into the mine wall and we flipped over. BAM...BAM...SPLASH...(cursing!!!) "Painful" wouldn't begin to describe this experience! After capsizing a few more times in the darkness, we finally made it near the end of the tunnel where I ever-so-loudly proclaimed "I'd NEVER do that CRAP again...NEVER!"(edited to be suitable for all readers) I still have bruises!!! But I have to admit...all in all it was a blast!

9. I got a FREE book in the mail simply by commenting on a blog I recently started following. If you don't follow Michael Hyatt, I completely recommend you doing so. One of his recent post is about his interview with Andy Stanley. And if you're lucky, he just might pick you to be one of the lucky 100 people to receive a FREE copy of Andy's new book! Come's FREE...I just can't resist FREE!

10. My Nissan Murano hit 100,000 miles recently! I've driven my Murano since 2005 when I bought it brand new. I was like a proud mom on her kid's birthday or something absurd like that! I just happened to look down when the mileage hit 100,000 exactly! I think I even let out a little squeal! I beginning to suspect my car knows that it's hit this milestone as I've had to invest a little bit of money for a few repairs lately! Do cars know how old they are? It's crazy I tell you!

Hope you all have a Happy Halloween weekend! I'm looking forward to spending time with friends and family... and maybe even a little day hike on Blood Mountain!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How I Save Some Dough...

I'm a penny pincher. Self proclaimed 'Queen-o-Saving Dough'...I refuse to pay retail price for much of anything.
The thought of paying full retail price for anything makes me break out in hives and itchy. Ok maybe that was a little extreme, but you get the point. Why pay full price when you don't have to?

This post isn't about clipping coupons, because I'm not a huge coupon clipper, but it's about tiny things I do that help me save some cash.

So if you're into putting some extra cash in your wallet, these tips might intrigue you...
  • Do some research and find out which grocery stores in town have the lowest prices. I've found that Kroger is cheaper than when I have a list of groceries we need...I opt for Kroger. Though Publix does have some good BOGO deals from time to time.
  • If there's a Super H Mart or Asian supermarket in your your produce there! I talked about the amazing produce I got for even more amazing prices in this post.
  • Follow money-saving blogs. Some of these blogs post 5 or more money-saving post a day! A few of my favorites are Coupon Cravings, Stretching a Buck, and Coupon Mom. I promise they're about more than just coupons.
  • Use Why would you pay full price for a meal when you could visit this website, buy a $25 gift certificate for oh....$4 bucks!! PLUS usually has a coupon code you can use for 70%-90% off that already super cheap price! There's over 15,000 restaurants on! Oh...and if there is a coupon code, Coupon Mom's blog usually lets you know about it!
  • Subscribe to sites like Groupon and Living Social! Frugal Coupon Living describes it best...these sites Groupon logo."feature a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in cities around the world. These cities are usually larger cities. There is a new deal each day. You can sign up for daily alerts or visit the site each day. These deals can be tricky – first it has to meet a quota. Meaning the deal is not good until a certain number of people sign up for it and buy it – the collective buying power. If that number is not reached, you are not charged. If it is met, then the deal is live and rolling! Anyone can buy."
  • Sign up for FREE samples. I've received some of the coolest free samples! It's like Christmas year round. I never know what little package I'll receive in the mail each week to try. I've received any thing from lotion, to fabric softener, a beautiful display of 6 salad dressings, snacks, and even hair products. It only takes a few seconds to fill out the online forms and within a few weeks you'll have a sample in your mailbox. Bonus: I have not been harassed with junk email or follow up surveys after receiving the samples.
  • Last but not least...actually my at discount retailers like TJMaxx, Ross and Marshalls! may take a little longer to find something on the rack than say...Nordstrom. But it's totally worth it to snag designer clothing for 75% off the regular price! And speaking of Nordstrom...if there's a Nordstrom Rack in your area...check it out. There's one at the Mall of Georgia and I've found some super steals there! BCBG $100 ruby red pumps for $34 bucks! $99 boots I fell in love with last year at Nordstrom for $36 this year. I love them more now!
Now go save some dough!

I love to learn new ways to save money. If you have some good money saving tips and share!

Image via flickr
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