Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happier thoughts

I just reread my blog post from yesterday and realized how depressing it is, so I thought I'd put up some pictures and a video of the kids to lighten the mood. Here is a picture that Annabelle painted yesterday. It's pretty good, isn't it? I was certainly impressed.

Friday, March 25, 2011

This is why I am NOT a couponer...

Let me begin this post by admitting that I am very frustrated right now and the reason I'm writing this when I'm so frustrated is so that the level of my immense dissatisfaction is quite evident. The following events of my day thus far are the reason why I don't get involved with couponing.

A few days ago, some friends and I were talking about couponing. One of the girls told me about some spectacular deal she got with coupons. I mentioned that if I ever were to get started using them, I would need someone to tell me exactly what coupons to buy and where and when to use them. Another friend told me about a website that does that. So, I went to it and found that there were several items available at Walmart that I could get for free and even make money. (Some Walmart stores has a policy that if you have a coupon for more than the amount of the item, they'll give you the difference, thus you make money.) I called my local Walmart to see if they had that policy and was told yes.

So, last night, I spent about 3 hours looking at this website, finding items that I could get for free or get money back, then searching through several coupon websites to find the applicable ones, and printing them out. I was really excited to make this trip the next day. I thought it would turn out to be one of the most rewarding trips I've ever made to the store. I also planned to buy a few other things that I didn't have coupons for so it wasn't just a cheapskate trip.

I had a list of 13 items that I had coupons for. The thing I didn't account for was that our Walmart is not a supercenter and doesn't have all the brands or items that were on my list. In fact, I was only able to find 5 of the 13 items on my list. That right there was very frustrating.

After spending much, much longer than I planned searching (and unsuccessfully finding most of them) for the things I wanted, I went to check out. By this time, both girls were cranky and hungry for lunch, and to make matters worse, somewhere in the store, Jillian had dropped her pacifier and was in no mood to be pacified without it. Plus, the zipper on my wallet broke while I was trying to pay, making the whole process even more difficult. When the lady told me my total after running the coupons, it was much more than I expected, but as there were people in line behind me, I paid with a Walmart gift card, and walked away. Once out of people's way, I looked back over the receipt to see why it had been so expensive and I realized that the cashier had forgotten to run one of the coupons I gave her and had double charged me for a regular priced item. So, I got back in line of the same register and waited again. When it as finally my turn, I told her of the problem. She double checked to make sure that she had in fact made a mistake and then told me that she couldn't fix the problem, that I would have to go to the service desk. So, I then made my way to the right place and waited in another line.

I explained the situation the the new cashier and she said she could fix the problem. I asked if she could put the amount back on the gift card, which she said wouldn't be a problem. The process took much longer than it seemed it should, only to have her then tell me there was a problem with the gift card and she had to give me money instead. Not only that, she could only give me the amount that the item cost, not the amount of the coupon. Let me explain. The item I purchased cost $2.58. I had a coupon for $3, but she could only give me back the $2.58. When I told her I had made sure that their store did indeed pay you the difference of the cost of the item and the coupon amount, she said that wasn't true. So, she gave me back the money and then told me that I had to turn around and pay her for tax on the item, which was 16 cents, because the coupon doesn't cover the tax.

I can't tell you how upset I was at this point. I am not a confrontational person and am usually very easy going; however, today it took every ounce I had to remain courteous with this person and of course, my bad mood made it difficult to handle my cranky children. And to top things off, on the drive home, another car almost ran into me while trying to switch into my lane. I was about 5 inches away from an accident that wasn't my fault.

I know this isn't a pleasant entry to read, but I needed to let my frustration out and this felt like the best way to do it. To those who use coupons, good job. I'm glad you find it enjoyable and rewarding. I, on the other hand, find it takes up way too much of my time and I have never reaped the benefits that I so often hear bragged about. I put into it. I will, therefore, continue to be a thrifty, frugal person without the use of coupons.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fruit Pizzas

Last week, I hosted our book club group and I made some fruit pizzas. I don't usually blog about food and it's not like these are that unique or spectacular, but I decided to post pictures anyway just because they looked so pretty.


I finally tried giving Jillian pigtails. She's had plenty of hair for them for a while, but it just didn't look good. Well, they still didn't look good, but I decided to keep them in anyway.
And here's a great video, though I don't think Jillian quite understands the object of basketball quite yet.

Fancy Nancy

Last week, Annabelle was invited to a Fancy Nancy party. Click here if you're not sure who that is. She was supposed to dress up for it, so she wore her princess dress and I tried to create a "Belle" hairstyle. (It didn't work out too well, but hey, Annabelle thought it was awesome so I guess it was a success, right?) So, this is how she looked before the party: This is how she looked after the party: She got cool sunglasses, her nails are painted, she made that bracelet, put jewels on a princess hat, and decorated a purse that contained nail polish, lip gloss, and bubbles. Also, check out the rock on her finger.

Jillian couldn't resist trying on some of Annabelle's "fancy" things. What a fun life Annabelle lives.

This is why you don't play frisbee inside the house...

(Yes, that was a plate before it was shattered.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy Day!

I woke up one morning, checked my email, and read the following from one of my piano student's parents:
They [kids at school, including my student] made a poster at school about what their talent is, and he [my student] made a picture of himself playing the piano. There are a number of people in the poster listening to him play, and he drew you sitting in the background saying "You rock". Thanks for helping him feel that way about himself!

What a great way to start the day!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mother/Daughter(s) dates

Last weekend, I took Annabelle bowling for a late birthday present. We were supposed to go as a family, but Michael was practically on his deathbed and couldn't even get out bed. (We're thinking it was like a severe case of the flu. He was bedridden for 4 days and lost 5 pounds just in the 4 days. Yikes!) Annabelle had a blast, while Jillian just wanted to crawl down the lane and touch the bowling pins. I asked to put the gutters up only when it was Annabelle's turn, but there was some miscommunication I guess and they stayed up when it was my turn too. Oh well. I'm a terrible bowler so I guess it was just as well. We tied with 94 points.
And yesterday, Annabelle went to the movie theater for the first time. She and I saw "Tangled". It was actually quite entertaining, even for me. And there were tons of adults there without kids that had come to see the movie as well. I was a little worried that Annabelle would have a hard time sitting still and being quite during the movie, but she was really good for the most part. During some of the songs, she got bored and I had to remind her be quiet. But when the movie was over, she said she wanted to see it again right then. She has been talking nonstop about having hair as long as Repunzel's ever since we got back. We don't usually buy movies to add our humble collection, but this one we might have to add.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

And the best laugh goes to......

(Sorry that the video is so long, but it's well worth watching to hear her cute giggle.)