Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Better late than never

Here are some Ava birthday fun pictures!

Making their cookie pizzas.

Picking out toppings.

Decorating their pizza.

Getting ready to spin the wheel to win free candy. Ava won $5 gift certificates for everybody at the party. She sure knows how to be a good hostess.

Bozo buckets for more candy prizes. They also played candy bowling but I didn't get any pictures because I was assisting someone in the potty and missed the whole thing.

Decorating the birthday cupcake.

She definitely doesn't mind being the center of attention. "Happy birthday to you"

Present time.

Making cotton candy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

saving money is all the rage these days...

Many people out there have blogs on saving money. I have been looking for easy ways for me to save/earn money by doing simple things. I have yet to become a super coupon-er. As of late, I have not had the extra brain power to use on keeping everything straight. I have decided to just keep it simple for now and just try to use coupons for household items. I am always pretty good about shopping the sales with food and stuff, but a huge chunk of our budget goes to things like shampoo, toilet paper, etc. I haven't quite devised a plan yet, other to follow other blogs and such that let me know about the sales and good deals, so I know when to go out and stock up.

Another way I control spending is actually to shop online. It is much easier to stick with a budget when I can see my running total, compare prices elsewhere and all that. This brings me to this! This maybe the coolest thing I have figured out in a long time. Ebates is a website that allows you to earn cash back on purchases you make online. They are normal stores I shop at too. As long as I am logged in and go to the store through their site, I get cash back from the site on things I would have bought anyway. The site pays out quarterly, so the little percentages can add up quickly, plus right now if you sign up through the link I provided, you will get $5 automatically if you make a $20 online order in the first 90 days. It really is normal sites like target, walmart, barnes and noble, shutterfly, overstock, etc.

Another little thing is swagbucks. You login and use it as your search engine, instead of say google, and randomly you are awarded "bucks" for your searches. They add up little by little and you can cash them in for actual items or gift certificates. Who knows, maybe save up all your swagbucks for a year and have a little stash for Christmas. See the little widget (add of sorts) to the right? Click on it if you would like to sign up for swagbucks. Doesn't hurt to try!

Coming soon...the wine tour weekend!

Currently reading: NOTHING!!!!!!!! Yikes!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Have you missed me? Sorry I have been busy focusing on revamping my life. Justin and I have been going to the gym 5 days a week like crazy people. Justin has signed up for this 90 day weight loss/fitness challenge. I officially started yesterday but I don't think he is really starting until tomorrow.

Ava turned 4! I would like to think she had an awesome birthday (pictures will hopefully be posted sometime) Justin took the day off of work and we went to the zoo. Ava really likes it when all of us get to do things together. We had a picnic while we were there and finally got to see the dolphin show. It was closed all last year so Ava has never seen it before. Actually I don't think the dolphins have actually been there at all since they were repairing the tank. The show was completely full, we waited in line forever to get in and we sat there sweating like crazy waiting for the 15 minute show. Ava and Rhys loved it though. Rhys kept yelling that they were "schwimming"

We were touch and go whether or not we would even make it back in time for Ava's party thanks to traffic. Ava had talked about having a friend party this year. We definitely couldn't handle a friend/family combo party, that is just way too many people or two separate parties. So we had a friend party and it was awesome! She invited five of her little girl friends to a candy shop party. They got dressed in little aprons and made cookie candy pizza, decorated their cupcakes, played bozo bucks and candy bowling with a giant jaw breaker, made their own pixie sticks, and cotton candy. Ava won everybody $5 of candy so I actually took them shopping in the candy store. It was crazy, but they really weren't too bad. A few times I was like get your hand out of the candy jar! Ava smiled the whole time. It was so funny to watch her and all of her friends interact like little people. They just thought it would be fun to see who could actually jump and get both feet off the ground at the same time. They complimented each other on their clothes. It was hilarious.

I am halfway done with the sweater for Rhys, but not exactly moving fast on it. Our garden is growing things. We have a lot of cherry tomatoes which is good because Rhys eats them at pretty much every meal. We are apparently growing a watermelon that looks suspiciously like a cucumber. Anybody ever grown a watermelon with spikes?